Omid Memarian

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

US to impose Iran 'WMD' sanctions
By Guy Dinmore
Published: March 31 2004
The US yesterday stepped up pressure over Iran's suspected development of weapons of mass destruction, saying it would soon announce sanctions on 13 companies suspected of supplying weapons technology to the Islamic republic

I went to the Darband Mountain today. It was rainy and the weather was really clear. I was alone. I think it is necessary to be alone sometimes…somewhere for thinking about myself…

Diplomats: New Data Suggests Secret Iran Atomic PlanBy Louis Charbonneau
VIENNA (Reuters) - New intelligence on Iran has fueled suspicions the Islamic Republic has a secret uranium- enrichment program, possibly aimed at producing fuel for an atom bomb program, Western diplomats say.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

A corrupted system reproduce itself!

A few days after the Bam earthquake the officials announced that the number of dead people in Bam is more than 40000. At that time people who could remember the last earthquake in Roodbar bout ten years ago said that it is not correct. They try to tell a false number to motivate the aids more. During the process of supplying the aids there did many untellable things. I went to Bam a week after earthquake and my tears came to my eyes for several. It is hard to say about the bad governance and its effect on the life of Bam citizens….it is really hard to talk about it. But in all I can only mention that a corrupted system reproduce itself in all level. Nothing more!

Iran dramatically revises down death toll from December quake
Iran (AP) - Iran lowered the death toll Monday in last year's devastating earthquake by more than one-third, to 26,271.
Government officials had previously said that more than 41,000 people died in the magnitude 6.6 quake that hit the southeastern city of Bam. But State Statistics Centre official Abbas Ali Zaali said Monday that 26,271 people died in the earthquake, which flattened most of the city on Dec. 26, state radio reported. "A big reason for this discrepancy is that some of the dead were counted twice due to the confusion and disorder following the quake," the radio quoted Zaali as saying.

Who is a next speaker?Haddade Adel,Tavakkoli or Bahonar?

After the Nowrooz holiday the MPs will select the speaker. They have decided to select a MP who is no famous. The head of conservatives are trying to select Mr. Bahonar or Mr. Tavakkoli or Mr. Haddad Adel. Haddade Adel is son in law of Ayatollah Khameneyee. He is a cultural man but under his cultural face he is a radical conservatives under the influence of Ali khameyee. Ahmad Tavakkoli has been candidate for presidency for twice. He believes that they can solve the economic crisis. He has educated in economic form England. But as the other officials who have educated in this country he can not speak English. They have never talk abut their program. But they are trying to say their obligation to build the country will change Iran as an Islamic Japan. Tavakkoli has many opponents. Bahonar is very radical conservative and the wise sides of conservatives try to persuade him to leave the speaker playground. So Mr. Haddade Adel has more chance than the others to be the 7th speaker.

Iran summons Irish diplomat after criticism from EU over human rights...



In front of a section of an anti-Israel banner, an Iranian woman holds up her symbolically-bloodied hand, during an anti-Israel protest condemning assassination of Palestinian Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin, who was killed Monday in a missile attack by Israeli helicopters outside a Gaza city mosque, at the Palestine Square in Tehran, Iran, Friday, March 26, 2004. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Last day a Kurd writer called me and told me that they have decided to hold a seminar by attending the journalists and writers to make the problem of Kurdistan common. It was a good message. They are trying to make their problem like a problem for each Iranian individual. I hope they can...

Iranian Democrat
Look at this article. There are some important point in it......(Thank you Mary)

IF IRAN'S DEMOCRATIC REFORM movement has a house intellectual, it's
Abdolkarim Soroush. A small, soft-spoken philosopher with fiercely
expressive eyebrows, Soroush specializes in mysticism, Sufi poetry,
Islamic theology, chemistry, pharmacology, and the philosophy of
science. Although he once worked for Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's
revolutionary government, he now advances a powerful argument for
democracy and human rights -- and he does ..."


This is 20000 Rials bill .The central bank of Iran publish this bill but after a few days they gathered it in whole. They say designing of Ayatollah Khomeini on it is not like him. But do you believe it? I believe. Because I can guess how they do thing without any wisdom. Really!

Monday, March 29, 2004

The municipality has started to limit the social sphere by firing the NGOs from their offices. Before Nowsrooz holiday, in some regions they closed these offices and said that their policies have changed. At that time I wrote a comment in Yasseno paper to say it is not a good way to deal with citizens’ interests. But as they think NGOs are a play of reformists but not a social movement, they are trying to limit this arena. I will talk about this issue more later…..

