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Monday, July 6, 2009

Wash. U. Prof Reports News From Iran

Posted By on Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 11:15 AM

The demise of Michael Jackson has pretty much wiped the news from Iran off the front pages of American newspapers. Here in St. Louis, perhaps the most complete source of information about life in Iran post-election can be found in Windows on Iran, a blog by Fatemeh Keshavarz, a professor of Persian and comparative literatures at Washington University.

Formerly a series of newsletters on Persian culture and politics, Windows on Iran switched to full-time election coverage since all hell broke loose on June 12. Keshavarz publishes accounts of protests, photos and videos passed along by family and friends still in Iran.

She writes, "While Iranians are the ones who need to take care of their this problem, the world's awareness and support is crucial."


Keshavarz grew up in Shiraz, Iran, but left to study at the University of London just before the 1979 revolution and has lived abroad ever since. However, she returns home for long visits every summer and recently published a book, Jasmine and Stars: Reading More Than Lolita in Tehran, meant to counter negative portrayals of Iran in the Western news media and in books like Azar Nafisi's best-selling Reading Lolita in Tehran.

"Sometimes it is hard for people to admit that there are good, ordinary, sane Muslims living in Iran, because it feels as though they are supporting the actions of the government," Keshavarz says. "But I think we have to overcome that. There are good Muslims -- ordinary, peace-loving people -- out there, and we have to let them come into the picture."

  • Washington University
  • Keshavarz
In her most recent post, Keshavarz provided a link to a PDF of Sabzine, a new online weekly magazine published by supporters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi. (Unfortunately for her American readers, it is in Persian only.) She also reported on planned boycotts of text messaging and state-run Iranian banks by the protesters and provided videos of protests in Kashan and Tehran.

She also posted this photo with the caption, "It is often assumed that Mr. Mousavi is supported only by young, urban population. But this is certainly not entirely true:"

The sign translates, "My Green Vote was Not Your Dark Name!" - WINDOWSONIRAN.WORDPRESS.COM
  • The sign translates, "My Green Vote was Not Your Dark Name!"

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