by omeedvar


I lived and worked in Iran for about ¾th of a century. From those years, I have many memories; some of them might be interesting for the readers, especially younger generation. I will try to write about them gradually.   We lived in Tehran, at Shapoor Ave. and Farhang St. There was no running water in our neibourhood, as well as most other areas in Tehran. Once in every few weeks, there was running water in the narrow streams (jooy) outside of our house, in our neibourhood for a few hours. People did not sleep until they had filled up their water reservoir (Ab-anbar) free. Sometimes, there were bloody fights over the water, between the neibours.  

This water was usually for cooking, cleaning, and washing. For drinking water, we bought it from a guy with a donkey driven cart (Gaary), who came occasionally. He would advertise by shouting his presence on the street, and people would rush to buy drinking water. We trusted him that the water is from a well.

One or two plain cloth strong guy who had knife (Obaash), who intimidated people, especially, women and children, usually controlled each neibourhood. People had learned to bribe them to be protected. Gradually, these obaash disappeared, when Shahrebani became stronger, and had enough trained police to protect each neibourhood.  

The security of roads outside the cities was gradually achieved once the newly established Jandarmery had enough trained staff, to protect travelers from thieves and killers on the road. Iran was a poor country, but most of the food products were produced locally, and were cheap. The number of foreign visitors was very low.

As the price of oil was gradually increasing, economic activities and construction work started to grow faster; which led to the mass movement of people from villages and cities to Tehran. With the increase in the population of Tehran, more housing and food was needed. Thus, there were many activities in construction of roads, housing, and schools; and the import of some food started.  

With the establishment of safety in the street, and free education, more parents enrolled their children in local schools. I used to join my neibourhood classmates in the morning, and we all walked a few blocks or a couple of streets, to get to our school. We were so busy talking and having fun, that we did not feel the distance or the hot/cold weather.

My parents were not interested in politics, so they discouraged their children to be into the politics. In 1950’s during Mossadeq coup, we were in the Caspian area, and heard the news on radio. There were no TV’s. Growing economy led to the growth of middle class in Iran. They could gradually buy refrigerator, TV, car, and other electronics. All of these stuff, and food were imported from Europe, US, and later from Japan. 



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Maryam Hojjat

Please continue your Memories

by Maryam Hojjat on

I have been enjoying them.  I started from N0 6 to NO1 and I am looking forward to read NO7.  Thanks.