Sunday, August 5, 2007

An Iranian-American in Iran (1)

I made a series of posts of my own brief experience during my recent emergency visit to Tehran, as I rushed to be present for my dad's bypass surgery (He is just perfectly fine, my 67 years old hero!)
Iranian Experience (1)
Iranian Experience (2)
Iranian Experience (3)
Iranian Experience (4)
Iranian Experience (5)

I hear things have changed since then; the gas is rationed, the dress code toughened, the US-Iran tensions worsened, the prices heightened, the students burdened ...

Instead of hiding my head in the sand and sulking, I am going to look for stories from people like me who are in Iran. This story by Nina Farnia is the first of this series.

Farina is an Iranian-American single woman in Tehran. A casual encounter with a man on the topic of grocery shopping motivates her (Tehran Avenue) story in which she ponders about Tehran's encounter with globalization:


Yesterday, I was walking in Park Shahrara in the early afternoon, and saw a man carrying a bushel of sabzi khordan. Sabzi khordan is hard to find in the afternoons during the summer, unless one is an early riser. I stopped the elder. “Sir, where did you get that sabzi?”
“I bought it this morning at the fruit stand across the street, put it in the fridge at work, and now I’m taking it home. Take half of what I have here for yourself,” he responded.
I, an Iranian from the U.S., was shocked that someone would offer me half of his own. I immediately responded, “No thank you sir, I’ll find my own. Thank you so much.”
But he kept telling me to take his. “Please, take half of mine, you’ve been at work all day too, haven’t you? Take half of mine.”
I, of course did not take his sabzi, assuming I could find my own. My Americanness would not allow me to accept someone else’s offerings.
I have been in Iran for a month. From every direction, young and old, rich and poor, I sit and listen to stories describing how horrible post-Revolutionary, post-War Iran has become: “There is no more safety in the streets”; “Everything has become too expensive.” Complaints about the government, President Ahmadinejad, the dirty Tehran air, the rising gas prices, the packed metro, the lack of opportunities for young people, these are all never ending. Keep reading ...

41 comments:

Anon-Paranoid said...

naj...
Very good post and quite telling. I remember sitting on the front porch when I was a little boy back in the sixties.

Those days are long gone and somehow they were some of the best times I can recall, being with family or friends just talking and taking in everything with our eyes and ears.

Now we have very little time to do anything that might broaden our very existence because we have too work harder and longer to keep a roof over our heads.

And lets not forget the rest of the bills that come in. Grocery, insurance and many other things we need just to survive.

Your friend sounds like she has returned too her roots and that may be a good thing to remember that we all came from somewhere and we should not forgot the joys we had.

God Bless.

Naj said...

Thanks Anon,

To go back to Iran may intimidate many of us who are bombarded with tales of regional instability and what not ... but once in Iran, one is embraced by this wonderful national quality: nag, but don't really mean it, and live in present. In a way, to be a nag and discontent is culturally implanted as everyone's present is to be surpassed. Therefore, everyone is encouraged to become "mote'ali", i.e. ascendant, the purpose of ascension: to get close to god! (Somehow we share cultural features with our gothic arian cousins! lol)

This I think is the secret of our national resilience; also the cause of our being in the harms way so often.

There is such a strong dialectic force in our dichotomous relationship to our nation; that we can't but be overwhelmed by emotions when we go home.

Coffee Messiah said...

naj: I remember when I first started reading the posts you mentioned, and reminded me of a girl I used to walk to school with through HS. I heard many tales and always though how easy we had it here in the US.
The new link you share is very interesting from a human aspect. That's what's missing here today, people willing to share what they have with others, no matter what. Of course, when a disaster hits, it appears like that "sharing: experience is everyday, sadly it's not! ; (

enigma4ever said...

you are such a fine writer...thank you for sharing...and CM is right what is missing is the Human element...but I come here and there it is ....thank you...

Naj said...

:) Thanks enigma!
sigh ... only if I could type, spell, and be less sloppy grammatically ;)

Naj said...

Messiah:

I think the fact that disaster brings us closer together as a human society is one of those great examples that debunks our general Darwinist/capitalist notions of "everyone's out there for themselves"

After the Bam Earthquake in Iran, people, regardless of political and religious affiliation, lined up in Iran to give blood. I took that as a symbol of unity of my country. It was then that Bush had started his axis of evil project, aiming at balkanizing Iran and the middle east ... and I took great comfort from a metaphor of "sharing blood" ...
Now the big challenge of humanity is to share blood across borders, across language and culture, across history, across grudge, across ideology ... if only can we deliver us that far ...

