October 24, 2003
* I am an Iranian
I was driving to work this morning when I heard the news from KIRN 670
AM, a local Iranian radio station in LA. For
the umteenth time, they were mentioning Shirin Ebadi from Iran had won
the Nobel Peace Prize. They went on saying who she was and what
she had done to become a candidate for this prestigious award and what
it means for her to win it.
The tears started rolling down my face as
I was incredibly proud and sad
at the same time. It was not the first time I cried for my country and definitely
not the first time I have done it in the car while driving. It usually
takes a good Dariush song, especially his recent album, to catch me in
my deepest patriotic feelings about my homeland.
But a Nobel Peace winner? An
Iranian? An Iranian woman? In today's Iran, where human rights
is raped as easy as a mullah drinking a glass of tea?
This seemed huge to me. Bigger than anything I have ever felt about my
country. None of the past football triumphs against other countries,
any sports successes worldwide, or any success story of an Iranian here
US, has ever, ever matched up.
There may be arguments that the prize was given to her due to today's heavy
political and human rights violations in Iran. Maybe she got it to project
a bit of light on what Iran is going through. None crossed my mind
at that particular moment.
I saw the political prisoners she
had defended throughout the 80's and the 90's. I saw the
rarity of an Iranian woman as a judge and a world-renowned activist. I
saw a human being caring about other human beings and maybe I saw my own
mother with a Nobel
I am driving down the freeway. A big, hairy, Iranian guy,
in a rather small sports car, driving fast and crying. This time,
unlike any other time when Dariush sings about my homeland and makes me
cry, I didn't
my tears. I was hoping someone would stop me and ask me what was wrong.
time I wouldn't feel silly. I am proud of Shirin Ebadi and bow
my head for what she has done and for what I have always wished I could do.
* Ebadi carries a heavy responsibility
Dear Ms. Kalbasi, [Ayatollah
First I want to make clear that as an Iranian woman I too was proud
to hear that Shirin Ebadi received the Nobel Peace Prize, but politics
is politics and in today's world plays a role in all aspects of our
This is the beginning of what I have been thinking and feared to come
true since Ms. Shirin Ebadi received the Nobel Peace Prize - the new
trump card for the reformist mullahs to keep their power and hold on
the people of Iran.
Just as with the advent of Rafsanjani's election
to the Presidency, then with Khatami, they will once again generate enthusiasm
for the people to go to the polls. Then they will take full advantage
of Ms. Ebadi, if she falls into their trap, to show the world that there
can be an "Islamic Democratic (reformist) regime". And the
rest will be history.
Shirin Ebadi carries a heavy responsibility, now that she has been
thrown into the limelight of world recognition through the honor of receiving
the Nobel Peace Prize. It is hers to use constructively and without endangering
the possibilities of her active role in exposing the truth that as long
as Iran is ruled
by theocracy, real democracy is not possible.
In my opinion Ms. Ebadi
needs to be sent as much moral support and positive feedback as possible,
not to only defend women's and children's rights,
but the rights of all the people. She had shown courage before receiving
this honor, but now she needs to step up to the plate and cash in on
the security that she is no longer just a human rights defender in
Iran, but has international recognition and support.
Of course all of this depends on her true beliefs - the indisputable
fact that theocracy and true democracy do not mesh.
* Working with what you have
I always say that Iranian women are their own worst
enemies because they always find something wrong with
someone else's success . This article proves my point. [Ayatollah
I have no idea what Mrs. Kalbasi does for a living but
I am pretty sure she lives somewhere away from Iran
where she can sit comfortably and write so she can get
noticed as a "well-read" Iranian woman.
There is one problem. She is insulting the
intelligence of real smart and well-educated Iranian
You do not have to be Einstein to see that in Iran
under the mullahs. You have no freedom of personal
views and if you publicly say something, then your body
will rot in some unknown ditch. Does Kalabsi really think that
one can say anything against the backward mullahs and then go back
to living in Iran? Kalbasi must be in Disneyland!
The fact that Ebadi has managed to become known
to the outside world will do us a great deal of good
because the miserable IRI government has the eyes of the
world on it. I hope you remember that the famous
Russian writer Alexander Sulzentsein became well known
in the West and the embarrassed Communist government let him leave
Russia. So he began to write in exile.
Let's look at the positive side. I do not think Ebadi is any more
Moslem that 85% of the population in Iran, which according
to the government statistics do not even pray or read the holly book.
Sometimes in life you have to work with what you have. Let's face it:
she is working with idiots. You seem to be convinced that mullahs are
staying forever. Well, the crown cannibal thought
so too and
where he is now!?
