Hossein Derakhshan, also known as Hoder, the blogger, is an Iranian-Canadian living in Toronto who writes a hugely popular blog in both English and Persian that, he says, boasts 20,000 Farsi-language readers a day.
This week, Hoder made a trip to Israel as a citizen journalist and a peace activist. In his words, he wants to
show my 20,000 daily Iranian readers what Israel really looks like and how people live there. The Islamic Republic has long portrayed Israel as an evil state, with a consensual political agenda of killing every single man and woman who prays to Allah, including Iranians.
I’m going to challenge that image.
Hoder also wrote this scathing attack in the Times on the U.S. government’s hypocrisy when it comes to promoting democracy abroad.
He’s doing important work not only by traveling to Israel, but by promoting blogging along the way — he helped Farhad Moradian, an Iranian Israeli, set up a new blog, Ginsburg Cafe.