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  • Writer's pictureMateusz Górecki

Iranian-who are you?

Our European heads are littered with stereotypes. You hear the word "Iranian" and already before your eyes appear a huge nuclear power plant, oil and a bloodthirsty yegomaniac with a bomb belt on his hips. The most knowledgeable people here are those who have never moved from their village, absorbing like sponges all the rightful stories of Mr. Zbyszek(because, after all, the world's man- washing machines were imported from East Germany!) and TV news. "This Iranian is a bad man, such a person is not worth trusting". Before leaving I heard hundreds of such sentences.

Iranians don't care about us treating them, in any special way. They don't need our care. All they want and talk about is openness. Attention to otherness. To get out of their head-delusional "only European culture" level. One thing that can destroy a person is stereotypes.

Talking to people in Iran, I heard many times that they know how they are perceived in the West. They are aware that in our eyes they are just and only "bombastic" fanatics, having the Koran, oil and nuclear weapons as their only values.

Iranian is proud of who he is. He wants a change in how he is portrayed, but he is often powerless, when confronted with such a huge stereotype that we have created ourselves. When traveling in this country, you are often approached by completely random people, with only one question on their lips: "Welcome to our country, how do you like it here?". They ask you, when you return home, to say at least a few words about how it really is HERE, to make a few of your friends aware of how friendly this nation is, and secondly, how safe Iran is. Who are you Iranian? First of all, an Iranian is not an Arab, when you call him that way he will either get offended or give you an hour-long lecture about your mistake. Arabs in Iran are about 2-3%. Most often you may meet a Persian (67%), an Azeri (17%), or a Kurd (8%)

The word we'll use in this post is "haram," meaning forbidden. What can be forbidden? Practically everything. Alcohol, music, meeting women, atheism, in part even freedom.

As Khomeini once said: "Music destroys the spirit because it induces feelings of pleasure and ecstasy, like drugs. I want to say: your music. It does not arouse the mind, but puts it to sleep. It is a poison that paralyzes the minds of our youth, who cease to care about the fate of the nation."


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