Select a country…Åland IslandsAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelauBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBonaire, Saint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBritish Virgin IslandsBruneiBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongo (Brazzaville)Congo (Kinshasa)Cook IslandsCosta RicaCroatiaCubaCuraÇaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland IslandsFaroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and McDonald IslandsHondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIranIraqIsle of ManIsraelItalyIvory CoastJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKuwaitKyrgyzstanLaosLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacao S.A.R., ChinaMacedoniaMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesiaMoldovaMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorth KoreaNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinian TerritoryPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarRepublic of IrelandReunionRomaniaRussiaRwandaSão Tomé and PríncipeSaint BarthélemySaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (Dutch part)Saint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSan MarinoSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia/Sandwich IslandsSouth KoreaSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTaiwanTajikistanTanzaniaThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited Kingdom (UK)United States (US)UruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVaticanVenezuelaVietnamWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaWestern SamoaYemenZambiaZimbabwe
Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link and will create a new password via email.
As somebody adamant at separating the modern from the classic and ancient, I will never accept this politically correct idea that Iran was founded by the Emperor of the Middle East and Messiah of the Jews, Cyrus of the Achaemenids. I rightly believe that Iran is just one of the 199 present-day nation-states which were all founded after the French and American revolutions. With that disclaimer put down, here are the things I have come to seriously admire about the nation of Iran:
Intellectuals: I don’t know much about the French or German societies but of the British, American and South Asian societies that I have interacted with, none has an intellectual class as vibrant, diverse and socially relevant as that of Iran. Intellectuals in Iran are treated like celebrities, at least it was so before Ahmadinejad and George Bush jointly sank the country’s economy into despair. Whether you are a leftist or rightist, if you have something new and provocative to say Iranians will hear you, read you and talk about you.
Resilience: As an Afghan whose country is sinking deeper into darkness everyday, I really envy how Iranians like their favorite Simurgh or Phoenix have been burnt many times in the fire of invasion, turmoil and chaos but were able to regenerate life in their dead carcass. During the 20th century, Iran has experienced many a shocks from the constitutional revolution and its early failure, the rise and dramatic fall of Reza Shah I, Mosaddeq and his hopes and then his doom, Shah and his white revolution and dramatic collapse to all the drama that the Islamic revolution brought plus of course the eight year war with Iraq; yet Iranians have always found a way to stand up again on their two feet.
Persian language: I have my serious issues with the historical narrative with which Iranian Persian ethnic group has tried and to a certain extent succeeded at establishing its hegemony over the language that has historically evolved mostly in today’s Afghanistan and has been nurtured from Delhi and Patna all the way to Istanbul and Bukhara but in the present-day it will be a fool’s attempt to refute how Iranian nation has contributed to the modernization of this language. From story-telling to movie-making, poetry, prose, journalism and almost every sector of linguistic development, Iran’s contribution to the language has been phenomenal.
Cinema: Iranian cinema is definitely one of the best if not the best in Asia. I am also specially impressed with the post-revolution Cinema mainly because the revolution and ensuing chaos and war not only damaged cultural infrastructure but also the harsh policies of the Islamic regime forced most of the artistic icons to flee the country. Moreover, it’s simply amazing to see film-makers working under the scissors of extreme political and ideological censorship producing movies that regularly win Oscars.
Culture of dialogue: A quick look at countries in the Middle East indicates that Iran is probably the only country where there is a dialogue even if the country’s reigning regime doesn’t allow the survival of a vibrant civil society. Iranians both inside their country and in diaspora always seem to engage in topics of vital importance from the role of religion in politics to the rights of women, rights of minorities and other debates of sociopolitical significance. There are certain red lines in these debates such as a presumed oneness of Iranian nationhood and its history, the almost divine status of Persian language and ethnicity and other such dogmatic beliefs but overall, my personal understanding is that compared to all Arab states and even Turkey, Iranians have more potential to find logical solutions to their complex problems. They are a nation of orators, even if sometimes one feels the oratory is just too much.
One of the reasons I wrote this post was because only recently a rather moderate Iranian Parham Shirazi was banned from Quora for reasons unknown to me. With Parham gone, it would have been a shame if anyone searching Iran only found blue-eyed pretty ladies, a sketch of Cyrus and some nasty curse words hurled at Muhammad, Omar and the Arabs. As a foreigner, I see Iran a lot bigger and more generous than the cheap behavior that seems to plague this topic on Quora.
You must login or register to add a new answer.