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February 14th, 2009, 07:23 PM
This is terrible. No child should have to go through this. :candle:

I don't want to hijack this thread but as someone who has actually visited Iran, I wanted to set some things straight about Iran. You can skip right on over but if you are curious about Iran, read on.

The days of women having zero rights in Iran isn't over, but they are getting there and they are trying. Women don't exactly have it good there, it isn't the west, but there are millions of people over there who are trying to make things better everyday, and its getting there slowly.

Statements like "her father will kill her if found and this is allowed in this country" is a quite ignorant thing to say. Believe it or not there are laws over there and murder will get you the capital punishment (so will drug trafficking, rape, etc). You can't get away with things just because you are a male. There is no "code" in their law or religion that allows her father to kill her under so and so circumstances.

Exactly how safe is it in Iran? very safe i'd say. Obviously there are good and bad areas just like any other city/country. I wondered the streets of Tehran at 3am with my buddies and I felt perfectly safe. Believe it or not, Tehran is actually more like Toronto than any other city I've seen. At any time of the day, even late at night, streets are filled with people. The night life is actually quite interesting over there but thats for another thread...

I just hate generalizations like "There is such a thing as a good Iranian? And yes, there is. But Iran is still Iran, a country run by terrorists."
Well of course there is, why would you even ask that? People over there aren't monsters for ****'s sake... They are people like you and me. few people like the ruling government of Iran, but the majority of Iranians are good people and certainly not terrorists.

Its difficult to explain in so few words but after my visit, I realized just how much propaganda there is in Iran against the west, but also I realized how much propaganda there is in the west against Iran. It is really amazing how the media's portrayal of anything can affect the views of people.

I probably just opened myself to a whole lot of flame right there, so I'll stop for now :) Just felt I should add my personal experience :2cents:.

i thought this was well worth addressing!! and a very very good point... we went to go see Henry Rollins a few years ago... he said just about the same thing about HIS visit over that way. :)

people are people are people. Former President Bush was very good at demonizing people... its was easy when they are so far away and we cant see any differently.

:( LittleMonster, i hope you dont mind me quoting you here. seems like a good enough thing to talk about and you had a thing or two to say.


February 14th, 2009, 09:43 PM
i have to say I kinda wanted to say that but I didnt want to hijack the thread and take away from the very real and difficult situation that family was in. Plus as most people on here now, I am muslim so I didnt think what I said would count for much since Im 'biased' - tho I do think women's rights have a long way to go there I dont think it has anything to do with a religion itself but that in itself is a discussion. I grew up on the middle east and my close friends consisted of an american/saudi, irish/palestinian, pakistani, indian, egyptian and french. I wore gas masks as a little kid in Saudi during the gulf war and I remember going in the basement when air strikes were going to begin. To think that one culture is 'evil' is really sad. We are all people. Once you dehumanize the 'enemy' then atrocious things happen like the holocaust, abu ghreib incidents and such. The media is so horrendous really on so many issues, you really have to do your own research/have your own experiences before you can judge.

But anyway, I pretty much agree with what littlemonster said..thank you for saying it.

February 14th, 2009, 10:06 PM
I knew a number of exiled Iranians when I lived in Milwaukee, and as with most people you get to know, I found good friends among them and others I didn't like so much, but none were 'evil'. I've yet to meet any really 'evil' people anywhere (give or take a few politicians I know personally :p)

The media is very good at skewing people's perceptions. And don't forget that the same thing goes on outside the the people in asian, middle eastern, african, etc countries are also subjected to media and government pressures. Americans and westerners, in general, are vilified in those countries.

It's a political tool used to unify one segment of the political landscape against another and it's used effectively across the world. It's not ethical or right wherever it occurs...but it happens everywhere and all too often. :shrug: A good reason not to spend too much time believing everything you hear or read. :o

February 14th, 2009, 10:12 PM
Very true hazel...though Im not so sure if the west is vilified in the middle east..or, not to use a blanket statement not in Egypt/UAE (where I lived). Actually if anything they look up to the west. They just hate the leadership/government.

