Hope you’re following the street protests by young Iranian citizens who want their country to be more open and engaged with the world vs. the bullet- and tear gas-charged reaction by mullah-directed police and paramilitary forces. It’s heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. The reformist candidate, Moussavi, is hardly the dreamboat democratic revolutionary that he’s been painted as, but he’ll do for now.
Messages about and images of the murdered 27 year old Iranian music student named “Neda” who bled to death on cell phone camera have flooded across the internet, redefining what it means to “i.m.” (On the new world web, she has been “instantly martyred”). “Neda!” is now the rallying cry for street protesters, perhaps because she looks so much like them – young, modern, female, well-educated. I’m uncomfortable with martyrs and symbolic leaders, mostly because they can’t speak definitively for their own nuanced views post mortem. Neda’s brother said she was not especially political, and not there on the Tehranian streets to protest, but it’s hard to verify anything in a country where traditional digital media can be extinguished by one gesture from an ayatollah. Let’s hope Neda makes a difference in a way she would’ve wanted.