22 Sep 2007, 8:57pm
Community Culture Internet


Iranians on the Internet: Wrap-Up

Unfortunately, I missed Part 3 of this event, which was a live video conference with Khorshid Khanoom (aka Lady Sun), so if anyone has any intel on what happened, please leave a comment or shoot me a note: editorATparsartsDOTcom.

I’m on a shaky road, typing on someone else’s laptop, so I’ll write a longer post on my thoughts about this event and some of the neat people I today when I get home and recover.

Iranians on the Internet: Omid Memarian

Nazy Kaviani is introducing me to everyone here – thanks, Nazy! Just chatted with Omid Memarian, who’s going to be making the introductions when this starts. He is a journalism grad student at Berkeley. Most of the stuff I’d read by him was very Iran-politics oriented so I sort of assumed that was what he’s still writing, but I just learned his beat for this semester is west Oakland. He noted that being a journalist in the U.S. with an accent has its challenges when digging around for a story via phone – so he usually shows up in person.

Iranians on the Internet: Saat Sheni

Continuing the informal pre-talk chats… Check out Saat Sheni, a blog by a really sweet young Iranian woman who started the blog when she moved to isolating Los Angeles two years ago. It’s mostly about her daily life; I love that she has a Tracy Chapman video on the first page now.

Iranians on the Internet

It’s 9:48… I’ve just spent 5 hours in a car and am drinking black tea as we’re all waiting for this to start… looks like they’re still setting up, still putting posters on the wall, and I’ve just met Haji Agha, who kindly told me that he’s linked to this coverage… hi, readers in Iran! I’m sorry this will be in English, but hopefully you’ll feel like you’re here. Jayeh shoma khaliyeh.

19 Sep 2007, 2:45am
Community Events Internet


Iranians on the Internet Conference in San Francisco

Iranians on the Internet Flyer
I heard about the “Iranians on the Internet” conference a couple of weeks ago and was planning to attend because I was going to be in the Bay Area, then a friend sent it along suggesting I go but my trip had been canceled, so that was a big bummer. But today I managed to wrangle a way to get up there, thanks to some very kind colleagues who are driving up and agreed to take me along.

You know what that means: live blogging! I’m told there will be wi-fi, so if all goes well, check back here on Saturday for frequent posts about the Iranian blogosphere that attends. Likely it’ll be similar to the Iranian Alliances Across Borders posts covering their conference in April, but there may be some very exciting follow-up to this coverage. I have to stay mum about that until it happens (if it happens). Just cross your fingers, please!

Since I can’t find a website for this conference anywhere, the details are in the image above and also typed out here, in case someone is desperately searching for them on some search engine like I was:

Iranians on the Internet Conference
A one-day gathering of bloggers and Internet gurus

Saturday, September 22, 2007
9 am – 4 pm

Rosa Parks Hall
Cesar Chavez Building
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco (map)

Are you planning on coming? I want to meet you! Drop me a note or come say hi (I’ll be the girl with the white laptop and the big hair).

Update: Nazy Kaviani has posted the day’s schedule and a list of attendees.

“History of Persian Philanthropy” Video from PARSA

This is a quick history lesson in Iranian philanthropy from PARSA. (It’s also the first YouTube video I’ve seen with a legal warning before it begins, which was a little jarring.) I think this would benefit from more text on screen, particularly because there are a lot of Persian terms and old Iranian leaders mentioned, but overall it’s informative and quite interesting.

Iranian.com Redesign!

Iranian.com redesign
Just accidentally discovered the redesigned Iranian.com, which looks really, really great. Very “web 2.0″ layout, blogs, soon-to-come RSS feeds, and even a more intuitive URL structure, which is fantastic. The couple of things I hope will be added as well are breadcrumb navigation, a sitemap, and the ability to comment without registering for the site, which will make the user experience that much better. I don’t think the redesign has officially launched, but here’s a preliminary bravo to Jahanshah Javid and Iranian.com!

Iranians and Domestic Violence

Iranians and Domestic Violence

The Orange County Register ran a story recently about domestic violence in the Iranian community and a group of Iranian men who are speaking out against it and supporting its victims. The men’s group is called the Keyholders, and according to the man pictured above, Mohsen Alinaghian, it’s been difficult to get Iranians involved. This is a real shame, as efforts like this, which open dialog about domestic violence, are a powerful way both to hold its perpetrators accountable and to deflect some of the shame and loneliness felt by the victims. When we pretend domestic violence doesn’t exist among Iranians, we are doubly victimizing the women and children (and in some cases, men) who have nowhere to turn within our community.

I wish the Keyholders had a website of their own, but unfortunately I have not been able to find anything besides the link above. If anyone has more information, please leave a comment. And please pass along this story.

(Photo: Mindy Schauer, the OC Register)

The Mideast Youth Blog

Mideast Youth Blog
The Mideast Youth Blog is an excellent look at politics, culture, and life in the Middle East, written by young Middle Easterners who live all over the world. The blog’s code of ethics shows that its writers are quite forward-thinking:

This all boils down to making a difference. We are here to help, motivate, encourage, and inspire people from the region and beyond to make a difference. We will celebrate our diversity rather than fight for a dominant religion or ideology. We are all different, let’s take that difference and create something awe-inspiring out of it. We focus on the youth because we are the leaders of the future. It is therefore our responsibility to be active towards the right causes.

As of now, there are 119 posts tagged “Iran” and several Iran-focused writers, including Esther of View from Iran, and Kamangir. The writing on Iran covers a diverse mix of topics, from human rights issues (like a post this weekend about Roya Toloui, arrested Iranian activist) to helpful info for travelers (like a guide to money in Iran)

Add the Mideast Youth Blog to your feed reader, bookmark it, and send the link to your friends; the news and commentary on this blog are insightful and its authors (and their respective varied biases) are refreshingly transparent.

Dr. Holakouee: Like an Iranian Dr. Phil, but so much better

Farhang Holakouee
Dr. Farhang Holakouee, Iranian-radio shrink extraordinaire, now has an online archive of past shows. If you grew up Iranian in Los Angeles, you either heard this guy so often that his show’s theme song is forever embedded in your mind, or, if you were really bad, your parents called in to ask him what to do with you. (You know who you are.) With his velvety voice, there weren’t many caller problems that proved insurmountable to Dr. H., whether they were import-bride marriage issues, identity crises, or chronic deja vu (I can’t even count the number of times I heard calls from people who were convinced they could dream the future). A couple things were for sure: he always asked which number sibling you were, and he almost always sided with the kids.

For anyone who wants to peek deep into the Tehrangeles psyche, his show is a must-hear.

UPDATE: Because of countless emails and comments that resulted from this post, I am updating it to let readers know that Dr. Holakouee does not (to my knowledge) read the comments on this post, nor is the email address/contact form on this site his. To contact Dr. Holakouee, you can call his office directly: 310-273-7636. Unfortunately, I am not sure how Iranians in Iran can listen to his live show on KIRN, but they should be able to download the past shows at drholakouee.com.

[Photo: drholakouee.com]