Other Voices

The Editor. July 29, 2013

Desperately Seeking Birth Control in #Iran

Narges Bajoghli recounts her problems gaining access to safe contraceptives in Iran. She writes, “I knew that Western sanctions against Iran had made it difficult if not impossible to procure many vital medicines…But I never thought there would be shortages of medicines as routine as birth control.”

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The Editor. January 10, 2013

Hila Sedighi Reads Autumn’s Rain

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Hila Sedighi is one of three Iranian writers awarded a Hellman/Hammett grant for her defense of freedom of expression in the face of persecution. Here she is reciting her poem Autumn’s Rain, referring to missing classmates after the demonstrations following the 2009 elections.  


The Editor. December 20, 2012

Happy Holidays

Arseh Sevom will be taking a break over the holiday season. Have a good holiday and enjoy some poetry. We’ll get you started with one from The Gift, poems by Hafiz translated by Daniel Ladinsky: When The violin Can forgive the past It starts singing. When the violin can stop worrying About the future You [...]


Dr. Mohammad Maleki, former chancellor of the University of Tehran, is a long-time dissident. As the first post-revolution chancellor of the University of Tehran, he attempted to institute direct democratic management of the institution. Among other subjects, this letter refers to the destruction of that experiment, and his own imprisonment. While in prison during the 80s [...]


The Editor. June 26, 2012

Yo Soy 132

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Yo Soy 132 is a student movement in Mexico challenging the media and demanding free and fair elections. When the media’s preferred presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto held a conference at a university, many students questioned him and expressed dissatisfaction. Media and politicians called the students were called “outside agitators” smuggled in to cause problems. [...]


The Editor. June 11, 2012

Do You Know Where I Can Find Some Saffron?

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This video by Rugger Productions exposes racist behavior and gets you to laugh. Enjoy.


Post image for Artist Ai Weiwei Accepts Vaclav Havel Award for Creative Dissent

In many interviews, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has discussed the need for the West to support human rights in China. In a recent interview with BBC, Ai Weiwei stated, “The West should remember to promote, to protect the basic rights, insisting on human rights.” When asked if China was changing, he replied, “I don’t think [...]


The Editor. June 4, 2012

Twinklings of Hope

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Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat perform the song Twinklings of Hope from a rooftop in Tehran. They will be performing at the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco in June 2012. (You can listen to the performers at the festival here.)

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Mahmood Shokraiyeh, a cartoonist from the city of Arak, was sentenced to 25 lashes for drawing his local MP, Ahmad Lotfi, in a football jersey published in Name-ye Amir weekly. The verdict triggered a wave of outrage inside and outside Iran. Mana Neyestani, an Iranian cartoonist living in exile, called on his colleagues to join a campaign drawing cartoons of the parliamentarian. Many have contributed. [...]


Post image for Iran Tribunal to Investigate the “Bloody Decade”

A group of scholars, historians, and legal experts is gathering in London to hear evidence of crimes committed by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran during the 1980s. The tribunal has no official legal status, but seeks to operate professionally, shedding light on a decade that saw thousands disappeared and executed. More information [...]


The Editor. May 30, 2012

LGBT Iranians Speak Out

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Are There Homosexuals in Iran? “Our tradition is one of love,” says a man interviewed as part an eleven minute film featuring a number of young Gay and Lesbian Iranians. “What we got from the West was actually homophobia, not homosexuality.” The entire film is available on YouTube. In Persian, with subtitles.