Bahrain bows to muzzled newspaper in one day

A major newspaper in Bahrain has returned to the presses today, after yesterday's reports that the government had shut it down on Monday amid ongoing protests in Iran. Though officials didn't give a reason for the forced closure, many suspect the move was prompted by a recent article that criticized Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Despite the backtracking of the Bahraini regime, the episode has further inflamed already-brittle tensions between the Sunni-minority government and the Shia majority in the country.

AFP/Getty Images 


Mousavi the painter

The blog Art We Love has a great post on Mir Hossein Mousavi's art career, as well as that of his (better known in this respect) wife Zahra Rahnavard:

A believer that art plays a secondary role to political engagement, Mousavi once wrote that “the paint brush will never take the place of the communal struggle for freedom. It must be said that the expressive work of any painter or artist will not minimize the need to perform his social responsibilities. Yet it is within the scope of these responsibilities that his art can provide a vision for a way of living in an alternative future.” A press release for one of Mousavi's exhibitions in Tehran described his work as an "exploration in designs, motifs and a kind of dreamlike intuition of lines, volumes and ascending forms on the context of an Oriental and poetic aesthetic.... The paintings have both the touch of primordial memories and look upon modern milieus and innovative experiences."

(Hat tip: Marginal Revolution)