Email from Iran: One Iranian Mom
June 16, 2009 - More observations from inside Iran, this time from a mother in Tehran:
“People say these things are going to continue for 3-4 months, (but) nobody knows what will be the outcome. If the demonstrations continue, the government would be forced to do something. ...
“(Reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein) Mousavi has ordered quiet and peaceful demonstrations, but some youngsters who are hotheads are burning things and breaking windows of stores and stealing things and breaking windows of banks. ... So the police are trying to protect things.
“But tar va khoshk ba ham misoozand. (When there is a fire, the wet wood and dry wood burn together.)”
Question: “Has your daily routine changed?”
Interview with Shirin Ebadi
June 16, 2009 Interview with Shirin Ebadi - Security officials posing as clients entered the Tehran offices of one of Iran’s leading human rights lawyers today and arrested him, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi just told NPR’s Davar Iran Ardalan. That lawyer, Abdolfattah Soltani, spoke with Davar just yesterday—telling her that the Iranian government should recount all the votes in last Friday’s disputed presidential election, in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner by a 2-1 margin… Full entry on npr.org
“A significant red line has been drawn”
June 16. 2009 - I reached Babak Rahimi in Tehran. He teaches Iranian and Islamic Studies, including Shia Islam, at the University of California, San Diego—but has been in Iran since March, researching and writing about the development of the Internet there. He says he never expected to be in the middle of all this!
Question: “What are your observations about what has happened the past couple days?”
Rahimi: “It seems as though the opposition is fully aware that it has a chance to challenge the status quo. The way they are challenging is through orderly means of demonstrations and symbolic acts of defiance.
“For example in the past few nights, the sounds of people just shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is Great) on their rooftops. They are in their private homes and it is difficult for the government to control. This harkens back to the 1979 revolution when similar chants could be heard at night.”
Question: Talk about the role of the internet and new media. How is that playing itself out?
Rahimi: “I would make an argument that Iranians have an alternate social space now.