Iran: A New Year Begins

flower.jpgYesterday, marked the first day of spring and the Iranian New Year. Nowruz or Norouz is celebrated in Iran and several other countries such as Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Several bloggers celebrated the day and shared their wishes and ideas on this occasion.

Some, like Raze No (meaning “new secret”) added photos of festivities and spring to their blog (as above).

1Pezeshk (meaning “one doctor” in Persian), a creative blogger, asked several bloggers to express themselves on Iranian New Year in a podcast [Fa]. Seven Iranian bloggers and one Afghan blogger answered his call, and the result was a joint podcast.

Khabgard writes [Fa] with irony that the Iranian government, in the final days of last year, gave Iranians another gift: “Nine magazines were shut down!” The blogger adds that the government has delivered so many surprises, that Iranians can no longer predict what the future holds in store for the new year, let alone tomorrow!

Falosofah writes [Fa] about the difficult situation for writers and translators in Iran. He says:

The first idea crossing the mind of writers and translators is the following: “Can I keep living at the same standard as I have in the past 10 years, or will I be forced to move to smaller cities or emigrate? Each time a society faces political and economic troubles, the most affected people are the ones involved with culture and science. If you talk with a publisher or a bookstore owner, they will tell you that the prices of all other goods they sell have increased enormously, while book prices, like for other cultural products, have decreased.

Azadi Barabary blog has published [Fa], a message from Kaveh Abbassian, a left wing student leader. He says that some of his best friends are still in prison, and that students in all universities are under pressure, and freedom of speech and free association are under attack. He adds:

Despite all the pressure we say: We are present! We stand up! We don't negotiate our will to defend freedom and equality. We are stronger and more determined than ever.

Jomhour called [Fa] President Ahmadinejad's message for New Year unrealistic. The Iranian president praised economic, cultural and political achievements in last year. The blogger says the government's mismanagement created high unemployment rates and inflation. He says maybe we should change the meaning of the word ‘achievement’ in the dictionary.

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