Tuesday, June 9, 2009

shirazi girl

I am back in iran after a year. It took a couple days, but I did find one of those moments, amidst all the chaos, where I realized what I like about it here. They are brief flickers, especially in the heat and pollution of the summer, but they are still there.

For this post, you will have to bear with me, or I'll have to bear with myself, as I am working with quite a crappy key board, at this internet cafe...

I arrived not only in the heat of the summer, but also right in the middle of a heated presidential campaign. four candidates are running, including incumbent president ahmadinejad. also in the mix are 2 reformists - Mousavi and Karroubi. and one pragmatic conservative, Rezai.

i was happy to discover that everyone is quite into the elections, watching the debates everynight, then immediately switing to bbc persian or voa persian to see what everyone is saying (although for many, the satellite signals have been scrambled - we still cant get bbc persian for example)...and to my initial surprise, many from my family are going to vote. for the past 6 nights there have been live debates between pairs of candidates broadcast on state television - a first in iranian politics. many of the 'debates'have been an excuse to defame eachother, but there have been moments of decent discussion.

the first night i got here debate was between ahmadinejad and moussavi. moussavi has the most support out of all those running against the president, therefore the most chance, so of course everyone was excited. ahmadinejad was acting below the belt, when he started threatening to talk about someone moussavi knows - he taunted moussavi, "should i say it? should i, should i??"-with that bush-like smirk on his face. moussavi calmly replied yes go ahead, but im sure he was surprised later when it turned out to be moussavi's own wife that ahmadinejad was defaming - accusing her of having unlawfully attained her phd. he even pulled out a picture of her as he spoke - for all to see. the whole room watching gasped, and echoed the disapproving "sts sts sts" with stiff wagging tongues. later when moussavi spoke, he sternly defended himself and his wife and when he told ahmadinejed not to interrupt him - in a tone that basically said "shut the - up" everyone loudly cheered.

moussavi

in the streets of shiraz crowds of supporters campaign in the streets - but many of them are using the occasion to be out, gathered until the wee hours of the night, honking their horns, yelling slogans, and dancing around. each night there seem to more and more, and they come out earlier, staying out later and later..

interestingly some candidate suppprters have taken up some inspriatin frm obama's campaign. some karroubi supporters bear the logo "change" not even translating to persian, in giant letters on bright t shirts. ahmadinejad often repeats the slogan - "yes, we can, our country can" - in persian, but quite reminiscent of obama's famous slogan!
one ahmadinejead supporter yelled from the side of the street "ahmadinejad, for the health of our country's future!" while everyone in my taxi snickered.

a rumor was going around that some suspicious looking people were taking photos of those with moussavi posters on their car- supposedly photographing the license plate number.

but each day just seems to get more and more vibrant, with traffic intensified, gossip abound, people rallying and letting loose out on the streets. and i've heard tehran quite exciting right now.

mean while shirazi home life hasnt changed much: small talk is still an art form; and eating is the central activity of daily life, aside from sleeping - i literally felt like i was back in day care yesterday, when i was almost forcefully put to sleep, promptly after lunch, for the obligatory 2 hr afternooon nap. you wake up to tea and more eating...

well, this is about all i can take from this keyboard for now. will try to update more soon.......

7 comments:

Michball said...

Thanks for the update. I am following the campaign as well as I can and it is always great to hear directly from people who are there

Will you be in Iran on election day?

i kant said...

What's up with keyboard? If you want a good stuff out of it, you must tip the wright words :) /Naked Lunch/

Look at this, Neenee: http://www.anorak.co.uk/twitterings/197876.html.

Lacey said...

Thank-you ms nina. I appreciate you sharing your experience.

Arash said...

love it! it's been so long! all i've got for election coverage is the wall street journal reporter, who doesn't do a bad job, but it's so corporate. excellent job, and i hope the posts are frequent in the next few days. holler.

Hairy said...

yes i will be here - and i will be voting, along w my granny and some relatives - and whomever else we can drag along :)

Hairy said...

thanks! and sorry about all the typos...i'll fix that

Marija said...

Neenee, that's so nice that you will vote!!!!!
Thanx for info, too :)