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IRAN: Mr Behi/Steve

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Take the true image yourself

Yesterday, I was in in a subway train to go home from work. I was listening to a podcast while seated when a group of Swiss tourists entered the train and attracted attention. The train was so crowded but no long time passed before one good man gave his place to one of those tourists who was a lady.

As soon as she seated, one of the passenger who had a good command of English started chatting with her. I have realised lately from listening to the same kind of conversations between Iranians and foreign tourists that one of the very first question people ask is "How different is Iran from what you used to think when you were outside?" and always the answer is "Wow! absolutely different!". I think that makes sense and shows a very irritating sense of dissatisfaction that Iranians have about the image of the country presented in media and it is always a happy moment when they talk to visitors and make sure that Iran is better that what they used to see on TV.

This lady continued that with her companions, they had already visited Shiraz, Isfahan and even climbed mount Damavand (easy to expect from a Swiss). She was surprised by the friendliness of people, openness of culture and mentioned that she had thought of Iranian society to be very fundamentalist. Then she proudly showed her camera. "I have taken so many pictures from life in Iran and will show this to people of my country", she said while mentioning her family had called her crazy when she decided to travel to Iran.

The moral of this story for me was that despite all these technological advances in the media, the true image of other people or places is still not easy to get. Perhaps, this is one of the motivating factors of blogging.

This was my view of the world@ 18:48, April 29, 2006. My eyes got shifted from the accelerating lines around the subway train going into the tunnel, to the steady efforts of the steps of the escalator pushing me up. My ears again took refuge from the subway station crowed to the voice of some other people far far away in another podcast.

posted by MrBehi @ 3:55 PM   


At 12:19 PM, Blogger mooncrazy said...

I shudder at the image people in other counties have of American.

Glad to see you back and blogging.

At 5:27 PM, Blogger Elron said...

Nice to see you back Mr Behi :). I've seen a similar stuation when I spent 5 years in West Africa. I would read western newspapers abotu Nigeria, and then look out my window at Lagos and ask wtf country they were talking about, lol. I think especially today, the western world has a vested interest in portrayining Iran in a negative light, and I think thats sad. Thanx for this little slice from life in Iran ... nice to see :)


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