By the end of Nowrooz long holiday, the streets will be crowd again and business will start like the past. But about politic issues there are many things that are not clear yet. During the Nowrooz some of the Iranian reformist summoned to the court because of their charges. I think in the early next months the conservatives will try to bring fear to the heart of journalists and social activists. It seems that they will concentrate on White torture instead of arresting and killing anyone. I can understand that what white torture means for journalists. Some of the journalist left Iran because of these kinds of behaviors. Perhaps you think that why they do it? As the power in democratic parts and also the non democratic parts are in their control they can change their way to confront with the social activists. But they don’t. Perhaps they fear about another mistake like the same that was happen in 19997. A mistake that brought president khatami to the power. There is no way to risk on this opportunity. They want to capture the presidency. But can they? At this time I think the destiny of internal changes is going to the external forces. It’s out of the control of internal forces. The Islamic regime can easily stop any movement which focused on changing some part of constitution. They know starting this way pushes them in a way that won’t let them to come back. The end of the road in this case is really clear. To Change the constitution. They don’t risk on it. They ride by this constitution.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

During the last days I was working on my book about “Communication Skills for NGOs” seriously. I think I can give for publish after the holiday. It took more than 8 month long. But I think it is now acceptable. Of course I hope….


Today I am going to see “The house of Sand and Fog”. Shohereh Aghdashloo an Iranian actress was nominated the Oscar award by this film. I will write a short comment on it after watching it.

The papers will not publish during the 15 day of holiday. Perhaps you think that it is unbelievable but it is not. But it is a good opportunity to do the remaining behind.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Governmental supports:
Lack of transparency and accountability
(Published in shargh newpaper)
Government has set many procedures in NGOs issues during the last years specially after coming president khatami to the power. They considered many lines in the country budget to support the civil society organizations. About ten governmental departments are responsible to spend these supporting budgets for NGOs. But after four or five years there is no precise information about the quality and circumstance of the spent money and credits. Nobody knows about the stages of decision making for allocation of credits. The governmental organizations never talk about their criteria. They only mention that all these support use for capacity building and empowering for the NGOs in general but never talk about it more.
Many of NGOs who are sensitive in governmental behaviors in NGOs sector believe that they are not transparent and accountable. They have many questions about the methods that are used by governmental organization for supporting the NGOs. But they never find any answer. NGOs expect clear answer. Some of these questions are mentioned below:
1- Government spends millions of dollars for supporting NGOs. But they never let them to participate in the process of decision making as a stakeholder. In fact government never invites the civil society organizations to talk about their supporting programs or action plans. In is not clear that how they spend these money? What are the outlines for this support? What is the action plan of supporting? Beside, that there is not any kind information in this field to distribute.
2- After spending the credits government doesn’t publish its information. They don’t talk about their program at the beginning of the year. For instance if you go to one of these governmental departments and ask about the details they never give you any information or talk about the mechanisms that they spend the money. Of course there are some differences of intensity of this point between them. Beside no one of these departments published list of organizations which use the supports. The name of organizations is not distinct. A cover of uncertainty has involved the supports. The lack of distributing the information has caused clientalistic manner in a part of civil society. This has created some unlawful advantages for some NGOs who are close to governmental organizations. These GONGO (Government Organized NGOs) use a main part of supports. Why they never publish the list of NGOs who have used the credits?
3- In some cases governmental organization support the organization which like them. But not with a precise need assessment of evaluation. They help the NGOs with their own taste. They decide to support by unclear` reasons. For example ministry of interior gave more than 30000 $ to a governmental network which was established by them 2 years ago. They are not representative of civil society and many of social activists believe that they are trying to control civil society by these kinds of networks. They paid them more than 400000 US$ to them because they want to make this network strong. But is it really a civil society organization? Everyone knows that they are not. But government did it last year. They allocate funds in the ways they want, but not in the way that is respectful for real and independent NGOs. Many of social activists believe that government has built a second hand civil society (counterfeit civil society) to use it whenever they want. For example when some NGOs criticize the government these kinds of NGOs come to the playground and decrease the power of associations. Why the government uses the credits to make strong the counterfeit civil society organizations? Why don’t they publish any list of utilized supports? Why do they support NGOs unclearly? Because of these facts, NGOs believe that the credits and money which spend in these fields would not make a powerful civil society. The chosen way by government only waste all money and wont progress the sustainable development. We can see many NGOs who are governmental driven (A kind of donor driven NGOs) which are replacing with real NGOs.
4- Beside there is no evaluation mechanism to show the effect of these supports during the recent years. Nobody knows the effectiveness of these supports in empowering the civil society organizations. In this way the quality, procedures, distribution mechanisms and CSOs satisfaction are not transparent. So we can say which process is successful and which one is not? Cynicism is the first result of this atmosphere. GONGOs act in this way which makes people pessimistic. Because these kind of NGOs can not reproduce transparency but talk instead of people. Counterfeit civil society is another result of continuing these behaviors.
5- NGOs believe that it is better to make transparent this area. In this way government has to clarify the mechanisms, enter NGOs into partnership for distributing and write criteria of supports. To do projects without any need assessment waste the resources. Government must know which king of supports can improve the capacity of NGOs and which kind of support can destroy the independency of associations. They can publish their criteria of supporting NGOs each year. Beside it is better to consider evaluation seriously. Transparency and accountability are to factors which must be considered by governmental departments in their relation with civil society….
6- The relation between government and civil society in Iran at the present time is unclear and it will destroy their opportunities in this area and make strong the counterfeit civil society. They have to think about this relation more and also start a new round of dialogue with CSOs.
(At the end of article there is a list of governmental organizations in a table which shows the entire governmental budget for supporting NGOs. I have gathered all these information from a National organization of programming and management. )


