Discover Purim in Iran… via Diarna!
While now may not be the ideal moment to take a pilgrimage to Iran— at least according to U.S. State Department travel warnings —Diarna is offering anyone with an Internet connection untrammeled virtual access to the shrine revered by many Iranians as the tomb of Esther and Mordechai.
Tablet Magazine recently highlighted how Diarna is making this site and its fascinating history digitally accessible:
There is quite possibly only one Star of David on Earth visible from space… Location: Hamadan, Iran… The problem is that the shrine that houses the prominent star has fallen into disrepair at the hands of the local government, and last year anti-Jewish mobs rallied at the shrine, calling for its demolition. In the absence of a Jewish community capable of defending it, a U.S. organization called Diarna has decided the only option is to restore the site – virtually.
Click here to launch a video tour, the inaugural installment of Insights: a Diarna series spotlighting Jewish sites (synagogues, cemeteries, schools, shrines, and other structures) across the Middle East. Insights is being made possible by a generous grant from the Elizabeth and Oliver Stanton Foundation.
If the video piques your interest, explore further by reading Diarna’s own report “Esther’s Tomb: Iran’s Jewish queen defies decay and dissolution.” You can also watch the full interview with renovation architect Yassi Gabbay, who speaks in both English and Persian. And educators can download Discovering Purim: A Supplemental Curriculum, an educational module that enables students to explore the holiday through the prism of geography.