TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – It’s a men’s-only club in a busy auto repair shop on a congested street in Iran’s capital Tehran. Among them, workers worked in dark garages, welding and wrenching, fabricating and painting.
It wasn’t until Maryam Roohani, 34, emerged from under the bonnet at a maintenance shop in northeastern Tehran, her dirty and greasy uniform pulled on black jeans and long hair hidden in a baseball cap. In her work replaced Iran. Islamic headscarf for women or hijab
Polishing the blue BMW wagon in the shop to its shine, she couldn̵7;t be far from her childhood farm. In rural Agh Mazar’s tribal village near Iran’s northeastern border with Turkmenistan, girls marry after reaching puberty and devoting their lives to raising children.
“I have a bad taboo,” Rohani said at the garage, where she carefully coats the cars, paying attention to the lights and sludge from their engines. “I faced opposition when I chose this route.”
The automotive industry continues to dominate the minds of men all over the world, let alone the Islamic Republic that is bound to tradition. Iranian women, especially those in cities, have made advancement in recent years. They now account for more than half of all college graduates and part of a large number of employees.
Farmer’s daughter, Roohani, grew up working on land like other children in Agh Mazar, but unlike her five siblings, she kept an eye on her father’s tractors and developed a knack for driving at an early age.
Even as she worked as a hairstylist and studied to be a makeup artist in Bojnurd, the provincial capital, a growing fascination drew her in: finishing paint on cars.
As some of the villagers and family members looked down on her, she traded in a used car for extra money and dreamed of working as a car polisher and driver, even though relatives turned against her and cut off contact. But her father took a more liberal attitude, supporting her despite her push and letting her postpone marriage to pursue her love of refining.
There was no international vehicle polishing training program she could find in the North Khorasan province’s wheat and barley fields or elsewhere in the country at the time. So she flies to Turkey, where she fights skeptical men to get her car polish certificate.
She set up a shop in a small rental area in a Tehran garage with her weapon. Customers flock to visit the area’s first female car raider, take pictures and share images on social media. Her Instagram account and her online persona as Iran’s “Miss Detailer” grew.
But her early success has sparked outrage from male colleagues – and at times even sabotage.
She said some of her polishing pads had been stained with acid to burn customers’ cars, she said.Others modified her machines and ripped off the expensive pads she had bought for the savings of her life, she said. Complaint to the garage owner is nowhere, and without clear evidence, police can’t help either.
Ruhani wanted to cut and run after that. But her fame caught the eye of a prestigious auto shop in Tehran who suddenly offered her a job. In the past few years, she has lived up to her dreams as a professional car polisher, polisher and washing machine.
Rouhani is now also training and inspires other women to do the same despite obstacles. Her online videos include her hard work polishing a vintage Chevrolet Chevelle or smiling over the jet-black BMW hood with fresh detail so smooth that the plastic cups slide down.
“I am excited for the first time to see (Roohani) because in Iran there are restrictions for women, we are normally not trusted to do this work,” said Farahnaz Deravi, one of Roohani’s trainees.
Interest in auto repairs has been in Iran since former President Donald Trump withdrew from Tehran’s major nuclear deal with world powers and imposed sanctions. To maintain foreign currency, Iran banned the importation of Asian and European-made cars, quadrupling the price of the car. Iranians wanting to own expensive cars will love them more than ever and pay more to maintain their status symbol.
Roohani’s business is growing rapidly. But Iran’s economy is facing ever-increasing crises, including international isolation and a devastating epidemic.Roohani now envisions her future as a professional retailer abroad and hopes to begin. Start your own business someday in Europe
“Miss Detailer,” the Iranians will have to shine out there, ”she smiled.
Follow Mohammad Nasiri on Twitter: www.twitter.com/moenasiri