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Setareh Sabety
Setareh Sabety, born in Tehran and educated in Boston, is an Iranian-American writer and poet. She was runner-up in the ‘editorial’ category of 2002 NAM awards (New America Media), dubbed as the “Ethnic Pulitzers” for an essay published on and about 9/11. Her many poems, essays and critical articles have appeared widely in the print and on the internet and in collections and textbooks published by the likes of Haughton Mifflin and Double Day Press.

Entries by Setareh Sabety

Jila Goes to Prison: Interview With an Iranian Feminist

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 9:06 AM


Jila Baniyaghoob is a well-known Iranian feminist and journalist. Incarcerated several times, she is now banned for life from practicing her profession by the Islamic Republic. I read her prison memoir, which has recently been translated into English and was delighted...

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Absent in Antibes: Art Travels Better Than Artist!

(1) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 10:08 AM

Plagued with visa obstacles and high inflation, young and emerging Iranian artists find it easier to have their art travel to the art markets of the world than their persons. Pegah Lari's art has found a fitting temporary home in Antibes.



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Milking the Marathon: Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Brandeis Speech

(101) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 2:18 PM

When my son, a senior at Brandeis University, forwarded me the news of the controversy surrounding the decision to grant an honorary degree to the controversial feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, I took her side. I knew about her. She is a Somalian feminist, a champion of banning genital mutilation of...

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Pop Goes Persepolis: Interview With Manou Marzban

(2) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 5:13 PM


I visited Iranian-American artist, Manu Marzban at his home/studio, in the hills above Cannes and was delighted to see the interesting turns his art has taken since I first reviewed his work. I like the unpretentious and playful quality...

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Valentine Poem: She Came

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2014 | 1:05 AM

That day

the one they warned me

would come

if I kept it up.

She came.

Resplendent in white tulle

she descended from the sky

wrapped her arms

around me,

put her lips to my ear,

and whispered, 'hush,

it's OK, I'm here now.'


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Sanctions Worked: Keep Pressure on Iran to Free All Political Prisoners

(9) Comments | Posted September 20, 2013 | 11:40 AM

The sanctions worked. As did Obama's tougher-than-usual threat of bombing Syria. Never mind that he did not go through with it, Obama showed in no uncertain terms, that he was willing. His subsequent back-tracking then allowed for positive steps to take place. The brilliance of Obama's strategy was that he...

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Iranians Duped or Hijacking Elections?

(10) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 10:16 AM

I boycotted the Iranian presidential elections for the simple reason that the candidates whom I supported last time were imprisoned -- their supporters were killed, jailed or forced into exile. The 2009 presidential election was widely believed to have been rigged. Those who poured out into the street protesting the...

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Could It Be I Love Boston So Much?

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 8:02 AM

One image from the Boston Marathon bombings, played repeatedly on the TV, stays: you can't tell if it's from exhaustion or the hit from the debris of the bomb but the runner, looks like an older man, determined to finish, just steps away from the finish line, keels over on...

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No Nukes: Iranian Opposition Accuses Regime Of Warmongering

(91) Comments | Posted November 17, 2011 | 5:04 PM

I never, for a moment, believed the myth of a peaceful nuclear program perpetuated by the Iranian regime. I don't think anyone of us Iranians, especially those of the opposition, did. We were just hoping those who got away with murdering our children on the streets of Tehran a couple...

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Deliberate Naivete: Why Iran Opposition Should Meet

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2011 | 1:06 PM

When I wrote my 'call to meet' last week, I knew I was baring my neck for the guillotine. Iranian opposition groups to the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) are notoriously hard to organize. Even the five reformist intellectuals, who published a manifesto for the opposition,...

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Iran Opposition Should Meet

(25) Comments | Posted June 15, 2011 | 10:24 AM

Call for a Council of All IRI Opposition Leaders:
(I wrote a call for unity a couple of weeks ago, now I present how I think we should proceed to unite.)

  1. Book a conference anyone can travel to, like Turkey or Malaysia where there are...

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Last Drop

(10) Comments | Posted June 1, 2011 | 1:22 PM

I have become a Facebook and Twitter addict. Today I went online to post a tweet/status about how happy I was to be picking up my son at the airport. My maternal glee transformed into sorrow and horror when I saw the news posted by the women's rights group The...

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Iran Rises Again: Opposition Shows Signs of Resilience

(28) Comments | Posted February 21, 2011 | 2:00 PM

The opposition group Coordination Council for the Green Path of Hope issued a defiant call for protests to commemorate the 7th day of the martyrdom of two students killed during the 25th Bahman (Feb.14) demonstrations. For the first time the reformist group's call to protest was asking for "an end...

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Iran Protests: A One Night Stand or A Lasting Call for Change?

(52) Comments | Posted February 15, 2011 | 8:06 AM

In Tehran yesterday the crowds were in the thousands -- much more than expected by most of us, but sporadic. It seems like security forces managed to keep anyone from staying in one place long enough to make it a huge center. I can only rely on my own eyewitness...

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Women, Islam, Egypt and Iran

(8) Comments | Posted February 3, 2011 | 2:21 PM

We have many pundits and experts comparing the Iranian election uprising (2009) with the Egyptian one taking place right now. One was sparked by the results of an election that seemed rigged while the other was caused by mounting political and economic discontent towards a long-standing dictator. Some say that...

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Psyche Spinner: Iran's Poorest on Drugs

(78) Comments | Posted July 1, 2010 | 12:15 PM

My mother just returned to Iran. When she called this morning I thought she was just calling to inform me of her safe arrival. Instead, her voice was shaking. Fatemeh Khanoom, the woman who cleans my mother's house and whom I had written about for women's day, was...

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Working Class and Female in Iran

(5) Comments | Posted March 7, 2010 | 6:43 AM

To mark International Women's Day, I decided I should write about three Iranian women whom I came to know well when living in Iran just before Ahmadinejad's first term. The three of them worked for me as housekeepers or babysitters and my knowledge of their lives is limited to our...

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We Need a Plan B for the Liberation of Iran

(78) Comments | Posted February 13, 2010 | 9:47 AM

22nd Bahman (2/11/2010), which commemorated the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and was supposed to mark its end with a massive opposition demonstration, was a big disappointment. Yet it was not in any way the death knell of the opposition to this regime.

The Green movement showed its...

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Monster's Last Bout

(29) Comments | Posted February 9, 2010 | 10:38 AM

With the Feb. 11th anniversary of the 1979 Revolution looming, the Islamic Republic, faced with an unprecedented scale of opposition, seems like a bleeding monster, leading many to think it is facing certain demise. I wrote the poem below on the occasion of the 22bahman/11th Feb. demonstrations against the regime.

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We Refuse To Die: Iran's New Revolution

(6) Comments | Posted February 3, 2010 | 3:40 PM

These are both tense and exciting times in Iran and amongst the opposition abroad. In the build-up to 22 Bahman[1] which is yet another chance for the Green movement to use the cover of official demonstrations to come out en-mass to protest, the regime is showing signs of uncharacteristic and...

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