Tehran, Iran

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This documentary follows the first-time journey of an Australian journalist to Tehran. He arrives with a mindset influenced by certain propagandas. However, he gets surprised to see the realities of life in Tehran, its beauties, peoples’ liveliness and Iran’s industrial and scientific progress. He visits various places and sites such as Tehran’s gold and carpet bazaars, a holy shrine, different Persian restaurants and the renowned Sharif University of Technology. He attends an operation room and gets a firsthand experience of advanced surgical technologies in the city. He also pays a visit to Tehran’s Golestan Palace and the city’s Museum of Contemporary Arts.


Part 1


I have always been fascinated by the rhythms of culture, and the more ancient a culture is the more it tends to fascinates me.

The Persian civilization is by far the oldest in the Middle East.

And having lived and worked in the region, for several years, my ambition grew to see the land that spawned history’s first real multinational empire, some years ago.

The contrast with my own country, Australia, could hardly be any greater.

For me as a journalist, the opportunity to visit and film in Tehran, is one that I just couldn’t pass up.

Tehran is of course the capital of Iran, one of the world’s oldest countries, one in which, in modern times has seen its fair share of controversy.

But I wanted to make a film about Tehran as it is, the tension between tradition and modernity ,and all the other aspects of this huge metropolis.

My tour guide is Zahra; we arranged to meet in the hotel where I’ll be staying.

Mandana: Thank you very much, thank you.

Doorman: Please come

Mandana thank you

lady: Good morning Sir.

Mandana: Hi, good morning

lady: Very welcome

Mandana: Thank you

Lady: Your tour guide is waiting for you.

Mandana: Alright, fantastic

Zahra: Hi

Mandana: Hi, how are you?

Zahra Thank you, you must be Matt!

Mandana: I’m Matt, yes.

Zahra: I’m Zahra

Mandana: Zahra, nice to meet you.

Zahra: I’m going to be your tour guide for your tour

Zahra: So shall we go and do the….

Mandana: Check in?

Zahra: Yes check in.

Mandana: ok yes, sure fantastic.

Mandana: Good morning, how are you?

Reception: Welcome to the hotel

Mandana: Thank you very much

Reception: Thank you. May I have your ID card please?

Mandana: Oh sure mmm..

Reception: Thank you sir, Mr. Fraizer?

Mandana: Yes, yes

Reception: Do you have a reservation?

Mandana: hmmm

Zahra: we had a reservation for three nights

Mandana: Right

Reception: yes, This is your register card


Reception: I just need your signature here please

Mandana: Oh ok, no problem

Reception: Do you have any luggage with you?

Mandana: Yes just this one bag

Reception: Ok then I will ask my colleague to take care of it.

Mandana: ok

Reception: Mr. Darvichlou…

Reception: I hope you have a good stay with us

Mandana: Thank you very much, cheers.

Zahra: Thank you sir.

Reception: My pleasure

Mandana: Hi, good day ,thank you thank you

Mandana: Alright

Zahra: So, are you going to change?

Mandana: Yes, I’ll go up and have a wash and get changed and come back down in ten minutes!

Zahra: Take your time

Mandana: Ok

Zahra: I’ll wait here for you

Mandana: Alright, cheers, thank you.

Zahra: See you

Mandana: Thank you

(Man): This way

Mandana: Thank you

Mandana: Okay

Zahra: Matt

Mandana: Oh, hi

Zahra: How do you feel?

Mandana: very good thanks Thanks for waiting

Zahra:It’s ok. Shall we have a chat about the itinerary?

Mandana: Yea, yea sure

Zahra: Ok

Mandana: Sounds good, awesome

O5Zahra: You were saying that you are going to make a documentary about…?

Mandana: mm well I’d like to see Tehran as it is now, and not concentrate on perhaps things that western media has already been exposed to, but I’d like to see, you know what it is, what everyday life and modern and traditional parts of Tehran , you know , I want to see people at work, I want to see them you know, at rest in mosque, umm…. And you know, I want to scout for locations for making perhaps, further more in depth documentary about different topics.

