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How did you think about Iran and Iranians before these protests?

Discussion in 'Iran' started by maxoud, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. maxoud Member

    How did you think about Iran and Iranians before these protests?

    I think with all the protests, we changed the picture of Iranians and we showed to the world that Ahmadinejad doesn't really represent Iranian people. I think it can be our first victory.:)
  2. Before, I thought Iran was like it's neighboring countries, but I have learned that is not the case. I never gave much thought to the citizens, but I didn't like Ahmadinejad and thought (and still think) he's a fool. I have learned that he in fact does NOT represent the Iranian people at all, and you guys seem to be a lot like us in America. The protests definitely have changed the picture of Iranians and showed how evil the regime really is. Congratulations.
  3. bump Member

    it made a real difference in the image of the country for me.

    all we are used to see (europe) about iran is pictures of women in burkas and 'religious leaders'.

    Most important thing for me is to know that there is a generation out there who is willing to do something positive for themselves and their future.
    (sorry, but that is not something i can say about some other countries in the middle-east)

    What could be very important is to publish pictures/videos of 'normal live' in Iran, because what we have seen in the newspapers in the last 15 years is just burka's, beards and guns ...
  4. i have realized that plenty iranian youth do in fact know what nachos are.
  5. Ray Murphy Member

    What did I think about Iranians before this problem? Here's my story: I first met an Iranian small businessman in Australia about 20 years ago, just before the Gulf War started. He was unfamiliar with some of our laws and customs, so I offered to help him in small ways. After that he was quick to seek my assistance for his frequent problems. It was no big deal for me, but it was extremely important to him because he had a fear of breaking the law and a fear of police, even though he loved Australia for rescuing him and his wife after the CIA abandoned them when the Shah was overthrown. It took weeks for them to walk out of Iran.

    After I helped him one more time, on a hot summer day, he was so grateful that he tried to kiss my arm, but I backed away and said "No, mate, that's not what we do in Australia!" (I never did find out if it was just his enthusiasm or an old custom). On another occasion this guy gave me a ceramic white horse - not because it had any value (it didn't have any monetary value really, because it had part of one leg missing) but he said I would understand what he mean by the minor gift, which I did of course because I still have it and am talking about it today.

    I suppose what really impressed me, was when this guy brought two other Iranian men to my workplace say hello and have a chat for 10 minutes when it was quiet. It's not like I was important or anything - I was just an ordinary worker who was pleased to see them in my country.

    Finally this man rushed in one day and said he was leaving the state immediately but he couldn't go until he sort of "passed me over" to his good friend - because he couldn't be there any more to be my friend. Once again I wondered if it was just his personality or an Iranian custom, but I never asked. It was just like changing gears in the car - swapping friends in a few minutes :)

    I met both of their wives, and while neither of them ever said much, I was impressed by their apparently strong, independent and serene demeanor, which I later noticed was common in The Middle East in general.

    I've lost contact with them now, but whenever I meet someone from Iran, Iraq or Lebanon or that general area, I try to say something to make them feel a bit more at home in their new lucky country.
  6. Anyone catch The Daily Final report from in Iran was fun and very heartfelt
  7. sorry
    The Daily Show final report
  8. Ray Murphy Member

    Some of that sounds a bit rugged to me. All cultures have reasons why they are different, and we really need to look a bit closer to understand - from their perspective - not ours.

    It's the same when we look at our own western cultures or even our own states. We need to look at things from the perspective of a given era, and not from 2009. Look at how some young women in western countries have completely screwed-up ideas about how their mothers and grandmothers lived - and laughing about how they were downtrodden and staying home and being there for their children every day, and having the time to do what needed to be done - instead of running around like blue-arsed flies trying to work full time AND keep a home and children.
  9. Geraldanthro Member

    Sadly mis-informed

    I had thought of the Iranian's as a nation of sheep.

    Iran indigenous had net been an area of my expertise.

    But the Iranian people are giving me an education.

    I thank them.

