Hossein Derakhshan

Hossein "Hoder" Derakhshan hoder.com is an Iranian-born blogger, journalist, and internet activist. Since mid-90s, he has been advocating the use of internet, particularly as a means for social and political reform in Iran.

His award-winning weblog, Editor: Myself, which was started in Sep 2001, has been among the most influential blogs in Persian language and his step-by-step instruction to create blogs in Persian should take much of the credit for inspiring thousands of Iranians to start their own blogs. He also writes for a Washington Post and Newsweek blog, titled PostGloba, as well as for The Guardian's Commentary website.

Hossein, whom The Guardian called a "key link from Iran's teeming world of Weblogs to the west", has been living in Toronto since Dec 2000, but now spends most of his time traveling. When not worrying about wireless internet access, he updates his blogs in Persian and in English, a blog watching internet censorship in Iran, and a photoblog.

After his unprecedented public trip to Israel in January 2006 and his multimedia coverage of the Iranians living there as a citizen journalist, he has recently launched a project called TehrAviv, with help from an Israeli friend, to promote peace and understanding between the two nations of Iran and Israel and disarm the radical establishment in both countries.

He also last visited Iran last June to cover the presidential elections for his readers. There he was shortly detained and interrogated by the Ministry of Intelligence before being forced to write an apology to be able to leave Iran a week after he had planned to.

He has spoken at various conferences and academic events including Harvard Law School, Columbia University, Tel Aviv University, University of Toronto, and University of Stockholm.

His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Die Zeit, BBC News, Open Democracy, etc.

Hossein can be reached at hoder@hoder.com