Fears and feelings for Iran

Iran is that country which calls up all kinds of controversial feelings in me. In the end the positive counts more. It is a stunning place and became the most interesting place I went to.

First of all I want to be be clear about one thing: I never felt unsafe as a women in Iran. I never frightened anyone there, except the government itself. This already seems controversial, but let me explain:

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What I love most in this country are the people. Irans society is very educated, emancipated and full of critical thinkers, some might say the society is far ahead of their government.

One thing I don't like in Iran is the governmental system which builds up in forcing people. One thing I like about this government at the moment is that their control state protects people actually from the surrounding countries, which makes Iran a save haven in the sea of dangerous, chaotic and violent countries.

I heard different stories about ISIS or Daesh (that's how Islamic people call them), but I am sure that it is pretty hard or nearly impossible for them to enter Iran. I think so because I also was taken by the police and military, they thought I am a member of ISIS. So I kind of have an idea how long it takes and what they check before you able to leave again.

When I spoke to Iranians about ISIS/Daesh they all agreed about the fact that this government is doing a good job in protecting their people from the outside - no matter how much they actually hate the government.

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One thing I don't like about the society in Iran is this double life they live. If you enter the public transport in Tehran you will be surprised how peaceful it is, how slowly people enter, make space for others and offer seats, always with a friendly smile. But then you will see how easily this peace escalates into something very different for the smallest reasons, which makes you feel all their intensive anger behind the smile. In three days Tehran I saw three street fights between men, and also women, with intensive screaming and beating.

The frustration of people seems big.

More than once I heard people saying "It is not easy to be happy in Iran".

I personally experienced that when I went out with my couchsurfers on a sunny day with boat. We were so happy that day,  giggling when our hijab fell off, because on the water no one could see it, it just all seemed to be so far away from any control. Just before we returned we tuck a picture of this peaceful place, when the boat-men told us that the government shot a guy there two days ago, because he wanted to import illegal stuff on his boat. In this moment such a frustrating feeling overcame us - no matter where, and how far you go, they will see it, come after you and take care of it. It seems that there is just no way out of it.

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If you look back in history, it just seems as if Iran (or no matter what it was called, depending on the empire) was conquered by one super power after another.

No wonder why, besides the fact that Iran has a wonderful nature and and a high educated society it also has oil, gold, farming, the connection for two seas and a great location in the middle of everything.

How much Iran is wanted showed the Iran-Iraq war, when Hussein tried to take over right after the Iranian revolution, when everything was still weak and a little chaotic.

But something no ruling power seemed to understood is that societies like the Iranian never looses against them.

Iranians flee from their country, they start revolutions for better lives, they get killed, they accept punishments, silent killing of governments, they accept to be called Islamic Republicans and women cover up, no matter which religion they believe in or if they believe not at all. But none of them starts hating their country, none of them stops saying Iran is that country which calls up all kinds of controversial feelings. In the end the positive counts more. It is a stunning place and became the most interesting place I was at.

First of all I want to be be clear about one thing: I never felt unsafe as a women in Iran. I never frightened anyone there except the government itself. This already seems controversial but let me explain:

What I love most in this country are the people. Irans society is very educated, emancipated and full of critical thinkers, some might say the society is far ahead of their government.

One thing I don't like in Iran is the governmental system which builds up in forcing people. One thing I like about this government at the moment is that their control state protects people actually from their surrounding countries, which makes Iran a save haven in the sea of dangerous, chaotic and violent countries.

One thing I don't like about the society in Iran is this double life they live. If you enter the public transport in Tehran you will be surprised how peaceful it is, how slowly people enter, make space for others and offer seats, always with a friendly smile. But then you will see how easily this peace escalates into something very different for the smallest reasons, which makes you feel all their intensive anger behind the smile. In three days Tehran I saw three street fights between men and also women with intensive screaming and beating.

The frustration in people seems big.

More than once I heard people saying "It is not easy to be happy in Iran".

I personally experienced that when I went out with my couchsurfers on a sunny day with boat. We were so happy that day and giggling when our hijab fell off, because on the water no one could see it, it just all seemed to be so far away from any control. Just before we returned we tuck a picture of this peaceful place, when the boat men told us that the government shot a guy there two days ago, because he wanted to import illegal stuff on his boat. In this moment such a frustrating feeling overcame us - no matter where and how far you go, they will see it, come after you and take care of it. It seems that there is just no way out of it.

If you look back in history it just seems as if Iran (or no matter what it was called depending on the empire) was conquered by one super power after another.

No wonder why, besides the fact that Iran has a wonderful nature and and a high educated society it also has oil, gold, farming, the connection for two seas and a great location in the middle between the two world markets Asia and Europe.

How much wanted Iran is showed the Iran-Iraq war, when Hussein tried to take over right after the Iranian revolution when everything was still weak and a little chaotic.

But something no ruling power seemed to understood is that societies like the Iranian never looses against them.

Iranians flee from their country, they start revolutions for better lives, they get killed, they accept punishments, silent killing of governments, they accept to be called Islamic Republicans and women cover up, no matter which religion they believe in or if they believe not at all. But none of them starts hating their country, none of them stops saying that they are Iranians. All they say is "My poor country has a stupid government".

I wish I could describe why Iran is one of the greatest places on this planet, but there seems to be no right words for it. I can say it is the nature, the way of life behind the closed doors, the culture, the history, the buildings, the art, their patters everywhere, the food, the music, the moderate but proud and strong attitude of people - all this and still more.

I am sorry that my words are missing, but I hope pictures can give you a hint of the feeling there.

 

Not all of the people I met hate the government. There are also some people, who see this government, today and at moment,  as the right way to protect itself from the influence of the west.

My thoughts go back to Georgia, which is looking forward becoming  a member of the European Union, not thinking about the fact that big mass-productions will take over and probably won't let much space for the local productions.

In Fashion industry the fast mass production is one of the main problems, causing very bad conditions for the producing companies, countries and people.

And then I think about my friend in Iran, who just wants to start a coffee-shop. Do they really want to be "like the west"?

If you look at the globalization in this world and it impacts: Iran is the only county which protects very strictly tradition and local values.

I entered Iran when sanctions came down and some days ago the liberal party of Iran won. To me, this looks like big steps in the right direction and it let my hopes grow, that maybe this time Iran develops with an evolution rather than another revolution.

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Of course, non of all this is good enough when I think about the personal life of my friends, but in the same time I am questioning all alternatives of change, which are more radical and probably more violent - Is this better?

My personal wish for Iran is that people are able to live free, that women are not behind men, that little girls don't frighten the moment when they look like a women and have to cover up, that not everybody has to live this double live of the perfect Moslem and hides his real dream, hopes and goals.

Any force turns thoughts into the opposite of it - The majority of people in Iran don't  believe in their government, they make fun of the leaders putting their pictures everywhere and telling them "I was send by God to lead you" - most people laugh about them. That's something the government probably knows. But also everybody knows that this society is tried of the killing and the wars. This little freedom they have now, is something they accept  with the high price of this government.