Hi! My name is Carlos Batiz, I was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco. And I am very interested in economic problems around the world, that is one of the main reasons why I was interested in Iran, because despite all of the problems in the country, their economy still manages to keep up with other countries in the Middle East.
Hi! My name es Cecilia Durán, I´m nineteen years old, and I´m a dance major student from Mexico. I´m really interested in culture, what people from this cultures believe, how they live, their customs and traditions and their history. I´m particullarly interested in Iran´s culture because of their history and how their beliefs have built through it. One of the most ancient and rich civilizations was born here, and since then, many art expresions, worldviews, beliefs and stories have took place here. And this, this art expresions and all of the aspects I´ve point out before, have intriged me since long time ago, I found them amazing and misterious, they fill this place, even now, with this “magic air” that makes this culture even now, in the actuallity, really interesting, and even more, since now a days this is a point of attention while talking about “things that are happening on our times”.
LET´S TALK ABOUT IRAN!
Iran, known as Persia until 1935, is located in the Middle East between Iraq and Pakistan. Iran borders the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Iran covers a total area of 1, 648, 195 sq km, 1, 531, 595 sq km land and 116, 600 sq km wáter. According to the CIA´s World Factbook (1981), that´s 2.5 times the size of Texas and slilghtly smaller than the size of Alazka. It´s location makes Iran´s country rich in natural resources such as petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc and sulfur.
Iran became an Islamic Republic in 1979. It´s population is concentrated in the north, northwest and west, reflecting the position of the zagros and Elburz mountains. This is because, as the CIA´s World Factbook says (1981), there are vast dry áreas in the center and estearn parts of the country. Around the deserts of the Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut, have a much smaller population density. This country has a population of 82, 801, 633 inhabitants. There are ethnic groups such as Persian, Azeri, Kira, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen and Turkic Tribes. The oficial religión is Muslim and the oficial language is Persian. The government type is a theocratic republic, and the country´s capital is Tehran.
When talking about Iran´s economy, we are talking about reliance on oil, but also the agricultural, industrial and service sector are main economic activities in Iran. As the CIA´s World Factbook (1981) points out:
Iran’s economy is marked by statist policies, inefficiencies, and reliance on oil and gas exports, but Iran also possesses significant agricultural, industrial, and service sectors. The Iranian government directly owns and operates hundreds of state-owned enterprises and indirectly controls many companies affiliated with the country’s security forces.
The CIA´s World Factbook (1981) also tells that “Private sector activity includes small-scale workshops, farming, some manufacturing, and services, in addition to medium-scale construction, cement production, mining, and metalworking. Significant informal market activity flourishes and corruption is widespread”. There´s a figure of 24.8% of unemployment, 21% in males and 42.8% in females (2014 est.). The Islamic republic of Iran posses a GDP of 425326 million current US dollars (2014 est.), and the GDP per capita is 5442.9 current US dollars (2014 est.).
Though the oficial language of the country is Persian, as there are various ethnic groups and co-cultures living in this territory (they where mentioned above), there are different other languages that are also spoken. For example, the Azeri Turkic and Turkic dialects, the Kurdish, Gilaki and Mazandarani, Luki, Balochi and Arabic mainly. The muslim religion is the oficial religion, with 99.4% of the population belonging to this religion (90-95% Shia and 5-10% Sunni), but there is a figure of 0.3% belonging to Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian religion and 0.4% that are not really specified (2011 est.). As Photius points out from the Library of the congress (1987) Iranians have a stron sense of class structure. They used to devide into upper clases, middles clases and lower clases. Then, under the influence od the revolutionary ideology they start dividing themselves into the “wealthy”, the middle clases and the “disinherited”. In adition to this, each of the three borad clases is subdivided into several social groups. These divisions exist in both urban and rural áreas.
Iran expends 2.9% of it´s Gross Domestic Product (fact retrieved in 2015 by the CIA´s World Factbook) on education. In literacy aspects, 86.9% of the total population knows how to read and write, 91.2% in the male population and 82.5% in female population (2015 est.). From age 15 and over, knows how to read and write. The school life expentancy is in both, male and female, of 15 years (2014 est.)
