Roman Musatkin
English Русский فارسی
این مقاله در تاریخ 25 نوامبر فرستاده میشه،شما میتونید ایمیلتونو بزارید تا از زمان آماده شدن با خبر بشید.


October 27 — November 3, 2015
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I wanted to see Iran before the US would lift the sanctions with the recent agreements on the nuclear deal.

Since the revolution of 1979 the country has been almost cut off from the consumer market: there are no worldwide retail chains over here, you can’t book a stay on or Airbnb. Bank cards emitted abroad are not accepted and there is no way to pay with one online. Social networks except Instagram, though used actively, can be accessed using VPN only.

At the same time Iran is a young educated country with a unique culture, and now a brand new unexplored marketplace of 80 million people as well. This article is an attempt to depict the modern life of Iran through its urban details.

General Details & Myths

It turned out that the things Iran is often associated with – anti-American propaganda, portraits of immortal leaders, female rights violations and religious fanaticism – is a fiction, a thin cultural layer that has nothing to do with the educated population.


Many locals I’ve met are nonreligious, and the diversity of views on religion indicates a developed society.

What’s interesting is that people let themselves laugh at the situations connected with religion if they are actually amusing. In a cafe, a Friday prayer was broadcasting on radio. The man reading the prayer was unconsciously making funny howls at the end of each verse and baristas were publicly mimicking him. Such moments of intelligent and reasonable attitude to religion were quite common during my visit.


Iranian girls like to look pretty. All girls wear headscarfs, and at the same time most of them look after themselves, wear make-up and dress well.

In a restaurant I've seen a woman in a hijab covering everything but her face. At the same time she had bright red lips and Nikes of the same colour on, and the impression was striking.

Girls usually wear a scarf attached to the back of the head leaving the front of the hair open. The scarf can be flamboyant and really nice, looking like a shawl of some European girl.

Girls don’t hesitate to peer at a stranger in a cafe and come up to get acquainted (happened twice to me). They take selfies all the time, it seems even more often than in Europe.


Foreigners are not common in here so they attract a lot of attention. In any park or right in the street someone will for sure come up to you to say hello. During a week a lot of people asked for my email and I've got two dozens of Iranian contacts in Telegram (which is extremely popular here). Those who know at least a little bit of English will ask at first where you are from and what people think of Iran in your country.

It is safe on the streets, partially because alcohol is prohibited. For the whole week I was coming back home late at night and saw nobody suspicious around. They say it is more dangerous for women, but you still can see a few of them outside after 10pm. Anyways, they don’t turn back in panic every time you pass them by like they do in Russia.