Any first time visitor to Tehran will notice how much the city has been changed not only in physical / environmental sense, but the increasing divide one sees between the rich and poor classes of Iranians. As Behrouz Mina poignantly brings to our attention in his perceptive article Rich Kids of the Revolution, one does not need the Instagram of Rich Kids of Tehran to remind residents how “conspicuous consumption and over the top luxury have become hallmarks of Iranian society in the fourth decade of the Islamic Revolution, a revolution that started by promising justice and free bread for all….“The class divide in Iran is a direct result of state monopolies,” Javad, a professor at Tehran University, tells IranWire. He believes that contrary to popular belief, the roots of a phenomenon like Tehran Rich Kids is found in the feverish day of the revolution. “Nationalizing the Iranian economy in the early days of the revolution had no other result other than creating numerous economic monopolies for the revolutionaries and their dependents.”
As expected, Iranian officials have reacted to the news about the Instagram account of “Rich Kids of Tehran,” blocking it inside Iran. But as it has been demonstrated repeatedly, this will not be a final solution. Young Iranians have an incredible ability to bypass internet control in Iran.
Social media has changed Iran, and post-revolutionary Iranian youth have used this medium to show the powerlessness of the Islamic Republic and its rulers to impose their version of “Islamic” behavior on them. As this article explains, the rich kids of Iran use social media to document “the lives of the sons and daughters of an elite class of Iranians, Tehran’s one-percenters. They live in a country that until recently was stereotyped in the media as a place ruled by mullahs and populated by Muslim extremists, where women don black chadors and people chant “Death to America” 365 days a year. The list of stereotypes was never-ending until stories of sex, drugs and alcohol among the country’s elite came to light — some now call it the “Erotic Republic” of Iran.
After months of warnings to Tehran residents that they need to conserve water and not engage in wasteful usage, Iranian officials concerned with impending water shortages cut water supplies to 3,000 residents of Tehran. With a population of over 12 million, Tehran is on the brink of unprecedented water shortages. Most of the water reservoirs around Tehran have reached an all time low level.
In the capital city of Tehran, the number of individual vendors striving to make a living is an ever present phenomena. One such vendor is Rajab, who “is the sole breadwinner in a large family. At home, he struggles to pay for food and utilities and attempts to foot the medical bill of his wife, who suffers from uterine tumors. His youngest son attends fifth grade while his eldest daughter attends university, where she pays about $330 per term for tuition. Each day, he departs from the Shahriyar neighborhood on the outskirts of Tehran at around 6am to get to his selling spot by 9. On hot summer days he sits on the sidewalk until around 8pm before riding the bus back to Shahriyar.” The law enforcement authorities and other governmental agents constantly pick on vendors like Rajab. A 13-second film of an unconscious vendor lying on the ground was captured by witnesses and has since made its way to YouTube. The stories recounted in this article is worth reading.
What is it like to go through the huge Tehran bazaar with shops and restaurants ? Here is Press TV’s short documentary:
“Tehran is a city full of contradictions and inconsistencies, some of which we embrace, others we casually overlook, and many we unknowingly embody. The question is, which combination of paradoxes defines life in Iran’s capital?” See the full article Here.
Immersive drama set in a Tehran taxi: Iranian cabs afford passengers a degree of anonymity, paving the way for uninhibited conversations and a new play.