The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 9,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 15 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
Heard of these Riot Girrrls?
Sex and Fessenjoon girls “push boundaries” by their “shamelessly sharing stories/escapades.” And I’ve had the honor of sitting down with them to share my own shameless story of being a crazy Iranian-American woman:
I am so proud of them for questioning the assumptions and breaking the taboos of our lives, community and diaspora. But above that, I’m so proud of them for first, loving their heritage and culture for what it is, so seriously that they care to write about it, but not serious enough to not to be able to laugh at it. These Girrrls get it!
Read my Ed-Op piece for Aslan Media about why I think Iran will not have a similar Arab Spring anytime soon here.
UMass Amherst Journalism Program where I spent four amazing years of my life has honored me. I wish I was more achieved and more worthy of their shout out.
Miss them all and thank you for for making me the journalist that I am today ♥
Read my second article for National Iranian American Council (NIAC) about two short films made by Cultures of Resistance, an organization using films, music and media to bridge the gaps between nations and promote peace and global justice. Make sure to check out their other works as well.
Read my piece for National Iranian American Council (NIAC) on how Iranian youth approach activism with fun and innovative ways of voicing their concerns.
Early in the morning, when Tehran is in its graceful peace, when it is still dark and the chill in the air is not interrupted by pollution and heat of the day, we leave my friends’s house. She tells me to enjoy the temporary serenity of the country’s capital. We take two buses and a taxi to Kolakchal hiking trail. My friend and her husband live in a small rental apartment in South Tehran. Getting to the Northern parts of town where Alborz mountains envelope the city can be a tiring mini-trip. As the old bus pushes uphill, I watch the sceneries of the city slowly change from gray dusty buildings and small shops to colorful streets and elaborate western-looking gift shops. My friend points out to famous streets we’ve grown up hearing about. We both giggle. Being from a small town, we’ve grown up hearing about the glamours lives of uptown Tehranis. “Which one is Elahiye?” I ask looking at the nicely trimmed hedges and colorful arts on the walls. “I think we passed it,” she whispers and looks back to check if we have really missed it. We have not. The bus stops to drop off some passengers and pick up some others. I read the small, simple, almost unnoticeable placard on the wall. Elahiye is printed in the traditional Persian calligraphy. “I want a Shohar from Elahiye!” I joke in a thick Isfahani accent and we both laugh. My friend plays a long with my joke and answers in a thicker Isfahani accent that a husband from Zaferaniye would be better since the properties are more expensive there. I argue that the fashion district is nicer in Elahiye. She argues for Zaferaniye again. For the rest of the ride, we laugh carefree and excited for our time together. Her husband is sitting in front of the bus, the male-only part. I mention Civil Right Movements I learned about in American schools. She is fascinated and asks some questions. Soon we both drift away in our thoughts, probably wondering what it would be like if Iranian women refuse to ride the buses in order to break away the gender segregation laws. I notice that the entire time we were laughing about rich husbands and questioning segregation a beggar boy has been staring at us. I buy a green wooden folding fan from him for a dollar and look out the window searching for Gheytariye.
By the time we get to the entrance of the hiking trail, the sun has set and some people are leaving at the gate. I wonder if they had gone all the way up to the summit. They could very well live in the neighborhood so they had set out really early that now they are leaving the trail.
Living in the neighborhood! I repeat to myself imagining life in North Tehran where many things are different from the rest of the city. Even the air is nicer, cleaner and less polluted up here. Some North Tehranis are known for thier “western” life styles, excessive parties with booze or expensive hobbies such as skying and weekends in dubai and Antalya, Turkey.
Cobblestone pavement, circling a fountain in the middle of a large courtyard sits behind the gate. There are green cypress trees and flower beds surrounding the courtyard. A few wooden benches are scattered. People in groups of two or more are standing around talking. A couple are exercising. I notice a middle aged woman wearing silver Adidas sweat pants and sweater. A matching silver cap is holding her white scarf tied behind her neck. I want to make a joke about the space-suit looking clothes she is wearing, but since I am in an Islamic country and nothing about her clothing looks Islamic I say, “Oh My God!” Her lean middle aged figure in the sport suit, tightly covering her body is a contrast against the world outside of the gates. I stare at her. Her face looks fresh and her skin glows. She smiles at me. I ask in disbelief if she’s seen what I have. My friend is not surprised at all. With her usual calmness she says it’s just the beginning. She kneels down to fasten her shoe lace. “Let’s go. You will love it” she says and starts walking toward the trail.