Omid Memarian

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Execution, Everyone believe it!

The execution of a 16 years old girl in Neka, has made a strong controversy between the Iranian activists and the conservative state. A few days ago Iran daily published a report and informed that the real age of her was 22. When I read the report it made me sick. Because I felt that they are trying to put on a legitimate cover for this action. The Report mentioned that the girl was prostitute and for many times her grandfather claimed against her to the police because of her behaviors. “He was ashamed of her behaviors. She had relations with bad guys in the town.” The reporter said. The report continues with the reaction of people in her neighborhood. “A few days before arresting the girl, people were trying to set her house on fire. Because they thought she is an immoral woman and really is a danger for their children.” The reporter added. The entire message of this report-in my view- is to show the legitimacy for killing the girl. In Iran some of the conservatives believe that for eradicating the prostitution issue as a social crisis they have to show and act forcefully. The state’s strong response will serve as a lesson to others, many believe. Two years ago a man in Mashhad, which is a religious city killed more than 15 women and said that it was because his religious zeal. Some of the Islamic hardliner in a protest supported him and said that. However the civil society activists published many articles in the papers and mentioned that killing the prostitutes never solve any problem. “They are the product of society. They are human and have their rights to live and the laws and social security must support them.” They said. And the discussion is being continued.
Some reports notice that there more than 40000 prostitute in Tehran and the countryside. It is not legal. That’s a hidden phenomenon. The Islamic has tried to separate girls and boys when they are child from kindergarten to university. The separation is also in Bus system and so on. Women have to cover themselves with black veil and not to show any part of their body. They passed many rules for people who didn’t observe them. But it was not the answer. The Islamic regime has been confused to confront with the social crisis. By killing the 22 years old people are paying attention to the weakness of the state to deal with peoples problems. It makes no difference that is the nuclear weapon crisis, Iraq crisis, unemployment crisis or even social crisis such as prostitution. As the informing the news of the mentioned killing has been ambiguous, no one knows the real story. But every one believes the story. People even believe the other strange stories and events.

State Entities Gasping for the Youth Affairs

Here is my interview with the former head of the National Youth Organization in english. However it has passed about 1.5 year after the interview but I think that it is readable....Is it ? He says under the present circumstances that corruption, prostitution and drug addiction have peaked, "we should not clear the way for some to commit suicide whenever they cannot find any other response."

Diplomacy is best option with Iran

Bush Will Continue Pursuing Diplomatic Options to Try to Get Iran to Halt Nuclear Program.
TAYLOR, Mich. Aug. 31, 2004 — Calling war divisive for the country, President Bush said he will continue pursuing diplomatic rather than military options to try to get Iran to halt its nuclear program.....


I one of my comments I mentioned that I am working on a personal website. As you can see, I haven’t put ant photo during the last month and you know how boring a weblog with no photo is. I have technical problem with my laptop and PC to put the photos on the weblog. The achieving system doesn’t work well too. Because of all these obstacles decided to have a personal website. One of my friends who is active in this field promised me to work on it and give it me in less than two month. But he didn’t as he is busy enough like me. Last week I called him but he was leaving the country. But fortunately he promised me to finish my WebPages as soon as possible. So hope to continue writing my comments there next week.

Busy Month!

During the last days I finished my book on "Communication Skills for NGOs". It is ready to print for the coming month. It took one year long. Now I have to work on another book about communication tools for the civil society organizations. I have started it before. But I need some recourse to finish it. I bought about "Communication in Small Groups" at Sweden last year and I think it will help me a lot. Next month will be a busy month for me. We are going to organize a South-South Women NGOs Forum on Beijing +10 in Tehran. It will be a workshop with 10 women activists from the Middle East and North Africa countries. We are going to publish some booklet and even a magazine for the Forum. I am working on some incomplete articles that I have to finish it for some magazines. I really don’t like them but for the payment that I have received before. Perhaps all of us in some cases have to choose situations that are not close to us, but we do it, because it is life. However, during the last days I tried to manage all these minor works in a time table. Now, I feel better….

