— E.B. White
Been lost in these books the last few weeks:
Hitch 22 by Christopher Hitchens
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
My Iran-related/professional resolutions:
- Pursue more challenging stories, ones that require a wider and deeper set of contacts within the country. I already have two or three story ideas that I think will stretch and expand my reporting skills.
- Write a different mix of stories, especially more profiles
- Become more familiar with Persian poetry
- Learn how to properly cook rice (or just give in and buy a rice cooker!)
— From Saadi, the medieval Persian poet. I came across this line on a friend’s Twitter feed. I’ll leave the exact translation up to the pros, but the message is not to tie yourself to any one person or place, because the world is full of both people and places to explore. It speaks to the foreign correspondent inside me :-)
Credit: Reuters/Thaier al-Sudani
What’s going on with the Iranian rial? My colleagues and I have been following the issue closely. Here are a selection of stories that explain the rial’s huge falls in the last few weeks.
Iran launches forex centre to support sagging rial - Reuters.com, September 24, 2012
Iran rial hits record low despite new effort to stabilise it - Reuters.com, September 25, 2012
Iran rial plunges as Western sanctions bite - Reuters.com, October 1, 2012
Iranian police clash with protesters over currency plunge - Reuters.com, October 3, 2012
Tehran’s Grand Bazaar reopens, currency trade still frozen - Reuters.com, October 6, 2012
Many have asked, pointing incredulously toward a sweep of tract homes and billboards, why picture that? The question sounds simple, but it implies a difficult issue—why open our eyes anywhere but in undamaged places like national parks?
One reason is, of course, that we do not live in parks, that we need to improve things at home, and that to do it we have to see the facts without blinking … Paradoxically, however, we also need to see the whole geography, natural and man-made, to experience a peace; all land, no matter what has happened to it, has over it a grace, an absolutely persistent beauty."
— Robert Adams, 1974. He was speaking about photography but I think it applies pretty well to all forms of bearing witness.