Friday, June 26, 2009

Childhood, Icons, And Death!

Ed McMahon

Farrah Fawcett

...and this guy...

Michael Jackson

All we have now is the memories. Rest In Peace!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Iranian Dream Deferred: Looks Like It Exploded...

...And the fires it produced all over Iran (both politically and literally) will be difficult to put out for quite sometime.

Friday, June 19: Ayatollah Khamenei put his legitimacy on the line; by calling for an end to the wide spread protests in Iran, warning that failure to obey this order would result in dire consequences.

Saturday, June 20: The People of Iran called the "supreme" leader's bluff and the rest, as they say, is history (or soon will be). As I am typing this, the protests are still going on despite the government crackdown, the violence, and the deaths.

Things went the way of Tiananmen Square (as I new it would), but this is not the end. These protests (with all the violence involved) could be the seeds of a second Iranian Revolution 30 years after the first.

There are many images and videos being shared via social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter (who says that it's just a stupid fad?!?), but one in particular that I want to leave with you is this...

*Disclaimer: This video is graphic and may be inappropriate for some viewers*

Her Name Was Neda (means "Voice" or "Call" in Farsi)!

She is quickly becoming to the movement in Iran, what Rosa Parks was for the Civil Right's Movement (perhaps it is even greater than that)! Her death is proof that all this unrest was never about the is about the people moving!

Rest In Peace Neda Agha-Soltan


Saturday, June 13, 2009

What A Difference An Election Day Makes

Days leading up to the presidential elections were held in Iran...

...and after the elections, with Ahmadinejad (apparently) winning with about 62% of the vote...

This election was supposed to be about change (mirroring the recent historic national elections held in one of Iran's great enemies. The result, however were just as I feared, more of the same. If reports ring true then many an Iranian feels cheated and dejected while many more (perhaps) feel outraged. This I assume, is not the same that many in America had when Bush won his second term defeating Kerry. Nor do I believe it is the same feeling that many of us would have felt if McCain had one the 2008 election. No, we would probably get close to the disillusionment with our government that I am sure quite a few Iranians feel, If Obama had ran his 2008 campaign against Bush in 2004, and lost by a wide margin. That's the level of funk that I believe many citizens of Iran are feeling right now, which is why many took to the streets protesting the elections as a sham. Perhaps I am overstating the popularity of opposition, but it does seem like many feel that they were wronged and the the elections were a complete sham.

This is akin to the Iranian people (especially moderates and women) having their dreams (of change and progress of course), perhaps not crushed, but definitely deferred. In light of that, I find myself echoing the query of the late poet Langston Hughes. What happens to a dream deferred? Will the hopes and aspirations of the people wither and day, leaving them to withdraw back to apathy and complacency…or will they explode?

Tehran is burning my friends (in more ways than one). I wonder if the Ayatollah is well versed in playing the fiddle (just saying…).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

West Meets Mid-East: Obama's Speech To The Muslim World

In case you missed it...


In my opinion, this speech is a good first step in establishing a real dialogue between the Middle East (particularly the Muslims in that region) and the West. It is not a world changing speech in the sense that it will automatically make all Muslims love the US and her policies (but then, it was never meant to be). I saw it as an overt effort on the part of the Obama administration to not only speak to (as opposed to speak at) to Muslims in the Middle East and around the world, but to do so in an even handed and honest way. In that respect I believe that Obama succeeded in his speech.

This success is made clear in my mind, by the response that he's gotten from those representing the extremist thoughts in the Muslim spheres, the American political spheres, and Jewish spheres. the outrage that they express in response to certain parts of Obama's speech drives home the fact that he had praise and rebuke for everyone in his address.

Here's an example from some of the more extreme (if not drunkenly stupid) responses to Obama's speech to the Muslim world.


* Hat tip to Siddity