Darya is often seen amongst the spectators, holding a placard raising awareness about the plight of Iranian women and their right to enter volleyball stadiums. This weekend, she hit the international news headlines again:
Apart from an ardent volleyball fan and women's rights campaigner, Darya is also a successful dentist, a wife, a mother of two children, and a very charming pleasant woman, but she is also, it seems, an enemy of the US State Department which is trying to cuddle up to the Islamic Republic of Iran by what the US State Dept likes to think of as its "Volleyball Diplomacy" with Iran - a crass replica of the "ping-pong" diplomacy with China, in yet another pathetic attempt to "change the behaviour of the Iranian regime"!
|Greg Sullivan pursuing|
his Volleyball Diplomacy
Okimura had the impression, based on the State Department's message, that Darya was an "agitator of sorts who could potentially cause trouble" but when Okimura met Darya, she realised the US State Dept warning could not have been further from the truth.
During that friendly match, Okimura had her first run-in with Iranian gender politics. At the State Department's request, according to Okimura, USA Volleyball flew in a male delegate from its headquarters in Colorado Springs for the various ceremonial gatherings between Iranian and American officials, effectively replacing Okimura due to her gender, even though she lives in the Los Angeles area. "When they found out that the president of USA Volleyball was a woman," Okimura recalled, "they asked for the other guy."
|US ally enjoying the warmth of flames from a burning human|