akuma_river (akuma_river) wrote in ontd_political,

July 13, 2009 Iran Update

iran protests
Sign says, “My Green Vote did not bear your Darkened Name.”

iran protests

iran protests,18 Tir 1388 protests

iran protests
We hate the I.R.I.B.

My how things change. I've reported before that the clerics are highly upset at the regime. They have decided to move the headquarters of Qom to Najaf, Iraq if Ahmadinejad is sworn in as president.

There is also another power protest planned, "Tuesday 30Tir, Turn on 1-2 devices which use a lot of electricity at EXACTLY 9 pm for 4 mins, TELL EVERYONE #iranelection."

Strikes are taking place, no taxis or busses on streets, tagging the streets with green is still taking place as well.

July 12, 2009 post | July 11, 2009 post | July 10, 2009 post | July 9, 2009 posts | July 8, 2009 post | July 7, 2009 post | July 6, 2009 post | July 5, 2009 post | July 4, 2009 post


Demotix <- The mighty photojournalism site Iran election page pictures of demostrations outside Iranian embassy in London

Mightier Than

ABC reporter jim sciutto's twitblog

LA Times – Babylon & Beyond First images to emerge of July 9, 2009 protests large crowd gets dispersed by teargass on July 9, 2009 protests

iran.whyweprotest.net 18 Tir / 9 July forum thread <- lots of vids and first hand account by a protester in Iran

goftaniha.org Ex-Basij Founder's Blog being used to ID Basij – in Farsi

Ayatollah Watch <- Information on Ayatollahs

Ahmedi's takeover has been planned since 2004

Out the Basij

ID the Basiji

twit blog about how another Ayatollah has gone against the regime

Lara Setrakian - ABC News reporter's blog TEHRAN UNREST: "IT WAS NOTHING LESS THAN WAR. PRAY FOR US."

National Iranian American Council's Blog July 9, 2009 protest coverage <- vids and pics

NY Times – The Lede Blog July 9, 2009 protest coverage

PERSIA.ORG "Struggle for a Free Iran" <- Has dedicated their front page to information on those who have been killed and detained
Iran Negah "Ezclusive views into Iranian politics & society"

University of Texas - Austin "Power of Protest: University experts condemn violence, but urge diplomacy toward Iran"

Retweeters to watch
@LaraABCNews <- Reporter out of Dubai who's been in contact with Iranians
@Pray4FreeIran <- retweeter who spreads messages about Iran
@AustinHeap <- The genius behind ProxyHeap and Haystack (says that Node 1 is a go?)
@StopAdmedi <- twitter account for Mousavi supporters
@nicopitney <- I didn't know he had a twitter account
@Iran_Translator <- NiteOwl
@bistoon <- IRGC already actively hunt him b/c of student revolt in 1999 so I can rec him
@IranAnon <- Yes it is the Iranian Anonymous crowd

Useful Resources

News: NIAC Insight | Kodoom
Translations: Google Translate | TehranBroadcast.com | Translate4Iran
Helping Iranians use the web: Haystack | Tor Project (English & Farsi) | IranHelp.org (Farsi) Demonstrations: Facebook | sharearchy | WhyWeProtest
Activism: Avaaz.org | National Iranian American Council

Mousavi's FB
Haystack's how you can help digg page
Haystack <- The all powerful proxy (still in testing) Want to help? Don't know anything techwise? Then donate some cash and keep this revolution going, you may just save someone(s) life! Haystack is needing donations! Donate Here.

Protest Advice
Brainstorm Ideas
Torrent/dl list of videos showing police brutality in Iran
Blog that has links to LA Protest that 35-50,000 people turn out
the pictures

Want to know how the power check system in Iran works? The Wall Street Journal has an excellent graph.
Bearing Witness In Iran Weighs Heavily On Cohen: Roger Cohen on NPR
Voice of the Voiceless
YekIran <- Worldwide Protest Map
Wiki on 18th Tir Protests 1999
Wiki of Iranian Election Protests
Reporters Without Borders <- List of how many reporters are in prison in Iran

radionomy anonymous Sea of Green radio
Eng Trans of Mousavi FB that has protest instructions and routes

