Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Life in Terhan

If, like BBC reporter Lyse Doucet, you hang out in Tehran with the cosmopolitan Iranians in north Tehran, you might come away with impressions like this. How does this compare with other impressions and the self-portrait that the supreme leader promotes?

Four days in Tehran
Four days in the teeming mega-metropolis of Tehran is not enough. But it was just enough to savour what's long been special about this city…

The infamous traffic congestion seems much worse than on my last visit five years ago…

Magnificent Islamic architecture, with intricate Persian patterns and decorative brickwork still make you pause.

So does a delectable cuisine flecked with emerald dill or golden saffron…

[T]hese were seven surprises.
  1. Hotel lobbies full of visitors, many from Asian countries…
  2. The best of "Traditional English tea"… in my room in a recently renovated hotel - and leading American soft drinks in the fridge.
  3. The many shops selling well known Western fashion brands in wealthier north Tehran despite the vast web of international sanctions. Inventive Iranians have found ways around them.
  4. The bazaars are bustling, and in places, bursting full of people and goods for sale. But many people lamented the high prices…
  5. Tehran skies are dotted with construction cranes. Some Iranians, with access to hard currency and the right connections, have got even richer under sanctions…
  6. Suspicion still runs deep that negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme are a pretext to meddle in Iran…
  7. Everyone we met, whatever their political view, expressed a desire for wider engagement with the world, and a long term nuclear agreement that respected Iran and its interests…
Tehran bazaar
The best expression I heard was that Iran now wants to find "its place in the world, not against the world". Nationalism and pride are deeply-rooted here…

Iranians of all ages are engaging with the world from a cyber distance, despite bans on satellite TV and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter…

Teaching Comparative blog entries are indexed.
What You Need to Know is a thorough review of comparative government and politics as described in the AP curriculum.






 

Just The Facts! is a catalog of concepts, terminology, and examples that can help you review for May's exam.






 

What You Need to Know: Teaching Tools, v2.0 is now available from the publisher







 

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