In Couchsurfing in Iran, award-winning author Stephan Orth spends sixty-two days on the road in this mysterious Islamic republic to provide a revealing behind-the-scenes look at life in one of the world's most closed societies. Through the unsurpassed hospitality of twenty-two hosts, he skips the guidebooks and tourist attractions and travels from Persian carpet to bed to cot, covering more than 8,400 kilometres to recount othis world's hidden doings.o Experiencing daily what he calls the otwo Iranso that coexist side by side-the otheocracy, where people mourn their martyrso in mausoleums, and the ohide-and-seek-ocracy, where people hold secret parties and seek worldly thrills instead of spiritual blisso-he learns that Iranians have become experts in navigating around their country's strict laws.Though couchsurfing is officially prohibited in Iran-the state fears spies would be able to travel undetected through the country-more that a hundred thousand Iranians are registered with online couchsurfing portals. And thanks to these hospitable. English-speaking strangers, Orth gets up close and personal with locals, peering behind closed doors and blank windows to uncover the inner workings of a country where public sho and private reality are strikingly opposed.
Stephan Orth's three books, Sorry, We Missed the Runway, Couchsurfing in Iran and Couchsurfing in Russia, have all been major bestsellers in Germany. They have been translated into ten foreign languages. Two of his feature stories, one about Russia and one about China, won the Columbus Award for travel writers. He has written for Der Spiegel, National Geographic, Time Off and the Courier Mail. Orth owns five backpacks, four sleeping bags and three tents, but no wheeled suitcase.