25 January, 2006

Shout out for Hossein Derakhshan

Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan is visiting Israel as a citizen journalist and peace activist. For those who haven't heard about him, he paved the path for Iranian bloggers by first posting a How-To on Persian blogging using Blogger's free service. From then on Persian bloggers have literally taken off. He and his Iranian journalist and blogging friends have got into trouble with the authorities time and again for their anti-establishment stance. Last November he was also denied entry into USA because of his blog which was checked right at the USA-Canada border. I believe his blog is currently blocked in Iran.

A fine journalist not afraid to speak his mind and one who's clearly influential over the Iranian cultural landscape, Hossein says:
"As a citizen journalist, I'm going to show my 20,000 daily Iranian readers what Israel really looks like and how people live there. The Islamic Republic has long portrayed Israel as an evil state, with a consensual political agenda of killing every single man and woman who prays to Allah, including Iranians..."

"...As a peace activist, I'm going to show the Israelis that the vast majority of Iranians do not identify with Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric, despite what it looks like from the outside.

I'm going to tell them how any kind of violent action against Iran would only harm the young people who are gradually reforming the system and how the radicals would benefit from such situation.

During my visit, I'm going to blog in both English and Persian, take a lot of pictures and record numerous video and audio reports and make a few podcasts.

I've followed his blog for quite sometime and I'm eagerly looking forward to his output from Israel. If you feel the same, you too can make your own little contributions by Paypal or simply spread the word. [Link]


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