Friday, June 12, 2009

Election Day in Tehran

Today temperature in Tehran rise to 90 F (32'C), warmer than all days before, and yet people were and are standing long lines in shade and under blazing sun. It is an odd image of Tehran: quiet streets, deserted shopping centers and yet crowded mosques, high schools, schools and colleges. It is election day. An unprecedented number of voters are casting their vote today.
I went to stations in Vanak and Yousef Abad, both in North of Center and North parts of Tehran, where fixed income middle class families mingle with high income households. The stations were and are packed with lines coming out of the building and going around the corner. The individuals waiting in them are from all walks of life, there are Chador wearing women, young ladies wearing the latest fashion and make up, there are old people walking with cane and there are young students with their notes and textbooks in their hands, it is a long wait. One voted told me he and his sister waited for 2 hours and half to cast their votes. There is an air of a united people present that makes one feel romantic.
I voted in Al-Zahra University station in Vanak Village, it took me 45 minutes waiting time. Most people around me were voting for Mr. Mousavi. They were chatting politics while their kids and children were playing in compound. Many were waiting in shade, since the sunshine was rather strong. Some were worried, since there was no representative of Mr. Mousavi campaign present there, the only representative present was from Mr. Ahmadinejad's campaign. This upset many, a young lady in a black chador was calling a friend to say that she would rather go to Bahaerstan, a location south of central Tehran in Old Tehran to cast her vote. But many chose to stay, the representative's presence is significant in counting the vote.
I gave my birthcertificate to the officer at the desk, wrote down the name of the candidate with his code from the ministry of interior information sheet and cast my vote. Leaving the station I noticed more people are arriving to vote. I just noticed there was no separate line for men and women, we all voted together.
The outcome is not certain yet, but it is certain that last week marches and debates have increased the participation to a new level. On Facebook, most of my friends are voting and they are on their way to vote. Some people are complaining that why more than a few are voting for Mousavi and not for Karroubi, although they approve of him. Those who did so, argue that winning in the first round is way more important than going to an uncertain second round. Although with number present today, one wonders if this is going to be a landslide. That is not unlikely.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I am writing an article for Huffington Post on Iran elections.I have few questions. Can you please email me at Thanks