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Archive for July, 2009

Green wrist bands and V-signs—the signs of protest and, most importantly, HOPE in Iran.

Green wrist bands and V-signs—the signs of protest and, most importantly, HOPE in Iran.I

Dear All,

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A young friend returning from Iran recently reported that an amazingly high percentage of people continue to wear green wristbands on a daily basis. Strangers passing by on the street, make “V” signs for victory, smile, and carry on with their daily activities. According to her, the nightly chants continue, and despite the pressures and the presence of police, there is a sense of hope.

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Important Upcoming Event

* Thursday, July 30th will witness another major even in Iran. The day marks, the 40th day of the death of those who lost their lives in the protests immediately following the election. Mr. Mousavi’s Facebook page has posted the details of the events of the day which will culminate in a mass candle light vigil after 6:00 pm in Tehran’s public prayer hall “Musalla” on Resalat. Here is more detail for participants: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=113619942605&ref=mf.

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Bigger Cracks Appearing in the System

* As pro-reform Iranians prepare to commemorate the 40th day of the death of Neda Agha Soltan and other people killed in the first wave of anti-election protests, bigger and deeper cracks appear inside the regime mostly in the form of major frictions between Mr. Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. During the past few days, ample evidence of this has come to the surface. There is an excellent article on this significant development in Tehran Bureau: http://tehranbureau.com/looming-confrontation-khamenei-irgc/.

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Mr. Ahmadinejad in Charge of the Ministry of Intelligence

* In a highly unusual move, after firing Mr. Ezhei, the minister of intelligence, Mr. Ahmadinejad has taken over the ministry and ordered the deputy minister, Mr. Alavi to report to him directly.

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Recent Demonstrations in Tehran

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* Demonstrators are careful to for small, loud, and fast groups who can protest and run before the riot police moves in. Here is one such demonstration happening near the Iranian state-run TV and Radio:

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Amazing Live Interview

* Yesterday, a reporter was speaking to people on the street reporting for a live youth radio program. As she was asking about people’s boycott of text messing, a Basij Officer approached and tried to intimidate her by asking fro her ID card and telling her to approach the police car. She provided her reporter ID but refused to go to the car. In the meantime, she questioned the officer’s behavior and legality of his action while engaging him in a conversation. As he finally was leaving she said “I am not sure why you are acting this way, but I hope you are not too upset after hearing yourself on the radio.” Millions of people heard the live interview and talked about it. Unfortunately there is no translation available.

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Outstanding Documentary by Rakhshan Bani Etemad

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* I have to give you this superb documentary by the acclaimed Iranian director Rakhshan Bani Etemad about what the current women’s movements demanded in the current election. I hope the subtitled version appears soon. In the meantime, those of you who know Persian, enjoy:

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Part1:

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Part 2:

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Part 3:

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Part 4:

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Part 5:

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Three Women: 66, 70, and 73

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* The on-line news “iReport” posts this amazing phone call from Iran by a 66 year old woman who, together with two friends 70 and 73, go out to protest the regime everyday. The most amazing thing is that despite the difficulties and tragedies that she refers to, she is filled with hope for change and with an amazing positive energy. I know many of you won’t be able to follow the call in Persian. fortunately, the site provides a translation.  Do please share with others: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-301284.

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A fun little Slide Show: Look Again Mr. Ahmadinejad!

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Does not look to me like Mr. Khatami is bowing down to Mr. Chirac or anything?!?!

Does not look to me like Mr. Khatami is bowing down to Mr. Chirac or anything?!?!