Aardvark EF-111B said...

in very simple words, this is life!

the same, every where...a global village indeed!

He & She said...

I love that movie about Iran. Please watch it. Sorry if it is unrelated to the topic

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=554201962695917482&q=iran&total=34817&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

Naj said...

Thanks He & She.
In fact this was the topic of a Post in February

Always a good reminder though :)

No-Name said...

Dear Naj,

For some pretty private reasons I will not reveal my name. I have just visited an Arab blog for the first time, to my own shock, it was full of critcism of Iran by anEgyptian blogger. I have always thought the Iranians to be Arabs.

May you give me a hint about the way Arabs and Iranians view eachother.

Life is too short to waste on conflicts

David said...

Naj, I am glad to hear that your father is doing fine after his surgery.

I read Nina Farnia's article. I, like her, am struck by the generosity of the stranger with sabzi. That sort of behavior is extremely rare in the U.S., in my experience. She talks about the loneliness of American life. Well, I can really understand what she is saying. Americans tend to be obsessed with competing with each other. They want a bigger house or bigger car than their neighbors, for example. American culture is very materialistic. In some ways, I have never really felt at home in my own country. I have never been very interested in the aquisition of material items simply for the sake of having them. I buy things that are useful to me, but I don't feel the need to impress anyone with my purchases. As an example, I am a user and collector of tools. I like to make things with my hands and tools extend my capabilities. Well, I am quite happy buying an old tool if it can still perform its function. Indeed, old tools tend to be better made and more durable than new ones! I liked what Nina had to say about relationships. They are very important to me, as well. I think that cooperation between human beings is very important and very useful. If people live in a cooperative atmosphere, they can share what they have with each other. Most Americans buy many things that they rarely use. Well, it makes so much sense to me that instead of everyone buying the same wiget, why can we pool our wigets and share them? One thing that I really like about my city of Indianapolis is the great system of public libraries. They not only have books, they have lots of movies and TV shows that I can just check out for free. I pretty much stopped going to my video rental store. They keep sending my free rental coupons to lure me back! ;) Over the years, I have donated lots of books and some videos to various public libraries. It is important to return the favors that other do for me. Well, anyway, from Nina's story, it seems to me that there are some aspects of Iranian culture that are much better than what we have in the U.S.

I like what you said in a comment about the "sharing of blood" across borders. In some ways this already happens. For example, after the Bam Earthquake, I sent a donation to the International Red Cross to help with the relief efforts. I have done the same with other major international disasters. So have many other people. Average people are willing to be generous if they are given the opportunity.

Naj said...

Hi David,

You know, Iran is sadly becoming a very capitalist society. Consumerism rules. When I went there last winter, after 4 years, I was shocked by the level of materialis mentality that was commanding the daily lives of the middle class! I can attribute it to a rebound from many years of sanctions! To become excessive is a post-product of (economic) deprivation ... I hope Iranians will retain some of the old ways ...

no-name
I am familiar with that thug! He is mentally ill! I have quite a few Egyptian friends who are well informed and decent individuals and so I am not going to take Amre as representative of Arab's "explicit" sentiments towards Iranians!

Iranians have their own prejudices against Arabs as well: they consider them rude, rough, uncultured, loud, undisciplined, womanizer, conflictual, shifty, untrustable ... what not ... !

But again, that means nothing to me personally!

There are tons of information on internet explaining Arab-Persian differences. Arabs and Persians agree on one thing VERY strongly: that they are different! Many Iranians emphasize their Arian Origins, as opposed to the Semetic origin of Arabs!

They are racially different; histrically different, and cultrally different. Even religiously!

Majority of Persians (Iranians) are Shiite; Majority of Arabs (with the exception of majority of Muslims in Iraq, who are shiite) are Sunnis.

Irans Islamic cultural heritage roots in pre-islamic Zoroasterianism (considered the root of mysticism and sufism that constituted the Iranian identity)

Persians speak a different language (of Indoeurpean roots) than Arabic. However, Arabs conquered Persia some 13 centuries ago. Thus Persian language has adapted their alphabet!

This is a very simple bread and butter info. All the differences between Arabs and Iranians are exacerbated by the "imperialist" project of divide and conquere!

