We Are Iran
We Are Iran is a seamlessly edited multi-voiced portrait of contemporary Iran, translated from Farsi, using that nation’s weblogs as its primary source. Iran has more web diarists than most countries, and in cyberspace many Iranians find a freedom to express opinions that is not available to them in print. Theirs is not the Iran of bearded ayatollahs and thuggish militias, but a country that has educated itself to the point where it finds the Islamist fundamentalists antiquated and laughable, where adult literacy (and computer literacy) is higher than in many European states, and where 70 per cent of the population is under thirty and keen to usher in a new Iran. Their voices – infused with Persian lyricism – are refreshing, utterly at odds with the grim vision of the country peddled by Western governments. They talk of their conflicts with the law, the condition of women, of repression and its subversion, the police and media, of singing and dancing, of snatched romance and nostalgia for lost heroes. Reading We Are Iran, you have the sense that, for more reasons than are obvious, the worst thing that could possibly happen to Iran now would be a US attack.