Movements for Democracy and Recent Obstacles: The Case of Iran

Alireza Asgharzadeh

Speech at the Italian Parliament, Sponsored by UNPO, Rome, June 29, 2010

As such, I like to conclude this speech by highlighting the importance of the need for an open and transparent conversation: One which is not afraid of speaking truth to power; which boldly interrogates antiquated and degenerative notions of ‘Aryan race,’ monolingualism, monoculturalism, heteronormativity, racism, abelism, sexism and homophobia. This requires a crossing of boundaries, not only of race, gender, class and sexuality, but also of ways of thinking and acting.

Campaigners fear Lake Urmia drying up

Sam Khosravifard*

 A group of environmental activists gathered at Lake Urmia on the 13th day of the Persian new year – April 2 – a day when it is customary for Iranians to spend time with nature. Some poured water into the lake from bottles and pitchers in a symbolic move to protest against what they call the inaction of the authorities about the lake drying up.

Nation as the imagined community

Benedict Anderson

"The nation is imagined as limited because even the largest of them encompassing perhaps a billion living human beings, has finite, if elastic boundaries, beyond which lie other nations. No nation imagines itself coterminous with mankind. The most messianic nationalists do not dream of a day when all the members of the human race will join their nation in the way that it was possible, in certain epochs, for, say, Christians to dream of a wholly Christian planet.

Urmia Lake (Northwest Iran): a brief review

Amin Eimanifar

The present paper is an attempt to provide a brief review on various aspects of the lake. Urmia Lake, located in northwestern Iran, is an oligotrophic lake of thalassohaline origin with a total surface area between 4750 and 6100 km2 and a maximum depth of 16 m at an altitude of 1250 m. The lake is divided into north and south parts separated by a causeway in which a 1500-m gap provides little exchange of water between the two parts.

Bilingual Children's Mother Tongue: Why Is It Important for Education?

Jim Cummins*

The term globalization is never far from the front pages of newspapers these days. It evokes strong positive or negative feelings depending upon whether it is being praised by the business community for opening up world markets to more extensive trade or condemned by those who associate the term with the dramatically widening gap between rich and poor nations and people.

Festival of Babek: The living soul of Azerbaijan’s history

Alireza Asgharzadeh

This magnificent festival is not just about dance and poetry, though. There is more to it than meets the eye. People come here with their musical instruments, songs, dances, and poems to redefine themselves by means of their own culture, their own language, on their own terms.

Racisim in contemporaty Iran: an interview with Alireza Asgharzadeh

Interviewer: Farzin Farzad 

How is the racist order produced, maintained, and perpetuated in contemporary Iran? How do the acts of othering, misrepresentation, and racism take place through works of literature, history, religion, and other textual/discursive means? What role does language play throughout the processes of ‘otherization,’ foreignization, cultural annihilation, and assimilation in contemporary Iran? What are the ramifications of Aryanist racism for Iran’s non-Persian ethnic groups? How do the victims of this racism engage in acts of resistance against the ongoing racial/ethnic oppression? What role can the intellectuals, scholars, social activists, and the education system play in helping to eliminate racism in Iranian society?

Vancouver woman risks her life to expose the persecution of Azerbaijani Iranians

Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun

Then on May 12, 2006, the cockroach cartoon was published in an Iranian national newspaper and thousands of Azerbaijani Iranians took to the streets. The protesters, mostly unarmed, were brutally repressed by security forces. In a 2007 report on human rights in Iran, Amnesty International estimates that "hundreds, if not thousands, were arrested and scores were reportedly killed by the security forces."

The Return of the Subaltern: International Education and Politics of Voice

Alireza Asgharzadeh

In this graphic image of tongue-cutting there is an echo of Baraheni’s own self-amputation. For his mother tongue too was cut out during the rule of Pahlavis (1925-1978) in Iran where Baraheni was forced to write in “the language of the nation.” For as long as he has been a writer, Baraheni has been writing in the imposed tongue of “the nation.” For this 70-year-old Azeri writer, writing in the language of the oppressor has been an excruciating act of self-mutilation, a painfully slow performance of hara-kiri, the traditional Japanese form of suicide, that has been uninterruptedly going on for more than four decades.

Ethnic diversity and territorial integrity of Iran: Domestic harmony and regional Challenges