It wasn’t that long ago when the both of us were introduced to each other through a mutual friend. We connected through our passion for writing only to realize we have so much more in common. We were both representatives of a very small number of Iranian female bloggers who write in English and were both fond of traveling. For some reason we connected instantly even though we had actually never met in person. The more we talked the more links we found. We had both gone through similar lives. We had experienced life abroad, not only as adults but as children. We had faced the struggles, the language barrier, the loss of friends, the change of schools and the many cultural shocks. Everything that is now a part of who we are. But above all we shared a concern for women. Something that lead us to this project:
Matin: I’ve always admired the women of my country. The more I travelled, and the more women of many nations I encountered, I admired them more. In a world where equal opportunities for genders is still on debate and America is contemplating over Trump or their first female president, there’s only so much you could expect from the Middle East. But women in Iran have gone through so much and looking around me, I think they’re doing pretty damn well.
Niloufar: To me the topic of women and feminism became important when I realized that it actually is a topic. I grew up with a father who considered any discrimination against the female gender as invalid and would ask me “what do you want to do with your life” and if “to become president” was an answer he would simply respond by “ok, let’s do this. I’m right behind you.” As I got older I realized this unfortunately wasn’t the case in every household and moving to England and then Germany, allowed me to meet, befriend and converse with women of different cultures, strengthening my appreciation for the broadmindedness of my parents. However, I’d have to agree with Matin when it comes to how far women in Iran have come and how much respect they deserve. I would say I’m humbled and proud at the same time.
Matin: I’ve been focusing my blog on the theme of travel and I’m determined to keep it that way. But talking to Niloufar made me realize that people do not only know nothing about my country but they have almost no clue of me as an Iranian woman. The way we think, how we live, what we do, or who we really are. We Iranian women have also been overshadowed by the politics. People assume we are either pro-government and super religious or the complete opposite. The average Iranian that makes up pretty much the most of us is invisible to the world.
Niloufar: my blog has always focused on my cultural observations while traveling through Europe. Living in Germany and later marrying a German-Spaniard has given me the opportunity to not only have an in-depth experience of the the culture I am living in, but also surprise myself with the aspects of my own culture that had managed to sneak away from my critical eyes; most of those related to the topic of gender.
So we thought we’d like to become a voice. It’s certainly going to be a very personal one. Just we tend to share our own perspective of life and travel. We want to avoid generalization or to assume we represent the majority of Iranian girls. We don’t want to get into politics or anything related to that. We just want to talk about normal things. Our struggles, achievements, limitations and concerns. We’re not necessarily going to come with a feministic approach, but we thought we owe it to ourselves to use our platforms for a better cause.
So here we are; introducing a new series of posts written by the both of us, which will be shared on our websites. This is just the beginning. We’ll be continuing our series on specific subjects for each post. We’d love you to help us out. Shoot us your questions, your doubt. Tell us about the things you don’t know or you think you know and get involved. We’re looking forward to expand this project to as big as it can get. So if you’re an Iranian with concerned about social issues, or a foreigner interested in knowing what really crosses the mind of women in Iran, we’d appreciate the extra help. Express your opinion, share your thoughts and let us exchange an idea of two.
Matin & Niloufar
Check out Niloufar’s blog for more travel stories and cultural observations.