ZAJI Magazine - Premiere 2007 - (Page 43)
Aerial view of Tehran. 7.5 million people inhabit the city. 43 Some the IMAGE © KLAAS LINGBEEK- VAN KRANEN FOR ISTOCKPHOTO. me, whispering among each other, never once taking their eyes oﬀ me. They laugh obnoxiously and get eerily quiet when we pass each other. After a few steps, I hear one of them shout to me in a thick Iranian accent. “I love you Africa, I want to sleep you!” The rest of his cronies fall over themselves laughing. Africa? I turn around in disbelief, and to my horror the culprit grabs his crotch and grins deviously at me. depraved soul even had nerve to yell, “I want your sex.” Thank you George Michael. chance to see that other people exist and do look a little diﬀerent from each other. However, I’ve learned that for people not used to seeing “black people” in real life, up close and personal, it’s a really momentous occasion. Girls like me — Black gurls! How do I explain the elderly women who, when they see me, ﬂee to get a camera from God knows where to take a snapshot of me as if I’m a hit-and-run target. Or how about all of the men who grab my butt or “accidentally” brush against my chest in crowded markets, grinning at me in the process? I have never gone a day in Tehran when I didn’t get asked, “Where from?” or my personal favorite, “Made in where?” by a passing stranger. English is not a common language in Tehran; a very small part of the population speaks it at all. I’m Africa, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley — whatever English word anyone knows to get my attention. Some depraved soul even had the nerve to yell, “I want your sex.” Thank you George Michael. However, young men are the worst. They come up with the most lewd comments and behavior. A lot of them walk uncomfortably close to me on a wide, empty sidewalk just to brush up against me and whisper something I assume is inappropriate in OH MY GOD, WELCOME TO TEHRAN Tehran, a place I’ve actually called home for three years. It’s a place of so many contradictions. On one end, I’m the dark chocolate lost in a sea of caramel. On the other, I’m in a place with so much ancient history that it’s ridiculous. It’s modern and old all at the same time. But no matter how much time I spend here, I’ve had to get used to walking out in public and not failing to hear at least half a dozen comments, lewd or otherwise directed toward me. The common denominator in all my “encounters” has been the color of my skin. And I am not the only one. Many of my fellow African girlfriends go through the same thing every time they go out in Iran. In this day and age of Internet, cable and satellite, I would think that everyone on the planet has been awarded the PROPAGANDA MACHINE
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ZAJI Magazine - Premiere 2007
Editor's Letter: The Mesmerizing Allure of the Middle East!
Sound Tracks: Artists We Like and Our Fave Albums.
Fashion Peeps: Peace in the Middle East?
Jet Setter: What More Can a ZAJI Girl Ask for Then a ‘Shopaholics Guide’ to Dubai.
Obsessions: Explore the Seductive World of Belly Dancing.
Fashion: See What The Middle East’s Cutting Edge Couture Has to Offer.
Cover Story: Introducing Miri Ben-Ari, the Hip Hop Violinist.
Propaganda Macine: ‘Black Gurls in Iran.’ Find Out What It’s Like to Live in Tehran.
Postcards: A Memoir to ‘X mas in Istanbul’ — Turkey’s Mesmerizing and Romantic Capital!
Party Girl: For Some Great Nightlife, Check Out Our Favorite Clubs in Los Angeles, Istanbul and Dubai.
Shopping List: Where Did She Get That?
Guilty Pleasures: What’s in ‘The Art of Seduction’. Do You Really Want to Know? We Have the Answer.
ZAJI Magazine - Premiere 2007