We are Iran

 PEN PROMOTES white on black



We are Iran by Nasrin Alavi

Translated from Farsi by Nasrin Alavi

Published Portobello Books, Oct 2005

We are iranA multi-voiced portrait of contemporary Iran using Iranian weblogs as its primary source. The weblogs are introduced, put in the context and illustrated with contemporary photographs.  Iran has more web diarists than most countries, and in cyberspace many Iranians find a freedom to express opinions that is not available to them in print. This is not the Iran of bearded ayatollahs and thuggish militias, but a country that is highly educated, critical and politically aware. The weblogs writers talk about their conflicts with the law, the condition of women, about repression and subversion, the police and media, the role of women, fashion and romance. 

Iran a major threat and the next “rogue state” in the axis of evil, the world’s attention will be focused on them very soon.  We Are Iran is an urgent and unprecedented book about what it feels like to be Iranian today. It adds an invaluable insight into our understanding of Iran and the Middle East right now. 

Nasrin Alavi is a British Iranian who gave up her career in the City ofLondon to work for an NGO in Teheran. She spent her formative years inIran. After attending university in theUK and working in the city ofLondon and academia she returned to her birthplace working for an NGO for a number of years. Today she lives in theUK and in Teheran.  This is her first book.

Taken from Iranian weblogs:

” I keep a weblog so that I can breathe in this suffocating air… In a society where one is taken to history’s abattoir for the mere crime of thinking, I write so as not to be lost in my despair… so that I feel that I am somewhere where my calls for justice can be uttered…. I write a weblog so that I can shout, cry and laugh, and do the same things that they have taken away from me in Iran today… “

“On the one hand the French say women should discard their veils and on the other hand, in Iran, they believe in forcing the veil on women throughout the world. They both batter us on the head with the stick of Islam. Do women ever tell you men what you can and cannot wear?”

“I can see a war on the horizon…In the depth of my heart I want the people of Iraq and Afghanistan to reach peace and freedom , but it might mean that America will find even stronger reasons to attack Iran… I am scared. I feel incredibly helpless.”

“And now is our turn to die. Because we are to pay for the actions of our rulers, whom we despise. We the ordinary people will have to pay.”

” I hate war. I hate the liberating soldiers that trample our soil, home, young and old with their boots. Believe me I love freedom. But I believe that you have to make yourself free. No one else can free you.”

“God invented war so that the Americans can learn geography!”

“As a nation we all have dual personalities. At home we are as free as can be we have fun, drink, have parties and pay no attention to the religious dictates of the Supreme Leader. But in public we are forced to act devout and show support for the regime This has destroyed our culture and has turned us in to the worst kind of hypocrites and as a society we are rotting from the inside.”

Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersintranslation/supportedtitles/weareiran/

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