Mightier Than Iran: The Rooftop Project <- Site trying to find vids of the roof top shoutings for every single night since the protests began.
Iran News <- One Stop Source
for News/YouTube/Blog/Political Cartoon links about Iran's Election and the aftermath (massive library of information)
The Guardian's list of dead and detained
Voice of America News
Iran 360 <- Photojournalism site
Slate's stash of Iran political cartoons
Green cd hour long video from Iran <- Split up into nine parts on iran.whyweprotest.net

Where is My Vote.org <- List or/way of organizing world wide protests
Iran Human Rights

Live Blogs on Iran

Revolutionary Road... <- Live from Tehran UPDATES

Andrew Sullivan's blog <- Political blog but he has a lot of coverage on iran. Andrew Sullivan's blog "Iran Erupts Again" Counter Targeting the Protesters

Enduring America blog

Nico's Pitney's live blog on HuffPo The most excellent live blog out there. Has an absolute ton of information dating back the very first day. Filled with pictures and vids.
Nico's Iran Page (it seems he deleted off the info from July 7th but it can be found here)
Nico moved offices on Friday...I don't think there's a Saturday update
July 13, 2009
July 10, 2009 | July 9, 2009 | July 8th | July 7th | July 6th | July 5th | July 3rd | July 2nd | July 1st | June 30th | June 29th | June 28th | June 27th | June 26th | June 25th | June 24th | June 22nd | June 21st | June 20th pt 2 | June 20th pt 1 | June 19th | June 18th | June 17th | June 16th | June 15th

NiteOwl's Green Briefs <- Anonymous teamed up The Pirate Bay (before they sold out) to provide logistical help to the Iranians in a safe anonymous forum - the vids of Anonymous declaring 'war' on Iranian govt are interesting to watch. NiteOwl's Green Briefs are compilations of news reports straight from Iranians.
#25 (July 12)
#25 (July 11) | #24 (July 10) | #23 (July 9) | #22 (July 8) | #21 (July 7) | #20 (July 6) | #18-#19 (July 4-5) (NiteOwl's net didn't let him access the archives of twitter (?) so it's late) | #17 (July 3) | #16 (July 2) | #15 (July 1) | #14 (June 30) | #13 (June29) | #12 (June 28) | #11 (June 27) | #10 (June 26th) | #9 (June 25) | #8 (June 24) | #7 (June 23) | #6 (June 22) | #5 (June 21) | #4 (June 20 | #3 (June 19) | #2 (June 18) | #1 (June 17)

Newspaper Articles

Iran's terrifying Facebook police (July 13, 2009 - Evgeny Morozov)
A scary anecdote from Iran. A trusted colleague - who is married to an Iranian-American and would thus prefer to stay anonymous - has told me of a very disturbing episode that happened to her friend, another Iranian-American, as she was flying to Iran last week. On passing through the immigration control at the airport in Tehran, she was asked by the officers if she has a Facebook account. When she said "no", the officers pulled up a laptop and searched for her name on Facebook. They found her account and noted down the names of her Facebook friends.

This is very disturbing. For once, it means that the Iranian authorities are paying very close attention to what's going on Facebook and Twitter (which, in my opinion, also explains why they decided not to take those web-sites down entirely - they are useful tools of intelligence gathering).

Second, it means, as far as authorities are concerned, our online and offline identities are closely tied and we have to be fully prepared to be quizzed about any online trace that we have left (I can easily see us being asked our Facebook and Twitter handles in immigration forms; one of the forms I regularly fill flying back to the US has recently added a field for email address).

Third, this reveals that some of the spontaneous online activism we witnessed in the last few weeks - with Americans re-tweeting the posts published by those in Tehran - may eventually have very dire consequences, as Iranians would need to explain how exactly they are connected to foreigners that follow them on Twitter (believe me, I've observed enough bureaucratic stupidity in Eastern Europe to know that even some of the officials who follow Twitter activity on a daily basis may not know how it works).

I am curious if there have been other reports of foreigners being asked about their social media activity on traveling to authoritarian states. Any ideas?

Los Angeles Times
After a long absence, pro-Mousaiv cleric Rafsanjani to lead prayers (July 13, 2009 - Borzou Daragahi)
Mousavi's Facebook page ( www.facebook.com/mousavi) said that he and his ally, former President Mohammad Khatami, would attend the prayer sermon. The Facebook page invited supporters who poured into the streets in recent weeks to attend, though Mousavi's website, Ghalamnews.ir, carried no such announcement.

