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Persian Architect

Architecture. Art. Literature

Monday, May 29, 2006

The caricature

The compound where I live in consists of 100 villas which are positioned around an artificial lake . There are about 40 to 50 different nationalities which accordingly, have different religions and languages. During the time that I have been living here, never once have I seen a residence to disrespect others for having a different nationality or for that matter a different kind of personal life. Sitting in front of the window, one can see and visually experience all kinds of different colors and contrasts harmoniously and peacefully co-exist.

We Iranians, regardless of our ethnic backgrounds, have somehow managed to live together for thousands of years in a larger compound we call Iran. So I ask myself, why is it that a single caricature is able to provoke the feelings of so many?
When I saw the caricature I was not offended (I am half Azari), on the contrary I found it rather funny. It does not matter if I was offended or not, for seemingly many have taken offence, but is it because of the caricature itself or the problem lies elsewhere?

There are many views such as exploitation of minorities by unknown enemies or the government having a hand in the recent situation. The mistreating of the minorities in Iran is an undeniable fact, but on the other hand has the majority itself been treated any differently than the minorities?
I believe the caricature was the gateway or an opening for many to express their feelings of anger and mistreatment and to ask for their rightful place in the Iranian society.
One thing which I truly feel is missing in the Iranian socity is a shared Iranian identity, which needs to be explored by our intellectuals. Finally, I believe that the beauty of Iran lies in its vast and colorful cultural background which takes inspiration from its different ethnical groups.


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