My photos from Emam Mosque in Isfahan. I took more than 300 photos in my trip to isfahan at the begining of the year Norooz. I love Isfahan

Kerry and Talking with conservatives!

I wrote a comment about the tendency of cooperation between kerry(Democrat candidate in US) and conservatives a few days ago. my friend charlie has sent a comment for me about my point of view. in a part of his letter he has said that ".... IF Kerry is elected (and I hope he is!)and if he (or his people) start to talk with representatives of the conservatives, I don't think talking with them will be supporting them, and I don't think he will feel that he is supporting them either. He will be trying to bring more openess to the regime. How sucessful he will be, I don't know, and the conservatives will not want Kerry to get any propaganda victories. But you know and I know, that there is a great deal of good will towards the United States among the average people in Iran, and sincere efforts by Kerry to bridge the official gap between our two countries will pay dividends in the longer term. Of course the big issue is now, and will be, the possible creation of nuclear weapons by Iran. That is the big barrier now. And I do not have ideas on that issue! ..."

Sunday, March 21, 2004

i am going to Isfahan a few minutes later with my family....

Saturday, March 20, 2004


I took these picture last year a day before Norooz in tajrish square. A florist boy and also a picture which shows preparing fish for last suuppor before begining the new year. this is a a custom to eat Fish with Sabzi polo(Baked rice) in the last dinner or lunch before the next year.

Governmental support:
Lack of transparency and accountability
by Omid Memarian Shragh Paper 10th of March
Government has set many procedures in NGOs issues during the last years specially after coming president khatami to the power. They considered many lines in the country budget to support the civil society organization. About ten governmental departments are responsible to spend these supporting budgets for NGOs. But after four or five years there is no precise information about the quality and circumstance of the spent money and credits. Nobody knows about the stages of decision making for allocation of credits. The governmental organizations never talk about their criteria. They only mention that all these support use for capacity building and empowering for the NGOs in general but never talk about it more.
Many of NGOs who are sensitive in governmental behaviors in NGOs sector believe that they are not of transparent and accountable(to be continue…)

Today is beginning of Farvardin. That’s a wonderful time for Iranian. Every family goes to see his relatives. Going to visit grandmothers and grandfathers. I think it’s an interesting ceremony. My grandmother saw all of her grandchild today. It’s a nice day for her as usual...
I spent al day for going to see my relatives. Afternoon some of relatives came to our house because my mother and father are old and so younger families come to visit them in the first day of Norooz.

Friday, March 19, 2004

During these days there are many things to do. I have to help my family who are preparing the Norooz ceremony. My mother fight with cancer and during the last month she had lost her morale because chemical therapy. So I and my brother have decided to spend all the holiday with our family. So we will go to Isfahan together for 4 days. Today my mother kissed me and said about her happiness....

