My Roots

I grew up in northern Tehran close to the Alborz Mountains in a neighborhood called Dar-aabaad. The word Dar-aabaad literally means a place built around or up with trees, which signifies the centrality of planting trees to human habitation in Iran.  Around 25 years ago, the neighborhood was a quiet and quaint place with very few apartment buildings. Even as the neighborhood has changed, it has retained much of its charm.  A river cuts through the neighborhood, which is not only a source of beauty but it sustains a number of farms and orchards. The neighborhood is surrounded by picturesque hills that support a plethora of wild native plants such as poppies, borage, daisies, tulips, thistles, oregano, etc. Every Spring, my mother and I would go to the hills and collect wild herbs and visit the cherry orchards. The hills are home to varieties of butterflies, bees, grasshoppers along with birds such as bee-eaters, chukars, doves, hoopoes, kites, owls, sparrows, and swallows. Some of these creatures would visit our garden on a regular basis to find food or water.