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One of the MANY posters calling for peaceful "Green" protests on Feb. 11th in Tehran and other major Iranian cities. Please see the posters throughout this post as well as the link at the end of this post for many more.

One of the MANY posters calling for peaceful "Green" protests on Feb. 11th in Tehran and other major Iranian cities. Please see the posters throughout this post as well as the link at the end of this post for many more.

Dear All,
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Greetings from Washington University in St. Louis…after a long delay. As those of you in academia know well, spring semesters are notorious for being busy. To attend to my teaching and departmental duties, the windows (e-mails and the blog) had be put on the back burner for a while.  I am happy to be back with a plan: to make the windows shorter so I can sustain them.
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While you not have had a chance to follow the details, the Green Movement has sustained itself in the face of much brutality from the government.
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* About two days away from celebrating the 31st anniversary of the Iranian 1979 Revolution, and as the government of Mr. Ahmadinejad (in deep financial and political trouble)  has invited the western press to witness, and report, the celebrations, we hear from Reporters without Borders that 65 Iranian reporters are in jail. This figure is unprecedented. Over a dozen of these reporters, whose fault is that they wish to report the events in Iran freely, were arrested in the past two days in anticipation of the “celebrations.”

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One of the MANY posters calling for peaceful "Green" protests on Feb. 11th in Tehran and other major Iranian cities. Please see the posters throughout this post as well as the link at the end of this post for many more.

One of the MANY posters calling for peaceful "Green" protests on Feb. 11th in Tehran and other major Iranian cities. Please see the posters throughout this post as well as the link at the end of this post for many more.

Mr. Mousavi’s Daring Interview
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* Last week, for the first time, in an interview with the online magazine “Kalameh-i Sabz,” Mr. Mousavi suggested that the goals of the 1979 revolution for democratization of Iran have not been achieved and therefore, the revolution is incomplete. Furthermore, he said that “Religious despotism” is the worst kind of dictatorship. A group of us have praised his courage and expressed support for his position in an open letter (available here: Open Letter In Support of the Greens), which will be publicized shortly.  If you are an academic of Iranian heritage and would like to add your voice to ours please e-mail your willingness, name, and position to: drahni@optonline.net and please do so a.s.a.p.
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Two New Warnings for the Supreme Leader
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* As green Iranians prepare for a massive rally on Thursday, Feb. 11, two major religious figures, Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili, and Hojat al-Islam Hashemi Rafsanjani warned the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of the consequences of his actions. Both these political and religious authorities asked for immediate, and unconditional, release of political prisoners and suggested that Mr. Khamenei distances himself from extremists.

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Recommendation to the Green Marchers

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*A large number of posters and guide lines have been distributed in Iran over the past few days concerning the Thursday rally. The main points are:
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One of the MANY posters calling for peaceful "Green" protests on Feb. 11th in Tehran and other major Iranian cities. Please see the posters throughout this post as well as the link to the left for many more.

One of the MANY posters calling for peaceful "Green" protests on Feb. 11th in Tehran and other major Iranian cities. Please see the posters throughout this post as well as the link to the left for many more.

* Come out in large numbers! The foreign press is present and you will be safe.
* Do not wear clothes that make you conspicuous.
* Instead of shouting your slogans and possibly being arrested, write them down in public places.
* Don’t use any form of violence, verbal, or physical.
* Take as many pictures as you can.
* Do not take your green signs out until you are in the Azadi Square …or close.
* When Mr. Ahmadinejad begins to speak, take your green signs out, stand up and turn your backs to him.
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To see a nice selection of the posters, please click here February 11, 2010 Posters to see the power point slide show that I have prepared. It is not even a third of what is being distributed. I just did not want to make the file too large.
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Have a great day.

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Best,

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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The State-run newspaper "Keyhan" estimated the crowd at Ayatollah Montazeri's funeral (above) at only 5,000!!!

The State-run newspaper "Keyhan" estimated the crowd at Ayatollah Montazeri's funeral (above) at only 5,000!!!

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Dear All,
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Today has been described as a new day in the life of the Iranian Green opposition.  At the request of Mr. Mousavi and Karrubi, hundreds of thousands of people turned up to participate in the funeral of the Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri who passed away on Sunday. Ayatollah Montazeri parted ways with the founder of the Iranian Revolution over the issue of human rights violation in Iran (among other things).
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* The Iranian official news agency described the funeral attenders as approximately 5,000! It is not quite clear how they think they can maintain the appearance. However, look at the photo above this message to see a shot of the “five thousand” mourners for yourself.

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* The BBC has an informative news item as well:

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* Not surprisingly, Ayatollah Montazeri’s personal website seems to be down (possibly hacked). In the absence of that, I refer you to this general article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosein-Ali_Montazeri.
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Don’t forget to share “https://windowsoniran.wordpress.com/” with friends.

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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,

Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, one of the spiritual leaders of the Green Movement, has passed away.

Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, one of the spiritual leaders of the Green Movement, has passed away.

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Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, died last night at age 87 in the city of Qom. In the past few months, he had come to be known as the spiritual father of the Green Movement in Iran. Mr. Mousavi and Karroubi have declared tomorrow, Monday, Dec. 21, a day of national mourning.
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Background

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Grand Ayatollah Montazeri was designated successor to Ayatollah Khomeini until their major fall out in 1988. Montazeri’s dismay was caused by many issues including the executions of the opposition leaders, the lack of openness to political parties, and the insistence on exporting the revolution. Not only did Ayatollah Montazeri loose his political position as a result of objecting to these policies, he was condemned to house arrest, severe curtailment of his personal activities, and regular abuse by the state run media.
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In real life, he never lost his respect among the general public or the other grand Ayatollahs. His images surfaced at almost any public protest. With the crystallization of  the Green Movement after the 2009 election, Montazeri emerged as its spiritual father. He issued daring statements in condemnation of the government’s abuse of power, repression, and particularly torture and abuse in the Kahrizak prison.
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His death is unlikely to be good news for the current regime in Iran. It has already triggered events, even before the designated day of morning, which they are trying desperately to prevent. Below see a small sample coming out of Iran hours ago.
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Demonstrations in support of Ayatollah Montazeri
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* In his birth place near Isfahan:
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* Ilm o San’at University, takes a few seconds for the image to get straightened:

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* Sharif University:

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Have a Great Winter Break,

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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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Iranian students flooded the streets and campus today, December 7th, 2009. See the videos below for live coverage.

