As I was growing up in a middle class family in Tehran, there were more shops, cinemas, and parks opening. My friends and I could go to movies, do some shopping, if our grades in school were good, or go to the parks. The films were mainly imported from Europe, Hollywood, or India, in original language. However, later they had Farsi footnotes, or completely translated to Farsi.
Boys and girls had separate schools, and students had to wear uniforms. Only collages and universities were co-ed; but many years later, there were some k-12 co-ed private or public schools. Education was free at K-12 or higher education, and whoever could pass the entrance exam (concur), could get free collage education, and get a decent job. That is exactly what I did.
Most Iranian families were eager to have their children get educated. Even many children from rural areas and farming villages, went to nearby cities or Tehran to get education. This led to opening of more collages, yet the pace of creating more free collages, was slower than increase in the number of students. Therefore, competition in enterace concurs was intense.
Some religious families and rural families preferred to send their children to religious schools, because they did not trust the government and educational system, especially for their daughters. Some farmers preferred to take their children to farm to help them with the work. Usually these families had the highest number of children, because they did not believe in family planning. Later, some of these children, when grew up, became critic of the government for their own shortcomings .
During the 1970’s, with the increase in the price of oil ($20-30), the economy was progressing faster, hence more constructions, hi-ways, factories were built. Azadi (Shahyad) monument was built at this time. In addition, for the first time, Asian games were held in Tehran, which resulted in the construction of a large stadium (Azadi Stadium), an Olympics village, and more hi-ways.
The number of foreign visitors who came to Iran during this time, as businessmen, engineers, construction specialists, scientist, or tourists was considerably high. At the same time, the number of Iranians visiting foreign countries was quite high. Many of them went abroad for education and training, using available government grants and scholarships, or used short-term visit or training opportunities provided by foreign countries.
Other factor that contributed to the ease of travel abroad for Iranians during this time, was that most countries, except a few countries like USSR, China, USA, did not require visa from Iranians. In addition, the value of Iranian money was good, (US$=70 Rials, German Marc=20 Rials, and British Pound=100 Rials). However, majority of Iranians returned home. I have many memories from the 70's that might be interesting for you!
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