It was a busy day for Nazanin today. The first engagement was an interview with Bloomberg news followed by a press conference at the Henry Jackson Society offices in Queen Ann's Chambers. Three Iranian media representatives from Radio Farda, Radio Zamaneh and Kayhan Weekly were also present and as usual some of our Iranian media didn't cease to amaze me with their snobby opinionated attitudes. Rather than interviewing Nazanin, you would think they were the ones who were there to be interviewed. Instead of asking questions about why Nazanin was in London and her schedule of events in the coming week, they were advising her about what she should say in the parliament and making speeches of their own . A point which did not go unnoticed by the non-Iranians present in the room either.
The representative of Radio Farda, boasted about being the most popular radio station in Iran etc. When I asked her if Radio Farda will be covering Nazanin's event in the UK parliament later in the afternoon, Radio Farda representative said no unfortunately she can't make it! Neither of the other two Iranian media came to cover the parliament event either. Instead as usual they expected us to write a report and land it on their lap. Radio Zamaneh however did a one to one interview with Nazanin after the press conference.
More than 100 people turned up at the committee room 14 in the House of commons at 5 pm today to hear Nazanin. The meeting was chaired by Graham Stuart MP who introduced Nazanin and myself to the audience. Nazanin started by showing a few slide images of Iran before the 1979 Islamic revolution, followed by pictures of public hangings, beatings and other human rights abuses which have taken place in the last three decades in Iran since.
Today also coincided with the student uprising in 1999 which engulfed 19 cities across Iran for six days. Nazanin reminded the audience about some of the victims of the student protests, the bloodshed which followed and the long term prison sentences received by some of the captured protesters. She talked about the persecution of the religious minorities in Iran and the new apostasy bill, the barbaric punishments and the execution of minors, the murder of the Iranian-Canadian photo journalist, Zahra Kazemi and other victims. Yet despite all these atrocities and suppression, the civil movement in Iran for democracy and human rights remains alive. Students, the youth, the women and workers of Iran continue their protests and political prisoners like Arzhang Davoodi defy their captors by staging a 70 day hunger strike.
Nazanin stated her position against a military strike on Iran and at the same time she criticised any appeasement of the Islamic Republic by the West, saying the best solution is empowering the civil movement in Iran.
Nazanin finished her speech by expressing her optimism that soon change will come about in Iran and dictatorships will not last for ever.
The first member of the audience to be allowed to ask a question, turned out to be a Press TV employee, the satellite station run by the Islamic Republic from Tehran with studios in London.
Although he did not ask a question, but rather aggressively and in a loud voice stood up and said he did not want to say what his name was and objected to being filmed, he then advised Nazanin that there are people in the Iranian regime who are reasonable and not all should be blamed.
Tomorrow will be another busy day with more meetings which hopefully I will get time to write about.
Islamic regime angals (parasites) are every where, even in UK's Parliament. LOL
The woman's a joke; almost as big as a joke as winston's blog.
It does not surprise me to see a complete joke like yourself make such a comment.
Nazanin is one of the kindest and most genuine people I have ever come across who really sincerely wants to help anyone who needs her help. I am not exagerrating when I say, she has a heart of gold, she really has.
May be one day she will be able to help you overcome your problems too, because you really need help.
اين يارو اسم خوبي براي خودش انتخاب كرده٠ برمكيان هم اينقدر با خلفاي عباسي لاس زدن كه خلفا ترتيبشون رو دادند و كل طايفه شون نابود شد٠ ولي اقاي اذرمهر اين اراجيفشو چاپ نكنيد اعصاپ ما داغون ميشه وقتي چرت پرتشو ميخونيم٠
My sincere congragulation to Nazanin. She is a very good public speaker and speaks good English -with a hint of Cannadian accsent. She has pose and is very charming. she is not fuzed by where she is speaking or her audience - There is a indead a great geft as not everyone can stand up before a microphone and talk sense without flofing their word or geting excited and emotional. I am Proud of such an IRAN DOKHET - which I may add there are millions more in Iran and in the world who should do as Nazanin is doing. Take it upon themselves to do as much or as little - and in anyway posible to reflect the pains and sorrowes of Iranians living under such an inhuman Fascist state such as IRI -ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IDIOTS -
khosh-halam ke ashena-hastee ba tareekh-e barmakean - tabrik azizam. vali agar omeed-e khod-ra mansoob koneed dar afradi mesle Nazanin ayandehi vase-ye vatan-e ma neest. Hamcheneen, agar een website-o da-eman bekhooni ayandehi vase-ye khodet neest:)
dafe-ye bad sey kon yek cheezi ghabeldar beneveesi jenab agha.
