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Life In Tehran Vs. Life In New York

Hooman Majd's new book The Ministry Of Guidance Invites You To Not Stay follows his experience as an American going back to live in his home country of Iran. Here are a look at how life is different in each country's major cities.

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New Yorkers may complain about traffic in the city but in Tehran, traffic is almost unbearable during rush hour.

Majd had difficulty transporting his infant son in the unsafe cabs in Tehran and says that he's often seen children sitting on laps or driving cars themselves.


While there may be a Starbucks on every corner in New York City, Raees Coffee strikes a bit of a resemblance.

At home in Iran, Nescafe is the coffee of choice but Majd explains that Iranians are far more selective about their tea.


Organic Produce


Organic produce may be the 'norm' at Whole Foods around New York but the experience in Tehran is a bit different.

Majd explains a conversation with his friend:

""Everything is organic here. Nobody wants to spend the money on pesticides or stuff like that! It's cheaper to let half the crop go bad then to spray it with chemicals." He was half right--some produce, particularly from smaller farms, is indeed "organic" or close enough. But Iranian farmers do also use pesticides, probably some that are banned in the West."



The US has been taken by the helicopter parent phenomenon where parents are highly protective of their children. In Iran, complete strangers will come up to touch and hold children.

Majd talks about having poems handed to him by complete strangers that were inspired by watching his son play in the park. Iranians openly praise and embrace children, even ones they do not know.