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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Keep Your Head Down

"Please don't take any picture or video," people asked. I agreed, as I had watched many local citizens documenting the event themselves.

I stood wondering which route to take home, while the thousands, who just a few days earlier felt so much hope about the coming election, walked onward. Many carried signs in English, intended for the noticeably absent foreign media to snap. Indeed, the last week has often felt like a series of massive photo ops gone awry.

Still, there was plenty of hope that word would get out. I knew that the handful of foreign journalists still here could help by transmitting what they saw. Given the limitations imposed on us even before the situation became contentious, I think we've done a good job of reporting something that no one can seem to define.

Perhaps just offering a sense of the overall confusion, rampant conjecture, and—for lack of a better word—con is enough.

The fearless people of Iran have been the real force behind getting the news out. With little more than phone cameras and dial-up Internet connections, they have mobilized the international community to pay attention.

On the day after the election, when riot police beat stone-throwing protesters, I ran for cover while hundreds of Iranians stood motionless to "get the shot."

For people who have experienced their share of violence over the last 30 years, most of all when Saddam Hussein's bombs reached Tehran, it seems that taking a beating for a worthy cause is reasonable for once.


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