* During the presidential debates, Mr. Ahmadinejad projected an image of himself as the protector of the dignity of the Iranian nation. According to this scenario, all the previous presidents, particularly reformists were presented as week and subservient to the west. In the process, Mr. Ahmadinejad quoted many half truths, exaggerated and edited versions of events.  One such case was his reference to a visit that Mr. Khatami made to France during his presidency. According to Mr. Ahmadinejad, this was a sad day for Iranians because their president run up the stairs to greet Mr. Chirac whereas the French President stood on top of the stairs to snub his Iranian counterpart. Aftab News has just published the photos of that visit and the caption reads “Look again Mr. Ahmadinejad!” Let’s end this window with a little slide show of that visit which is now famous in Iran: Look Again Mr. Ahmadinejad!

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Don’t forget to share http://www.windowsoniran.wordpress.com with friends and acquaintances.

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Good Night,

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Fatemeh

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===================================
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
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Join the United for Iran Global Day of Action on July 25th! Join an impressive cast of supporters, such as Nobel Peace Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Shirin Ebadi, and Mairead Maguire, artists Sean Penn, Dariush, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, and Simin Behbahani, in this unprecendented show of global solidarity for the people of Iran. See the website for more info: http://united4iran.org/.

Join the United for Iran Global Day of Action on July 25th! Join an impressive cast of supporters, such as Nobel Peace Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Shirin Ebadi, and Mairead Maguire, and artists Sean Penn, Dariush, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, and Simin Behbahani, in this unprecendented show of global solidarity for the people of Iran. See the website for more info: http://united4iran.org/.

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Dear All,

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I have taken a few days break to stay with a loving cousin, rest and recuperate after the recent events in Iran. But much has happened in the recent days. So, here comes window 85. Once again, thank you All very much for your personal messages of support and forgive me for not being able to respond individually. These windows go to well over a thousand recipient and get distributed to thousands of others by all of you. In short, I hear from many of you — and appreciate it very much.

Please don’t forget to spread the word about the web blog http://www.windowsoniran.wordpress.com.

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Iranian Ex-president Khatami Calls for a Referendum

* To end the stalemate and the current tragedies that have haunted Iranians since the June 12 elections, Mr. Khatami the ex-president of Iran called for a referendum on the “legitimacy of this government.” If the majority of Iranians accept it, he said, we will accept its legitimacy as well: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=101175&sectionid=351020101.

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Disturbing News of Executions

* While Iranian authorities are promising the release of some of the detainees after the inauguration of Mr. Ahmadinejad, an Iranian e-mailer has contacted me with very disturbing news of a mass execution in Evin prison on July 21st. He as has attached a photo- which supposedly leaked out of prison – to his message. PLEASE

bear in mind that this is UNCONFIRMED news. In other words, I have not been able to find other reports on it. However, if there is a small possibility that this happened, it should be heard and seen by the world. Please be cautious, the photo, which I have attached, is very DISTURBING.

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Let the Pain Heal Through Art

A bust of the now famous Neda Agha Soltan, who was killed by Iranian authorities during the protests, by American Artist Paula Slater.

A bust of the now famous Neda Agha Soltan, who was killed by Iranian authorities during the protests, by American Artist Paula Slater.

* The American Sculptor Paula Slater felt so saddened by the murder of Neda Agha Soltan that she decided to turn her pain into a healing piece of art. She built a beautiful life size bronze bust of this young woman who has now come to be know as “Iran’s angel of freedom.” If you looked at the horrendous picture I attached and are feeling hurt, click on the this link to see Neda’s sculpture (photo on right) which will be unveiled in San Fransisco on July 25 after a mass rally in support of the Iranian protesters who have been imprisoned or killed.

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Support the Hunger Strike to Free Iranian Prisoners

* Yesterday, July 22, a three day hunger strike began in front of the U.N. Worldwide support has grown for this important effort to draw attention to people whose very lives are in danger in prison because of participating in peaceful protests. Many prominent Iranian intellectuals (i.e. Reza Baraheni), ex-political prisoners (i.e. Ramin Jahanbegloo), Women’s Rights activist (i.e. Mihan Jazani and Atefeh Jafari), and world acclaimed artists (i.e. Shawn Penn and Robert Redford) have already joined the supporters of this important action. Please go to the site http://strike4iran.com/ and give the strikers your support.

