The future is bright


The future is bright
by Jahanshah Javid

For the "Iran, a reflection" Series:

I had an odd feeling at the airport this morning. I was carrying my backpack waiting to board the plane. My thoughts went back almost 30 years, to July 1980, when I went back to Iran with a backpack and a suitcase full of newspaper clippings of the 1979 revolution. I had just graduated from an American high school and was dying to go join the revolution and do whatever I could to help the Islamic Republic.

This time my backpack is stuffed with green shirts and my laptop. I'm going to Paris to take part in the July 25 demonstrations against Ahmadinejad's bogus election. I want to see the unraveling of the long green scroll with signatures gathered from all over the world supporting the democratic movement in Iran.  

Thirty years ago, there was no talk of democracy. No emphasis on human rights. No general appreciation for basic freedoms. Today, thanks to the abysmal failure of the Islamic Republic, freedom and democracy have become common currency in every discussion about Iran.

I have a good feeling about the future. I feel this god-awful theocracy is on its way out. The Islamic Republic's legitimacy has been seriously -- and I believe irreparably --  damaged.  The regime is not going to go away this year. Maybe not even in a few years. But whether the present Khamenei dictatorship continues or a milder Islamic Republic takes shape under Rafsanjani, it's pretty clear that the great majority of people want an end to religious rule. Democracy is no longer an obscure theory, it's not seen as a western conspiracy, it's become the aspiration of a nation.

The green movement is the real deal. It's not going to go away. People are finding all sorts of creative ways to continue their protests. Fear of the regime and its thugs has evaporated. Civil disobedience is spreading and we will see general strikes by teachers, students and workers in the not so distant future. The regime is relying on a very small fraction of the population to impose its will. But it cannot silence or control the vast majority of people. Even by force.

The future is bright.


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Farah Rusta

Let me tell you "dardeshoon chi bood"

by Farah Rusta on

Dear Ali P

Thirty years ago such words as democracy, human rights and basic freedom (not to be confused with personal freedom) had not enetred the literature of the opposition, yet. As a matter of fact, personal freedoms (freedom of religious belief, freedom of what to wear and how to look, freedom of what to like and what to dislike, and many many more) were all taken for granted. The protesting masses, in their utter ignorance, lost all those personal freedoms as well as the political freedom that they had hoped for. They had no idea of what secularism was and what democracy meant. Are we any better off today in our understanding of these basic concepts? I doubt it.

dardeshoon darde naadooni bood.


مسعود از امریکا

جهانشاه عزیز

مسعود از امریکا

من امیدوارم که به امید خداوند، صحیح و سالم رفته، و صحیح و سالم برگردی - در ضمن، دوستان در زیر اشاره به چند مورد راجع به محتوای بلاگت کرده اند، که با اجازت، من یکی دو کلمه می خوام خدمتت عرض کنم:

اول، همانطور که کاملا واضح است، روز به روز، این شکافی که در بین رهبران این جمهوری اسلامی ایجاد شده، گسترده تر و عمیق تر می گردد.

دوم، این اتشی که در دل مردم عزیز ما ایجاد شده، چه زن و چه مرد، چه جوان، چه میان سال، و چه مسن خاموش شدنی نیست.

سوم، کشور های متمدن دنیا، یکی به یکی، متوجه این امر شده اند که با این دولت اسلامی نا مشروع نمی توانند کار کنند.

و در اخر، این دولت جمهوری اسلامی، از ان خامنه ای مکار، تا ان احمدی نژاد بی لیاقت، دست کم گرفته بودند این عکس العمل و خشم مردم را. با این کار بسیار زشت و تقلب، و جنایت های بعد از ان، قبر خود، و جمهوری اسلامی را کنده اند.

من ازتو خواهش می کنم، همانطور که بقیه دوستان عرض کرده اند، بیشتر مثبت باش. در ضمن، به یاد داشته باش که با این ارازل و اوباش، با این بسیجی ها و پاسداران، با منطق نمی شود که نظرشان را عوض کرد! باید که بدانند که عدالت به طور کامل در موردشان اجرا خواهد شد - السلام، و السلام - قربانت!




