Sunday, January 10, 2010

Iran--or The Revolution Isn't Over Just Because American Television Isn't Covering it Right Now

One of the original things I wanted to do with this blog, though I've gotten a bit away from it, is tracking events that caught our attention at one point, but have slipped away from our media driven memory. Last year's Iranian revolt is hardly history, and in fact I got a message from Amnesty International just in the last few days asking for urgent action for protesters at Ashoura:

Two women, Leily Afshar and Atieh Yousefi, and one man, Reza al-Basha, are among hundreds of people believed to be held incommunicado following mass arrests on 27 and 28 December 2009, around the Shi’a Muslim holy day of Ashoura. All of those arrested are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

I encourage you to visit the Amnesty International website. However, what I really wanted to do was post about an Iranian blog or two and then maybe add them to my blog roll here. It doesn't turn out to be that easy to find the active bloggers though. Understandably, some of the blogging fever that was part of the uprising has subsided. This article explains a bit more about that.

Another site that has quite a comprehensive list of blogs in English is Iranians' Blogs. Although the list itself might be a bit overwhelming, the blog roll shows blogs that have been active recently. And then there's United for Iran , which hosts frequent updates on the situation "on the ground".

As a Californian, I feel a certain connection to Iran. Before the fall of the Shah, there were a lot of Iranian students studying here, and a friend of my sister's, Mariam, was studying at UCSC at the same time I was. She represents to me the bright flowering of the Iranian student movement then, which makes me feel an affinity to the Iranian student movement now.

It's relatively easy to protest in America these days, even if sometimes we don't feel like it accomplishes much. But even with great polarities, our civil rights tend for the most part to be protected. It's not the same thing in places like Iran. I can't imagine the guts it takes to take to the streets, or blog. It's worth your time to take a moment and read the reportage of some of the brave souls who, armed only with their courage, do still manage to do this.