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Planting Trees


Bijan and the Tehran cyclists at the tree planting. If you’ve ever seen Tehran traffic you know they put the hard in core. Photo Jon Snyder.

On Saturday we had two Peace Tree planting ceremonies. The first was at a kindergarten in North Tehran. I would tell more about what happened there but I was distracted by the overwhelming cuteness of the children. In the afternoon we did a second tree planting at Artist Park. This is a park with sculptures and galleries that was the site of Nasim and Jafar’s first tree that they planted over two years ago at the beginning of their worldwide cycling trip. Friends and family show, a couple reporters show up, a contingent of Tehran cyclists arrive. The atmosphere is festive. Pam puts a the small packet of Susie Stephen’s ashes in hole prepared for the tree. Nasim, Shahrokh and I all say a few words. Things get emotional real quick. I hand out Susie bookmarks. Everyone signs paper messages to hang on the tree. We all take turns tossing in dirt. I have a nice conversation with a guy at an Iranian news service who looks like Cyrus the great. (Read the news service account here.) We pose for a thousand pictures. Some people passing by join in. Some seem perplexed–especially the guy in army fatigues as I hand in a Susie bookmark.

The tree is an evergreen planted near the entrance of the park. It will be here for a long time. Our mission is completed. The trip is drawing to a close.


Susie Stephens ashes.


Taking pictures and meeting folks.


My new friend who looks like Cyrus.


Dig the homemade costumes and the sign at the left.


This kid was very excited about the Bumble Bar we gave him.

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5 comments

  1. Jon, sweet post! I love that you gave the kids Bumble Bars. I would be just as excited as that little boy. Glad you made it home safely.
    -Amy

  2. Dear tree planters, Good work! May your efforts grow and prosper. Shalom Chester

  3. Oh that is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing

  4. Thanks for the report here and in print, and the wonderful pix. The one of your kids and the women in the park was particularly good.

    OMG, the Iranians…are people.

  5. In case you haven’t seen it, here is the video of Susie Stephens at the ProBike/ProWalk conference in Santa Barbara in 1998:
    http://blip.tv/file/2730954

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