Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Iran, Land of Diversity

The ethnic diversity of Iran is both amazing and unique in many respects. Iranians  come from Persian, Turk, Lor, Kurd, Arab, Baluch, Sistani, Turkemen backgrounds. This ethnic diversity and intercultural interaction has made the Iranian society one of the most dynamic and attractive in terms of national heritage and culture. Local dialects and accents and even ethnic languages are very popular. Local cuisine and traditional dishes are welcomed in every home. Traditional and ethnic art including drama, music, painting and folklore have all evolved to create a very rich cultural backbone. Traditional costumes and colorful clothes are also one of the attractions  specific for each Iranian ethnic group.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pew Polls on Iran: Biased or Objective

Pew’s  global attitudes project,  has just released a big batch of new surveys. Among other things, the researchers asked respondents in 21  countries how they feel about Iran.  The results seem to be bad news for Tehran, which seems to be wildly unpopular according to this survey .  According to the information posted on the Pew site, the survey measures popularity of NATO, EU , UN , Russia and China as well.  It is interesting to note that NATO also seems to be quite unfavorable, even in some EU countries like Greece (72%), Spain and the Czech Republic, while polls for Islamic countries other than Turkey are notably  not displayed.  Serious questions on the objective nature and integrity  of such polls surface, considering the biased approach and selection of subjects.
World opinion is largely shaped by global media and news agencies that are funded and heavily influenced by a certain pro-Zionist lobby in the US and worldwide. They have repeatedly relied on this weapon to shape public opinion before the war against Afghanistan, the attack on Iraq,  and Libya.  Western media have done a great service to Israel by  smearing the image of Iran and depicting a totally negative picture for the public to both fear and hate. In reality, the Iranian government which has serious flaws and faces many challenges, particularly after the 2009 disputed elections, is under heavy internal criticism ; but everything is not so dark as western media portray. Iran had the highest scientific growth rate in 2010 due to the booming achievements in academic fields and research. Iranian cities have now developed into modern and attractive metropolitan areas although air pollution is a major impediment. Councils elected by the people are now managing the affairs of cities and villages and despite restrictions the civil society is struggling to improve social indicators.Women have advanced in many areas while they still face some setbacks. When a negative and fearsome image of Iran is systematically  promoted in the  mainstream  global media,  then one would expect such poll results to be natural.
 NATO and US policies in the Middle East and many other parts of the globe in recent decades have resulted in war, bloodshed, terrorism and the general decline of the quality of life for people. The deteriorating conditions of living in  most of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as Libya has occurred as a direct consequence of US adventurism  and occupation which may have led to the downfall of a dictator but has also devastated the economy, undermined basic  infrastructure and left the people in despair.  It is now a general realization that American and NATO forces only pursue their interests in such adventures. Compared to most countries in this region, Iran is well better off. This does not mean that the government meets the expectations of the people. By no means, Iranians look forward to major reforms and changes in their administrative and political system.  However, it is a well known fact now that foreign  intervention does not serve the interests of   nations in the long term and cannot help to promote peace security and democracy among nations and  in the world. People throughout the world are now increasingly awakening to the painful truths of our age.