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Archive for October, 2009

The youth of Iran have been absolutely pivotal in the success of the Green Movement. See below for their most recent impact on the newly opened university campuses all throughout Iran.

The youth of Iran have been absolutely pivotal in the success of the Green Movement. See below for their most recent impact on the newly opened university campuses all throughout Iran.

Dear All,

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I hope you are well. Some of you have forwarded Iran related information to me with a hint of “where is window 96?” And some have outright asked! It is so good to know that you are anticipating these windows. It has been a busy time in the semester.

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Let us open window 96 with a delightful music clip from the Jewish community in my own town, Shiraz.

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On a Musical Note

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* Before we got pulled into the post election political whirlpool, I used these windows to give you a glimpse into the diversity of Iran. To be sure the political news is still interesting and very important. However, let us keep our cultural tradition going.

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* You might not know that my historic hometown Shiraz has given birth to some of the best Iranian Jewish musicians. They have contributed not only to Jewish music but to mainstream Persian traditional music as well. The following is a beautiful short video dedicated to Jewish sacred music. I wish it was longer than six minutes. But here it is:

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Break Through with Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury

* After this beautiful musical opening, let me move on to a piece of news about a great scientific breakthrough in Iran. Iranian Scientists in Ruyan Institute, using human embryonic stem cells, have treated serious spinal cord injury in mice. Watch the mouse regaining the power to walk after total leg paralysis: http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/watch/player.html?pkg=rc78iran&seg=1&mod=0.

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Iranian Professor is Awarded 2009 “Benjamin Franklin Medal”

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* Professor Lotfi A. Zadeh was awarded this prestigious award for his construction of the idea of “fuzzy logic” and fighting to get this seemingly “imprecise” approach to logic academic respect.

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Khatami on his birthday with his giant birthday cake.

Khatami on his birthday with his giant birthday cake.

An Unusual Cake for Mr. Khatami

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* On Oct. 12, 2009 Mr. Mohammad Khatami the reformist Iranian president (1997-2005) turned 66. He recieved a great birthday gift from his supporters who showed up in his office with an unusual cake. I made a very short slide show for you to see some happy scenes from present day Iran. Click here to see a slide show of pictures from his birthday party: Khatami Birthday Slideshow.

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Tools of Communication

* Someday a study should be done on the diverse and innovative tools that Iranian supporters of the Green Movement have used to communicate their deep conviction to improve the social conditions in Iran. I have included poetry and song clips in these windows. I have even shared images of banknotes with slogans on them. If you look below, you will see a banknote on which a well-known nursery rhyme has been re-written to tell the story of the Iranian economy: selling cheap oil to China, importing useless goods, and allowing domestic production to go down the drain.

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Iran Banknote Comments.001

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* The number of banknotes with green writings on them has reached a point that certain members of the parliament have suggested getting them out of circulation. Given the high percentage of such banknotes, however, the proposal does not seem practical.

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The First Death Sentence

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* It is sad that in a society in which the scientists dedicated themselves to saving lives, politics does the opposite. Unfortunately, the first death sentence has been issued in relation to the post election protests. While the ruling can be appealed, the appeal might fail.  To read the press release from the office of the Iranian Human Rights Documentation Center, click on the link below. If the sentence is carried out, the crisis enters a completely new stage: http://www.iranhrdc.org/httpdocs/English/pdfs/PressReleases/2009/Statement%20on%20execution%20of%20Zamani.pdf

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Grieving Mothers

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* Every Saturday afternoon, mothers who have lost a child in the post election protests, joined by some relatives and friends, hold a quiet walk in the Laleh Park in Tehran. It is one of  the many forms in which the supporters of the Green Movement remind everyone that their demand for a fair election and a democratic government is alive and well. The following is a short clip from Saturday, Oct. 10:

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* You can read about these mothers who are becoming a global icon for justice: http://www.iranian.com/main/2009/oct/mourning-mothers.

