The following photo essay was submitted by an author who wishes to remain anonymous

In the hot summers of 2008 and 2010, I traveled to Iran with my camera, hoping to capture glimpses not of the extraordinary, but the everyday. I wanted to go beyond media images of the country to unearth what was happening in the small backstreets and alleyways and in the local bazaars and shops. I wanted to capture what it really meant for Iran’s youth to live, love, work and play in the Islamic Republic. A work in progress, the photos reflect slices of the texture of daily life among the country’s young – a generation that sits – uncomfortably at times – on the interstices of continuity and change.

Enjoying each other’s company on a hot, July evening on an apartment rooftop in Tehran. It is forbidden for women in Iran to appear in public without the mandatory roosari (headscarf) and manteau (overcoat).

Typical Thursday night out in an upper class area neighborhood in Tehran. Fast food joints have become all the rage in Iran, as has pushing the limits of acceptable hijab (proper Islamic dress). The sign in the background reads: “Observance of Islamic dress is mandatory.”

Young woman in northern Iran in front of her home’s traditional bread baking oven. “Everything we eat is from the ground, fresh, organic.”

Young coffee shop waiter in Tehran.

Young patrons of the same upscale coffee shop. “We come here everyday after our university classes end.”

Baking sonnati bread in north Iran and taking a few moments to pose for the camera.

Young jeweler in northern Iran keeping watch over his father’s silver shop. “I’m leaving for Maryland soon.”

Washing dishes in a stream on the outskirts of Tehran.

Ping pong competition in a park in Tehran.

The names inscribed on the wall are those of popular expat pop musicians.

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