In 2013, the Iranian Nuclear Agreement was signed between Iran and P5+1 countries. The deal served to put Iran front and center on the national stage. In the intervening years since the Iran Nuclear Agreement was introduced, the country has gotten considerably more coverage. In 2018, the President of the United States stoked international tensions when he announced that the U.S. was pulling from the agreement. As tensions rise throughout the region, international audiences may forget about the actual people living in Iran. To dispel any lingering misinformation, we are going to take a stroll through the average life of an Iranian citizen. Our goal will be to flesh out the people of Iran while introducing readers to how the world looks like to the people of Iran.
Iran is Steeped in History
The country of Iran has been a bastion of human life almost forever. Archeologists have found artifacts from human inhabitants dating back to the Lower Paleolithic era, meaning that people have lived in the region for a very long time. As the home to one of the oldest civilizations on the planet, Iran is going to be steeped in history. Notable historical destinations in the country include the Ali Qapu Palace in Isfahan as well as the Golestan Palace in Tehran. Of course, visitors to the region would be remiss if they did not spend a considerable amount of time at Persepolis just northeast of Shiraz, home to a former ancient empire that existed from 550 to 330 B.C.
Day to Day Living
Iran is just like any other large country in that life can change based on your geographic location. Individuals living in Tehran, a city populated by more than 3 million people, will experience life in a different way than more rural establishments. No matter where in Iran a citizen lives, they are likely to be beholden to some of the same ideas, mindsets, and ideologies. Let’s explore a few of these components in depth.
1) Wealth Inequality – Iran is home to a massive divide between the rich and the poor. Unfortunately, the middle-class has been hit hardest by income inequality as inflation has hurt their local currency. For example, Iranian teachers earn roughly $300/month while wealthy Iranians will spend more than $100 on a single meal.
2) Traditional Living – Iran is a conservative and traditionalist country, to a large degree. Family is paramount above all, so it is not uncommon to see multiple generations of families spending extensive time together or even cohabitating! As family life is paramount among Iranian values, marriage is also a central point of strength. Adults typically do not live alone until after they are married, opting instead to stay at home with the family.
3) Highly Educated – Despite problems with wealth inequality, the people of Iran are considered highly educated. Adult literacy sits at 91% for men and 83% for women while children spend an average of 15 years attending to their education.
Iran is a fascinating country that is different and yet somehow the same to many more familiar western locations. For a more in-depth look at the country of Iran, Amir Handjani frequently can be found covering the region while working in the U.A.E. and Washington D.C. Handjani is particularly focused on the Iran Nuclear Deal and its corresponding fallout.
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