White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Iran Trip

I came back from Tehran a week ago. It was a pleasant and compact trip filled with business and family/friend visits.

As expected the atmosphere was heating up for the election during my visit. My university visits enabled me to observe some aspect of the heat inside the student circles. after a few years of public depression, there was a wave of hope and energy among the people.

I got to visit some of the research and development groups whose works are close to my research. It was impressive to observe the effort that these people are putting into their work. Unlike the general claim that all works in Iran are at superficial and ordinary, I found the contrary in these projects. There was a clear thirst of learning and access to new resources. Also I found some decent level of collaboration among researchers which was better than what I had heard. However it was clear that when it comes to large government resources, things become tricky. Projects and resources are allocated randomly mainly based on connections.

Life clearly is different in Iran. Things are hectic and difficult when it comes to daily operation. There is a strange sense of selfishness and carelessness towards each other and the general public. However there is a lot of funds and unsolved problems and projects. The country, specially the private sector is in clear need of novel ideas.

A pleasant part of the trip was to observe the young, energetic volunteers who had conquered major squares of Tehran with their green campaign materials. Generally I observed that the Iranian regime is showing a a lot of flexibility for running a more open presidential election this time.

Emotions are dense over there. Shouts, screams, tears, laughs, hugs, slaps, fights, lies, kisses are all deeper over there. All these encourages me to take a deeper look at Iran. To understand, is that still a home for me?
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