Iran, we feel sad leaving you and your beautiful people behind, we hope all our so called 'leaders' will not screw up too much ...

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November 13th 2018
Published: November 13th 2018
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"Iran .... we feel sad leaving you and your beautiful people behind, we hope all our so called 'leaders' will not screw up too much ..."

It is with mixed feelings and thoughts that we have left Iran, after travelling through the country for 60 days. It has been quite an experience, a very real travelling experience I would say. Iran has left an enormous impression on us with all its nature, culture, history, food, beautiful buildings and of course people. We have found that we still learn new things, cultures and languages. We enjoy meeting new people and talking about the commonalities and differences in our lives. We love seeing new things but also seeing the same things with new eyes. We feel humbled by people who are genuinely friendly and who without wanting something in return make our day by helping us out or by just offering us tea or welcoming us to their home and family.

We also have felt Iran is like a big prison for its people. We experienced within ourselves the importance of freedom, a concept we don’t really think about that much and usually take for granted. Now, maybe more than ever in our lives, we experienced somewhere at the background an almost constant tension and feeling of being restricted by a government. We could easily see that a lot of news and facts are either censored or otherwise influenced so it is very difficult to know what is true, outright fake or just a bit exaggerated. We have talked with so many people who just try to make a living and who just want to be happy but who are limited in their possibilities because of a regime that values religion and their own power more than freedom, human rights and equality. We have met so many people in Iran who are not interested in religion or who are outright atheist but they all have to hide this, they just have to participate, act and pretend. Religion for a lot of people is pushed through their throats and quite a lot of people have been brainwashed for such a long time that they are not capable of seeing other perspectives.

Iran is such a beautiful country but we have also experienced first hand that it is still a country where most people cannot choose what to wear or not to wear, what to eat and drink, what to believe or not and where everybody has to be careful what to say in public and even in private. The people of Iran we have met are all caring and fun loving persons but are all in one way or the other restricted in having fun, they cannot celebrate whatever they want whenever they want and they cannot play, dance or listen to the music they want. We know this is all changing in Iran but it takes way to much time, change comes very slowly and a lot of people still try to leave their homecountry because they cannot wait for real change.

A large part of the lives of the Iranian people takes place behind closed doors, secretively, in private. Fortunately we know and we have seen that the people know a lot of workarounds, shortcuts, hacks and tricks to do what they want and to have a little bit of fun while too many things are not allowed. It’s ridiculous and childish that we all have to use VPN to hide our internet use and even to be able to access websites that are fun or bring us the news. Everybody knows that in Iran nothing is allowed but everything is possible and we have experienced this many times. Still we feel sad this is necessary and while we have participated in some fun parties we really felt sorry for the people that it was so hidden, limited and restricted.

After two months travelling and living with the Iranians we have left Iran with a bit sad feeling for the people we leave behind. We feel that even for the people who would have a lot of opportunities elsewhere, for example because of their intellect, ambition and education, in Iran it's all very limited, more than in other countries.

While we were in the country a currency crisis was happening, sanctions were activated, missiles have been launched, terrorists have attacked a parade, people (even minors) have been executed by the government. We can (and do) easily disagree with and disapprove of all these things but we also realise this is because we have been living all our lives and freedom.

Thank you, you lovely caring selfie taking people, we dedicate this blog post to you all

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