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Esfahan: Meeting the People

Esfahan, Iran

In Esfahan, we meet people at a popular park where friends and families gather along the riverbank. Rick asks the young people what they’d like Americans to know about Iran.

Complete Video Script

Straddling its river, Esfahan is famous for its marvelous bridges which date to the 17th century. And between those bridges, stretching for six miles on either bank is a much-loved city park.

This is where families and friends gather over a pot of tea or box of sweets. Here on the riverbank, I was struck by the tranquility of the scene, filled with people who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying life's simple blessings.

I love it in the last hour of the day when everybody is out and here in Esfahan it’s down to the river bank. You know, all over Europe you've got this passegiata, paseo — people are out during the magic hour. I didn't expect to find it here in Iran, but boy, they've got it. I don't know what the word is in Farsi…but they've got the paseo.

Like the paseo, it's a social scene filled with young men and women and families enjoying the moment. Any interaction between men and women seemed very discrete. Still, even with the constraints of dress and behavior, I sensed a confidence and youthful vitality. To me, these young people felt like the future of Iran. They had a modern sensibility and seemed well educated.

Rick: I have many friends in America that are curious about Iran, what can you tell them? What message would you give to my friends?
Girls: Your friends? About people?
Rick: About the people in Iran.
Girls: We love them… okay, we love the people in America.
Rick: Yeah? That's good to hear. Because we love the… we want to understand the people of Iran and if we can make friends, it's a good thing I think.
Girls: Yeah, it's great.
Rick: Do you have friends that you come to see on the river?
Girls: On the river? No, we just come here with our families.
Rick: Might you meet a boy down here?
Girls: No, we don't meet a boy usually.
Rick: Where do you meet a boy?
Girls: Where?
Rick: Someday you must meet a boy.
Girls: Ok, we may meet a boy, but we are not supposed to find a boy.
Rick: Oh, they find you?
Girls: Ok, yeah, they find us.
Rick: Really? How does that work?
Girls: Ok, it really works.
Rick: Does it work ok? So you have no worries about this.
Girls: No, no worries.
Rick: You'll be happy.
Girls: Yes.
Rick: That's good, I hope you're happy.
Girls: Thanks.
Rick: Very nice to meet you.
Girls: You too, same here.

As the sun goes down the people of Esfahan also gather in Imam square as if to savor the beauty of their city at twilight.