    Gerald
    Anthropologist
  10. Newbunkle Member

    I didn't know much about Iran at all. I was smart enough not to believe that everyone was like the president, but I didn't give much thought to what average Iranians were like. The easiest way to explain my feelings since the election is that people there are just "cooler" than I expected.
  11. Ray Murphy Member

    It gets a bit confusing when looking at the various countries' borders which were created by the British - apparently without much consideration for who lived there.
  12. atmasabr Member

    Before the protests I saw the Iranians as largely educated, anti-Semitic/anti-Israel, generally supporters of Iran's sponsorship of terrorism in the Middle East for that reason, socially conservative. You hear every so often of Iranians and their government expressing sympathy for the US whenever we have a major catastrophie, so I don't think they hate the US, but they don't trust us (mainly over Israel) and don't want to accept our aid when we offer it. Its government is major-league anti-gay, repressive and a state sponsor of terrorism. I believed the elections in 2005 of Ahmedinejad and in 2001 election of that more moderate guy to have been valid, and that this year there would be a split vote. Despite Ahmedinejad I had some hope of relations improving a bit, if we manage to avoid a nuclear war.

    The past few weeks have told me a lot of new things. I have a lot more respect for the Iranian people and a lot less respect for Khamenei.
  13. SillyAmerican Member

    Before these protests (and before 2009... I'll get to that in a little bit.) my view of Iran was limited to what the American Mainstream media spoon fed us: religious zealots who were sponsoring terrorism around the world, was planning on building nukes, axis of evil.. etc, etc.

    At least I wasn't TOO blind; I did know that the 1979 revolution happened because in the 1950s, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP) was sobbing over the fact that Prime Minister Mohammad Mossaddeq nationalized the oil industry and BP wanted control of that oil, so Operation Ajax happened, they made the Shah the ruler of Iran, etc.

    Around early 2009 though, I joined this online game called "eRepublik". It this massive online social/strategy game in which people from around the world (at least the parts with internet access) could join and do various things, like start a company, run a newspaper, run for a political office, etc. While there was one or two countries that weren't ran by their people (ie, Pakistan was/is actually controlled by /v/...), nearly all the nations were controlled by people who actually lived in that country. The Swedes are in charge of eSweden, the Romanians were in charge of eRomania and, you guessed it, the Iranians controlled eIran.

    Guess who had the most capable, thoughtful and democratic government out of all of them? If you guessed eIran.. You just won a grilled cheese sandwich!

    After seeing the Iranians in action, I begun to think about Iran as something more than what I had been told--that Iran had that certain 'something' about it that made it different from other nations in the region. That's when I began my Wikipedia reading rampage and I learned all sorts of nifty things about Norwuz, the Cyrus cylinder, their tasty food, Rumi, Persepolis, the fact that they invented Algebra, Qom and the history behind the Shiite sect, etc.

    I even made an attempt to interview the president of eIran at the time for this shitty little newspaper I made. He agreed to do it, but something IRL distracted me and I had to cancel it and because of IRL work, friends and all that. My old account eventually went kaput. Though, I did start a new one, named Silly American, who's actually living in eIran right now, even though my knowledge of Farsi is limited to the fact that their T looks like a smiley face.

    So... Yeah. That's what I knew about Iran before the protests. Now that the protests happened, I love Iran even more. And.. without a doubt in my mind, Iran is going to be one of the best, if not THE best nation in the world by the end of this century.

