The Iranian Future Lies with the Young Generation.
To see the future of the Islamic Republic, don’t look at the political leaders in Tehran. With some 70 percent of the population under the age of 30, photographer Ziyah Gafic chose to look at Iran’s young people through a series of portraits.
Two years ago this June, the young people of Iran burst onto the geopolitical stage when they poured into the streets to protest the contested results of the country’s presidential election. As the regime in Tehran cracked down, a highly educated and technologically savvy generation offered the world a street-level view of deep dissent via tweets and grainy YouTube videos, Many are pointing to the protests in June 2009 as inspiration for the Arab Spring now sweeping across the Middle East.
Sitting down with young Iranians recently, NEWSWEEK found artists and university students who were optimistic, yet unsure of the future. They were eager to be seen and heard by Westerners, who, they say, don’t really understand them. Considering their country’s demographics, these are some of Iran’s most important voices.