Omid Memarian

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Online Chat from Iraq!

I, and some of the students at UC Berkeley have decided to run a group blog. “Berkeley Forum”, is going to be a place to talk about the politic, culture and daily life in USA. At the beginning the contributors are 3. But we are considering more contributorsin the coming months. In the coming weeks we will have some quests who will mail us their opinions about the topics that we discuss about. Accidentally, I was chatting with a German journalist, who is currently in Iraq to train the Iraqis journalists, and was so sad. She said that one of her students has died there because of bombing at a mosque in Baghdad. We talked about some related issues and at the end I asked her whether I could publish this conversation at my blog or not? She kindly accepted to publish. Take a look at “Berkeley Forum” and tell us your idea about it….!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Journalism and Iraq War

Journalism and War in Iraq

Happy New Year. I was online with my friends in Paris, London, Washington, and Tehran at the new Iranian New Year eve. My friend’s mother invited me to have dinner with them and so I was not alone. However, during the day time I felt so lonely. I have decided to write on this blog more and more but I don’t know, why I am lazy, sometimes. During the last months I have been very busy with my assignments at the school...

I am going to write a paper on “Insurgency in Iraq and the prospect of democracy”. That’s why I am trying to follow most of the events on Iraq at the campus which I hope provide more background and updated information for me. However Hani Shokrollah, who is the former editor in chief of Al-Ahram Weekly and the lecturer at UC Berkeley, is really helpful. Two weeks ago, there was a panel dissection on the coverage of war in Iraq by American journalists at the campus. I enjoyed a lot. At the time the Chronicle journalist believed that they can just cover 10 percent of the news there, Washington post reporter said that the coverage is almost 90 percent. So, you can see how is difficult to say what is happening there. If you talk with Iraqis here, they tell how the quality of media coverage is. I have put a piece of this conversation just to give you the sense of this meeting…

Video sent by omemarian

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Watch this piece.(A Flash Clip Photos) I like it. Latin America music and some amazing photos of Iranian photographers; javad Montazery, Arash Ashourinia, Masoomeh Nasery, Mansour Nasiri...Pouya has performed it....Good job friends...

Extensive Planning for International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day falls on March 8 and it is commemorated by different social and political groups in Iran. There had been a difference of opinion between government officials and civil groups on how to celebrate the day. But still, this year's programs seem to be more comprehensive than previous ones.

It seems that Iran's civil society is well-connected with international civil societies and is thus putting more efforts into utilizing the existing potential of women's day. Seminars, panels and gatherings to express appreciation for women activists have been planned. Rumors have it that the hardline ministry of science, research and technology has not issued permits for the groups to carry out their activities on university campuses. And while this rumor has not been officially denied, women activists are putting their best to remove the “ban”. More than five universities in Tehran and other cities have not been given permission to hold women's day gatherings.

One important gathering is in Daneshjou (student) park in Tehran. In solidarity with women around the world and the elimination of inequality, discrimination and violence, and the establishment of peace, justice and freedom, a group of Iranian women will gather in the park on Wednesday march 8. This gathering will be a symbolic effort to remind the importance of cooperation among women’s groups that are active in different spheres. "Supporters of Women's Global Movement in Iran, WMW, are sponsors of this particular event.

In another initiative the Iranian Women website along with non-governmental organizations and "Rahi" institute will hold an event titled "Eight to Eight", standing for March 8 of last year to March 8th of 2006. Another series of events organized by Shadi Sadr, an Iranian journalist and social activist, is going to be continuously held from 8am to 8pm on the day. Rahi institute, which is active in women's affairs and aims at strengthening women NGOs, will offer legal advice to women and non-government training organizations.

This year's events in Iran appear better organized than those of previous years. Organizers have certainly attracted more women and social activists and, despite police interference in the gatherings in parks, such activities have created more motivation and initiations for future women's movements. One of the characteristics of these events in Iran is the organizer's tendency to focus on the elite. But still, despite the indifference of national media and government publicity of the event, these programs have attracted more women than in the past, according to the organizers.

March 8th is also going to be celebrated in other Iranian cities. Sayeh Cultural Association has offered details of these events on its website (http://saayeh., Iranians in Europe, the US and other parts of the world are also planning to celebrate international women’s day.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Iranian People Frustrated with Government

Here is my Op-Ed piece in Contra Costa Times Daily, which publishes for poeple in Bay Area. It has published with a Big picture of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian's President:

"No to the West, no to the East, Iran", One of the best-known Iranian revolutionary slogans is about to come true. The International Atomic Energy Agency, in a 27-3 vote, has referred Iran's case to the U.N. Security Council and will decide on it soon.

Even the support of supposed allies China and Russia seems in doubt.Iran now finds itself isolated and there is no way for them unless supporting the Russian proposal. If not, the possible scenarios at the Security Council will be more and more hurtful.
Despite being backed into a corner, Iran's hard-line government still presents itself as invulnerable to potential sanctions or military attack.

Iranian officials warn the consequences of such a response could include an increase in the price of oil, destabilization of the Middle East peace process, and retaliation by their Shi'ite allies in Iraq. They speak of a "Bermuda Triangle" of allies -- a network ranging from Hezbollah in Lebanon, to the Badr Brigade in Iraq to Hamas in Palestine.

Look at the whole piece Here

Don’t Block the Blog

It seems that Blogger has been blocked in Pakistan. Some of the bloggers have started a campaign against blocking the most popular service provider in this country. Blogger in Iran is very popular. Mostly because it is based on outside the country and the service provider can not block them by the governmental order. I hope this campaign effectively display how blog writers hurt by these kind of censorship all around the world.