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Great PaulVDV 2014-11-10 1:20

Hello Klaudio,
A well composed picture of a beautiful and cozy restaurant interior. The long blue fountain doesn't only add colour but also contributes to the charm of the place.
I've carefully read your notes and some things have changed since my visit in 1996.
Even then, women tried to escape the rule that the headscarf had to cover all the hair. But I never saw a headscarf worn the way the woman does at the right on the picture. Twice I've seen a woman without headscarf in front of her door but they rushed back inside seeing a foreign person in the street.
Occasionally, usually in or around a mosque, you could see a man reminding a woman (not his wife but a passenger) to wear her headscarf correct.
Even with the strict dress code women in Iran looked generally very attractive, exactly what the religious authorities wanted to avoid.
I also found the behavior of women in public places, as in tea houses, a lot more liberated than for example in some Arab countries. But there were always those strict clothing regulations.
Surprising for me is that you write that women cheered and hand clapped in appreciation of the live music. In 1996 there was no music in Iran, at least never on public places or in restaurants or tea houses. If I remember well, music was forbidden in that time.
Finally, a few times I saw women working in highly responsible positions. For example, as the head of department of a branch of Iran Air, while her employees were men. Apparently some people appreciated the talents and the commitment without looking at the gender.
During my trip through Iran I had so many wonderful encounters with the people that I really look forward to an improvement in the conditions of life and the freedom on the social level of its inhabitants.
Best regards, Paul

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Old 11-10-2014, 08:33 AM
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daddo daddo is offline
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Hi Paul. Thanks for such an informative note. Almost twenty years since your visit- long enough for some things to change even in a society that enforces certain conformity. The many young women who came to talk to us throughout Iran were educated and confident, always smiling and keen to make contact. They were invariably architect or engineering tertiary students. And as you noted, most are beautiful.
As for music in public places, we had piped or live music in many places we stopped for a meal. But, women singers are not to be seen. Women can sing in public only if the audience is female. Many great singers have left Iran and young people listen to them in their cars or at home and these singers have many admirers. That is the only career restriction I am aware of.
PS The young woman on the right is not deliberately flaunting the dress code. The scarf tends to slip and when one 's mind is elsewhere, it's easy not to notice.
Best wishes,
Klaudio

Last edited by daddo; 11-10-2014 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:42 AM
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Porteplume Porteplume is offline
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Bonjour Klaudio and Paul,

I wanted to thank you both for both photo and discussion. It is really a very informative discussion that proves once again that notes under a photo are necessary and more than welcome.

Also the comment from Paul and his thoughts about a difference of just two decades was very worth reading...

Amicalement - Viviane
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:37 PM
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aliabazari aliabazari is offline
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Thank you all very well.
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:37 PM
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PaulVDV PaulVDV is offline
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Hi Klaudio,

Twice you mention that the young people in Iran that you’ve met, were educated.
I realize very much that I may not generalize on the basis of the number of meetings that someone may have during a journey. But when I was in Iran the educated people I met were often middle-aged or older. I also met a lot of younger people with whom communication was much more difficult because of the language barrier.

In that time I had the impression that many younger people did not have the opportunity to study. Perhaps that was because of the fact that the country was still recovering from the many years of war with Iraq. I don’t know.
Not that the younger generation was less interested in western countries or western visitors. It was just easier to speak English with the elderly (I also mean the people of middle age).

Again, perhaps this is a conclusion of the contacts I had during a journey of 25 days through Iran and it should not be generalized.

Anyway, I’m glad that you had different experiences and that perhaps this might have changed.
It's very important that a country invests in the education of its inhabitants.
This applies equally to western countries where some governments want to save money in education because of the crisis.

Best regards from Belgium,
Paul
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