art of resistance, Iran, tea + food

Persian Coke Cans.

These are not Andy Warhol Campbell’s soup cans. These are Persian Coke cans. 

The person behind this project is Shirin Hosseinvand. About her Persian Coke  Can project, she wrote:

My goal was to create a harmonious effect, give ethnic identity to the concept of globalization and mass production by painting Persian miniatures (from Shahnameh about drinking) on Coke cans. These beautiful paintings (illustration of Shahnameh book about drinking habits) covered Coke cans and connected Past to the Present, East to West, and Mysticism & Love with industrialism. Shahnameh’s miniature illustrations are a great example for Persian art and& culture and Coke is the best example of industrialism and globalization. By covering Coke cans with Persian miniatures, a cultural interaction between countries has been created and Coke cans, which are sold with the same logo & color in 200 countries, have adopted a specific consumer society’s ethnic identity.




tumblr_mguliyBZdP1qiaw1ao4_1280 (1)

tumblr_mguliyBZdP1qiaw1ao5_1280photos © Shirin Hosseinvand

Read more about this artwork on Artio.

Iran, tea + food, travel, Turkey

Riding the Trans Asia Express.

Every week, the train leaves from Ankara (Turkey) at 10.35am, starting the 2,500 kilometres of transcontinental travel, with its destination being Tehran (Iran). It’s a 60-hour voyage. The arrival at Tehran Central Station is frequently five or six hours late. But, you get to enjoy more time with other passengers, since this slow ride is not for those in a hurry. Here, as Tirstan Rutherford writes – friendships are cemmented with tea and sweets.






MG_6319all photos © Ayla Hibri/ Brownbook

Read the full story and see all photos on Brownbook.

Iran, tea + food, travel

The Wonders of the Kerman province, Iran.

Located in southeastern Iran, Kerman is one of Iran’s oldest cities and one of the world’s largest producers of – pistachios. Delicious cashews aside, Kerman is also a major center for carpet producing and exporting. Kerman is the capital city of the Kerman province, which has a lot to offer to those who wish to wander and discover beauty – there is The Arg-e Bam, the largest adobe building in the world, located in the city of Bam. The origin of this enormous citadel on the Silk Road can be traced back to the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BC) and even beyond. In 2003, the Citadel was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake, along with much of the rest of Bam and its environs. A few days after the earthquake, it was announced that the Citadel would be rebuilt.

Kerman province is also considered a paradise for palaeontologists because of an abundance of vertebrate fossils from different geological eras. Most of the province is largely steppe or sandy desert, although there are some oases where dates, oranges (said to be the best in Iran), and pistachios are cultivated.

Here are some photos, enjoy.











Algeria, tea + food, travel

Constantine, Algeria: The dramatic City of Bridges.

Constantine is the capital of the Constantine Province in north-eastern Algeria. There are many museums and important historical sites around the city (one of the most beautiful is the Palais du Bey, in the casbah). The city is often referred to as the “City of Bridges” due to the numerous picturesque bridges connecting the mountains the city is built on. Being framed by a deep ravine, the city has a dramatic appearance and it’s quite possible you’ll end up enchanted quickly.

Here are some photos, enjoy.




Untitled-24all photos ©Abdouldjalil Djarri/Brownbook

Brownbook has a a very good photo story 24Hours in Constantine, so be sure to check it out for more photos and info.


art of resistance, Iran, tea + food, travel

The unique bazaar of Tabriz, Iran.

The Bazaar of Tabriz is a historical market situated in the middle of TabrizIran. It is one of the oldest bazaars in the Middle East and the largest covered bazaar in the world.

Tabriz has been a place of cultural exchange since antiquity. Its historic bazaar complex is one of the most important commercial centres on the Silk Road. It  was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2010.

Although numerous modern shops and malls have been established nowadays, Tabriz Bazaar has remained the economic heart of both the city and northwestern Iran.

Here are some photos I found. Enjoy.





Iran Tabriz Bazaar


art of resistance, Israel, Israeli - Palestinian conflict, Palestine, tea + food, travel

The Gaza Kitchen.

A special cookbook documents the narrative and resourceful cuisine of Gaza’s resilient dinner tables.

Gazan food carries a punch, spiked as it is with the likes of red chilli peppers, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and – peculiarly for an Arab locale – dill. An emaciated string of land squeezed between desert and sea, the Gaza Strip offers a cuisine like no other. It’s a place where you can taste urban, rural and nomadic variations of Palestinian cuisine dedicatedly cooked by people whose culinary sensibilities, despite their refugee status, are still firmly rooted in their native villages.

‘The Gaza Kitchen’ does not limit itself to what we know today as the Gaza Strip. It revisits what are essentially bygone geographic spaces but enduring culinary zones, preserved in the kitchens of the Strip’s many refugees originally from the much more extensive Gaza District, as well as other parts of Palestine.

Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt, are the authors of the unconventional ‘social’ cookbook, ‘The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey’. 

“When so much has been lost,’ El-Haddad explains, ‘and so little remains in a physical and geographic sense, things like food become one of the only means of locating one’s self and one’s identity, of retaining the attachment to and the memory of these lost places”



74photos © Eman Mohammed

See the full article and more photos on brownbook.

Lebanon, tea + food, travel

The coziness of Dar bistro & books (Beirut, Lebanon).

If ever in Beirut, and looking for a cozy place to drink a cup of tea and read a book, Dar Bistro & Books might be a perfect place for you! It’s a part café, part bookshop. Located in the heart of Hamra, it is an oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Simply referred to as ‘Dar’, it integrates a broad range of Beirutis by doling out simple, honest espresso-based coffees. There’s a great tea, and nice small breakfast, lunch and dinner offers. Friday is often the day for some live music, and the atmposhere is just lovely.

Here are some photos from their official facebook page.






Iran, Morocco, Qatar, tea + food, travel, Turkey

Glorious (and beyond sweet) tea rituals in the Middle East.

Tea time!

Now, I’ve already posted about the glorious mint tea all over the Middle East, so this post explores the other kinds of tea enjoyed throughout the Middle East, and the sweets/fruit eaten with it traditionally. Of course, there are some amazing teapots included, because of their beauty and uniqueness. All in all, it’s a small tea ceremony (most of the photos I found on Pinterest). Enjoy.

arabic teaLet the games begin.

hibiscus, karkade tea


Hibiscus tea or kerkade, very much loved in Turkey, Egypt and Sudan, among others.

Maamoul-moldsMa’amoul molds

mamoulMaamoul are small shortbread pastries filled with dates, pistachios or walnuts, often eaten with tea.

morroccan tea biscuitsMoroccan tea biscuits with almonds

persian chaTea served with sweet sweet baklava (pastry filled with chopped nuts)

persian date bread, perfect with teaPersian date bread with turmeric and cumin, perfect with tea

persian teaa potPersian teapot

pistachio baklava cake - twistbaklava with a twist – pistachio baklava cake

qatarblack tea serving in Qatar

tea and datestea is often served with dried fruits, dates particularly

teaMoroccan teapot and cups