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No Fear of Flying

Mankind has always wanted to fly. It is a desire that has been the subject of one of the most famous Greek myths, though with tragic consequences. Leonardo da Vinci made sketches of wings attached to the human body, but there is no evidence that these experiments were actually made. In subsequent centuries, flying has been the goal of numerous intrepid inventors and adventurers. But it is only in the twentieth century that after a fashion this ambition has been realized. In 1986 a group of Swiss mountaineers invented paragliding for the purpose of a swift descent from the summit, and from then on it has spread throughout the world as an elite sport that has attracted the rich and the adventurous.

Now in a remote village in the south of Iran, a young man called Mohsen, from a modest rural background, has become an extremely skillful paraglider. For the last five years he has developed a passionate interest in it. He has had to make many sacrifices to share in this sport of the rich. He has had to save up whatever he could from different kinds of employment, as a photographer, a conjurer, a musician, and working in a printer’s shop in temperatures of 50 degrees and sleeping there at night on the floor. The equipment was very expensive and then there was the cost of the training for which he had to travel to Tehran and Yazd.

The villagers viewed his comings and goings with extra large packs on his back with curiosity and some suspicion, and his parents thought it a strange and dangerous activity for their son. But he could not be deterred, and now they have had to accept it. Paragliding has been a passion that has dominated his life, but now he wants to move on to kite-surfing in the waters of the Persian Gulf, and experience a similar sensation on or above water as he has in the air over the mountains of southern Iran. In this multimedia report, he shares with us his joy of paragliding in the beautiful scenery of southern Iran.

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