Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Mention the word Iran to most people and this image is probably close to what first comes to mind:
Older people will remember a vastly different impression of Iran though, the Iran from before the Islamic Revolution. There are a large number of pictures and videos out there that show a radically different country from the one today (some might be from the 1960s BTW) so I've gathered a few of them together.
(Edit: Actually the pictures are almost all people so perhaps Iranians in the 1970s would be a more appropriate title)
First some photos from two videos here and here:
A few screen shots from this video:
As well as some other images from here and there:
Finally, here are some links to other photos from Flickr that can't be posted here but are still worth looking at.
- People standing around a car in the mountains
- Two women posing for a picture
- Afkhami at her first press conference as secretary general of the Women's Organization of Iran (1970)
- Peace Corps party photo in Tehran
- Some guy with a sweater, 1971
- Current president Ahmadinejad in 1976 with his soccer team
- Family hanging out in the park in 1975
You can also see a travelogue from 1971 here and here (two parts). There is another fairly long documentary from 2007 here that focuses on daily life in Tehran today.
See also this video I uploaded last month that shows what spoken Persian sounds like:
And if you've been interested in learning Persian but have been intimidated by the script, don't worry: Persian is a much easier language to learn than you might think (I'm learning it myself and can attest to that). It does take a while to get used to reading the script but after that it's really easy to pick up. Easy verb conjugation, no grammatical gender, plural is easy to form, etc. To watch BBC Persian's newscast online see here and here.
Edit: in response to the first comment - I haven't assembled the images in an attempt to make pre-revolutionary Iran look like a golden age, but rather to show that Iranians/Persians are much less conservative at heart than one might be led to believe (yes, it does vary by region and ethnic group but still). I chose to focus on Iranians alone and not the government at the time for that reason.