Iran is probably the most misunderstood country in the world, and its people are among the most feared. Award-winning travel writer Jill Worrall, with her friend Reza Mirkhalaf, a leading tour manager from Tehran, describe an Iran the world has forgotten about. Few people in the west know anything about the Iranian people beyond their current politics and religion. 'Two Wings of a Nightingale' uses the threads of Iran's Silk Road heritage as a basis for a road trip travelogue. Many of the places visited have rarely been written about by westerners, and in writing this book Jill benefited from Reza's expert knowledge on Iran's history, religion, culture and architecture. During their journey, Jill and Reza explore the caravanserai that were once a vital part of the silk routes that once crossed Persia, while also encountering many ordinary Iranians. In writing this book, Jill wanted to write about Iran in a way that would give readers a greater insight into the landscapes, landmarks and people of the country at a grassroots level. The title reflects the fact that they were two people of different sexes, different religions and cultures travelling together, yet keeping their travels harmoniously on course. It also refers to the many dichotomies of Iranian life. In the course of their travels, Jill and Reza visit the holiest city in Iran, Mashhad, paddle in the Persian Gulf, pass close by the borders of both Afghanistan and Iraq, stay with local families, play in the snow near Mt Ararat, pray in mosques, read poetry in Shiraz and eat ice creams in Isfahan. "An engaging travelogue, packed with sensitive detail of the people and places through which they pass on their 8,000 km journey." - Dominion Post
Having worked as a journalist for more than 20 years, Jill Worrall decided in 2004 to become a freelance writer specialising in travel writing. She has a special love for the Islamic world and anywhere out of the ordinary, and has visited and led tour parties to such countries as Bhutan, India, Uzbekistan, Libya, Syria and Jordan. She has visited Iran about six times, and to research this book she travelled over 8000km on one trip alone. She has won several awards for her travel writing.