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Old 02-09-2013, 10:19 PM
 
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I have interacted with over a dozen young Iranians. ALL of them drink alcohol and many eat pork.
Their girls dress like westerners and behave that way too.

It's quite different from what US media made me believe.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Macao
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Persians/Iranians do seem to be completely and totally different from their Arabic counterparts.

But, I think the gov't is still quite religious-minded and anti-western, even if the younger people don't seem to be.

But, yeah, every Iranian I've ever met (maybe 30 in my lifetime, in separate and uniquely diferent situations) have all been pro-American, like to party, try to pass themselves off as Italian or anything but Iranian, etc.

But, since Iran is so restrictive of people to visit there, it's really hard to say or know how that would be in Iran itself. I've heard that most young Iranian women have private parties where they socially freely with Iranian men, etc. But, outside of those private parties, there are few public places that they'd be as comfortable in while drinking, socialing, etc. like that.

I think Lebanon and UAE are more secular/westernized than Iran though. But, Iranian people seem to wish they were more like Lebanon or somewhere like that. Beirut in Lebanon is kind of party central and and go to the beach in the bikini kind of place. (Or so I've regularly heard anyways).
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Persians/Iranians do seem to be completely and totally different from their Arabic counterparts.

But, I think the gov't is still quite religious-minded and anti-western, even if the younger people don't seem to be.

But, yeah, every Iranian I've ever met (maybe 30 in my lifetime, in separate and uniquely diferent situations) have all been pro-American, like to party, try to pass themselves off as Italian or anything but Iranian, etc.

But, since Iran is so restrictive of people to visit there, it's really hard to say or know how that would be in Iran itself. I've heard that most young Iranian women have private parties where they socially freely with Iranian men, etc. But, outside of those private parties, there are few public places that they'd be as comfortable in while drinking, socialing, etc. like that.

I think Lebanon and UAE are more secular/westernized than Iran though. But, Iranian people seem to wish they were more like Lebanon or somewhere like that. Beirut in Lebanon is kind of party central and and go to the beach in the bikini kind of place. (Or so I've regularly heard anyways).
Yes Lebanon may be different too, because it is religiously diverse.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:32 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
I have interacted with over a dozen young Iranians. ALL of them drink alcohol and many eat pork.
Their girls dress like westerners and behave that way too.

It's quite different from what US media made me believe.
Iran certainly was that way before the revolution, but there's a bit of a selection bias at play. Every Iranian I know is the same way, but these are the upper or upper middle class secular Iranians who don't want to live in Iran and choose to leave. The very orthodox and conservative people, the working class and rural people, are still in Iran so you haven't met them. You're just seeing one slice of Iran's population, the liberal secular urban elite. The Mullahs conservative base often has different values, just like if someone in another country only met wealthy liberals from San Francisco and New York they might not understand the cultural dynamics behind the Republican Party, it's the same way with the Iranians. That said, there is much propaganda and misconceptions about Iran amongst Americans, they tend to view it as a country that's very similar to Afghanistan when of course its a much more modern and sophisticated place with very different social dynamics and ideas.

As for the original question, don't forget that Israel is still a part of the Middle East.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
Is Iran the most secular/westernized country in the middle east (excluding Turkey)?
I'd say that title handily goes to Israel.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:41 AM
 
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You are confusing two very different things here. Iran the country is a theocracy it is one of the most institutionalized religious countries in the world.

Now many of the iranians who have come to places like the US and canada over the last 30 years have done so specifically to get away from that life. So they themselves are often turned off by that religiosity.

There is nothing secular about present day iran though. Some 40+ years ago yes it was a good deal more secular than it's neighbors but not since the revolution.

As for the most secualr country in the middle east it would be Israel among the arab countries i would say maybe jordan or lebannon.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:52 AM
 
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Israel is the most secular and that is equal to Turkey, followed by Lebanon. Iran is a religious state.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:58 AM
 
3,645 posts, read 8,643,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhundred View Post
You are confusing two very different things here. Iran the country is a theocracy it is one of the most institutionalized religious countries in the world.

Now many of the iranians who have come to places like the US and canada over the last 30 years have done so specifically to get away from that life. So they themselves are often turned off by that religiosity.

There is nothing secular about present day iran though. Some 40+ years ago yes it was a good deal more secular than it's neighbors but not since the revolution.

As for the most secualr country in the middle east it would be Israel among the arab countries i would say maybe jordan or lebannon.
Exactly. With many ethnic groups, those that live abroad can be very different from the people who actually live in the country of origin
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:28 AM
 
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I've met only a few Iranians, and they're the liberal ones as well. However, they talk about paying bribes to the religious police while partying in Iran and women changing from black robes to Western-style clothing before landing on the flights from Iran to Turkey. IMHO, Iran, being a populous country, just has a more liberal elite that are more visible outside, while inside Iran, it's not quite Saudi Arabia, but it's not Turkey either. Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Bahrain and the UAE are probably considered more Westernized than present-day Iran, although Iran was very Westernized during the Shah regime. That changed after the Islamic Revolution.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:45 AM
 
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My roommate grew up in rural Iran. His parents are farmers and he has 7 siblings!
Therefore his family background is far from "elite" but he is very smart and was accepted in a PhD program in the US. After finishing study he found a job in the US and obtained a green card.

He has never been back home because he escaped the military service and is subject to penalty.
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