Sunday, April 20, 2008

Yazd, The Desert City

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.


Anonymous said...

just imagine the possibilities that exist in that Desert area of Kavir and Lut, for generating electricity from building large-scale solar-panel fields in those deserts, and efficiently using that renewable source of abundant Solar Energy!

if only your government would spend half the money it's spending on this controversial Nuclear Energy initiative, and instead, it would spend it on Solar Energy, there would not only be no excuse for a military strike on Iran (and therefore the beautiful city of Yazd could be saved from being destroyed in a "mushroom cloud", like the one on Hiroshima), but also you can bring so much business and investment into your country (from Solar Panel manufacturers and others), and you can create so many well-paying jobs for the lovely people of Yazd and all other Desert towns in Iran!

I suggest you take a close look into Germany and study their policies, you might learn something from the dedication they have to solar energy in this small cloudy/rainy country (German farmers getting paid subsidies by the government if they setup solar panels in their fields and generate electricity to add to the power grid), and propose it to your crazy president, as an alternative for the Nuclear Power he so enthusiastically seeks!

Iran is not only rich in Oil and Gas, but it is also rich in Solar and Wind! Why go Nuclear and generate nuclear waste and put Iranians at risk of a Chernobyl, if not a Hiroshima???!!!

Impeach him already!!!
The man is mad!!!
He not only denied the Holocaust (giving perfect ammunition to those who would LOVE to find an excuse to bomb Iran), now he's denying 9/11 too!
Is he not working against your people????!!! The Israeli and American hawks must love this guy!!!

why are your smart people not seeing what this man is doing to them?????!!!! it's unbelievable!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymous, Iranian clergy/religionists and likes of Ms. Ebtkar are not blessed with rationality. Ms. Ebtekar is not allowed to leave the country without her husband's permission and yet she continues to defend the system that limits her freedom as a human being.
I would call that lack of rationality and serious lack of interest in her own rights as a human being let alone poor people of Yazd.

Anonymous said...

Save Yazd and its beautiful 4500 year-old Cypress tree:§ionid=351020108

by closing up the source of conflict in Natanz, where a mushroom cloud can soon befall and destroy all Live organisms including that Cypress tree in Yazd!§ionid=351020108

Save Iran from destroying itself!

Anonymous said...

what do you suggest then, dear other anonymous??? that we hand our country to those MKO traitors who killed their own people during the Iran-Iraq war? as Europeans are suggesting!! ...

or should we let Iran turn into another Iraq, occupied by the amazingly peace-loving American marines and Blackwater contractors?!!

or worse, should we wait for McCain or Hillary to "obliterate" our fatherland????

btw, this was not a gaffe!!!

Our people's only chance for survival is to trust the less radical ones in that system, and plead with them to save Iran by trying to save their IRI! and if that means trusting some decent God-fearing religious people, so be it, what's wrong with that???

NOT ALL Islamic clerics are self-serving traitors to their own people, just like NOT ALL evangelical ministers are as blood-thirsty as John Hagee! there are radical clerics and then there are decent clerics in ALL religions!

let go of your prejudice toward Iranian clerics, and don't hate them just b/c they turned Iranian women into 2nd class citizens!!!! that's what happens in any religious system!!! (do Nuns ever become Bishops?)... and apparently the majority of Iranians want a religious system, so who are we to tell them they don't know what's good for them??? let's not be so arrogant!!!!

but you know, Iranian women themselves can eventually change that and improve their IRI system, they have survived all these years, and they will continue to demand their rights until they win, but in PEACE, not through WAR!!! with the help of feminist Muslims like Dr. Ebtekar, not by looking at every chadori woman in Iran as a symbol of backwardness and an object of oppression!!!

Anonymous said...

... and one more thing, dear another anonymous,

the bush administration knew perfectly well that Iran's best hope for strengthening its own legitimacy and position in the international arena, and therefore gaining more "political power" than it has already gained in the region, is indeed UNITY among different parties in Iran, i.e., sustainable political clout for the Reformists and their inclusion in the IRI system! that's why they said a few positive things about the Reformists in the media, and appeared to be on the side of, and in favor of the Reformists' victory in the recent elections! they knew exactly that it would have a reverse (or adverse) effect for the Reformists and indeed all reform-minded liberals and leftists in Iran! they know very well, that by uttering any positive word about any politician in Iran, they are in fact jeopardizing the position of that person and ruining the chances of his/her party's victory!!! the Bush administration is perfectly aware of the fact that Iranians are very proud and very suspicious of anybody who even smells like he might be a lackey of the enemy!!!!
so, that's why they did this in order to put the Iranian Reform Movement to bed! they did this to make Mr. Khatami and his friends powerless and his party broken and fractured!

the answer to Iran's problem is just UNITY! pure and simple!!!

yes, you and i left Iran many years ago, b/c we cared about our own individual rights and freedoms, and (if you are a woman) we didn't want to be treated as 2nd class citizens who should need their father's or husband's permission to even move within their own country!!!!! we couldn't stand for such insults and demeaning of our entire gender! BUT,
when it comes to the question of defending our fatherland from disaster, from an Atom-Bomb, or from a foreign invasion, i don't care about my Women's Rights, and i would hope that you and i will want to go and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the same people who consider our testimony as half of a man's testimony in a court of law!!!!

we need to be doing whatever we can to defend our beloved Iran, and we can only do it together, only TOGETHER in UNITY and SOLIDARITY!

long Live Iran!