Sunday, October 01, 2006

The limits of tolerance

The full Jerusalem Post article by Seth Wikas, who visited the Jewish community in Tehran and Shiraz recently: (with thanks: Albert)

"Don't you want to leave?" I asked (Peyman).

"Of course, but I have a problem," he said.

His particular problem is that he did not serve in the military. Before Ahmadinejad's election in 2005, Iranians could pay money rather than perform military service, and Peyman paid for such an exemption. But now this practice has been canceled, and only those who have completed military service can travel abroad.

"So why don't you just serve in the army?" I asked.

Peyman demurred, saying that two years - the service requirement - is a long time, and he makes a decent living working for his father; leaving his normal life for two years is out of the question.

"But is there any social life here? Don't you want to marry someone Jewish?" I asked.

Social life in Iran is limited, as bars, dance clubs and other non-Islamic establishments are illegal. Peyman talked about meeting people - including women - through friends, and noted that there are social activities arranged through the Jewish Association and the synagogue.

What was most interesting about our conversation was that Peyman's friend Arash, a Muslim and a member of Teheran's police force, was in the room as we spoke. When I asked Arash about friendships between Jews and non-Jews in Iran, he considered it a non-issue, preferring instead to lambaste the regime."

Read article in full

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gooood morning Tehran! This is Jerusalem: