Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Two Birthdays and a Film

Women leaders of the environment gathered in Helsinki to discuss ways women could contribute to the improvement of the state of the world's environment in 2002. We were about 28 Ministers and Satu Hassi was the Finish Minister of Environment, at that time. In addition to my keynote speech , I had asked for some time to screen a short film on the life of the Virgin Mary and the Birth of Jesus Christ, based on the narration of the Holy Quran. The film was originally a popular TV series broadcast on Iranian TV and it was later transformed into a movie . I had asked Mr. Ali Akbari, the producer, to produce a short excerpt for screening , with English subtitles in this session. The short film was screened during one of the break sessions. I did not think it would be so well appreciated by the audience. Many were surprised to learn that the Quran has devoted so many phrases to the life of the Virgin and her Son and some were moved seeing the egalitarian approach of the Quran openly expressed in this narration. The beautiful description given in the verses of the Quran about Mary's inspirational role against the prejudices and injustices of the ruling system of the Jewish Rabbis was well portrayed in this film.

There is so much that Abrahamic religions have in common, there are so many reasons for getting along, for working to eradicate poverty , injustice, ignorance and protecting nature. We should wish ,on Christmas eve , for peace and security and for a future to which our children everywhere in the world could look up to.

But there is another birthday party tonight as well. It is the first anniversary of Persian Paradox which was born exactly this night a year ago. I wish to thank all those who visited the blog during the past year and particularly those who left me their messages and notes. I hope Persian Paradox has made a connection in the vast skies of the blogosphere.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Persian Paradox!
mine is next week on January 1st, I'm a New Year baby, but of course in Iran that meant nothing being born on Dey 11th! it's only here that the whole country celebrates my birthday, over there nobody would even remember it!

Black Chador said...

oHappy birthday to Persian Paradox from Black Chador, one of your blog branches. We may not see everything with the same view but our hearts are all dedicated to a pushing Iran toward a Free Iran.

Anonymous said...

and Merry Xmass and Happy Holidays to you too dear Holly! ... I wish I could go to Washington DC for our beloved World President, President Barack Hussein Obama's inauguration, but I have a BIG exam on the 27th (my PhD comprehensive exam) and can't go!!!!!! :-( can you believe it????!!!! I'm so sad!!!! Me???? the one who was rooting for him even BEFORE he announced his candidacy in Springfield, I cannot go to his inauguration!!!!!! I soooooooo should have at least gone to Chicago for November 4th when I had a chance (no exam the next week)!!!! :-(
Enjoy your trip to DC if you're gonna be there on January 20th! jaaye mano khaali kon!

Anonymous said...

Please Dr. Ebtekar! YOU HAVE TO post this comment PLEASE!!!! Do NOT censor me again please, just because it's a Nehzat Azadi interview!

Iran LOVES these peoples, even more than it LOVES the inner-circle Reformists (khodi)!!!

Iranian people's collective psyche, - even that of those 65% of them who don't even remember the revolution - is FULL of stories they have heard from their parents and their big sisters and big brothers about their NATIONAL HEROES like Dr. Mossadegh, Dr. Shariati, Mohandess Bazargan, Ayatollah Taleghani, Dr. Chamran, Dr. Yazdi, and everything and everyone who has ever had anything to do with either the Freedom Movement of Iran (Nehzat e Azadi) or the National Front of Iran (Jebheye Melli)!
You Reformists (from the "khodi" inner-circles of IRI) NEED to get together with these POPULAR political leaders and national heroes, if you REALLY want to regain the trust and CONFIDENCE of the NATION back, the same way you did in June of 1997!!!

PLEASE not only post this message of Dr. Ebrahim Yazdi here, but also convey it to your old bosses!

Unknown said...

Thank You for entering the political arena, Granddaughter of Imam Khomeini and Iranian Muslim Feminist!

Bravo! :-)

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ebtekar, write about this in your next English post here, please!

it's good for your readers to know this, no?

Anonymous said...

I know he's a right wing politician and you are a left wing one Dr. Ebtekar, so you might say why are you talking about this person's speech on my site? but I think this speech is not a very partisan one anyway, and I believe you agree with the assertion that this gentleman is not too hostile a rival to your party's reformist agenda, right?

I just wanted to repeat something I have said before about what I believe is the root cause of a LOT of problems between Iran and the West, i.e. MISINTERPRETATION of our language and the WRONG historical context and references that are inferred from our Persian or Arabicized Farsi words which our politicians tend to use without providing a historical background to the origin and meaning of these words from our culture, and hence causing enormous MISUNDERSTANDINGS with the western world who will interpret these words according to their own historical references and context!