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Execution of a 16 years old girl

The execution of a 16 years old girl in one of the provinces in Iran has created a hot and long discussion in the society. Every body has socked but it seems that it is correct...

Saturday, August 21, 2004

British researchers trace John Kerry's family back to European royalty

Burke's Peerage, which researches genealogy, said the Democratic presidential candidate traces descent through his mother, Rosemary Forbes, to the royal houses of Albania, England, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Byzantium, Persia (Iran) and France.

Friday, August 20, 2004

During the last days the minister of defense in Iran has talked about the Iran military capabilities in missile devices. He has mentioned that Iranians are ready to have preventive action against Israel and even US. If they start, they wiil confront with strongly response”, said the defense minister. What will happen? Many of Iranian remember the war between Iraq an Iran (1980-1988) period and fear to review it again...

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Recovery brings social change to Bam
By Lucy Williamson
BBC World Service Middle East reporter, Bam

The dust has settled in the southern Iranian town of Bam - seven months afterthe earthquake which killed at least 22,000 people and destroyed some 90% of thehistoric town. Now the relief effort is over and the master plan, which will mapout everything from the width of Bam's roads, to the size of its houses, isbeing finalised. (to be Countinued...)

Attack to the "Shell" social activities

The attack is beginning. During the last two weeks ago the conservative’s media are focused on the international organizations which are working in the Iranian society on the development fields or the other related issued. They have started with Shell Company in the parliaments 3 days ago. A MP attacked to the shell company social activities and pointed that they are criminal and their activities is a cover for make use of oil industry in Iran. They mentioned the past record of Shell in Nigeria. But everyone knows the story. It is the beginning. After capturing the parliament as the second trench by the conservatives in last February, the fundamentalist are going to restrict the social sphere. They have restricted the political sphere by many actions such as deleting all the candidates of reformists in the last elections, sending the journalists and writers to the jail and so on. But they fear of civil society. The analysts of the conservatives believe that the same project that did in the Soviet Union is going to be repeat in Iran. Overthrowing the Soviet Union as a lesson for them warns them to control or even to suppress this era. The new story began when a 10 member team of women went to Bangkok for a preparatory seminar on Beijing +10. It was 3 weeks ago. A combination of women who were there by government, women with the support of a European country and the third was women who were there with their personal expenditure. Many things happened but after they came back the Islamic regime agents requested them to go to security ministry and answer some question. After that a high rank Islamic officials in the supreme council of national security hardly talked about the activity of NGOs. He had mentioned that the Islamic regime has to monitor all the activities. Now they have listed all the civil society organizations which are active in this field and are going to establish new regulation for them about all of their relations.
I have written a comment on it for shragh newspaper. But I am not sure that they publish it. No the numbers of articles and comments that is written by me and also are not used by paper because of their consideration is going to increase. Perhaps I start to translate it to English…

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Iranian Youths Chat About Love And Sex

Sharq, Daily Newspaper,

Jun. 30th, 2004, Page 1
Author : Omid MemarianWord

Iranians are frustrated about sex as they do not know how to inform their children of this instinctive need. Two Internet pal-talks have organized a conference to let the youths talk about sex and love. Iranian Feminist Tribune and Iranian Girls were the two "pal-talks" (chatrooms) who let Iranian youths debate "love and sex". Such Internet facility allows different individuals join the conference but anyone who speaks grossly would be automatically logged out