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Khomeini’s Grandson Flees Iran

* The 50 year old grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini, Sayed Hassan Khomeini, has reportedly left Iran rather than bow to recent pressure that he attend Ahmadinejad’s upcoming inauguration ceremony.

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Beautiful Clip from the Young Music Group

* I leave you with this beautiful musical plea by two Iranian sisters that have formed the group “Abjees” addressed to the Basij. The message is simple, join the masses instead of shooting at them: http://www.khandaniha.eu/items.php?id=803 (youtube video below).

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Best,

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Fatemeh

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===================================
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
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Extremely large crowds continue to protest the election in Iran. In fact, reports now put last Friday's protest at over one million!

Extremely large crowds continue to protest the election in Iran. In fact, reports now put last Friday's protest at over one million! Click the link below to see many more photos from the recent Green protests throughout Iran.

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Dear All,

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It is now believed that the Friday rally has been bigger than a million.

New developments are reported in Iran around the clock. While there is frustration, there is also hope that some positive changes will result. The latest is the following piece of news about the army. Before we get to that though click on the following link to see some photos of recent demonstrations: Photos from Recent Protests in Iran.

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Click the link above to see many more photos from the recent Green protests throughout Iran.

Click the link above to see many more photos from the recent Green protests throughout Iran.

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36 Army Officers Arrested

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* Quoting Persian websites, Mr. Mousavi’s Facebook page reported – hours ago – that on Friday (July 17) 36 army officers were arrested in Iran because they planned to attend Mr. Rafsanjani’s sermon wearing their uniforms as a sign of the opposition of the army to the way members of the Basij have treated peaceful protesters in Iran. While these officers were arrested before taking their action, their plan may represent the feeling among a larger segment of the army which has not made its sentiments public yet: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/19/iran-army-officers-arrested.

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Meet Ahmad Na’eemabadi

A picture of Ahmad Na'eemabadi being held up by protesters.

A picture of Ahmad Na'eemabadi being held up by protesters.

* During the July 17 March to the Friday prayer, some people carried silently the images of their loved ones lost during the Basij attacks after the disputed election. Meet Ahmad Na’eemabadi (photo on the right).

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Reactions to the Friday Event

* In Iran, Mr. Rafsanjani’s Friday sermon was embraced by the reformists and blasted by the hardliners. To see one perspective on Mr. Rafsanjani’s presentation outside Iran, click on the link to this Guardian’s editorial.

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Mr. Ahmadinejad’s Controversial Appointment

* On Friday, Mr. Ahmadinejad who was in Mashhad, made a very controversial appointment. To replace his first deputy who had resigned on Thursday, he appointed Mr. Karim Mashsha’i. Mr. Mashsha’i is a relative of Mr. Ahmadinejad and is seriously disliked by the major clergy as well as the President’s hardliner allies.

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Hunger Strike In Front of the United Nations

* A group of Iranian academics, activists and intellectuals – with no attachment to any particular group or organization – are going to go on hunger strike from July 22 to 24 in front of the U.N. to express their deepest concern and support for those arrested in Iran since the elections. I am very sorry not be able to personally joint them. I hope you express their support for their important action. Their website is: http://www.strike4iran.com/.

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Very Scary News

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Just had an e-mail from a friend in Iran that phone contact with prisons has led a very scary rumor which is as follow:

* According to unconfirmed news, the post-election political prisoners are in danger of being executed — if they do not confess to various crimes and sign letters of apology. An e-mailer, who reports this news based on a phone call with a prisoner, says the accusation for these executions is “smuggler and drug dealer.” “Please let the amnesty international and other human rights organizations know” says the e-mailer “that innocent people are being executed and their only crime is seeking freedom and asking for a just and fair election in Iran.” I do hope that this unconfirmed news is not true.

