By Ahmad Rafat

Mount Damavand, a potentially active stratovolcano (5670 mt high), is the highest peak in Iran, the 12th most prominent peak in the world and the second most prominent in Asia after Mount Everest.

Damavand has a special place in Persian mythology and folklore. It is in the middle of the Alborz mountain range, and sits near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea and just 66 kilometres (41 miles) northeast of Tehran. Damavand is also a symbol of Iranian resistance against despotism and foreign rule in Persian poetry and literature.

For Tehrani’s like Bijan Daneshmand, Damavand reminds them of their childhood, a peak visible from every neighborhood within the Iranian Capital. Recently, Damavand was in the news: a religious governmental institution had tried to register part of the mountain as a gift to its estate, based on a document from 1946. However, after extended protests, the request was rejected.

Bijan Daneshmand, born August 16, 1958 in Tehran, is an actor and artist based in London. He has been in several films and TV shows. His last acting role, where he was cast as Dr. Tehrani in “The Infidel”, directed by Cyrus Nowraste, an Iranian American director, will be released on September 18 in U.S. cinemas.


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