By Molly Moore
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, July 4, 2001; Page A01
TEHRAN -- Arash Fahimi is a teenager in a nation that frowns on dating, outlaws rock music and offers a 17-year-old almost no chance for travel beyond its borders.
But Fahimi, like hundreds of thousands of young Iranians, has discovered an escape from his cultural cocoon. Sitting at a computer terminal in an Internet cafe, he downloads the latest Western pop music hits and chats daily with cyber-acquaintances around the globe. He even found a girlfriend on the Internet.
"I want to have a better idea of what the world is like," said Fahimi, earphones clamped under a Nike baseball cap and fingers tapping out a chat room response on his screen. "If I can't make a trip abroad, the Internet is the best way."