Iran rock'n'rolls for Khomeini
Tuesday 02 February 1999
Yesterday, Iran started a 10-day celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the Islamic revolution that, officially, liberated the people from the Shah's regime.
But for many the festivities themselves mark another liberation of sorts, from the two decades of Islamic rule the country has lived through since the bearded figure of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini stepped on to the asphalt of Tehran's Mehrabad airport on 1 February 1979.
Like everything in today's Iran, the celebrations illustrate the tension between hardliners true to the legacy of Ayatollah Khomeini and reformers aligned with President Mohammad Khatami. Mr Khatami recently pleaded with his powerful, hardline opponents, who still exert great influence, to allow the country's massive young population more freedom to enjoy themselves, saying they need to be able to do more than just pray in the mosques. The pop concert, if it goes ahead, will be the first since the time of the Shah.
Rock music was banned by the revolutionaries for its corrupting Western influence. Now, though, no self-respecting middle-class household in Tehran is without Oasis tapes.
The anniversary also sees art exhibitions and festivals celebrating both the increasingly acclaimed home-grown film scene and, unprecedentedly, Western cinema.
State television has been showing recent Hollywood movies and Robert De Niro has been invited to attend a celebration of his films in Tehran, two developments that would make the gentleman who started it all 20 years ago turn in his grave.
sportLiverpool 5 Norwich City 1: Uruguayan striker has now scored 11 league goals against the club
arts + entsOlivier-nominated actor and singer is set to star in Lloyd Webber's musical about the Profumo affair
filmWith more than 70 per cent of early films lost, archivists are scouring the world to preserve the precious examples that remain
sportThe coach of Chalfont St Peter's under-10s football team was relieved of his duties after he sent an email to parents that said: 'I am only interested in winning'
techA piece of new hi-tech kit aims to get us scribbling again
indybestMake getting out of the wrong side of bed on cold winter mornings a thing of the past with our selection of night-time covers
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
Life & Style blogs
- 1 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 UK chef creates world's most expensive ready meal - a fish pie costing £314
- 4 Food poverty in UK has reached level of 'public health emergency', warn experts
- 5 I’m sure Kate Moss doesn't care about posing for Playboy. But I do
£50000 - £70000 per annum + London: Harrington Starr: Senior Automation QA Eng...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits : Harrington Starr: SQL 2008 R2/2012 Deve...
£38000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Creative Audit Se...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, P...