Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Inside Tehran

An interesting and multi-dimensional look at the vibrant city life of Tehran, metropolitan population: 12 million.

(Note to Homeyra: taking travel notes! May see you along Valiasr Street one day!) ;)

Architecture looks stunning, people fascinating, traffic looks a bit scary though! It runs for almost 90 minutes, so this movie-length feature documentary may need to be viewed in installments, but its a very worthwhile program—I couldn’t help watching it in one sitting. I learned much, but it has generated even more questions and interest about Iran. Highly recommended.

The BBC’s Rageh Omaar meets with local people to hear their personal stories and feelings about the current state of affairs in Iran. There are stories of taxi drivers, wrestlers, business women, people working with drug addicts and the country’s leading pop star and his manager – the ‘Simon Cowell’ of Iran.

Rageh Inside Iran transcends images of angry demonstrations and burning flags to reveal a country that isn’t without its problems but which is also fascinating, dynamic and hospitable.

21 comments on “Inside Tehran

  1. homeyra
    20 February, 2007

    Noted PpGg! Noted… and wacky socks, haven’t forgot them.
    Really you should come, seriously. We’ll have fun I promise. You can bring all your friends! We’ll put sleeping bags all over the place.
    I am expecting you.

  2. peoplesgeography
    20 February, 2007

    :D lol Thanks Homeyra. I’ll endeavour to be there, wacky socks and manteau ready! We could form a delegation of the blog buddies. Servant could come visit too, ready with marker for Kilroy-ing graffiti somewhere (I’ll add “Iran is not manichean!” ;) )

    Seriously, what do you think of this documentary if you’ve had a chance to view it? (I know, its rather a long one).

    PS I wouldn’t dream of imposing. I’d check in to a local hotel and come visit you. (It’ll be my ambition to meet each of you one day across the globe—one can dream.) Actually, Global Exchange runs tours there for anyone interested who may be reading this:
    Upcoming Reality Tours to this Region:
    Citizen Diplomacy
    May 05, 2007 – May 18, 2007
    October 13, 2007 – October 26, 2007

  3. homeyra
    20 February, 2007

    Unless you have some sort of germ-phobia, no hotel in Tehran please! :) This video keeps “buffering”, maybe a bad time to see right now. I’ll keep trying.

  4. Curtis
    20 February, 2007

    Very interesting…I previewed with a scan-through, can’t wait to watch the whole thing.

  5. Manas
    20 February, 2007

    Nice. We want more of the human side of Iran. More.. More…

  6. homeyra
    20 February, 2007

    First I must say I liked the movie. This Rageh guy seemed to appreciate some aspect of the mess: he found crossing the streets among all those moving cars thrilling!!
    You know, unless you have the Power to impose some order, the next best thing is to try to enjoy the disorder! The other choice is to complain 24 hours a day and there is always something to complain about 24 hours a day!
    So, in my opinion he sort of “got it” and started with the right attitude! 
    When he meets his first friend:
    – It is true that many Iranian who have left the country, at some point have to leave it all, work etc. to come back and take care of a lonely mother, or a lonely father… I know it. I am one of them.
    – His observation about “all the money” is true. It is amazing to see the money people can spend (and not be very happy with). There is a huge difference of income. Dubai is the place for the wealthy to spend week-ends, shop and do all that is forbidden here.
    Next friend, the translator, (pulling his leg):
    – You saw the “Peykan”, I had a post about this car.
    – Negotiating the price of the cab, either you have fun or get very annoyed. Again you have a choice!
    It took 4 hours to see till here! I let the computer on, and whenever I can see the rest -tomorrow perhaps  I’ll comment the commentator!
    So far the British Broadcasting Calamity hasn’t committed an atrocity!

  7. peoplesgeography
    21 February, 2007

    Welcome, Manas, thanks for coming by and for your comment. I agree, and if I may make a suggestion re an excellent website, check out Forever Under Constructionwhich is replete with fascinating material about Persian culture and more.

    Homeyra, thanks very much for persevering with this excellent video. My connection was perfect the first time, but has slowed down somewhat when I tried it just now; perhaps it has something to do with time of day viewed.

    I must check out your post about the Peykan car!

  8. homeyra
    21 February, 2007

    Here it is:
    Unlike Youtub, this google think is bad!!
    I misclicked and … here it goes buffering from the very beginning… I’ll never make it to the end!

  9. Manas
    21 February, 2007

    Thank you very much indeed for the link.

    you may want to check this:

  10. homeyra
    21 February, 2007

    Here is a link to an Iranian blogger who has seen all of it:
    Did you recognize Newsha? I had a post about her.
    In what I saw so far, what he calles an “spontaneous event” is not the way we would call it.

  11. homeyrae
    21 February, 2007

    My comment disappeared! I wrote it last night.
    Re: Did you recognize Newsha? I had a post on her. I saw another 15 mn of this documentary. The “calamity” so far was about 5% compared to the usual 80%: “spontaneous” things, aren’t really as “spontaneous”.
    An Iranian who has seen the whole movie wrote something about it here.

  12. peoplesgeography
    21 February, 2007

    Thanks for the links and my apologies re the comment Homeyra, I had to rescue it from the quarantine queue. It plays up occasionally.

    I appreciate what Faramin (from your link) has to say about some parts appearing more staged than spontaneous, perhaps most illustrative in the wedding scene with President Ahmadinejad present.

    Also appreciate the link to the Peykan car ad., now viewed with renewed interest!

  13. peoplesgeography
    21 February, 2007

    Manas, exactly — as you say in your post and comments to which you link: “Talks? What talks?” and there could indeed be more available to us that highlights the human interest side of Iran — the people politics, not simply the statesmen and soldiers. Excellent idea!

  14. Manas
    22 February, 2007

    Thanks! Today I am posting a photograph from Iran. I will also borrow this video of yours.

  15. Bijan
    22 February, 2007

    What a wonderful post and wonderful blog! Greate story/video. I was really touched, being away from Iran for so long. Thank you.

  16. peoplesgeography
    22 February, 2007

    My pleasure Bijan, I thought it was a great video. Thanks for coming by and for your comment.

    Manas, feel free. This merits wider circulation, Rageh has done a good job.

  17. Manas
    23 February, 2007

    Rageh does a good job. Ther first two videos in my videos page are by him.

  18. peoplesgeography
    23 February, 2007

    Excellent, I will endeavour to check them out. Thanks for providing the link my friend.

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

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-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

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yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
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