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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Surpise birthday cake

My students and my colleague in arms on this contract surprised me on my birthday with a cake, party hat and the insistence that we take a break and celebrate the event. It is one of the nicest and most generous birthday surprises I have ever enjoyed. It is typical of the ordinary Iranians as well, they are a generous people who take friendships seriously and welcome guests with a warmth you seldom find elsewhere.

We in the west often have no real information on another people or culture other than the diet of sound bytes we get from the Media who often have the facts wrong or distorted. After all if you want to paint someone as an enemy, you have to make him look backward, evil and scheming. That is the art of propaganda. Yes, the politics here are not like ours, and they are convolluted, confrontational and sometimes just plain difficult. But are our politicians any different? Are't they just as blind, pigheaded and sometimes so ignorant they make us ashamed?

Perhaps we ought to get to know the real people a little better before we judge a nation.

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