[FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great Forum Index [FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great
Views expressed here are not necessarily the views & opinions of ActivistChat.com. Comments are unmoderated. Abusive remarks may be deleted. ActivistChat.com retains the rights to all content/IP info in in this forum and may re-post content elsewhere.
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Give The Youth A Chance

Post new topic   Reply to topic    [FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great Forum Index -> News Briefs & Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
by Shahla Samii

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 4:25 pm    Post subject: Give The Youth A Chance Reply with quote

Give The Youth A Chance
May 22, 2004
Iran va Jahan
Shahla Samii

"History tells us that appeasement does not lead to peace. It invites an aggressor to test the will of a nation unprepared to meet that test. And...those who seemingly want peace the most, our young people, pay the heaviest price for our failure to maintain our strength." - Ronald Reagan

Among Iranians of the Diaspora, many of the older generation read articles about Iran's political events with interest, often shaking their heads in sorrow or anger about the laws voted on by the regime 'hard-liners'. They also keenly observe the outcome of programs set out by the 'reformists'. One theme permeates almost everything coming out of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI)—news about the youth [70% or more of Iran's population].

Historically students in Iran have long been a thorn in the side of the regime in power, dating back more that 50 years. Student activists have created chaos at times, such as on 9 July, 1999 (18 Tir, 1378), a day commemorated annually to mark some of the worst student/regime clashes at universities throughout the country, most notably in Tehran. The voices of the students are echoed in other segments of society: critical articles written by daring journalists; subtle defiance of regime excesses by protesting of women.

These groups are at the forefront of protests, outspoken and active in raising world attention to what ails this theocracy. By browsing the Web, listening to satellite radio and TV broadcasts, and reading books and magazines bought on the black market, they keep themselves informed of world events. Because of the way that academic institutions are governed and administered, access to education at higher levels is limited to a select group of regime cronies or those whose circumstances in life allow them to "buy" their entrance. Therefore, many industrious students pursue their interests on their own with whatever means at their disposal, even if they can by emigrating to the West in search of a better future and more possibilities for themselves. Notwithstanding, many are left behind, their hopes languishing in despair. Those hopes can be seen demonstrated through their protests on the city streets.

We read and hear other news: news relating to massive youth joblessness, to addicts and prostitutes scrounging to make ends meet. On the other hand, murmurings of more affluent minority of rich youth resonate with tales of how they 'live it up' behind tall walls and closed doors, a life the majority never sees. They bribe the morality police to ignore their indiscretions, buying their silence.

Rather than live under these extreme measures with resignation, they have figured out that by sheer disregard of the social and 'moral' Islamic laws, they can impose their will and ridicule the mullahs. They look to their contemporaries in the hope for help and support in their struggles, yet to little avail, for many in the Diaspora are apathetic to internal Iranian politics, preferring the comforts of non-interference to the uncertainty. Nonetheless, a number genuinely care and are politically active.

For a quarter century, the Diaspora's older generation has done little to help. Although they have set-up satellite radio and TV stations, have written articles and made speeches, and created political action committees and groups, they remain fragmented and bitter. They believe that they are fighting a noble fight in support of a free Iran. Their fight is noble, but their motivations are self-righteous. They seek a glory lost. Blinded by the past they live in, they do not see the light the future can hold. A disconnect exists between this exiled older generation and the 70% majority youth in Iran. The Diaspora is stuck in a time warp and their actions have been more damaging than helpful. The result is clearly visible: 25 years of stagnant ineffectiveness!

My sincere belief is that if we give the youth in Iran the necessary tools to overthrow the IRI from within, and give them a chance to advance their agenda, they would. As in all struggles for freedom, the spark that ignites the fire begins inside the core of the system. The students and other courageous protestors have through their actions, words, and demonstrations started a movement. They yearn and seek support from their compatriots outside Iran. As in all struggles for freedom, the spark inside is easily extinguished by the suffocating system in which it tries to burn. In order for it to thrive and succeed, those outside the country whose voices are not stifled, whose passions can drive and energize those within, must raise the banner. The Prague Spring of 1968 is an example of a spark extinguished, a hope suffocated. The world learned a vital lesson then, hoping never to be repeated again. On the other hand, the South African and Polish struggles are beacons of success. South Africans and Poles around the world, inspired by their compatriots back 'home', raised their voices and helped lead their nations to freedom. Iranians abroad must recall the successes of the Polish and South African struggles, that through solidarity Iran can once again be free as well.

The key to Middle East peace is the reintegration of a free and democratic Iran into the community of nations. If that were to happen, we would not see the disintegration of Iraqi society, the chaotic mess of today's Baghdad, Fallujah, an-Najaf and other cities, or the perpetual Arab/Israeli quagmire. Rather a democratic Iran would add a pillar of strength to the equation for regional stability. This can only be achieved by enabling the youth, thereby creating a strong and effective opposition to the IRI. The youth can only attain that status by a united and courageous leadership serving as their voice in the West. This leadership must reflect their hopes and aspirations and understand their frustrations and despair.

The only means to achieve this goal is for the Diaspora to pass the torch of leadership to their contemporaries. This young and patriotic core would naturally refer to the expertise, advice and experiences of their elders for helpful insight and guidance. They, the youth, would be at the forefront of the leadership, working hand in hand with the youth in Iran. They would 'run the show'. They would not be the foot soldiers of the elders.

Any political movement that aims to overturn the power and machinery of a State requires united perseverance, strong leadership, hopeful determination and adequate resources. Resources are the intellectual capabilities and mental stamina of the group coupled with expertise, experience and connections and fortified by financial strength. The former is vested in the young patriots, while the latter relies upon the elders. The ultimate success of this movement is dependent on this formula.

This quest has been damaged by the infighting of all the different opposition groups in the West. It is time that the failure of these groups is admitted by their leaders. It is time that they admit that their time has passed.

Iranians are proud, dignified and non-violent. They have suffered humiliation for long enough. Let us unite and regain our cultural and humane heritage. Let us pass the torch of leadership to the young, so that they may join hands with their contemporaries inside Iran towards their common goal—freedom and democracy for Iran and Iranians.

Selim Nassar, in an article in al-Hayat on 8 May, 2004, referred to Cairo, Egypt, hoping to succeed in solving the difference between the Palestinian authority's demand for a secular system, and Hammas' vision of an Islamic State.

Cairo gave the model of the French Resistance when all French factions united under the leadership of General de Gaulle, and postponed their differences until after the victory of the battle for the liberation of France.

We should do no less than unite with the leadership of the youth under the banner of liberating Iran from theocratic tyranny. The youth must lead a united front to achieve the referendum advocated by all the opposition groups, letting democracy take its course.
Back to top

Joined: 30 Dec 2003
Posts: 1158
Location: California

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 7:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Give The Youth A Chance Reply with quote

Excellent article Shahla - thank you, keep up the wonderful work and we will do our share to spread the word and your terrific intellectual voice!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    [FREE IRAN Project] In The Spirit Of Cyrus The Great Forum Index -> News Briefs & Discussion All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group