As for you Azarmehr, I understand she might be your friend, that she genuinely cares about helping people and what not, but all she is is a celebrity - nothing else (well, maybe eye-candy). I mean, have you heard her music? Two words come to mind: Ha and ha, i.e. haha.
Have you heard Mrs. America talk about worldly issues? It's laughable, and so is Nazanin. Mr. Pahlavi needs to recruit some more effective minions.
Siavash announced that (worthless) Radio Farda has been (finally) shut down a day or two ago - how come they still had journalists there?
Please consult a professional psychologist and sort yourself out.
Potkin, do you enjoy debating this idiot Kid here?
He is not worth debating with, as he has nothing to contribute but by publishing his comments people will judge him by his own statements
Great job. Keep us posted Potkin.
Debate? As if you all debate. Every time you make a post winston drops a line saying, "great job," or another person will say, "keep up the good work potkin."
Debates rarely occur on this blog, and when they do they devolve into name calling (i.e. olagh this, Tudeh that, IRI this, Shah that). Can we honestly debate the dire status of the Iranian economy or the "wooden ceiling" (for women) without just labeling everyone mullahs?
Although the IRI is a regressive band of clerics masquerading as a government, can somebody understand that ideology (whether you're liberal, conservative, socialist, moderate, monarchist, or a theocrat) is not the sole variable in the Iranian equation. Is it possible to discuss practical problems and propose practical solutions on this blog? Hmmm...
Or can someone make a valid point without the response being, "these korre khars support the IRI while living in the West."
If you're looking for a debate I recommend visiting the Financial Times blog where a number of educated Iranians, Jews, Americans, Muslims, Spaniards, and others have educated discussions.
Can anyone tell me why a former Miss World runner-up is qualified to speak on anything? At least Shirin Ebadi has a legal career and direct experience in advocacy. Having a beauty pageant winner speak on democracy?! LOL! Let's get a Big Brother contestant to speak on the oil futures market!
Because you are so tunnelled vision, you only see Nazanin as a former miss world runner up, where as that is only a minute part of her career. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and Political Science, and undertook scholarship studies at the prestigious Science Po in Paris and the International Study Center Herstmonceux Castle in England. After graduation she worked with the Red Cross as a Global Youth Educator, teaching on subjects ranging from the Landmine Crisis, Children affected by War, the Poverty-Disease Cycle to Natural Disasters. She speaks four languages, and most importantly of all her campaigns unite Iranians from the Left to the Right, across the spectrum, i.e what we need.
She has managed to save her namesake Nazanin Fathi in IRan from execution, she gives people confidence that they can change things and make a difference.
No, she does not give people confidence; the only thing she gives people are boners. I graduated with a dual degree too and speak four languages as well (and work in electoral politics); why am I not on the BBC? I'll tell you why: Because I don't give people boners.
You dont have a heart of gold like her, you are divisive and envious so you have no inner beauty like she has.
So why is it that so many girls follow her and join her campaigns too? I suppose you will say they are Lesbians :))))))))))))))))))))
dorood bar Gordafarid-e-ma Nazanin Afshin-Jam. zendeh baad dokhtare irani.
No amount of getting into bed with obama-osama is going to make bar - Man - kid a beauty.
Sorry, but I still don't see why she is meant to be a serious spokesman any more than any other Iranian who has a good education and who has done voluntary work. The difference is, of course, that she is pretty. I wish her all the best and I am sure she is a sincere and warm person, but I still don't think she's more special than anyone else.
I think Nazanin herself will be the first to say she is no more special than anyone else. We all have certain talents, the idea is that we all make use of our talents to improve the conditions for our people.
Although I have to say more than her beauty, Nazanin's assets are her genuine intentions, kindness and intelligence which immediately impresses every one, even more than her beauty.