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Ph.D Defense Conducted Outside the University

* As you will see in the item below, Iranian university students continue to demonstrate against the current government. The seriousness of these protests became apparent when Tehran Polytechnic conducted a Ph.D. defense in a building outside its main  campus on Saturday, Oct. 10. The reason why this defense could have led to protests is that the main advisor was Golam Ali Haddad Adel, a member of the Iranian Parliament who supports Ahmadinejad. According to the website of Tehran Polytechnic, even though the defense was moved out of the university, Haddad Adel’s name was still not mentioned in the announcement: http://www.autnews.me/node/3576.

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Universities Across the Country in Constant Protest

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* What news services here do not seem to reflect is the widespread nature of the protests across Iran. Below are some short sample videos that the students have managed to capture on cell phones and make available to outsiders:

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Mashhad University:

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http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1061080906191&ref=mf

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Tehran University of Science and Technology:

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http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=102631346420319&ref=mf

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Azad University, Tehran:

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http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=102620073088113&ref=mf

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Shiraz University:

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Shiraz University Protest

Shiraz University Protest

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This is an article, not a clip describing the students protest: http://www.autnews.cc/node/3420.

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Shahre Kord (Azad U.):

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http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=102616716421782&ref=mf

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* Other major universities such as Isfahan and Tabriz University have reported similar incidents.

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What is Missing

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* An interesting analysis of the recent events in Iran:  http://www.iranian.com/main/2009/oct/whats-missing.

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The Moderate Conservative Prevails

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* While from the outside, the Iranian political scene might look black and white (the hardliners verses the reformists), the reality on the ground is far more complicated. Days ago, Mr. Ali Larijani, a moderate conservative – and an opponent of Mr. Ahmadinejad – won the overwhelming support of his senior conservative colleagues in the parliament to stay in the leadership position. I would not present Mr. Larijani as a liberal by any means. However, in the recent events, he has criticized the conduct of the election, the state-run media, and Mr. Ahmadinejad himself. Here is some more detail of the vote in his favor: http://www.insideiran.org/media-analysis/parliamentary-speaker-larijani-prevails-over-pro-ahmadinejad-mps/.

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Upcoming Day of Students Solidarity with People

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* Peaceful demonstrations are planned for the 13th of Abaan (Nov. 4)to highlight the solidarity between the students and the general public in Iran. Clips like this are already circulating. The refrain of the song “hamrah show aziz!” which could be translated literally as “walk with me, my dear!” or metaphorically as “join our movement” is now a hit song:

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* Iranian bloggers are already busy posting images of wall writings and other announcements for the up-coming demonstrations: http://iranisabzpics.blogspot.com/2009/10/blog-post_9991.html.

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A beautiful painting by Ms. Shahverdi. Please click the link to your left for more of her incredible work.

A beautiful painting by Ms. Shahverdi. Please click the link to your left for more of her incredible work.

A Beautiful Exhibit

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* Let’s close the window with a slide show of Ms. Shahverdi’s beautiful paintings. Unfortunately, her website does not provide much biographical information about her. Enjoy her paintings. Click here for a slide show of her work: Ms. Shahverdi Slide Show.

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Don’t forget to share the blog with friends: https://windowsoniran.wordpress.com/.

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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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As the Green Movement continues its political resistance and protests, the green movement is expanding in new and interesting ways. One such way is the what I call the new "Green Art." Please see the photos above and below, as well the slide show linked below for many beautiful examples of this new dimension of the Green Movement in Iran.

As the Green Movement continues its political resistance and protests, the green movement is expanding in new and interesting ways. One such way is the what I call the new "Green Art." Please see the photos above and below, as well the slide show linked below for many beautiful examples of this new dimension of the Green Movement in Iran.

Dear All,

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I hope you are well. As I was thinking hard about how to balance the heavy political doze of these recent windows with some cultural content, I came across a set of beautiful art work, visual  manifestations of the recent events by anonymous Iranian artists. What I love about them most is that despite their sad theme, they generate energy and hope. I turned them into a power point slide show that you can enjoy, take to class, or share with friends. What better way to open this window? Please click to see what I call the new “Green Art”: The New Green Art of Iran.

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Another example of the new "Green art." See the link above for a full slide show.

Another example of the new "Green art." See the link above for a full slide show.

