Marjon Rostami's blog

Big Brother (and Everyone Else) is Watching


A 20-something woman takes off her pants in a doctor’s office. She stands wearing purple-striped bikini-cut underwear in a room full of strangers.

A mother holds her toddler over a bush in an elevated squatting position. A convenient tailored opening allows the kid to do his business, major or minor, without the burden of diapers, or any protective layer.

Retirees Fight for Justice After Alleged Government Scam

The protestors returned to the courtyard of the Hebei Guesthouse in Beijing this week, and as a result I got a deeper understanding of the details involving their eight-year struggle to reclaim funds allegedly lost in an investment promoted by the Heibei provincial government.

Medical Fortune Telling

Dim natural light streamed into the room, where a hospital bed stretched nearly the length of one wall. A monk, two translators and four of my fellow correspondents crowded around me as a Taoist doctor rattled off my diagnosis.

“Cancer...

“No, breast disease...

“No, not now. In the future. Maybe.”

I panicked, searching the eyes of each person in the room for reassurance. Nothing. My colleagues looked glad they were not in my position.

Protest Without Recognition

The hotel staff who wash the bricks, cars and windows in the mornings in the courtyard of the Hebei Guesthouse did not stop their work or even divert their attention when about 20 elders from the area walked through the open red gates holding banners.

The group was here to protest and no one seemed to care.

A handful of women sat on the steps outside the lobby while the men tied red and white banners from corners of the roof to trees across the courtyard.

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