The Jerusalem Post sent Seth Wikas to Tehran. Here’s a taster of what he saw and heard (You can read the full article here):
“For many older people like my host Fayzlallah Saketkhoo, the vice president of Teheran’s Jewish Association, Iran is simply their home. As the owner of a successful carpet and souvenir shop, Saketkhoo has provided well for his three children, and devotes a good deal of time to Jewish Association activities. At his home on Friday night after services, where he showed me his collection of Kabbala books and a large tapestry of Moses splitting the sea, he told me about how he had traveled around the world only to learn that nothing was better than home.
“Asked about the future of the Iranian Jewish community, he replied: “Did you see how many children were there tonight?”
“He was right. It was hard to concentrate on praying in the synagogue, where at least 300 people had come, because of all the children running up and down the aisles and chattering outside.
“But there is a difference between children and young adults. Peyman, Saketkhoo’s 27-year-old son, was fond of saying, “Everyone in Iran has a problem,” meaning that everyone – Jewish and non-Jewish – wants to leave.
“It’s not just the political situation, he said, but the fact that with the rise of Ahmadinejad, the economic situation has worsened and poverty has deepened. For college graduates, it is hard to find jobs in their field; Peyman is an architect by training but works in his father’s shop. As he and other young Iranians attest, both the political and the economic situation are getting harder to bear.”