Coming to Maine to Study Abroad

Portland Monthly Magazine, July 2012

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Writing and reading poetry in Iran about in- cendiary topics such as women’s rights would most likely land Amin Esmaiel- pour in prison. Amin and his wife Yalda, both 24, are from Isfahan, about four hours south of Tehran. The government controls the cafés. Every publication faces censorship, and the government will revoke publishing licenses if it determines the work insults Iran or Islam. Just last month, Chesmeh, a 30-year-old publication in Tehran, lost its publishing license because of a literary depiction of Imam Hussein, a religious figure of Islam, set to ap- pear in the next edition. “The work didn’t even get published!” Amin says about the news. “Just the idea of that work in progress brought its life to an end.”