    Also, if my ideas for retirement go as planned and Iran is free, expect to see one Silly American running an American-themed restaurant somewhere in Tehran sometime in the 2040s...
  14. To be honest, I knew that many Iranians we following the outside world via internet and satellite dish. My opinion of them from talking with them online is that they were very intelligent, and waiting for the chance to break free and join the western and European world as far as communication, economy and government. I felt ot was only a matter of time. As an American I look forward to the day I can safely visit. :)
  15. yea i had always read and saw on various tv documentaries that the Iranians were normal people much like us in the USA.. with exception of the leaders..

    they went in depth about the youth and how they prefered western clothing and etc and were just pretty normal youth..
  16. i didnt really think much about Iran before the recent events. I knew very little about it, and honestly it almost never crossed my mind. But now, I think about the Iranian people all the time. They seem like just regular people to me, but they have shown the rest of the world a level of bravery that i have never seen before. I've seen people's attitudes and understanding of Iran change for the positive. Most people really respect and admire them now, and see that they are just normal people like us, not crazy nuclear terrorists or whatever.
  17. Image of Iranian people

    Well, generally i had a bad impression of Iran because of the crimes that the government stands for (i.e. persecuting people who wish to have freedom, people who want to show that islam can be a peaceful religion a.s.o).

    I was deeply hurt by learning about 2 young teenagers that was executed (hanged) in year 2005, july, only because they were homosexual.

    In my country, we still have people who wish to do likewise, but we have laws that doesn´t make that possible for them. It will be equalized with murder if such a thing happens here.

    I am thinking about these 2 boys a lot, as i think they could have been alive today and had a long and good life in front of them with people who loved them for who they were and supported them. There was so much fear in their eyes when they were transported to the execution area, and they were in a cage. One of the boys were crying deeply.

    This is like treating people with ignorance and like animals. I hated the president in Iran for murdering these 2 boys, and i hate him for saying that there are no homosexuals in Iran.

    There are 3% homosexuals in every country all over the world, there are at least 10% bisexuals in every country all over the world. Nothing can change that, not even God, Allah or any other religion. It is proven facts, and if the allmighty God (whatever we call him), would have disagreed, we wouldn´t have seen any homosexuality or bisexuality at all, would we?

    I get so pissed of with unjustice, in whatever things it is about. Your President and his followers believe in suppression, fear and hate. He/they believe that every person in Iran supports these things, which is not true.

    That´s why i got so impressed with the protests, and i sincerely hope that the Iranian people will get true freedom some day. Not only the group that i represent, but all Iranian people who want true freedom.

    Best wishes to you all

    Someone who know what it is like to fight
  18. The peoples struggle

    I grew up during the Iran hostage crisis. We talked and prayed for the hostages safe return home every day in school. We wrote letters every week to the hostages wishing the
    well and to the Iranian captors asking them to release the hostages.
    We were never taught to hate or fear Iran. Images of revolutionary Iran following the crisis really made us feel that Iran was not stable. Battles between Iran and Iraq solidified this idea.
    Eventually I went to college where I met and studied with a few Iranian exiles. Besides falling in love immediately with them as people, I was fascinated and curious about their experiences and thoughts about Iranian life and Persian culture. I will never forget these friends, and my love for them has extended to those in Iran today hoping for a peaceful society and cities where people sing and debate freely.
    Their stories were sometimes painful, describing both the paradise and the terror everyday living contains.
    Once ahmedinejad was elected, images of the hostages crisis returned and we knew Iran was in the grip of something indescribably evil.
    When he was reelected this month, we really feel hope because the people of Iran have found their voice, and the progress towards an open government seems at hand.
    Before the election, people commonly referered to Irans dictator as "the ayatollah", a term which gives him religious credibility. Now that so much blood is on his and the basijis hands, we call him the "supreme leader", ironically a term he prefers, however it is one that is heard as "dictator" to American ears.

    IMHO.



  19. much like myself.. grew up in same time frame and while the hostage situation was a royal mess, it never reflected on the view of the Iranian people that i saw..
  20. I consider myself a pretty well-educated person, but I'll admit I didn't know jack shit about Iran or Iranians aside from the fact that they used to be Persia. Growing up in America will keep you pretty ignorant about other cultures unless you know some people personally. I didn't realize how modern other countries like Afghanistan are (or used to be) until coming into contact with them.
  21. Junius Member

    I knew plenty of Iranians before this so my view of these people hasn't changed a lot other than the fact that my respect for them has grown. I always knew they were cultured and with the Persian friends I had in university, I even took a class in Farsi.

