Monday, June 22, 2009

The Voice of the Revolution

Neda Agha-Soltan was shot and killed with videos from multiple angles by the Basij in Iran. I am told that her name Neda means 'voice'. The high profile death of a beautiful woman puts a romantic face on what is seeming to be a revolution.

At this point I cannot see that things can go back to the way they were in Iran. People who don't know anything about the way Iranian politics works, which admittedly is most of us, think of Iran as being run by an invincible bloc of ruling Mullahs. I have for many years thought this not to be the case.

Books like 'Lipstick Jihad' by Azadeh Moaveni and 'Reading Lolita in Tehran' by Azar Nafisi tell the story of a soft women's revolution in Iran. You can see by Neda's makeup and her colorful headscarf and the way you can see her bangs peaking out from beneath it that this revolution has had more and more impact.

It was only a matter of time before this culture permeated the youth and a groundswell would occur. It seems like now is that time. I am very hopeful for Iran. I see Iran as a possible key to a more peaceful middle-east. Iran could be a highly successful nation. It has a very intelligent populace, with a highly skilled and educated class of people with a great diaspora flung around the world. It could easily become one of the top tier nations in this world, which is should. The great empires of the past have left levels of development that its peoples have never truly forgotten. Where there have been great and progressive empires there are smart and industrious peoples. The characters of those empires are very important to the character of the culture left behind.

In Persia there has been a great meeting point of many great cultures, and hopefully Persia can take join that nations of the world like India and China and become a stabilizing force in its region of the world. Iran has great oil reserves but poor refining technology. A more liberal Iran could see advanced technology flood into its borders so that it can get the most out of its oil fields. With that wealth they can build a more advanced technological civilization so that they need not worry about sliding backward when the oil has been sucked dry.

With the video of the death of their beautiful martyr (which I have been unable to bring myself to watch) maybe we will see something beautiful grow from the land where her blood was spilled.

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