Zahra: Great

Mandana: Yes, yes

Zahra: So I chose some places, have a look and if you want to add anywhere just tell me, and we can change the places if we can, so…

Zahra: I chose a University, Bazar, some modern malls….

Mandana: Yep

Zahra: A Hospital

Mandana: Yep

Zahra: We can go to Bazar and talk to different people working in different jobs

Mandana: Yep, which is this place?

Zahra: It’s a square in north of Tehran we have Imam_Zade Saleh there

Mandana: ahh..

Zahra: We could go to Darband, the mountain side after that.

Mandana: Yes, so what’s first?

Zahra: I chose Bazar for today , this morning, I thought it would be a good place to go and talk to different people with different professions.

Mandana: Yep, yep

Zahra: So you can get an idea about Tehran and the Bazar

Mandana: Ok

Zahra: And so, is it ok?

Mandana: Yes, yes excellent

Zahra: ok, Great


Throughout its 0 years history, Tehran’s traditional Bazar has played a major role in the nation’s economy and politics.

Despite being the capital, Tehran is in fact one of Iran’s newest cities, and in the th century the urban area built up from around this central location.

Today it remains an important economic center

Other than the traditional atmosphere and the beautiful architecture you can find practically anything here.

Persian carpets are famous throughout the world.

Walking through Tehran’s carpet bazar, among the thousands of hand-woven pieces, was a real sensory overload.

The image of these carpet paintings are woven from some of the most famous Iranian and non –Iranian artists.

Just seeing them and touching them was a kind of unique experience.

The effort and the hours of labor that goes into their production is really something.

Mandana: yes, they are alright

Mandana: This one

Zahra: Each one according to the color and the design has a different name.

Mandana: Wow, would you like to look at these ones?

Zahra: yes, great

Mandana: yes,Well I’ve never seen such things before mmm …. What are they made out of? What is the story here?

Zahra: They are made of silk and wool, the places that are shiny are silk, and there is two different ways of Making them, one is that the roots are from silk and the knots are from wool and the other one is that the roots are from wool and the knots are from silk.

Zahra: In these ones the root is from silk

Mandana: yes, yes

Zahra: and its very sharp

Mandana: The shiny bits are from silk

Zahra: Yes

Mandana :This is the last supper!

Zahra: Here they have Iranian an European designs for the carpets. These as you can see are Iranian and the original design was painted by Master. Farshchian.

Mandana:Okay so these are copies of famous paintings?

Zahra: Yes

Mandana: Oh ok

Zahra: And Farshchian has his own style

Mandana: Alright

Zahra: he is known for his own style They say Farshchian’s style

Mandana: That is very distinctive, so much movement and everything, yeah its defiantly unique

Zahra: That one, is an Achaemenian king

Mandana: right

Zahra: and his wife Mandana

Mandana: Is that Cyrus the Great or..?

Zahra: Yes Cyrus the Great.

Zahra:Its king Solomon

Mandana: Oh right

Zahra: that one is very popular

Mandana: Yea, that one looks amazing can I ask how much would you sell this for?

Zahra: now, today’s price it’s about five thousand dollars.

Student:Now it’s about five years that we have started this collage

Mandana: Ok

Student:And we are very successful

Mandana: Really?

Student:And we call this collage

Mandana: Yes, collage

Student:Its different parts of Persian carpets, and we join them to each other, these are the fragment of old carpet, very old carpets

Mandana: Very old carpets

Student:Very old carpets, that maybe during the time of maybe years, 0 years, some is years.

Mandana: Really? So old?

Mandana: And you were saying before about exhibiting it overseas, how much would you be able to sell such a piece for?

Student:last year we participated in an international fair Domotex in Hanover, in that fair we sold every square meter euros.

Mandana: Euros per square meter?

Student:yes per square meter

Student:in this carpet there are about pieces

Mandana: different pieces?

