White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Attacks on Shia's Shrine

The attack on the al-Askari shrine is one of the most of dangerous ones that might spark a complete civil war within Iraq. Whatever plans that British and American have been dreaming in their mind for their new middle east has to be reviewed because what's clear is that Iraq is going out of everyone's control and democracy and consensus is not working there. Who knows what can come after such an attack!

For those who might not know about the importance of this Shrin: Shias believe in the ruling of 12 Imam's after the death of profit Mohammad. The Imams start from Ali who was the cousin and son in law of Mohmmad and end with Mahdi who is believed to be disappeared long time ago and will eventually return to bring justice to the world. The al-Askari Shrine is the tomb of the 10th and 11th Imams and is the area that is believed that Mahdi disappeared at first place.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hao Zhang Rocked!

I have a quite stressful semester. The teaching position is like having two oral exam per week. Specially that it's my first time experience and I have to spend quite a bit of time to prepare materials for my lectures, assignments and projects. Anyway, the period between Monday morning till Thursday night is constantly stressful every week.

At the middle of all this stress, last night I was amazed by watching Olympics' figure skating competitions. It was quite a dramatic competition: The return of the Russian Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin after a long period of downfall. It was definitely an impressive return. And it was followed by an early fall of the Chinese Hao Zhang. It was really a breath taking moment when Hao Zhang decided not to give up and restart her performance. You've fallen and injured and the fear of the 2nd fall is right there and you should be really strong to go back right there and claim yourself. And that was a historic performance when Hao and Dan Zhang returned. And just imagine that this dramatic moment was combined by my favorite music of Morricone. That made my night.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Iran, Denemark and protests in Muslim World

Today, the Danish embassy in Tehran was set to fire by students members of the Basij militia. Unlike other Muslim countries, the protest in Iran was clearly a staged action with a complete political agenda. Look at this photo. Does this guy look like a typical radical Muslim who wants to protect Mohammad's image? Or maybe a unemployed student who can be easily manipulated by economic advantage? This protest is clear muscle show off of the regime to the west: Look we can really mess up with you guys! Look how our young students are ready to fight even with our own religious police to kick your butt!! Iran also intelligently closed its trade relations with Denmark to get more supports in the Muslim world and even put some pressure on pro-west Arab countries. And don't forget that Denemark is just a tip of the iceberg. It's practically most of the EU members who have fundamental problems with Ahmadinejad's government. But does the West buy any of that? It looks like that Europeans are not giving a damn about the whole thing in Iran. There has been several other protests in front of the British embassy in the past few months. There were even a few clashes in the Iraq border with the British army. But the Britons were totally unmoved. Actually it seems that they have even taken an upper hand in the clashes and have extended it to the Iranian soil. Sooner or later Ahmadinejad and all Khamenei's camp will get it that their 80s style revolutionary actions won't work in 2005. It's a different situation and they have to give up their populist agenda and get back to the negotiation table. But certainly they will pay a big penalty for this period of mess up.

But beside Iran's story, I see the wave of recent protests against Mohammad's cartoon as a sign of a larger frustration in the Muslim world. The frustration are results of post Sept 11th policies of humiliation of this large community. Part of the humiliations are related to the racists policies against Moslems in European countries (and the US). And to large extents it related to the events in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. And of course radicalism has been able to grow heavily in the Muslim societies with popular media outlets like Aljazeera. For me, the position of the European journalists is quite understandable to resist against the whole protest for the sake of freedom of speech. But unfortunately I don't see it a wise action at the moment. It's only adding to the dangerous flame that has been growing since Sept 11th. A flame that wants to kill many progressive things including the freedom of speech.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Saudi, Qatar and Hamas

Contradictory facts

1. Saudi and Qatar fund Hamas with $33 million.
2. Qatar hosts thousands of US troops.
3. Qatar hosts and funds Aljazeera, the most popular Anti-American news outlet in the Middle East.
4. Qatar hosts numerous American businesses, universities. It's the first gulf state which has business relations with Israel.
5. Surprisingly Iran and Syria are known as the main funders of Hamas and Saudi and Qatar are our partner's in the war against terror!

I wish I could translate this farsi proverb: "ghasame hazrate abolfazlet ro baavar konim ya dome khoroos ro!"
Weblog Trackback by HaloScan.com