A Look at Stranger’s Guide: Tehran

A letter from our co-founders

We are thrilled to announce the launch of Stranger’s Guide: Tehran. Tehran is one of the few major cities in the world where Google Maps offers no street views. And while Iran’s capital city is frequently invoked in conversations about international policies and politics, few outsiders recognize its skyline or are familiar with the daily lives of its residents.

Our mission is to provide nuanced portraits of place, and we explicitly seek locations often subjected to lazy clichés, with the hope we can turn stereotypes on their head. That’s why we’re so proud to bring you this guide.

Online, our Tehran page transports you to this fascinating city, offering intimate accounts from a diverse set of residents. Today we’re publishing a series of four essays that offer portraits of daily life: a fight over curtains with a neighbor, a crowded apartment where down-and-out artists get high, a tour of the tony neighborhoods where the nouveau riche rub elbows with old moneyed families and a virtual visit to Tehran with an Iranian who cannot return home. We’re also publishing the stunning photography of Maryam Firuzi, which explores women in Tehran’s public spaces.

Subscribe today, and you’ll also receive the beautiful print publication, with more beautiful photography and powerful essays. You’ll meet journalists and dentists, revolutionaries and sex workers, as they navigate their public and private lives in modern day Tehran. You’ll also taste the favorite Persian delicacies of Jason Rezaian, an American-Iranian reporter imprisoned in Iran for nearly three years, and attend a night at the theater, where political discourse comes cloaked in artistic metaphor. You’ll journey with two sisters as they traverse the city to attend one of the only soccer matches open to female fans and hear the stories of LGBTQ Iranians chronicling the unique realities of Queer life and identity in Tehran.

No other publication does work like this. That’s why we need your help. Please help us spread the work about this exciting volume. Tell your friends, share on your social networks. Your support makes this possible.


Kira Brunner Don

Kira Brunner Don is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Stranger’s Guide. She worked as a magazine editor in New York for seventeen years and as a journalist in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. She studied philosophy at The New School’s Graduate Faculty and worked at a think tank at Columbia University before joining Lapham’s Quarterly, where she was executive editor for eight years. She is co-editor of the book The New Killing Fields: Massacre and the Politics of Intervention and is the founding co-director of the Oakland Book Festival.

Abby Rapoport

Abby Rapoport is the publisher and co-founder of Stranger's Guide. Abby spent the first portion of her career as a political reporter, covering Texas politics for the Texas Tribune, the Texas Observer and then The American Prospect. Her work has also appeared in Glamour, The National Journal and The New Republic. Prior to founding Stranger's Guide, she served as Acting Publisher for the Texas Observer and currently chairs the Texas Democracy Foundation.

As US-Iran relations continue to make headlines, Stranger’s Guide: Tehran brings readers to the streets of a city few outsiders have had the opportunity to explore. Through new works from Dina Nayeri, Jason Rezaian, and a number of up-and-coming authors, the issue explores ...

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