Here’s an excerpt from Easkey’s article on her surf trip to Iran. Photos by Ben Clift.
We continued to surf ‘our’ beach for the remaining couple of days. The swell stayed a consistent three-to-four feet with light winds, although it felt like the swell was dropping on the last day.
During breakfast on the beach, in between surfs, we discussed religion with Arman, whose name means ‘hope’ in Farsi, and is typical of a lot of young, well-educated Iranians from the cities. He says he is not religious and doesn’t actively practice his faith. Unlike Bob, who was kneeling down in prayer facing towards Mecca before he stripped down to his leopard print boxers and decided to go for a dip in the heavy shore-break laughing until the under-tow caught him and pulled him out to sea.
Ben paddled out and gave him a lift back to safety on his bodyboard. Despite the language barrier it was clear Bob had loved the experience and we could make a keen waterman out of him yet! Arman says it’s a problem when religion is used as a tool for oppression by those in power, especially to suppress women and blame them for the evils of the world.
Despite Iran being a place that celebrates art, creativity and knowledge with a welcoming, warm-hearted people it is still a place where people suffer under an oppressive regime; Arman tells us that you can be sentenced to 75 lashes for being drunk, and be stoned to death for having sex outside of marriage (including rape in many cases). Yet the people are not victims. They are proud, resilient, and hopeful.
Surrounded by the emptiness of the beach and desert it was easy to feel tranquil but we were still out in ‘bandit country’, a place ignored by guidebooks and tourists, very near the Pakistani border where smuggling flourishes…
To read the full article on Easkey’s fascinating surf trip from SurfGirl’s May issue you download a digital version here to your computer as well as your smart phone and iPad .