I’m sure all of you know about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Columbia University. What you might not know is the underground blog presence in Iran. The Iranian blogosphere was a blur of activity, with most of the opinions anonymously lampooning the oft-reviled and misunderstood leader.
The New York Times published excerpts from Iranian bloggers, translated by the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center. Most of them are what you’d expect: perfectly sane, rational people wincing over how their leader is making a mockery of their country. My favorite excerpt and the exception to this trend is from the blog abhayesepid.persianblog.ir:
During the speech of my favorite president, I felt broken. The belittling killed me little by little. He thought Columbia University was just another visit to the provinces and everyone would applaud him. How could he stand all the insults to his people?
Last night, before the speech of my knowledgeable Ahmadinejad, I was so worried. O Lord, how are we going to be ridiculed now?
Don’t worry, friend. Yours is not the only nation being ridiculed. That why our leaders love a good foreign dignitary gaffe. It takes the heat off their own administration and it’s foibles.