Student: different pieces

Mandana: yes

Student:from all over Iran

Mandana: yes

Student:from north, from west, from Kashan, from Shiraz, from Tabriz

Zahra: which one is from Tabriz and which one is from Kashan?

Student:this one from Tabriz, this one from Kashan, this one from Shiraz

Mandana: hmmm

Student:that one from Mahal

Student:we color them by the color of the year

Student:every part is different

Mandana: yep

Zahra: from a different place from a different house

Mandana: yep

Zahra: with a different history

Zahra: this is the gold market, this is the place where bride and groom traditionally come to buy their gold

Mandana: and which kind of rings do they typically buy, because there is many different types here.

Zahra: mainly they use the set ones, over there

Mandana: these two there, exactly the same

Zahra: yes

Mandana: ok

Mandana: and they all look quite feminine, is there anything for men? these ones look as if they are all for women!

Zahra: I think those chains look like they are for men

Mandana: ok

Zahra: you can try them on if you want.

Mandana: okay

Mandana: these silver ones over here?

Zahra: yes, they are white gold

Mandana: oh white gold, okay let’s try them on yes

Zahra: do you want to try it on?

Mandana: yes, yes let’s have a look to see how it looks like

Student:you can look in the mirror

Mandana: what do you think?

Zahra: it looks nice

Mandana: it looks nice? Really?

Zahra: do you want to take it?

Mandana: is it quite popular here?

Student:yes this style is very popular among men

Mandana: how much would it cost? Roughly?

S): ok, let me count it for you.

Student:if I want to convert it to us dollars its around us dollars per gram

Mandana: us dollars per gram? and how many grams is it?


Student:it’s around dollars

Mandana: okay, Is there a chance of any discount perhaps?

Student:yes of course, I give you some discount, don’t worry

Mandana: okay

Student:mmm, okay with discount I can give you dollars

Mandana: I think that it would be a good investment, I’ll take it


Mandana: okay

Student:so you pay by cash or card?

Mandana: mmm..

Zahra: I’m going to pay by my debit card because in Iran it’s a custom, because we only have national debit cards, so I have to pay

Mandana: okay

Mandana: and I’ll pay you back at the end of the trip

Zahra: yes, exactly

Student:so I’m going to convert it back to our money it’s around million Rials

Mandana: okay


Mandana: yeah

Student:can you please enter your pin number?

Student:ok, and here is your receipt. thank you for shopping here, and I hope you enjoy your stay in Iran

Mandana: cheers, thank you very much


Mandana: thank you, thank you very much

Zahra: ok, this is where you are going to have lunch, I wouldn’t be able to join you but do you need any help?

Mandana: no, no I’ll be fine

Zahra: ok, great, but whenever you are finished with your lunch just call me, then I will come and pick you up so we can continue with our tour

Mandana: ok, no problem

Zahra: enjoy your lunch

Mandana: ok bye bye

Zahra: bye

Mandana: hello, hello

Mandana: can I please have this one,

Mandana: the Khayam Special lamb Kabab please

Mandana: thank you

Mandana: ok, thank you very much. Looks fantastic

Mandana: so this is what you guys call an Imam zadeh

Zahra: yes

Mandana: and what is this? I’ve heard this term. What is the difference between one of these and just a regular mosque?

Zahra: Imam Zadeh means, the son or the grandson of one of our Imams

Mandana: okay

Zahra: and this is Imam Zadeh Zeyd. He was the son of imam Sajad, our forth Imam

Mandana:so the son of the Imam is actually buried in this area?

Zahra: yes, yes e he is buried here

Zahra: this is the men’s entrance

Mandana: the entrance is here? Ok fantastic

Zahra: yea

Mandana: ok fantastic, alright

Zahra: see you

Mandana: thanks, bye


The space of an Imam zadeh as a place of worship and reflection is created by a mixture of intriguing beauty, and calmness.

