یکی از توریست های آمریکایی که در تهران راهنمایش بودم، گزارش کوتاهی نوشته از تجربیاتی که در ایران داشته، خواندنش خالی از لطف نیست:

Dear Friends

We have loved Iran.  The people have simply been perhaps the friendliest we've ever met (although Myanmar might give it a run for its money).  My mother and I came here with a lot of misconceptions, and I wanted to share a few with you, along with what we have found.  I recognize this is from a very limited experience of 8 days in Iran with a guide, but hopefully you'll find this interesting

  Iran is a developing country:   Iran is not a developing world country.  It is developed.  The roads a great, the people are educated and proud.  They move freely.  The water is safe to drink and the health facilities are good.  It's isolated, but not underdeveloped.  It could be a lot more developed and amazing if were allowed to engage normally with the world

  Iran is anti-American: Nothing could be farther from the truth, at least among the people we met.  The people were warm to a person.  We were invited to homes, stopped by strangers.  All were overjoyed when they learned we were from America.  As I've written before, its among the most pro-American place I've been.  The people I met do not like their government and wish to be able to be normal citizens of the world, with travel privileges.  Granted, I'm sure there is a significant group that supports the government, but I did not meet them, with the possible exception of one family who directly benefited from tourism and the President.  Unlike others, I didn't see any anti-American murals, except at the old US embassy

  Iran is unstable/like the rest of the Middle East:  Again untrue.  Iranians a Persians, not Arabs.  They make this distinction often.  They speak Farsi, not Arabic.  They have a different and proud history.  They are not at war.  They have what appears to be a healthy and stable economy.  The are surrounded by unsavory neighbors.  They have Turkey, which is okay, but then they have Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan (tribal areas), Uzbekistan (ethnic cleansing), Turkmenistan (personality cult), etc.  It's amazing they are as sophisticated, stable, and developed as they are

  Iran wants Nukes: This is trickier. Many seem to wish such funds would be dedicated to other areas, such as tourism, but others certainly think they have the right to nukes, if other countries have them.  What makes them different

  Women are Repressed and Covered in Burkas:  Women in Iran, unlike in some other arab muslim countries can work, and many are professionals, doctors, professors, scientists.  They do have to wear a hijab (basically a scarf over their heads).  Some wear a chador, a black robe.  They do not wear burkas, which cover everything and the woman looks out of a mess veil.  Dress varies by city. Tehran and Shiraz are pretty forward looking and most just wear the hijab and loose clothing.  In Yazd and Isfahan, we saw more chadors, and in Qom today, that's all we saw.  I did see a road sign today that had a woman in a chador, which said, translated, "A woman in a chador is like a jewel in the middle of the shelf."  Don't let the clothing prevent you from coming to this country

  Iran is Isolated:  True.  Our driver today had heard of Michael Jackson, but never U2.  He has a tape deck.  The people of Iran have a hard time traveling to Europe or the US.  They can go to Dubai, Turkey and some other areas.  But some of this isolation has forged independence.  They are proud of the cinema and their music.  Their clothing is unique.  And they are not so isolated that they do not know what is going on in the world.  They watch CNN on cable.  (There is an Iranian counter called pressTV.).  There are lots of American products here. Customs uses Windows XP, our guide, Windows 7.  We arrived and I was pleased to see cokes in a cooler.  They have cokes, diet cokes, coke zero, gilllette razors, snickers, and lots of other things.  Only place I've ever been, however, without Tabasco.  They also may have more french cars than france. I've never seen so many Peugots (I believe they have a factory here). Renaults too, and Kias.  Mostly Peugots, though

  There is no Access to the Internet:  I thought when I came here I would be cut off.  No hotmail, no nothing.  Couldn't be farther from the truth. The service we've had is impeccable. No restrictions and no problems getting on line, even in remote areas

I guess I leave with two distinct impressions, which I've repeated several times to my mother:  1)  This is not a developing country, and 2) These people are not our enemy.  We need to further our engagement with them and dispell the myths about this country that permeate the US.  I recognize there are major, major political issues with the government we need to address, but too often I believe the entire society has been tarnished with that unsavory reputation, which is simply not true

I would highly encourage others to come and see for themselves. I'd be intersted in comparing experiences

That's it from Iran.  All the best

Matt

+ نوشته شده در جمعه 1389/05/29ساعت 8:33 توسط ژاله ابراهیمی |