Iranian of the year

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Other Iranians of the year

April 12, 2001
The Iranian

The following are comments from readers about other notable Iranians of the year along with the percentage of the votes (if more than 2%). Also see other Iranians of the year "Ganji", "Khatami, Googoosh, Pahlavi" and "Etcetera".

Mehrangiz Kar, Shirin Ebadi & Shahla Lahiji (3.6%)
Women's rights activists

* Fighting despite cancer

My choice is Mehranghiz Kar, elected also as woman of the year 2000 in Europe. The reason is not only because of her activities, but also because she has continued her fight, in prison, in court and everywhere else despite the fact that she is seriously ill with cancer.

Ahmad Rafat

* Incredible

How can you choose anyone else (Mehrangiz Kar)? She is an icrediable woman!

J. Nikpay

* Basic human rights

Mehrangiz Kar, Akbar Ganji, Ezzatollah Sahabi, Hassan Yousefi-Eshkevari, and ... I can't select only one person! They are so many! These are the people who have stood by their principles, advocated freedom of thought and expression, tolerance, and respect for basic human rights. They chose peaceful means for fighting their cause and, yet, they are now paying a heavy price for speaking up.

But their suffering will not be in vain, and their message is heard by the people in Iran and around the world. Let us hope that in the coming year some deaf ears will hear this message, let us hope that there will be no violation of human rights and basic freedoms, and that this year and the years to come will be happier ones for all Iranians.

Shervin Majlessi

* Women's rights

I suggest Mehrangiz Kar and Shahla Lahiji as Iranians of the year (yes, it's a tie!). Both of them have endured enormous hardships under the IRI because of their democratic struggle for the women's rights in Iran.

Azadeh Azad

* Remarkable courage

In my opinion, Ms. Shirin Ebadi should be selected as the Iranian of the year. Her courage and persistence are remarkable.


* Very brave

My choice would be Ms. Mehrangiz Kar, lawyer and women's rights activist. She has been very brave in carrying on with her tasks. She has symbolized the need for big improvements in freedom and civil society in Iran.

H. Pedram

* Lawyer, activist

My choice of the Iraniain of the year is Mehrangiz Kar, human rights lawyer and activist.

Janet Afary
Associate professor of Middle East studies & women's studies
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana

Hossein Rezazadeh (2.8%)
Champion weightlifter

* Strongest man of the world

My choice for the Iranian of the year is Hossein Rezazadeh who won a gold medal in the weightlifting super heavy weight category in the Sydney 2000 Olympics. He broke the world and Olympics records in both the snatch and total lifts and earned the title "The World's Strongest Man". He was also named the world's best weightlifter for 2000. No other Iranian has ever done this before.


* Non-politicians

Hossein Tavakoli and Hossein Rezazadeh for winning gold medals in the Olympics in Sydney. I didn't choose any political figures because it seems like the political scene in Iran has become a struggle for who has the most power, and they have lost contact with what the people really want.

Yashar Mameghan

* aaghaay-e mohtaram

beh nazar-e man iranian of the year baayad oon aaghaay-e mohtaram baasheh keh ghavitarin mard-e jahaan shod dar mosaabeghaat-e emsaal esmesh ro yaadam rafteh vali midoonam keh to vazneh bardaari medaal-e talaa gereft va laghabeh "Strongest man in the world" ro gereft :))

Azadeh Nasr

Ataollah Mohajerani (2.6%)
Former minister of culture

* With no reservation

My selection would definitely with no reservation be Mr. Ataollah Mohajerani, the former minister of culture and the current head of the Office of Dialogue of Civilizations. Mr. Mohajerani's defense in front of the parliament was truly the landmark speech of the year.

Babak Mohit

Ezzatollah Sahabi (2.1%)
Dissident politician

* Forefront

Ezzatollah Sahabi has been at the forefront of the struggle for democracy AND social justice in Iran for the past fifty years, since before the 1953 Coup. His journal Iran-e-Farda was an independent critical voice for reform; he represents all those activists who have been persecuted by BOTH regimes. Moreover, unlike the 2nd of Khordaad activists and politicians, he does not have baggage or a compromised history.

Morad Shoorideh

* Devotion to freedom

For a whole life devoted to aazaadi, erfaan, baraabari.

Ramin Shoraka

Ehsan Yarshater
Editor, Encyclopaedia Iranica

* Contribution to literature

I will choose Ehsan Yarshater as the Iranian of the year-century. He reminds me of Arash. His contribution to Persian literature knows no limitation. The story of our tribe is a dramatic one, proud of all its highs and lows, hurt with its deepest wounds, enriched with kindness and love.

Sayeh Sirjani

* Iranica mastermind

I nominate Prof. Yarshater of Columbia University, the mastermind behind Encyclopaedia Iranica, as the Iranian of the year.

Reza Momeni

DEEP DISH: Ali Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi

* Grammy nominees

These amazing artists are not only international stars who have defined the dance music scence in many ways, but the Recording Industry Association of America recognized Deep Dish for their achievements by nominating them for a Grammy, under the "Remixer of the Year" category.

They own two record labels, which they maintain out of their Washington, D.C. office. Sharam is not yet an American citizen, but he strives to do so much, still being an Iranian citizen (this has presented some problems in the past).

These guys have overcome a lot of adversity, but in a short time they have come very far. They are great role models for Iranians everywhere. Check them out in the new iMac commercial with other musicians such as Barry White, Smashmouth and Ziggy Marley.

Nazanine Ghassemian

Hossein Alizadeh

* Revived Persian music

I am voting for Hossein Alizadeh as the most distinguished musician in Iran, who has revived and rejuvinated Persian music. I believe that he deserves this recognition more than any, since most of these types of candidates tend to be political figures and not social figures.


* Helping men

Rumi poems and books have been helping many people. How about making him man of the year?

Riaz Monjazeb

Comment for The Iranian letters section


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