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We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs [Paperback]

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Item description for We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs by Nasrin Alavi...

In September 2001, a young Iranian journalist, Hossein Derakhshan, created one of the first weblogs in Farsi. When he also devised a simple how-to-blog guide for Iranians, it unleashed a torrent of hitherto unheard opinions. There are now 64,000 blogs in Farsi, and Nasrin Alavi has painstakingly reviewed them all, weaving the most powerful and provocative into a striking picture of the flowering of dissent in Iran. From one blogger's blasting of the Supreme Leader as a "pimp" to another's mourning for an identity crushed by the stifling protection of her male relatives, this collection functions not only as an archive of Iranians' thoughts on their country, culture, religion, and the rest of the world, but also as an alternative recent history of Iran. Government crackdowns may soon still these voices --- in February 2005, one blogger was sentenced to 14 years in jail --- and We Are Iran may serve as the only serious record of their existence.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 28, 2005
Publisher   Soft Skull Press
ISBN  1933368055  
ISBN13  9781933368054  

Availability  0 units.

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1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General

Reviews - What do customers think about We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs?

Confusing, Vague but refreshing  Jan 26, 2008
The book contains writing by prominent Iranian online journalists/bloggers and tries to explain the Iranian way of thinking, life and social behavior through the blog postings. This is a great idea but the book tends to be vague and unclear about the subjects. It has posts about every subject matter yet it fails to mention what is the purpose of collecting all those entries in a book? I could simply go online and find these entries myself and I really didnt need a book to find those quotes. A great idea and a refreshing one yet it is confusing. I really didn't understand why the author wanted to compile all these entries in one book.
Mah Iran Hastee  Aug 4, 2007
Iran is without a doubt the most misunderstood nation. I enjoyed how the author more or less let the bloggers or the youth of Iran tell their stories and offer their viewpoints, and provided a nice background along with each topic. I particularly enjoyed the parts about women in Iran and their ever changing roles. It reminds me a lot of what I hear in Northern Tehran.. the topics and conversations are very prevelant and call for discussion. A good read for someone who is looking to gain some insight about Iran, youth, culture, and current events.
The Iranian Rarely Seen  Jul 11, 2007
I love this book's cover. The frontcover's bottom half features a photo of two young Iranian women, presumably out for the evening, meeting up with other friends. I like the photo because it presents (contrary to what certain elements in our government, our media, or our Israeli allies want Americans to believe) Iranians as people who share the same habits and activities as much as the rest of the world. It is an image of the smiling pretty faces of women, not the grim and bearded ones of clerics and fanatics, which too often come into our minds when we hear the name "Iran." It is an image most befitting a book about the thousands of young Iranians who've dedicated themselves to circulating news and information from throughout the world, as well as their own thoughts and opinions -- despite the constant pressures of harassment and punishment.

Nasrin Alavi begins with a brief look at journalist Hossein Derakhshan who started one of the very first Persian language blogs back in 2001. In response to a reader's request, he created a do-it-yourself guide to blogging. Derakhshan's simple guide would create a phenomenon. By 2003, there were over 64,000 Persian language blogs, with Persian now the fourth most common language on the internet!

While certainly some of the Persian blogs are in line with the Islamic Republic's ideology, the overwhelming majority were started in reponse to the regime's clampdown on print journalism. Most Iranian youth (70% of Iran's population is under 30 years old) have utilized the blog format not only to voice anger and frustration over their government and its philosophies, but also for the opportunity to discuss quite a variety of things: String Theory, Czech writer Milan Kundera, Iranian pre-Islamic history and religion, the latest in both western and Iranian film and music, etc. Actual blog transcripts and their addresses pepper the book and show an Iranian youth population which seems to be more mature, thoughtful and educated than many of their American counterparts.

WE ARE IRAN provides us with a momentary glimpse of the struggle of the Post-Revolution generation to democratize their country. The cost for them can be high. The Iranian government has made closing down blogs a major priority. Recently, a blogger was sentenced to prison for 14 years.
Technology helped bring about the Islamic Revolution, Khomeini's sermons and speeches were circulated amongst the people through cassette tapes. Hopefully, technology will also bring about it's demise.
In the name of Iran  Mar 20, 2007
This book is about Iranian youth that how they are communicating with one another via means of internet. This new generation is able to express their view via internet. It is fun to read.
We Are Iran is Awesome  Jan 9, 2007
This book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys getting the in-depth story from the actual people who are living it, rather than the politicized, over-simplified version that you get from the mainstream media. If you've ever asked yourself, "what is up with Iran?!" this is the book for you. Ms. Alavi risks her life in publishing it, as do the bloggers. It's a testimony to the extraordinary value of free speech that we who have it must never forget to appreciate. This book contains excerpts from blogs written by Iranians. Ms. Alavi intersperses the blogs with historical, cultural, and statistical information about Iran (and Persia). It's fascinating, easy to read, eye-opening, encouraging, and very well-written. It's the kind of book that students in Iranian studies classes should be reading.

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