Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tehran City Hall and Gaza: Inside Stories

The Tehran City Council sessions are open to the public and media on Tuesdays. The main issue on the agenda today was the issue of managing and maintaining the quality of water for 8.5 million inhabitants of the mega-city. Tehran has enjoyed a high quality of water in its piping system since decades ago flowing water from mountain sources has given the water in Tehran a unique quality and taste. However, gradually due the sharp increase in the city's population, water is now also taken from underground resources and the limited potentials for water purification are also a potential challenge for the future. We adopted a bill asking the government to provide necessary funding for new water resources allocation and management of the current systems. I also brought up the need for a bill on more stringent standards for water quality and also more sustainable consumption patterns . We will bring the issues to the Environment Committee and come up with an appropriate proposal next week.
By the end of the session a group of kindergarten children with banners and balloons about clean air had settled in the public section of the City Hall. This week is named Clean Air week as a gesture to promote awareness on abatement of air pollution and the role of the public in this matter. They also sang a song for us and gave us flowers, we also took some pictures together.

The children's presence reminded us of the difficult plight of children in Gaza .The ongoing tragedy in Gaza is a serious matter for Iranians. I watched a presidential debate on CNN international this morning. I was surprised to see that the debate is still only focused on national issues while an important matter like the plight of the people of Palestine was absent. We have seen many scenes here of the suffering of the people in Gaza but it is noteworthy that they say they will resist and continue their struggle against the occupiers. I saw a report on a group of Palestinian women staging a protest in Rafah against the closing of the borders, they seemed to be so confident and daring. I am not sure the news and reports that we see in Iran are also broadcast in other parts of the world. I hope the tragic news of Gaza and the injustices against this nation gets across.


Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Ebtekar,
First, allow me to offer you my most sincere congratulations for being nominated as one of the "saviors of our planet"! Especially that it was announced by none other than The Guardian!!!! Aren't they sort of right-wing and hawkish when it comes to treating Iran?? I was rather surprised to see your name in that article, but you know? whatever their motivations, it's still quite an accomplishment for Iran! Thank you for having obviously done enough for the cause, that even the enemies of Iran could not stay silent about it! You've made us all proud!

Second, I was wondering why you did not candidate yourself for the Majlis elections this year? Is it prohibited for the members of the City Council to also run for the Parliament before the end of their term? I have not lived in Iran for more than 20 years, so I am not familiar with the rules over there.

Finally, I wanted to share some of my "Green" ideas with you, in the hopes that maybe one day we can see Iran as a pioneer in the Global Green Movement, and hopefully see you as the first female president of Iran, dedicated to Environment more than any other president in the world!
I'm an engineer, and knowing the already existing technologies for the efficient use of Solar Energy, considering the vast desert areas of Kavir and Lut in Iran, I can see some amazing potential Iran has for spearheading quite grand-scale projects in the field of renewable energy, in the future!
I wish you had an email address available on this page.

Anonymous said...


could you please write about organic food and educate people to avoid use of pesticides. thank you

Anonymous said...

To the anonymus below me;

1- i'm not sure but I think if she wanted to nominate herself for the parliament election, she had to resign from Tehran's city council.

2- this is her mail address;

Ifound it here ather blogger profile page;