The Islamic State of Iraq in Syria, known better as ISIS, has operated in Syria and Iraq since 2003 as an offshoot of al-Qaeda—at least until al-Qaeda disavowed any connection. The military organization is neither a political party nor religious group, though membership primarily consists of Sunni Muslims, the “orthodox” branch of Islam and the religion’s largest sect (Baghdad’s government contains mostly Shiite Muslims)....more
Posts Tagged: Iran
Writer Porochista Khakpour discusses her new novel, The Last Illusion, her desire to literalize the surreal, the role addiction plays for her characters and narrative, and being a lover of outsider stories....more
In mid-October, the New York Times reported that an Iranian man survived his execution by hanging and was scheduled to be re-executed.
Lapham Quarterly‘s Déjà Vu feature (“Bringing an historical perspective to the day’s news”) connects the miracle/tragedy to another man who proved difficult to kill: “Russia’s greatest love machine, Rasputin.”...more
You’ve heard of the Ramayana and the Epic of Gilgamesh, but have you heard of Shahnameh? It’s Iran’s epic mythical poem, and it’s “twice the length of The Iliad and The Odyssey combined.”
Artist Hamid Rahmanian wanted to bring the seminal Iranian saga, full of romance, war, and intrigue, to an American audience so he sat down and illustrated it—all 600 pages....more
The first man to make me feel like I could groove in America was Magic Johnson. Not just be here, not just make it through a school day without crying, but groove: exist with such assurance that I could look in one direction and engage with another....more
This summer, I found myself in Iran in the midst of an escalating international conflict, admittedly not the most pragmatic of decisions. After a four-hour drive from the Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran, I arrive at my grandmother’s house on the Caspian Sea....more
Somewhere in an anonymous functionary’s desk drawer or a filing cabinet in a fluorescent-lit office or a cardboard box in a dusty basement sits the Persian-language manuscript of Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s The Colonel. Whatever the Iranian government does with books that challenge the official history, that so incisively delineate the many facets of Iranian politics and culture and so tragically describe the many places where those divergent forces meet and attempt to destroy each other, whatever the government does with those sorts of books does not include allowing their publication in Iran....more
In 1982, my parents packed a suitcase and paid a smuggler to help them escape from Tehran, Iran. The reason? Me....more
“After I recanted my false confession, my main interrogator essentially told me he knew I was not a spy. My captors may have wanted to use my false confession to intimidate Iranians advocating better relations with the West. They may have also wanted my false confession to reinforce their claim that America had planted spies throughout Iran.”
The Millions talks with Roxana Saberi, author of Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran, about her time in Evin prison, the Green Movement, and her transformation into a spokeswoman for human rights....more
In a series of violent encounters, Peter Nathaniel Malae’s debut novel asks, What are we to do with men?...more
A new documentary paints Italy as “a democracy of boobs (in all senses).”
“That’s not what countries think of when they go to war.” Why no one ever cleans up the environmental mess they make after sending their citizens off to kill each other....more
Greetings! Your humble guest-editor Michael is back in the saddle for another round of negotiating the highly-addictive world of the book blogs. I had an interesting week, where I had time to contemplate my imminent move to Bernal Heights and whether I should apply to those blasted MFA’s again and what it means that I can’t seem to stop watching post-apocalyptic movies and reading depressingly dystopian fiction....more
The sun blazes in a clear blue sky and is visible well until 9 o’clock at night. It’s Gay Pride weekend in San Francisco, the streets bejewelled with parades, both joyous and bittersweet. The coffee shop is full of people playing board games while the taquerias overflow with confused French tourists....more
Entire staff of Iranian newspaper arrested.
An Iranian student returns to Iran.
Jailed reformists tortured to confess to foreign plot.
Iran’s new revolutionaries.
e-source: “Tehran is very very quiet. There’s anger & passion, but going out to show it doesn’t seem very productive and is very dangerous” … Confirmed firsthand account of another “Allahu Akbar” protester killed on the rootfop, this one in Tehran....more
Starting off, I want to thank Jeremy Hatch or subbing in for me last week, both on this column and as Saturday Editor. Great job, dude.
Seth Abramson writes a lot about MFA programs and, by extension, the PhD in Creative Writing....more
In the current political crisis in Iran, the boldest tool, turns out to be civic technology. Iran has gone out of its way to block the BBC, Yahoo, mobile phone networks, foreign journalists, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites during the election. What this has revealed is that the Iranian government is very sophisticated in blocking access to technology....more
32 reported dead.
“The photos coming out of Tehran demonstrate, movingly and beautifully, that women are on the front lines of the protests taking place there, veils and all.”...more
It’s been amazing to watch it spread.
“As the embattled government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to be trying to limit Internet access and communications in Iran, new kinds of social media are challenging those traditional levers of state media control and allowing Iranians to find novel ways around the restrictions,” reports the New York Times....more
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calls for an election inquiry.
A “how to” guide to tracking Iran protests with Twitter and social media....more
After all other forms of communication are cut, there are reports of Twitter-organized rooftop chants from opposition supporters....more