News of the return of reformists and moderates to the official Friday prayer ceremony could serve as a challenge to hard-liners, led by supreme leader Ali Khamenei, on their home turf. Alternately, it could be a sign that the two sides have brokered a truce in their continuing political conflict. The election and subsequent demonstrations, attended by hundreds of thousands of Iranians, have led to numerous deaths and arrests.

On Sunday, news websites and human rights groups reported the killing of Sohrab Arabi, a 19-year-old who was apparently shot in the chest by government security forces or allied Basiji militiamen during a June 15 demonstration and had been missing since. His funeral is to be held today.
On Sunday, Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, army chief of staff, blamed such deaths on unruly demonstrators.

Are China's Muslims worthy of Islamic Republics support? (July 12, 2009 – Borzou Daragahi)

Although Iranian authorities were quick to condemn the killing of a Muslim Egyptian woman by an alleged racist in a German courtroom last week, allowing protesters to organize a demonstration and hurl eggs at the German Embassy in Tehran, they've been less than compassionate about scores of Muslims killed in western China.

"The United States is behind the riots in Xinjiang," said an analysis published by the official Islamic Republic News Agency, or IRNA. "Living conditions have improved for the Chinese Muslims. These riots have no religious aspect and they are just the outcome of a U.S. conspiracy. However, the Western media have exaggerated the events in Xinjiang."

The government's domestic critics have been outraged by its response. Already emboldened and angered by the marred reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, they have been quick to pounce.

Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi demanded that the Foreign Ministry quickly condemn what he described as the Chinese government's "horrible" backing of "racist Han Chinese" violence against Muslim Uighurs. Here are excerpts from a statement by the high-ranking cleric, carried by the Iranian Labor News Agency:
The Chinese government seeks to describe what is happening there as a tribal dispute, but the worst clashes have erupted between Muslims and racist Han Chinese. The Chinese government's backing of the violent suppression of Muslims and the closure of mosques indicate that a conspiracy is underway against Muslims in the region. . . . Our people expect the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to not remain silent and adopt a stronger position instead of abandoning our Muslim brethren to their own fate.

New York Times
Candidate Declares Iran May Face 'Disintegration' (July 12, 2009 – Robert F. Worth)

In an implicit rebuke to Iran’s ruling elite, a conservative presidential candidate warned Sunday that the political and social rifts opened by the disputed June 12 vote and subsequent crackdown could lead to the nation’s “disintegration” if they were not resolved soon.

The candidate, Mohsen Rezai, made his warning in a long statement about the election and its bloody aftermath, in which he called for reconciliation and spoke about the danger of “imprisoning” the legacy of the Islamic Revolution in divisive and shortsighted politics. The statement was posted on his Web site.

Although his message was largely nonpartisan, Mr. Rezai hinted that the government response after the election had been unfair, and he urged protesters to continue their work in legal and nonviolent channels.

Like the three other opposition candidates, Mr. Rezai, a former chief of the eliteRevolutionary Guards, initially said he believed that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s landslide victory involved ballot-rigging. Mr. Rezai later withdrew his legal challenge to the results, citing the need for unity.

Mr. Rezai’s statement is the latest sign that opposition to Mr. Ahmadinejad — despite the violent crackdown on street protests and stern warnings by government leaders — has not faltered. On Sunday, Iran’s Expediency Council delivered a victory to opposition supporters by upholding a law that would prevent government officials from simultaneously serving on the powerful Guardian Council, which is responsible for approving candidates and certifying election results.

Opposition candidates and their supporters complained that the Guardian Council could not play a neutral role while some of its members were officials deeply loyal to Mr. Ahmadinejad.

Clash of Imams (July 10, 2009 – Alastair Crooke)

The Washington Times
TWT journalist tells of Iranian Captivity (July 11, 2009 – Joseph Weber)
Times reporter recounts life in Iran prison (July 13, 2009 – Iason Athanasiadissaid)

What began as a planned, weeklong trip to cover Iran's presidential elections had turned into a monthlong saga that included nearly three weeks of solitary confinement and a final indignity: a night in a jail cell at the airport for no apparent reason. Perhaps an alternative power center ordered that I be kept, or the same faction that had decided to release me had second thoughts.

So I suppressed my exhilaration and anticipation, and refrained from talking on my obviously bugged cell phone -- unlike the previous day when I had called friends and devoured the news of what had happened in Iran while I was incommunicado. I scanned the aisles of the Iran Air plane for any suspicious-looking characters without carry-on luggage who might move to arrest me again.

