Khatami, Googoosh, Pahlavi
Cleric, singer, prince
April 11, 2001
Mohammad Khatami, Googoosh and Reza Pahlavi received the second (19.5%),
third (11%) and fourth (6%) highest number of votes in the Iranian of the
year survey. Here are readers' comments. Also see
other Iranians of the year "Ganji", "Notables" and "Etcetera".
* Holding his position, despite...
I think the Iranian of the year should be President Khatami. Despite
mounting opposition, he has continued to hold his position and navigate
his way through a number of obstacles.
For the first time in years, Iran is viewed in a more positive light
in the international community and Iranians have at least some hope that
things are about to change.
* Starting the flow
As an Iranian student, all I expected from him was starting the flow
of democracy and I think he did it excellently.
* Not another bloodbath
His slow reforms are a safe and sure bet to turn Iran into a democratic
state. The most important of the reasons would be the fact that he is not
in favor of another revolution and another bloodbath in order to bring freedom
* Very clever
Khatami is very clever. He understands the situation and deals with it
in a brilliant way. He thinks. He is honest. What more does a man need?
Amir Hossein Ghajar
* Working the system
Khatami, He is working with the system to make changes peacefully.
* Putting up with grief
Definitely, President Khatami, for putting up with all the grief the
hardliners have been giving him and still being there just for Iran and
the Iranian people.
* Slow but civilized
The approach he takes encouraged us Iranians to vote. We voted against
the order of the rulers in three elections: a) Presidential, b) city and
rural councils and c) parliament. The method he uses is assisting us to
speak and write in a civilized manner against dictatorship. The way he and
his collaborators function is gradual but sound, reversing the damages that
the "gomraahaan" have brought about to Iran, Islam and humanity
during the past two decades.
The way the Jebheh Mosharekat and 2 Khordad and others have performed
is teaching us that we can learn to be "free" by valuing and respecting
others and in being constructive models for the deceived and abused.
We Iranians are rapidly gaining positive international recognition in
all areas. We have come a long way. It was only a century ago that minarets
were build from the eyes of victims by the order of backward rulers in parts
of Iran. The future of Iran is bright because we are learning to be our
best and thus value others even if they think differently.
* No easy task
My choice for the Iranian of the year is Mohammad Khatami. Being a reformist
in the current atmosphere is not an easy task.
* Educating people
Because of his patience, honesty, and most importantly his attempt to
educate people on nice and moral behavior, respect for the law, and so on.
* One of the greatest
History will place Khatami amongst the great Iranians of all times. Along
other greats such as Ebn Sina, Amir Kabir, Reza Shah and Mossadegh.
* In the name of democracy
In my opinion Mr Khatami is again the Iranian of the year. Even though
he has not been able to achieve much, he has carried on in the name of democracy,
which is indeed an unknown and somewhat uncharacteristic of Iranian society.
We have never in our history had a leader truly elected by the people,
and even now when he is not allowed to do his duties as he sees fit, he
does not resort to violence, but acts in a Gandhi-like manner praising the
opposition and arguing in a manner that only a true democrat could -- without
an opposition you have no democracy. Long live democracy.
* Googoosh Googoosh Googoosh
The Iranian of the year should be the symbol of our repressed women and
the deprived people of Iran: GOOGOOSH, GOOGOOSH, GOOGOOSH, GOOGOOSH, GOOGOOSH,
GOOGOOSH, GOOGOOSH, GOOGOOSH, GOOGOOSH, GOOGOOSH -- ten votes from Mahyar,
Ramin, Jaleh, Nasrin, Faty, Davood, Khosravani, Nazanin, Samad and myself
* Sense of togetherness
The one person who brought out a sense of togetherness to scattered Iranian
expatriates, young and old, on the left or right, fat cats or struggling
loners, despite the incomprehensible words and songs that blared out from
the bad public address systems into the sound twisting halls, bringing tears
of joy and sadness along with unknown sentiments in unison however unexplained,
the one person who defied two decades of forced silence and seclusion, came
out loud, sensuously undulating like a patiently practiced, age defying,
radiant, noble, generous and dedicated spirit of innocence and sincerity
* Comeback year
GOOGOOSH because this was her comeback year and all the media around
the world talked about Iran and her in their publications, etc.
* Only Googoosh
My choice for Iranian of the year is Googoosh. Truthfully, who can come
back after a 20-year disappearance and cause such a stir? Who can come back
after 20 years and still have such appeal? Only Googoosh!
* Symbol of freedom
I think the well-deserved Iranian of the year is GOOGOOSH, the queen
of our hearts and the symbol of resistance of Iranian women. She is the
symbol of freedom for our repressed women.
