JUNUB

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Among Iranian youths, junub carries much more meaning than just its literal definition of south. It has long been synonymous with an adventurous trip, a breath of fresh air and a sense of freedom. When winter cold comes to most of Iran, in its southern provinces young Iranians scatter around the remote beaches and mountains of the Persian Gulf islands. Here, they enjoy the company of other open-minded Iranians and ­­­­­relative safety to pursue their personal freedoms, engage in creative activities, exchange ideas and form long-term connections that last far beyond the beaches of Hormoz or Hengam. The Iranian travellers discover their country, reconnect with nature and bind closely with the local communities, which thrive from the constant influx of tourists and travellers. In recent years, however, the island of Hormoz has become so infamous for its freedom-seeking youths that it drew the attention of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps that keep a close eye on the visitors and regularly clear out campers from the most popular beaches. Despite the future being uncertain, the Iranian south keeps on strengthening its importance as a unique social hub for the country’s young generation.

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