حسادت ایرانی ها رو در این کامنتها میشه دید. خجالت چیز خوبیه. اگر کسی بهتر از خانم افشین جم بلده کاری انجام بده بسم اله انجام بده اگر نه بهتره زیپ دهنش رو ببنده
Winston, don't try to mask your foolishness by writing in Farsi - the jig is up. It's one thing to claim Nazanin is doing good things for Iranians, but to put her at the top of the list of proactive dissidents is beyond absurd. You call us jealous, I call you foolish and naive.
And Azarmehr, her intentions might be genuine, but that's not enough. The Bolsheviks had genuine intentions as well, do you respect them?
No the Bolsheviks were not genuine and no I don't respect Bolsheviks. They were power hungary and sacrificed people for ideology instead of the other way round. They organised bank robberies and heists to fund the party, they murdered rivals, and Lenin revelled in internal squabbles.
What are you talking about kid?
Thanks to Azarmehr for being an excellent blogger.
I believe, it would be against democracy if I don't hear and consider the opposed opinions. However, being indifferent and irresponsible in front of what I feel in return, would also be against my own rights as a woman, an artist and above all an Iranian.
With all respect to everyone who commented on this page, I was wondering how many of you have really read the text and contemplated on the invaluable messages within and between lines!!? Why is it always important WHO is talking, and not WHAT they are trying to convey through words? Why our society still doesn't want to believe that they cannot shape women as obedient dolls any longer; by using the same 'old-fashioned-male-dominant' tools as in Shah Vez-vezak era. Can you just for a second, take a look from another angle?! The fact is whether you want to see it or not, you cannot discourage the new generation from moving forward... If you can put a step towards your goal; who is stopping you then? Go on, the ground is all yours... hit the ball...!
Fanatic about numerous degrees and qualifications?! There are still some invisible Shams-e Tabrizi around to prove you wrong...!!
...and as Sohrab states: Let's clean our eyes; let's see in another way; under the rain, WE should see our friends...
Yes, our friends and not our own ego or our foes...!
Hope that we'll be able to achieve and witness a unified success!
What am I talking about? No, what are you talking about you old fart. You refer to me as a kid as if I'm talking out of my ass like Aida.
The Bolsheviks were just as genuine in their beliefs as any movement was before they came to power. They denounced the imperialist war (WWI) the Czar had gotten them into, they battled the nationalist sentiment that wanted to keep them in the war and starve their people, they believed they were struggling to extract Russia from the misery the Czar and the rest of the imperialist world got them into. But it's no secret, and is indeed cliched, that "absolute power corrupts absolutely."
I'm sorry that you're so narrow-minded and biased that you couldn't understand my example - I guess it comes with old age.
Even before they came to power, Bolsheviks were corrupt and murdered people. Stalin was a Bolshevik, and murdered people including his own party members if he did not like them, this is before they even came to power.
Lenin revelled in internal party feuds and whenever his Socialist Democratic Party was near extinction, he ordered all kinds of robberies and extortion to fund the party.
When the Czarist regime was ousted, because the Bolsheviks were in fact a minority and didn't get many votes, they ousted the provisional government through a coup, unless you believe in Eisenstein's pretend film that the Bolsheviks came to power through a mass uprising :))))
What is the relevance of all this to NAJ?? No the Bolsheviks were not genuine in their intentions, the last thing they cared about was the workers and the peasants. They cared about power more than anything else.
"Stalin was a Bolshevik, and murdered people including his own party members if he did not like them, this is before they even came to power." Way off.
I'm not gonna get into a protracted debate about history with someone who hasn't even studied Russian history except for watching a documentary here and there. But just to show you how unfamiliar you are with Russian history; Stalin was barely a teenager when the Bolsheviks seized power (in only a few cities) in 1917. And if they were only after power, like you say:
"No the Bolsheviks were not genuine in their intentions, the last thing they cared about was the workers and the peasants. They cared about power more than anything else."
Then why did they withdraw from WWI so ungracefully and embarrassingly by Russian standards today? Why did they just give up Poland and other territories that went on to become independent countries? If they didn't care about the workers and peasants, initially, then why didn't they just keep sending them off to war to die? Instead, they just surrendered and withdrew themselves from a mess of a war to the benefit of their people?
