Friday, July 11, 2008

Farewell Nazanin

What an eventful week it was. It seems it was only a few minutes ago when we were waiting in the airport for Nazanin to arrive. Anxiety mixed with excitement, excited that we were seeing Nazanin again and anxious that we would be worthy hosts for Nazanin Afshin-Jam and make a success of this amazing opportunity.

I didn't get time to write about Nazanin's meetings yesterday, and so let me do so now. Nazanin met Stephen Crabb MP, Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, at the House of Commons yesterday morning. In the afternoon, Nazanin met with Tom Porteous, the London director of Human Rights Watch followed by a meeting with Drewery Dyke from Amnesty International.

Today Nazanin met with representatives of Iranian religious minorities in the morning followed by an interview in the Bush House with the BBC Persian and her last formal meeting in the afternoon was with Maryam Namazi.

So to wrap up the week, we had a farewell dinner in an Iranian restaurant with some of the young Iranian diaspora. In particular I wanted Nazanin to meet young Iranians who are not actively involved in Iran related issues, I wanted Nazanin to show them how they can make a difference but at the same time, I wanted Nazanin to hear their side and find out what prevents these young Iranians from becoming active themselves.

I am waiting for more photos to reach my mail box and share them with you. So those who took the photos please hurry :))

Let me finish the post by mentioning another amazing quality of Nazanin. In the whole week that we were going from one meeting to another and holding one event after another, Nazanin never showed any signs of fatigue or tiredness, she never refused anything we asked her and obliged with every appointment, her enthusiasm and energy never wavered. Going about from one part of London to another, in a week which hardly stopped pouring with rain, we were often concerned that her schedule may be over demanding, but she always replied with her humble smile, 'No its ok'.

Last but not least, I have to mention our colleague Maryam Raiisi, another Iranian girl who worked non-stop throughout this week. Despite all her family commitments, she too never showed any signs of tiredness. The sheer energy of Nazanin and Maryam, has strengthened my long held belief that Iran will be liberated by the collective effort of its women.

15 comments:

Winston said...

Maryam Namazi? The big time shameless Commie based in UK?

Azarmehr said...

Remember Nazanin, is non-partisan, she is not about condemning one group or bad mouthing another, she is about bringingeveryone together on common goals and values. She had an interview for Namazi's TV, where as always she promoted her campaigns. Talking to people does not mean you are affiliated with them. If I spoke on Aljazeera, I stated my position, it does not mean I subscribed to Aljazeera's views.

Azarmehr said...

Remember also Winston, it was another Communist, Mina Ahadi, who highlighted Nazanin Fathi's case and solicited NAJ's help. Her campaign then had the backing of all from Mina Ahadi to myself. That's what great about Nazanin, she can unite people around a noble goal. On several issues we can all have common humanitarian goals despite our differences and our unity will strengthen us.

داریوش said...

یعنی واقعا هیچ خبرنگار ایرانی در برنامه پارلمان نبود آقای آزرمهر؟

Winston said...

I am not sure about uniting with a Communist who hates Iran and its plight because she/he is blinded by his/her hatred of Uncle Sam. I don't like Commies and I never did. Sorry!

Azarmehr said...

But you are not uniting with a Communist. If a Communist says a woman defending herself against rape should not be executed then he/she says the same thing as you and you find a common ground to work with, at the same time keeping separate the issues on which you differ.

Winston said...

Potkin jan, I can't get past my dislike of Commies and their criminal idealogy. Even if they and I have common grounds like defense of women's right or stuff like that. All I am saying is that a Commie can not be trusted. They work for the Communist values even when they are supposedly defending people's right which is a joke. Since when a Communist defends people's right to freedom and equality? Communism is like Nazism or Islamism. Another phony man created religion. Why would I want to be allied with a Nazi in fighting the Islamic regime?

Azarmehr said...

I understand where you are coming from Winston. Communists in Iran have done nothing but harm. Nevertheless we have to accept that in a future Iran there will be a section of the population to whom Communists will appeal to at some time in their life and just liek democratic governments elsewehre there will be Communist parties free to operate, although the likes of you and I will have nothing to do with them

Winston said...

I think what you say makes sense for sure but I can't bring myself up to work with an evil person. Don't know why but maybe Ms. Nazanin Jam has a bigger and kinder soul than an average person. Godspeed Nazanin

Mehrtash said...

'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'...to certain limits.

DW Duke said...

Winston, I understand your concern about communism. According to a number of Russian historians from the time of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 until the revolution in 1989 there were an estimated 60 million to 80 million people executed by Soviet genocide. It is the worst example of genocide in history except possibly the genocide executed against Native Americans by the Europeans in North and South America between the 16th and the and the 20th Centuries. Nonetheless, we can't incorporate wholesale the abuses of the USSR into all forms of communism and say that is what communism is about.

Communism is a designation given to a particular idealogy espoused by Marx and it is typically associated with the Stalin/Lenin brutality but it is questionable whether that is an appropriate designation. Forms of communism have existed throughout history without such a designation. For example, the Jews traveling across the desert after leaving Egypt were clearly practicing a form of communism. They shared all wealth and in fact, were not even permitted to accumulate food from one day to the next, or take excessive amounts of food, (according to historical and biblical accounts). What most of us abhore in the context of communism are the human rights abuses of the USSR, Viet Nam, Cambodia, China and North Korea.

I don't want to speak for Nazanin but she isn't here so I will tell you that she is strong proponent of the freedom of speech. I am sure she would agree that there should be certain time, place and manner restrictions on speech such as in the context of sexually explicit or violent materials, but when it comes to the expression of political ideas, I know that she would tell you that she believes everyone's view should be heard. As John Stewert Mill said, it is only by combining the distinct views of many people, and listening to the minority as well as the majority, that we reach a synthesis of ideas that takes into consideration everyone's concern. Isn't that the essence of a well developed democracy?

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha DWDuke way to go. Will have plenty of time for all kinda people when obama is in charge he will be. More power to democracy, Nazanin and free speech. Carter bet on democracy and most of you idiots elected him. We all want more speech.

Anonymous said...

It is important to recognize that the concept of free speech in the context of poltical expression means the expression of legitimate ideas. It does not mean slander defamation, insults, etc. The latter should be subject to elimination and exclusion. On the other hand, those who legitimately address issues of concern should be able to have their views heard by others.

Anonymous said...

It is important to first educate, in the political context, many American citizens, a few presidents and candidates running for office about slander, defamation, insults, etc.. and generally the intricacies of free speech. They can then set the example for the rest of the world. Feel free to exclude and eliminate too.

Eric Jerpe said...

Nazanin Afshin-Jam is a glimmer of hope for Iran, an inspirational and righteous and clever Persian woman in the spirit of Scheherazade of the Hezaro Yekshab. Yet the guy named Winston commenting on your July 11 blogsite expressed outrage over Nazanin's meeting with an alleged "communist". For one thing, the word "communist" has quite often been used promiscously (just as in Western literature until the early Twentieth Century the word "Turk" was synonomous with "Moslem"), so just because Winston calls someone a communist doesn't necessarily mean that the individual is a communist. For another thing, communism is a dead ideology: the Russians have openly repudiated it, the market-oriented Chinese merely give lip service to it, and for countries like North Korea it is more a leadership cult than Markist ideology. Being concerned over communism is like being worried that believers in the goddess Anaheita (the pre-Zoroastrian Persian equivalent o f the goddess Venus) are going to establish a polytheisitic theocracy in Iran. Of course that's not going to happen, although such a theocracy might be an improvement over the one Iran has now.