Mesr Desert 1
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Mesr Desert 1

What do you recall when you hear “Mesr”? The Arabic name of Egypt, a country in North Africa? Nile River, Pyramids, Sphinx and Pharaohs? You are right. But you would be surprised to know, there’s another Mesr too, but thousands of kilometers away from current Egypt, and tens of kilometers away from any crowded city. A small island in the sand, somewhere in the heart of Iran’s central desert, Mesr is name of an Iranian village in Khur and Biabanak County, close to city of Naein which is famous for agricultural production in the area.

Reaching Mesr is easy, around 250 kilometers drive onto the Naein-Tabas road from west to east. After passing Farokhi and Nasrabad villages, there is a sign showing off-road direction: “Toward Mesr.”

Upon 43 kilometers drive from the sign across the sand hills, 3 green spots will appear from far, similar to three emeralds next to each other. Few moments later, while the absolute silence of desert is your only company, you will find yourself in the first emerald land, Amirabad. The road is totally flat which is considered as one of the wonders of Iran’s central desert and surprises every Eco Tourist. The sand hills around the village are known as thrones since the strong wind has shaped the surface, forming strange and attractive figures.

Amirabad is a vast and prosperous farm with a deep well. Mesr’s residents are owners of Amirabad. Where even a drop of water is as precious as gold, the well provides drinking and agricultural water for Mesr. By exploring Amirabad, for a moment you completely forget that you are in the center of pure desert. As if you are walking in a village in northern Iran: The weather is pleasant and cool and the wheat and barley farms are green, especially in the spring.

In Amirabad the road is split and the left road goes across the golden sand hills to Jandagh, a city on the Naein-Tabas-Damghan main road. The right path directly goes to the second emerald, the center of Mesr.

Mesr surprises you at first glimpse by structure of the streets. Unlike many other Iranian villages, Mesr’s roads and streets are neither tight nor old. Instead, they are wide and clean, decorated on two sides by traditional houses, wind-catchers and palm trees while the water of Qanat runs in between.

The 3rd and last emerald is called Farahzad and only four families reside in there. Farahzad is the end of the road. There is no other road to take you to the center of the desert which is only 15 kilometers away.

The empty desert is not as greedy as it may look. Beside the beautiful scenery of the village which is result of hard working residents, the sky is what attracts many Eco tourists to Mesr. At night when the sun is down, billions of stars glow in the desert sky. People in Mesr passionately talk about the foreign tourists who come to witness these wonders of Iran’s central desert.