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Wed Nov 27, 2013, 12:24 PM

Rick Steves' Iran: Yesterday and Today

The first thing I thought of when I heard about the nuclear deal with Iran was the amazing Rick Steves TV program, Iran: Yesterday and Today. I know it takes a lot of hard diplomatic work to make a deal like this succeed, but somewhere in the mix, doesn't Rick Steves deserve some credit for nudging public opinion just a bit and humanizing the people of Iran?

As he says at the end of the documentary:
Iran is an ancient and proud land, with a rich culture. Traveling here, it felt like a paradox, its contradictions difficult to understand. While our governments may be at odds, the people we met were consistently curious, generous, and friendly. I found that, like in my country, there's a tension between modern and traditional, liberal and conservative, secular and religious.

Maybe we're all just struggling to defend the moral fabric of our respective society. I've been wondering to what extent the U.S.A.-Iran tensions might be explained by caring people on both sides motivated by love and fear. And the flip side of fear is understanding.

... I came to Iran a little nervous. I leave impressed more by what we have in common than by our differences. I've overcome my fear by getting to know the Iranian people. Granted, there are no easy solutions to the problems confronting our two nations. But surely, getting to know this culture is a step in the right direction.

I'm Rick Steves. Happy travels. And as they say here, "Peace be upon us."








And here's the whole documentary -- well worth your time to watch the entire thing:



Hats off, Rick!

21 replies, 3334 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Rick Steves' Iran: Yesterday and Today (Original post)
klook Nov 2013 OP
liberal N proud Nov 2013 #1
arely staircase Nov 2013 #4
Habibi Nov 2013 #2
klook Nov 2013 #3
hunter Nov 2013 #5
WorseBeforeBetter Nov 2013 #6
47of74 Nov 2013 #13
NuclearDem Nov 2013 #7
LittleBlue Nov 2013 #8
deurbano Nov 2013 #10
ZRT2209 Nov 2013 #16
JEFF9K Nov 2013 #9
SalviaBlue Nov 2013 #11
AtheistCrusader Nov 2013 #12
ConcernedCanuk Nov 2013 #14
klook Nov 2013 #18
ZRT2209 Nov 2013 #15
geardaddy Nov 2013 #17
Raine1967 Nov 2013 #19
octoberlib Nov 2013 #20
ProSense Nov 2013 #21

Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 12:27 PM

1. His shows on PBS are great.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 01:24 PM

4. Always loved his travel guides. nt

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 01:09 PM

2. Oh, thank you for this!

I love Rick Steves, and this looks fascinating!

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Response to Habibi (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 01:20 PM

3. It's really beautiful and well done.

His crowning achievement, I think -- and I've watched a lot of his shows.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 01:32 PM

5. K&R for Rick Steves.

He travels well.

The world would be a happier place if more U.S.A. citizens had any knowledge at all of other nations.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 01:44 PM

6. I'd recommend Rick Steves' "European Christmas" as well...

the perfect antidote to any reports of Americans macing and trampling each other over cheap DVD players, fistfights in mall parking lots, etc. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

I'd LOVE to tour Iran. Doubt it will ever happen, but a girl can dream...

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Response to WorseBeforeBetter (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 02:34 PM

13. I'm hoping that day will come too

 

Where relations between our nations have progressed to the point that touring that country will be an option. Hopefully within my lifetime.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 01:45 PM

7. Rick Steves using his tourist powers for good.

 

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 01:53 PM

8. Steves is a great guy

 

So respectful of other cultures, very thoughtful and pleasant in presentation.

His shows are very enjoyable.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 02:15 PM

10. He does seem like a great guy, and very respectful of other cultures,

as you said. My family uses his books and DVD's during our travels.

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Response to deurbano (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 02:51 PM

16. He is also a good advocate for progressive causes

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 02:09 PM

9. "Humanizing the people of Iran." Very well put! ...

... Rick Steves is a national treasure. He refused to sell-out to commercial interests and provides us with more great entertainment than anyone.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 02:31 PM

11. Thanks for posting.

I will definitely watch this!

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 02:33 PM

12. I learned this a long time ago, reading the history of WWII, growing up in the waning twilight of

the cold war.

My generation was told to hate the soviets, that the Russians were evil, and tricky, and hated us... but never really a good reason why.

Reading deep history books on WWII, and campaigns like MAXIMUM EFFORT, where US/RAF bombers and escorts would launch from the west, overfly Germany, wreck shop, and then land on Russian held territory to rearm and refuel, I learned a lot about how Americans interacted with Russians. When their airfields would come under attack, they would not allow the American airmen to risk their lives fighting back/fighting fires, etc. The Russian air defenses, and ground crews used themselves as shields, with their very lives, to protect our airmen, not just because they viewed us as 'valuable', being able to injure Germany in ways they could not, but that there was also a very real, human bond of friendship there.

Politics aside, when the shit hit the fan, we fought shoulder to shoulder. Politically perfect? Politically friendly? No. But humans, and good people nevertheless. Hardly the cold war demons I'd been raised to hate. Programmed to hate. Directed to hate.

Just people. Different, but people.


You can imagine the skepticism I view any claims going forward, of 'people who hate us', 'people who want to fight us', 'monsters' etc.
Yes, there are bad people out there, but The People are still humans. In often cases, just as misled about us, as we are about them.

The Iranians today, are no different than the Soviets of yesteryear. A people with a rich history, people who love their children, people living their lives, and *not* my enemy. We have political grievances, some very real, and very old, and very sore, but that's no reason to hate them or fear them. It just highlights the need to work together, to reach out.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 02:42 PM

14. " just as misled about us, as we are about them. " - exactly . . .

 

.
.
.



CC

ps: I ain't pissed off . . .

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 03:39 PM

18. Wise words, AtheistCrusader. Thanks for this perspective.

Demonizing "The Other" is an important page in the playbook of any group wanting to mobilize masses against another group. Resisting and countering that demonization is one of the most important things we can do.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 02:46 PM

15. Every American needs to watch this show! This is harnessing

the power of television for good.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 02:55 PM

17. I watched this and loved it!

He is a great progressive.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 03:52 PM

19. K&R

I saw this a while back and it is AMAZING.

I do believe he deserves some credit for humanizing Iran, indeed.

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 07:30 PM

20. This is a wonderful documentary. Thanks for posting! nt

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Response to klook (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2013, 07:34 PM

21. Loved it. Thanks.

Beautiful country.

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