Saddam was an icon of Arabis anti-Iranianism! But as evidenced, Iran has been in the forefront of Palestine cause. So, again, the differences are aprt of a grand political Project for the middle east ... fuled by foolish sentiments such as those expressed in the Egyptian site you visited.

I agree that the life is too short to spend on conflict!

No-Name said...

Dear Naj,

Thanks for caring to reply to my "little" inquiry.

I have a question for you- you say Amre is not an ideal representative sample of Arabs- then you assert the existance of mutual prejudices between Arabs and Persians. I checked and found that Persian Gulf countries and Egypt faught with Iraq against Iran in the first gulf war.

Also, news sites speak about an Arab-Peersian conflic in the south of Iraq.

I do think that Middle east is magical spot, therefore I want to get some hands on insights about that region ( We have many North Africans in Belgiam) . Actually, I'm Belgian teacher who has recently developed an interest in middle east.

Regards

N.G

Naj said...

Hi No-Name,

Well as I said, those who subscribe their intellect and reason to foolish prejudice are the best soldiers of all these atrocious activities that are unraveling around us.

I am Iranian; and I have little encounter with the Arabic culture. Iraq and the rest of them fought against Iran; but I am unwilling to hold a grudge. fools do foolish things!

What counts to me is that Iran has NEVER waged a was of aggression on ANY country in its modern history. What counts to me is that Iran is not an expansionist and vengeful nation; and what counts to me is that Iran with all isolation all threat and all adversity is standing its course, and is yelling out for its RIGHTS ... that the world prefers to ignore Iran's sensible claims to ITS rights, that the world chooses and plots to silence Iran with this new Arabic Anti-Persian cacophony, that will come back and haunt the West sooner or later!

Those who can be manipulated to uprise against Israelis and Persians will surely be manipulate-able to uprise against the West as well! And this is precisely why middle east is such a mess, the majority of it LACKS a stable identity!

In this blog, you can find all about Iran! I prefer to not focus on differences in humans. I hope my blog will help you learn a few facts about Iran.

No-Name said...

Dear Naj,

Farid Din Attar is Unearthly! Beautiful. Thank you for introducing me into the beutiful world of Persian Poetry. By the way, is there a book you recommend about Iran's culture and history? Having gone through your site, I have a deep urge to exploring that majesterial Persian world.

Back to your reply- apart of the nuclear issue, what other rights is Iran aspiring for?


(that the world prefers to ignore Iran's sensible claims to ITS rights). don't you think that that is bit too much? does it?..... Why would the world be anti-Iranian?

As for the middle east lacking stability, quick googling has revealed to me 3 major ancient identitie: Arab, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew and minor ones( in terms of numbers) Persian is in Iran, Turkish is in Turkey and Arab is in North Africa, Egypt Levant and Iraq.

If those identities have lived side by side for thousands of years- what is the fuss about Arab anti Iraniansim, and that what you claim to be pesian prejudice?

Are there teritorial disputes betwen Iraq and Iran?

Honestly, I do doubt that such poetic poeple like Persians, would ever hold prejudice against anyone...

Best to you

N.G

Naj said...

No-Name:

That's what I said too. The prejudices are at a cultural level and not political! They are like the French prejuidice versus British; silly stuff!

I realy don't know what book to recommend about Iran! But I am surprised you have never known about Iran's heritage before. So, maybe you can teach me on the way as you learn!

Why is the "World" against Iran?
Simple: Geopolitical interests! But the masses are fooled to think those are ideological differences.

The Anti_iranian fuss, well that's what I think what it is FUSS! It is designed and plotted by America's foreign policy to shift the conflict from Arab-Isarel to Iran-Arab: why? to gain political scores in acheiving"Arab-Israeli" peace! While at the same time, keeping a source of tension and engineering a "Virtual fear" of Iran's "GRAVE!!!" threat, so the Arab countries will keep flushing their money into the military industries!

Furthermore, such pressures are designed to economicaly cripple Iran. Do you ever play poker or Chess?! If you do, you will have to look at things in taht logic :)

Anyways, as you read about Iran's complex history, you will come to realize it. I wish I could be of more help, but currently I am running a very tight schedule.

Please explore the comments in my blog; and visit my friends too.

Enjoy and all the best.

