Guess what. There is a great opportunity for journalists, photographers, and Iranians to present a different picture of Iran than the flag burning and fist raising that is so emblematic of Iran. The Iranian New Year holidays are fast approaching. They start on the last Tuesday evening prior to March 20 and go until April 1.
What is great about these holidays is that there is no religious or political obligation to celebrate them. The celebration in Iran is the celebration of a culture—of a whole people. The New Year is when you see the people of Iran at their best and at their least politicized. It is also a holiday that belongs to everyone. It is not religious.
Thirteen days after the New Year, usually on April 1, the entire nation of Iran goes out on a picnic. This is a public gathering that is not coerced or orchestrated. It is a great opportunity to see huge numbers of Iranians publicly enjoying themselves.
If the media is not interested in presenting this image of Iran, there is no reason why those of us in Iran cannot. I would like to see as many people as possible go out during the Norooz holidays and take pictures. Upload your pictures and tag them "Norooz 2007". That's an order…;-)