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EXPLORE IRAN

TEHRAN  |  QUM  |  KASHAN  |  MATINABAD  |  ISFAHAN  | NA'IN |  YAZD  |  PERSEPOLIS | SHIRAZ 

Join Dr. Hadi Qazwini and Dr. Jihad Turk on a rare journey to some of the most significant and stunning sites in Islamic and world history. Register now!

This excursion is now sold out. Please join our interest list to receive updates about future tours to Iran.

MAy 25  -  JUNE 4, 2024

9 Nights 10 Days

Iran is the heartland of one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations. Historically known as Persia (named for the region of Fars), Iran is a modern nation self-described as an Islamic Republic. Prior to the spread of Islam to this region, the ancient Achaemenid and Parthian dynasties challenged the Greeks and established a flourishing culture. Zoroastrianism emerged as the dominant religious tradition by the time of the Sasanid dynasty, which was overthrown during the 630s by Muslim forces. The area of Iran and Iraq became a central and dynamic nexus for the integration of various intellectual and cultural traditions into a rich new Islamic environment. Under the Abbasid and regional empires that ensued, trade, material culture, literature, and poetry thrived. Arabic and Persian expression set cultural standards for surrounding areas, such as Central Asia and Indian Subcontinent, and beyond. Whereas the inhabitants in the medieval period were predominantly Sunni in their orientation, in the 16th century, the rise of the Safavid dynasty led to a large-scale shift to Shi’ism, which continues to be the basis for Iranian government and society today. All who visit Iran remark on the warm hospitality and utter beauty of the country, challenging stereotypes and geopolitical characterizations. We will learn about the country’s rich history, appreciate unrivaled architectural marvels, savor delicious foods and gain an authentic understanding of the Iranian people.

faculty guideS

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The first day of the tour is Friday, February 23. In order to arrive by this date, travelers from North American gateways will most likely need to begin their journey on Wednesday, February 21, accounting for the crossing of the international date line. Travelers from other origin points should book travel to arrive by the early afternoon on Friday, February 23.

Dr. Seyed Hadi Qazwini 

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Dr. Seyed Hadi Qazwini is a Bayan faculty member and trustee, international scholar, educator, religious leader and public speaker. He serves as the Muslim Chaplain at the Claremont Colleges in southern California. For over 15 years, he has educated diverse audiences across the United States and other parts of the world on topics related to Islam and Muslims in a variety of settings, including academic conferences, college and university campuses, schools, places of worship, and media outlets. Dr. Qazwini completed advanced traditional Islamic studies at the Seminary of Qum under the guidance of prominent scholars. He holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California - Irvine, an M.A. in Islamic Studies and Leadership from Claremont School of Theology and Bayan Islamic Graduate School, and a Ph.D. in Religion with a concentration on Global Islam from the University of Southern California. Dr. Qazwini's scholarly interests encompass Islamic intellectual history, with a focus on theology, law, and Imami Shiʿism. His publications have appeared in leading academic venues, such as Islamic Studies, The Encyclopaedia of Islam III, Shii Studies Review, and Edinburgh University Press.

Dr. Jihad Turk 

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Bayan’s President, Dr. Jihad Turk will co-lead the tour. He has extensive experience as an imam and faith leader in Los Angeles, the city with the largest Iranian population outside of Tehran. During his graduate studies in Islamic law and society, he spent an academic year in Iran studying the Persian language. Dr. Turk has traveled to various countries in the Persian Gulf region for high-level meetings and conferences and will offer his perspective on contemporary challenges and opportunities. He holds a B.A. in History from the University of California - Berkeley, an M.A. from the University of Texas at  Austin, and an Ed.D. from the University of Southern California in Global Educational Leadership.

ITINERARY IN IRAN

(Subject to change)

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This excursion is now sold out. Please join our interest list to receive updates about future tours to Iran.

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Bayan has been offering faculty-led tours to world heritage destinations since 2017, with recurring tours to Southern Spain, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jerusalem & Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, and Senegal/Gambia, with exciting new destinations being planned in the coming years.

