Isfahan, IRAN - Clergy
Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle in November 2017
Two weeks before arriving in Iran, I wrote to the French Embassy explaining my intention to make interviews there. They told me that without a legal permission and a journalist visa – which of course I didn’t have - it could be very dangerous for me to do interviews there. I could be considered a spy and end up in jail. Nice. After talking to some people in Iran, I finally decided to make interviews anyway, but always in private places. In such a religious country, I quickly started to look for religious people to interview and thus asked my new local friends if they could introduce me to some of them. The answer was often no. One day, while I was visiting one the biggest mosque of Isfahan, I noticed that one Clergy was kindly talking with many visitors. I took my chance and went to ask him if he would be ok to answer my 20 questions in front of a camera. He kindly said yes, with a little bit of hesitation but also with a will to show that he had nothing to hide. I came back the day after with my camera and we did that interview in his office. He didn’t too far into political details, but I was indeed surprise that he was very honest in answers.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to study planes, the sky, things like that.
With whom would you like to have coffee?
With my wife.
If you could choose something that could be taught in every school in the world, what would it be?
To you, what is the main characteristic that all human beings have in common?
It’s not an easy question, I don’t know what to say…
The perfect understanding of oneself. Sometimes people have that knowledge and sometimes they don’t, but everything we do comes from our own understanding and it is important.
To you, who’s the happiest person on the earth?
The one who is closest to God.
What do you need?
Kindness for everyone.
What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollars now?
One million dollars is a lot.
Do you think your life is easier or more complicated than the life of your parents?
My parents? My life is easier, because nowadays we have a lot of things to do, many things are made easy for us to use. So there are more things to do now, which makes our lives easier.
What’s the news that affects you the most in your country these days?
Daily life of people. I think that now we have a lot of economical and political problems, and daily life of people is controlled economically and even their thoughts are politically controlled. We think we’re free, but we are not free in this world, which I think is a problem for people. They would like to have a simple life, as in reality life is very complicated. And actually, we don’t even know how complicated life is.
If you had to create a company what would it be?
Something that could help us, Muslims, improve what people think about Islam in the world. I believe that everything that is happening in the world today is weakening Islam’ image worldwide, so something to show the reality of what our religion is.
Can you draw something beautiful?
Can you sing something beautiful?
Mohammad recites some verses of the Coran.
What are you afraid of?
Honestly? I am afraid of the future, what will I be tomorrow? It’s very important for us to know what will happen when we get very old. It’s the satisfaction of life.
Finally I want to tell you I’m afraid of God.
What is your dream?
To be a good man.
Close your eyes, we’re in 2100, what do you see?
Its not really possible and I don’t know what I’m supposed to say.
But I can think of pictures that my imagination made up, for example, a life completely modern with a lot of things but a life with less intimacy.
What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve seen in your life?
If you had to write a book about today’s world, what would be the title?
Which of country’s cultural specificity are you the proudest of?
What does religion mean to you?
Religious life can help us grow here and in other worlds.
If you could do any job, regardless of money, what would it be?
I would specialize in politics. We cannot picture a without politics, so I would try to make changes. According to us, we cannot separate politics from religion, since I am a religious man I could do politics too. Politicians have the power to guide the world to do good things, I believe. Maybe everyone thinks that too, I don’t know.
If you had to explain our planet to an alien, what would you say?
I will say that in Iran we have a lot of things, a lot of things to take.
And you, which question would you like to ask to the world?
So can we agree with everyone or not? I mean, I have my ideas, you have yours, could we still live together without any problem?