Wish you well, JJ, but this was a strange blog!

by alborz on

Being part of this symbolic act is indeed exciting and I am happy that you are able to participate, but I am with Ali P. and Farah Rusta on the awkward analysis and sentiments you have expressed. 

If I may add to their list of objections:

"...milder Islamic Republic takes shape under Rafsanjani."  Huh?!  Is this part of the "brighter future" option?   I guess it will be "brighter" but still pretty dark and putrid. Am I missing something here?

Is that what people are aiming for when the green banner is unfurled in Paris?

Is that what Sohrab Aarabi and countless others lost their lives for?

Is this what Iranians inside Iran find acceptable when the price exacted on them is all tallied up?

Let's hope that our nation is able to aim for some other scenarios other than what Reza Aslan calls the China (mild IRI) and N. Korea (militant IRI) options.  They are the "bad-o-badtar" (bad and worst) options.

Let's hope that we don't repeat history by thinking that using Twitter in place of a cassette tape, alone will spare us from another tyrannical episode.

Have a safe trip JJ.



Shazde Asdola Mirza

Very nice piece - thanks a lot and god speed.

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Every voice counts! Every action counts!


We are all with you

by ahvazi on


JJ, have a safe journey and let the world hear our voices....


Jahansha jan, safar salamat!

by Yana on

Please interview people and send us video clips. I love to see their anticipation, unitiy and hope for future of Iran.  God be with you all.




I'll be there too

by Souri on

I'll be there tomorrow. Not sure to be able to find you there :) but I will take some pictures to post here later.

Have a safe trip.


I think JJ is on his

by Anonymouse on

I think JJ is on his way to the airport and the website is on "autopilot" ;-) 

Everything is sacred.


could someone take care of this idiot =Nainari please??

by curly on

he is spreading hate again. JJ we are all with you.


Dear Jahanshah

by Humility on

If you are ever in doubt on whether the demise of this regime is inevitable, read this:

A 'SECULAR DEMOCRACY' In Our Beloved Iran - Within ONE YEAR

It's Sooner Than You Think ...



gitdoun ver.2.0

terrific blog

by gitdoun ver.2.0 on

"Democracy is no longer an obscure theory, it's not seen as a western conspiracy, it's become the aspiration of a nation"

 my favorite line from your blog. safe journey mr.jj

Nazy Kaviani

Bon Voyage!

by Nazy Kaviani on

I'm glad you will be in Paris at the momentous event, supporting the will and vote of Iranians worldwide. Enjoy your trip, Jahanshah.

The future can be nothing but bright for a sober nation. Iran's accomplished state of sobriety will continue to serve as the turning point for the nation; there is no going back.

Thank you very much for accepting the call. Enjoy yourself and have those photo essays coming!


JJ Jaan

by Mehrban on

have a safe trip and remember, on Saturday "ma hameh ba ham hastiim".


Bon safar JJ jan and raise a

by desi on

Bon safar JJ jan and raise a glass of bordeaux to a bright free and democratic Iran.  Tomorrow the rest of us will attend our own city gatherings in support of our brave Iranian brothers and sisters.  I for one will be at Balboa Park.  I'm bringing a bunch of gringos with me.  Make sure to take lots of pictures and post.

rosie is roxy is roshan

You mention green T shirts, Jahanshah. I guess I should've

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

said below that I had an idea several weeks ago. I thought should have a fundraiser involving giving green tee shirts saying  for a  donation. I thought it would be necessary for you to blog on this and explain the rational. And after the blog a small section for it be set up on the side so that people who hadn't read about it would know about it. The rationale would be to help the green movement and people would need to be clear on that.

My thought was and is that providing these tee-shirts would be very helpful to the movement because they'd be very striking and people in the community live all over the world. I thought it would help raise consciousness, or keep it raised, while at the same time drawing many people to our website because it's one of the largest in English and I feel the one which gives the most human face of Iran. And now our coverage of the movement is so intense, and our contributed news section as good as any, better than most. Our name is so simple that no one would forget it and so many people would come here and learn. And maybe participate, because I've always felt this website should be more non-Iranian friendly, and at no time has this been more crucial than now.

