02/10/06 12:00AM By Steve Zind
While Iran confronts the outside world over its efforts to develop nuclear technology and the strident rhetoric of its President, the people of Iran confront domestic issues like joblessness, poverty, women's rights and freedom of expression. VPR's Steve Zind recently returned to Iran to talk with people about the challenges of daily life there. He brings these issues into focus in "Iran Today", a series of five reports.
One - Making Ends Meet
Poverty and unemployment are taking their toll on every from medical school graduates to those with little education.
Two - Beyond the Veil
Women's lives in Iran defy stereotypes. Women are caught between modernity and tradition, and their rights under Iranian law reflect these paradoxes.
Part Three - The Power of the Word
In Iran writers, especially poets, enjoy pop-star status. Despite the dangers poet Simin Behbehani has used her work to speak out for human rights in Iran.
Four, The Morals Police
The para-military organization known as Basij has attracted an army of devout young men dedicated to fundamentalist Islamic principals. Their job is to prevent "moral corruption" and, if need be, defend Iran from outside forces.
Part Five, Press Freedoms
Domestic problems are widely covered in Iran's newspapers, but there are some "red lines" journalists are warned not to cross. The red lines aren't lines, aren't always clear and many journalists have been jailed or worse.
References on IranOnline Resources:
Tehran Times - English language daily newspaper
Payvand - Roundup of Iran news coverage in world wide media.
Iran Chamber Society - information on art, culture and history
Mage - Listing of links to Web sites with Persian content
Karim Khan Zand - Information from the Iran Chamber
Books on Iran:
- Sandra Mackey, The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation (Plume Books, 1998)
- Elaine Sciolino, Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran (Free Press, 2000)
- Christiane Bird, Neither East Nor West: One Woman's Journey Through the Islamic Republic of Iran (Washington Square Press, 2002)
- John R. Perry, Karim Khan Zand: A History of Iran 1747-1779 (University of Chicago Press, 1979)