If my experience is any guide, Iranians outside Iran are living some of the most intense days of their lives. Since the first, disputed results of the presidential election were announced soon after the polls closed on 12 June 2009 and the protests almost immediately started, my waking hours are absorbed- hour-by-hour, even minute-by-minute - in gathering computer-delivered news about what is happening in my homeland.
It is compulsive, and also complicated. The intense emotional engagement brings with it far more unease than satisfaction. The process of digesting the news from family and friends in Iran that clogs my inbox, of following multiple links to blogs,of watching sometimes horrific videos, leaves me at once outraged and energised yet also sickened and paralysed into inaction and silence. If there is a pattern to these feelings, it lies in an often wild pendulum-swing between a vague sense of hope and elation, and deep shame and depression.
The shame is hard: that even while people were being beaten and shot in Tehran on 20 June, police were waiting at the hospitals to arrest or take down the names of the injured - the foretaste of a midnight visit to their homes from the basij militias; that while the regime was killing its own people, it was the foreign embassies that opened their doors to the wounded to help us.
But the pride too is profound: in the fearlessness of my compatriots; in the humanity and solidarity that binds us...
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I am a writer, journalist and broadcaster specialising in Iran. I also write travel books and am a health and beauty journalist…
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