A2A by Pegah Esmaili, who is Iranian. And not Persian. So I’m not going to say “Persian”.
Iranian #1: I am an avid follower of Pegah Esmaili, and her combat boots. And of course I am going to say nice things about Iranians, and Azeri Iranians in particular, because when Pegah starts wiping out all men, I want her to get to Lyonel Perabo before she gets to me.
Pegah and Lyonel’s mutually assured destruction by Nick Nicholas on Gallery of Awesomery
Iranian #2: I have a crush on Somi Arian, and really, do you blame me?
Fierce! (The lyrics are somewhat unsophisticated, but that’s the curse of Metal in general.)
If I am to judge on the basis of Ms Esmaili and Ms Arian, Iranians are proud, independent, intelligent, fierce, and very very scary.
Of course I would not generalise about all Iranians on the basis of two people. That would be silly.
Iranians #3, #4, #5: I hanged out with some Iranian linguistics students while doing my Master’s, 20 years ago.
They were very different to each other. Like, crazy different. Like, every time I got together with them, it was like
From right to left, the Iranian linguists of Melbourne in the mid 90s: Mohammed, Hussein, Ghodrat…
… hang on, there was noone choleric in the group.
Oh yeah, silly me:
Though Ms Arian’s thesis on Kant & Nietzsche was a decade later.
(I could start adding photos from Pegah Esmaili’s answer to Can the wonderful people of Quora upload a picture or two of themselves?, but then she’d kill me before Lyonel.)
So, Iranians are different from each other. What else?
Well, Nick Nicholas’ answer to What comes to your mind when someone mentions Turkey (the country)? was: “the neighbour”.
Iranians? They’re the neighbour’s friend. Or the neighbour’s mentor. Or the neighbour’s coach. Or something.
Which means there’s some things about them that are familiar, and they come as a pleasant surprise. Azeris have an unfair advantage over other Iranians, because they actually speak the neighbour’s language. Persians have an unfair advantage, because they’re Indo-Europeans, and I actually learned two or three words.
Eh, خُدا حافِظ? Did I copy paste that right?
Their vast pride in their history is something I understand, at least intellectually, as a Greek. And they have a majestic culture; they were worthy adversaries to have had 25 centuries ago,
and it’s pretty cool that Greeks (via Ottoman Turkish) use farsi to mean “speak a language fluently”. The Shahnameh is the only epic poem I’ve been able to read all the way through. Their drawings have a filigree delicacy, even if they look strangely Chinese.
There are some things that are alien about them too, sure. The theocracy is scary to me. The mandatory hijab ditto, although the clear halfheartedness with which it is worn in Tehran is a source of ongoing mirth.
Skater Girls Seen in Vanak Sq. in Tehran, Iran
Their kabobs can be amazing—but they seem to think that poultry and pomegranate syrup work together (Fesenjān).
(Pomengranate on poultry? Really?)
Even more scary is the whole open necked shirt thing, which they horrifyingly have in common with the Greek ruling party: Why did neither Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, nor most of his entourage, wear ties during his recent visit to Iran? Is it fashion or politics?
But OP did say “not politicians”.
So here’s a non-political shoutout, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr… , to the non-politicians of Iran:
So! Dostānam! We can use raki/arak for the toast, right?
Geez, it was just a suggestion, Ms Arian…