Farsi? I had heard of the language Farsi, and might have guessed at Iran being the nation primarily to use it. But Wendy and I have not been to Iran, and in some respects, it is something of a blind spot.
Some people seem to think that writing books is a lucrative exercise. And it is for some, but most authors cannot make a living from just writing. It was 2 or 3 years ago, when having parked my car at a gathering of dental colleagues, one looked at it and said, “I’m going to start writing books!”. I think I must have cleaned the vehicle recently to disguise its 15 years on the road.
I have been asked if one of my books could be translated into Farsi? Government restrictions plus American sanctions had resulted in the number of books in Iran being limited. The people would love to read of my joie de vivre, and of the amusing incidents I had experienced in the surgery. A dentist in Iran would finance it, and a publisher had already been engaged. Wow. Yes.
So I have been writing a foreword to my first foreign edition, which made me consider what I knew about Iran. When I was at junior school, it was called Persia. Their empire was founded by Cyrus, who I have read about in my Bible.
The empire stretched from India in the east across to Eastern Europe and down into Northern Africa. I can remember reading of the revolution, and the Shah’s reign coming to an end, and of the new government being strongly Islamic. My main contact there tells me that American sanctions are hurting people more than government restrictions.
I also recall stories concerning one of their magnificent carpets, which flew through the air, transporting people from nation to nation.
Two friends of ours visited Iran a few years ago, and were greatly impacted by what they saw. The people were so warm and friendly, and the scenery was outstanding. The history, the monuments, architecture, mosques, etc. were awesome. There were mountains, rivers, beaches – and excellent food. And they returned, not by flying carpet, but by aeroplane.
Iran is an Islamic state, but there is a fast growing house church movement in the country. Maybe my book will find its way into Christian churches as well as into the homes of dentists. And maybe one day Wendy and I will get to visit and enjoy that beautiful land.