The seven-minute davven
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An Iranian in Israel

Today Iranian blogger Hossein Derakshan is en route to Israel. He acknowledges that landing in Tel Aviv entails breaking a cultural taboo; having an Israeli stamp on his passport may mean he won't be able to return to Iran for a long time. But he seems excited about the chance to visit, and to offer a window into Israeli life through Iranian eyes.

As a citizen journalist, I'm going to show my 20,000 daily Iranian readers what Israel really looks like and how people live there. The Islamic Republic has long portrayed Israel as an evil state, with a consensual political agenda of killing every single man and woman who prays to Allah, including Iranians.

I'm going to challenge that image.

Showing Iranians what the "real" Israel is like isn't his only agenda; he also hopes to give Israelis a more nuanced and complete picture of who Iranians are.

As a peace activist, I'm going to show the Israelis that the vast majority of Iranians do not identify with Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric, despite what it looks like from the outside.

I'm going to tell them how any kind of violent action against Iran would only harm the young people who are gradually reforming the system and how the radicals would benefit from such situation.

Part of what I love about Global Voices is how, reading it, I learn about the delightfully complex realities of others' lives via blogs from around the world. Reading blogs can be like travelling to places one has hardly even imagined. Of course, actually going to new places in person is even more fun (and more valuable). Really meeting one another can be lifechanging.

Thanks to his blog, we''ll be able to eavesdrop on his travels, see some of what he sees, and discover what misconceptions will be dispelled on both sides. Thanks, Hoder, for bringing us along for the ride.

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