Friday, June 13, 2008

Iranian bloggers and NGOs

Last night I was invited to the sixth birthday of Persianblog. In addition to this blog I have a blog in Farsi now for over 18 months. I write about the environment , politics , women's issues and everything you could think about . Here is the address . Persianblog is one of the largest Iranian blogger societies. They claim to provide services to over 800,000 blogs in Persian. There was a recent survey done on Iranian weblogs by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. The survey indicated the diversity and large number of Iranian bloggers and the various topics that they deal with.

You could see some of that enthusiasm and fervor in the ceremony last night. Bloggers had polls chosen and preferred some weblogs and they were asked to come up to the scene and receive some gifts and talk about their blog. The ceremony was attended by hundreds of people mostly youth, and they were quite energized and applauding the elected blogs.One of the most attractive blogs was one belonging to a soldier/teacher from a village in south of Iran, a region called Dayyer. The village has 35 inhabitants. The village elementary school has only 4 students and the teacher has managed to get a computer from a local governor and now his blog reports the activities of the smallest school on earth.

I spoke for a few minutes about blogging and how the human factor is still alive in Iranian blogs . I meant the compassion and values which we lack so much in today's industrialized and computerized world.

Earlier in the morning I had spoken in a NGO gathering to appreciate the efforts of journalists and media directors who had reported on environmental challenges we face. I mentioned the importance of freedom of speech and and freedom after speech for informed decisions that we need to make to protect our precious environment.

I enjoy being among these young and enthusiastic people who will lead Iran into a new era of advancement and prosperity. Those who contemplate the notion of attacking Iran are totally ignorant of what goes on in the heart of the Islamic Republic.


Anonymous said...

dear dr. ebtekar,
i just read your persian blog about that palizar guy! ... but my first guess when i first heard about this guy's revelations and confessions, was that this is all an orchestrated move by the leadership! i mean, can anybody ever say anything in iran without a green light from the leader? so the question is, why has such a green light been given?
i think the supreme leader has realized how much the conservative block in iran needs to truly change and reform itself if iri wants to survive this year's existential threats by the big powers! and this is his way of bringing down the bad apples among themselves!
perhaps this is all done in order for the leader to give himself the justifications he needs for wanting to start firing a few of these ultra far-right hardline fundamentalist extremist radical clerics in the council of guardians, and replacing them with a few more moderate, modern, rational ones, while at the same time, not appearing to be the one instigating such a potentially controversial and unprecedented "cleansing process" which could never have even been thought of over the past 20 years!!!! you know? like, putting himself in the position of a hero, having to do this "cleansing" b/c he has to save the iri from corruption!! this way he will come off as the one who at the end, was the true reformer of the system!!!
i mean, perhaps today the scapegoat or the sacrificial lamb is mr. palizar, and maybe next year it will be mr. ahmadinejad himself, who knows??? one can dream, right??!!! :-) but in any case, everything smells of a good top to bottom "spring cleaning" (khooneh-tekaani) to me!!! and that's why i take it as a very hopeful sign!!!
why don't you believe that such far-right clerics as the ones named by palizar, who've been so unfair to the reformists, to the freedom movement, to women's movements and to anybody who wasn't totally in line with them, can not possibly be as corrupt and materialisticly motivated "taaghooti" as this guy claims they are?
weren't some of these guardian council clerics the very same people who disqualified so many of your reformist colleagues in the past elections and made life so miserable for so many moderates and intellectual liberals and nationalists over the past couple of decades???
i mean, didn't the supreme leader just give a speech in front of the newly elected representatives of the majlis a few days ago, about the importance of living a humble and simple life and not getting corrupted by power and wealth? don't you think he was preparing the grounds for soon taking some drastic measures in a good cleansing process of the system?
i don't know, but i tend to take this news (of this guy's confessions "efshaagari") as quite a good sign!

(please do post this comment, i feel confident enough to say such things now, b/c i believe the winds of change are blowing over the iri)

Anonymous said...

Long Live Bloggers!

My motto:
Engineers Rule the World!

Come on people, admit it, if it wasn't for us engineers - not to mention Al Gore :-) - who invented the INTERNET, how could anyone even imagine the advent of DEMOCRACY in the developing-world, and such free flow of information within human societies under oppression???!!!!!
it is due to this invention of my fellow electrical and computer engineers, that we have such a global village today, in which we can one day (hopefully in a not too distant future) witness the end of hegemonic rule of self-serving thieves and soulless bullies, such as the extremist ultra-far-right neoconservatives of radical Islam (Ahmadinejad and co.), radical Zionism (Likud and alike), or radical evangelical mega-churches (like that of George W. Bush and his friends John Hagee and Jerry Falwell)!!!!

i say it again:
Engineers Rule The World!

