Another occasion for protests is upon Iran. In keeping with the by now standard procedure of defining the next occasion for protests, Charshanbeh Souri, the night before the last Wednesday of the Year, is the next date on which Iranians will come to streets to protest. Since its inception, Islamic Republic of Iran has never recognized Charshanbeh Souri as a national day of celebration for Iranians. Conversely, it has banned lighting fires and observation of standard rituals and ceremonies associated with the occasion. During the past 30 years, Iranians all over Iran have held on to the thousands-year-old tradition, less lighting fires and jumping over them, and more and more using firecrackers and explosives which are easier to manage than fires on the streets. The traditional celebration, therefore, has already turned into a night of danger and unexpected injuries and explosions.
Now as the next “meeting point” for the protesters who have faced threats of arrests, imprisonment and death sentences, Charshanbeh Souri is here. Almost on the eve of the event, in response to a question about the legitimacy of Charshanbeh Souri, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei has shunned the Persian fire festival as an un-Islamic event which causes “a lot of harm.”
Judging from reactions to Khamenei’s statement, Iranian protesters have found new resolve in showing up to streets and celebrating the occasion to confront what has become an increasingly personal matter between Ali Khamenei and Iranians. This blog will be an effort to bring information about events in Iran to the community. As I have mentioned in previous developing news blogs, please bring any articles or news items you would like to share with others and post it here. You can also stop by just to read or to discuss the news. These are rapidly changing times in Iran and in the absence of official and accurate news reporting out of the country, Iranians inside have turned to citizen journalism in order to capture contemporary Iranian history in their tweets, blogs, and clips. On the receiving end, we have a job to do, too. We need to read and understand what they are trying to convey. We need to get their voices out to each other and to the world. We are the media. Please do your share to help.