Letters to a dictator

Published on Al Jazeera/Profile Hamid Dabashi, by Hamid Dabashi, December 29, 2011.

Iranians around the globe these days are mesmerised in anticipation of the next public letter that Mohammad Nourizad will write to Ali Khamenei. Much is happening in Iran these days, all under the radar of the Arab Spring and its cataclysmic consequences, whilst the US and its regional allies’ counter-revolutionary designs to halt and derail the Arab Spring laser-beams on the Iranian nuclear project.  

These events, exemplified by Nourizad’s letters and the public reaction to them, can only be understood in dialectical reciprocity with the world-historic events turning the region upside down, with the tsunami of the Arab revolts in particular, and with full recognition of the US-Israeli-Saudi attempts to alter their course to their respective benefits. The import of these events will remain entirely bewildering if left to the limited means of the nativist Iranian expat “opposition”, with their “Iran über alles” motto, or to those non-Iranians habitually severing the Arab uprisings from the democratic landscape of the region.

The letters of Mohammad Nourizad are now known and counted by their numbers – now only five, then 10, and by the end of 2011 they had amounted to no less than 15. These letters are written and published publicly to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ali Khamenei. The reaction of Iranians to these letters all comes together to mark a critical passage in contemporary Iranian political culture with ramifications for the region at large.Nourizad publishes his letters initially in his website, and from there they go viral – millions of Iranians around the globe read them, jaws dropping in admiration of his courage, his diction, his tenacity … //

More on Al Jazeera/In Depth-Opinion, 29 Dec 2011: Letters to a dictator: Mohammad Nourizad’s dissidence to the Iranian government comes in the form of admonishing, public letters …


Hamid Dabashi’s own website

Mohammad Nourizad: the new address of his Official Website (only in persian, where the letters are published):

Mohammad Nourizad on IMDb;

Find on en.wikipedia:

  • Hamid Dabashi, born 1951 in Ahvaz is an Iranian-American Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York City …
  • Ali Khamenei … is the Leader of Iran[3] and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment … ;
  • Mohammad Nourizad … born 10 December 1952 in Shahriar County is an Iranian filmmaker, activist, and former journalist for the conservative daily Kayhan.[1] He was arrested after writing a letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, urging him to apologize to the nation for the bloody crackdown on the opposition after the disputed 2009 June presidential elections.

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