- Family configuration
In Iran they tend to have extended marriages “Polygyny in Iran is regulated by Islamic custom, which permits a man to have as many as four wives simultaneously, provided that he treats them equally. After the Revolution, the republican government abolished the secular codes relating to marriage and decreed polygyny acceptable as long as such marriages were in accordance with Shia religious law.” (Metz, 1987)
- Family Practices
According to Metz (1987), business operations have continued to be family affairs; most of the times government loans are given to people that were recognized as members of good families.
According to Price (1987), Patriarchy is a practice that has prevailed for a long time and it is due to the ancient Islamic codes. This type of practice controls female appearance and mobility. This practice has been portrayed in the Persian literature, sayings, values, religion, etc. In this system the husband has the control of their wives and their children and in the absence of a father, the control is given to another male in the family.
- Economic organization
“Iran is the second largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after Saudi Arabia, with an estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015 of US$393.7 billion. It also has the second largest population of the region after Egypt, with an estimated 78.8 million people in 2015. Iran’s economy is characterized by the hydrocarbon sector, agriculture and services sectors, and a noticeable state presence in manufacturing and financial services. Iran ranks second in the world in natural gas reserves and fourth in proven crude oil reserves. Economic activity and government revenues still depend to a large extent on oil revenues and therefore remain volatile.” (World Bank, 2016)
- Age grouping
In iran almost two thirds of the population is below the age of 30.
Age structure: 0-14 years: 23.65% (male 10,037,814/female 9,546,710)
15-24 years: 16.57% (male 7,041,801/female 6,675,656)
25-54 years: 47.59% (male 20,085,331/female 19,319,933)
55-64 years: 6.79% (male 2,770,618/female 2,855,362)
65 years and over: 5.4% (male 2,052,541/female 2,415,867) (2016 est.)
(CIA World Fact Book, 2016)
- Social Skills
“Literature study shows that the development of social skills relationships and problem behaviors often differ by gender, starting at early age. While girls are more likely to possess higher social skills and academic competence, boys have often more problem behaviors (Grasham & Elliot, 1990; Lioyd & Smith, 1986; Benenson, 1996; Roberts & Strayer, 1996; Nemeth, 1999; Taylor, Liang, Tracy, Williams & Seigle, 2002; Huaqing & Kaiser, 2003, Keane & Calkins, 2004, Margets, 2005)”
- Gender Roles
The gender roles in Iran have changed a lot since the Iranian Revolution, women now are able to do a lot of things that they were not allowed to. For example: the enrollment of women in university have been increasing and also the number of women in civil service. Now a days there are some women in the Iranian Parliament “As the role of women advanced due to the rise of more thn 80% of women accepted into universities and higher education institutions, the percentage amongst men fell during the same period by more than 38%.Thus, the Iranian Revolution allowed the majority of women in Iran to become more successful than men in the media field because of the special characteristics of their gender such as emotional and artistic traits. Yet because of the laws based on gender discrimination, not all women were able to escape being treated as second-class citizens” (Ali et al. ,2013)
We want to leave something to think about for the next blog. While talking about Edward Hall´s concept of the culture as an iceberg, and applying it to Iran´s culture, we can think of elements that are above such as the Islamic religion, the wars and their language, also the way women are seen in this culture. Thinking of the elements that are bellow we can think of the Iranian philosophy, the diversity as a result of migration and conques, and their history, religious disputes and the population living in conflict.
Iran structure of society (1987). Retrieved fromhttp://www.photius.com/countries/iran/society/iran_society_structure_of_society.htm
The world factbook. (1981). Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html
Country profile Iran (Islamic Republic of) (2014) Retrieved from http://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crName=Iran%20(Islamic%20Republic%20of)
The world bank (2016) . Iran in the world today. Retrieved fromhttp://www.worldbank.org/en/country/iran/overview
CIA world fact book (2016) . Iran age structure. Retrieved fromhttp://www.indexmundi.com/iran/age_structure.html
Metz, H. (1987) . Iran: A country study. Retrieved from http://countrystudies.us/iran/
Ali, A. , Amjadi, M. , Kar, M. , Lewis, J. (2013). Gender roles in Iran. Retrieved fromhttp://coolpeopleswebquest.weebly.com/gender-roles-in-iran.html
Price, M. (2017). Patriarchy and parental control in Iran. Retrieved fromhttp://www.iranchamber.com/society/articles/patriarchy_parental_control.php
Retrieved from a little Google Research. As Austin Kleon (2012) says, “Use Google brother”. Don´t make a question before google-ing it. (19).
WE SHOULD CHECK OUT THIS FILM