Friday, 20 March 2009

Another American in Iran - this one has a film crew

Rick Steves is a veteran and popular European travel writer from the USA. He recently toured Iran with a film crew. Here's an interview he did afterwards where he sheds some light on what it's like to be an American in Iran. Asked about his experience he said:

But that's not all. You can listen to 4 hours of radio interviews about travel in Iran, watch a preview of Rick Steves' tour, read his travel journal and see his photo gallery. I think it's good that he's a well-known American and sees his visit helping promote peace and understanding between the two countries.

When I came home after the most learning 12 days of travel I've ever had in my life, I realized this is a proud nation of 70 million people. They are loving parents, motivated by fear for their kids' future and the culture they want to raise their kids in. I had people walk across the street to tell me they don't want their kids to be raised like Britney Spears. They are afraid Western culture will take over their society and their kids will be sex toys, drug addicts and crass materialists. That scares the heck out of less educated, fundamentalist, small-town Iranians, which is the political core of the Islamic Revolution and guys like Ahmadinejad.

Being more on the entertainment side, he does focus on the squat-toilets, no-alcoholic-drinks, everyone-is-in-a-hijab side of things. And he does seem to have spun his visit out into a lot more media than anyone else who's visited Iran recently. Here's a short clip of him talking about his trip, a slightly longer one, a video of a talk he's given and Rick talking about constraints on university life in Iran and finally... nah. That's it.

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