A personal look at life in Iran

Reporter's Notebook

A personal look at life in Iran

The possible influx of investment into Iran may dramatically transform in a few years. But what does life look like in Iran today?

CCTV’s Elmira Jafari recently visited her home country and offers her personal observations on what she saw.

When many people think of Iran, they picture bearded Ayatollahs and Revolutionary Guards with Kalashnikovs, but there are parts of Tehran that look a lot like luxury real estate developments in the heart of Washington, D.C.

I just spent the last month or so back in Iran, a country that held parliamentary elections this year, reached a landmark nuclear deal with some of the world’s most powerful nations and is now adjusting to life with fewer sanctions.

Life in Iran really isn’t too different from anywhere else. Economic challenges exist. Prices for essentials like groceries and gasoline are bit higher and the sanctions took a noticeable toll on several industries. But life for the average person seemed pretty good.

The conversations you hear among people are less about politics than they are about the football match the night before or the latest series that aired on television.

Shopping areas like this one are filled with people. Pop concerts are a new trend among young people, and they’re sold out almost every night.

Tourism is booming. Weekend getaways include camping and hiking in the northern parts of the country like the Mazandran province. Iranians also tour historic cities and villages like Abyaneh (a historic village located in central Iran).

It also might surprise you to learn that young Iranian women are arguably the “fashionistas” of the Middle East. They’re always looking for something glamorous to wear with their hijab.

The tech and e-commerce sectors are growing. There are no signs of a slowdown there. Iran now has its own version of YouTube called Aparat. Iran’s Uber is called Snapp and its answer to Amazon is called Digikala.

These startups are one of the positive side effects of sanctions. They forced local entrepreneurs to think outside of the box and become more economically independent and tech savvy.

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Photos by Elmira Jafari