This particular architectural style especially the mirror work is typical of Iran and can be seen all over the country

After visiting Imam zadeh zeyd I went to Si-e-Tit avenue where there are gathering places of some of Iran’s other religions

Armenian Orthodox and Catholic churches, a Jewish Synagogue, and a Zoroastrian temple.

Part two


I have always been fascinated by the rhythms of culture, and the more ancient a culture is the more it fascinates me.

The Persian civilization is by far the oldest in the Middle East.

And after living and working in the region for several years, my ambition grew to see the land that spawned history’s first real multinational empire some years ago.

The contrast with my own country, Australia, could hardly be any greater.

For me as a journalist, the opportunity to visit and film in Tehran is one that I just couldn’t pass up.

Tehran is of course the capital of Iran, one of the world’s oldest countries, one in which in modern times has seen its fair share of controversy.

But I wanted to make a film about Tehran as it is, the tension between tradition and modernity and the other aspects of this huge metropolis.

In part one of the documentary we saw Tehran’s old Bazar, the Carpet and Gold market, and Imam Zadeh Zeyd. We also got to see Si-e-Tir Avenue, home to various Churches and temples of Iran’s minority religions. Now we can continue with our tour of Tehran heading to the country’s National Museum.

Zahra: you know this building was built around years ago

Mandana: okay

Zahra: it was designed by a French architect called Andre Godar

Mandana: okay

Zahra: yes, and he also designed Hafez and Sadi’s shrine

Mandana: oh in Shiraz?

Zahra: in Shiraz, yes.

Mandana: oh ok

Mandana: and this is, kind of Iranian style architecture?

Zahra: yes

Zahra: in this section we have some pieces going further back to the pre-historic time, stone age.

Mandana:yea, these are like tools

Zahra:yes, like they used these stones instead of knives

Mandana: ok, yes

Zahra: and we have some bones from that time from the animals and the humans

Mandana: okay and are these found all over Iran or more in…

Zahra: yes all over Iran, and we have some pottery here that belongs to 5 thousand 6 thousand years ago.

Mandana: wow, that’s incredible

Zahra: this piece is very interesting

Mandana: aha

Zahra: because it could be the first piece that shows animation

Mandana: oh okay

Zahra:it shows five different stages of a goat going to a tree so it could be the first animation in the world

Mandana: oh so it shows upegration of five different scenes

Zahra:yes the goat is standing, jumping, going to the tree and eating from the tree

Mandana: ah right

Zahra: yea

Mandana: right, right could be the oldest existing cartoon

Zahra: yes, it could be, yes

Mandana: it’s a huge wheel

Zahra: you know the oldest chariot wheel was from Ukraine years ago but this is from years ago but the difference is that , that was made from stone so if a piece of it fell off or got broken they had to change the whole wheel

Mandana: all of it would collapse

Zahra: but this one no, it has 6 different pieces of bronze and two pieces inside

Mandana: oh okay

Zahra: and these woods are not originally made

Mandana:ahh, they have already constructed the wood here!

Zahra: yeah, yeah

Mandana: but the outside of the wheel which is made of bronze is the actual one.

Zahra: yes ,exactly and this was for a two wheeled chariot

Mandana: oh okay

Zahra: from Choghazanbil

Mandana: which is in Khuzestan!

Zahra: Khuzestan, Shusha

Mandana:oh ok

Zahra:this is the first 3D statue from Achaemenians

Mandana: oh okay

Zahra: unfortunately the head is missing

Mandana: yes

Zahra: and it’s the statue of Darius

Mandana: it looks Egyptian down here

Zahra: yes it was made in Egyptians and then was brought to Iran. It’s been written on in four languages that were being used in Iran and the Egyptian language Hieroglyph

Mandana: oh ok

Zahra: and it talks about the provinces that were under the rule of Achaemenians and what they wore and what they ate and all the other information about that time

Zahra: this is the audience hall from Persepolis from the Achaemenian time

Mandana: which king is this?

