Interview With Afshin Edjlali-Host of Jane Jacobs Walks in Tabriz, Iran

 Photo Courtesy of Afshin Edjlali

Photo Courtesy of Afshin Edjlali

1.    What is your relation to Jane Jacobs Walks?

I am a civil engineer, with M.Sc of structural engineering and I am working in "SUNGUN" copper mine as a civil engineer. I am interested in cultural discussions about my city and I am publishing a monthly magazine (attached to a newspaper) about construction industry. I was introduced to Jane Jacobs by one of my friends who is an architect. She knew that I am interested in walking in my city and in cultural topics.

2.    Why were you interested in hosting a walk in Tabriz?

There are some places all over the world that are known to all people and there is no need for more explanations, but in Iran and in my area (East azarbaijan province) the people should know and see more. I had a trip to Malaysia with my wife two and a half years ago and I went to the "BATU" cave, which is a very famous place in Malaysia. In Iran, the East Azarbaijan province is full of beautiful mountains and natural phenomena’s that no one knows around the world. I want to show those places to the world.

 Photo Courtesy of Afshin Edjlali

Photo Courtesy of Afshin Edjlali

3.   Could you describe the walk in detail, as well as some of the photos and what they represent? 

Because of the international media, people think some strange things about Iran that just aren’t true. There are some difficulties. Women must be covered, and some habits are not accepted, but the life is going on in its normal way. The photos show that a normal stream of life is carrying on. But my goal for the walk was to show how the history of a region is being erased, and the photos are the best way to show that.

4.    What are your hopes for the future of Tabriz with regards to Jane Jacobs Walks?

When foreign tourists come to Iran they just travel to places like Isfahan and Shiraz. I wanted to say that there are more beautiful places to see, to walk, to enjoy.

5.    What are your goals when you host a Jane Jacobs Walk for the participants?

I want the walker to not only enjoy the walk, but also the architecture, the history, the delicious food, the climate, and the whole city.

6.    Anything else you would like to add?

I like walking around historical regions and I accept Jane's idea about relation between walking and soul of cities. Because of my job and my economical condition I cannot travel to many different countries, but I can invite people to share the joy of walking in Tabriz.

We want to give a huge thanks to Afshin for doing this interview, as well as his contribution to Jane Jacobs Walks in Iran.

If your interested in seeing the walk that Afshin did back in June, here is the link:

Walk in Tabriz