Anonymous said...

no-name:

On Iranian Art:

The Golden Age of Persian Art, 1501-1722: 1501-1722 by Sheila R. Canby

and

Islamic Art and Spirituality by Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

These books do not cover the last 2 centuries.

pen Name

Naj said...

Pen,
thanks a lot! I would appreciate if you have time to address No-Name's questions from your perspective!

No Name:
Meet Pen Name! :)

Pen Name and I differ in gender, religious zeal, level of respect for the Iranian authority. But we are among the very few Iranians who in spite of those fundamental differences, agree on a LOT of ther things :)

Anonymous said...

no-name:

The best short book on Iranian history in English that I am aware of is:

The Persians; From the Earliest Days to the Twentieth Century by Alessandro Bausani, Translated from Italian by J. B. Done.

I have not read any general history of Iran in any language recently so there might be better books out there that cover where this book ends (1960).

For a glimpse of the Iranian psyche & character before the Islamic Revolution and the War of Sacred Defense read "Hadji Baba of Isphahan" by James Maurier.

For the importanc of Shia Islam:

- Iran under the Safavids by Savory
- The Mantle of the Prophet: Religion and Politics in Iran by Roy Mottahedeh
- Matthew Arnold on Shia Islam in Iran

pen Name

No-Name said...

Nice meeting you Pen name:)

I have gone through your comments throughout Naj's beautiful blog. oooof, you are an animated encyclopedia! I am not surprised, however. In Belgium there are lots of Moroccans- Brussels is now a Moroccan city, so I have noticed that Muslims in general have good general information and they tend to be prolific in humanitarians, taking into consideration indivdual differences among them. I have ordered the books you recommended.

I have got a job in the French university in the Cairo, so I will be in the middle east In Jan. Certainly, I will make use of my stay there to tour the entire middle east.Hope I would be able to see you in Asfhan or Tehran next summer.

would I be able to enter Iran if I have an Israeli visa on my passport?

Regarding Arab-Persian cultural stand off. I dont think it is just like the French British thing ( both of them are fools). The

Egyptiane blogger Amre- by the way, most Arabs in Belgium have a similar temper, but they usually mean no harm- insists that Persians and Arabs are competing over the south of the Iraq which maks sense after the long Iran-Iraq war. I think I have got what he is trying to say, alhough he refuses to publish my comments on his blog.

I would really appreciate it Pen-Nom if you would fill me in with the way Persians view it. Also which name you think is more representaive of your culture the Iran or Persia?

Perconally, I prefer Persia something is sophisticated and mystcal about that name.

Regards

N.G

Naj said...

N.G.

The name of the modern country is Iran. Persia no longer exists.

The language that Iranians speak, however, has to be called Persian.

But I also think that the name of a country is not representative of its culture. I am not sure if I understand your question correctly.

Iran is the modern continuation of a civilization that was Persian. The correct name of the country is Iran and Iran is a Persian country :)

Naj said...

NG

Egyptiane blogger Amre- by the way, most Arabs in Belgium have a similar temper, but they usually mean no harm-

that "temper" is something an Arabic culture is proud of (because it considers it passionate and invigorating) and something that a Persian traditionalist would very coldly frown upon (because it's visceral, and physical!)

Anonymous said...

no-name:

I have had varied experiences with the Arab people; some were fools, some I liked, and some I was neutral. Mostly I have been able to get along with the Shia of South Lebanon and with Tunisians. I did not like the Persian Gulf Arabs that I met except a young newly married couple almost 30 years ago.

There is no Arab-Iranian cultural stand-off. The Persian poetic forms owe much to classical Arabic poetic forms for example. And in recent times, Iranians have taken to the rhythmic Arab music with its African beat.

Overall, I jsut do not think that we in Iran are actively following the cultural trends of the Arab world. I do not think that very many Iranians are aware the cultural and musical ferment of Cairo. The religious scholars, on the other hand, follow the Sunni Religious developments much more closely than the general population, but, then again, they are specialists and need to do so.

Iran is a divided country culturally; it has religiously oriented intellectuals that are anti-West and it has anti-Religious intellectuals that are culturally Western-oriented. Neither groups really do not trouble themselves with the current Arab culture.

"Persians and Arabs are competing over the south of the Iraq" is another Sunni Arab delusion. For the first time in 500 years it is possible for Iran to have a friendly government in Mesopotamia - we shall not let that chance slip by. And the Southern Iraq is populated by Shia Arabs.

