Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Long List of VIP Guests in Tehran

President Khatami had important guests in Tehran, this week. The fifth in a series of workshops in Tehran , Oslo and Geneva, this Conference on Religion in A Modern World was the final sum up of dialogue between religious, academic and political leaders from various cultures and religions. Held on October 13-14 in Tehran, this event was assessed as a major breakthrough for the moderate supporters of dialogue, at a time when Americans are still taking aggressive positions against Iran and in light of the up-comming Presidential elections in both the US and Iran.
Kjell Bondevik the former Norwegian Prime Minister, Sadiq Al Mahdi former Prime Minister of Sudan, Kofi Annan the former UNSG, Joseph Deiss the former President of the Switzerland, Lionel Jospin the former Prime Minister of France, Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga the former President of Sri Lanka , Zlatko Laumdzija the former Prime Minister of Bosnia, Romano Prodi the former Prime Minster of Italy, Mary Robinson the former President of Ireland and Jorge De Sampio the former President of Portugal , Dr Abdullah the former Afghan Foreign Minister ,Professor John Esposito from Georgetown University and the Right Reverend John Chane were all here yesterday and today. Also many other scholars and academicians from different countries attended the Conference.
There was a highly publicised opening ceremony yesterday and many members of the media, Ambassador and high level politicians attended the ceremony. President Khatami mentioned the importance of dialogue as a means to confront radicalism and violence in today's world.
Before the panel began Mr Doaee a former MP and close associate of Mr. Khatami presented him with 65 rose flowers on the occaision of his birthday. The President thanked everyone but insisted that the coincidence was purely incidental.
After the opening ceremony the first session was a Panel on Religion, modernity , globalization and dialogue. Professor Esposito moderated the session while Dr. Deiss and I were the Keynote speakers. Dr Deiss spoke on dialogue as an imperative and the importance of achieving a common understanding and strategy. I spoke on Religion and the Lost Anima in a Globalising World. I stressed on the importance of good governance and sound leadership in today's world. How can leaders who have no peace of mind and heart and cannot transcend to connect with the higher levels of spiritual life, lead and inspire the world for advancment and peace?
There is much more share about the sessions and the dialogues we had on the sidelines. I will try to write more about the event.

7 comments:

kathy said...

Hey!!!!!! :-)
I'm soooooooooooooooooo happy to see this picture!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.aftabnews.ir/vglfevdc.w6dxta.,yww72xinigg3i.w.html

finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! a picture of Dr. Zarif!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

"cheshmemoon roshan shod"!!!!!

I had missed this kind face of the man referred to by most journalists and politicians and scholars in the world as the "World's Most Brilliant Diplomat" soooooooooooo much ever since he left the UN!!!! I just couldn't stop my joyful scream when I came across this picture, finally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where have you been Dr. Zarif?????? I knew you were behind ALL the right moves Iran makes, but you were nowhere to be found on the Internet, no pictures, no interviews, no articles!!!!!!!

I seriously hope that the next president of Iran (from whichever party he may be) will have the WISDOM to appoint this GREAT man as his Foreign Minister, he's Iran savior!!!!

I really mean it! Dr. Ebtekar you know how much I love you, and how much I admire President Khatami, but Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif? He is my Hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I truly truly believe that he was responsible for single-handedly SAVING Iran from the neoconservatives' plans of attack, he single-handedly defeated the likes of Bill Kristol and John Bolton in their stated goal of invading Iran and sending troops to Tehran as "Real Men" cowboys "loved to do" in 2003!!!!!!!

He is Iran's savior, hero, modern day Sattar Khan, Amir Kabir, Mossadegh, ... a true HERO!!!!

Dr. Zarif we love you!!!!!

Holly said...

Maybe these wonderful world leaders could talk about this issue while they are in Tehran. They should advice all Iranian students to stay away from politics and stick to their books and classroom.

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/dec/23/world/fg-student23

Long live Iran and Islamic Democracy (see you have changed me)

Anna said...