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A Football Match

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* The truth is it is hard to speak about anything happening in Iran these days without running into politics. The government cancels most events that would give people an opportunity to gather together and feel somewhat safe to express themselves – inside a packed stadium, for example. Soccer matches may be next in line for cancellation. For now, they are still going on, but the one you will see below, which took place on Friday, Oct. 2, was marked by demonstrations: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=102474203102700.

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A Short Pictorial Essay on Meshkatian

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* Last week I told you about the passing of a great Iranian composer and instrumentalist, Parviz Meshkatian. The following is a short pictorial biography for him with one of his compositions played in the background: Pictorial Biography of Parviz Meshkatian, the great Iranian composer and instrumentalist.

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Ahmadinejad on those Killed in the Post-Election Protests

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* Much of the objection of Iranians to Mr. Ahmadinejad – even before the 2009 election – centered around the fact that he made false claims. Gradually, he came to be known as “dorough gou,” the lier. This was one of the points that Mr. Mousavi raised during the election campaign and recieved much sympathy for it. Below, I have attached a clip from Mr. Ahmadinejad’s interview with Charlie Rose during his last visit to U.S. In this part of the interview, he claims that only about 30 people died in the post-election protests and most of them were supporters of his government. Making no mention of the attacks by security forces on unarmed demonstrators, which are amply available on youtube, he names one of the victims – Mohsen Rouholamini – as the son of a friend. What Charlie Rose does not seem to know is that the victim in question died in prison as a result of fractures to his skull. This is not denied even by Iranian officials.

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* Here is the clip from Charlie Rose interview. At the end of this clip there is another brief clip that dates back to Mr. Mousavi’s election debates, where Mr. Mousavi says, “This is an amazing phenomenon. He [Mr. Ahmadinejad] can look at you straight in the face, point to something white, and say ‘this is black’ without

blinking”: http://www.facebook.com/mousavi?ref=nf#/video/video.php?v=102405879776199. Or watch it here:

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* Now, please take a look at this report in the National Iranian American Blog.  Not only did Mr. Mohsen Rouhulamini die in prison, his family, supposedly friends of the Mr. Ahmadinejad, were not given permission to mourn his death for weeks after his tragic death: http://niacblog.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/tomorrow-the-40th-day-anniversary-of-mohsen-rooholamini/.

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The Complexities of the Current Negotiations with Iran

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* Negotiations are going on between Iranian officials and their European and American counterparts in Geneva as we speak. President Obama has expressed cautious optimism after the first round of talks. Iran appears willing to allow international inspectors to come to its recently declared nuclear facility near the city of Qom. There are rumors of tougher sanctions against Iran and Russia’s support for them. However, there are also rumors of Russia’s direct involvement in the Iranian enrichment efforts. Juan Cole’s blog “Informed Comment”, today Oct. 3rd, has a wealth of information on all of the interrelated aspects of these recent developments: http://www.juancole.com/2009/10/russia-china-satisfied-with-1109-talks.html.

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* On the complexities of the new energy related developments, particularly as far as Russia and China are concerned, you might find this article by Pepe Escobar interesting: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175121/pepe_escobar_pipelineistan_s_ultimate_opera.

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* I would like to mention again that, in my opinion, far more important than any other factor for the health and safety of Iran and the region is to support the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people. The majority of the Iranians will tell you that this will not be achieved by tougher sanctions or military intervention. The International community can do this by refusing to recognize the Iranian government and making deals with it until and unless it frees the political prisoners, and allows its people the peaceful expression of their views.

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Iranian Artist Manijeh Sehi

Iranian Artist Manijeh Sehi

Manijeh Sehi’s Feat of Color

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* Now, to close this window, I invite you to enjoy another visual feast. A professor and an artist, Ms. Sehi’s work has been exhibited in Iran since 1999. Click here for a slide show of the most recent exhibit of the her works: Recent Exhibit of the Paintings of Manijeh Sehi.

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Here is one example of the beautiful and strikingly colorful paintings of contemporary Iranian artist Manijeh Sehi. Please see the link above for a complete slide show of a recent exhibit of her work.

Here is one example of the beautiful and strikingly colorful paintings of contemporary Iranian artist Manijeh Sehi. Please see the link above for a complete slide show of a recent exhibition of her work.

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Have a great night, and don’t forget to share these windows and the blog https://windowsoniran.wordpress.com/ with friends.

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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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