Oil is a contradictory experience to those who live in its spaces of extraction and refinement, as the modernity, cosmopolitanism, and progress it symbolizes can be fleeting. This piece is the third part in a series exploring how the southwestern city of Abadan is imagined in Iran today.
There was a time when the southwestern Iranian city of Abadan drew in immigrants from all over the world, and when its place as an oil city and harbinger of modernity seemed unmatched in the region. Today these memories often obscure the price paid for the construction of this cosmopolitan entrepôt. This piece is the second part in a series exploring how Abadan is imagined in Iran today.
The southwestern city of Abadan has an almost mythical status in Iranian historical consciousness, as the town’s past as a cosmopolitan oil city remains a focus of national nostalgia. This piece is the first part in a series exploring how Abadan is imagined in Iran today.
How could cultures not mix? Walking and cabbing through Ahvaz, I could not help but feel like I left Iran and had entered the kind of place people envision when they think of the predominantly Arab states of the southern Persian Gulf; complete with men wearing Arabic dishdasha (white robes) and families eating at roadside falafel stands. Even listening closely while walking in the streets, you hear Arabs and Persians conversing, living, and working alongside of each other.
برای ترجمهی فارسی اینجا کلیک کنید A friend recently shared two anecdotes from his trip to Iran with me that deal with race and skin color in the Iranian context.…