The story of modern Iran is one of a government full of contradictions. But the story of modern Iran is also one of a nation struggling for justice and human rights. A nation that is more and more finding it’s voice, it’s battle call for change - online. In the summer of 2009. As a journalist and Senior Producer at NPR News in Washington D.C. and through my ancestry and connections in Iran, I received hundreds of documents, photos, texts, tweets, emails and status updates from Iranians at the front lines of the disputed Presidential election.
Today, with a hardline President like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the helm, there are ever more signs that for many religious and secular women in Iran, the revolution has failed to create the society they had hoped for. In December 2003, I went to Oslo, Norway to cover the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights lawyer, who challenges the ruling clerics’ interpretation of Islam. This summer, Ebadi and other women’s rights activists lead a campaign to collect one million signatures from Iranian women and men calling for a change to Iran’s discriminatory laws. Politically active women are using non-violent means in their silent protest for change in Iran’s legal code.
As I contemplated the writing of this book, I realized I was going through a time of great creativity, longing and yearning to express, to communicate, for I had grown beyond the suffering, pain and anguish of alienation. I was searching for my self through the lives of my ancestors. And through this quest, I came to know not only myself but also the commonality that runs through all traditions – American and Iranian - the concept of fairness and justice. I could not have made this journey was it not for the support and intellectual guidance of my mother.
When my son Saied got home last night from dinner at McGarvey’s in Annapolis, he went on-line and saw that the product he has created was posted on apple.com. It was an electrifying moment At 22, Saied is a former Apple employee, most recently with the consumer marketing team at .Mac. in Cupertino where he traveled all over the world, teaching people how to sell .Mac and it worked. Before that he worked in Apple Stores and was number one in the company for metric sales of .Mac.
2007-01-04 08:36 AM
For all our love and happiness, I thank John Oliver Smith. As the poet Rumi says: “The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers do not finally meet somewhere, they are in each other all along.” It has been John’s unconditional love that has helped me stay focused in the creative aspects of my life.
In 1979, Jahangir Razmi took several photographs of a firing squad in Iran. One of those photos was published worldwide, and eventually earned the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 but the winner was annonymous. Now, after almost three decades, photographer Jahangir Razmi is claiming his prize. See the photos and listen to the NPR stories.