Tehran Rocks While Afghans Get Optimistic

Dare I say it? A few shards of optimism coming out of Iran and Afghanistan? Yes, according to two videos we posted in our video section today.

The first video, from Al-Jazeera, looks at a new Persian film, “No One Knows About Persian Cats,” which tells the tale of a young man and woman who try to form a band after being released from prison. Their efforts take us through the underground rock scene of Tehran where the city’s youth fight for their jams. Though the story is fictional, actors from the film (now in exile in the U.K, after the recent election protests) have said that what their characters go through is very real. In a mediasphere cluttered by the tug of war between Ahmadinejad and the rest of the world, it is nice to see that at least some things are universal — 20-somethings finding their counterculture no matter what.

On to Afghanistan’s moment in the sun.

A VOA video reports on a recent survey from Afghanistan. The survey, conducted by the Asia Foundation, found that civilians for the most part feel that the country is moving in a better direction compared to a year ago. The results also revealed that Afghans trust their local police force and feel that Obama’s renewed attention to the war in Afghanistan is good for them. Those who were surveyed in the more volatile regions of the country, however, are not feeling as positive as their safer counterparts. With the reworking of Obama’s Afghanistan policy still ongoing, it is encouraging to see that, for the people who are affected on the most basic level, things seem to be improving. I wonder if Taliban members filled out the survey.

Our video section is now being updated daily. I’ll highlight videos we post there from time to time on this blog. Got a tip for where we can find embeddable videos of interest to WPR readers? Send it to video[at]worldpoliticsreview.com.