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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 18:47 GMT
School Day 24: Iran-UK-US
Iran US UK school composite image

Students in Iran, the UK and the US linked up on BBC television to share their experiences and opinions.

Participants came from the Islamic Azad University in Tehran, Longsands College in Cambridgeshire, UK and TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, in the United States.

Students in Tehran talked about the Islamic dresscode

Maedeh
Maedeh: I am wearing a chador and I really believe in it and I choose it myself - it's not forcefully to wear something like that and I want to say beside my own belief, every country has its own law and its own regulations and as a civilised person as you see we all obey and respect our countries' laws. We all should do it - obey and respect our country's laws.

We have different levels of hijab - the minimum one and the maximum one and we can choose ourself what kind of clothes and what kind of scarf we wear based on our own beliefs and ideas.

Masheed: Every country has its own rules but here it's different - we should have specific codes but it doesn't prevent us wearing colourful clothes - we should choose our clothes in any kind. It doesn't make us not free.

Question from the Iranian students

What do the British students think about wearing the headscarf and the Islamic dresscode?

Amy in Cambridgeshire: I really believe in freedom of expression. I think it is a completely personal choice what you wear. It's as much a person in Iran's choice whether to wear their headdress or headscarf or whatever they want as it is to wear the clothes I want in Britain.

The students discuss the portrayal of Iran in the West and the media

Question from Helen in Cambridgeshire

How do they see how their country is represented in the worldwide media?

Hamzeh, Iran: We are the victim of America's policy. We need to be supported by the media - not to be criticised. We are a peaceful nation.

Hamid Reza
Hamid Reza: Iran has not been presented to the world as a peaceful country to what really is a truly peace-loving nation.

Question from Iranian students

Iranian students watch themselves on BBC TV
The Iranian students watch the link-up on BBC TV
What do people abroad know about Iran? Do the believe what they hear about Iran in their own media? Do they trust their own media?

Alice: I think some media you can trust. There is a lot of truth in some stuff but a lot of it is made out to be a lot worse or a lot better than it really is just so they have stories to tell.

Michael: I think that anything that is in the media you should take with a pinch of salt.

The students discuss the war in Iraq

Azadeh, Iran: I have experience of war and I want to share it with the entire world. When I was six or seven we used to live in Khuzestan, near the Iraqi border, and I still remember the bombing and the noises and will never get rid of them.

That is why when the war began in Iraq I felt sympathy with Iraqi people and I know what they are suffering because war is a very bad thing and has a very very bad effect on people, that will never be solved.

Dominic, Cambridgeshire: I believe that it is morally justified personally even though the motive we were given was not quite right, I believe that we have a moral justification - is Iraq without Saddam Hussein a better place than Iraq with Saddam Hussein? Looking at all the facts, I think so.

Iran US UK map
Shona, Cambridgeshire: I disagree - I don't think it is - I think the reasons we were given to go to war weren't fully justified and I think now that we are in there we don't have much idea where to go next, what the next step is.

To be honest I don't think they are much better off - Saddam wasn't a great person but now they are on the brink of civil war.

Vicky, Cambridgeshire: I am kind of in the middle. I think it's a good thing that we had to get rid of Saddam Hussein. But I think it was wrong to go in thinking there were nuclear weapons when there weren't. And I know we have to clear up our own mess and it's going to take a long while.

Tayyaba, Chicago: I really don't think the US should be worried about Iran - there are other threats such as North Korea that we need to worry about. I just don't believe the US should worry about it

Shazad, Chicago: I think we should worry about it but I don't think we should take a war-like approach to it but we should try a much more diplomatic approach.

Hilary, Chicago: On Iraq I think we definitely too started too soon and it wasn't until after we started that we realised all our mistakes. Definitely with Iran, if we are about to start anything we should take our time.

Question from Frances

What type of fun do you have in Iran?

Hananeh, Iran: Everybody thinks we don't have fun in Iran, we have different activities and different styles for fun. For example, we go to parties, we play tennis, and we go to movies.

Sepideh, Iran: We listen to Iranian and Western music, such as Arian group, which is an Iranian band and we listen to the Backstreet Boys and Celine Dion.


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