In mid-summer 1995 I printed a thousand postcards to mail them to Iranians in the U.S. announcing the launch of iranian.com. It was the best way to get the word out since most people did not have email yet. On the back I wrote:
THE IRANIAN Online!
Your nightmare has come to the Internet?
Well, not exactly.
I’m not exactly sure what I meant by that but the basic message was that this wasn’t going to be your usual Iranian newspaper or magazine. The internet had opened incredible possibilities. With a computer in a studio in Manhattan I had infinite freedom. And I embraced it wholeheartedly. I went all out, publishing everything that would have been impossible under the Islamic Republic, or any other state in Iran for that matter. With “Nothing is sacred” as my motto, I was open to practically anything.
When I agreed to repurchase iranian.com in December 2020 after a seven-year break, I went and looked back at some of the old stuff and I was blown away. I had been so busy with day-to-day running of the site that I never really had a chance to fully appreciate all the wonderful and amazing things people around the world were sharing. The early years in particular is a unique collection of material largely reflecting the views and aspirations of first and second generation Iranians in the diaspora.
The internet has changed a lot since 1995. It would be impossible to bring back THE IRANIAN and to recreate the original excitement and rebuild a commmunity. With the exception of special articles here and there, there will be no new posts. Instead iranian.com will be the permanent home of a vast archive, available to all for academic research or just pure enjoyment. Who knows, in time other possibilities may emerge.