"To Live in Tehran You Have to Lie": Revealing Hidden Lives in Iran
Iranians have an inside, private life and an outside, public life—and nearly everybody lives by these rules.
Emmy Award-winning journalist Ramita Navai left the city of her birth at the age of six to live in Britain. But she never forgot Tehran's magnetic pull. Returning there as a foreign correspondent, in 2003, she discovered a society bubbling with change and excitement.
Traveling up and down Tehran's main street, Vali Asr, she heard the stories of ordinary Iranians forced to live extraordinary lives: a mullah and a prostitute; a student blogger; a porn star; and a devout admirer of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini. The result is a frank, startling, sometimes shocking glimpse inside the Iran outsiders never see.
Here she talks about lying for survival and sex as an act of rebellion; why she loves surfing Find-A-Fatwa websites,