The mullahs' days are numbered and the young and
educated Iranians really do not care for organized
religion and their defiance has proved that.
Ebadi is a smart lady and does not want to alienate
anyone, so she needs to work with diplomacy and then as
her popularity grows she can begin to express her real
Why do you think people like me cannot live in Iran
right now? Because we will be dead soon and I always
say we are worth more to our nation alive than dead.
The idiots would not spare the lives of outspoken men
More power to women and men who can be politically
correct and work with the backward regime. I could
never keep my mouth shut and would say exactly what is
on my mind. That won't benefit anyone.
So as women
let's rally behind the Ebadis of Iran and put the
differences of opinions aside and focus on the outcome.
* She won it for all of us
When I was in my early twenties, my father translated Marie Curie's
biography into Farsi and he dedicated his translation to me, because
he said he saw "some of her" in me, her daughter. Well,
obviously I proved him wrong, but his words did'nt stop me from fantasizing
about winning a Nobel Prize.
Since I was not a scientist, nor
much of a writer, my fantasy was to win the Nobel Peace Prize. And
this morning the fantasy was realized. For Shirin Ebadi's award was
for all the Iranian women, including me. She won it for all of us
leading the female population of Iran to each be an activist for
peace and democracy in the country.
* Dream come true
To Mrs. Shirin Ebadi:
A Noble Prize winner for Peace, for just treatment
of women in Muslim societies under a justifiable law that treats all
men and women equally & fairly
Since yesterday, 10th of October, 2003, I have not yet been able to
come to grip with my joyful and proud emotions about the heart-worming
of Mrs. Ebadi's victory and her Nobel character of being able to tolerate
and work under a regime whose approach toward women's legal rights
is divers, and in many cases harsh, to those of men.
This is a victory for
all women in the Muslim societies to feel empowered and take the right
steps towards a constructive change. What a great
moment in life to be alive, as a woman who hailed from a Muslim land,
and see a dream coming true. This prize is certainly a laudable recognition,
perhaps long overdue.
A sincere regards to a woman who achieved such recognition
for all of us.
Fatima Farideh Nejat, M.A.
* Still need vigilance
Naturallly, I am thrilled for the personal recognition which she has
received for her life's work, but I am proportionately saddened by the
painful thought that after 2500 years of history Iran is in such dire
and shameful straits that it still requires the service and vigilance
of human rights activists.
* So what
In reaction to news about Ebadi's Nobel Peace prize:
* Pre-1979 Ebadi?
Great news about Shirin Ebadi. Although, I think we'd all feel better
if no one had to work to improve human rights in Iran.
the next Iranian to win for standing up for the human rights of
the Dutch, the Pakistanis, the Cambodians or somebody else. Be that as
it may, does anyone know more about her pre-1979 legal career (particularly her
work as a judge)? Or is it not cool to dwell on that right now?
University of Michigan
* Nobel prize will shield
her -- hopefully
Cyrus the Great is credited for writing the first charter of human rights
in history. After more than 2,500 years, one of Cyrus's decedents
is acknowledged for her tireless fights to preserve these rights, especially
for women, in Iran, the land where Cyrus's charter was written. Ironic,
Kudos to the Noble Prize Committee for their wise selection
of Mrs. Ebadi in light of her years of intellectual struggle against
the barbaric regime of mullahs in Iran. This recognition will most
definitely give her an international stature that will hopefully shield
her from the wrath of the intolerant tyrants of Tehran.
community's recognition and support for Iranian dissidents such as Mrs.
Ebadi is the best and most effective avenue to foster change in Iran,
and promote democracy in the land where human rights were first conceived.
Mission Viejo, CA
* What did she do?
A lot of my non-Iranian friends keep asking me what Shirin Ebadi has
done for the human rights. I didn't find any thing specific in
I wonder if the readers have some specific information who
distinguishes her from other judges, women, and people who have
been in prison for a political reason.
* He needs treatment
Mr. Sajadi [Taba'aat-e
Nobel] is in dire need of an experienced psychologist. His
condition left untreated may cause serious damage to himself and
those around him. I
besiege the Iranian.com community to recommend a qualified therapist
to cure him of egomania.
* Ebadi for president
Presently, Shirin Ebadi is our only respectable figure who has both
national and global credibility. Let us change the constitution and make
it possible for women to become presidents.
In Pakistan, Ms. Benazir Bhutto was the head of state, and
that country is no less Moslem than Iran.
More letters (October 24, 2003)