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Siemens may Loose Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

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* According to Washington Times, this would be because it cooperated with Nokia in selling equipment to Mr. Ahmadinejad’s government to spy on dissidents: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/17/siemens-risks-losses-due-to-iran-ties/.

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Iranians and Cinema

* Before we get into these election specials, the windows on Iran attempted to portray the diversity of the Iranian culture through the arts. This is a good time to share with you a clip made by Iranian documentary makers in reaction to the current events:

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* And while we are on the topic of cinema, below is an interesting short documentary about the acclaimed Iranian woman film maker Tahmineh Milani who has made gender and Iranians women’s issues the center of her films. The only corrective I’d offer is that contemporary Iranian cinema has produced other fearless filmmakers including Rakhshan Banietemad who is interviewed briefly in this documentary:

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Good Night,

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Fatemeh

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===================================
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
==================================

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Ayatollah Rafsanjani delivered a powerful sermon at Friday prayers today at Tehran University. See more pictures from this important event below.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani delivered a powerful sermon at Friday prayers today at Tehran University. See more pictures from this important event below.

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Dear All,

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Today close to a million Iranians attended the Friday prayer at which the ex-Iranian President Mr. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was to deliver the sermon. Well, I listened to all of almost 65 minutes of his speech and can tell you this: The Old Man of the Islamic Republic Delivers!

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I did not think I would ever be sending you an image of Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani in these windows. But he paid his dues today and may indeed have earned the forgiveness of many a skeptic in Iran. By the time he finished his Friday sermon, the crowds were chanting “Hashemi, may God protect you!” to which he replied “May God protect YOU so you stay present in the arena of Iranian politics.”

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Hashemi Rafsanjani delivered big time today for the Green Movement. After his sermon today, the crowd chanted: "Hashemi, May God Protect You!"

Hashemi Rafsanjani delivered big time today for the Green Movement. After his sermon today, the crowd chanted: "Hashemi, May God Protect You!"

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Rafsanjani’s Speech

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* Mr. Rafsanjani spoke about 65 minutes. He was calm, articulate, slightly emotional at times, but as confident as always.

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* At some point toward the end when the crowd chanted anti government slogans, he said half jokingly “let me say it, I am doing it better than you.”

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* Most important chants of today were: “Down with the dictator” and “We will not abandon Mousavi.” When an official prompted the crowd to chant “Death to America” they responded with “Death to Russia” alluding to the fact that Russia supported Mr. Ahmadinejad after the faulty election.

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Mr. Rafsanjani’s Main Points

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* He started with the story of Prophet Mohammad’s mission and his basic reliance on the people’s presence and participation.

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* He used examples to show that Khomeini emphasized the role of the people in governance above other sources of power including military force.

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* He described the early stages of the election campaigns as a great success, especially since people’s participation was tremendously high. But then it was mishandled from the last days prior to the election.

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* People’s trust in the current government is seriously undermined.

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* We are in a state of crisis. Just as the Islamic aspect of the “Islamic Republic” is important so is the “Republic.” If we abandon it we will fail.

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* A government not wanted by its people cannot function.

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Lets take a break from the analysis of Rafsanjani's sermon for a second and take another look at the crowd at event (above). See link below for many more pictures from the sermon/rally.

Lets take a break from the analysis of Rafsanjani's sermon for a second and take another look at the crowd at event (above). It is reported that close to one million Iranians turned out for Rafsanjani's sermon/rally at Tehran University. See link below for many more pictures from the sermon/rally.

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Mr. Rafsanjani’s Suggestions

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* Open the state run media to the protesters to speak freely and with no censorship.

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* Act within the limits of the law.

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* Address the public distrust in the accuracy and fairness of the election and really look into the way the election was conducted.

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* Free all political prisoners

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* Persian speaker friends who like to listen to the full presentation by Mr. Rafsanjani can go to: http://www.khandaniha.eu/items.php?id=794.

