Today, I had a beautiful letter e-mailed to me from a young woman in Shiraz. Judging by the updates that she sent out regularly, she participated in this election enthusiastically hoping for Mr. Mousavi to win. Like many others, she was totally shocked and devastated with the results and the speed with which they were announced on the Iranian national media. Then she and her friends worked hard to keep a peaceful campaign going to make their protests heard in the hope of an election re-run. Some of her friends in Shiraz University dormitory were beaten up in the middle of the night. On the various phone conversations that we had, she went through moments of hope and despair.
The letter she sent me today is beautiful. It is everything but hopeless. I meant to translate all of it to share it with you. But I was in a meeting till late. And I don’t want to do a clumsy translation. So I only give you the first paragraph. Her words brought tears (of joy) to my eyes. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did and share them with others. “H” writes:
“There is no desire more powerful than that of changing the flow of history. And we are happy because we are now standing right at that crossroad where this desire feels possible. We are moving away from the frustrations and defeats of those before us and toward changing history. The immediate outcome does not matter. The real goal has been achieved. We are feeling it in our bones. In the past few weeks, smallness, death, and despair have left us. We are free. On the streets, inside our own thoughts, and in front of each other, we are free.“
The First Issue of “Kalaame Sabz”
Yesterday I told you that the first issue of Mr. Mousavi’s new newspaper has been distributed. It is called “Kalaame Sabz.” To see the first issue, click here: Kalaame Sabz Issue 1.
Mr. Mousavi’s Message to Iranians Living Abroad
* Today, Mr. Mousavi’s facebook page, which is now his only conduit to the outside world, has posted a message addressed to Iranians living abroad. The message consists of five paragraphs and is calm and confident in its tone. Below, I provide a rough translation of the main points in the letter:
1. I appreciate your widespread participation in the election. Iran belongs to you as much as those living on its soil.
2. I am grateful for your vote of confidence and I assure you that, as I promised earlier, I will pursue the issue of cheating in this election to safeguard your legal rights as reflected in your votes.
3. Unfortunately, as you see in the international media, the Islamic Republic, in clear violation of the Iranian constitution, has blocked my normal channels of communication with you, and the people’s right to peacefully protest.
4. I thank you for your strong objection to the widespread rigging of the election and ask you – using peaceful legal channels – to make your voices heard by the Iranian officials. I know your legitimate concern is different from the goals of those hostile to the Iranian political system as a whole and ask you to not allow them to take advantage of your protest to advance their goals (my clarification: Mr. Mousavi is here referring to royalists, and other opposition groups who fundamentally oppose the Islamic Republic and would not participate in the Iranian elections but in the past week have participated in demonstrations related to this election.)
New Video of Baharistan Demonstration on Wednesday
In Iran, People Pay their Respects to Neda’s Grave Despite very Tight Security
* Iranians of all wakes of life come to pay their respects to Neda Aghasultan despite the very tight security around her grave, Borzoo Daragahi reports from Iran. You can read the full article here.
The Guardian Council Appointed a “Special Commission” to Look into the Election
* In an interview with Press TV on Thursday, Guardian Council Spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei said in addition to a five day extension for filing complaints, the Council had formed a “special commission” to “secure the additional confidence of the complaining candidates and their supporters.”
He added that the commission was composed of six “outstanding political, social and religious figures,” including representatives of the two defeated candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi who persist with their complaints and demand a re-run.
* At the same time, the national media has ratcheted up the rhetoric against the “rioters” and promised them heavy punishments.
* There are now an estimated 1,000 known intellectuals, and political figures in detention. How could this level of control be sustained while a measure of normalcy is restored? I am not sure if those in power have an answer for it at this point.
I am going to close this window without an image tonight. Hope to make up for that in the next one.
Fatemeh Keshavarz, Professor and Chair
Dept. of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures
Washington University in St. Louis
Honorary Co-Chair, Iranians For Peace
Tel: (314) 935-5156
Fax: (314) 935-4399