Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Courage in Iran

For a long time I blogged on Yahoo 360. Then Yahoo decided to put it on the chopping block, and it got so glitchy, adrift on the sea without support, that I moved elsewhere. 360 is officially closing in July. I haven't checked out my page or friends' updates in many months, but I returned today. Mainly I was curious to see what was going on with my one friend in Iran. I was amazed.

I don't even know my friend's name as her page is in Farsi. Of course, I am unable to read a word on her page. But the meaning today was clear. On her page the profile photo is now a burning fire and many of her friends have the same profile picture today. As I visited page after page, pursuing a trail of flame, the message became ever clearer and more urgent. Some people had posted pictures of the protests. Some had posted a graphic picture, censored by the western press, showing the protester killed by the government militia, his head in a pool of blood. Many bore the message, in English, "Where is my vote?"

Browsing these pages opened my eyes to an Iran that I hadn't even realized existed: one where people dissent, where women have non-traditional roles, where western TV, movies, and music are popular.

I admire these young (and old) Iranians for their courage as they take to the streets to insist on a fair election and as they dare to dream of change.