    Godspeed my Iranian friends.
  22. Visionary Member

    I knew about the youth of Iran and how hungry for change the people have been, since a few years ago back when I read about them protesting, during Khatami's time in office.

    I had however thought that they had pretty much given up before Ahmadi became president, so I was delighted and surprised to see that the Iranian people's hunger for freedom was as strong as ever before, if not more so.
  23. Ray Murphy Member

    Many or most countries have been cruel to citizens for as long as they were permitted to - which is why so many people have stood up for fairness, democracy and the rule of law.

    It pays also to remember that populations have shifting opinions about other countries if they are behaving badly. For example the U.S. was in Australia's CITIZENS bad books before Cheney and GWB were taken out of the picture, and we absolutely decimated our government at the election for going too far with them and allowing an innocent Muslim Australian to rot in a Gitmo cell for five years AND go along with the U.S. having the gall to make a law that said they could capture anyone on the planet and hold them on suspicion without trial forever if necessary - and WE were the U.S.'s strongest supporter - so it's not surprising to see how some other nationalities have felt.
  24. Dangerous-Boy Member

    I thought persian women were pretty hot.

    Mostly, I have a fanscination with the islamic conquest and social issues of iran. When iran fell to the muslims, it basically screwed the rest of asia over. After umar the great, there came muhammad bin qasim to sindh. Ghazni and ghor in afghanistan. Once india was under islamic control, indonesia and malaysia became islamic. phillipines would have probably ended up ghetto anyway.

    Now we still have idealogical problems in those countries left over from the islamic invaders. Sure, poverty has its small part to play as well. It idealogy is even easier to use for a man who wants power if you have read The Prince.

    Indonesia, Malaysia, and the phillipines have problems with jihadists who want a hardcore islamic shariah state. India still have social problems with the muslims. It's kashmir problem is largely religous. I doubt you have hindu, buddhists, sikhs...rebelling against indian rule. Pakistan basically killed off or drove away its idealogical minorities. They are confused as they can not decide with they want to be secular and stay with english common law or go islamic all the way. Probably should have listened to ata turk. Afganistan has that Deobandi islam. Pathans(pashtuns) were always crazy and untamed barbarians. Islam just made it worse.

    Which leaves us to iran. iran basically had it's own culture until it adopted an arab one. many persia still have contempt for the arab yet they remain loyal to arab idealogy and bow their heads west to the black rock in mecca. They have forgotten the ways of the ahura mazda. Monothesim was already there before allah.

    hopefully, iranians were learn a lesson from the mullahs's islamic tyranny, rediscover their pagan ways, have true separation of church and state democracy, hot persian women will no longer be forced to wear the headscarf and have equal rights, and better relations with the west.

    recommend reading:
    Chach Nama Muhammad bin qasim's conquest of sindh
    The Islamic conquest of Iran By Ṭabarī
    The Indianized states of Southeast Asia
  25. maxoud Member

    re

    I'm so happy that now all you guys are speaking in favor of Iranians and sending your wishes and prayers to us. It's so sweet that while our government is trying to shut us up, we know that some people around the world are supporting us and praying for us.
    .
    .
    .
    And I'm so happy you don't think we are these kinds of things anymore!:rolleyes:
  26. Iran, the dichotomy

    As an American I always chuckled at how so many of my fellow citizens really don't "get" Iran. I have also always wondered why the Iranian people have let this theocratic dictatorship rule their lives for so long. It is inevitable when a tolerant 'secular' population lives under the yoke of a authoritarian theocracy that there will eventually be conflict and strife. The only thing that surprised me - it has taken this long. The current economy in Iran is horrible and the majority of the population is young, a recipe set to boil.

    I never held a grudge nor felt animosity towards any person just because they were Iranian (I remember and lived through the hostage crisis, yes I'm ancient by Internet standards), but when I was in college and Iranian students talked with me about 'Middle East' politics - I had to challenge them. I found it unsettling that they would come to America for an education and indulge in the culture here with all its material pleasures while their homeland's progress was stifled by authoritarian puppet masters.