These are words like martyrdom ("shahaadat"), resistence ("jahaadat"), and sacrifice ("eessaar") which to the western man signify a COMPLETELY different notion than what we mean when we express them in reference to our cultural heritage entrenched in our collective psyche through stories of COURAGE, BRAVERY and SACRIFICE by figures like Imam Hossein! These notions were to us Muslims what gave inspiration to such heroes as Salahuddin Ayyubi of 12th Century AD and Dr. Mostafa Chamran of our Century the necessary courage to stand up to injustice!

What has made me feel good about this particular speech of Dr. Ali Larijani is that he finally put those words into context by referring to Imam Hossein, as opposed to just using the words ("jahaad", "shahaadat", ...) and leaving it to the English translator to put a negative connotation or spin to them by referring to their own literal translations for such terminology which in the western world it goes back to the Crusades and their so-called Holy Wars in the name of God, which is NOT what Shiites mean when they talk about "martyrdom"!

kojaaeed ey shaheedaane khodaaee
balaa jooyaane dashte Karbalaaee
kojaaeed ey sabok baalaane aashegh
parandeh tar ze morghaane havaaee

p.s. I would love it if you could send me at least the lyrics of this song/poem (in Farsi), even if you don't have the audio file to send me on my birthday as the best gift ever! ;-)

Anonymous said...

This is a very good decree by Ayatollah Khamenei:

I'm SURE our beloved World President Barack Hussein Obama will say something similar to this as well, soon enough! and hopefully the racist, anti-Jewish, anti "ajam", anti-democratic Arab leaders will join hands with TRUE Muslims (including Persians and Kurds and Turks and Lurs and Baluchis and Turkomen and Azeris of Iran, Indian/Pakistani/Afghan Muslims, Indonesian, Malaysian, South-East Asian, Central Asian, European, African, North American, South American and former Soviet States' Muslims of the World, all 1.8 billion of them), as well as other GOOD human beings (be it Christians or Jews or Buddhists or Hindus or Sikhs or Zoroastrians or Bahais or atheists and Godless Maoists) the world over, in helping to advance a REAL everlasting PEACE process, as opposed to a FAKE ceasefire!!!

If that happens, maybe, just maybe the world will finally get to see the dream of such martyrs in the path toward TRUE PEACE as shaheed Yasser Arafat and shaheed Yitzhak Rabin as well as hundreds of thousands if not millions of other Palestinian, Lebanese, Jewish or Arab Middle Eastern shaheeds in this quest for PEACE, get realized!

If Ehud Barak says "Israel cannot really accept a ceasefire with Hamas":

then maybe, the answer to all this INHUMANITY is a TRUE movement for everlasting PEACE which can only be achieved if Hamas is accepted as a legitimate part of the Palestinian government, just the way Hezbollah was accepted by the Lebanese government after the 33-day war of 2006! If the WORLD wants to avoid a repeat of that summer, shouldn't politicians learn from recent memory (of only 2 years ago) and do what needs to be done before another 1200 innocent people get killed in the process? Hezbollah and Hamas are the PEOPLE of that region, not alians from outer space to be wiped out and gotten rid of!!!!

When people like Khaled Mashaal call on the people of Palestine to go for a third Intifada,

it means they are willing to sacrifice their lives and NOT accept FAKE ceasefires! So, shouldn't smart politicians and world leaders have already learnt their lessons from the 33-day war in Lebanon and UNDERSTAND what "martyrdom" means in the core belief system of these people??? Isn't it time to STOP bunching people up into ONE homogeneous category of "terrorist jihadis", and instead recognize the difference between a crazy, fanatical, fundamentalist, murderous, gone astray from TRUE Islam, infidel suicide-bomber from an al-Qaeda type terrorist group AND a desperate young man who's lived under the most brutal and inhumane APARTHEID conditions all his life, has seen his parents and even grandparents be treated like animals and deprived of their ancestral lands, and the only thing he has is the promise of a better life after death once martyred by the enemies of his God???

Is this something that our dear President Obama who had been moved by the anti-Apartheid movement in the 60s and 70s, and who has known something about the TRUE Muslim faith through his childhood experiences in Indonesia and later meeting and getting to know his relatives in Kenya can understand and react to accordingly, HUMANLY, and fairly? I think so, I know so, I'm sure of it, and I am very hopeful that he will!

Anonymous said...

In the words of TinTin:

Destination Moon (French: Objectif Lune) (Persian: Hadaf Koreye Maah)

and reading this article makes me wanna say:

Destination Davos 2010 in Tehran!

(Persian: Hadaf Davos e Tehran)