Nearly 120 Iranians from different parts of the world joined the conference to debate "love and sex". Iran-based Mahsa and the Netherlands-based Mojdeh managed the deliberations. They noted that the chats are meant for reaching specific goals and they recommended the participants to avoid marginal issues. The participants are willing to make their words public. For a society where more than 60 percent of the population is under 30 years of age "love and sex" represents a vital concern. In public, social taboos pose obstacles but Internet eases restrictions to let us hear the others. Mahsa poses the first question: "Is love from a sexual origin?" Participants are known with different IDs. Somebody says: "The answer differs in various atmospheres..." He/She wants to go ahead but disconnection comes up. Nader from the United States is the next one. "Both are the instinctive needs for mankind. Our body and spirit need them. But they are personal issues." "Mehrangiz-4" has been waiting for a long time. She says: "Sex is not separate from anybody. This complicated affair is of social nature in Iran. It may be different in Europe..." Parvin, 50, is based in Canada. The mother of two says: "The mankind is a social organism and we cannot ignore the social aspect of sex. The atmosphere is also decisive. In Iran, we see forced marriages. It is natural for a girl to get married but being forces to marry is something else. So we cannot review this issue from a personal standpoint only." That is when a bug joins the conference to say irrelevant things. He/She is kicked out. The number of participants is on the rise. Mahpareh says: "We look into sex as a social issue while it is always private in Iran. Nobody knows the obligations and restrictions." "Niloufar-35" wants to join the deliberations but she fails to do so. The Internet connection is not good while many are trying to join the talks. A London-based adolescent says: "For me, sex is both personal and social. It depends on our points of view. I think that love and sex are separate. But it would be better if they go together."
"The relations between parents are very important. It would be of great help to educate the people about sex. I know well that it is still a taboo in Iran." Meyestan-100 is a girl who does not like to reveal where she is based. "A 14-year-old girl may fall in love with a boy of the same age here (?). According to a research, the girls who have sex with the boys in low ages will face depression and other problems." Maryam, 26, is based in Tehran. "I know myself pretty well. My experiences tell me that love and sex can take place separately. But sex can be an exalted symbol of love. Both are needed in the life and we cannot renounce them." She says she prefers to marry a man who has experience of pre-marital sex. But Ajin, 16, from Frankfurt highlights the important role of families. "We should be able to speak with our parents easily about sex. It is difficult in Iran and the children don't know how they can deal with this issue. I don't know how sex takes place." Mehrangiz-4 says: "Those who promote sex freedom and those who restrict sex are alike. My sister who is in Tehran says many girls are trapped in prostitution not because of poverty but because of promotions. " "Both groups deny the women their rights." "Where does sex go in absence of commitment," she tells those who promote sex outside the country. "Sex is not like eating. Sex will destroy everything if moral criteria are ignored." Several individuals join the conference and claim that Maryam is influenced by social restrictions in Iran. This is the pal-talk and everyone is free to talk. Niloufar, 40, endorses Ajin's words and says: "Knowledge of sex is important. We should distinguish if we are in love or we need sex. Many majors cannot understand this. Our girls face repression if they talk about these issues while the boys are free. Of course culture is important. Ajin was right in saying that we should comfortably talk with our parents and friends about sex. The families should provide the grounds for such issues. We cannot suppress sex otherwise we will face consequences. We should not be afraid of the questions posed by our children about sex." Shadi looks into the issue from another standpoint. "The boys complain that the girls are seeking husbands only while the girls complain that the boys want nothing but sex. The girls say they cannot trust the boys." For her part, Mojdeh turns to the family and the society. "The society is responsible about sex. The children should learn about sex when they are at the primary school. Free sex is different from debauchery and revelry." Mahshid, 3, is in Sweden. She learnt nothing about sex when she was in Tehran. "Many Iranians focus on films and that is the worst option. Nobody can bar the youths from doing so because there is no other choice." Bifrough says: "The girls complain that they are used as a tool to satisfy the boys. That is why they are after marriage. Iranian boys always prefer virgins." "Yaran ra che shod" comes up and says: "I want to say that poverty is not the only reason behind prostitution. I wish it were! The problem has more significant roots." "Haftsang" based in Iran notes that the Iranian teenagers are withheld any information about sex. "The youths know nothing and so they opt for trial and error."
The connections are terrible and everyone is complaining. Anyhow, such problems are not limited to the pal-talks and they hit the newspaper headlines. Recently I read a compelling story. A girl who had reached the age of puberty imagines that she is pregnant! She dares not say anything to her parents and she falls herself off a tall building. Thousands of obscene films are seized in the country. AIDS is ticking like a time bomb and runaway girls abound. The Ministry of Education, the state radio and television and the families should do something.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Iran at the brink