12 Most Interesting Non Political Things About Iran
So, some of you may know that we’re Iranian. When you hear Iran or Iranian these days, it’s not often accompanied by good news. It’s something to which we’ve adjusted but it’s never something to which we become accustomed. You see, it’s the land where we were born, it’s the land where we still have many family members and, if you bear with us, you’ll see why it’s a land and a people with which and with whom we still have a passionate love affair.
We decided to put this 12 Most list together to share with you things you may not know about Iran and Iranians.
1. Yeah, we’re the reason why you receive mail at your home
What you may find interesting to learn is that the postal system was an invention of the Persian Empire. We’re not responsible for it’s current state or your customer experience at your local post office, but the notion of a postal system came from us.
2. Happy Hour isn’t possible without us
You know that bottle of Shiraz you adore? The grape came from, you guessed it, the lovely and poetic city of Shiraz. Shiraz is a short distance from Persepolis which was the Persian Empire’s HQ for many years.
3. We’re pretty darn old
We’re one of the world’s oldest civilizations with the first dynasty formed during the Elamite kingdom in 2800 B.C. Iran ranks 7th in the world as per World Heritage Sites recognized by UNESCO.
4. You are all Persian speakers
It’s true. You speak Persian (or Farsi). We’re willing to bet that a large number of you have used the word “paradise” successfully in a sentence which has its origins in Persian. Oh, and if you’ve used “kismet” it’s also a Persian and an Arabic word.
5. Ever heard of a company called E-Bay?
As you know, Pierre Omidyar is the founder of E-Bay. Yeah, he’s Iranian. And so is Christiane Amanpour, Anousheh Ansari, Maz Jobrani and Andre Agassi has Iranian origins too. This is a list of other Iranian-Americans.
6. We never met a party we didn’t like
So, something well known amongst Iranians and friends of Iranians (FOI) is that we love a good party. They start late, end later and typically involve an abundance of delicious food, dancing and singing. We’re an exuberant lot.
7. We have the world’s best caviar
The Caspian Sea produces the world’s finest caviar and while you may have sampled some from the Russian side, it’s that of the Persian side that’s known to be the best. As a child, Amir was able to polish off a 500g can in one sitting. At breakfast.
8. We play hard but we work harder
So, education is a very high priority for us. A recent study showed that 57.2% of Iranian-Americans have a bachelor’s degree or higher versus 24.4% of the U.S. (weighted average). The average per capita income for Iranian-Americans is 50% higher than that of the general U.S. population.
9. Variety is the spice of life
We have multiple ethnicities within Iran with the largest group being the Persians followed by the Azeris. We are also Kurds, Lurs, Arabs, Gilaki/Mazandarani and a host of others… all with our own languages. Parissa’s family hails from the northwestern part of Iran which makes her Azeri.
10. We inspire poets
Both Ralph Waldo Emerson and Wolfgang Von Goethe fell in love with Iran.
11. Do you like to ski?
We’re often (jokingly) asked if we are camel jockeys. Um, no, is the usual answer. And then we offer up that it snows in parts of Iran just as much as it does in Denver. This makes for some pretty excellent skiing as Iran is also quite mountainous.
12. And, yes, we do have carpets
Iran’s second largest export commodity is the famed carpet. They don’t always fly but they are beautiful to look at and they are a physical manifestation of our culture, our love of nature and our inherent romanticism.
What is your favorite new tidbit about Iran? Do you have any additions to our list? Please share!