The Wonderland of Iran
Iran (Persia), one of the oldest cradles of civilizations and the cross road of many cultures may be looked upon as a wonderland. It has survived the most bloodthirsty destructive foreign invasions from Alexander of Macedonia, to Arabs, to the Mongolian Chengiz Kahn, to Colonialist and Neo-Colonialist and recently we can say Digital-Neo-Colonialist British and American interventions, as well as ruthless bloodthirsty native conquerors.
Being born three years after the victory of Islamic Revolution in Iran and experiencing an enigmatic inner bewilderment since youth, the search for its possible roots has been one of my quests in life. True that living in the age of Postmodernism, the age of Twilight of not only Idols which Nietzsche foresaw in his times, but also of ideals, ideologies and utopias can explain a part of that bewilderment, but when I left my homeland to further my education, and thus met and befriended young people from other countries, it seemed that ours goes much deeper than theirs. So I began to wonder where does this difference come from?
Coming from a non-traditional liberal family, I remembered how from the first day we began the school, as though unconsciously being aware of an unwritten law or code of conduct – and this still holds true – we all knew we should never reveal anything about our the so-called ‘modern liberal’ way of life at home in the school. It was and still is like living in two different worlds simultaneously, the world of inside our houses and the world outside it. It is indeed a miracle that our way of leading two different lives and thus developing two kinds of personalities that we somehow managed to learn not to turn into ‘outright’ schizophrenics in its psychologically defined sense. Added to that is the constant known and unknown social insecurity we grow up with. Young people in particular can never know that after leaving home they would return to it later in the day, because of getting arrested by the military squad for not wearing the approved outfit, looking different, talking to a member of the opposite sex with the girls suffering more in this regard, of course. There was-is also financial insecurity, which periodically intensified due to some new pressure, sanctions imposed on the country. Like just now that an increasing number of children and young people cannot go to school or university because their families can no longer afford the expenses, after these last sanctions. No wonder that drug abuse and prostitution is becoming so widespread among young people in an unprecedented way.
Split personality, deep social and financial insecurity, lack of even personal freedoms with no bright horizons breaking through the resulting dark nihilistic world can account for the overwhelmingly deeper bewilderment that Iranian young generations have been going through in these past decades.