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Arash Hejazi Blog

Do Journals still need issues, pages, volumes and impact factors?

A lot of people may hate me for saying this. But I think the time for having a periodical journal has passed. Journal: Created for a reason Scholars and scientists needed a way to publish the result of their research. Originally they published their research as ‘letters’ to peers and colleagues. Then people thought that these papers needed to be...

Scholarly journals and their future

Modern day professional and learned societies were formed a few centuries ago to promote scientific discoveries and discourse as a whole. They were to represent and promote specific scientific and scholarly disciplines or professions and to champion advanced education of practitioners in those disciplines. It was immediately evident that deciding on a universal mean to keep a record and disseminate...

Epilogue, October 2010

Half the people on the Circle Line are reading the Evening Standard; a dozen are reading books and the rest are just staring into space. I try to spot someone looking at the others. No one. No one looks into the eyes of another. This stillness on the move is a constant feature of London when the working day comes...

PART VII: We are not dirt and dust, we are the nation of Iran

(2009–2010) The people who had been disappointed with Khatami in his last two years as President and who had therefore refused to vote in the next election were now excited. Experiencing the four years of terror under Ahmadinejad had brought most people to their senses, especially the younger generation looking for quick results. One thing was clear: they had been...

PART VI: I am the one, ask the Hidden Imam

(2005–2008) One of the most important stories in Iranian mythology is of Zahak or Azhidahak. Thousands of years ago, the earth was ruled by a wise king called Jamshid. He was appointed by Ahura Mazda, God of Goodness and Light, to make life better for the people. Jamshid expanded Iranian territory, invented chariots, created medicine, developed writing, architecture, social classes,...

PART V: Dialogue among civilizations, but not among ourselves

(2000–2005) Paulo’s book was a huge hit. We sold 10,000 copies in the first two months and demand for it spiralled. Distributors came to us, begging to take on the title and bookstores called us incessantly to order more copies. My publishing career had finally taken off. In the first year, we published 10 titles and our marketing campaigns, unprecedented...

PART IV: Lie if you want to survive

(1995–1999) The smell of formalin, the sleepless nights, the strain of supporting Maryam and myself, the ongoing persecution of our generation which never had a chance to enjoy life, see the world or spend time with friends without fear of arrests, was not all that defined my life in those years. Iranian society, too, was undergoing significant changes and upheavals....

PART III: You rebuild the country, I will rebuild my pocket

(Summer 1988–1998) The summer of 1988 was the best summer of my life. The war was over and I was no longer afraid of falling bombs nor of being brainwashed to run through a field full of landmines. The Concours results had been declared and mine were good enough to secure me a seat at the prestigious Iran University of...

PART II: If you want the ultimate pleasure step on a landmine

(Autumn 1980–Summer 1988) Autumn 1980 A dog runs to fetch his bone. Suddenly, he freezes. The screen goes blank, and then across it appear a few words in the largest possible typeface accompanied by the threatening voice of the narrator. ‘Dear citizens, the sound that you are about to hear is the Red Alarm, meaning that we are being attacked...

PART I – Since your love became my calling

(Autumn 1978–Summer 1980) ‘Who is this Ayatollah Khomeini?’ I asked Madar, my paternal grandmother. I had heard his name over and over but I didn’t know who he was. Every night people went to the rooftops to see his face etched upon the full moon and I really wanted to know what he was doing there. ‘He is the vicar...

PROLOGUE

On the evening of 20 June 2009, at approximately, 7pm GMT a brief video-clip was posted on YouTube and Facebook. Within minutes it had been picked up and broadcast globally by virtually every news channel. A mere 47 seconds of film shook the world. It shows a young woman, shot in the chest and bleeding, fall to the ground. As...

Foreword to The Gaze of the Gazelle by Paulo Coelho

On 20 June 2009, a brief video clip was circulated all over the world. It showed the death of a young, unarmed woman called Neda, who had been shot in the chest while taking part in a protest in Tehran and was bleeding to death on the street. Few images in the contemporary world have had such an instant and...

Digital First: Publishing for multiple outputs

Publishers have adopted a Digital First strategy for more than 20 years now. When they started receiving MS Word files from authors and used those files as a starting point for the editorial and production process, they virtually adapted a Digital First strategy. However, until now the aim of the publishers has been to reach the best quality and standard...

What is an ebook? What is a book? What does reading mean anymore?

We hear about mobi files, ePubs, various platforms, Amazon Kindle, Google Play, iTunes, B&N’s Nook, Kobo… Ebook library aggregators such as MyiLibrary, ebrary or Netlibrary, each demanding different sets of data, each distributing on their own terms and conditions and dictating their own business models and producing reports in whatever way they want. How many formats and platforms the poor...

Neda, the girl who died so the world knew

Three years ago, on 20 June 2009, Neda, the Iranian girl, bled to death on the streets of Tehran, shot by an Iranian pro-government militiaman during the protests to the fraudulent presidential elections. She was one of hundreds of people who were slain by the Iranian brutal government, just because she aspired for change. Right before she died, her gaze...

Care about human rights more than you care about Iran’s nuclear ambitions

I was recently in Sweden for the launch of my memoir, The Gaze of the Gazelle, called 47 Sekunder: En berättelse om Irans förlorade generation in Swedish. There, among the warm hospitality of the Swedish publisher and the encouraging and welcoming approach of the Swedish media, I was asked the same two questions over and over again: What do you...

17 February… I was born, Giuordano Bruno was burnt alive, and there are still people dying for their dreams

It was my birthday yesterday. 17 February was the day that Giurdano Bruno was burnt alive, Newsweek was published for the first time, and Sadeq Hedayat, the great Iranian author was born. I did want to become an author and publisher, following Hedayat and Newsweek; but I never dreamt that I would be following Bruno’s path one day. Now I...