"Char Shanbe Suri" Iranian ancient celebrity

A boy jumps over a raging fire, as another throws papers into the blaze, to celebrate an ancient festival marking the end of the Iranian year called Chahar-Shanbe Suri (Wednesday Feast), in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, March. 16, 2004. The festival has been frowned upon by hard-liners since the 1979 Islamic revolution because they consider it a symbol of Zoroastrianism, the ancient religion Iranians adhered to before the advent of Islam, and say it contradicts Islamic traditions. They have advised against holding celebrations. The Iranian new year begins March 21. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Thursday, March 18, 2004

I coull not write yesterday because I was out of my office all day. It is near to Norooz and tehran incredibly is crowded. But as usual there are many things to say. arent there?

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

...

Sleeping in the Axis of Evil
By Sima Saeedi

you lullaby to put you to sleep

Sing you lullaby till you will no more weep

Sleep O nightingale of my garden

Sleep O my lovely precious children

Not long after George W. Bush came out lashing against terrorists, rhyming it with Middle East, and adding Asia to the list, the Norwegian Eric Hillestade traveled to Iraq, Palestine, Iran and North Korea to record lullabies mothers sang to their children in these countries.(continued)

I had a interview about the Information Society with ISNA news agancyyou can read it here in persian.

Living behind the masks


Last night I saw “Eyes wide shot”. As you know it is not a new film but an impressive film which was deeply about the quality of life. I think the human relationship is one of the most complicated things in the world. Because of many things, most of us have a mask on our faces like the same that Tom Crouse had in this film. However it was symbolic. When we try to explore ourselves and answer that what we want from our living, little by little the mask cracks. Then we can see each other closely. In many cases we don’t like the face behind his mask. But this is the reality. Trying to capture and make connection with this picture needs strong personality. Most of the time we make a relation with the mask but not the real face and when we understand the reality, misunderstanding appear in strange manners. We have to cope with it. The other remarkable view in this film was showing the value of truth. Nicole Kidman showed the costs of being honest in some cases can destroy a life. In fact, many people prefer not to confront with truth. I know many people like this. To make a long story short, I enjoyed a lot. I saw Eyes wide shot alone after midnight and after that I could not sleep easily. It’s a choice. Leaving masks of living with it?
Norooz holiday (New Year) is coming. I will have more time to work on my book about “NGOs and Media”.

Monday, March 15, 2004

I am very busy today. We have prepared a very perfect issue of our magazine about Women movement and civil society but we haven’t found any financial resources for it yet...I try to do it....


Here are my photos from Niavaran (North of Tehran). Last night that was snowing there. It was very beautiful….

Next Saturday the New Year will begin and Now Tehran is full of people who are preparing for the Norooz ceremony. Traffic in Tehran incredibly has increased during the last days.


A new reformist newspaper will publish after the Norooz holidays. But I don’t the situation of freedom of speech change even a little. If they capture the government they will push press more.

Kerry Supports Conservatives

Will Kerry support conservatives? Many politician here say that a powerful direction in Islamic government support Kerry in early election. Can you believe it? They say that Kerry has talked about the mistake of President Bush about his behavior with Iran. Will democrats pay attention to fundamentalists? What is your idea? What do you think about it if I tell you that conservatives have selected their next president candidate? I will write about it more.

Last day Moosavi Lari Minister of interior sent a letter to president khatami and announced him about the behavior of guardian council after the election. Guardian council canceled some vote boxes in small cities. It caused limited street uprising in a few cities. Minister charged the clerics to change the result of election and sent out some candidates who were not conservatives. I had a interview with BBC Persian this morning about this event.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

This morning Tehran was really rainy. The traffic was unbelievably high. I had meeting in our office but I was 45 minute late....

Silent surges of ethnics’ movement



-kurd youth perform Kurdish music during women day in Kurdistan(Sanandaj)
-Two Kurdish writer and intellectuals (right and left of me) in a round table.