    Fellow Americans, educate yourselves about the Shah and the modern oil industry. The Iranian people are to be embraced, their current state is to be toppled and changed - BUT THROUGH THEIR OWN EFFORTS! We as Americans must put more pressure on our elected officials to speak out on behalf of the Iranian people's current voice. Our President is much too silent at this current time and in my opinion complicit with the current Iranian government. Information is power and the Internet is a powerful tool. Engage the older generation, WE DO CARE AND UNDERSTAND AND MUST BE MADE TO SEE FROM OUR YOUTH.

    "Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do." -- Voltaire
  27. maxoud Member

    Interesting story,
    .
    Yeah I think it's like a custom that when someone wants to show that he is very grateful to someone else, he try to kiss his arm or in a more impressing manner his feet. And it's better that the second person don't let him do it. (In order to show modesty) I think it's not just for Iranians and some other people around the world do it too. (I've seen this work in Indian movies.)

    About the second one, no it's not a custom at all, I think it was just his personality.

    You have no idea how much it is embarrassing for us in Iran when our president saying these things about homosexuals and holocaust and… in the name of Iran.

    Your story really impressed me. I think you even know more about my country than I do.
    Just about your restaurant at 2040s in Iran, count on me as your first customer. :D(I'll be around 50 at that time)
  28. It's not uncommon at all for foreigners to know more about countires controlled by totalitarian or oppressive regimes than their own citizens. Brainwashing and modified history classes attempt to rewrite history.
    Imagine the shock felt by a North Korean citizen who escapes and learns the truth bout Kim Jong Il , or a Vietnamese refugee discovering Ho Chi Minhs legacy.
    It's nauseating to think about. Truth is the dictator's enemy. Truth is the peoples weapon.
  29. skollie-IRAN Member

    I've always had a positive view of Iranians as I have quite a few good friends from Iran - they insist on being called Persian. These are dear friends who are wonderful people. I have never thought well of the "regime" and never will. The no homosexuals in Iran statement blew me away and emphasized his complete ignorance.
    I have come to respect their incredible bravery over the past few weeks. I cannot imagine what it must be like for them - out there being beaten, murdered etc. yet everyday they are back out on the streets protesting for their freedom.
  30. maxoud, re: the link in your sig -- Persepolis is awesome and really opened my eyes about Iranians!
  31. Maybe I think Iranian people are more like normal human beings after seeing the protests.

    But maybe we are seeing only a small group of the younger generation, isn't it likely most Iranians still hate USA ("Death to America" they chant on the TV) and want the nuclear bomb to wipe out Israel?

    To assume the liberal attitudes of the protesters are generalizable to the whole population is racist and naive. I believe most of them still have a deep hatred for the West. Their governemnt is blaming the West for the unrest, they would only do this if there was widespread anti-Western sentiment among Iranians.
  32. Or maybe its the only dead horse their government has left to beat.

    Look closely at the photographs of the silent demonstration from mid-June. Those are not just the kids. Point for stating that not all the protesters are in love with the US of A. I wouldn't classify it as a deep-hatred though.
  33. I think there might be some truth to this, but, I hope that as the west (myself being American) reaches out to support the people of Iran who protest...that maybe our generation (myself being only 27) can maybe start putting the wasteful hatred behind us. One can only hope.

    <3 from the USA
  34. maxoud Member

    First: younger generation is the majority of our country not just a small group.

    second: younger people are more active in the protests but it doesn't mean that the olders don't support them.

    third: Death to America is just the slogan of pro-government demonstrations which happen with lots of state TV advertisements and with all the privileges that everyone who take part in them will have.

    Oh yeah it's really awesome. I strongly advise that all of you watch it.

    It was 2008 Oscar nominated and winner of Cannes festival.

    Besides you'll have a lot fun watching it, it'll educate you about Iran's revolution and some years after that, and you'll kind of understand the real source of all the protests which is not just about our missed votes.

