At Tehran garage, Iranian woman polishes cars and her dreams

Popular

RBI asks HDFC Bank to stop digital launches and credit card...

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked the country's largest private sector lender, HDFC bank to stop all launches of its digital business...

Assam’s Dibrugarh University Teacher Arrested For Sharing Porn Video: Police

During interrogation, the accused confessed to the crime. (Representational)Dibrugarh: An assistant professor in Assam's Dibrugarh University was arrested today for allegedly uploading pornographic content...

Process to avail full refund on Lockdown Air Tickets

The Supreme Court approved the Directorate General of Civil Aviation's (DGCA) proposal on air tickets refund and credit shell on flights booked prior and...

Why was CDS Gen. Bipin Rawat’s attending China-owned MG Motor event;...

US Ambassador Kenneth Juster greets CDS Gen Bipin Rawat with elbow bump | Watch ...

Explained: How new H-1B visa regime will impact Indians, Indian firms

In yet another policy stance change on H-1B visa within six months, the US administration on October 6 said it was announcing an “interim...

It’s a men’s-only club in the tangle of auto repair shops on the traffic-clogged streets of Iran’s capital, Tehran. Among them, workers toil in dim garages, welding and wrenching, fabricating and painting.

That’s until Maryam Roohani, 34, pops up from under a car’s hood at a maintenance shop in northeastern Tehran, her dirt- and grease-stained uniform pulled over black jeans and long hair tucked into a baseball cap — which in her work, replaces Iran’s compulsory Islamic headscarf for women, or hijab.

Buffing a blue BMW sedan in the shop until it shines, she couldn’t be farther from the farms of her childhood.

In the rural, tribal village of Agh Mazar near Iran’s northeastern border with Turkmenistan, girls get married after hitting puberty and devote their lives to raising children.

“I have sort of broken taboos,” Roohani said at the garage, where she carefully coats cars with attention-getting gleams and scrapes sludge from their engines. “I faced opposition when I chose this path.”

The auto industry remains male-dominated around the world, let alone in the tradition-bound Islamic Republic. Still, Iranian women, especially in the cities, have made inroads over the years. They now make up over half of all college graduates and a sizable part of the workforce.

A farmer’s daughter, Roohani grew up laboring on the land like most other children in Agh Mazar.

But unlike her five siblings, she had her eyes on her father’s tractor, and developed an uncanny knack for driving it at an early age.

Even as she worked as a hairdresser and studied to become a makeup artist in Bojnurd, the provincial capital, a greater passion pulled her in: applying finishes to cars.

Female Iranian car detailer Maryam Roohani, left, cleans a car spraying water as her trainees watch, at a detailing shop in Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

To the scorn of villagers and some family members, she traded used cars for extra cash and dreamed of working as a car polisher and detailer.

Although relatives turned against her and cut off contact, her father had a more liberal attitude, supporting her despite the pushback and letting her postpone marriage to pursue her love of polishing.

There were no international car polish training programs she could find in the rolling wheat and barley fields of North Khorasan province, nor elsewhere in the country at the time. So she flew to Turkey, where she battled male skeptics to earn her car polishing certificate.

Armed with credentials, she set up shop in a small, rented space at a Tehran garage.

Customers flocked to marvel at the area’s first female car detailer, snapping photos and sharing footage on social media. Her Instagram account and online persona as Iran’s “Miss Detailer” grew.

But her initial successes drew resentment from male colleagues — and at times, even sabotage.

Some tainted her polishing pads with acid to burn the paint off her customers’ cars, she recounted.

Others tampered with her machines and tore up the costly pads that she purchased with her life’s savings, she said. Complaints to the garage’s owner went nowhere and without hard evidence, the police couldn’t help either.

Roohani wanted to cut and run after that. But her reputation had grabbed the attention of a prominent Tehran auto shop, which suddenly offered her a job. For the past few years, she has lived out her dream as a professional car polisher, detailer and washer.

Roohani even now trains and inspires other women to do the same despite the obstacles.

Her online videos include her hard at work polishing a vintage Chevrolet Chevelle or smiling over the hood of a freshly detailed jet-black BMW, so smooth that a plastic cup slides down it.

“I got excited the first time I saw (Roohani) because in Iran, with its limitations for women, we are not usually trusted to do such jobs,” said Farahnaz Deravi, one of Roohani’s trainees.

Interest in auto repair work has exploded in Iran since former President Donald Trump withdrew from Tehran’s landmark nuclear deal with world powers and imposed biting sanctions.

To preserve its foreign currency, Iran banned the import of Asian and European-made cars, causing prices of the vehicles to quadruple.

Iranians with the means to own expensive cars cherish them more than ever and pay hefty sums to maintain the status symbol.

Although Roohani’s business is brisk, Iran’s economy is struggling with a series of mounting crises, including international isolation and a raging pandemic. Roohani now imagines her future as a professional detailer abroad, and hopes to start her own business somewhere in Europe one day.

“‘The Iranian Miss Detailer’ must shine out there,” she said, smiling.

Source link

Latest News

Your Queries – Income Tax: Give scrip-wise details in ITR to calculate long term...

The resultant capital gain shall be brought to tax accordingly.By Chirag Nangia I had purchased shares of one firm in 2016 and again in 2018....

Canara Bank posts ₹1,010 cr. Q4 net profit

Canara Bank reported fourth quarter net profit of ₹1,010 crore as against a net loss of ₹6,567 crore in the corresponding year-earlier period. The...

Maruti Suzuki, Zydus Hospital partner to open new hospital in Gujarat

Maruti Suzuki India in partnership with Zydus Hospitals has announced the start of a multi-speciality hospital at Sitapur in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Built at...

Google rolls out News Showcase in India

Google on Tuesday announced the roll-out of News Showcase in India with 30 news publishers, including national, regional and local news organisations.The News Showcase...

How much tax do you pay on equity investments?

Equity as an asset class is an important portion of an investor's portfolio. However, tax rules vary...