Under Eastern Skies
"Enemy...terrorism...nuclear bomb...war." These words are often used by American media to describe Iran. The image the media presents is often hazy, incomplete, and distorted. The political and military aspects of my country are covered mainly in a negative light.

In Under Eastern Eyes (I have adopted the name from the novel Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad), I will write about those topics which American media either cannot or does not want to talk about. The emphasis will be on social and cultural aspects of Iran although, out of necessity, I will talk about politics, despite my despair.
Yaghoub Yadali, born in 1970, is a writer and television director. His first work of fiction, the short-story collection Sketches in the Garden, was published in 1997. It was followed in 2001 by Probability of Merriment and Mooning, which was named book of the year by the Writers and Critics Award. His first novel, The Rituals of Restlessness, won the 2004 Golshiri Foundation Award for the best novel of the year and was named as one of the ten best novels of the decade by the Press Critics Award. He has also published many articles and reviews of literature and cinema in newspapers and magazines in Iran. 
  • Mashed potatoes
    The Game

    Yaghoub Yadali uses juxtaposition to great effect in this piece. These fictionalized stories subtly expose some of the real fears and struggles felt by authors from around the world.

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  • The Little Dutch Boy
    Heroes

    In this week’s column Yaghoub Yadali talks about the construction, danger, and humanity of Iranian heroes, past and present.

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  • Donald Bathelme
    Donald Barthelme and I

    Columnist Yaghoub Yadali remembers his amazement at discovering a story by Donald Barthelme in Iran, his difficulty finding any information about the author, and, years later, rereading his work as a fellow writer.

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  • Kathreen Khavari
    Kathreen

    Does Iranian or Middle Eastern heritage mean ‘terrorist’? Yaghoub Yadali examines prejudice and takes a close look at the short film “Brain of Terror,” in which the Iranian-American actress Kathreen Khavari plays 11 characters who are trying determine whether or not they’re terrorists.

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  • Tehran Skyline
    A Briton in Tehran

    Jack Straw, the ex-foreign secretary of Britain, recently visited Iran and what he found surprised him: a modernizing Tehran (despite heavy economic sanctions), an American-educated political administration, and a people ready to reach a lasting agreement with the West.

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  • Fernanda Lima
    Blind Protest

    When Iranian television censored the broadcast of the Brazil 2014 World Cup draw in last month due to host Fernanda Lima’s dress, soccer-crazed Iranian youth took to social media to express their anger – not towards the government censors but against the actress.

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  • Iran Satellite Dishes
    In the Future People Will Laugh at Many Things

    Satellite dishes, bootleg VHS tapes, uncensored films, police searches, laughter, and fear. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has imposed and removed bans on just about everything – soon such actions, says the new minister of Islamic Culture and Guidance says, will make everyone laugh.

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  • Philip Roth
    Dear Philip, We are Never Done

    Iranian novelist Yaghoub Yadali responds to Philip Roth’s recent announcement of his retirement with a deeply honest letter addressed to the celebrated author. While Yadali understands Roth’s reasons for calling it quits, he explains why “for an Iranian writer, retirement is meaningless.”

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  • New Voyager Video
    New Voyager! Yes, We Can

    Does a new viral YouTube video signal big changes in Iran? Entitled “New Voyager,” the music video, which has strong similarities with the Obama campaign’s “Yes We Can” video, is largely based on president Hassan Rouhani speeches, shows women singing, and portrays Iran’s diverse society.

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  • Carpet of Baskerville
    What We Talk About When We Talk About Iran

    In a recent Gallup poll Americans rated Iran as their “biggest enemy.” Why is it like this? “Why do Americans believe all news that tries to paint Iran as an ‘enemy’ and a ‘terrorist’ only interested in building nuclear bombs?” Iranian writer Yaghoub Yadali attempts to dispel the widely held myths.

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Fearless, Ink.