An American in Iran

in travel •  5 months ago

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Earlier this month I spent 9 days in Iran. It was very difficult and expensive to get the visa as a US citizen but I'm so glad I went because my small interactions with Iranians--in parks, on the streets, watching world cup games and everywhere else--helped smash the narrative that they could ever be my enemy. The people I met there were kind, intelligent and generous. They were all my friends. Their govt on the other hand was not. I was assigned a minder who was with me at ALL times and communicated with the govt informing them what I was doing on a regular basis. I had little freedom and I hated it. I felt like a prisoner. At one point I was given a written reminder that I was prohibited from talking to any Iranians and that I was risking trouble if I continued to defy that order. The govt is just as restrictive with its own citizens, though both I and many of the people I met found quiet ways to defy those restrictions. A lesson that Iranians seemed to understand better than people from any other place I've been yet is that a person's government does not always represent them; that whatever you think about a national government the citizens that live there are individuals and if you give them a chance, probably friends. It's a lesson we should all learn.

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visiting new place is always a great experience but sorry you visit wrong place : )

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there are no wrong places :)

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I would like to know more about this trip and your interaction with the people. I had no idea someone follows you there if you are a foreigner.