Sounds Iranian

June 27, 2007

On fakes, plots and handshakes: Mr. Khatami in Udine and “YouTube” video

Filed under: dialogue, east, iran, italy, Khatami Exit-2, udine, west, YouTube video circulating on the internet — soundsiranian @ 11:51 am

Udine, Italy

Dear friends of “Sounds Iranian”

I have one last word to say about my video “Khatami Exit-2”. The movie was recorded in Udine, Italy, last 12th of may, some minutes after 1.30 p.m. And, I must add, it is authentical.

“Khatami Exit-2” is a seven minute video which was published by my site, “la casbah di Udine”, in the context of an entire series regarding mr. Khatami’s visit in Udine. The movie shows your former president at the end of a long speech receiving claps, greetings, hugs, kisses. And handshakes.

My video came then to represent, in our point of view, a sign of succes. Don’t ask our opinion on the handshakes. If you insist, we will gladly say that we consider them part of a bigger news: the warm welcome our town gave to a man which, last 12th of may, symbolized a hope. The hope of a dialogue between two worlds which too many times seem colliding. Look at the several “thanks and goodbye” mr. Khatami receives during his seven minutes walk and you’ll probably come to the same conclusion.

There is another, not less important point I wish to underline. Everybody can see now that the situation is completely out of control. There are hundreds maybe thousands of copies of “Khatami Exit-2” fluctuating on the internet, “embedded” in web sites and blogs. And this is not the real problem. The problem comes from the “new” copies, made by people who “steal” the original images in order to create their own Khatami video. And use it for their own purposes.

These purposes clearly do not adhere to mine. But I know that, in the eyes of many, these difference do not exist. My website entered all the way in the struggle consuming Iran’s soul and became, unintentionally, a “tool”. Or maybe not so unintentionally, someone say. Ask Langley, they suggest. Ask the neocon. Ask Bush.

You can ask whomever you want, but if you ask me I will give you a short answer. I am choosing the same words used as caption in the last video of “la casbah di Udine”. A video dedicated to mr. Khatami’s visit and the ensuing scandal.

Mr. Khatami came to Udine shaking hands. Welcome to Udine Mr. Khatami.

Orma

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June 21, 2007

Khatami denies italian handshakes. What else could he do?

Udine, Italy

Mr. Khatami decided yesterday to deny the now famous handshakes with italian women and the real existence of the videos depicting the banned gestures.

As the man who inadvertendly started all this fuss by capturing the handshakes with a little camera and putting the result on the internet, I wish to say two things and thank “Sounds Iranian” for this opportunity.

First, the handshakes. I must say again that our site “La casbah di Udine” put on the web a complete video coverage of the Khatami’s visit here in Udine, Italy (may 11-12). More than 90 minutes of footage that we published on “YouTube” servers with no editing, and I reply, no editing beyond the normal 10 minutes cuts required by “You Tube” system and some amateurish scene selection. The intent to emphasize any part of the event, or body of the president, should and cannot be attributed to us.

Here comes my second point. Mr. Khatami has chosen a strange but understandable course of action. Since the video is absolutely not a fake, and the fifty thousand and counting people who saw it have no doubt about it, we imply that mr. Khatami had no choice. That iranian politics leaves no choice.

I strongly condemn and disapprove the misuse of our work, especially for political purposes. Mr. Khatami came here in Italy in the context of a cultural event which wanted to foster an atmosphere of dialogue between worlds and cultures. By filming Mr. Khatami we hoped to offer to friends of our website some more information about a country, Iran, which had (as the men called to represent it) the center stage of the kermesse and is perceived here as a little problematic. I should by now conclude that, thanks to the cooperation of people we never met, my site could not do a worst service: to mr. Khatami, the iranian people, and maybe to someone or something else.

But this dramatic conclusion, thanks God, is not the only one we can draw. We remembered last time how the scandal machine that was in some way put in motion is not producing only smog. I can only say that I hope iranian leaders like Mr Khatami will be able and willing to intercept the interesting signals emerging from the bottom also, or maybe especially, in this regrettable occasion.

But, of course, this is none of my business.

P.S. FROM “YOUTUBE” – COMMENTS TO “KHATAMI EXIT-2”

alifreedom1 (2 weeks ago)
Khatami was the head of war propagenda during Sadam-Khomeini’s war those years that media was responsible for sending children on mines.He was the head of misinstry of censorship when many novlists in Iran and Europe were terrored
(Reply)

arf31 (1 week ago)
I think you are wrong. Khatami was minister in Hashemi’s cabinet which was after the war and he resigned as hardliners did not let him to work. I guess he was a member of parliment during the war.
(Reply)

alifreedom1 (1 week ago)
No it seems you arf31 do not know anything about background of criminals of Iran. After Moadikhah the first guidance and censorship(Ersah) minister were sent off(because of being caught with his secretary in his room)during Mosavai’s cabinet Khatami was sent from Islamic parliament to the minister of censorship (Ersha) whilst was the head of Kehayn newspaper and head of war advertisement(rais Tabigat jang) his later assistance Abtahi was also the head of radio during war.
(Reply)

