Thursday, February 02, 2006

HODER'S ROAD-TRIP

If you fancy taking some time out from the Danish Cartoon craziness, here's a blog written by an Iranian travelling around Israel, who goes by the name of Hoder:
Some people keep forgetting that Iran and Israel are closer than ever to a war. And this is exactly why I'm here.

I, as the peace activist who wants to make bridges and the citizen journalist who wants to humanize both sides for one another have not chosen to focus on the Palestinian-Israeli issue. Because it's a very complicated issue that I don't have enough expertise to explore, let alone comprehend and report about. I don't know any of the two languages of the two sides and haven't read enough to even have a specific opinion about the conflict and take sides.

Does it mean that I don't care it? Does it mean that I think Iran-Israel conflict is more important than Palestine-Israel? Of course not. But when I have limited resources (knowledge, time, and money), it's my right to chose my focus.

In the past few days, I've meet with many Iranian-Israelis and have recorded extensive interviews with then in Persian. About their life in Iran, in Israel, and their hope and plans for the future. I'm going to meet a few more and interview them too. This is one side of the story.

But in terms of what the Israelis think about Iranians, I still need to work more. So far I've talked to a lot of people and they've all been very friendly and nice, even after hearing my name and where I come from. But I'm going to Jerusalem today and possibly Ramallah to talk to more people and get more reactions.

If I can manage to get into the Palestinian Authoritiy territories, I'll still focus on my main question which is about Iran, not Sharon, or settlements, or Hamas, etc. I'll ask the ordinary Palestinians about how they perceive Iran and its leaders and what do they think about Iran-Israel relationship.

This would particularly be interesting when asked from Hamas supporters or members, If I can get to talk to any. It will show how much influence Iran, as many claim, has among Hamas supporters and members on the ground.
It's been a really interesting read so far. Nice one.

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