 

WHY JOIN A BAYAN TOUR?

Tours offered by Bayan cater to the diverse interests and needs of families, while offering an exceptional educational and cultural program. Each tour is led by one or more faculty members who provide daily background lectures and insights about the historical and contemporary contexts. Local guides are utilized as well at various points in time. The itinerary is crafted by experienced personnel to maximize your enjoyment and satisfaction. While the scheduled program is robust, ample time is provided to explore on your own, shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs, and enjoy some leisure activities. Bayan’s tour group size is typically up to 35 participants.

TOUR pricing

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All pricing is double-occupancy. 

 

 

  • Reservations will be taken until March 1.

  • Entry point into Iran: Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA).

  • Departure point from Iran: Shiraz Shahid Dastgheib Airport (SYZ).

  • We recommend your baggage only be comprised of only one checked suitcase, one carry on, and one personal item.

  • Most nationalities require a visa to enter Iran.  Although visa fees are not included, we will provide the necessary support to acquire the visa approval document (also known as a grant notice)

land PACKAGE INCLUSIONS

  • Airport transfers in Tehran on May 26 and in Shiraz on June 4

  • 9 nights hotel (4*)

  • Ground transportation by private A/C coach

  • All entrance fees for scheduled sites

  • Daily breakfasts plus two dinners

  • English speaking local guide(s)

  • Local taxes

EXCLUSIONS

  • ​​International airfare to Iran (budget $1,500 round-trip per person from US gateways), baggage fees, seat selection fees

  • Tourist visa and associated fees

  • Additional meals/beverages

  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers, hotel porters, servers, activities

  • Personal items

  • Hotel incidental charges and other individualized services

  • Covid-19 testing, treatment and/or quarantine costs (if applicable)

  • Urgent care, medical treatment and testing, related expenses

  • Travel insurance (recommended)

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This excursion is now sold out. Please join our interest list to receive updates about future tours to Iran.

tour highlights

Tehran

  • Golestan Complex

  • Park-e Shahr

  • Azadi Square

  • Milad Tower

  • National Jewelry Museum

  • Tabi'at Bridge

  • Darband neighborhood

  • Grand Bazaar

 

Qom

  • Shrine of Fatima Masumeh

  • Astaneh Museum

  • Old Bazar

  • Hoz-e Soltan salt lake

 

Kashan

  • Borujerdi House

  • Bagh-e Fin Garden

  • Abyaneh Village

 

Matinabad

  • Desert Camp

  • Camel Riding (optional)

 

Isfahan

  • Jame Masjid

  • Vank Cathedral and Museum

  • Jolfa Armenian Quarter

  • Masjid-e Shah 

  • Sheikh Lotfullah Mosque

  • Ali Qapu Palace

  • Gheysarieh Bazaar

  • Chehel Sotun Palace

  • Si-o-Se Pol Bridge

Na'in

  • Jame Mosque

  • Pirnia House

  • Meybod Shah Abbasi Caravanserai

Yazd

  • Ancient Fahadan district

  • Amir Chakhmagh Complex

  • Atashkadeh Zoroastrian Temple

  • Jame Mosque

Persopolis

  • Ancient ruins

  • Takht-e Jamshid

  • Naqsh-e Rostam Necropolis

Shiraz

  • Bagh-e Eram Garden

  • Nasir al-Mulk Masjid (Pink Mosque)

  • Vakil Bazaar

  • Karim Khan Citadel

  • Tombs of Hafez and Saadi

With a $500 Deposit

This excursion is now sold out. Please join our interest list to receive updates about future tours to Iran.