You made a number very derogatory comments about Nazanin whom you obviously do not even know. I am puzzled by your comments. Ordinarily, I would dismiss you as an immature loudmouth of diminished cognitive capacity were it not for the fact that you occasionally make a post of substantive value and you claim to possess a post high school education.
Let me give you a little background about Nazanin. First, as a human being you will not find a kinder more gracious person. She is extremely humble and is always looking for a way to help others. She does it because that is her nature. It is not something she does to impress people.
You ridiculed her education. Do you even know anything about her education? She has a double major in International Relations and Political Science from the University of British Colombia and she received scholarships for graduate studies at L'Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris and at the International Study Center at Herstmonceux Castle in England. This raises an interesting point. You commented that she is not a even a lawyer and so she is not qualified to address issues of international law. Since when is a law degree required for a person to be a significant world leader? Do you have any idea how many major world leaders do not possess law degrees? Leaving that aside, I can tell you from personal experience that her knowledge of international treaties and law exceeds that of many human rights attorneys.
Next, you ridiculed Nazanin's music. I don't know what possess you to be so cruel but it speaks volumes of your character (or lack thereof) and you might want to know that two of the songs on Nazanin's first album made it to top ratings on adult music charts. It would seem that others do not share your dislike of her music abilities.
As I read your posts I notice that you do not address anything of substance concerning the content of her speech. You do not identify what issue she has discussed wherein you disagree with her. You simply complain that she is too pretty to do anything of value in human rights. What would you have her do? Would you like her to have plastic surgery to become "ugly?" What do you say about people who are physically unattractive? They are too ugly to be involved in human rights?
My message to you is "grow up." Your problem is simple. You are upset because you can't get close to Nazanin. You even state in one post that you would like to be introduced to her. Let me ask you, why should she want to be introduced to you? She loves to meet new people and she would probably enjoy meeting you should you conduct yourself appropriately. Perhaps if you spend your internship in the House of Commons developing social skills the next time Nazanin comes to London you will have the opportunity to meet her.
You are an absolute disgrace, especially to your university.
This going to be another one of your classic clangers, which totally disgraces the university from which you graduated from:
"Stalin was barely a teenager when the Bolsheviks seized power (in only a few cities) in 1917"
How the hell did you get your degree? I bet you will end up working in the US State Dept, you will get on well with all the idiots there.
Stalin was born in 1878, so by 1917 he was 39 years old. How is a 39 year old a teenager??? Stalin was a committed Marxist ever since he left the seminary. His accompolices Kamo the psychopath, the Armenian playboy, Suren Spandarian and many other unsavoury characters were no different than a Mafia clan.
The Tiflis bank robbery which made headlines even in the English dailies was orchestrated by Stalin in 1907. Even during his exile and his prison time, he plotted against other activists he didn't like, especially if he felt intellectually inferior. Bit like you actually!
As for your final parting fart, Lenin withdrew from WWI, and gave up all that teritory because the Germans bankrolled his return to Russia. It was his thank you gift, if you like. Although Stalin made sure the entire East Europe became Soviet back yard years later and the people of East Europe suffered decades of Bolshevik tyranny and suppression later.
YOu really are a disgrace when it comes to basic knowledge that every school boy should know let alone a university graduate!
So I got a date wrong; as if I fact check when I post on your blog. I'm not a sovietologist, but my fundamental point still stands - this time use Karl Marx instead of the Bolsheviks and maybe a light will shine in your dimwitted mind.
As for Anonymous, I stopped reading your post after you began attributing false statements to me (something about a lawyer) and before you started regurgitating Nazanin's background and education. Oh, and I don't live in the UK, thank god (if he exists:)).
Barmakid or should I call you Derakhshan, your problem is that you stopped reading anything long ago.:) So, why are you so hell bent on disparaging Nazanin. She must have turned you down when you hit on her. She probably saw you for the goof that you are. LOL
Excuse me if I confused your comments about Nazanin's education with someone else's. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish one internet idiot from another. and you did challenge her qualifications to serve in the human rights arena.
You are right, you don't live in the UK. You are planning to be some Senator's page after the elections. Don't forget the K-Y. ROTFL
Ignorant morons such as 'Barmakid' that display a talent in criticising those who are contributing to the struggle for freedom and democracy in Iran. Barmakid-alikes really ought to educate themselves and put their mouth in a contructive place.
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