There are many gaps in Iranian society that whenever become active make challenges and crises. One of them is the gap between the social activists who try to make the political system secular and the others who attempt to do the same in religious way. This social gap has been active during the last century and after presidency of Mr. Khatami it has shown itself clearly. The other gap is ethnics. The society faced-off with many challenges when Ethnic gap become active. Iran has many tribes which some of them are Kurds, Turks, Lors, Baloochs, and Arabs and so on. Between the Iranian tribes, Kurds have a strong tendency to disintegration. After the revolution when the central government became a little weak they tried to examine their chance to separate the Kurdistan. But government stopped them strongly.
Many of Kurdish people killed during the battle between Kurdish partisan troops and regular soldiers. “We never forget the crimes that happen at the beginning of the revolution”. A Kurd girl told me during my trip to Kurdistan. “They killed my brother. His is martyr.” But after these hard battles the war between Iran and Iraq began and so all of Iranian attentions went toward the war. But the fire was under the ashes. Government had no confidence with the Kurd provinces in these years. So the amount of economic investment and social development in these regions was very low in all. During these years must of high rank local officials like governors or commanders of police had not been Kurd. “They put us under the pressure not to talk about our rights”. A Kurd man told me. He is a teacher. “I like to teach Kurdish language to my students but it is forbiddened.”
At the present time there are many Kurdish weeklies in these cities. But the rate of unemployment is higher than the other parts of country. The participation rate of citizen in their society is low too. You can see many youth that walk in the parks and streets. The price of drug is cheaper than cigarette in some regions. They examined smuggling the different goods for many years especially during the war. It had many dangers for them. One of them was mines that killed many youth and men. “My brother was killed when he was trying to pass the frontier. He was very young, Only 18. But he needed money to save our life against poverty at the black years of war.”Said a 24 years old Kurdish boy. He believes they are second hand people for the government. “Iraq Kurds victory to get more achievements in their constitution has brought up our hopes”. He thinks federalism in Iraq will gift Kurd their dreams. In the Kurdistan streets you can see many youth who wear Kurdish clothes with proud. They go to learn Kurdish language in private classes.
Regarding these facts we can see that international changes in the Middle East will affect on political transformations in early future. Iranian officials who have a little wise part in their brain must think about the ethnic groups more actively. They have to pay attention to development in these regions.
Kurds had a military experience in confronting with government at the beginning of revolution. But they know it had no chance for them. “We try to follow our requests and ideals in some modern discourses like human right and civil society. It helps us to pay fewer costs. Human right and civil society are the grounds that will bring stable results for Kurds. There are many differences between Iranian Kurds and Iraqi Kurds.” Said an intellectual Kurd writer.
Perhaps the government has to empower this direction in early future. Here I hear the voice of silent waves. Some part of these waves has potential of a social cataclysm. (Last Part)

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Tendency to disintegration

The tendency to disintegration in Kurdish provinces increased after proving the institution of Iraq an few days ago. Marivan city was out of the Islamic regime police control for more than 5 hours. Excited people pull down the statue of Hussein Fahmideh(Symbol of war and braveness for regime). They distributed candy between the people and the book about federalism in Kurdistan was unobtainable in these days. “ Kurdish language is a regular language in Iraq and people can have minister in central government and it is a victory for Kurds” a Kurd man said to me
During the last days I was in Sanandaj center of Kurdistan province. We attend in the seminar at the anniversary of 8th of Mars, women’s day. It was held by a youth NGO which tried to establish a new discussion in this city for youth. In First day I saw many points that showed me every Kurdish symbol like language or clothes make excited them. Some of the youth during the seminar tried to show that the Islamic laws are one their main problem to gain the equality for women. At the same time as they had many quest from Tehran they presented their articles in Kurdish language. They really criticized the central government that never pays attention to them. First lecturer described some sign of Koran (the holy book of Islam) and compared the articles of women’s world convention against violence and discrimination and tried to show some differences. Two clerics were in this meeting but when the speech finished the all people in salon clapped for more than 25 seconds. The clerics were astonished, one of them went behind the microphone ant tried to describe the mentioned points as misunderstanding and lack of science and knowledge. But no one paid attention to him and then I saw a young girl stood up and objected to him strongly. “the clerics always accuse people that it is out of their business to talk about the Islamic laws and other related issues but we can really see many of these laws are against human beliefs and nature.” She said. “Your paternalistic reading of Islam makes women hindered from progress after revolution”.
After that I attended in a roundtable about the situation of women in Iran today. I talked about women in civil society. I considered they how they are ready to object. So I started my words with lello in Kurdish language. It impressed them and broke the ice. When I was looking the faces that was listening to my words I was very unhappy to reproach them never! When I think about their situation in development program I never forgive the Islamic officials….
The Seminar continued 2 days (End of Part one)

I have written my article in Farsi but I will translate it in English and put it on my weblog. This Article is accompanied with a puzzle that shows the entire budget that is spent by governmental organizations without any transparency and accountability. I have talked about some GONGO that are not legal and also are not representative of people but under the support of government. During the last days I had some telephone call from officials and NGOs. NGOs members appreciated me but the officials treated me to lose my situation even in the newspaper. Do you believe it?