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  • Who is leading the tour?
    Bayan’s vice president and professor Munir Shaikh will be the faculty escort for the tour. He holds an M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a specialization in the history of Islamic Iberia (Al-Andalus), and certificates from academic programs in Morocco, Egypt and Spain. He has lived for periods of time in Spain (and Morocco), and is conversant in Spanish. He has taught academic courses on Islamic Spain, Middle Eastern history, Islam, and world history, and led world heritage tours in various countries, including seven previous excursions in Southern Spain.
  • What is the expected group size?
    Bayan’s tours are focused on providing a well-rounded experience featuring scholarly knowledge, cultural exposure, recreational activities, and free time. Most tour groups are multi-generational and diverse in nature. In addition to historical and contemporary sites of interest, the itinerary includes visits to mosques and other places of worship to accommodate the religious needs of group members. Our group size tends to be in the range of 30-40 participants from North America and beyond. Participants are able to get to know one another and develop bonds of friendship and camaraderie that can last a lifetime. By participating in a tour, you are helping sustain and advance Bayan’s mission as a non-profit educational institution.
  • When is the registration deadline?
    We are accepting registrations for the tour until March 31, in order to reserve seats on a train, book sufficient hotel rooms, procure entrance tickets to monuments, and ensure other details. You must pay a refundable deposit of $500 per traveler. Deposits are partially refundable through February 15, 2024, however, a cancellation charge of $ 100 per traveler will apply for any cancellation requested 24 hours after time of booking. For other important terms and conditions, please click here. After payment of your deposit, you will receive an invoice for the remaining balance for your party, reflecting any applicable discounts. The balance payment is due no later than April 15, 2024.
  • Is a visa required for U.S. citizens to enter Spain?
    Bayan’s tours are open to participants who wish to join from anywhere in the world. However, the majority of participants tend to be from the United States. US passport holders do not need to obtain a visa to enter Spain for tourism. This is true for nationals of many other countries as well. However, non-US passport holders are encouraged to check requirements for their nationality and obtain a visa if required.
  • How physically demanding is the tour?
    Our group will be transported from city to city in a luxury air-conditioned tourist bus. However, in each city, since we will be in the historical centers where buses can't go, we will use the metro or other local public transportation, and occasional taxis, to get around. Even so, there will be a significant amount of walking on most days, on slight inclines and steps. The streets at times will have cobblestones. The walking distances involved at any given time can range from 1/4 to 1/2 mile between rest points. The guides will take into account the differing abilities and health conditions of group members and regulate the pace and intensity of the tour accordingly. Nonetheless, participants should expect to walk roughly 12,000 steps each day (about 6 miles in aggregate) during the first few days of the program, and perhaps 8,000 steps per day during the latter portion of the itinerary. This tour may not be suitable for those with knee, hip or foot pain that could be aggravated by the amount of walking involved. Ideally, all participants should prepare for the tour by walking at least 5,000 steps per day in the weeks leading up to the tour.
  • What type of food will we have on the tour?
    Spain’s food is a mix of Mediterranean and local traditions. Some dishes, such as paella, reveal their roots in Arab/Muslim cuisines. While the types of vegetarian options have grown in recent years in Spain, most local meat dishes feature pork (we will be sure to avoid any foods prepared with pork or alcohol). During the tour, we will dine at restaurants that serve zabiha halal foods, or at places that offer seafood and vegetarian options. You can expect meals to include Middle Eastern, Turkish and Moroccan dishes at restaurants run by local Muslims, and Italian and other types of dishes more generally. You’ll have the option of sampling various suitable tapas (small dishes) that are routinely consumed in neighborhood establishments..
  • Will you provide more information about the daily schedule and other details?
    Yes, all participants who have completed their full payment will receive a detailed information packet that includes descriptions of the cities and sites to be visited, the daily schedule, currency exchange, local prayer times, electrical adapters, weather, what to pack, and more.
  • What precautions are you taking with regard to COVID-19?
    We encourage participants to be fully vaccinated with at least one booster shot for all who are eligible to receive these shots. Travelers may visit Spain for tourism, but must provide either a certificate proving full vaccination, a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen), or a certificate of recovery. Travelers can enter using the EU Digital Covid Certificate or its equivalents. We do not expect to mandate masking during the tour, but we encourage masking whenever possible and according to each individual’s comfort level. For example, when shopping in crowded areas, it would be best to wear a mask. General sanitary practices should be maintained at all times, such as washing hands with soap, using sanitizing gels and wipes, and maintaining a reasonable distance between individuals.
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