On the way to Sanandaj

22 05 2008

[By Shideh]   To me, leaving Tehran always brings mixed feelings.  The comfort of having access to everything I am used to (which make me spoiled), familiarity with my surroundings, and the natural love for my birth place with so many memories on one side made me reluctant to leave, while the chaos, pollution, traffic jams, and the stressful state of Tehran made our journey to Kurdestan easier.  We started driving toward Qazvin, then Hamedan toward Sanandaj. The drive was about 10 hours while we barely felt any of it.  When we first exited Tehran, we saw a vast lifeless desert in front of us.  There were mountains in the background, but no sign of water or greenery.  This lasted for a couple of hours when we started to see farms on the two sides of the road. Our surrounding slowly became greener and the mountains changed shape.  In some areas it was calmly raining, in others we saw a sunny sky. Zagros was slowly coming out of its shell and appeared in front of us with its young powerful curves, sort of welcoming us first time visitors. What beauty, words can hardly describe it. At that moment, I thought of a relatively cheesy song by Elvis when I saw Zagros and found myself helplessly in love with its beauty: “but I can’t help falling in love with you…”

This mountain range is relatively young compared to Alborz and its shape is distinctly different.  It has been a base for many ancient civilizations with mighty rivers and lands for farming.


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immediately after an earthquake

22 05 2008

[By Shideh]   A friend forwarded this link to me, which has been used at a few elementary schools in the Bay Area (California) — a quiz on how to act immediately after an earthquake. 

I found it extremely useful, as there were many questions that I didn’t answer correctly.  It’s important to note, however, that these are mostly procedures useful for California where most places are built properly for withstanding major earthquakes.  IIEES has published more applicable preparedness packages for Iran and countries with similar methods of construction.  I will explain those methods as soon as I find the details.

This is a fun way to test you knowledge and make sure you are prepared for an earthquake, if you live in California or other earthquake prone areas in first world countries.  Enjoy: