Video: Finding Love In Iran

When people think of Iran, dating isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. It’s a conservative country with a strict form of Islamic law. Natural urges are unconquerable, though, and young people will always find a way to hook up. This video from Alessio Rastani describes how the young and well-off find love in Tehran, Iran’s capital. Rastani talks with his cousins, who live there, about how to go about it and what Iranian women are looking for in a man.

This is nothing new. When I was in university back in the ’90s, one of my friends was an Iranian woman studying in the U.S. She told me that when she was in a girls’ high school, guys would hang out in front of the gate at the end of the day and throw little balled up pieces of paper onto the ground with their phone numbers on them. If you liked the guy, you picked up the piece of paper and called.

She was strictly Muslim, so talking was all she did. She liked one guy enough that she got permission for him to come over. After a few visits, her parents left them alone together. The first time this happened they sat together and talked for a couple of hours. After he left, her mother came out from the next room and said she’d been listening the whole time and was proud that she had been a good girl. My friend replied, “What did you expect me to do!?”

For her, you could be a good Muslim and still have fun.

Check out Rastani’s YouTube channel, HelloIranTV, for more great videos about life in Iran.

Iran Photo Project on Flickr

There’s an interesting photo project going on at Flickr called the iRAN Project. I came across it a month or so ago and bookmarked for a later mention. It appears to have been set up by a Madhi Ayat as a way for photographers in Iran to show day- to-day life as they capture it with a their cameras. The latest photos were posted on May 19, 2007. This one is not Ayat’s, but in his pool of favorites. Elishka took this one of the Sardasht valley. I like it because it reminds me of the best travel moments.

Along with his photographs, the photo pools of other photographers’ work cover subjects that range from nature to architecture to portraits. There are discussion threads as well. Ayat has also included a link to, another site dedicated to illuminating the daily life in Iran through photographs. Both collections are sort like coffee table books on-line.

Besides viewing the photographs for their artistic merit and interest, I find it fascinating just to see the variety of the subjects photographers pick as the ones worth noticing. The fact that Iran is the overarching theme is also intriguing. These are views of the world not often seen.