Our scheduled departure time of 8 p.m. came and went. The doors remained open to Imam Khomeini International Airport's departure hall. Somewhere inside, Greek Ambassador Nikos Garrylidis was anxiously waiting for me to call and confirm that we were taxiing down the runway. He was taking no chances after the previous evening, when airport police waited for him to leave before rearresting me -- setting off another 24 hours of frantic diplomacy between Tehran and Athens.

I thought I was not taking any exceptional chances as I covered Iran's June 12 presidential elections. Having lived in Iran for 2 1/2 years between 2004 and 2007, I thought I knew the red lines. But the turmoil that erupted after the Iranian government announced a "landslide" victory for incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was like nothing Iran had experienced since the 1979 Islamic revolution. And the rules that had protected journalists, particularly foreign ones, no longer seemed to apply.

Before the protests, the Iranian government appeared delighted to have issued visas to nearly 500 international journalists -- including a fake one from Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" -- to cover the elections. Here was an opportunity to flaunt Iran's brand of Islamic participatory democracy and rub the unprecedented turnout into the noses of Western foes and authoritarian Arab rivals.

As a citizen of Greece, which has relatively good relations with Iran for a Western country, I hoped against hope that I might find a way to stay. Little did I know that the Ministry of Intelligence was about to grant my wish.

As I dutifully tried to leave on June 17 -- the day my visa expired -- a plainclothes security agent accosted me at the airport and told me I "wouldn't be flying" that night.

Fearing that I would be hauled away and that no one would know what had happened to me, I yelled out to a woman who looked to be Western that I was a journalist for The Washington Times and that she should contact my editor with news of my arrest.

The security guard pummeled me to punish me for resisting arrest and stuffed me into the back of a car with my head between my knees. Days later, as I sat in a cell in Tehran's notorious Evin prison, I wondered whether I would be held for months like Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi or others accused of promoting a "velvet" revolution.

Without a watch, I marked time by the Fajr, Zohr and Maghreb -- the three audible prayers in Shi'ite Islam -- and by meal times. The food was not bad: rice known as pollo served with meat or chicken and a healthy yogurt drink called doog. I ate sparingly, seeking to prepare my body for the possibility that I might go on a hunger strike if the bogus espionage charges against me ever went before a court. In three weeks, I lost 22 pounds.

Contrasting with my solitude, it was all hustle and bustle in the corridors. Evin -- used to house political prisoners since the time of the shah -- was reliving its glory days and was stuffed to the gills

Under my blindfold, I could glimpse rows of other blindfold men sitting cross-legged in the middle of the halls or facing the wall as intelligence officials and interrogators dashed in and out of offices or pulled prisoners out of cells for questioning.

The prison was so full that a long-unused wing, high on the rocky hill where Evin is situated, was pressed back into service as a clearing center.

I was transferred to that wing after 14 days inSection 209 -- the part of the prison controlled by the Intelligence Ministry. As I made my way in, I saw men in the communal showers, heard the hubbub of voices from interrogation rooms and noted the detritus of an office: desks, chairs and a photocopying machine parked in the corridor.

Officials were crowded into carpeted rooms whose entryways were a jumble of slippers and sandals. Security personnel pored over what appeared to be hastily assembled files of surveillance photos, trying to identify repeat offenders in the demonstrations that had continued for days after the presidential elections.

Satisfied that I was not a spy, my bazjoos congratulated me and apologized that the process of verifying my innocence had taken three weeks instead of 48 hours. "Special circumstances, you see," they said. "Unprecedentedly full jails, more work than we've ever had to do."

In hindsight -- and sitting happily in Greece with my family -- I have to say that I don't resent the loss of those three weeks. My time in Evin taught me how to focus my thoughts and to slow down my physical and mental being to accord with the slow passing of time. But just as it felt wrong to be leaving Iran with protesters still flooding the streets, so do I feel a kind of sorrow at abandoning all those souls whose voices I had heard outside my cell in Evin.

As the airplane finally trundled toward takeoff, I snapped out of my reverie. The flight attendants wheeled around trolleys and distributed shrink-wrapped red roses to passengers to celebrate the birthday of Imam Ali, the fourth caliph of the early Islamic period and key figure for Shi'ite Muslims.

