Saturday, October 18, 2008

Introduction to Iran

Most travelers we have met only have good things to say about Iran. We will start with some hard words about the regime.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is a brutal religious dictatorship financed by vast oil reserves.
A cruel apartheid system is used to repress all women, who are at best considered to be second class citizens. A woman’s testimony in court is worth half a man’s testimony. A woman has to cover everything except her face, hands and feet. She is restricted in every aspect of life.
Unemployment is very high due to the commando socialist fanatic religious economy that the Islamic Republic is practicing. Unemployed, and sexually starved young men roam around in search of something to do.
The countryside is dirt poor. People live as they did 2000 years ago, add the occasional tractor and a diesel pump for irrigation.
The current president Ahmadinejad, and ayatollah Khamenei, are desperately trying to drag Iran even further into the religious abyss.

Enough said about the regime. What about the people?
Despite the terribly difficult situation the Iranians are facing, the people are extremely friendly. They want to talk and they are interested in the world outside Iran. They invite you to their homes and invite all their relatives at the same time. They love children, so we have an advantage there, coming with our four blond kids, creating quite a commotion wherever we appear.
This said, when people in general are so nice and friendly, one can forgive that the young men are staring, or that Iranian men behind the wheel are more dangerous than nuclear warheads, or that old Iranian women pinch small children on the cheek (quite hard, because they love children so much we are told).

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