وزارد او دا وستساد
VIZITOR TO THE VESTSIDE
an
American blog of Iranian dissent

Nou Stallgia

Looks like avatars are returning to their original formats. Fewer green-tinted profile pics, less solidarity .gifs.

Buoyed by the intense social-media amplification, seems many were hoping for the complete collapse of the IRI's totalitarian setup in just a matter of weeks. No go. So does that mean we just witnessed something not much different from the '18th Tir' student uprisings ten years ago?

While the symbol of 2009 protests has become #Neda, back in '99 the ubiquitous image gracing magazine covers and front pages was a student in Tehran named Ahmad Batebi - a charmer whom The Times of London called "the Johnny Depp of Iran." This fellow was thrust into the spotlight even though he was just an art student with no political leanings.

So what happened to him? He ended up escaping imprisonment by the IRI and landed on these shores, documenting his quest for freedom along the way to the USA.

With the help of DC-based Amnesty lawyer Lily Mazahery, Batebi has finally started to settle. Since he's been here for only a year, he can barely speak any English but he's brewing up a storm in Farsi over at his personal website.

UPDATE: On Friday, July 10th, Batebi spoke at a rally in front of the Capitol in DC.



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