On February 29th I received an email from Jahanshah, titled, “For Sale ☺”. Hmm. It looked innocuous enough. I figured that Jahanshah was likely trying to help a friend sell some furniture, property, or something else. I opened the message and literally re-read it 3 times to make sure that I was in fact reading his words correctly.
“hola Said, I'm ready to part ways with iranian.com :)"
Huh? Say what?! My jaw dropped, and remained in that position for a good 5 seconds. I was absolutely shocked. My immediate thoughts were…
1) Is it April Fool’s Day? He’s got to be kidding, right?
2) Maybe he’s drunk and is just talking smack.
3) Did I upset him somehow?
4) No, seriously, WTF?!
5) We need to speak ASAP.
Once we connected on Skype to discuss his email, I realized that none of my initial thoughts were a factor in his desire to move on. Simply put, he sounded like a man at peace with his decision, and more importantly, incredibly excited to tackle a new challenge. Initially, it was hard for me to accept this, as it was so sudden and unexpected. Yet, I could not help but to feel excited for him, and his courage to start a new venture. Given all that he has done via Iranian.com for the community, the least I could do is be supportive (even if selfishly a bit disappointed).
I’m stating the obvious for most of you, but for those who do not know Jahanshah Javid, he is the founder and editor of Iranian.com. The site has been serving Iranians worldwide, particularly the diaspora, for an incredible 17 years. I repeat, 17 years! In internet/technology terms, this makes Iranian.com a true web icon and a pioneer in the world of user-generated content and community building.
Like many of you, Iranian.com has served as a huge inspiration for me. I view it as a public institution of sorts, that empowers all of us to be informed, expressed and connected to Iranian culture. To best convey my feelings towards Iranian.com and Jahanshah, here is a quote from an interview he did with me in 2004:
“One winter day in the year 2000 while surfing the Internet (*ahem* at work of course), I stumbled into Iranian.com. The concept, content and geographic reach of this netzine was just amazing. I mean, Iranians from all over the world were writing in and accessing the site on a daily basis! *whoa* I had never before seen such an effective and moving online Iranian community. This was the first time that I really absorbed/appreciated the incredible reach and effectiveness of the Internet as a medium to unite and inform people (we all owe a BIG thank you to Jahanshah Javid for giving us such an amazing forum!).”
So what now?
We all continue what we have been doing here on Iranian.com for almost two decades; talking, sharing, laughing, crying, debating, and enjoying Iranian culture. None of this will change. What will change, by year’s end, is an improved platform with robust tools that further empower us to share, discover, discuss, moderate and tap into the pulse of Iranian communities worldwide. I will share more in the near future as we approach the launch date and I certainly welcome any suggestions you have for the new site.
Thank you all for making Iranian.com such a special and unique place; I'm thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to have a positive impact. Should you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the comments section below.
Life is good!
|نسرین ستوده: زندانی روز||Dec 04|
|Saeed Malekpour: Prisoner of the day||Lawyer says death sentence suspended||Dec 03|
|Majid Tavakoli: Prisoner of the day||Iterview with mother||Dec 02|
|احسان نراقی: جامعه شناس و نویسنده ۱۳۰۵-۱۳۹۱||Dec 02|
|Nasrin Sotoudeh: Prisoner of the day||46 days on hunger strike||Dec 01|
|Nasrin Sotoudeh: Graffiti||In Barcelona||Nov 30|
|گوهر عشقی: مادر ستار بهشتی||Nov 30|
|Abdollah Momeni: Prisoner of the day||Activist denied leave and family visits for 1.5 years||Nov 30|
|محمد کلالی: یکی از حمله کنندگان به سفارت ایران در برلین||Nov 29|
|Habibollah Golparipour: Prisoner of the day||Kurdish Activist on Death Row||Nov 28|