We Are Iran | Granta

  • Published: 08/06/2006
  • ISBN: 9781846270031
  • 129x20mm
  • 384 pages

We Are Iran

Nasrin Alavi

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.

This is not the first example of a book made out of blogs ... It does, I think, count as the finest so far: an eye-opening collage of extracts from the (roughly) 64,000 Farsi-language bloggers now at work in Iran, threaded by Alavi's illuminating analysis

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

Incredibly heartening

Ian Hislop, BBC R4, Start the Week

Every now and again a book comes along that first challenges any preconceived notions you may have about a particular subject, and then turns them completely on their head. We Are Iran is just such a book


The Author

Nasreen Alavi is a British Iranian who gave up a career in the City of London to work for an NGO in Tehran. This is her first book.

More about the author →