Zahra: it’s Darius

Mandana: and who is this talking to him?

Zahra:this guy is not talking to him, this action means respect, am I allowed to talk

Mandana: ok, ok

Zahra: yes and according to what they are wearing you can realize if they are Medians or Persians

Mandana: ok


My first day in Tehran was an extremely busy one; I saw a lot.

It was fascinating to observe the trade in the Bazar, where modern functionalism met traditional norms

The national museum with pieces dating back over years ago shows just a glimpse of Iran’s rich culture heritage.

Some day in the future when I have more time I’ll have to come back.

Tehran is surrounded by mountains from three sides and luckily my hotel room had a view of the mountains in the north

On my second day we decide to visit Darband it’s kind of a mountain retreat in the north just the other side of Ttajrish square

The way to Tajrish square via Vali-e Asr avenue said to be the longest street in the middle East, with trees planted on either side.

Zahra: you can see Imam zadeh Saleh from here

Mandana: ok we going to visit there?

Zahra: if we have time

Mandana: ok


Darband is one of Tehran’s most popular recreational areas with thousands of visitors every day and tens of thousands during holidays.

People go there for hiking and mountain climbing. Or else just for a cup of tea, to enjoy the cooler and cleaner air.

Zahra: what do you think of this place?

Mandana: umm. Yea it looks nice

Zahra: shall we try it?

Mandana: yes, yes . let’s go

Zahra: shall we go upstairs or….

Mandana: I think upstairs is good, yes

Zahra:now where shall we sit?

Mandana: umm I guess this one looks good, here under the trees

Zahra: yeah great

Mandana:yes, alright

Zahra: a curd eggplant and a lamb kabab please

Mandana: alright let’s get started

Zahra: this is one of the most famous electronical malls

Mandana: ok, right

Zahra: you can find all the famous brands in the world here.

Mandana:yes I can see, it seems like they have everything here

Zahra: yea

Mandana: and I can see they’ve got pretty much all the major brands that we are used to.

Zahra: yes exactly

Mandana: yea and are they more expensive or less expensive?

Zahra: no, no. it’s the same as everywhere else

Mandana: basically the same price!

Zahra: yes and they have all the latest stuff that comes out

Mandana: aha yes

Zahra: you can find everything here anything you want

Mandana: mmm…. actually I was thinking , my laptop is quite old, I was thinking of updating it. I wonder if the prices here would be reasonable

Zahra: we can ask

Mandana:yes I should ask some people

Mandana: to be honest I’m pretty surprised . I didn’t expect to see a mall like this I thought maybe you could get everything if you really needed to, but I didn’t expect it to be like in a mall, like a whole mall just for the latest electronics.


All the major brands of laptops were available in the electronics market and to be honest I didn’t know which one to choose. But I had to choose one as mine had helpfully broken.


After the electronics market I went back to the hotel for a brief rest, I decided to explore different parts of the city hoping to become somewhat familiar with its varying aspects.

Mandana: oh , hi, good, thanks. Can I just get the expresso please

Mandana: yes thank you


The image we have of Iran from international news, is really quite different to the everyday reality.

In Tehran what we have is a huge urban expanse, a fall of people who mostly adhere to traditional customs and values; while at the same time being surrounded by skyscrapers not mention luxury cars and designer clothing in outward appearances it’s not unlike many other capitals.

In Tehran life goes on until well into the night. Many shops are open till midnight and you will find lots of people going shopping until then.

One of the things that most impressed me over the last two days, was how technology-savvy the young people are here.

Education is highly valued in Iran, and young people especially seem to have a genuine hunger for knowledge.

Likewise businessmen insist on possessing the latest technology.

Mostly through the internet they order the goods and facilities they need. In this way modernity is simply a fact of life here which they strive to reconcile with their traditions and culture.

On the third morning, my guide directed me to the Museum of Contemporary Art which I traveled to by a metro. Unlike some other world capitals I was surprised to discover that the metro in Tehran is air conditioned, it’s not often that public transport provides such a respite from the summer heat.

