Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, blogger

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The New York Times in today’s editions brings us up to date on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s embrace of Web 2.0. The Iranian president’s media enterprise now includes a weblog, titled “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Personal Memos,” to which he devotes 15 minutes (or more) per week, and a team of translators, who provide renderings in Arabic, French and English from the Farsi.

Already we had some inkling of the intricacies and efficiencies within Iran’s public-relations machinery. When we queried Ahmadinejad, through his website, in Apr 06 concerning the status of women’s attendance at club and international football, we did receive reply, in Farsi, after a mere seven-month delay (see 30 Dec 06).

Ahmadinejad thus far has failed to mention football or sport on the blog, despite his zest for the game and a running discord with FIFA. In an attempt to cool the FIFA row, on Dec 17 the president asked his candidate for head of the football federation, the conservative government minister Mohammad Ali-Abadi, to stand down from elections. Iran endured a brief FIFA ban in 2006 due to political interference.

Some readers would appreciate a less bureaucratic tone in Ahmadinejad’s “memos.” D DuBois posts, “Your blogs are somewhat formal sounding. Why not loosen up the language a little for the American readers? … [W]hat kind of music do you like? What is your favorite color and what is your favorite sport?”

Alas, there has been no reply.

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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