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Jun 16, 2009

The revolution will not be televised — it will be tweeted

Last night I refreshed the screen every minute as I watched a protest in Azadi square grow from hundreds, to thousands to millions, writes Sara Haghdoosti.

Last night I finally got Twitter after being an avid Facebook fan.

I was glued to my computer until the early hours of the morning. I refreshed the screen every minute as I watched a protest in Azadi square grow from hundreds, to thousands to millions. For a few hours it felt like I was back in Tehran, amid the “Mousavi, get me back my vote” chants. I could almost smell that Tehran aroma of old tea, feel the tension and when the first reports of gun fire came it was hard not to flinch even though I was sitting on the other side of the planet.

I did my bit for the news cycle by listening to BBC Iran in Farsi and quickly translating their updates into English for the twitter community. Half the time I cursed myself for not paying more attention in Saturday school and having a Iranian vocabulary of a five year old. Here are some of my translated tweets:

shaghdoosti People are running away from Meydoon Azadi because of Gunfire shots BBC #iranelection

shaghdoosti Mousavi: The government needs to respect the people. BBC Iran #iranelection

shaghdoosti Khameni ordered Mousavi’s letter to be examined carefully under law-there is potential for a new election to be called. BBC Iran #iranelection

For me the tweets of Micro Bloger Azarnoush resident stood out. During the night he went from excited to scared to hopeful-no doubt a reflection of what millions of Iranians were feeling. Here are some of his updates:

azarnoushRT @jadi: Mousavi: People are standing for their right and I am ready to pay any price to defend your ideals. #IranElection

azarnoushBBC Confirmed shooting in Azadi square Tehran #iranelection

azarnoushRT @jadi: No mobile coverage in Yazd city. #IranElection

azarnoushRT: @StopAhmadi: BBC reporter Lyne said “this is not thousands or 10s of thousands, we r looking at 1 to 2 million people” #iranelection

azarnoush[Shiraz] I am hearing people shouting from their roofs: “Allaho Akbar” , “Down with Dictator”. It’s 22:45. #iranelection

azarnoushMy 6 years old girl is singing ” AhmadiNejad give our votes back” 🙂 #iranelection

azarnoush@saulealexander No Arabik. I also know that they come question me after this. 🙂

azarnoush RT @jadi: Mousavi among people… #IranElection

What will happen next? For now all we can do is refresh and hope for the best.

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2 thoughts on “The revolution will not be televised — it will be tweeted

  1. Susie Smith

    Why isn’t any of the news programs in Australia (except SBS) covering the conditions in Iran right now? Even the ABC news at seven isn’t showing stuff like this nor the seven thirty report, why?

  2. Venise Alstergren

    Thank you Sara. I’ve only seen bits and pieces on the net and have the misfortune not to speak Farsi.

    Susie Smith. You should know that the only news Australians understand is football. Your only chance to access the news would be via The Independent in the UK, whose correspondent is Robert Fisk. Possibly the leading commentator on the Middle East in the world. The TimesonLine and one or two of the US’s. On line screeds. Huffington Post has news of Iran..

    Apart from that the land of slumbering people whose entire interest is the sodding football couldn’t give a stuff!