photoRui Murakami (15), CE youth reporter, participated in the 9th International Youth Media Summit in Aliso Viejo, southern California, from July 14th through 27th, 2014. She joined one of the seven issue groups, Environment, of which Hania was the advisor. This was Rui’s first time to meet and talk to an Iranian and was eager to have an interview.

Q. What kind of work do you do? 

I am a Children’s Media Professional working as a freelance media researcher & educator. I have also my own center called United Dreams devoted to children’s issues specially children’s media.

Q. Why did you choose that job?

Because I believe media plays a great role in our era as we are living in 21st century.Working in this field, especially with children and young people, it is both vital and interesting. It not only makes you feel fresh and active but also provides a platform to help children in gaining media literacy; as you know nowadays literacy is not limited to the knowledge of reading and writing.

Q.What is your religion?

I am Muslim.

Q.What do you like about Iran?

Iran has a great culture. Our culture goes back to 3,000 before Christ (BC) which makes me feel proud.

Q.What do you think the problems are in Iran ?

We have many problems in Iran but the main one is we are isolated from some parts of the world. We should open our doors to the world and they should open their doors to us.

If each nation wants to live in a peaceful world, we have to respect other nations with their own beliefs. We should distance ourselves from political views. We should open our doors to welcome other beliefs, other ideas, and listen to other comments on how to live peacefully together. We should remove all hostilities.

InterviewQ. What is the impact of social media?

As I mentioned in my presentation, social media is the most important part of our lives. If you look at the people nowadays, they are all involved in social media in their personal lives, workplace and in their leisure time. When social media becomes like oxygen, it has a great impact. We cannot live without it. So we should increase our knowledge on how to use it in a proper way.

Q. Are there any co-education schools in Iran from primary to secondary?

In Kindergarten, we have co-education. In primary and secondary schools, we are separated by gender but study the same curriculum. Primary school starts from age of six and secondary school ends at the age of eighteen. We have colleges and universities that are co-educational.

Q. Did you go to university in Iran?

Yes, I did. I earned my Master’s Degree in Iran.There are some practical and difficult departments that are predominantly pursued by male students such as mining.

Q. What is Master’s degree in?

Communications—Research in Media.

Q. Why did you choose Communications?

I really love it because as I mentioned earlier we are living in the media age and we are involved in it everywhere all the time. We are bombard by media messages and we can also produce media to overcome our challenges. This is very interesting to me. It is a major which is in fact a package of other sciences like psychology, human science, law, politics, international relations.

Q. Are there any women’s university in Iran?

Yes, there is. There is a well-known university with a very good faculty. But I went to a co-educational one.

Q. Are you satisfied with education of Iran?

Honestly not, because it is too strict. We have to study a lot. I don’t believe an education means you just go to school to study. Education means you go to school to have different activities and to learn various skills. You need to have social activities. Iranians are highly educated people but I believe we have to pay attention to other aspects as well.

 Q. Do you think that the government controls social media in Iran?

Yes, they do. We have only state TV and radio, no private stations. There are private newspapers but they are soft-censored. The internet is filtered. Let me talk about the Iranian impression about Japanese people In Iran people respect Japanese people because they work so hard.

After the World War II, Japan was completely destroyed but they kept their unity to rebuild their country. Japanese are very respectful and Iranians admire you.

You should be a model to the world.