Tehran to Taftan — notes from an arduous journeyArchive
I work in Saudi Arabia and had to visit Pakistan to attend a meeting. Whenever I come to Pakistan, I always apply for Iran’s visa. You must be wondering why?
Well, my wife is Iranian and since Iran does not have an embassy in Saudi Arabia and vice versa, I take advantage of my visits to Pakistan and apply for a visa every time I come.
This time too, I decided to visit my family in Iran before leaving for Saudi Arabia. Elections were scheduled for a day after my arrival. During a conversation with some of my friends in Tehran, I found out that the coronavirus had started to spread in the country but the government had kept the news under cover due to "political reasons". As soon as the polling came to an end, news of the outbreak was revealed. Alas, the information provided by Iranian TV channels such as Manoto and Iran International was proven to be true.
It took me a few hours to plan my return to Saudi Arabia and I ended up booking an Air Arabia flight bound for Riyadh via Sharjah, which was scheduled to leave the next day.
I spent the day anxious about how I'd manage to take my family back if the situation deteriorated.
The next day, I left for the Imam Khomeini Airport six hours before my flight because I thought there would be strict security checks. However, I was surprised when I, along with several other passengers, was able to enter the check-in area without any scanning.