Arabs have a problem with Iran - I am not sure what it is but it is not reciprocated by Iran. We jsut really do not care all that much about Arabs.

The Iranian culture is alive and well in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, and was very strong in Turkey - just read Orhan Pamuk's book "My name is Red". It is a lamentation for the loss of Iranian culture in Turkey when the Turks tried to imitate Europe.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

no-name:

In regards to the name: "Iran" is more representative since Safavids resurrected the idea of Iran after a 900 years.

pen Name

Anna said...

No-Name

I'm glad, that your interest for Iran has awakened. I consider this all the more important, because "the west" knows about this country mostly just by mainstream-media and that is for US-hegemonial purposes just the "informations" about the very heart of the "axis of evil" ... thus false and biased!

But it's true: A passport with israeli-visum is not "welcome".

And when you meet Pen Name, greet him from me :-)

All the best to you and many astonishing discoveries by knowing more about Iran

Naj said...

Pen,

You are right about our indifference to Arabs. To realize how vehemently they canhate us somewhat puzzles/amuses me.

I just want to add t what you said, that the relationship between Iraqi and Iranian shiites is not only in the South and not entirely political.

It is also very religious; Iraq is the pilgrim of shiites, almost off of shiite Imam's are shrined in Iraq!

Many Iranians have a relative who is buried in Iraq (I have my great grandfather, for instance) a lot of Iranians dream of being buried in Karbala; to ask Iranians stay away from Iraq is like asking Italians to keep out of Vatican!

The post-Saddam influence of Iran in Iraq i snot merely political, I see it more as a grass root movement. There is a religious fervor that draws Iran's "practicing" shiites to Iraq and businesses capitalize on that.

Americans cannot be expected to take charge of the pilgrimage economy that owes its vitality to Iranians braving America's bombs and making a journey to Karbala, for instance, right?

And to all this let's add all those Iranian-Iraqians who have roots in both countries and who are for the first time given ability to be a part of the political process in Iraq ...

Iran doesn't need to try hard, this is a natural relationship it is developing with its neighboring country.

Anonymous said...

you were fired with poison gas once. And again you will be, for making the land of your arab masters unclean with your dirty Iranian presence

Naj said...

well well well ... Amre Albino's back :))

Anonymous said...

naj:

You won't get any areguments out of me regarding the Shia of Iraq close relationship to the Shia Iran.

There is also Najaf and the religious scholars over there.


I think that the political & ideological divisions of the last 100 years in our area will disappear in the coming decades since Iran and her neighbours need one another to prosper - and no foreign power living 16,000 kilometers away can dictate poverty to the local populations in pursuit of her own aims.

I expect more economic integration in the coming decades between Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Iraq, Azerbaijan Republic, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkeministan. There is just no other way for us to live productive lives.

God Willing.

pen Name

Naj said...

Pen,
I agree!
And this is exactly why Iran is considered such a "threat" to the western interest! Look at what they are doing in Pakistan now. The pressure they are putting on India's relation with Iran, the threats against Al maliki's cozy relation with Iran, pressure on PAkistan and Afghanistan to call Iran an enemy ...
But, they cannot stp this wave of anti-imperialist movement, unles with shedding much blood, and as the histry has shown, those who shed blood end drowning in it!

Anonymous said...

مطمئن باشند كه آمريكا هيچ غلطى نمى تواند بكند

pen Name

No-Name said...

What is going on Naj? It seems that you got engaged with Amre again. Hope that has got nothing to do with my comments. middle easterners!! you can’t just talk politics without fighting against eachother. Take it easy Naj, a country that has put out magisterial artists like Farid Attar must not waste it creative energies on putting up with temper flares of Arabs.

The way I see it is, that the Holy places of Iranians are found in Iraq, in the meantime, Iraqis seemingly don’t welcome the Iranians, makes things complicated for both parties. Indeed, a very messy situation. Just look at us in Belgium- French and Flemish have their differences, yet we sort them out in a way that makes everybody happy, simply because we give our best interests first priority. Always focus on what brings you together.

Arabs have made peace with Israel, so I can se no reason why they cant be friends with Iran.

Naj said...

No Name,

You are perhaps not very familiar with my style, but I do not appreciate patronizing tones. I am glad you like Attar, but I don't think you are in any position to lump me in a "middle easterners" category or to generalize the middle easterners.

I also don't know where you get your information about "Arabs made peace with Israel" from!

