Thursday, May 17, 2007

Shargh Is Back

Today, I was walking past the newsstand on my usual way to the university and like always having a glance at the headlines, when I saw something shocking: Shargh. Shargh ("East") was a reformist daily that was closed down by the government some eight months ago. The major reason for the closure was this cartoon:

My non-Iranian readers may find it difficult to understand the meaning of the cartoon. President Ahmadinejad claimed that he felt there was a light around him when he was addressing the UN General Assembly last year! As we enjoy one of the world's least tolerant governments here in Iran, the newspaper was immediately ordered to be shut down, and since the representatives of the mighty Allah never make mistakes, they definitely had the right to do so!

Anyhow, as I said, the good news is Shargh is back again. Shargh used to be (and is again) the flagship of Iranian moderate dailies, and probably the most popular among them. Now, after Shargh (and also Hammihan after a seven year ban) has joined the line of moderate dailies again, I guess we should expect another wave of shutting down publications, maybe soon, and this cycle goes on and on!

[Note: Although, I noticed the return of Shargh today, the first issue after the ban has been out on Monday.]

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