The Election on Blog in Farsi
(This article appeared on page G - 2 of the San Francisco Chronicle)
(What is the story behind this remarkable surge of voters interest - especially among young people - in the 2008 election? We invited students from Susan Rasky's political-reporting class at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism to provide their insights. Other student essays on this subject can be found at sfgate.com/opinion.)
The enthusiasm about the 2008 presidential election does not end at the U.S. borders.
Because of the Internet and satellite dishes, millions of people outside the country follow the tight marathon that might take the United States in a new direction in November.
Since I've started blogging on presidential elections in the United States on my Farsi blog, my readers have doubled. I am not really sure whether it's my eloquent writing that's drawing the new readers or a desire to get firsthand information about a unique election that could change the life of millions of people outside the United States.
"Everywhere I go, people talk about Hillary and Obama," observed one of my readers from Tehran. "Some of the university students analyze candidates' debates as though they were going to vote in November."
In Iran, one of the founding members of President Bush's "axis of evil" club, young people record the U.S. candidates' speeches and lend recorded tapes to their friends to watch. A friend of mine told me that she was invited to a gathering to watch the Ohio and Texas primaries. "In Tehran today, it is a hip and fun thing to do," my friend says.
There is a simple reason behind this obsessive attention. The two Democratic front-runners embody the promise of the American dream - that hard work is rewarded with success regardless of race or gender. This dream is sold to the rest of the world in Hollywood movies and Silicon Valley success stories, but when it comes to Washington, the dream turns to war, fear and aggression.
More of the their work on other topics can be found at www.californianewsservice.org)