Monday, October 13, 2003

Wow. What a couple of days. I disconnect from the internet to spend some time with K's family and Shirin Ebadi is awarded the Nobel Prize. This morning I got my email and several of the letters were from people asking me how Iranians feel about the award. I opened my Dad's first (I know him, after all). I was shocked. I had not heard a thing.

Sunday was the birth date of the 12th imam who Shi'ites believe never actually died. (I was hoping that Shia pundit would explain this holiday, but there is no mention of it on his blog.) It is a day of celebration in Iran. The whole country seems to be lit up by green, red, and white lights. Banners fly over the streets, and lampposts are decorated with leafy branches.

Holiday television programming was dominated by a marathon cultural event that was taking place in Tehran. It even supplanted the football (soccer) match between England and Turkey. The next day, there was football between Iran and New Zealand (big win for Iran) and some programming with that deep male voice narrating that signals you are about to hear a load of crap. (You know the voice…)

There was no mention of the Nobel Peace Prize. Not a word. Today, however, the papers all have front-page stories about Shirin Ebadi. Iran News has a positive article and claims that the government has congratulated her.

Iranians that we talk to are excited and happy and proud. Iran News says that she will be welcomed back in Tehran tomorrow. The government says a "top official is expected to attend." What does that mean?

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