I came back to Tehran last night. I had not any access to internet. There were many café net in the Sanandaj city but as I was busy all day I could not even check email. But it was impressive trip for me. I will talk about the Kurdish people and their beliefs after proving the Iraq constitution a few days ago. It was a wonderful trip. Many of youth were our host. They were very kind and full of passion.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A comment of mine has published in Shargh newpaper about "The lack of transparency in Governmental support of NGOs".

Yesterday the womenday as more crowded than the recent years. perhaps i write a comment about it. I think the women issue is one of the most sensetive subject that we can deal with it in Iran. because in some part the identity of islamic regime has mixed with the challenges in this field.

I am going to Sanandaj(A province in west of Iran) tomorrow for a seminar on Women. Iwill be a member of judge council for the articles.i will come back on friday.

A few minutes later I will go to the airport to go to Sanandaj for taking part in a seminar about women. Now, I am in my office to prepare some magazine to take it there. we have publishes a magazine about "Violence against women" and distributed between women last day. Last day more than 4 ceremony held about womenday.

Police attacked to women in Women world day



World day of Women in Iran mixed with violence by police and policemen without uniform yesterday. My colleague Nazli took some photos from these events. The number of women who were more than 1000 was dispersed by 100 men who used sticks in their hands. After ASHOORA religious ceremony this is the second that conservative’s police and militia stop people in the street. Most of the people and specially women who took part there are secular. The Cleric believe that the Women day it birthday of Zahra (Daughter of Mohammad prophet). Yesterday women planed to bury the corpse of women’s requests as a symbolic action. But they didn’t let them to this. Some of women were injured by police attack at the end of this meeting.



This is Hafez resting place photo taken by my camera in Shiraz. the next is taken in Shiraz airport at the end of our trip. The boy and girls are members of youth NGOs and also are my freinds...

Monday, March 08, 2004

A new reformist paper will publish instead of YASSENO paper which was closed two days before parliamentary election. It with publish with another license. I will work with them. They are close to me. It will be more social than political.

New Beginnings

"There are times
when we just can not cope
with what is happening
in our lives

We lose our confidence
easily,
we feel bewildered,
and carry with us a feeling
of disapintment.

When we feel like this,
when we are feeling
distressed within ourselves,
we have to learn new ways
for coping with our lives....
we have to search
for new beginnings."

"Marycarol B. Soistman"

Sunday, March 07, 2004

I am in shiraz for an international conference of microcredit and so I was very busy to write anything in my weblog. Many of Iranian social activists take part in this seminar. I will write more about it. I am working on on a comment about the next president. Who is the next president?

Friday, March 05, 2004

A report on Ashoora by massod behnood and my interview with BBC
(Click on the reporto f Esmaeel Mohajer after the first paragraph)(Voice)

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A few days ago Tehran was snowy. I was walking with one of my friends Sina. It was great to photograph. Here is my photo. You can see the snow…beautiful weather….And smile… Sine took a photograph and me too. here is mine...

Thursday, March 04, 2004

I start to read “Baltasar and Blimonda” a book of Jose Saramago. It is very nice and let you fly in history and imagine interesting moments. I feel good to read it during these days.

Islamic ceremony and youth


Today Shargh newspaper published a report about a part of youth’s behavior of during Ashoora ceremony last Tuesday. More that 5000 thousand of youth with fashionably-dressed young boy and girls with black shirts and candelas in thire hands walked silently between Mirdamad boulevard to Mohseni square. Are they religues people who believe to Islamic ceremony of this event? (Killing Imam Hussein and his family and friends) Sharg mentioned these young boys and girls talk about a new reading of Islamic beliefs. The writer of the article added that the fundamentalist who attached them, didn’t let the young generation to talk about their ways to deal with Islamic beliefs .About 6 pm reporter of BBC Persian called me to ask some question about this event in a call interview. “As journalists tell as what does it mean for Iranian society?” Below is a part of my answers:
“I appreciate the approach of Shargh newspaper. They tried to make an opportunity from this event. And talk about the value of regard the other reading and ideas about religion beliefs. They try to say that we can use these kind behaviors to attract the youth to Shiite beliefs. But look at the youth in similar event like the preparatory matches before last world cup. They came to the street and did the same that they have done a few days ago. What does it mean? It means that the Iranian youth has no sphere to gather. Many of them that are not religious have not any place to gather and socialize with the others. So whenever they find any opening or window try to show them. Therefore coming to the street have other functions. Or its other function is more powerful than other functions. At this time reaction of youth during the Shiite funeral is like their reaction to a festival. They do the same.
They send some messages for the clerics who tried to take them under their influence after revolution by all religious institutions. They are mad about the behavior of youth in the street during Ashoora ceremony because they look at pictures that never advertise for it. The underground culture that was created after revolution is coming to the surface. Clerics and their admirers are getting mad and attack to youth because they understand the under face messages and can not bear it.”…

