When you visit iranian.com on Monday, you will see a page asking for your financial support.
Iranain.com is now in its 15th year. Since its launch, it has relied entirely on the support of its readers. Well, my late mother, a couple of sisters, a few cousins, and a handful of friends have been extremely generous too.
I am proud to say that I have not taken a dime from any government or any government-funded organization. If I had applied for some of those millions of dollars handed out by the U.S. State Department, my bank account would not have been more than $500 in the red at the end of last month.
Last year I remember having dinner with two people in Washington. I casually joked that I was going to apply for some government grants.
-- "You should! Why don't you?"
-- "The most important thing that distinguishes iranian.com from others is its reputation for independence. If I start getting money from the U.S. or any government-backed agency, everything will change."
-- "You're wrong. How will it change? You can go on doing all that you are doing now, but with some money in your pocket. You're making yourself suffer for no reason."
-- "That's not true. It makes a big difference to people who is backing you. Some people will never forgive me for working for the Islamic Republic News Agency or Aftab TV. It doesn't matter if I tried hard to report the truth or do something interesting. What mattered was that my salary came from a tainted source. I have tried very hard to redeem myself with iranian.com and all of it would be destroyed in an instant if I accepted money from some government again. And remember, governments don't give out money for no reason. They have their own expectations. In effect, you would be working for them."
So in short, it feels good to be working for you, the reader, and fulfilling my passion for publishing. I am grateful for your support during all these years. Can't do it without you.
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