Forever Under Construction

Persian Blogs

Posted in Blogosphere, Books, Iran, Iranians, Society by homeyra on January 31, 2007

Has everyone noticed the spooky absence of graffiti in our public toilets since the arrival of web logs? Remember the toilets at the university we used to call our ‘Freedom Columns’?”


Iran through the eyes of the country’s bloggers
Nasrin Alavi

“Yesterday I bought a turquoise ring…They say it brings you happiness… I didn’t let my boyfriend buy it… I bought it myself. I wanted to be the creator of my own happiness, beauty and freedom… The era of fairy-tale heroes has come to an end.”

If George Bush, Dick Cheney and the Fox News Network swapped places with Ayatollah Khamenei, Rafsanjani and our own state-controlled television network… nothing much would change in the world. Just as everything in Iran is the fault of the Americans, in America, the Middle Eastern terrorists are to blame for all the woes of the World…”

“Here in this forgotten corner of the world, lost in this third millennium, I am worried about the crumbling ruins collapsing on my only child’s head … Not far away in the civilized world, people would laugh at my deepest fears… No rubble will disturb their dreams… I can hear them snoring.” …


We Are Iran: Independent 2006 Books of the Year, New Statesman critics’ choice 2006
Fariba Amini review of the book for Peyvand: a great website presenting in English information about news, arts, books, sports, and much more. I specially enjoy the book reviews. Thank you Naj for having posted about this book in the first place!

Other reviews: NewStatesman, The Independent, Guardian, and Soft Skull Press where you can download a sample chapter


Nasrin Alavi a British Iranian. She spent her formative years in Iran and attended university in Britain. She lives both in London and in Tehran.

A summary of Nasrin’s articles in Open Democracy, and Comment is Free Guardian.
Iranian Blogs, Wikipedia


14 Responses

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  1. robo said, on January 31, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    یک اشتباه قدیمی… “ما ایران هستیم” از کجا معلوم؟
    خودمرکز جهان بینی در ادبیات ایرانی تا به آنجا رسید که دورگه‌ها هم را به اشتباه انداخته است.
    هیچ عده و گروه خاصی نمیتواند ایران را به نام خودش مصادره بکند.
    آنچه میبینیم این است که 98.2 درصد هم کل ایران نیست. تا چه رسد به پنجاه درصد جوان فعلی…
    تیتر: ما قسمتی از ایران هستیم
    شاید بهتر بود 😉

  2. homeyra said, on January 31, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    البته حرفت درست است!
    خارجي ها كه هچ خيلي از ايراني هاي حتي علاقمند هم آشنايي زيادي با اين نسل جوان ندارند. نسل قبل كه خيلي كامبيوتر ي نيست و غيره.
    احتمال دارد كه نويسنده يك تيتر قوي تري را انتخاب كرده تا شايد به انگليسي زبانان بگويد كه “آنچه شما در تلويزيون خودتان مي بينيد ايران نيست”.
    “ما هم ايران هستيم” هم تيتر خوبي است. لابد ناشر بدليل تبليغاتي نوع تند ترش را ترجيح داده‌ !!

    ضمنا چه عجب از اين طرفا

  3. peoplesgeography said, on January 31, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Terrific! Well done to Nasrin Alavi and I shall keep a look-out for this book. Great snippets, especially the second italicised one wherein the US neocons are the Iranian theocons just mirror each other in some respects.

    Is it available in Iran?

    I’ve downloaded the sample chapter and shall read it and the reviews with great interest — thank you.

  4. homeyra said, on January 31, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    “Is it available in Iran?”

    The book, no.. but the writers Yes! 🙂

    Thank you PPGG for your enthusiasm! In the review in Payvand, more quotations are presented. They all seem so clever!

  5. iranfacts said, on January 31, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    Which reminds me Homeyra, what happened to your “translation” initiative? Maybe you are in a good position to get the first-hand stories “out”.

    By the way, did you hear about “the bloggers are a lonely bunch” I posted on it in mine 🙂

  6. Bluebear2 said, on February 1, 2007 at 3:04 am

    “Remember the toilets at the university we used to call our ‘Freedom Columns’?”

    That sure says a lot. Around here the graffiti is only about gangs claiming their territory.

    (Of course I must say it is better at the colleges.)

  7. homeyra said, on February 1, 2007 at 5:22 am

    Naj: Busy times right now: some urgent matters to take care of. Hopefully will be more available in a week or so. Definitely there are so many amazing things to translate, for instance Rita’s blog …
    If anybody is interested to translate some, I’ll be happy to post or link to.
    BB2: “That sure says a lot” – nothing to add!

  8. saa said, on February 1, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Now I have to buy this book, I checked on Amazon, its there, I wish they will also publish this in German so people in Germany can see another side of picture. They see what Media tells…and here Media says Iranian people are very liberal then need freedom from fanatics mullah and they do not have courage. So whats the message here? clearly to give them freedom by invading there land or??? same old story like West showed for Iraq.
    I request you guys to write an email to German TV like and ZDF and tell them your story and talk about this book. I believe they will do something, they are not hypocrite like Fox news.

  9. homeyra said, on February 2, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Dear Saa
    Robo, the first comment on this post, wrote (in Persian):
    This is an old error…”We Are Iran”… who says so?… The “self-centered” vision in Persian literature … No particular group can monopolize “Iran” in his name… Even the 98.2% of the country is not “All Iran”, no to talk about half of the present youth… “we are Also Iran” (or part of Iran) would have been a better title.”
    And Robo himself is part of that youth…

    My answer is not that smart, so I won’t translate it 🙂

    I like his answer. He even refuses to publicize about his own “tribe“, group. whatever …

    Should I regret that all politicians cannot discuss with such a good faith?
    Or should I be glad that Robo isn’t a politician… where one gets so obsessed with the other’s devil to become one …
    As far as I know Arte has had some very interesting documentaries about Iran. I have seen none as I never watch TV.
    The online site: DW-World.DE, Deutsche Welle is a very interesting source of information often quoted in Persian blogs.
    We are well aware of the German Press difference vs Fox 🙂

  10. Richard Nash said, on February 2, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I’m the US publisher of this book and, as it so happens, it IS published in Germany. I forget the title, but it is published by Kiepenheuer und Witsch

  11. saa said, on February 2, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    @ Dear Homeyra many thanks for your feedback.
    @Richard, thank you so much for your info. I’ll check that. I checked you webpage, awesome collections! its all your publications?

  12. homeyra said, on February 2, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Hi Richard, thank you for coming by.
    I hope this would be a successful publishing adventure… and thank you to have it published in the first place!

  13. irmgardartig said, on February 12, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    sounds like a great, self-ironical view on your life in Iran. I’ll certainly read it.

  14. homeyra said, on February 12, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    I am sure you’ll like the book. The best Iranian bloggers write in Persian – some of them on the blogroll here. I translated a few, such as this one.
    Pity that there is this language barrier.

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