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Dooshvari (variant of Doshvari meaning “difficulty” or “problem” in Persian) is the nickname of an unidentified man who became famous after being interviewed by an Iranian TV program, and is now popular among Iranians as the symbol of resistance, justice and cynicism.
In 2009 a series of videos under the title of “Unaired Interviews” were uploaded on YouTube. These were interviews done by an Iranian TV program named Dar Ostan (“In the Province”) which interviewed people living in the province of Tehran and portrayed their problems. A number of these video clips were not considered appropriate for broadcasting, so they were never shown on Iranian television; however, they leaked on YouTube by, presumably, one of the creators of the program, and went viral.
One of these video clips shows an elderly man being interviewed in his neighborhood which apparently lacks many facilities. When the reporter asks him how many years he had been living there with such difficulty, he answers in a determined manner, “Difficulty?! This is a very good place! It’s number one. There is no difficulty here. It’s excellent. Not one person, since I came to stay here, has even taken my (walking) stick away. Nobody bothers me, and I don’t bother any person.”
When the reporter reminds him of a project which is going to destroy their houses, the man replies, “Are YOU going to destroy them?!” The reporter says, “The Municipality is going to destroy your houses”; the man then vies the Municipality by angrily saying, “Who is the Municipality? Show it to me first! Is it you?” The reporter denies any connection with the Municipality and says he has only come to report his problems, to which the man answers, “My problems? I have no problems!”
The man’s determined denial of any problems in his seemingly underdeveloped neighborhood, colored by his marked Turkish accent (especially evident in pronouncing the Persian word “doshvari” as “dooshvari”) made him popular among Iranians, but he remained relatively unknown until 2010 when a Facebook page titled “Dooshvari!?”  started its activity. The owner of the page who referred to herself as Yech Bashar (“One Person”) praised the man for a number of qualities, including his determination in denying any shortcomings in life, his satisfaction with a simple life style, and his bravery in confronting the reporter and the Municipality. As the page expanded its activities, more and more people became familiar with the man and soon a subculture was formed which considered the Municipality as the symbol of destruction and injustice, and praised Dooshvari as the paragon of resistance and freedom. While retaining the humorous atmosphere of the page, the owner and active fans stressed the need for moving beyond the apparent joke of the ironical situation of the interview, and moving deeper towards the serious meanings in the man’s words.
Dooshvari fans began propagating their cause by creating numerous forms of serious and humorous content, including essays, poems, songs , video clips  and interviews . The man was claimed to be a mystic, a saint, a cynic philosopher. His interview was humorously analyzed based on Fuzzy logic  and laws of themodynamics . His name was guessed by Akinator, the online guessing game . He was linked to all anti-oppression movements around the globe. T-shirts with the picture of the man and the word Dooshvari were designed and sold. An entry named “Dooshvari” was added to Farsi-e Shahri (the Persian Urban Dictionary) . Dooshvari keywords appeared in Iranian TV programs, and articles on this phenomenon were published by BBC  and Iranian magazines . The Dooshvari gesture became popular, too; pictures of celebrities posed like Dooshvari were shared on the page, indicating their alliance with his cause; fans also began sharing their own photos in which they posed like Dooshvari.
The original fan page now has three administrators with more than 35000 fans. Other Facebook pages exist as well, although the original page disapproves their “unoriginal activities”, “slapstick humor” and “condescending attitude” towards Dooshvari.
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