I often get questions from Americans going to Egypt whether they should say theyre canadian or something (many tourists do actually do this)..they seem to really think that we hate them over there. I dont know whether to laugh or cry when I get asked this :shrug: People will probably love you more if you say your american cuz then they can discuss hollywood movies with you or soemthing hahaha. They may hate bush, but they see people as seperate from their governments (probably cuz they have a messed up gov't themselves :rolleyes:).

February 14th, 2009, 10:18 PM
I dont know much about this place, Or many other places around the wrold for that matter:o

But its a good post. To me its like grouping a race into one. Or a breed of dog. Which is something alot of us here feel very passionate about.

I do know a guy from Dubai (sp?). I used to talk to him quite freqeuntly. He never really told me much about where he lived, Except that alot of people think the men from Dubai are hard on the woman and are known as terrorists to some people. But they arent. Sure theres a few bad apples, but there are plenty of totally ROTTEN apples here and everywhere around the world.

February 14th, 2009, 10:32 PM
I think that's probably true of most Americans, as well, onster, as far as seeing people as separate from their governments. Unfortunately, it's the political alliances that are stressed by the political entities (the governments). And propaganda against other cultures is rampant. Remember the head in a box story that you came across? :rolleyes:

The question about whether it's better to call themselves Canadians than Americans--there are some parts of the world where being an American is a dangerous thing...not necessarily from the general populace there, which might be quite friendly, but from extremist groups active in that country. I suspect that's why you get that question so often. My younger sister goes to Mexico frequently. She loves the warm-heartedness of the people and has made many close friends there. But she is warned to be very careful in and around Mexico City because of the kidnapping. Americans are perceived to be rich, I guess, and are often targeted as good ransom prospects. :shrug:

So it might not be a fear that they'd be hated by everyone in the country they're going to, but that they might be targeted by a group with an agenda, political or financial.

February 14th, 2009, 10:49 PM
LOL i was just gonna tell you bout the head in the box story hazel hahaha....yeaaah..but it was the passsionate eyeee hahahahaha....ok so maybe it was far fetched :rolleyes: im guilty of falling sucker to media sometimes too haha..but i mean it was about allowed to think bad things about bush :p (ok so im not a fan) haha

I think the fear of those that ask me isnt fear of their safety, but more fear that they will not be treated in a nice way. Someone asked me if they would be spit on .

But yeah, I didnt mean that americans/ people in the west dont think of people separately from their governments. Just like I am warned when I go to the states (Ive gone 3-4 times warned every time and told maybe i should wear a hat instead of my headscarf), westerners are warned when they go to the ME.

*sigh* cant we all just get along?

February 14th, 2009, 11:00 PM
*sigh* cant we all just get along?

Wouldn't that be nice? :cloud9: But not likely. Humans are political animals, and that always makes for a contentious life. :D

February 15th, 2009, 02:55 PM
There is good and bad in every culture and there are extremists everywhere not just the middle east. This country has it's fair share of them. I think it's terrible that women have so few rights in Iran, but I have also read they are getting better.

I've always tried to take a person for who they are and not some generalization about where they came from or what religion they are. Yes, there are wacko's out there, so you just sort of stay away from those. But there are good people out there of every race AND religion.

February 17th, 2009, 02:52 PM
Hehe of course I dont mind. I'm glad you guys agree though. I found that people over there are actually very curious and interested about life outside their country. They show lots of hospitality towards tourists and visitors.

The mass media (in every country) is just terrible. I actually stopped watching news networks because they are filled with talk shows hosted by opinionated pundits. CNN, FOX, MSNBC, are all the same.

I have quite a few pictures from my trip, I will post them up on flickr when I get the chance. I did find an interesting photo though:

Although women dressing like above is pretty common in Tehran, once in a while the "religion police" will catch someone and give them trouble. It doesn't involve jail time or lashes, they most likely just held her for a few hours and had a chat with her. Doesnt sound bad but still, if I were her, I'd be scared, its very intimidating.

I doubt this islamic regime is going to last though. I will give it 100 years, but no more. There are way too many young people over there who are fed up.