What would be most helpful to the movement is wide open--it could be technical improvement, ventures into video streaming say of interviews, events, funding perhaps for you to attend conferences and events and blog us about them so we know more, outreach to other sites--toconventional and new media, whatever. But people would need to know that it's not for i.c., it's for the movement itself, and here's why...

I feel that $50 is a good amount because I believe virtually everyone here who is not destitute would be happy to pay it. It's not a lot of money but enough to make a good profit per shirt (I looked it up) and a really good one overall. I'd wager there'd be at first hundreds but then probabaly into the thousands of donors. Silk-screening two-color is least expensive, but four color is not expensive either, so there could be a goldfish too. If the i.c. is yellow or black, you could even have three colors on the goldfish. Shipping can be kept down.

Coordinating would not be difficult, one responsible volunteer for coordinating others to do the various tasks involved. It wouldn't really put much work on you, Jahanshah, or Foaad, or Wayne. Barely at all.

It would keep the awareness of the movement up among non-Iranians, draw people here to find out more, make the website the best it can be to grow the movement and also grow its own sense of

Think about it, will you, while you watch the green streams and maybe even shed some tears. I know how moved you are and I think it's a good idea to move the movement.

I'm writing it here because I know sometimes things get missed in all your e-mails and I don't want to get lost.


Ali P.

Dardetoon chee bood? :-)

by Ali P. on

JJ john:

 You say "Thirty years ago, there was no talk of democracy. No emphasis on human rights. No general appreciation for basic freedoms".

 As one of the cheerleaders of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, if democracy, human rights and basic freedoms( speech, press,..etc) were not the source of your complaint- and motivating factors for you and your peers- what was?

che khabar e

We,ll anxiously be waiting

by che khabar e on

We,ll anxiously be waiting for pictures.  Our hearts and souls are with you.  You,re carrying the wishes, hopes and dreams of all of us here.

Barat doa mikonam!!!


Amen !

by SamSamIIII on


bright indeed

by capt_ayhab on

Iranians shall win, we always have and always will.

Safe trip and soghati yadet nareh agho ;-)


rosie is roxy is roshan

I agree.

by rosie is roxy is roshan on

Like I always say,

Fardaa roshanast.

Bon voyage. 

Go green, gringo. 






Orang Gholikhani

Future would be what we build

by Orang Gholikhani on

Future could be bright if Iranians make it bright. Whatever Green movement become, we should stay vigilant about next step to keep it bright. What we didn't do 30 years ago.

Impatient to meet you here, Paris has always been a revolutionary city.



جای ما را هم در پاریس سبز کن


It's good to be an optimist but it's tough being one these days.

Anyway, let's hope that the future is green and after that a beautiful multi-coloured rainbow!

جای ما را هم در پاریس سبز کن 



The title for this

by Anonymouse on

The title for this series is supposed to start with/be "Iran, a reflection: the future is bright." 

I was with you until the end and the general strike part. "general strikes by teachers, students and workers"?  Technically when teachers strike students go on strike by default :-) 

Now as far as workers, since 1979 the role of workers has changed in the kaka mayme economy of Iran.  There are now more poor, more unemployed, more under-employed and more people working odd jobs and small businesses (baghali and chaghali) than factory workers or oil workers who made a huge difference when they went on strike in 1979.  Not to mention bazaar and the role of Khomeini himself who'd lead the strikes from France of all places and would not negotiate with monarchy one bit. 

But anyway whatever it takes.  Next milestone would be when students go back to school or universities open on Sep 21st.  Poor university students got shafted this year when their final exams got cancelled.  I don't know what happened to them?  Did they pass this year or do they have to repeat their last semester? 

Everything is sacred.

Farah Rusta

JJ Jaan

by Farah Rusta on

I seriously hope that you are right this time around - for everybody's sake.  Then when you say: "The regime is relying on a very small fraction of the population to impose its will. But it cannot silence or control the vast majority of people. Even by force." I begin to wonder. Almost all dictatorships have ruled by the rule of a minority over a majority. They didn't last long but lasted long enough to damage the fabric of the society, irrevocably.  


Maryam Hojjat

You are RIGHT!

by Maryam Hojjat on

I agree with you JJ.  I hope I see it soon soon.  I plan to spend my retirement in a free Iran.

Payandeh Iran & Iranians

down with IRI & His supporters