* Who we really are
Being an Iranian icon, Googoosh has a cultural diversity so wide, yet
subtle, and has an acceptance and respect for widespread cultures, and finally,
she has the ability to reach out to Iranians and remind them who they really
are. I only hope that there will be more Googooshs to wake us up.
I vote for Googoosh as an Iranian woman of the year. I vote for her for
her braveness, for staying in Iran, because of her big heart. I vote for
her for being the most beautiful, talented and greatest person of our country.
* Captures most warmth
After much thought, I have realized that the only Iranian who captures
the most warmth, love and recognition from Iranians worldwide is the distinguished
Googoosh. No one before or since has created such a strong sense of community
and belonging as Googoosh has done so wonderfully.
Googoosh, for bringing Iranians together on a large scale through her
undeniable popularity and artistic talent.
* Most popular
She gathered the biggest Iranian crowds, more than anyone could for the
longest time. She proved, she is still the most popular of all Iranians.
* Abiding by people's will
I should like to cast my vote for Reza Pahlavi as the Iranian of the
year. I do so because of his efforts towards unity amongst all Iranians
of different political beliefs to hold a referendum in the pursuit of a
progressive, civil and stable society in which religion and state are separated.
In particular I wholeheartedly agree with Reza Pahlavi's vision of an
Iran wherein full participation in free and fair elections are guaranteed
for all individuals, irrespective of political ideologies, religious beliefs
or ethnic background; an Iran wherein its prosperous economy gives every
Iranian an equal chance for hope and opportunity; an Iran where its women
fully participate in the political, socioeconomic and cultural life of their
homeland; and an Iran where all sectors of its population are free from
intimidation, harassment, imprisonment and torture.
Finally I applaud Reza Pahlavi's sincere willingness to abide by the
people's will. Time and again he has stressed he is ready to serve the Iranian
nation in any capacity he can -- either as an active but private citizen
in a democratic republic or as a constitutional monarch. According to him
"The day that you cast your vote in a free election, selecting the
nature of your future government, I have reached my heart-felt goal. "
* Reinvigorated political interest
The reason I think HM Reza Pahlavi ought to be considered the "Iranian
of the Year" is not because he is necessarily the most deserving or
wisest choice; or because he has had an impact on Iran, but simply his notoriety.
I consider his coming out of political (and even social) hibernation
something which has reinvigorated political interest and discussion amongst
the Iranian Diaspora about rights and responsibilities as citizens of the
United States, and which will, hopefully, encourage the apathetic Iranian
community in the United States to work towards lobbying efforts as a community.
As per within Iran, he had very little impact, if any at all, but there
is always going to be talk about the profound legacy his grandfather, HM
Reza Shah, and his father the last Shah had on the country's destiny, whether
for good or bad the reference point for future generations will always be
if we were successful once, then always.
* Wonderful, humanist
Shahzadeh Reza Pahlavi (Reza Shah II), because of his wonderful, humanist
manner he faces problems and dictatorship in our always suffering country.
* Idealist, realist
My vote for Iranian of the year has to go out to Reza Pahlavi. He is
an idealist and at the same time a realist. During the past year, he has
taken advantage of every opportunity to get out the message that Iranians
everywhere should achieve freedom and democracy through nonviolent means.
After all these years, he still puts his and his family's well-being on
the line when he really is not obligated to do so. There are others like
Akbar Ganji who deserve similar praise, but you have to give Mr. Pahlavi
* Bold initiative
I vote Reza Pahlavi as the Iranian of the year for his bold initiative
in support of the freedom movement in Iran.
* His destiny in our hands
He has launched a new campaign towards a final solution for national
reconciliation. Hence, he has accepted a role as a coordinator to establish
a democratic system in our beloved country. He has left his personal destiny
in our hands - the Iranian nation - to select him as a ceremonial head of
the state or give him the status of "Citizen Pahlavi".
* Changing destiny
My choice for the Iranian of the year is Reza Pahlavi. He is the one
who finally motivated Iranians to change their destiny.
* Uniting Iranians
Reza Pahlavi II, because he has done in six months what Iranians haven't
been able to do for the last 21 years: unite Iranians all over the world
and with different political ideologies, for the cause of freedom!
* Unity, democracy
Mr. Reza Pahlavi: For his new visibility and his message for unity and
Reza Pahlavi, for at least trying to free Iran from the darkest time
in her history.
* New hope
My choice for the Iranian of the year is: Reza Pahlavi. He has driven
up his campaign and given us new hope. His recent speech about "Emrooz
faghat etehaad" has given me strength to continue the fight for democracy.
Today we have started a student committee in our university - We are behind
you 100% Shaahzaadeh; you lead the way and we will follow it to the end.
Paayandeh Baad Iran