Iraqi and other Arab pilgrims who choose Iran Air for its Islamic atmosphere accepted the roses in bundles, then stowed them in their seat compartments.

Roses wrapped in plastic, withering in the dry cabin atmosphere of an airplane to commemorate a religious figure dead for 14 centuries: It seemed a perfect metaphor for a country whose government is based on a seventh-century religion and is struggling to accommodate the 21st-century aspirations of a young and vibrant population.

Davis: Netanyahu's speech for peace: Is anyone listening? July 13, 2009 – Lanny Davis) <- Israel is always at the heart of Islamic relations

he personal aspect of the speech deals with the issue of peace. At one point, Mr. Netanyahu spoke directly to the Palestinian people: "We want to live with you in peace, as good neighbors. We want our children and your children to never again experience war: that parents, brothers and sisters will never again know the agony of losing loved ones in battle; that our children will be able to dream of a better future and realize that dream; and that together we will invest our energies in plowshares and pruning hooks, not swords and spears."

And then he reminded Palestinians that for him and his family, peace and war are quite personal: "I know the face of war. I have experienced battle. I lost close friends. I lost a brother. I have seen the pain of bereaved families. I do not want war. No one in Israel wants war."

Mr. Netanyahu also spent time in his speech on history, but not to relitigate the ancient argument over who lived in Palestine first or for the longest time. Rather, Mr. Netanyahu explained that the "root of the conflict" has been based on a fundamental misstatement of undeniable historical facts.
Palestinians have been taught that Israel was founded largely by alien foreigners, foisted on the native Palestinians by Europeans feeling guilty over the Holocaust. That misstatement has been the central rationale for Arab and Palestinian unwillingness to publicly recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

In fact, he points out, "the attacks against us began in the 1920s," 20 years before the Holocaust. And the undeniable historical fact is that "the Jewish people and the land of Israel go back over 3,500 years" - when Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, forefathers of all Jews; David and Solomon, ancient Israel's two greatest kings; and Isaiah and Jeremiah, two of the Jewish religion's greatest spiritual prophets, all lived in what was then Judea and Samaria, which today is called the West Bank.

"The right of the Jewish people to a state in the land of Israel does not derive from the cascade of catastrophes that befell our people," the prime minister said. "There are those who say that if the Holocaust had not occurred, the state of Israel would never have been established. But I say if the state of Israel would have been established earlier, it is the Holocaust that would not have occurred."

Finally, the prime minister expressed a clear and concrete vision of economic prosperity for Palestinians in partnership with Israel. Indeed, he stated that such economic prosperity can come even before a final peace agreement is reached.
"An economic peace is not a substitute for a political peace but an important element in achieving it. Together we can undertake projects that overcome the scarcities of our region, like water desalination, or maximize its advantages, like developing solar energy, and exploiting our geographic location by laying gas and petroleum lines and establishing transportation links between Asia, Africa and Europe. ...

"Together we can develop industrial areas that will generate thousands of jobs and develop tourist sites that will attract millions of visitors eager to walk in the footsteps of history - in Nazareth and in Bethlehem, around the walls of Jericho and the walls of Jerusalem, on the banks of the Sea of Galilee, and the baptismal site on the banks of the Jordan."

Who cannot be moved by these words? Perhaps Mr. Netanyahu has it right - a new sequencing of the peace process: First, economic partnership and prosperity between Israelis and Palestinians; and then peace, not the other way around.

The Guardian
UK embassy official accused of fomenting mass protests in Tehran (July 12, 2009 – Robert Tait)
Death in the Dorms (July 12, 2009 – Saeed Kamali Dehghan)

They came in the small hours, just as the dormitories were settling down for the night. Outside, Tehran was still in ferment, a city gripped by fury two days after a "stolen election". Inside the dorms on Amirabad Street, students were trying to sleep, though nerves were jangling; just hours earlier several had been beaten in front of the main gate to the university.
What happened next developed into one of the seminal events of Iran's post-election unrest: police broke locks and then bones as they rampaged through the dormitories, attacked dozens of students, carted off more than 100 and killed five. The authorities still deny the incursion took place. But the account pieced together from interviews with five of those present tells a different story.
"We were getting ready to go to sleep when we suddenly heard them breaking the locks to enter our rooms," said one of the 133 students arrested that night. "I'd seen them earlier beating students but I didn't imagine that they would come inside. It's even against Iranian law."

