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food / travel

Couchsurfing In Tehran, How Foreign Crashers Help Iranians Escape

Travel for Iranians is hard, which is why the young have found hosting foreigners is a way to explore the world vicariously. The latest twist to the private breaking of Iran's myriad restrictions.

A birthday party in Tehran
A birthday party in Tehran
Sandra Keil

TEHRAN — Looking around you see heavy doses of makeup and carefully coiffed hair, jeans and some mini skirts that really are too short. Western music is played almost exclusively on the high-tech sound system, and the pictures on the wall would almost certainly not meet the approval of the morality police. Home-brewed booze with a very high alcohol content — an anise schnapps — is being served liberally. Men and women socialize freely, and some flirt shamelessly.

All of this is nothing terribly exceptional for a party, except that it's not happening in the West and is instead being hosted by two friends, Yara and Leyan*, in Tehran. Right in the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran, where such things are not only forbidden but are demonized and punishable by law. And yet it's happening. Privately. Even tourists can experience this secret Mideast world, via Couchsurfing.

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Society

Urban Indigenous: How Peru's Shipibo-Conibo Keep Amazon Culture Alive In The City

For four years, indigenous photographer David Díaz Gonzales has documented the lives and movements of his Shipibo-Conibo community, as many of them migrated from their native Peruvian Amazon to the city. A work of remembrance and resistance.

For Shipibo-Conibo women, sporting a fringe is usually a sign of celebration or ceremony.

Rosa Chávez Yacila

YARINACOCHA — It was decades ago when the Shipibo-Conibo left their settlements along the banks of the Ucayali River, in eastern Peru, to begin a great migration to the cities. Still among the largest Amazonian communities in Peru — 32,964 according to the Ministry of Culture — though most Shipibo-Conibo now live in the urban district of Yarinacocha.

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