Images by: 'Izaba'

Text by: 'Izaba'

Issue name: The Deceit Issue

No sign of Persia...Only Iran


A tone of etiolated nostalgia calls every Iranian back to the motherland once in a while, I guess to conform to their Aryan birthright. As the government condemns the public to the solitary confinements of its obsessional shadowland, I step off the airplane wondering whether each apotheosis of anticipation will be fulfilled. Walking on the grounds of what once were known to be one of the most admirable of lands to walk up on, where the noble men of the 5th Century were drawn to Iran during the Sassanid Empire because it was "the greatest intellectual center of the time", I see little trace of wondering aux faits.

A time of religious government, record breaking air pollution and obsessive rhinoplasty, Iran is at the peak of its questionable verisimilitude. Yet through the clouds of poisonous dust, amidst the roaring hustle and bustle of the Tehran Bazaar, there throbs the heart of a fickle youth painstakingly encrusting the ornamental custom jewels for the ever demanding market. Like many others, he knows that one thing is for sure, the democratic pose has run dry and a new way would have to be dreamed up soon in order to survive. With the prolifically banned satellite channels playing in the background of houses above and around, you can see that they all somehow do have access to the outside world. For every banned website, there is a filter and for any sought after bottle of whiskey, there is a buffer. As the frequently heard sentence goes, “you can get whatever you want in Iran”, you just have to be acquainted with the right person and have the right amount of cash.

The everyday passerby avoids to discuss a certain figure of fun whose vessel seems to be empty of compassion, the only thing believed to keep one afloat in a mad world. I failed to maintain a brief conversation based on politics as the knowledge of the identities of current figures amongst the public is apathetically unknown, yet majority are well aware of the British big freeze of the 2010 winter. Iran still remains to be one of the youngest countries in the world and so the youth need to sense the sunny upper world once in a while to avoid any Harakiri style incidents. From opulent wedding parties to rocking underground sounds, the younger generation do not fail to keep a universal euphoria from beating. It would be falsehood to say that the revolutionary guards are completely unaware of such antics but by greasing their palms, they learn to hold their tongues. Sound proof walls of pent house vibes sustain the fleeting moments of ecstasy they experience in a brief illusion of realism.

What cures the constricting burdens of todays woe is not a credulously suffocating regime but a demolition of the delusive walls that detach Iran from the rest of the world. A country in central Eurasia, caged in the era of the Paykan cars, hears the reverberating azaan within the cities at the behest of the superiors who figuratively see no colours other than black and white. The Tehranese burlesque the official set  attires by replicating Western fashion and inevitably face subsequent penalties. Yet I’m taken to multiple controversial yet flourishing hidden stores, salons and cafes where the expounder of kaleidoscopic dreams occur.

Even though not all luxurious Persian rugs are woven with patience and masterly skill as they once were and bread is not made in traditional clay ovens, from time to time, in a mutable manner, the evocative subconscious of what once were returns and rings the bell of memory and creates such ‘Green Movements’, living in hope to recapture what is inexorably lost before the adoption of Islam.

And the quest for locus amoenus continues...