The collection in this museum contains pieces by such luminaries as Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhole ,However the curator told me those particular pieces were currently in storage. I was told that they might on this play next month.


After the art museum we decided to visit a mall in the west of Tehran. The contrast between here and the traditional Bazaar could hardly be any greater. This particular mall resembled all those mega-malls in the west. Selling everything from groceries to furniture to LCDs.

Mandana: it’s very fashionable clothes.

Zahra: yeah

Zahra: in different colors too

Zahra: so shall we just look around? Don’t you want buy anything for your mom , sister or anyone as soulvenir.

Mandana: emmm, actually I’ll look at these ones . I like this brand.

Zahra: what do you think of this?

Mandana: yea , it’s pretty good. It’s all blue my favorite color.

Part 3


I have always been fascinated by the rhythms of culture, and the more ancient a culture is the more it fascinates me.

The Persian civilization is by far the oldest in the Middle East.

And after living and working in the region, for several years, my ambition grew to see the land that spawned history’s first real multinational empire, some years ago.

The contrast with my own country, Australia, could hardly be any greater.

For me as a journalist, the opportunity to visit and film in Tehran, is one that I just couldn’t pass up.

Tehran is of course the capital of Iran, one of the world’s oldest countries, one in which, in modern times has seen its fair share of controversy.

But I wanted to make a film about Tehran as it is, the tension between tradition and modernity ,and the other aspects of this huge metropolis.

So far in parts one and two I visited Tehran ‘s old Bazaar an Imam Zade, Iran’s National Museum , a Computing and Electronics mall and resort of Darband.

Now we will try to sample some of educational and scientific institutions of the city.

Sharif Technological University has an international reputation, it is where Iran’s elite students in the fields of engineering science and mathematics do their study and research.

Often the result of the research done here is used directly by Iran’s industrial sector

The university is known for producing dedicated and hardworking students, again I was genuinely impresses by young people’s reverence for technology.

Zahra: this is the main library in Sanat-e-Sharif University

Mandana: oh ok

Zahra: and other students from other universities come here too

Mandana: alright, ok

Mandana: umm, yeah can I have a look around to see what books they have?

Zahra: yes sure , have a look

Mandana: cheers, see you in a minute

Mandana: mm so what subject are you taking here at this university?

Student: I’m now studying in MS in bio-technology and I finished my BS in chemical engineering

Mandana: mm ok so you are doing your masters, your post-graduation degree here.

Student: yes

Mandana: did you do your earlier degree at this university?


Mandana: ok fantastic and why did you choose this university as a pose because I know there are many universities in Iran

Student: it’s the best industrial university in the country,

Mandana: industrial university


Mandana: ah…,ok

Mandana: may I ask what your rank was to get to this University?

Student: it was

Mandana: ?


Mandana: out of?

Student: out of people

Mandana: out of people! And do you have all the facilities you need here at the university for the studies?

Student: it has got very good equipment

Mandana: ok

Student: and very good laboratories

Mandana: ok

Student:and very good facilities, everything you need

Mandana: ok

Student:and I’m very happy that I could get that choice

Mandana wow It’s very impressive

Zahra: this is the electrical engineering department

Mandana: ok

Zahra: and this is their laboratory

Mandana: alright

Zahra: so let’s find someone to give us a tour

Zahra: we could ask that guy over there

Mandana: yea we could ask if he is a student?!

Zahra: yes

Zahra: I think he is a student

Mandana: ok

Mandana: hi

student: hi

Mandana: my name is matt. How are you going?

student :nice to meet you, I’m Ali-Reza

Mandana: good

Mandana: mmm, I’m making like a documentary on Tehran and today we are looking at the university

Student: ok

Mandana: mmm so I was wondering if you could show me around this apartment Student:ok , ok

Student:I’ve been here for more than 6 years and have done many jobs and I can show you if you are interested, from this side

Mandana: Yeah, absolutely

Zahra: what are you studying? What’s your degree?

