Mohammad Gorahki speaks about Iranian culture at International Night

Danny Sonnenberg

Residents of Fort Collins heard Mohammad Gorahki give a presentation on Iran in the Old Town Library Tuesday night. The presentation ranged from the history of Iran to the people and culture of the modern day country.

Mohammad Gorahki speaks about his home country of Iran during International Night on Feb. 13. (Ashley Potts | Collegian)

Twice a month, the Fort Collins International Center meets at International Nights to hear stories from those who have been to or are from a different country.


These nights help to exemplify Fort Collin’s and CSU’s diverse tradition as a center for international students.

Gorahki started the night out by talking about Iran’s 2,500 plus year history, pointing to famous empires and leaders that existed in the same location as the modern day country.

The Persian Achaemenid Empire, one of the combatants of the legendary Battle of Thermopylae, is one of the examples of a famous empire.

Gorahki also pointed to historical objects that have been found in or near modern day Iran, such as the Cyrus Cylinder, one of the first objects in history to illustrate human rights.

The Cyrus Cylinder stated that slaves should be freed, people should have the right to choose their own religion and that there should be racial equality.

Other historical landmarks include the Khaju Bridge.

“This bridge is still functional and people are still using it today, so if you are ever in that city, this would be a great place to visit,” Gorahki said

Iranian food was the next topic of discussion. Stew with rice and beans and lamb meat were some of the most common food.

Audience members also had the chance to try some authentic Iranian food at the speaking event.

During the second part of the presentation, Gorahki covered the people and culture of his native country.


Gorhaki said that roughly 70 percent of the population of Iran is under 30 years old and indicated that there was a wide array of beliefs between and within the generations. The United States Institute of Peace’s Iran Primer indicates that over 60 percent of Iran’s population is under the age of 30.

“Many young people in Iran want into the underground clubs and bars and want to do whatever they want,” Gorahki said, highlighting the difference between the younger and older generations, with the older generation being more conservative.

Iran is also home to several ethnic groups. The most common of those being Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Bakhtiaris, and Gilaki, each with their own particular culture.

At the end of the presentation, audience members asked Gorahki questions, some of which were about the primary crops in the region while others were about the recent protests in the country.

“I think the event went well tonight and I enjoyed the interest that was shown in the questions after the presentation,” Gorahki said

Collegian reporter Danny Sonnenberg at or on Twitter @dannyjsonnenberg.