One summer afternoon in Maine I discovered the 19th Century illustrated novel THE ADVENTURES OF HAJJI BABA OF ISPAHAN in my grandmother Edith's bookshelves. As a ten years old boy I read the book in wonderment. The Persian city of Isapahan sat astride two of the great trade routes of the ancient world and the wealth flowed to its people to create a center of Sufi knowledge and center of science, math, poetry, and beauty from 1050 to the 1700s.
The magnificence of its mosques testified to ascendancy and the Persians told travelers, ""Esfahān nesf-e- jahān ast" or "Isfahan is half of the world."
The West had nothing in comparison.
Rome was in ruins.
I liked walking through its hills.
It remains a destination to those in love with urban beauty.
According to Wikipedia the tenth century Persian historian Ibn al-Faqih al-Hamedani wrote: "When the Jews emigrated from Jerusalem, fleeing from Nebuchadnezzar, they carried with them a sample of the water and soil of Jerusalem. They did not settle down anywhere or in any city without examining the water and the soil of each place. They did all along until they reached the city of Isfahan. There they rested, examined the water and soil and found that both resembled Jerusalem. Upon they settled there, cultivated the soil, raised children and grandchildren, and today the name of this settlement is Yahudia."
Ispahan still speaks its poetry.
I hope it shall forever.
To read The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan by JAMES MORIER online, please go to the following URL
And travel to another time.
It's better than taking a plane to Disneyworld.