Student: I’m in PHD program and I’ve been here from BS. I preformed my BS about and MS studies here. And then I finished and switched to other types of projects and for example this set was one of my studies this is a, mmmm you can think a flax can go to very very low temperature about 2 kelvin, which means about -0 c

Mandana: ok

Student: it’s very cold

Mandana: ok what’s the application for that , what do you put in there?

Student: emm.. some kind of materials need to be at very very low temperatures to be worked on to be in research or something like this

Mandana: ok, right

Student:then we use this, this facility for cooling down and bringing the temperature to very low temperature that we can’t imagine how cold it is

Mandana: and what about you personally? Mm.. what project are you working on now and what are your plans for the future?

Student: there have been two guys in the history of science that won two noble prizes

Mandana: ok

Student:I want to be the man, the only man who wins three Nobel prizes

Mandana Awesome, awesome

Student:and I think this is my idea

Mandana: I was wondering if you could maybe show us more around other parts of the laboratory and maybe some of the things you achieved in this place

Student:maybe you could get more details from professor ? if you want I can show him to you.

Mandana:alright, fantastic, thank you

Mandana: yea I was wondering if you could tell us more about the kind of research you do here, what you are working on at the moment, what sort of fields and stuff like that.

Professor: we have 8 major fields of activities


Professor:and the basic one is this, making thinking super conductors, keeping technology based work, and based on that, we make devices, super conductor devices, mainly high temperature super conductors, such as infrared detectors , optical detectors, microwaves devices.

Mandana: aha

Professor:and terahertz devices, mm and magnetic sensors and magnetic sensor based device systems such as a squid based system like a non -destructive evaluation systems

Mandana : ok

Professor:and then super power applications would be in work and there is a super conductor power count limiter that diffuses actually and then the motors and quantum computation based work that we do like designing cubits mmm and also we’re doing some bioelectronics

Mandana: right

Professor:working on DNA, DNA based devices

Mandana: yeah I was wondering if you could explain to us what this massive unit here does?

Professor:mm, yeah , this is a magnetron sputtering system we have built here, put it together

Mandana: ok,just Run that by me one more time, what is it?

Professor:it is a sputtering system, it is actually, we make thin films


Professor :using epitaxial layers that we need


Professor:for making devices


Professor : those layers, very thin layers of atoms

Mandana ::Ok

Professor:that we need for devices we make in the systems

Mandana: Ok right right. So all these sides just to make those tiny little…

Professor:tiny little things, exactly that you can only see under microscope

Mandana: Ok, and was it totally manufactured inside Iran or..

Professor:yeah yeah:

Mandana: yeah :

Professor:this is one of our works and actually using this we could make thin ----- ?

Mandana: Yeah

Professor:based on that we could make devices for microwave for example for mobile phone systems and things like that

Mandana: ok ok :

Professor:or sensors, optical sensors, infrared sensors for imaging the body

Mandana: right :

Professor :or the brain thermal imaging that you know physicians would use.


While visiting Sharif University, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to speak with the Dean, Dr.Roosta-Azad.

Mandana: Ok :

Doorman:what do you want to know?

Mandana: mmm.. yea.. I’m just curious about the university like this is obviously has the reputation as that most , most prestigious Technological university, and how did that happen exactly? You know in the west its normally the older the university the more prestigious it is. Has sharif always been the most prestigious technological university

Doorman:about years ago when this university was established in those days other universities were working in the country, like Tehran ,Amir-Kabir, Tabriz, and other universities, but in those days people thought maybe they could have a center of excellency in terms of you know , bright students and bright work.

Mandana: right :

Doorman:so they established this university and made the propaganda that ok we want to be the number one center,

Mandana: uhum :

Doorman: so every student who wants to be the number one in the number one university could apply to us


Doorman:and people started to believe that ok this is really or is supposed to be the center of excellence

Mandana:the ranking of the university, how does it fit in the international scheme of things, the university as a whole?