    Imdb link: Persepolis (2007)
  35. The Kids Are All Right

    What I thought of Iran before

    1. very young pop. (like Saudi)
    2. highest rate of internet usage in the region
    3. love of poetry
    4. big underground party/rave scene
    5. super-duper intellectual history, both lib. arts and science (invented the 0)
    6. CIA - 1953 - Shah - Islamic Revolution etc. (postcolonial history)
    7. Persian not arab

    I'm old enough to remember the hostage crisis. It was the first time I experienced that kind of media saturation that makes you quit caring about a story.

    I went to school in the 80's. For my entire childhood the Soviet Union was the "Evil Empire" who was going to nuke every American city. Sting did a song about "Do the Russians love their children too?" A post-nuclear-holocaust miniseries dominated TV. As a child I was taught to hate and fear the commies.
    Then, in 5th grade my school handed out a brand new textbook. A slim volume titled "The Soviet Union". The next semester was spent learning about the geography, history and culture of a place we children had all heard of but never imagined. It was like a vaccine. The more we learned the less we feared.
    I believe that America is portrayed as that same kind of "Evil Empire" in Iran by the government and media. I also believe that the more the Iranian people learn about America the less they will fear us.

    More than half of all Iranians live in cities. More than half are under 30. They have internet and satellite TV. They know way more about us than we know about them. They learned it to inoculate themselves against their governments propaganda. They don't remember 1953 or the Revolution. They actually seem to think that if their government hates us we must be OK. That's why they're talking to us now. A generation of Iranians wanting us to prove their government wrong. Let's not let them down.
  36. nice compilation of images <a href="http://www.mightierthan.com/2009/06/a-view-apart-1">here</a> and <a href="http://www.mightierthan.com/2009/06/a-view-apart-2">here</a>. dig the goodfather and carl's jr rip-off. and the giant red bull backpack wtf.
  37. goddammit

    nice compilation of images here and here. dig the goodfather and carl's jr rip-off. and the giant red bull backpack wtf.
  38. Its amazing how our notions change so quickly. I have always thought of the people of North Korea as sheep. Id like to see your thoughts on them in the off-topic board, if you care to share my friend.

  39. Thoughts about Iran

    What I think about Iran is very clear, I think it is a murderous regime.
    The religious regime started in the 79 revolution brought much misery to the world, supporting terror against Israeli and western targets all over the world, fund the Hezbollah an HAMAS just to prevent peace in the erea . They brain-wash their people to fear the Great Devil (USA) and the little one (Israel). I can't say nothing god about Iran, and if there is something good to say about it it will not make the bad things lighter.
    I'm Talking just about the last 30 years, I don't know much about Iran before.

    I think the Iranians are quite modern people, especially compared to other Islamic nations, Although some of them express strong hatred toward Israel and the USA.
    I haven't changed my views about the Iranian people since the protests began, and i haven't changed my views about the regime, the difference is that now they turn their murderous machine against their own people, and some people are shocked by it.

    Non the less, I wish the Iranians will gain their freedom although it probably wont change the attitude towards Israel. Best of luck to you all.
  40. hurricane Member

    The Iranian people have yearned for Democracy for over 50 years, every time they get close they are robbed of their goal. They thought getting rid of the Shah would pave the way so they tolerated Ayatollah Knomeni thinking that they would get rid of him once he had served his usefullness in replacing the Shah. Little did they realise as they cheered and danced in the streets after the Shah's exile what horrors were in store for them.

    The historical suspicion and hatred of the West stems from their Oil resources being plundered by the West they only received 16% of all revenue and when they stood up to America and Britain they were victims of a political Coup that effectively ended their hopes of control over their country and resources and the democracy that they craved.

    Iranians will get there in the end but it will be because of the will of the people and not external influences, there are a hell of a lot of young people in the country desperate for change and now the genie is out of the bottle. The clerics days are coming to an end because without the support and will of the people it can't survive.

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