In Iran, there’re families and people that do not follow the majority’s way of getting married. They do believe in love, in freedom to choose the person you want live with, based on the feelings and compatibilties between the two. I’ve met many families like that. However, the overall procedure of getting married has become so complex in Iran that books can be written about it. The weight of the family regarding this issue cannot be denied, their interferences go on after the marriage and this often leads to huge family confrontations where the ‘just married’ have no saying. Now, we may agree or disagree with the ‘khastegari’ procedure, we may like or dislike the presence and importance of the families involved, making decisions on behalf of their sons and daughters. However, there’s another crucial issue that in the past and very specially during the last 3 decades has been part of our society both in Iran and abroad. This is simply the economic situation and the social status and titles of the male (although sometimes vice versa) This is perhaps one of the issues that is not directly caused or linked by the regime in Iran as it has everything to do with a very classist culture like ours. Let’s simplify all this, let’s say you fall in love with someone, regardless of what goes on between you and that person before getting married, there will be a time that both of you decide to get married. You know damn well, you’ll have meet certain criteria, you already know that you will have to get the approval from that person’s family. For the approval you need to show them that you’re at least at the same socio-economical status as they are, if not better (specially if you’re the male) You’re degree really matters, your job definitely counts and above all your earnings and ecomomic stability. You also know that if you don’t meet the above criteria, no matter how good you’re as a person, no matter how much you love that person, you’ll have to meet the criteria your partner’s family has set for you. If you don’t, they’ll have others in mind. Now, the importance of your economic status has become so important in Iran, that most of the time the things that really matter between a man and a woman, do not count at all. It has become normal getting married because of money, cars, houses etc… although the existance of a foreign citizenship or residency can help if you’re short of other ‘prequisites’. It seems that your cultural level, your personality and other human attributes do not really matter. I have noticed that this whole state of affairs, is ‘very much’ present within Iranians living abroad, specially in countries with large Persian community. In most cases, living decades in the West, among Westerners has not changed this aspect of our culture, which can be described as extremely and viciously ‘classist’ or materialistic. I have seen self proclaimed ‘upper class’ rich Iranian families in the west ending up in courts of law, fights, jail and etc… because of some of the issues above. I would like to know what other Iranians honestly think about this issue. what aspects do you consider most serious, that need attention. There’s this film called ‘Dokhtar Irooni’ casting Hedieh Tehrani and Amin Hayayi that describes this subject in a very beautiful and intelligent way. I’ve always been against families’ intereferences, I’m against khastergari, against economic marriages, I’m single and there’ve been times that have been held back because I did not want to get involved in that whole storm, refusing to deal with anyone but the person I was interested in, and I know it’s not practical with most Iranians. Please let us know what you think about this issue, what has gonne wrong? what needs to be changed and what do you think needs to remain unchanged. Why does the younger generation, even abroad, seem complicit in it? Why can’t we just be like most most open-minded westerners, who get married because they want to be with that person. Where has all the simplicity gonne?