Hanieh was born in 1985 in Tehran. During her early childhood, she had three wishes – to have friends from all over the world, solve problems, and teach other people. She studied English Literature and passed various international courses to become a tourist guide in 2008. She went on to achieve her MA in Industrial Design, and later lectured at an Art University. Hanieh views life as a puzzle, and loves facing challenges.
Q: How did you fall into tour leading?
A: In 2007 I was a studying English Literature and was interested in practicing my English. I used to chat on the internet with students from various countries. Once I received some abusive comments when I told them I was from Iran – this was a nightmare and it made me want to show my country to people and prove that we seek peace.
Q: What do you like most about tour leading?
A: I love meeting new people and learning from them. I can find new friends and spread peace all over the world by becoming a bridge between cultures.
Q: Where is your favourite part of the world?
A: The world is so diverse, and I have only seen a selection of countries. But if want to talk about my own country, I love southern parts of Iran, specifically Qeshm and Hormoz, which have lovely beaches, amazing nature, colourful soils, and very kind people!
Q: What was your biggest travel highlight?
A: So many, but if I had to mention one, it would be when one of my tourists burst into tears when she saw the Naqsh-e-Jahan Square, because she fell in love with it.
Q: What’s the one thing you couldn’t travel without?
A: I always believed it would be my phone. Once my phone broke on the 10th day of a 21-day trip when we were on our way to the desert. The tour turned out to be great, and I am alive… so maybe it would be my passport and courage instead!
Q: Which famous person would you most like to travel with?
A: Queen Elizabeth! Whenever I visit Jewel Museum in Tehran (which is said to be the biggest collection of Jewels in the world), I wish she was there too. It would be great if Farah Diba (the Queen of Iran and founder of this museum) could join us too.
Q: Have you ever made a cultural faux pas?
A: I asked for ketchup in a pizza shop in Rome! I’ll never forget the owner’s reaction…