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Help me with the Iranian Avocado Quest

My name is Jason Rezaian and there are two things you need to know about me.

1. I take guacamole very seriously and competed in the 2009 West Marin Guac-off, Marin County's most prestigious (and perhaps only) guacamole competition.

2.I'm currently the only American journalist working and residing in Iran on a permanent basis. (If any others arrive, please be in touch; I'll love to show you around). My work appears often in publications including Slate, TIME, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Of the many troubling and compelling stories I've covered in the past year- and perhaps the only one that I can actually do something to change- was learning that the avocado is an almost completely unknown fruit inside Iran.

Why is that? I have found no text deeming it un-Islamic, which is usually grounds for banning goods in Iran.

Few Americans would believe it, but Iran is one of the most fertile countries on earth, and its land produces great bounty. Several regions in Iran provide ideal conditions for growing this super food.

So the reasons for this glaring gap in the Iranian food chain can only be attributed to Iran's increased isolation in the world, intensified by recent US and European sanctions.

What I propose to do, is discover what it will take to bring avocados and the ability to produce them to Iran. Will I have to break sanctions? Will the local authorities allow me to grow this strange fruit? Will they even grew in Iran, and if they do will anyone actually eat them?

These are some of the many questions I will answer in an attempt to understand the complex and often lonely relationship Iran has with the rest of the world, while at the same time coming up with constructive ways to fill many of the material voids that stem from being isolated for so long.

If I'm successful in bringing the avocado to Iran it will be one small step in integrating Iran with rest of the world at a time when others are working to isolate it even further than it already is.

Your support in this project will not only assist in researching the viability of Iranian avocado farming, it will also be integral in keeping one of the few independent sources of information from Iran operational.

Help me with your pledge.

... Payvand News - 10/23/10 ... --

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