Doorman:they are reporting that we are in the slot of 0 and 0 in the whole world

Mandana: ok


Before coming to Iran I had been told by people in neighboring countries about its advanced health care and medical facilities they had traveled there for treatment.

So I asked Zahra if she could arrange a visit to one of the more advanced hospitals and have a chat with the staff.

Mandana . What kind of procedures are able to carry out here?

Head : We are one of the high-tech hospitals ,


Head: A small hospital in north of Tehran

Mandana : Yeah

Head:And we have just beds

Mandana: Right

Head:and we have divisions of the Neurosurgery

Mandana: Aha

Head :Urology , gynecology , general surgery

Mandana: aha

Head:and some of the other surgeries , just minor surgeries over here

Head: and We have tried to equip ourselves to the best, I mean as much as we could

Mandana: yeah

Head:and actually we can say that we are one of the high-tech hospitals over here

Mandana : yeah

Head: in the region of course

Mandana:What would be the most advanced and the most expensive machine or device that you have in the hospital ?

Head:emmm, Usually hospitals do have lasers

Mandana: laser surgery

Head: yeah, we do have it, they have laparoscopic equipment and we do have all of them, we do have different kinds of laparoscopy :

Mandana:Umm, Yeah , so can you tell me more about those specific operations with laparoscopy ?

Head:Yeah, Laparoscopy is able to do all the operations which are done in the abdomen.


Head:Without much bleeding , without incision.

Mandana: ok :

Head: and without post-operation pain.

Mandana: right :

Head: You know we just make small holes in different parts of the abdomen .

Mandana:ok :

Head: and we go with lenses inside , and different , I mean hands inside so we can do operations without opening.

Mandana:oh yeah, right

Head: so after the operation or even large operations like , for example Radical Nephrectomy for tumors ,


Head :we just make small holes and we do operations with those holes. It is done everywhere in the world of course

Mandana: ok , I got it

Head: in advanced hospitals

Mandana:Yeah, and are you able to tell me more about what kind of laser surgeries you do in this hospital?

Head: we have diode version of the laser and we will show you because I’m here just to go to the operation room . we’re gonna have just in half an hour one operation, so you can see the operation .

Mandana:oh cool


Mandana:can see the operation?

Head: live , yeah


Head:so we are gonna save it . we do prostatectomy by that

Mandana: Ok

Head: and we burn the prostate so that there is no need to operate , take it out . No incision .

Mandana:oh ok

Head: and no burning after that, no hematuria , no bleeding after the operation .

Mandana: ok, right

Head : So patient can go home even after the operation, two to four hours after the operation.

Mandana: oh , ok right, excellent

Head : Yeah

Mandana:ok , well lead the way, that’s good

Head: ok. you’re welcome,

Head: thank you

Mandana:Thank you


After talking with the head of the hospital , I was invited to observe a laser surgery , I’d never really expected to be in an operation room , and It was in equal parts, both fascinating and disconcerting.

Zahra:I don’t think I can bear to watch the surgery

Mandana:well , uh don’t blame me , but I guess , I guess I’ll have to give it a try.

Zahra :excuse me

Mandana :Oh God, thank you, bye

physician:But with laser we don’t have any bleeding, the patient is discharged after the surgery and very soon , maybe one day after the patient’s surgery.


While walking the streets we saw a band playing in public , they were playing at a professional level and I was really keen to go and have a chat with them.

They said they met each other by chance and play once a week for people in the streets.

On the last day of my stay in Tehran after bidding farewell to my guide Zahra, I left for the airport.

:If I did not have the opportunity to make this documentary , I might never have visited Tehran.

This city which we all have such a mysterious and confused image of is extremely diverse.

It has so much to offer but my time here was so short and I feel like I barely scratched the surface.

I hope to return again soon, and finish what I have started . Not to mention , visit some of the more historical cities in Iran; such as Shiraz , Esfahan, Mashhad and Yazd.


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