Ladies shopping in the Isfahan Bazaar
Ladies shopping in the Isfahan Bazaar

Real Iran is not something you read about on the Internet. It is not just landmarks and a few historical dates. It is a country with ups and downs, with people having the same life phases, worries, hopes and dream, like you and me. Like any other country.

This is where we fail in connecting to each other on an inter-religious and intercultural level. We forget this simple rule. We are all the same, at the end of the day.

 Circumstances might influence our life coordinates, but we’re built more or less the same and have the same triggers. We can connect through smiles, music, an open gesture or a simple Helo. Yet, why is it so hard to do it?

Conversation with a local female entrepreneur. She’s brave and she knows what she wants. She fights for her rights and for her baby. With a truly impressive life story, with not much help from anyone she hustled in a male dominated society, getting pretty far, I would say.

She’s the type who knows how to stretch limits, even the Iranian limits, who knows what happens abroad and how to adapt a make the most within the tight perimeter one has in the current days Iran.

Together with young Iranian girls who approached me to ask me things every youngster is interested in when seeing someone…different. Their approach is a lesson to us all. Just ask before you assume…

Somewhere in the Karkas Mountains (Karkas means vulture), in central Iran…

January 31st 2015, Bucharest, Romania

This weekend was magical in many ways. It started with a double session and some tears at the memories of my childhood at my psychologist and it evolved into an introspection of my whole life, remembrances, thoughts, furry, loneliness.

I prayed a little and read a lot from all the books that touched me in the last 10 years stalled next to my bed and on my nightstand. Then, while watching Wadjda, a Saudi Arabia movie, about a girl wanting a bicycle in a world where it is dishonoring in every ways to ride one, I had a revelation.

Girls in these kind of societies are not desired, women’s only purpose is to give birth to sons and once they don’t another wife is found, a better woman. Why? Because she might give birth to a SON. Therefore, what would the first wife and the daughters feel? Reject, abandon, betrayal. From a psychological point of view, this gives birth to masks – dependence, domination, runner, bringing with them the characteristics of such masks: lack of confidence, dependency, stiffness…

This, together with the pressure of a conservative community and the firm beliefs of both men and women, leads to the secondary, not important role of women. At the same time, their lack of confidence will always say: no, you cannot do that, you are a girl, girls do not do that, girls are not capable, you are no good, you are not in the genealogical tree, you do not exist.

The role in the society itself, to do everything for the man and nothing for themselves, leads them to believe that girls do not exist. Only men deserve something.

How could a person who is constantly told, since the cannot even perceive this, that they are no good, they are not as good as a son, they are not wanted, they are the source of the sorrow of the father who does not have a heir and the sorrow of the mother who is feeling threatened in its social position and family life of the incapacity to give birth to a son, only to a girl, be able to at least try to accomplish something, to start something, to have initiative, to want to do something more than cooking and cleaning?

How could they even do this when they are married when they are between 5th and 8th grade (11-14 years), when they are only girlies, leading to more psychological trauma? When they become mothers at about the same age? When they are girls?

Then I continued my readings about my love Iran, this time the history of Isfahan. Same society, same story!

I gave my usual long Saturday night clubbing sessions on my books on the nightstand and I could not be happier with my choice. Winds of change are blowing my way.

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