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Dear God (or to whom it may concern),

Would you please stop Ahmadi Nejad from talking in UN again? It’s really painful to see his face on several US TV channels. We see enough of Bush here every day. No need to see another moron.

Dear classmates,

Would you please stop asking me what I think about Ahmadi Nejad talking in the UN the same day Bush did? I know it is ironic. Hell, I say it is black comedy. What do you think I think? Two stupid hardliner conservatives who have made the world a worse place… What do you really think I think? Daaaaaa…

Dear American Bush lovers,

Please don’t expect me not to call Bush a moron or any names. Yes I’m living in the US and yes I’m not an American citizen. But I’m still a human being who hasn’t lost her conscience. I have the right to express my feelings in my corner of the World Wide Web. And please stop imagining that Bush equals America. Fortunately such an equation does not exist yet. I promise y’ll if Bush and his administration become an equation for America, I won’t stay here for a second. You shouldn’t either!

p.s.1. Damn it! I’m in the computer lab for my electronic publishing class. The lab is surrounded by big TV screens, and guess what the two screens in front of me are showing? One is showing Bush, with the caption saying Iran, axis of evil, blah, blah, and the other one is showing Ahmadinejad. Save meeeeee!

p.s.2. Iranian Shadow shares the same feeling!

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Does it really matter when the genocide in Darfur will go on no matter what you and I do? Raising awareness? You think the big brothers are not aware of the situation? Hell they are. How many more letters should be signed? They are dying every day, every minute, while we are signing the letters and feel good about our philanthropy. Yes, today is the global day for Darfur, global day for us fooling ourselves and for them laughing at us and thinking how they can benefit more from the oil money. And yes, George Clooney, the sexiest man alive, is even sexier in his Armani suit when he talks about the first genocide of the 21st century. Thanks dear George, at least you went there to document what is going on there. But those who should be aware of the situation already know. The problem is oil and uranium are sexier for them.

P.S. It seems the accuracy of Global Research article is under question. But its point about uranium and oil is not far-fetched in my opinion. Check out the comments.

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I think I owe an explanation to all the kind people who asked why I haven’t been updating my blog in the last two months. My Persian blog was closed for a while and because of that I got a lot of emails. When I reopened my Persian blog, I spent a while replying those emails, as well as spending time on writing there frequently to get my audience back. It’s really difficult to keep both blogs at the same time.

The other reason was that I really hate the current interface of my English blog. A dear friend of mine promised to redesign it for me, but he was busy for a while. After that, I had a horrible car accident. The car was totaled and one of my ribs fractured. I was in a sort of shock. So, I really didn’t feel like writing. In the middle of this, my dear friend sent me a design for my blog, but I was so messed up that I totally neglected it.

When Shargh was closed, one of my friends asked why it happened and I wanted to write to her about it. Then I thought I can post something about it here in case others have the same question.

By the way, the friend who asked me about Shargh is my new friend at the college and she found me through my blog! (Yes, I should say again that “God bless the Internet!”*) I’m so happy that I met her because she’s a very interesting person and it feels so good to have a friend like her on a huge campus that everybody is on her own.

My husband has left for an internship in DC and it’s kind of weird for me to live alone for the first time in my life. I know that’s an experience that almost every kid has in US at the time of college. But that’s a rare case for young people in Iran, especially girls, to leave their parents before they are married. That’s why I’ve never lived alone in my 28 years of life.

It’s weird but at the same time interesting. I think it will make me more responsible and aware of my life, because now there is nobody else to pay attention to all the details. If I forget something, there’s nobody to remind me of that. If I don’t clean, there’s nobody else to do it. So, I should remember everything and be very careful not to get my life messed up.

Schoolwork is really heavy this semester (well every semester I say that!), so I might not update very often (don’t hesitate to say “like anybody cares?!!”), but I’ll try my best to write about stuff that are related to Iran.

Thanks for visiting my blog although I disappear every now and then!

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Shargh, one of the few reformist papers left in Iran, was banned today, partly for publishing a cartoon considered insulting, and partly because it didn’t change its director to a more conservative one.

After the paper was temporarily banned a while ago, it was ordered by the court to change its director within a month from August, but the paper requested an extension of two months for the deadline, which apparently was not approved.

Also, it published a cartoon a few days ago, showing 2 chess pieces – a white horse and a black donkey with (assumingly) a halo around its head. The title of the cartoon said: “The other Rule of the Game.”

sharghcartoon.jpg
Source

It seems the donkey with the “halo” was perceived as insulting to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, in an allusion to his remarks about feeling a halo embracing him during his speech at the UN. (The donkey with the “halo” was perceived as Ahmadinejad at the negotiations table on Iran’s nuclear program.)

Many Iranian bloggers have quoted Shargh staff that the assumed halo was just a graphic contrast effect to highlight the black donkey on the black spot of the chess board. (Well, I personally believe the halo was intentionally put there, and it was so clever of the cartoonist to draw such a thing, and so stupid of the editor to allow its publication, considering the fucked-up situation of the media censorship in Iran.)

Many people who worked for Shargh also write blogs. Most of them have written about their sadness and frustration. Many other bloggers who were fans of the three-year-old paper have also written about its ban. Some other journalists have written about their sympathy and solidarity with the now unemployed journalists of Shargh.

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Shargh staff after the ban of the paper – Photo by Hasan Sarbakhshian

One blogger has speculated that the paper was banned because the government of Iran is planning to compromise on its nuclear plan and is afraid of the reactions inside Iran. Since the government has run a huge propaganda inside Iran about its nuclear program, its credibility would be hugely challenged and it would be even mocked and humiliated by its critics in case of a compromise.

Another blogger has suspected that Shargh was banned so that it wouldn’t cover the news of Khatami’s successful trip to the US. After all, several papers were shut down after each of Khatami’s successful foreign trips when he was a president.

Another speculation, which I don’t think needs any proof or doubt, is that the government of Iran can’t tolerate its critics, and Shargh was one of the few papers left who criticized the government’s actions frequently.

Along with Shargh, an intellectual magazine, Naameh, and another paper, Hafez, have also been banned recently.

Another dark day for the Iranian media and “freedom of speech in Iran.” I’ve intentionally put “freedom of speech in Iran” in quotations, because it basically doesn’t exist!

I frequently read the paper online, keeping myself updated on what goes on in my country. It seems the only outlet left for Iranians in Diaspora to get updates about their country is reading the blogs written inside Iran or chatting with friends inside the country.

And it goes on and on and on, and it seems it’s not going to stop ever. What a doomed day 9/11is…

Related:
* News on the ban of the paper in Google News
* Red Lines and Deadlines – Wide Angle’s documentary on Shargh in 2004

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