Anonymous said...

i said it before, and i'll say it again, ... a pan-regional war from Iran to Iraq, from Syria to Lebanon, from West Bank to Gaza is EXACTLY what Israel AND the neoconservatives in America desperately want and need right now!!!

please let your leaders know that not only this is not just a psych war, not only Iran shouldn't count on the rationality of the American neoconservatives, not only a lame duck president in the White House or a corrupt prime minister under investigation in Tel Aviv doesn't mean they can't do it, but actually it means that they're desperate enough to do it now before they completely lose the chance to do it if they allow Obama to win! this is their way of making sure John McCain can scare their people into voting for him in November, because if Israel attacks Iran, and Iran responds with an asymmetric tactic through their Mahdi Army in Iraq or through their Hezbullah in Syria and Lebanon, then nobody will be voting for Obama in November, the neoconservatives will be able to make their case that we need to stay in Iraq forever and we need to help our Israeli friends defend themselves against the "terrorists" surrounding them from Gaza, Syria and Lebanon! they will say that Obama is too weak to defend the American and Israeli interests in that region b/c he thinks he can soften "terrorists" just by talking to them!!! this is what they want, this is what they're gonna say to their public if you actually respond to the Israeli attack, and also, this is why Hillary Clinton presented herself as a hawk and stayed in the game until the end, and only "suspended" her campaign until the Democratic Convention in August, at which time, believe you me, if by then, there is such a crisis going on in the middle east, then at that convention, the Democrats' delegates and superdelagates (who are free to change their votes until the convention) will all switch their votes and make her their nominee and Obama her VP, because they want to win from John McCain!
so, if Iran is interested in talking to America at some point, then you should try to do anything you can to make sure Obama wins here!!!
DO NOT respond to Israel when they attack your nuclear facilities this summer, do not even respond asymmetrically by escalating the sectarian strife in Iraq, or promoting an uprising in Lebanon and Syria by the Hezbullah! if they attack you, the best response is to JUST simply cry to the UN and your allies, and then make sure you get rid of your own neoconservatives as soon as possible!!! that's how you defeat the neoconservative warmongers, not by engaging in a war with them!!!! don't give them what they want!!!! don't let Ahmadinejad (who is their agent) take you down that path!!!
please inform your supreme leader (who seems like a wise man) that your neoconservative clerics and your neoconservative president are doing everything they can to help their neoconservative friends in America to win again in November and stop this shift that is taking place in America toward the left!!! these neoconservatives, whether Christian or Muslim, whether western or middle-eastern, they all move their gullible public with one promise, and that's the promise of an Armageddon! they know that their ignorant followers and foot-soldiers are all waiting for a messiah and are all anxiously anticipating either martyrdom or rapture, so they will use this crazy concept to further their own political agenda, the agenda of keeping a permanent conflict in the middle-east so that there will never have to be a peace accord between Israel and Palestine! b/c if there is to be a lasting peace, they know that it means Israel would have to agree to giving up more than it can ever do!
please take these threats seriously, please understand the gravity of this moment in history, and save your people as well as all other middle-easterners who will be collectively "martyred" if you give these warmongers what they want! please remain victims, do not respond to any military attacks, no matter what, please turn the tables around and make them regret attacking you, by turning the world opinion against THEM and not yourselves!!!
Long live Peace!

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Ebtekar,
Maybe what my friends have been criticizing me about is actually true! Maybe I have in fact been too optimistic and naive thinking that the current supreme leader and his more moderate friends like Dr. Larijani are much different from the corrupt people of the establishment who stood in the way of Mr. Khatami's reforms all those years! Maybe they're all as bad as each other, and maybe I've been really too naive to think that Mr. Khatami's reformist friends could actually work with these guys! Maybe I've been too naive thinking that a wave of "cleansing" and reform was on its way!
When I read reports like this, I say to myself "how stupid have you been Kathy?"!!!!

Dear Dr. Ebtekar, please post this comment if you think I have NOT been that stupid all along! I really can't tell if my optimism has been warranted or stupid, and I want you to let me know please! Post it if you think I haven't been too far off in my previous OPTIMISTIC comments!

Anonymous said...

about next year's presidential elections in Iran:

this is actually what's gonna happen:

and neither Mr. Ahmadinejad nor Mr. Khatami will even be nominated next year! and this is good!
i think Mr. Khatami should replace the corrupt head of the Council of Guardians Mr. Jannati (according to new evidence released by Mr. Palizdar), or he should get elected into the Assembly of Experts, or be nominated as the head of the Expediency Council, but for him to go back to being a president, that is just a step backward!
and of course, he's too valuable and too loved by the people to just retire and do nothing, so he should head either the Khobragan (Assembly of Experts) or the Negahban (Council of Guardians) or the Maslehat (Expediency Council)!
and also, ... the supreme leader of Iran should publicly talk about the greatness of Mr. Khatami and let people know that he is not in competition with or in opposition to him!
Iran needs Mr. Khatami, and the Iranian establishment needs to recognize this as soon as possible! Ayatollah Khamenei needs to show his solidarity with this great man who is loved by the majority of Iranians, otherwise the IRI is in danger if they go it alone!
National Unity and Islamic Solidarity, remember????? what happened to that? before totally achieving that you can't move on to Innovation and Flourishing!