It is rare that one travelling indepedently in a country as vast, fascinating, sometimes troubling, and beautiful as Iran should come across a fellow like Hossein. Really, where else could you expect to find someone who speaks four languages fluently (English, Farsi, Kurdish, Azeri/Turkish; and if you ask him, he'll deny it: some Arabic), has 25 years of practical working knowledge of the busiest overland border (Bazargan crossing) into the country, can seduce you by singing ancient Turkish classical music, can offer advice about visa extensions, is a frequent visitor to many lesser known (but highly recommendable) attractions, and wants to make your trip through Iran as painless and insightful as possible? Mr. Hossein offers all such services with a big smile and certainly helped me experience the north and northwest of Iran from a different perspective most tourists could not have without his guidance.

May 2004
Mike O'Callaghan

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