National Geographic : 1961 Jan
Camels Plod Past Iran's New Karaj Dam Spring thaws turn rivers into torrents, which shrink to trickles by midsummer. Three multi purpose dams now under construction will harness the runoff and prevent flooding. The Karaj proj ect will provide supplementary power and water for Tehran, 30 miles southeast. Human flies drill walls of the Dez River gorge in southwest Iran, where 2,000 technicians and work men are building the Middle East's highest dam. After completion in 1962, the 620-foot Dez Dam and its offshoot canals ultimately will irrigate thousands of square miles of desert. An under ground power plant will send current coursing to villages that have never seen electric lights. "I think he will tell us a story if we ask," said our interpreter. The dervish seemed dubious. He took his life's work seriously, wan dering the countryside reciting to hushed gatherings tales from Iran's national epic, the Shah Namah, or Book of Kings. Finally he nodded. We were Americans, but he had de cided that perhaps even our souls could be stirred by the glorious 11th-century verse of Firdausi.