Here is part of my article in the newsletter of “Microcredit for Youth international seminar”

Creativity, Youth and Microcredit
Omid Memarian - Journalist and NGOs activist

Microcredit is a culture. It shows how we can solve the huge problems with small amount of money. It shows how our creativity is important and vital to find solutions. It shows us the ways that we can look at local capacities. The philosophy of microcredit project must be taught to stakeholders and target groups. Historically, Iranians offer complicated answers to easy question. In this seminar we can focus on the value of ideas and creativity in the microcredit project proposal. I think the main goal in microcredit project is to decrease the poverty. So first of all we must know and recognize the concept of poverty. What does poverty mean at the beginning of third century? […]
Participating of youth NGOs inject a great power to poverty reduction front. All the development players such as financial resources, governments and private sector can count on them as a valuable colleague. Joining the Youth NGOS and financial resources can be the first step in this way.

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Forbidden Association!
Iran Writers Association not allowed holding their meeting. The organizer of this association that is focused on preventing censorship informed that during the last months they were under the pressure and intimidation of security forces. It was the order of information ministry (security service).an Iranian secular writer that is a victim of violence said that this beginning a new circle or pressure. “They are reviving the past deathful way.” He said. The Islamic government never let this group to exist in legal form. All their meeting holds in their houses. Some members of this association sent to the jail during the last years specially before coming president Khatami to the power and some of them were killed by the information forces in a unbelievable serial killing story


Leaving out writing!

Masoud Behnood one of the famous writers wrote a comment in his website and mentioned that he won’t write about politic anymore. He talked about a CIA commander about the final of democratization in Iran and also the jubilation of Keyhan conservative’s paper (Hardliner paper). “They are planning to do the same that they have done before the reform period with people. Perhaps they think the hat of democratization is loose for Iranian society. Both fundamentalists and foreign countries” he said.
I think leaving out writing has many meaning. He mentioned that they have called him in a daily comment by some strange accusations. This is the beginning. They start with accusation. Behnood left Iran about two years ago.
A few days ago, I was talking with one of my journalist friends about the future of writers and journalists. “It is time to migration for education. This closed period will pass. But for the next period Iran need educated men who know the world well. Write and think and act in international level.” he said. Some of my friends are working on some education courses all over the world. They try to find some ways to be away from the fire. Some of them will choose not to say and write about the broad redlines anymore. They really want to live safe. As me and the other journalists!


Today I read two comments about an organized cheating to increase the number of voters during the last election in Iran. That’s a long story but I try to translate a part of it in English. It is perplexing. It talks about a meeting between high-ranking officials in Election Day to find a way for increasing the votes. Many of their followers went along them.


Today the weather in Tehran was fantastic. Really! A little windy and clear. With no pollution. Well, imagine that!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Shargh newspaper published today. They didn’t mention anything about these 13 days of closing. Some of my friends start to work again. I work with shargh too. But not full time. Today the judiciary made free the building of YASSENO paper that was closed with shargh together 13 days before. It means that they can start another paper with another license. But at the present time it is hard to talk about it because investment on publishing papers in not beneficial for the investors especially for the reformist newspaper.
Now I am working on a book about “NGOs and Media”. It is going to the end. I will start to write a book about Good Governance. Now I am collecting the resources. If you know any good resource about this issue please tell me. Thank you!

I could not write even a work on my weblog during the last three days. I was so busy. Because a seminar on microcredit for youth NGOs will hold in Shiraz next satuarday and the organizer placed an order to prepare a newsletter for it. After that I will go to Sanandaj for another two days seminar about women :8 Mars Ceremony. And many many things to do.