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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

Bernie Sanders: The End of Cynicism

(5) Comments | Posted February 23, 2016 | 12:51 PM


I'm a new kind of a voter. I was brought up in a dictatorship, in Iran, and don't have much hands-on experience with democracy. I just googled it and it is best NOT to post photos of your ballot online. So you have...

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What Gloria Steinem Gets Wrong About Bernie Sanders

(3) Comments | Posted February 8, 2016 | 5:00 PM

I'm being attacked by women who feel like their support for Hillary Clinton is a feminist act. I've never been attacked by another feminist like this before, partly because we usually agree. This morning I woke up to Gloria Steinem's ugly pronouncement about young women are supporting Bernie Sanders in...

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Hillary's Lucille Ball Moment vs. Bernie's Gravitas

(1) Comments | Posted February 5, 2016 | 10:28 AM

I call it her Lucille Ball moment when, in last night's CNN Town Hall, in New Hampshire, ‪‎Hillary Clinton, is asked why she took a $675K speaking fee from Goldman Sachs. She could have easily called it out as a sexist question or accusation, instead, she froze and reacted with...

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David Bowie: Feminist Icon and Liberator

(3) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 9:00 AM


Born in Tehran, Iran in 1960, I was part of the generation around the world who watched the landing on the moon as a little girl. I am not sure if I heard the Space Oddity playing in the background of the live...

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Lessons From the Diet Clinic: Self-Control Is Best

(2) Comments | Posted January 6, 2016 | 1:53 AM


It's check-out day at the diet clinic in Cannes, France. I'm going home! I've been here for two full months, and I've lost 15 kilos (I'm going to get weighed one last time today, inshallah the caviar and vodka of New Year's Eve...

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Hijab Solidarity or Not?

(8) Comments | Posted December 28, 2015 | 2:34 PM


I could write a long thoughtful essay on ‪‎Hijab‬. How it is terribly confining and suffocating when forced but liberating when chosen. I could tell you how it is more a folk custom than a religious imposition in some parts of the world,...

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Is Islamophobia Creating Terrorists?

(6) Comments | Posted December 8, 2015 | 11:14 AM

Is ‪Islamophobia‬ creating ‪‎terrorists‬? This is a question that many don't dare to ask. But ask we must. The argument that ‪Rizwan ‎Farook‬ was having at his work Christmas party, over the nature of Islam, many of us has had. Many of us have felt alone and alienated after being...

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Diet Clinic Diary: I, Claudius, Must Have My Apéritif!

(1) Comments | Posted November 26, 2015 | 4:49 AM


Not all who are here, at the diet clinic in Cannes, are what you would consider "serious" about changing their lifestyles in the Anglo-Saxon sense of the word. The French are very individualistic and hate to give up what they believe are their...

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Mastering English in Iran: Ticket to Modernity

(2) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 6:04 PM

I am more exposed to prejudice here in France because I speak the language like an uneducated immigrant. They even have a racist refrain about it: parler comme un Arab. By which they don't mean Lebanese, but Maghrebin. No one is despised more than North African Arabs here. My French...

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After Paris: The Wonderful Effeminacy of the French

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2015 | 3:25 PM


I was in the US at the time of 9/11 and now here in France after ‪the Paris‬ attacks, so I can compare like one naturally does. ‬‬‬‬‬

What is refreshingly different about the French compared to the Americans is their lack of...

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Diet Clinic Diary: Day After Paris Attacks

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2015 | 11:20 PM


I was a bit hesitant going out of my room and to the Aqua gym session this morning. I am an Iranian-American, in a clinic in Cannes, France, where a good 25 percent of the people voted for the extreme right...

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Diet Clinic Diary: Pounds and Prejudice

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 4:54 AM


The diet clinic here in Cannes, France, is part of a small sized hospital. So they can perform all kinds of check-ups and treatments to help the patients in their recovery. Here, you witness socialized preventive medicine at its best. There is nothing...

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Diet Clinic Diary: The Pristine Honesty of the Scale!

(4) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 8:21 AM

My room with a view at the clinic.

I'm here at a diet clinic in beautiful Cannes, France, trying to lose the latest round of pounds that I've gained since my last diet. It is the kind of program which the...

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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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