Peak hour traffic in Tehran. Photo by franx' via Flickr, via Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0 license. Click for original photo.
On my first night back in Tehran, I met some friends for drinks. It was a hazy night, and we convened at an intersection of a major expressway. I assumed we would head to someone’s house, but my friends had something else in mind.
Iran has had it all: hadith-driven feminism, vibrant civil society, a culture of engagement with politics and a patience for slow, internal reform. If these were the key ingredients required for political change, Iran would have had it by now. The hard truth is that those things are not enough. A country is both its people and its leaders.
"Batman fan" by Kamyar Adl on Flickr, via Creative Commons BY 2.0 license. Click for original photo.
Is it possible, even, to raise an open-minded, healthy child in a culture that is fundamentalist and anarchic? That I have plenty of tolerant, sane friends who grew up here is proof that this can be done.
By and large, the books Iranians seemed to be reading did not lend themselves to discussion, except with a therapist.
"Look Ahead Daddy! You The Driver!" by Hamed Saber on Flickr, via Creative Commons BY 2.0 license. Click for original picture.
In some ways, fertility treatment may be the rare area where the Iranian regime has moved forward before society is ready.
Parkour’s popularity among young women in Iran is soaring, despite the bulkier clothing and head coverings Islamic dress codes require them to wear.