Home of Angels and Superhero’s
Sunday, 15 March 2020
Bridging the cultural gap at the sports bar stadium:
In the time of the global Corona Crises!
Iran has been badly hit by the Corona Crises, despite having one of the best health care systems in the middle East. Together with Italy we have the highest death tolls outside of China. We are just sensing the magnitude of a crises of possible cataclysmic proportions about to develop in Iran, and indeed- in countries all over the world. I should add that much would be easier here in Iran. If the international community without any future ado would reach out – and not turn a blind eye to our urgent and desperate daily medical needs – as this health crises escalates here hour by hour, but instead agree to lift the us imposed sanctions on medicines, medical equipment and test kits.
Well, while this grim reality is getting bleaker by the day in all parts of our country, there is a group of foreigners in Iran – on a micro level- which currently is facing all kinds of practical problems. The non-Farsi speaking international “overlanders” the young enthusiastic Marco Polo adventurers of today following the old hippie trail of yester years, who are now stuck in Darios’ proud old country – after our leaders very wisely closed its borders on February 26th .
My story goes as follows: I run a café in Bushehr, By the Persian: The Sports Bar Stadium. On February 26th
I posted the following massage addressed to the international travelers unable to get out of Iran. It reads as follows: “we’re a safe place and we want to help. We provide access to immediate help and support for you in need. If you are in the south of Iran, Bushehr, Sports Bar Stadium is here for you. Immediate help is never too far away. You have a home here for as long as it feels like home. You can find us at ioverlander app and Instagram @sportsbar_stadium.
I should add that on a personal level I have often been stuck it how different cultures so often has different interpretations what is “wrong” and what is “right”, based on their underlying values and beliefs. When I opened the Sports Bar Stadium here in our beautiful town, I wanted to build a culture of diversity and inclusiveness, and create an environment which felt safe, based on generosity and friendliness. Does this sound naive? I am sure many people would say so- but so be it.
When the Iranian borders closed I all of the sudden was faced the possibility of putting my fine words and sincerely felt idealistic vision for my international café into practice. I immediately closed my small establishment which was about to move to new premises anyway and turned the café as well as my private apartment further up in the building into a shelter for non-Iranians stranded in The Islamic Republic. To put it mildly: It has been extremely rewarding having the possibility to provide a safe and healthy place for desperate “tourists”, many of them having nowhere to go. A Dutch family of four, two Spanish hitch hikers, an Australian couple, a single Dutch man, a single French man, a French family of four and a man from Croatia are the “guests” in my shelter at the moment.
We have communal meals, study time and all try to look after each other. There are a number of small children here, and our four-legged friends and plenty of insecure and nervous international travelers not knowing where to turn for help, keep on arriving.
Among all the thoroughly depressing and devastating Corona reports we are bombarded with 24/7, this story might be a valuable reminder of the importance of what we all can do in addition to meet this crisis with all the necessary health precautions on a personal level, as an alternative of being overwhelmed by paralyzing fear an then not seeing the needs of others.
Please report back all over the world on the dire necessity of reaching out to others in desperate times like this. In a future I hope most of us are going to have, we should be able to look our kids and grandchildren in the eyes, when they ask us: “What did you do when the crises stroke?
I urge you all to try and Maybe we can all be ambassadors for peace
Farshid Nick-Roo Rezaee