alifreedom1 (1 week ago)
Khatami because of close relationship he and his brother had with Khomeini’s family and assistance of Beheshti was trussed by Khomeini,Khameni and Rafsanjani, hence Rafsanjani again kept him for another 6 years for that ministry(totally around 14 years he was the mistier).Although Hoveda sent him and Behesthi to Hamoboug islmic Kanon. Khatami could secure Hoveyda but instead praised Khalkhali who killed Hoveyda (Like praising the Lajevardi).Do not be a fool by his fox smile
(Reply)

persianmilad (1 week ago)
in kheili khoobe ke to hadde aghal be fekre taghyiri, vali be nazaram dari rahe eshtebah ro miri refigh. Farghe to ba amsale behnoud o nabavi ine ke oona vaghe’iyate jeme’e ro fahmidan vali to na. oona be donbale oon chizi hastan ke mitoonim behesh beresim
na oon chizi ke mikhaymesh hame vali omran behesh nemiresim. dar zemn aghalan goftmane democracy ro re’ayat konim bad nist.
(Reply)

alifreedom1 (1 week ago)
Na janam, behound va Nabavi fagat dounbale poul hastand, shoma agar neveshtahye behound ra az chand sale pish bekhanid mifahmid ke ch gadr zedo nagiz ast.Anha narahatand ke mabada in regime zede bashari az beyn beravd va sahmiye garadadhaye egtesadi rafsanajni az anha gerefeh shavad
(Reply)

persianmilad (1 week ago)
man az in mitarsam ke mabada agar regime i ke to mikhay roo kar biyad amsale behnoud o nabavi ro be jorme mozdoor boodan bendaze zendan! hamoon kari ke amsale shariat madari mikonan! man taghriban tamaame karaye behnoud va nabavi ro az aval khoondam. taghyire jahat tooye siyasat agar baese bolooghe siyasi beshe hich eshkali nadare. ina ro ham faghat be onvane mesal avordam.
(Reply)

alifreedom1 (1 week ago)
na doust aziz,kasi anha ra be zendan nemiandazd fagat million ha dolari ke comapny haye nafti be anha dadand ra say mikoinm tagazaye esterdad konim,choun ingard fagr ba komak godfathereshan,khatami va Rafsanajni poul bala keshidand va be hamas va hezbolah dadand,chenan keshvar ra be naboudi bourdand ke bayad keshvar ra besazim.Anha ham ba poule dozdi mardoun dar sharhaye zibaye Europe ta akhar omr mimanand va be iran nemiayand.Non be nerkh rooz khori nabavi va behound neshane tagir nist
(Reply)

persianmilad (1 week ago)
Man fekr mikonam tanha rahe ma ba tavajoh be zarfiyate jame’e hamoon eslahate (hatta agar doostesh nadashte bashim). in jodast az khatami o amsale khatami. eslahat ye process e. za’fhaye khaatami ham ghabool. vali ma mardom ham 8 saal too khoone neshastim… man fek mikonam khatami marde bozorgi bood vali na ye president e bozorg.
(Reply)

alifreedom1 (1 week ago)
Khahesh mikonam sabegh Khatami dar dahe aval khomeinism ra khoub bekhan badan khahi did ke ishan be onvane rais tabligat zaman jang va rais shora engelab farhangi(tatili daneshgah va ekhraj astid va daneshjouha) va be onvan vazir ershad cheha ke nakardeh,farib labkhand in roubah ra nakhorid lotfan
(Reply)

SirIanFleming (2 weeks ago)
Khatami was one of the greatest world leaders of the last several decades.
(Reply)

check9264 (1 week ago)
He was much better that Antarinejad.
(Reply)

ghazal48 (1 week ago)
i’m realy agree with you. I think hi is a great man.
(Reply)

saman6284 (2 weeks ago)
He was nothing but a coward liar. His false hopes to the nation caused all the political activists in Iran get arrested and he never supported them.
(Reply)

roozbeh1383 (1 week ago)
you are big fucker stupid man
(Reply)

Shantoos (2 weeks ago)
WOW he shook hands with a woman, he surely is a cultural personality
(Reply)

meCyber (1 week ago)
He has a great personality, I think people miss-understood his promises. We Iranians always like someone who makes a miracle, as we live in dreams and not reality.
(Reply)

(more…)

June 18, 2007

Khatami shaking hands? We were there but didn’t notice…

Filed under: Khatami Exit-2, YouTube video circulating on the internet — soundsiranian @ 7:37 pm

khatami in udine (may 12 2007)

Let me please introduce my self. I live in Udine, a small town in Northeastern Italy. It happens to be the place where Mr. Khatami made the famous handshakes, one month ago. But nobody here did notice. Not until that iranian newspaper, and the world press, did.

There were scores of eyes and cameras on Khatami that day. Reporters, politicians, anonymous citizens, even iranians. And four women. Since the CIA was not invited, don’t expect to find its name in the official list.

