Rules are rules…but more often than not doctrinal platitudes are nothing more than a party whip to control and manage the masses…Such is the case in Iran, where under the auspices of the president of the Islamic Republic Mahmoud Ahmedinajad, the morality police have been frantically running around Tehran closing down coffee shops!
Seems incredible doesn’t it, that in the 21st century, the same suspicions of coffee as pervaded British society of the 1650s and 1660s, could be considered acceptable in another country today…
Yet, the morality police raided and closed 87 cafes and restaurants in a single district in Tehran just this last Saturday and were especially harsh on women for flouting the Islamic dress code and for smoking the hookah pipe!
Although there are no western café bar chains in Iran, the café trend is considered by many conservatives a western driven cultural imposition…
Ghahveh, or traditional Iranian coffee, tends to be Turkish in style…although as ever the ubiquitous Nescafe instant also pervades
Ironic isn’t it that the morality police in one country should be focussing in on cafe bar culture and women enjoying this scene, when in other equally poor regions of the world, the involvement of women in the coffee trade is welcomed and encouraged…
Take for exmaple- Organisations such as the International Women’s Coffee Alliance, who sponsor works in Central American / Uganda and Tanzania…
And trade figure heads such as Asnakech Thomas in Ethiopia – Ethiopia’s only female producer and exporter
And trade bodies such as the Philippine Coffee Board, who actively encourage women in growing coffee communities to supply women led export and value add companies, to deliver a continuous chain of added value….
So much good focussed on realising a new potential
The simple premise of the IWCA is that of the worlds estimated 1 billion poor, 70% are female and there succinct and admirable mission statement reads
To: Empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry
We can only hope that the greater good of these and other good citizens of our planet, will eventually tip the balance and open a rich, varied and harmonious future for all peoples of the world……Whatever their sex, race religion or creed…as long as they enjoy a coffee or two!
Guru ( Andy Grelak) writes for Aromo Coffee – They are coffee experts focussed on providing convenient and tasty ways for the caffeine addict to take their medicine. Aromo supplies excellent ESE Coffee pods and superlative Senseo pods, both of which offer the espresso and filter connoisseur a no mess, no fuss, super fresh and environmentally conscious method to make stunning coffee… the guys at Aromo also have a range of Dualit branded capsules which make a brilliant and economic alternative to nespresso capsules