Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A startling and tragic contrast

| »

Let’s play a game: the Can You Guess When and Where These Photos Were Taken? quiz! Check out these pics, below:

Young adults sitting casually in park
Young adults in era fashion
Cover of ‘Weekly Ettelaat’ magazine, February 1971

So what, you say? Isn’t that just America, or some other Western country, apparently in the midst of the 60s and 70s?

Not exactly. Here’s a little clue: you see that last picture, with the superwoman-looking fashion model? That’s the cover of Weekly Ettelaat magazine, published in February 1971. On it, if you could read Arabic (or whatever dialect that is) Farsi[1], you could note: “Forouzan and the latest fashion; Will people of Tehran approve it?”

For the geographically unenlightened, Tehran is the largest city, and capital, of … Iran.

Let that sink in for a moment. The pictures, the fashion, the way of life only three or four decades ago, before the Islamic Revolution, in a part of the world that has since devolved into such an unmitigated hellhole of hatred, bigotry, violence and oppression – all thanks to religion (and the US’s own self-centered shortsightedness).

I know there are some of you who are probably (or rather, definitely) much more culturally and historically knowledgeable than I am and who either saw through these pics at first glance, or who aren’t really surprised at the exposition, being all learned about that area’s degeneration into what could be called modern-day Dark Ages. But that doesn’t those like me from seeing what used to be, at a time when Iran and the US were virtually culturally identical, as opposed to what has since become, and feeling plainly shocked – and grieved.

Just tragic.

(via Fark)

[1] Thanks to Craig for the correction.