Sunday, April 20, 2008
I was invited to speak at several election rallies in Yazd, a city in central Iran , located near the desert. The people of Yazd are known for their sincerity, piety and hardworking qualities. The beautiful mud and brick structures with the typical wind mills that you can even see in Dubai are very environmentally friendly.
These wind mills create a natural air conditioning system which along with the insulation that the mud and brick provides makes the interior of these buildings very cool while outside temperatures rise above 45 degrees Celsius during the summer days. They even construct the airways in their buildings so that the air passes over the underground water canals or the qanat making it humid as well. All this with no electricity consumption, no fossil fuel or power plant, no green house gases, only a result of human wit ie; correct designing and construction methods. This is where we see the interplay of traditional knowledge with modern scientific advancements.
These environmentally-friendly structures are seen in the traditional sections of Yazd. Many tourists now come to Yazd to visit the various attractions, art museums, traditional baths transformed into restaurants and many other sites.
Campaigning for the runoff elections have begun.Mr Olia who was a reformist and had served in several government offices during the previous government had won the first vote but elections were taken to the second round. Yesterday, after meeting with the Friday Prayers leader Ayatollah Sadoughi who was previously a deputy to President Khatami, we attended a session with local NGOs who were weary of the restrictions that the government had created for them. I spoke about the importance of the civil society in the promotion of democratic values.
The next rally was in Yazd Azad University a large auditorium had been allocated and many posters were distributed in the campus inviting students to attend my speech. I think over 500 students had attended. I spoke about the role of the student movement in the achievement of the goals of the Islamic Revolution and how important it was that they support the reform movement to proceed in its objectives in strengthening the democratic aspects of the political system.
I received 127 questions, some were presented orally but mostly in written. I answered several questions but time was running short, I promised them I would respond through my Persian blog. I was interviewed by some local reporters and many students were asking for my autograph, they were very anxious to talk to me. We attend two other rallies , one with the reformist coalition headquarters and the second in a large mosque where many people had gathered. I spoke about the importance of voting and taking part in the political processes of the country , I spoke about the Islamic democracy that the revolution had brought about and our role in its sustained development. We arrived in Tehran at 9 pm it was a very long day.