But with the country convulsed by protests at the 12 June elections, there was no holding back that Sunday night. "The police threw teargas into the dorms, beat us, broke the windows and forced us to lie on the ground," one student recalled. "I had not even been protesting but one of them jumped on me, sat on my back and beat me. And then, while pretending to search me for guns or knives, he abused me sexually. They were threatening to hang us and rape us."

Another described the scene: "The riot police stood in two lines, formed a tunnel with their shields as its roof, and made us run through it again and again while beating us and banging on their shields. "One of my roommates had a broken leg but they still made him run."

Others spoke of similar experiences at the hands of the Basij (paramilitary militia). "The Basiji was on my back and told me: 'I have not fucked anyone for the past seven years, you cute boy! I'll show you what I can do to you when we arrive.' They were harassing us and claiming we insulted them or the supreme leader."

Before being taken away on a bus the students were made to stand in front of a dormitory block with plastic bags over their heads, their hands bound with plastic ties – known there as "Israeli handcuffs".

"I had a second to recognise that it was the main building of the interior ministry in Fatemi Street," said another student, weeping. "I just couldn't believe it, there were senior politicians, members of parliament and investigators on the upper floors and we were in the basement. I have no doubt that they were busy rigging the votes upstairs."

People's Protests in Iran is a Life Lesson for Tajikstan (July 6, 2009 – Botur)

Amadinejad blames Germany for courtroom murder (July 13, 2009) <- Spin at it's best, ignore my enormous human rights violations, clerics supporting the opposition, the protests that will never end, et al and pay all your attention on this horrible death. See the west is evil! *sighs*

Las Vegas Sun
Iranian making his mark on basketball's highest stage (July 13, 2009 – Rob Miech) <- I think we need to keep an eye on this guy…if he's smart he'll stay out of the politics issue, he's got family back home and he's the first Iranian to play in the NBA…

The Washington Post
Iran's invisible Nicaragua embassy (July 13, 2009 – Anne-Marie O'Conner and Mary Beth Sheridan)

Boston Globe
In exile, an Iranian 'lion' keeps fighting (July 13, 2009 – James F. Smith)

Haghighatjoo was one of the youngest members of the Iranian Parliament when she took on the power structure that underpins the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. After a clerical crackdown on reformers, 124 members agreed to resign. And when they considered who among them should be first to speak, all eyes turned to her.

Then as now, determined women like her played a key role in demanding democracy in Iran. And what she said then seems remarkably prescient today: “By conducting sham elections, the power-drunk opponents of the popular vote have turned their backs on all the achievements of the revolution. They seek to erase republicanism and freedom from the political face of this country forever.’’

She paid a steep personal price for her daring. She was convicted of misinterpreting and insulting the clerical hierarchy and sentenced to 20 months in prison, but fought the decision. She resigned from Parliament in February 2004 and arrived in Boston 18 months later. Although she is gone from Iran, her example lingers for her admirers.

She had spoken out that way from the moment she arrived in Parliament in 2000 at age 31, aligning herself with reformist President Mohammad Khatami and serving on a committee that was responsible for human rights. She recalled in an interview that her role brought her into the nation’s jails, where she saw tortured prisoners first-hand.

Using her training in psychology and counseling, she gathered family reports and testimony from victims of torture, forced confessions and detention without charge. And then she made her accusations against the powerful Revolutionary Guard and the judiciary directly and openly, in the Parliamentary chamber. “I had enough documents to accuse the revolutionary court. But then they opened a case against me instead.’’

She says now that she entered Parliament believing Islam and democracy could coexist; she left office believing in “separation of mosque and state.’’

In her journal article, Mir-Hosseini said many Iranians were awed by Haghighatjoo’s willingness to defy Khamenei and the Guardian Council and judiciary. “On the reformist websites, women have celebrated Fatemeh Haghighatjoo’s politics of honesty and integrity in poetry and prose. They pun on her name (“Truth/Justice Seeker’’) and praise her as a “lion woman’’ - a traditional Persian term for a prominent and brave woman.’’

Mir-Hosseini quoted a woman named Mona Sabeti, from a site since banned and taken down from the Internet, writing to Haghighatjoo’s daughter, Sara: “You know, whenever a girl is born in this land, her mother’s heart sinks. The mothers of this land give birth to girls whose life is worth half that of boys. . . . The lion-woman who is your mother has silenced this myth forever.’’

