The Iran Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo 2020 has attracted throngs of visitors with its dreamy architectural design and treasures from one of the world's oldest civilizations.
Inspired by 'One Thousand and One Nights', the famed collection of Middle Eastern folk tales compiled during the Islamic Golden Age, Iran's pavilion consists of several spatial pockets in a field, each offering a narrative to witness part of the country's history.
Iran was called Persia in ancient times. The Persian Empire was the first empire in history to span the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe and an important cultural hub along the ancient Silk Road. The long-standing Persian civilization has long served as a link between the Eastern and Western cultures.
"[We want] all people of the world to know about the Iranian culture and Iranian history, because many of the people don't know about this history and don't know about the general information about Iran," said Seyyed Haramshahi, Iran's pavilion contractor.
Visitors can gain a closer look at the cultural relics of the Persian Empire and many exquisite handicrafts.
Iran is also the birthplace of the art of Persian carpet weaving. The intricate and beautiful symmetrical patterns are completely hand-woven, which is very time-consuming and labor-intensive. Every weaver has to learn for more than ten years to fully master the knitting skills.
Hailed as a cultural treasure on the Silk Road, Persian miniatures impressed visitors with their exquisite details. Influenced by Chinese culture introduced through the Silk Road from the 13th century, the miniature paintings started to showcase eastern characteristics in terms of the appearance and clothing of the figures.
The Iranian economy has suffered a severe blow since the U.S. government unilaterally withdrew from the comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue in 2018, and reimposed sanctions against Iran.
Taking advantage of the rare opportunity of the World Expo, Iranian exhibitors brought hand-painted copper plates, saffron and other commodities, hoping to establish trade relations with more countries.
"Merchants are interested about Iranian saffron, about Iranian carpets, about Iranian handicrafts and somethings like that. And I hope in the future we can increase the economic relationship between Iran and China," said Abdolhossein Alimadadi, the media liaison officer at the Iran Pavilion.