As millions of people all over the world celebrate Norouz, RFE/RL’s Radio Farda asked its audience to share hopes, wishes -- and some graphic designs -- in honor of the Persian New Year.
Radio Farda received hundreds of voicemails, SMS messages, emails, and Facebook messages from all over Iran and around the world. Many of the messages were simply Iranians wishing their countrymen -- or members of Radio Farda staff -- a happy and prosperous new year. A few callers just hoped to do some traveling in the next year.
“I hope that Radio Farda will launch broadcasting from Iran to Iranians and I will be able to freely share my comments with other Iranians without any fear,” wrote one emailer from northern Iran.
Others, though, were more political in nature. Some called for freedom for political prisoners, some for outright regime change in Iran, and still others were quite critical of Radio Farda.
In the video below, we have compiled some of the voices of Iran. Other samples are printed after the jump.
The graphics are all user-generated content, done in response to Radio Farda’s call to its Facebook fans to create banners celebrating Nowruz. The photos in the video are from Nowruz celebrations in Iran and around the region -- Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
Radio Farda is illegal in Iran, and the regime in Tehran goes to great lengths to jam, block, disrupt and harass the stations signals and its journalists.
Despite this, as you can see, the message gets out.
Sale no mobarak!
Below is a sampling of the SMS, Facebook, and email messages received by Farda:
“I hope and wish for peace for all Iranians.” - From Isfahan
“Luck is not important, the important thing is that the key is in God’s hand and I hope God will give us the master key as a present for the upcoming year.” - From Isfahan
“I hope to come and see Europe.” - Khadijeh from Mahabad.
“I hope for a regime change in Iran.” - Sasan from Shiraz
“I am in the hospital and I listened to Radio Farda’s Norouz special program. I want to wish Happy Norouz to my mother, who is listening to Radio Farda right now. I hope this year will be better than last year.” - From the Southwest of Iran
“Death to Iran’s dictator and freedom for Iran.” - Sa San from Tehran
“I wish that neither fire, war, poverty or ignorance will burden my country.” - Afshin Sobhani from Kermanshah
“In the New Year I wish the Iranian people freedom and peace, moderation for the government and the rulers, love and success for all my friends and peace for the whole world.” - Anoosh
“I don’t care about the others. I want to go to university, find a good job and a house for myself.” - Sattar Boromandnejad, student at the University of Tabriz from Tehran
“Freedom for all Iranians, especially for the prisoners.” - Ziba Sereshti
“I hope you tell less lies to the people, like the Islamic Republic of Iran.” - Artemis Aryae
“I wish peace for everyone and a year without any wars.” - Mohamad Farkhondeh Fard from Tehran
“In the new year I hope Iran will be better or I’ll leave the country, because in this situation I am hopeless.” - Nehmiya from Elmi Karbordi University