En tout cas, you should keep reading :)

Peace!

Naj said...

No Name,

No I don't engage with Amre. But your comments made me drop by his place to see what new he is propagating against me. He is a clinically ill individual, who suffered rejection, and thus he cannot be taken seriously :)

The amount of hate he dedicates to me is fetishistic! It has nothing to do with the middle east!

I strongly suggest you read my blog before ever again dropping judgemental comments about middle easterners. Or else, I'm bound to dismiss your comments just as Belgian ;) Well I hang out with the Dutch, you know? ;)

Anonymous said...

no-name:

Arabs of Iraq are not uniformly against Iran or the Iranians. The areas around the burial sites of Imam Ali, Imam Hassan, and Imam Hussein are Shia Arab areas. They do not have any animosity towards Iran or the Iranian people. It is mostly the Sunni Arabs of the Levant and the Persian Gulf that have problems with Iran. I think it is a sort of inferiority complex since it is not reciprocated by us. We in Iran are a largely insular Shia Muslims people who wish to be left alone.

I am aware of the Flemish/French divide. It is just that: a linguistic divide that has gotten worse over time, it seems to me.

Do you think the Flemish would be better served if they were part of Holland? Or the French-speakers part of France?

By teh way, the sorting of the differences in Europe took 2 world wars and tens of millions of dead. It is not clear to me that something similar can be avoided in the Middle East.

Also, Israel is still technically at war with the Palestinian Arabs, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and other Arab states. In fact, Israel is at war with Islam.

pen Name

pen Name

No-Name said...

Ohh Naj, you are a very sensitive lady. It is an old cliche that Middle east is very politicsed region- but the way you reponded, only sustains the cliche:)

So you know about the Dutch-Belgian thing? we usually make many jokes in Belgium about the Dutch courage and Dutch sense of humour.


I have one more question for you- did use to know Amre perconally?

Regards

N.G

No-Name said...

Ohh Naj, I was not imagining things when I talked about peace betwe arabs and Israelians, as far as I know that Egypt and Jordan and maybehave both signed peace treaties with Israel.

Regards

N.G

Naj said...

No Name,

:) Yes I am VERY sensitive to patronizing comments. Ask Pen, he'll tell you! ;)

No I don't know Amre. And may I ask you to please divert your attention from Amre and to a more interesting topic :)

Naj said...

No Name,

I still think you are imagining things about Arab-Isaeli peace.

Keep reading! :)

No-Name said...

Dear Pen Name,

During the first half of the 2oth century, the French part was the outlet of Belgian commerce, as it contained the Belgian harbours. Now the Flemish part is richer because of the newly discovered mines!

P.S Flemish are not Dutch!

Naj, I loved the dress of the lady Taxi Driver. It is very different from the way muslim women get dressed in Europe. Indeed, very oriental and enchanting but practical at the same time.

Pen name, is the Egypt-Jordan peace with israel a real one or long truce?

It seems that the three countries are enjoying a peaceful relation. A cold one, however. Some Israelians and Egyptians claim that it is nothing but a long truce. Waiting for your insightful opinion.

Also I want to know a country, aprt of Iran o course where the culture is predominantly Persian.

Regards

N.G

Anonymous said...

no-name:

Technically, Egypt and Jordan are at a formal peace with Israel.

Hamas offered a "hudna" - a long truce which Israel did not accept. I think they should have taken Hamas's offer but Israel is not interested in peace; she is interested in stealing Arab lands and creating facts on the grounds.

I have never heard the phrase "Persian Culture" in Iran - "farhang-e farsi" in the context of cultural discussions. I do not think that "Persian Culture" conveys any information to an Iranian; we talk of Iranian culture, Afghan culture, Tadjik culture, Azerbaijani culture, Turkish culture etc. We normally talk of the Iranian culture whose boundaries are larger than the Iranian state's boundaries.

In European scholarship the phrase "Persian Culture" is utilized to refer to the common elements of the literary, artistic and architectural works created after the Mongol invasions of the 13-century until well into teh 18-th century in the areas between Oxus and Bosphorus.

In that sense, the Persian culture is dominant also in Azerbaijan Republic, in Afghanistan, in Tadjikistan.

It is present in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as Kazakhstan. Not to mention Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iraq.

In Europe, France and the French Culture are similar to Iran and the Iranian (Persian) Culture in the sense that I have discussed above.

pen Name