:-) my sentiments "exactly"!!!!

we love Dr. Zarif, we love President Khatami, and we love Iran's first EVER woman president to come: Dr. Ebtekar!
(God willing, enshallah!)

more pictures:

http://yazdonline.com/NewsDetail.aspx?id=976

I'm sooooooooooooo jealous of everybody who was there!!!!!! especially when I saw the picture of our dear dear Dr. Zarif giving a speech there!!!!!! please provide us with a link to the speeches, like the link you provided for the video of the IUCN event, please!!!!! i'm sure everybody is dying to see and hear (or at least read) what was going on there in Yazd today! you're soooooo lucky! I'm sooooooo jealous!!!!! thank God for this Yazdonline.com site which gives us a glimpse at least!

btw, just one negative point:
looks like the hard-wood floor wasn't waxed before such a big event! i wish everything was PERFECT, but i guess for a desert city, it's not easy to keep the sand out! i've never been to Yazd, it must be a fascinating city!

tell us more about what your guests think of Iran, how did they like Tehran? how did they like Yazd? tell us about the feedbacks please!

Kathy said...

Hi! I just read your latest post on your Persian weblog, and I have one thing to say about this topic of Western women's complaint about the mandatory headscarf for them while in Iran:

The answer IRI gives them: "it's our laws", is absolutely shameful!!!!! It's the most insulting "law" ever, and this insult is in fact aimed at Iranian MEN!!!!!
if this is a law to ensure "social order", then what it implies is that Iranian men are so weak and sexually repressed and they are such devious perverts that the sight of women's hair will move them to create "social disorder" and commit crimes!!!!!!

shame on the 35 million Iranian men who don't recognize this so-called "law" as what it is:
An insult to their ability to understand right from wrong, an affront to their dignity, and a blatant underestimation of their moral compass!

I know Iranian men, and I know they are no more prone to sexual deviation than any other man in the world, but I just wish they were as courageous and astute as Iranian women who have been persistently resisting this unjust so-called "law" for the past 29 years, by refusing to go under the "black cloak" of oppression!!!! I wish these 35 million men (who are apparently considered very morally weak in the eyes of IRI's clerics) could come out and DEMAND more respect for themselves than being treated as sex-crazed animals who'd be aroused just by looking at the hair of foreign women!!!!!
please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!!!!

Holly said...

http://www.autnews.us/archives/1387,07,00012907


While these International VIPs were attending their meeting in Tehran, few hundreds of Brave Iranian Students in Shiraz tried to attend another meeting with Mr. Ali Larijani. To their surprise they were not allowed in to the meeting area.
Reading the story and looking at pictures I understand why they denied students attendance. All I can say is "Brava" to our brave Shirazi students. More power to you. Stay safe and don't ever give in to this Dictatorship.

Anna said...

congratulations dear Dr. Ebtekar! i just read some of the comments that your Iranian readers have left on your Persian-language weblog (Green Ebtekar), and looks like you're starting to get people awakened and interested in "party politics" in Iran!!! looks like the once taboo idea of getting active in political parties, has been changed to an exciting and acceptable concept of good citizenship!!! congratulations! Western people might not recognize this as the truly BIG DEAL it is in the Iranian culture, but i know how much you and your fellow reformists must have struggled to TEACH this concept to the masses and to legitimize these activities despite the opposition by the proponents of the outdated notion of a traditional society, who used to look at party politics with so much skepticism and mistrust! this is a HUGE step in democratization of the Islamic Republic of Iran! Bravo indeed!!!!
God Bless you and all your fellow reformists under the leadership of former President Khatami!
Viva Islamic Democracy for Iran!

Anna said...

Dear Dr. Ebtekar,
Would you please provide a link to my weblog here, so that your readers might give me the honor of reading my most recent post titled "My Predictions for Iran's next Presidential Elections (June 2009)"?

http://mrs-immanuel-kant.blogspot.com/

I know you may not agree with everything I'm saying, but I'd love it if you read my post and if you find it has some merits, I'd really appreciate it if you recommend your readers to check it out! Thanks!
:-)