Iranian students flooded the streets and campus today, December 7th, 2009. See the videos below for live coverage.

Dear All,

This window is dedicated to the brave Iranian students who came out today on Students Day in large numbers to make it clear that their protests to the June general  election, and the way it has been handled by the government, are far from over. With security forces everywhere, including the entrance to hospitals, peaceful unarmed protesters were subjected to teargas, pepper gas, physical assault and arrest. The government of Iran had extended the religious holiday of Ghadir in the hope that the students would return to their home towns and today’s protests would remain small. The scope and intensity of the demonstrations, however, made it clear that many students did not take advantage of the offer. Furthermore, many non-students joined them in their protests. In this clip, Amir Kabir Students open the door and let in the outside protesters into the university:

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Protests Continue Amidst Arrests
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Incoming reports, limited to eyewitness accounts, and short clips taken by cell phones and posted on youtube, indicate that the protests continued in many cities in Iran, amidst arrests and attacks, into the afternoon and early evening hours. The most common slogan addressed to the members of the Revolutionary Guards militia, the Basij, was “How much money do you get to wield that baton?” This particular clip was taken from facebook and posted on the NIAC website: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=105011899516362.
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Locations of the Student Protests

The Iranian government suspended the permits of the foreign press momentarily so they could not report the student protests of today. Perhaps they would have been wiser to permit proper reporting. Below there are clips of student demonstrations across Iran. Pieced together, they picture an ominous future for the regime which seems unable to overcome its state of denial of the reality. I could have added many more clips.
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Tehran University:

Ilam University:


Karaj University:

Tabriz University:

Mashhad Azad University:

Streets of Tehran:

Streets of Tehran:

Khajeh Naseer University:

Elm o San’at University:

Elm o San’at University:

Elm o San’at University:

Amir Kabir University:

Amir Kabir University:

Sharif University:

Kerman University:

Isfahan University:

Qazvin University:

Gilan University:

Hormoszgan University:

Honar Unviersity:

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Here are some more, available on Facebook:

Tehran University: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=105011899516362.

Tehran Azad University: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=104953809521406&ref=mf.

Beheshti University: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=104960846187369&ref=mf.

Mashhad University: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=104944512855669&ref=mf.

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Toronto Laser Show in Support of Iran Protests

* Some major cities in the world predicted the events of today and expressed solidarity with Iranian protesters. Let me share the video of a beautiful modern art work that the Canadians made to express their support for these protesters and the Green Movement as a whole.

* A high-power green laser projected on the Sky dome/Rogers Center to bring awareness to the current situation in Iran . Thousands of residents of Toronto were able to see the projections from their apartments, homes and on the streets below.  Watch it all the way (approximately six minutes) with the speakers on to hear the music:


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Zahrah Rahnavard, Mousavi’s Wife, attacked Outside Tehran University

* Today’s demonstrations were used by government forces to make targeted attacks. Among these was an attack with pepper spray on Zahra Rahnavard, the wife of the presidential candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi. Rahnavard, whose eye sight has been effected, is in hospital.

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Mousavi’s Youth Campaign Organizer Arrested

* Another victim of the police was Mohamad Ja’far Tahmasebi, the cultural coordinator of the student organization affiliated with Mr. Mousavi’s campaign. He was arrested today while protesting with fellow students in Tehran.

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Faezeh Hashemi Among the Students

* On the positive side, the student protesters were visited by Faezeh Hashemi, one time representative of Tehran in the Majlis, and daughter of the two times president Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani. She was warmly recieved and thanked by the demonstrators:

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Students of Iranian Descent in Holland

* Before closing this special window, I am going to turn to another struggle the Iranian students have been facing in another part of the world.

* Court Hearing in case of Iranian Students, 10 December 2009: Since July 2008, the Dutch Government has banned Iranian citizens, as well as Dutch citizens of Iranian descent, from parts of certain university graduate programs. In addition, five locations have been designated as forbidden for the latter group. This measure is presumably meant to avoid the ‘proliferation of sensitive information. Iranian students have been objecting to this ban arguing that securing any information can be perfectly achieved without such a discriminatory measure.

* The Campaign of Iranian Students has taken legal actions against the Dutch government, and the case will soon appear before the court. Although the initial assessments are promising, the students have asked for public support, especially in the form of their presence during the court hearing. The court hearing is scheduled on Thursday, the 10th of December at 10:30 am at the Palace of Justice in The Hague.
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Put Your Gun Down!

* There are reports that at least one student has died in Iran today. One can only hope that the Iranian authorities see the reality of the situation and realize that violence will not calm the struggle for reform in Iran. I was looking for a piece of art that would heal the sadness caused by today’s events, and I thought of the Iranian master vocalist Mohamad Reza Shajarian. He has a song based on lyrics by the celebrated contemporary poet Fereidun Moshiri. The refrain to this song, which Mr. Shajarian dedicated to the Green Movement in Iran reads:  “Put your gun down!”  It is the most fitting piece to end this window:

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Please remember to share the website https://windowsoniran.wordpress.com/ with friends.

Good Night,

Fatemeh

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