Jonathan Lundqvist is a Swedish blogger who visited Iran a few months ago and shared his experiences with Global Voices in an interview. Jonathan has published several photos on his blog about censorship, daily life, tradition, and modernity in Iran without forgetting beauty of the country. Here are seven images which say much more than thousands of words:
Two first photos show us a glimpse of the censorship that occurs in Iran. Jonathan says the Nashravaran Journalistic Institute is the agency that handles all censorship. They also stamp all magazines with a stamp upon inspection. It’s mind-boggling to think of the people whose work it is to sit there with a giant felt-tip pen and cover up skin all day long.
In third photo Iranians need to go far and away to date and to have privacy.
Dating Iran style. A boy and a girl sitting by the winding river, enjoying their quite conversation. The mountains felt like a haven of sorts where once in a while you can even see women without scarves!
The fourth photo shows how western brands meet eastern dress.
Jonathan explains, “I saw this girl working in a sports clothing store in northern Tehran and became intrigued as to the logo on her wimple.”
The last four photos show an electronics shopping center, a beautiful park in Tehran, a fantastic bridge in Esfahan, and window in a mosque covered with Persian calligraphy.
I think Islam is a beautiful religion, uniting and pure, but the censorship in Iran needs to stop. Simply because by doing so, the president is making the Iranian youth hate Islam. When there is very heavy censorship, one wishes to do all those things which are censored, which is precisely why the Iranian youth are falling over themselves getting drunk and prostituting themselves to attain the latest fashions.
I am British born, and if there are any Iranians reading this: you’re not missing out on much by not living in UK/USA. It’s not all MTV and booze, and given the choice I’d rather be anywhere else. Trust me.
Why bother dying your hair blonde? Be proud of your natural colouring, be proud of your culture, and importantly, be proud of your religion. At the end of the day, there’s no point changing who YOU are, because at heart, you’ll still be Iranian, with your dark hair, and olive skin, and your genetics can’t lie.
A piece of advice to the Iranian government:
Allah says in the Qur’an, countless times ‘There is no compulsion in religion’. So who are you to compel? Allah is the only one to judge. Lift the bans on hijab, and on everything else, because frankly, if people want to do something, they’ll do it anyway, as you can obviously see from the couple in the waterfall picture. Follow what I said and let everyone see the true beauty of Islam, without compulsion.
A piece of advice to Iranians:
Firstly, booze and drugs aren’t amazing and can seriously damage your health and in fact, even in England, there is a smoking ban, and a proposed ban on displaying cigarettes in shop windows. You’re not alone, there are people in Britain who also don’t like rules, but have to follow them
Secondly, don’t ruin your iman just because your government is crazy. It’s not worth it, especially not in the akhirah.