As she adapts to American life, Haghighatjoo says she sees in the cartoons she watches with her daughter “the components of democracy - teamwork, how to respect others’ ideas. Kids here, from the moment they are born, learn and absorb democratic values. If the US wants to export democracy, cartoons are one way to market it. A totalitarian government would block these cartoons,’’ she said.

Tehran Bureau
Picturing Ourselves: 1953, 1979 and 2009 (12 July 2009 – Golbarg Bashi) <- This is an incredible article and I emphatically implore you all to read it.
But let me now ask one last question regarding mediation — you and I are both on Facebook, as friends, and as you know much of what we are now sharing, including these pictures, is mediated through social networking. Do you think that mediation has an effect on how we are looking at these pictures? There is a cyberspace socialization through these pictures, which would have remained matters of library archival research for scholars. But they are now almost instantly subjects of comparative visual chronology, we can see how we were and how we have become. I am also very much aware of the limitations and drawback of internet-based social networking — so perhaps you could open and examine this connection.

I so enjoy having you as my Facebook friend, and in all honesty I think social media have created modes collaboration and interaction that mark the future of scholarship in the digital age. I think what we see happening on Facebook is the future of scholarship. People have remarked that the whole architecture of journalism fell apart in the course of the Iranian post-election uprising because news arrived on Facebook and Twitter, not on CNN. I think we’re seeing the future of scholarship in that decay as well. Already, my colleagues with any interest in Iran, be it through sports, social movements, news media, film, video, photography, new media, politics, gender, human rights, you name it, they’re all turning to blogs, Facebook , YouTube and Twitter to put together their sources. The immediacy with which these media allow us access to events elsewhere and to each other and the ways that they allow us to build on each other’s contributions — using the share button and the comment area — really suggests the future of scholarship in the digital age, where contemporary Web 2.0 technologies by their very centrality will demand our consultation and collaboration on levels that especially the Humanities has yet to witness. In part, this will mean the opening up of the university and I am all for it.

But I digress. Digital photographs like the ones we are looking at circulate often without captions. We add the captions and date them; we personalize them and attach meanings to the images, meanings that others may not have found. We cannot underestimate the power in that and the impact that the personal value we bring to each photograph has on our circles. Just think how different it would be if we were poring over newspapers together like the two girls who then become the cover of Nafisi’s Lolita. We’d see a photograph of protestors confronting the police. We’d notice the date on the top of the paper and read the caption the newspaper gives to the photograph. We’d realize that when we were out shopping together at Saks, people elsewhere were demanding basic human rights — Benedict Anderson’s “Imagined Community”. Now the same photograph shows up on our Facebook feed with the caption “The day that Neda died” or “My friend Ali is standing to the right of motorcycle” and just think how that changes the impact of the image on the hundreds of people who we “friended” at some point, people we played with in kindergarten and never saw again until they showed up with an “it’s complicated” status on Facebook. The photograph we post with our caption reflecting its part in our life becomes an integral part of their life. There is an intimacy there… Our captions to photographs on Facebook and Twitter have a different power and immediacy that has to do with personal relationships in real life. We may look at a photograph of crowds in the streets of a foreign city, a photograph we also saw on CNN that same night. But when we read the caption: “I grew up in that neighborhood” on our Facebook feed, we are pulled in immediately. The event becomes ours, it’s woven into the fabric our life.

I think this is true. I think that because of the social networking sites, the immediacy of the photographs imprinted with the connectiivity that someone who took this or is in this is connected to me in some sort of obscure manner, is what has caused this enormous outpouring of empathy and solidarity with the Iranian people. They are a part of our world and no longer can be classified something 'other.'

Neda, could have been anyone walking upon the street and that she was taken so suddenly and so cruelly is what has been imprinted on our hearts as the image of the light in her eyes fading was imprinted on our minds.

Behind Detainee Release, a U.S. – Iran Conflict on Iraq (July 12, 2009 – Gareth Porter)
Missing Protester, 19, Dead (July 12, 2009) <- Been dead for a month, shot in the heart, like Neda
State-Run TV Takes a Hit (July 12, 2009) <- Boycotting the media and cancelling ads


Video form of Green Brief #25

Video form of Green Brief #26

Footage from the first night after the election, narrated in English by an American?

Tags: iran

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