Omid Memarian

Monday, May 15, 2006

“Freedom is very limited in Iran …We have tried to develop the minorities rights, but the achievement has been nothing…I believe in the role of civil society. There are many best practices during the last years which are a victory for activists within the society…”, said Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel peace prize at her talk at UC Berkeley last Wednesday. The hall was full of enthusiastic audiences who were listening to a tireless women activist in Iran. Some of the people criticize her and believe that because of her international supports and protection, she could be more outspoken. But she doesn’t believe in this way. What should she say? I asked her idea on this point at the end of the talk; “This is the way I have chosen. We are following a mild process. There is no benefit at a radical way. I never choose an aggressive tone. I am going to be effective for my people within the country,” said Shirin Ebadi.

I believe in what she said. She was the attorney of our case with her colleagues and once we went together with another journalist, Roozbeh Mirebrahim, to the court to answer some questions of the judge. She came on time, asked us many questions and gave some advises. However the officials didn’t behave well with her, but at the same time she was really patient. She also coaches many other cases of political prisoners, deprived people, and women and I really admire her….I interviewed her for twice on “Women movement and Civil Society in Iran” and I was surprised by her answers which was totally straight and to the point, despite the middle eastern style which makes simple things very complicated.Shirin Ebadi talked a little bit on her book too; “Iran, Awakening, a Memoir of Revolution and Hope”. I really like to read it...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Similarities between Forced Hijab and Nuclear

I have been so busy during the last months. I had a talk at the Institute of International Studies (IIS) at UC Berkeley on “Challenging of reporting in Iran”. Moreover I had to write some papers for 3 news agencies which took a long time and energy…Now I feel freer to write… However as writer for Roozonline I write my opinions on daily topics everyday…. Sorry it has not a blog style, but at least shows that I am still active….
At the time the Islamic government is strongly trying not to face with a sort of harsh action by UNSC, the police forces try to limit the social atmosphere by new regulation on Hejab, which is women’s covering. They are getting angry by the way women dress up at the streets these days, while summer is coming. I have mentioned at an article the similarities between the nuclear case and Hejab and the way that conservatives govern the society. Here you are:

"The battle outside Iran to find a compromise on the country’s nuclear dispute, and the debate inside country about women’s Islamic dress constitute the two major issues of the Islamic regime, one a foreign policy issue, the other a domestic one…Since the revolution of 1979 while most cultural, religious and educational agencies of the country strived to propagate a specific form of Islamic dress code for women and get it accepted by people, they have had very limited success in imposing this dream on the whole nation and with every year that passes, the costs of this goal have been rising. And there has been so much stress on this particular form that it appears as if the identity of the “Islamic Republic” is now identified with it. This is why some officials view any reconsideration in the actual form of hijab as if it were sell-out of a principal of the revolution, and not merely a rectification of the improper imposition of an idea…..(Continue)