Both of my parents are originally from Iran, but we never lived there. We'd sometimes travel back to visit family when I was little, but those trips became less and less frequent as we all got older. In time, being Iranian came to feel like part of my history, rather than my identity. Earlier this year, I realized it'd been 15 years since I'd been there.Iran like a lot of countries is getting a Westernized culture. Soon the whole world will be a mono-culture.
So you could say this trip was an attempt to "get back to my roots," as lame as that sounds. I can't think of a better way to put it. I wanted to understand Iran—to find out whether the filtered view we get from the outside is realistic. And it is, but in so many ways, it is not. Iran is a conflicted place, it's a million things at once. A country where vastly different understandings of the world live side-by-side.
Take how women are meant to dress. Of course, all around the world, women's bodies are a political site. But during the past 100 years in Iran, hair coverings have alternately been banned and enforced, depending on who was in power at the time. In Tehran, the country's capital, you'll see a young woman dressed in fully western clothes—save for her roosari—standing on a train platform beside another woman in a full-length chador.
Mullahs, Skateparks, and Designer Knock-Offs: Inside Modern Iran | Vice.com