From the technicolor world of India I step in a world that seems black and white, but soon I will appreciate the conversion.
A geopolitical introduction seems mandatory, for all those worried I was going somewhere dangerous…
First thing to say: Switch off the TV, Iran is an amazing country, overflowing with culture and hospitality!
All the crap that we hear on television about Iran it’s all part of the FictionPolitics, a game set by the well-known leaders of the world, smart enough to keep the whole mass-media empire in their hands.
Iran is not a nuclear power, and most of all it’s not a threat for humanity.
Between the two World Wars there was a country called Persia, whose president was elected, as we would say, democratically.
In 1953 CIA started a Worldwide Terrorist Politic made of coups d’etat made to overthrow governments that not follow the right rules. Everybody knows about the Vietnam War, many people know about the Allende coup in Chile, some know about US involvement in the domestic politics of the Congo and Indonesia. Not to mention Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. But few people realize that this policy of violent interfence began in Iran, the first of the American Secret Expriments. America….
But I also stopped blaming US for all the crap happened in the last 60 or more years.
Of course I know it, but I also know that this game repeats itself in cycles: yesterday it was the British Empire ruling the game, today the States and tomorrow, quite probably, some billion of asians with almond eyes and brush-cut hairstyle.
Anyway thanks to that smart move the Yankee were able to start playing with oil together with the British cousins and hated-loved Russians, amazing eh?
Other smaller facts, chain reactions, lead to the Islamic Revolution in 1979 where Ayatollah Khomeini built this religious regime in which Iranians live today.
Tehran is a sprawling megacity of some 14 million people, a huge city crowded with people and cars, traffic jams and pollution, but also nice parks and places to enjoy free time; on the metro you can easily reach the high mountains to the north and touch the hot desert in the south.
The walls of buildings are decorated with proper paintings depicting nature, fantasy, Islam and from time to time unfriendly battle-cries against USA and Israel; as usual in the contrast we find energy.
Life is fast and chaotic but there’s always time for cinema, theatre and open air performances.
Iranians have a strong and deep feeling for arts, especially poetry.
I ride the 5 lanes-highways on friendly bikes looking at how modern and interesting is Iran today. Embargos are not enough to stop them. Some people come close and tell me softly “We hate Ahmadinejad” or “Bad government”. Islamic guards are always at work, in disguise of course; never talk about politics, a deep glance is more than enough to understand.
Talking with youngsters and elders I realize that eveyday problems, of course, are not that far from our world; if we wrongly think that life here is hell, on the other hand most of the people think that outside the borders lies heaven, and chasing westernism is the only way people conceive the future. I’ve seen this attitude eeeeverywhere, we’ll realize it too late, west is not heaven, we just have different problems, covered with a nice dress.
Luckily life goes on, and every day laughing over cups of tea sweeten up the problems
Of 75 millions of Iranians more than half are below the age of 30, and women are the ones pushing the limit of legality, they want to break the rules: if the rigid Islamic Law (Sharia) allow them to show only face and hands in public, it’s fact that chador (the ghost-stlye black linen) stays always more often in the wardrobe and the manteaus become narrow and body-shaped
As result I walk in Tehran downtown and before my eyes I see rivers of pretty girls in jeans, high heels and fashion gadgets. Shy scarves cover their heads (otherwise it’s prison), but blonde strands and modern hairstyles lean on delicate Persian faces full of make up and red lips.
I easlily imagine an ancient Persia and a future Iran full of life, today it’s just a time bomb!
But I joy in living private life with Iranians and see how they enjoy it!
Evenings with persian traditional music played live at home, far from unwanted eyes where finally the veils fall down and we all sing and joke in happiness. We talk about poetry and freedom, dreams and life, God and revolution. Green is the colour of the revolution and green I see the future, green is in the heart of the people. Green. Green. Green. Green. Green.
The warmness, hospitality and friendship of eveybody is overwhelming, I’m invited for hundreds of teas and relaxed pic-nics. Amazing Iran.
These are Iranians by default standards, and foreigners deserve deluxe treat: everybody wants to make it clear that Iranians are not the evil depicted by medias, and I’m treated just like a son and I really feel at home.
Hitchhiking, I easily move around the counrty, always submerged by edible stuff, and I finally reach Persepolis, the capital of ancient Persia that stole the heart of Alexander the Great who in turn stole everything else. Good or bad that was the point where Greek and Persian culture merged in a unique style, influencing culture and architecture of orient and occident.
It’s amazing to be inside the history, sweating out of stones.