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Kish Island, Iran, 1999

Photo: Kish Island

Young people enjoy an evening show on Iran's Kish Island. This small island resort in the Persian Gulf is an official "Free Zone," attracting many foreign and domestic tourists as well as business investors with its socially and economically relaxed environment. Free Zones like this are one way that Iran is trying to harmonize its traditional Islamic value system with the contemporary desires of its people and the nation's potential as a part of the global marketplace.

(Text adapted from and photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Iran: Testing the Waters of Reform," July 1999, National Geographic magazine)

Photograph by Alexandra Avakian

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