The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


March 12, 2001

Kam lotfi

I read "Not going back" and frankly it upset me to see how negative one can be! I don't deny the fact that there's very limited freedom (of any sort) in Iran and that it is not necessarily a good tourist location, but it's honestly not that bad.

This American woman claims that she stood out in public because of her red nails, makeup, and white sneakers while everyone was wearing black! First of all, we all know that Iranian women in Iran and elsewhere wear a whole lot more makeup!

I was in Iran a few months ago and I felt so out-of-fashion. The women in Iran now wear very colorful and fashionable clothes even though it is not violating the government's laws. I wore red sandals with my red toe nails showing, colorful pants and short roopoosh and I did not stand out. There were all sorts of roopooshes in pink, light blue, purple, etc.

The reason women sit in the back of the bus is not the same as when Blacks used to do so before. I think all of us who lived in Iran at some point understand the reason behind it and I, as a woman, love the arrangement!

She also mentions that there are no theaters, concerts, etc. When I was there in August I went to the loveliest Spanish guitar concert in Kakh-e Sa'dabad. It was outdoors and it was performed by a group of young men. The Spanish guitar and the sweet Farsi words on them were truly heavenly. I also heard of many other concerts around the town not to mention a Romeo & Juliet theater production!

Lots of Iranian-Americans save their vacation and spend it in Iran nowadays and go to tourist sites too, and most of them have a very good time!

Living in Iran is a different story though. We all know that economic and political situation is in a terrible state and poverty is more than ever, but not to see the positive aspects and the recent improvements is very "kam lotfi" and upsetting.

When you go somewhere as a tourist, the amount of fun you have depends on you. My American friend is in Ghana, Africa with Peace Corps and I admire her adventurousness and the state of her mind when she writes to me about how much fun she has in a part of the world that electricity and running water is only luxury and that she had to shave her head to fight with the heat!

If you open your heart and mind, you can enjoy the hell out of that bus ride behind the bus. I know I did!

Parastoo Ghodsi


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