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- Middle East Political & Social Issues
The Iranian Government and its Population: Heading for Collision
Iran has 30 million people under the age of 35 yrs. Compared to the age of those that form its government, they are worlds apart in their goals and desires. The controlling figure-heads are from the old guard, those that overthrew the US embassy in their youth and tossed out the Shah in 1979. Most of the 30 million were either not born or just kids when the event occurred and view it as history and many secretly disagree with the present government. They pretend to buy into the ruling party's dogma and process while voicing desires of true freedom in all aspects of their lives in private. Their Green Revolution in 2008 after the corrupt elections were exposed clearly showed this. The 30 million were venting their anger about being controlled by a government that does not represent them. Unfortunately, the heavy handed suppression of those in power forced it to become silent, now it only exists in their minds and in private discussions at home with known to be friendly.
But, the Iranian people are wonderful. They are intelligent and despite Islam, find ways to allow Western influences in their desires, dress and culture. It is the young generation and its numbers that when they act as a group, can force the old generation to allow things normally prohibited. Iranian women are some of the most beautiful. While many of the young generation follow Islamic customs in public, many think they are antiquated in modern societies and do the opposite in private. Despite the government's anti-American position, most of its people do not feel the same, in fact, one only has to go to Tehran to see extensive Western influence. In its most simple form, most of the traffic signs are in English or Farsi and English. Visit a shopping mall, plenty of American or European goods there. One can even go to an auto show and see mostly American cars from the 50's and 60's. Visit a park, watch out for skateboarders and roller bladers jumping ramps. Visit a nearby ski park, watch out for snow boarders. Younger Iranian women are becoming more daring in public by not wearing a scarf over their head, or even sneaking into a soccer game at the stadium (for men only).
Iran, as a nation, sends out contradictory messages to the world. Its government vows to export terrorism because America is the "great satan", yet, ironically, its everyday population likes Americans and what they have to offer or likes Europe. Its government vows to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons, yet, most of its population wants what they have seen on TV and movies: a good life, nice clothes, good jobs and freedom to do what they wish as those in America and Europe have. They ask themselves, why can't Iran be free?
All of the photos are in or near Tehran. The images could be from any city in the world.