French biker attends Isfahan’s Muharram ceremonies

IMNA English Desk- Arriving in Isfahan on his bicycle, Loic Kerouanton has started his trip since 2 years ago. He entered Iran from the north-western neighboring country, Armenia, to observe the anniversary of martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Imam of Shia Muslims.

While driving on Aqababaei highway in Isfahan, I accidentally saw a tourist from France who agreed to an interview. 

Could you let me know about your name and occupation?

My name is “Loic Kerouanton” .I`m from France and I am a baker there.

Have you ever been to Iran?

No, this is my first time.

Would you elaborate on the story behind your trip to Iran?

I`m traveling on my bike, starting the trip from France since 2 years ago, arriving in Armenia. After visiting the Iranian north-western cities of Jolfa, Tabriz, and Tehran, I arrived in Isfahan; and I am planning to head for Shiraz afterwards. 

How did you find Iran and the city of Isfahan in particular?

I really like Iran; I mean people are very friendly and helpful. Everybody wants to do me a favor. Also I have made more than 20 friends till this moment. Isfahan is a very interesting city with nice and friendly people.

As you know, today is the second day of the mourning ceremony for Imam Hussein, What`s your opinion about Tasu’a and Ashura ceremony here?

Well, I think people here in Isfahan are more religious than those in the northern parts of the country.

A lot of people invited me for eating and drinking. They opened up religious discussions, and cooked various kinds of food called (Nazri in Persian culture, or charity food) and distributed it among other people for free.

I believe visiting Iran during this special period is an interesting experience. You can tangibly touch a very famous event of Shia Muslims in Iran.

Why have you chosen this holy shrine (Emamzadeh Narmi) for Ashura ritual?

Yesterday I watched a live TV program showing Tasu’a ceremony by gathering thousands of people here, and that is the reason for my participation. 

Interviewer: "Emamzadeh Narmi also called Emamzade Ebrahim is located 15k from northern Isfahan in which son of the seventh Shiite Imam is buried.  

The place is the venue for yearly ritual and religious ceremonies. Isfahan TV usually manages some live broadcasts here showing the large crowd taking part in the ceremonies." 

And how is Iran referred to in the European mass media especially in France?

They say “Do not go to Iran, because it can be dangerous”, but people are very friendly with me and help me more than in France. 

What`s your message to people who want to visit Iran?

I believe that Iran is one of the best alternatives for travelling. People will warmly receive you in here which is easily noticeable.

Interviewer: Naser Narimani

News Code 321796

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