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What I learned about modern life in Iran


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When I was sitting on a beach on the Eastbourne coast with my Iranian friend, we gazed up at the sky as it got the darker. I soon began to focus on how the sky seemed to almost adjoin with the sea as I stared at the horizon.

We saw two birds flying and dancing. They were so far away that we just saw their shadow, and even as far as they were, we both noticed something very beautiful - they were free. I asked my friend what does it remind her off, and with tears in her eyes she responded,"It reminds me of my home town - Tehran. I was able to make my dreams come true by flapping my wings and flying away. I am a science student and as long as I can remember this has always been my dream. I received lots of support from my country to be able to pursue this dream…’’

The more she talked the more fascinated we both were about those birds.

To me the birds have become a metaphor for freedom: to do what ever you choose to, and to pursue your dreams.

After many years, Iran is becoming an increasingly progressive country that's open to change.

According to the Islamic Republic of Iran, their nuclear weapons programme serves only as a means of maintaining peace in the country and as a bargaining chip in diplomatic relations.

Less than 30 years ago, Iranian women were in the minority in universities. Nowadays more than 70% of Iranian science and engineering students are women!

Furthermore, most students during their studies begin to work, or even set up start-ups. There is a myth that Iranian women don’t have rights, that they are not allowed to drive, and that if they break the law they will be the victim of acid attacks. This is not the correct image of Iran. Modern Iran not only delights with the remnants of ancient Persian culture, but primarily is open-minded and pursues modernity.

You can understand nothing about a country, particularly a modern country, if you do not understand that imagination.

To understand more about Iran follow my travel around this beautiful country each week here on The National Student.

See Karolina discuss her trip to Iran here.

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