"At this time, many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy. They are happy not just because of an important award or a film or filmmaker, but because at the time when talk of war, intimidation and aggression is exchanged between politicians, the name of their country, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics. I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment." - Asghar Farhadi, accepting his Oscar for prize for best foreign-language film at the 84th Annual Academy Awards.
Masoud Shafaee is an attorney and freelance Middle East analyst based in Washington, D.C. He holds a Juris Doctor from American University's Washington College of Law and a master's degree in international affairs from the School of International Service. He was born in Tehran and hails from California.