Using social media to explore the real Iran

A writer for The Guardian feels Iran’s warm, fun side
A writer for The Guardian newspaper uses social media to explore Iran. Through couchsurfing.org, Facebook and even dating sites, he is able to experience a side to the country that is actually the norm for the vast majority of young people. Social media makes the difference between simply learning about the country’s rich heritage and experiencing the everyday lives of modern Iranians.
He visits “a party in Tehran among a crowd of good-looking, fashionable millennials: men, women, gay, straight”, who are chatting, dancing and drinking local moonshine made from raisins. He enjoys generous meals at people’s homes and answers many questions about Iran’s image in the west. Most Iranians, he learns, are embarrassed by the big images of anti-American propaganda often seen on buildings. At a mountain park overlooking Tehran he talks politics and religion and smokes weed with his hosts and their friends.
Over several weeks he travels independently throughout Iran, relying on the generosity of people via Facebook, Instagram and the messaging app Telegram Messenger. In Shiraz, once famous for its wines, he stays with a poet who makes his own wines. Back in Tehran he stays with a Zoroastrian who is also a keen foodie. The full article can be read here.
The Guardian

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