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Parvez writes for The Guardian

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A voice from Tehran

Once again, I reproduce a diary entry from my friend Ava, who blogs from Tehran.

Today I was thinking what to write on my weblog for the coming week. I was thinking of the crazy party I attended last night and was also watching the news at the same time. Accompanying an old friend of mine I went to a party 50 km away from Tehran in a luxurious villa surrounded by mountains. When we finally found the place and got there everyone was already stoned. When I left the place before everyone else, I looked at them wearing posh clothes with extraordinary heavy make-ups and felt something is going wrong. I didn’t say good-bye to anyone. The house music was too loud to even hear any other voice and no one was conscious either. In the parking lot I saw all the brand new cars which were all bought by their wealthy parents and asked my self: “What are they trying to say through this self-destruction?”

I didn’t want to think about it anymore and started watching the news of the State television and then switched to Iranian news channels from United States which are produced by Iranian residents of The States.

I hardly tolerate all these channels. The American ones are more based on their wishes and dreams than reality. It’s amazing that after all these years, they still interview Shah’s doctor and ask him to explain Shah’s health condition during the Revolution! And the Iranian media regardless of the reality and audience’s needs reports what it is ordered because it is to the best interest of the society.

“Some people nag out of boredom but everything is under control and everybody is happy and our politicians have paved all the ways to help improve the country more than ever and everything is going to be all right.”

This is the general impression of our media and daily papers. However compared to last Ramadan there is a250% inflation on price of Domsiah rice according to Etemad newspaper.

Today at 14:00 hours news I saw a western journalist was interviewing our president. He asked about Iran’s role and it’s influence on the Middle East and our president replied: ‘What’s America doing here? Tell me where is Bin-laden?” and the journalist said: “Where?” And then our president said: “Where?” And the journalist said: “Where?” They looked at each other and smiled and no comment was needed! I though should we really follow the news? I left home for the petrol station.

I couldn’t stop reading the paper while I was waiting an hour in petrol queue and some headlines got my attention:

A young actress's passport was confiscated at the airport when she intended to leave the country in order to play a role in an American film!

And 200 parliament members and a few high clergy men signed a letter asking the government to punish president's advisor for his positive comment on Israeli citizens and so on….I asked myself: do those young boys and girls I saw last night care about this news? Do they know what’s going on in the world? I concluded that they were satisfied if they could forget the reality and at the end they would say “We did it! In spite of all restrictions we made it.” And that makes them happy.

When it was finally my turn to fill gas, they ran out of petrol. I got off my car and went inside to check when it was less busy to come back. The young boy said: “Come back around 5.” I said: “Okay, see you in a bit.” And got into my car, then he shouted: “No, I meant 5 in the morning!”

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September 2007 is when I started (with a finished film, my first) and now some 49 countries and 8 million people later, the whole world is talking. The movement around this work has begun worldwide. We will be screening next year around the world and yes in Muslim countries as well.

For more updates email me at parvezsharmaATgmailDOTcom and post your comments here as well.

Imam Muhsin Hendricks and his website for the Inner Circle

Director/Producer Parvez Sharma

Director/Producer Parvez Sharma
All the Breaking News around 'A Jihad for Love' is at this blog address. You can email Parvez directly at parvezsharmaATgmailDOTcom

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