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Pictures from Today

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* For all of you to get a view of today I have put together a slide show of images collected by a good friend, Kowsar Jamshidi. Kowsar is a talented photographer but tells me these are not her own pictures. Please click here: Pictures from July 17th Friday Prayer Rally.

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*There are tons of images of today’s demonstrations on you tube. Here is one video compilation:

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Good Night,

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Fatemeh

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===================================
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
==================================

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Taraneh Mousavi...you will always be remembered!

Taraneh Mousavi...you will always be remembered!

Dear All,

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It was Neda Agha Soltan, then Sohrab A’rabi, and now – the latest – is Taraneh Mousavi.  Taraneh, a 28 year old woman was arrested while returning from the June 19 demonstrations at Ghoba Mosque in Tehran. An anonymous caller told her family she was in a hospital. According to blogs, when they got there she had been moved out of the hospital but a nurse recognized her and told her parents that she had suffered injuries resulting from rape. Her parents don’t know if this is true. The story of Taraneh was told on the Huffington Post Today with the hope that she may be found, even saved. Well, we know that is not possible anymore. Taraneh’s body was found today — badly burned. We will never know what exactly happened to her. It is so important that you know her face. Please click on the attachment to meet Taraneh. And please know that she will be remembered with pride whether she was raped or not:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shirin-sadeghi/the-rape-of-taraneh priso_b_233063.html.

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The Friday Prayer Tomorrow

* It is possible that terrorizing events such as Taraneh’s death will in fact encourage people even more to participate in the big rally tomorrow. The destination will be Tehran University where Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani will speak. He has been a supporter of Mr. Mousavi all along. And he is a powerful politician. What will he exactly say? There are many speculations.  The important thing, however, will be the size and the success of the rally.

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Mousavi, Khatami, and Karrubi will attend Tomorrow’s Rally

* Even more important than the size of the rally is the attendance of these three reformist leaders particularly given their low profile in the past two weeks.

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Mousavi’s Instructions For the Friday Prayer

* Click here: http://www.kwmu.org/programs/slota/archivedetail.php?showid=3636.

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Mr. Ahmadinejad and His Cabinet will Not Attend Tomorrow’s Event

* Mr. Ahmadinejad and his ministers will be meeting in the city of Mashhad in northeast Iran and will not attend tomorrow’s prayer.

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Important Resignations

* Mr. Saffar Harandi, the Minister of Culture and Guidance (vezaarate farhang va ershaad) and Mr. Aghazadeh, one of the President Ahmadinejad’s Deputies both resigned today. The significance of these resignations will unfold in the coming days.

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Missing Tehran University Professors

* I would like to close this window honoring a few missing academics in Iran and hoping that they are all right. There is no news of these Tehran University Professors: Prof. Hosseinali Arab (pharmacology), Ali Asghar Khodayari (mineralogy), Davood Soleimani (theology). They were arrested about three weeks ago: http://khabaronline.ir/news-12792.aspx.

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Let us hope the news of tomorrow’s rally will be happier.

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Good Night,

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Fatemeh

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===================================
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
==================================

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Dear All,

I sent you a special window to let you know that this Friday will be an eventful day in Iran. Ayatollah Rafsanjani, the second most powerful politician in Iran, and a person viewed as supporting Mr. Mousavi, will lead the Friday prayer in Tehran and deliver the sermon. The reformists are asking their supporters to come out in large numbers. At the same time, there is an air of uncertainty about weather Mr. Mousavi himself will attend the event and weather Mr. Rafsanjani will make a decisive move against the system.

The general mood of the protesters in Iran is that of defiance. The fact that the official media does not acknowledge the crisis and acts as if everything is in perfect order leaves people frustrated and angry. Women continue to be most visible on the streets. Meet one of them:

Women, without a doubt, have played a decisive role in the Green Movement. Their courage on the streets in the face of the Basij has been inspiring to many, both in Iran and throughout the world.

