I’ve been reading Jason Elliot’s book Mirrors of the Unseen, which is about time he spent in Iran (not long before the green revolution of June 20, 2009, was trampled).
He’s a lovely writer if a bit overwhelming with his ability to compress centuries of history. I liked his earlier book, too, on Afghanistan, An Unexpected Light.
In the car on Sunday I read aloud a section of Mirrors that describes Elliot’s extended stay with Louise Firouz, an American who married an Iranian in the 1960s and has lived in Iran ever since — despite stints in prison and twice having all her family’s property confiscated.
The part I read aloud was about how she had researched, rediscovered, and bred a small horse thought to be extinct, one that turned out to have an ancestor going farther back than the Arabian horse. It’s the little Caspian, which was finally found, in pitiful shape, near the Caspian Sea and in Turkmenistan.
Nowadays you can find lots of videos of these horses on YouTube. I thought I would include this video, which is from a Caspian stud farm in Sweden.