Sunday, June 28, 2009
As I meet people from different countries I begin to understand their culture and relate to them in a better way. As a Master's student in Canada, I interacted with several Persians in my department. I have immense respect for their sense of togetherness and camaraderie, and the fierce love that they have for their homeland.
The Iranian elections were held on June 12, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mir-Hossein Mousavi being the fore runners. With 2/3rd of the population being under 30, ready for a radical change and after the entire world saw the antics of the former president Ahmadinejad, it seemed quite obvious who the next president would be. But apparently not. Ahmedinejad won the elections with a 63% majority. With their religious Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declaring the elections to be fair, the peaceful protests have turned into a revolution of sorts. The protests run so wide and deep that now no body knows who is on whose side.
What really amazes me is the involvement of the people and their struggle for their fundamental right - to express themselves freely and get a fair vote. Persians from home and all around the world are making sure that the world hears their voice this time. With severe restrictions on journalists, the people themselves are reporting on the situation through Facebook, Twitter and the like, putting their lives in peril in return. I remember a Persian lab mate explain to me how the Iranians living abroad operate in unity and attack websites together to bring severs down. Incredible! What was even more impressive to me was the sheer courage of the young women who are a part of the protests.
I don't know what the future holds for them, but the ball has been set in motion; when it will stop and where it will stop remains to be seen.
Picture Courtesy - http://www.latimes.com