Women, without a doubt, have played a decisive role in the Green Movement. Their courage on the streets in the face of the Basij has been inspiring to many, both in Iran and throughout the world.

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New Statement Released by Mr. Reza’i

* Mr. Reza’i, one of the four candidates for presidency who is ideologically closest to Mr. Ahmadinejad, issued a new statement today asking the government to acknowledge the people’s grievances concerning the election and to attend to their complaints. More important than the response that he will get is the fact that he is not convinced at all that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s government will be able to move forward under the current circumstances.

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Attacking a Person Filming the Events

* NIAC blog posted this video taken on July  9 when a person filming the protests is attacked by the riot police and miraculously saves the brief video clip:

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Anonymous E-Mailer

* Anonymous e-mailer returning from a demonstration ( most probably July 9) described the police as anxious, frustrated and worn out, and the people as “not in an aggressive mode and in control of their behavior.” The e-mailer estimated the demonstrators about 10,000.

* People living in neighborhoods which have substantial “revolutionary guard” residents report loud “Allaho Akbar” chants at night which indicates clear support among that group.

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The Allaho Akbar Nightly Chants Loud on July 9 and on July 12

* This You tube video posted on the night of the demonstrations on July  9 shows that the nightly chants were particularly loud:

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* A video from the July 12 chants. For the first time, people seems to be using megaphones to get their voices heard more clearly:

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Sajjadpour and Parsi’s Excellent Analysis of the July 9 Events on the Newshour

* Please click here to watch: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/video/module.html?mod=0&pkg=9072009&seg=4.

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Sohrab A’araab

Sohrab A'araabi in Azadi Square....Remember his smile.

Sohrab A'araabi in Azadi Square....Remember his smile.

* Many predict that when dust of current clashes in Iran settles, the number of the casualties among the street protesters will turn out to be much higher than what is thought to be now (which is in the twenties).  One such figure is Sohraab A’araabi, a 19-year old man killed apparently on the same day as Nedaa Aghaa-Soltaan, and in a similar manner (see picture to the right).  He was scheduled to take the university entrance exams in a few days’ time.  His mother is a member of Mothers for Peace.  He was buried yesterday in plot number 257 at Behesht-e Zahraa cemetery, Tehran, about 20 meters from Nedaa’s grave-site.  Last night, in the Ekbaataan, Sohrab’s Neighborhood in Tehran,  in addition to the roof-top shouts of “Allah-o Akbar” and “Death to the Dictator,” there was, “Our Sohraab is not dead, it is the Velaayat [the rule of the [Islamic] jurisprudent] which is dead.”

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See these articles for more info on Sohrab: http://news.gooya.com/politics/archives/2009/07/090751.php and   http://news.gooya.com/politics/archives/2009/07/090739.php (scroll down for video clip and photos)

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Also see:

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Lastly, a report of the funeral (in Farsi): http://www.roozonline.com/persian/news/newsitem/article/2009/july/14//-86354632bb.html

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Good Night,

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Fatemeh

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===================================
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
==================================

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Poster announcing the July 17th Reformist rally at Tehran University where Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani will give the Friday prayer sermon after nearly a month absence from the public scene.

Poster announcing the July 17th Reformist rally at Tehran University where Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani will give the Friday prayer sermon after nearly a month absence from the public scene.

Dear All,

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About an hour ago, Mr. Mousavi’s facebook posted a call for a massive rally to be held next Friday, July 17 toward Tehran University where Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani will deliver the Friday prayer’s sermon after a month of absence from public. Mr. Mousavi, and Mr. Khatami will both be present at this important event. This appears to be the move (on the part of Mr. Hashemi) that everyone was waiting for. The flyer is on the right. Iranians can access e-mail. Please distribute widely.

Let us hope it will go ahead successfully and peacefully.

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Best,

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Fatemeh

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===================================
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
==================================

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