Thursday, 31 May 2012

Paradoxes of Tehran

Having spent the last 12 months in the Iranian capital of Tehran, it may surprise you that this city has a lot to offer, even with being in the Islamic Republic. The lonely planet guide does not do this city any form of justice, splitting this city of 14 million people into 2 groups; the rich and poor. Tehran and Iran in general is not where you would go for city break, normally but having visitors over here, and showing them the finer sides to Tehran culture, they all left the country with a big grin on there face!

Being one of the editors of an arts magazine, I have been given unfettered access to a vast array of culture that most Tehrani’s refuse to believe exist. Tehran has one of the wildest party scenes in the region, which if compared to Dubai probably would be on a par, but this is in a dry state, no pun intended.

From installation exhibitions to rooftop choreographic performances’, Tehran is the city of paradoxes over paradoxes, a city rich with the beating heart of the ancient Persian empire but with the hint of a dusty Madrid layout. Coffee shops where Elizabeth Taylor used to frequent, the most valued art collection outside the Guggenheim around $7,000,000,000 roughly at today’s value. But then again you will never see these fine 20th century pieces due to the cultural restriction placed on western art.

This is the town that buying a Kia Sportage will cost you the same as a house due to import restrictions, but the Koreans can’t sell enough of the machines. Tehran, if you want to break your stereotypes about Iran then this is the city to start with.

Our Man in Tehran

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