National Geographic : 1958 Jul
West from the Khyber Pass fence onto the barren plains of Khurasan. Roads were noticeably better than those in Afghanistan, and I stepped on the gas. But as we approached 30 miles an hour, the motor knocked alarmingly. About an hour from the town of Torbat-e Jam a policeman on a motorcycle flagged us down. He greeted me with a "Salaam" and handed me a letter written in ink: "Dear Sir - Vilyom Duclac I got information that you . .. will reach to Torbat jame at noon for this reason my duty told me to come to Hasanabad for you. I am sorry you did not come yet, for this reason I am going balk to racol to my gonderme to stay nove the town and guide you. Anyhow this proud for me that to serve my duty in the best way. Captain ARAD Chief of Jemdarmry in Torbat-jam Sincerely yours Arad" At Torbat the gendarmes guided us to Cap- tain Arad's house and we were invited to lunch-chicken, yoghurt, and nan, and for dessert, cake, cookies, melons, plums, grapes, and cherries, for which this area is famous. Then we drove on across a desertlike coun try where barren, broken peaks loomed pur ple in the distance. When at last we reached Meshed, after dark, I turned off the motor and it gave an ominous cough-the last wheeze left. In the morning the car had to be towed to a garage. Arabian Nights Caliph Buried in Meshed Meshed, in the province of Khurasan, is a plateau city of 250,000 population. Its point of greatest interest is the Shrine of Imam Riza, which rises above a mass of poplar trees near the center of the city. Here also is buried the Caliph of The Arabian Nights, Harun al Rashid, who lived in the 8th century. From one of the minarets of the golden shrine I had a broad view of Meshed and the surrounding land. Most Khurasan farmers are tenants, and Islamic religious institutions Justice Douglas Visits with Iran's Shah at His Shemiran Summer Palace "We talked of Iran's strategic geographic position," reports the author, "and the Shah told me of his state visit to the Soviet Union. He paid me the finest compliment an American can expect abroad when he said: 'You are one of the few foreigners who understand us.'"