We Are Iran

From an article in the Financial Times, by Nasrin Alavi:

On the blog, a writer says: “Dear Leader of the Revolution, have you ever fallen in love? Have you ever gazed into the crimson of wine, when you can still feel the spot where she kissed you on your eyelids? Have you ever danced? Have you ever worn jeans? Do you know what Mum roll-on deodorant is? Have you ever cried at night? How many years did you go to school? Have you ever downloaded an MP3 from the internet?” Dancing and pop music may be banned, as well as alcohol, but Iranian bloggers such as “Massoud” have helped to turn Valentine’s Day into a popular local festival. “For we Iranians who rarely have moments of real tranquillity and calm free from turmoil, February 14, Valentine’s Day, has become the best excuse to remember our beloved,” he has written.

Only the bloggers complain openly. “I am sick of their fake promises, their nauseating fake smiles, the hypocrisy and lies,” says a writer at “So many election posters all over Tehran… I want to vomit… I want to pour forth, break, explode! When my eyes fell on that poster, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown… I wanted to throw off my veil and stick it on the hair and beard of the guy in the poster… so that you could only see its face, and then smear my lipstick on it till it ran out… Instead I walked into the cafe across the street and poured so much sugar in my cup of coffee that it started to spill out… I didn’t leave the house for two days after that.”

Nazrin Alavi’s book on Iranian blogging, “We Are Iran” can be bought from Amazon.

Hat tip: Michael E