Everybody saw the gestures but did, and could not, realize. Not even me, a few centimetres from the nose of mr. Khatami. Filming Mr. Khatami.

When I saw my videos of mr. Khatami the first time and decided putting them on “YouTube”, I was aware I was taking some kind of risk. But not for this. This was truly unexpected.

I am now working hard putting all the materials I have collected on the Khatami’s visit and the aftwerwards. A sort of dossier is coming out, with newspaper articles from everywhere and, most of all, commentary by iranians living in Persia and everywhere else in the world. The small but sharp debate on the “YouTube” site of our most famous video, “Khatami Exit-2”, gives you a taste of of this interesting atmosphere.

Someone in effect thinks this is the real news, and I tend to agree. With plenty of blogs and forums discussing and flaming on handshakes, women rights and freedom under the photograms of my videos, and the link of “Khatami Exit” duplicating terribly fast, I could not have a different opinion.

I am offering to the friends of “Sounds Iranian” my first reflection on the event outside the borders of my blog “la casbah di Udine”. Please pardon me if it is a poor chronicle. I promise to offer you more and hope to receive all kind of comments and requests from you. I will be glad to shed some light on the european side of this strange scandal. A scandal born and grown up in the middle of somewhere between Italy, Iran and the Internet

I will not leave you whithout offering a sign of friendship. Videosigns. They won’t be the last.

Orma
Administrator of: “La casbah di udine”

Khatami shaking hands part II
Khatami shaking hands part III
La casbah di Udine web site

Former “Exit-2”, now “Shaking hands”

(more...)

June 13, 2007

Global Voices goes Farsi: ‘South-to-South’ bridge building (?)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jordan @ 6:02 am

The other day, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Global Voices has launched a Farsi-language version of their blog.

So far, the content is humble, but poignant – Farsi translations of some prominent Egyptian bloggers’ posts on imprisonment, torture, religious discrimination and strikes in their country.

Reading over these first few translations got me thinking once again about blogging as bridge building. Even this very basic instance of Arabic-Farsi crossover is an example of how it can work between developing nations, crossing linguistic and sectarian barriers, just as much as it can serve to link the disconnect between north and south.

Thoughts?

June 5, 2007

Iranian blogs as a part of the Public Sphere?

Filed under: crosscultural, research — soundsiranian @ 9:01 am

frogs-award.jpg

The photo is from a blog event where “The Frogomist Award” (Golden Frog) for the best Iranian blogs in various categories was given.

I have just finished my master’s thesis which focuses on the Iranian blogosphere. The purpose of the thesis is to examine how blogs become a part of the public sphere. When I talk about the public sphere in this context I primarily refer to the press. I had the chance to go to Iran in April for three weeks on a grant from the Danish Institute in Damascus, where the purpose is to encourage cultural and scholarly exchange between Denmark and the Muslim worlds.

Unfortunately I do not read Farsi but I have read a lot of examples from blogs that were translated, and have followed some of the Iranian blogs in English. My primary source of information was communication with Iranian bloggers who discussed the content of their blogs as well as their experiences and ideas about blogging. In Iran I met with ten different bloggers.
The bloggers I met had very different profiles regarding age and gender. Some of them focused on social and political matters, while others had blogs that were more personal. A lot of the bloggers I talked to were only writing in Farsi even though their English was extremely good. They said that they felt that the subjects they wrote about were mostly relevant for Farsi speaking readers inside or outside of Iran. A few even expressed that they did not want to add to the negative picture of Iran that Westerners seem to have. So they would rather keep their critique to themselves and their fellow countrymen.

On the other hand, I believe that blogs are a way of opposing prejudice. The blogosphere enables a pluralistic exchange of opinion and contributes to the eradication of prejudice. Most of the bloggers I talked to explained that they are participating in the blogosphere regardless of whether they agree or disagree with the blogs they read. This indicates that the blogosphere is not just a free-for-all for ideas, but at the same time promotes networking and allowing people to be better informed as well as more politically conscious citizens. Reading about everyday life in Iran and seeing pictures on a photo blog from Tehran might change a lot of Western idea about Iranian society. One of the Iranian bloggers I met developed a more nuanced view of the hejab after reading about women who actually wore it voluntarily.

The conclusions in my thesis have changed somewhat after my trip to Iran. Before my departure I was very optimistic about the possibility of mobilizing public opinion by means of internet and blogosphere. I am still optimistic, but perhaps a bit more realistic. Although the virtual and real worlds are interconnected, there are still important distinctions between the two. On the one hand, the internet can have a very positive effect on the people who communicate with each other, but from there to real life outside cyberspace is something else. The society-transforming potential of blogs depends on how the medium is utilized, since technological media are only instruments for social interactions. As with all other media, the social context determines how blogs function as a part of the public sphere.

I am very interested in knowing what other blog-specialists think of my conclusions? Are they too pessimistic – too optimistic?

– Caroline Nellemann

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