Saturday, December 09, 2006


I was the one! I have been there, inside Iran, the real Iran, the Iran that Washington does not know, the Iran that CIA hasn’t had any access to for more than thirty years, the Iran that almost no westerner, not even Thomas! has yet discovered. And so, of course the question, the thing that you all want to know, yeah, even you, Thomas, is: How was it? How is it? What is the truth about Iran? Does Iran really have those hidden weapons, that potential danger to the rest of the world and especially the Western civilisation? Is it as president Bush says “a real threat”, or is all it just a game, a game between what is visible and what is invisible, hidden under the red desert dust, hidden behind the black and the coloured scarfs? Is there really something in the behind, something special, something that no one but the Iranians possess, something so strong that it might be the end of your Freedom? Nobody knows but I. I know. I am the one. I have been there, and ... no! I am not gonna tell you, not now ... maybe tomorrow, maybe ... never ...

- I can’t believe it, he hissed, his face still covered under that white sheet, - I just can’t believe it, that it should be you, Nielsen, and not me. I just can’t believe it! Off course he is envious, desperate! He even called in our long-since-fired interpreter, Jaleh. - I want to meet a girl! he said pacing from one end of the apartment to the other, hands on his back, like an ambassador, - I want to meet a girl! She mentioned a few names, - and then there is Pavaneh, she said. - Pavaneh! he cried out and stood still as a statue in the middle of the room, - I love her! I want to meet her! Call her! Now! he cried. And so Jaleh called her and set up a date, and the entire afternoon he was ecstatic, - Pavaneh! he sighed as we sat in the taxi on our way to Vale Asr to meet her at 8 on restaurant BiBi, - Pavaneh, he cried, - my Iranian woman! But as soon as he sat down and she was there, flesh and blood and right in front of him, she was exactly the one she was, particular, real, and no longer the ideal Pavaneh that he had in his mind, and so in the end he had to close his eyes, cause THE IDEAL IS THE ONLY THING THOMAS WANTS TO TOUCH! - Ud! he whispered, - it is time we get out of here! TO THE MOUNTAINS!


Blogger Leif said...

Hi Thomas and Bob, thank you for your reports, blogs, articles in Weekendavisen etc. It has been some of the most inspiring and precise 'ethnografic art' I have sofar read from and about Iran. You have captured the atmosphere, the warmheartedness, the selfishness, the paranoia, the anxiety, the beauty and the eternal paradoxes of the country and its people perfectly. I myself - a Dane as you - have studied and lived in Iran both as anthropologist and journalist, and in my opinion you couldn´t have described Iran any better than you just did. The iranian are proud of their history but hate their present, they want change, but work for themselves - why become yet another martyre? Nowhere have I met more hospitality and nowhere have I met more 'illuminated depression' amongst the people. There is an implosion going on - not an explosion as the US and others hope for. Why fight against the priests if you can fight for your family and just make a living? You, Thomas, Bob (Claus?), have managed to capture the 'spirit of Iran' and you have avoided the pitfall that all journalists fall into; ie. ony talking with the young, westernoriented students of northern Tehran.
Once again thank you.
Leif (

12:01 PM  

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