Last week, with a few minutes between appointments, I and a researcher went to Laleh Park, which is in the center of Tehran, to take a look around. There, in the middle of the very tall trees, one can find refuge and cool off a little from the afternoon heat. Many young people had the same idea and had found their way there too.
We came across groups of young men who said that they spend many afternoons there. Most of them were around 20 years old and were studying in different fields. We asked them about their lives, about meeting girls; and there was nothing surprising about their answers! However, when we asked them about serious long terms problems that they had to deal with and about life in general, I was surprised that uniformly they mentioned employment and difficulties they face in getting married, most of which are related to finances and the demands that girls, their families and society expects from them.
Seven out of ten of these young men said they would not marry a girl who was not a virgin no matter what the reason was. One or two would if she had been 'deceived', and only one would marry her because he loved her no matter what.
They were very easy about talking to strangers. What surprised me despite their very different characters and fields of study was that they uniformly lacked a positive view about the future, even though they were a cheerful lot. This rings a bell because as I move about town and ask many other young men the same questions, I get the same answers. They all want good jobs with proper prospects so that they can start their own lives.
This puts a great burden on whoever will be elected president next month. The new government must have serious economic programs to create proper and meaningful jobs for the young people.
As I have mentioned before, statistics indicate that every year Iran needs to create between 850,000 to a million new jobs for all such young men and women across the country. This will indeed be a Herculean task.
... Payvand News - 5/6/05 ... --