Activism Middle East

From an Iranian Student

This written by an Iranian alum of an American university. He/she asked us to re-post this message.


Dear all,

My other email is down by the gov. hence I have been able to hack into this unsuspecting email account.

Things are turning very violent here for Iranians – last night at least 90 were killed and many hundreds others injured (as I write this reports are coming in that it is in fact more than 150 from yesterday alone killed – putting in the total in at least the many hundreds over the past nine days). As fate would have it, Neda, aged 22, was an employee at the travel agency who had booked our trip to Mashad for yesterday. We decided to forgo the trip for safety, and she was killed by basij yesterday. Today, without knowing it, when picking up refund for the trip, all of the employees were dressed in black as are many who take to the streets today to mourn her and the scores of others killed yesterday – certainly many will be killed today as well. There are vast first hand accounts of many of the stormtroopers et al being from other countries outside of Iran speaking Arabic – certainly some groups rely on the oil profits of Iranian for their own operations and even their security is at stake in this shake-up. There is information, misinformation, and disinformation so take what you will, but too many first hand reports usually add up to some sort of truth.

It is no joke that communication is down and that what goes in/out, is being tracked. I have been followed by secret service. I cannot post to blogs for fear of safety to others. Facebook and Twitter does not work within Iran – it has not for more than one week – all rally communication takes place via mobile and, more importantly, face to face. International telephone calls do not come in; mobiles are cut between 4-5PM each day until midnight; SMS are out; TV channels are sent parasites so that each night searching for a different satellite takes place to find channels (while I have written this, VOA has just been lost; we were able to find it last night after one week). Most of the journalists who are reporting are not here and seem to not be speaking to people who are experiencing these events (as I write this the BBC correspondant has been ordered to leave the country). The TV “experts” on the bbc, cnn and al jazeera are for the most part, completely out of touch, with the facts: this is way beyond ahmadi, the supreme leader and rafsanjani. Many of the Western press are just as out of touch: I recommend the Guardian from the UK if you must read something. This is about the IR and the people at this point.

I can still go to select areas of this vast city, but go in disguise. You may see the stormtroopers on bikes et al, but it is always the plains clothes basij who are to be feared – they are free to shoot to kill, free to beat to pulps with no reprisal from government. They are stationed on most street corners, even tens of kms away from the main rally avenue. This is a very serious issue and what amazes Iranians the most is that the UN is completely silent on this issue, with Western governments still speaking too diplomatically, although thankfully Merkel has come out the boldest as of now. At this point, the people who are going out – who are children, young adults and people in their 60s and 70s – are leaderless. It does not matter what Mousavi does at this point – it goes well beyond him and has since Friday. Although thousands and thousands went out yesterday, there is a very high percentage that one will be killed or gravely injured, it does not matter. These people are willing to die for the cause. I have never experienced such a movement in my life, beginning well before the election, to last week’s rallies, to Friday’s speech advocating for destruction, to yesterday and today. There simply are too few people from my country and too few people who look like myself for me to write more without causing potential harm, arrest and death so with this I end this letter. Rest assured that the rallies will continue until the change that they demand happens. There are too many millions to be killed for it not to stop.

Please post to NYPL, IMA, Facebook, listserves, forward, etc. – please do not include my name until I’ve returned, which should be on Saturday, unless the authorities ban air travel, which is a strong possibility: during the prior revolution, it was closed down for three years. All my other contacts are in my other email app hence this can only be sent to a select few people.



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Encounter Point

Last night, I met with Julia Bacha, Co-Director and Writer/Editor of Encounter Point, to help proofread the French subtitles for the film’s upcoming DVD release.

Encounter Point is an 85-minute feature documentary film that follows a former Israeli settler, a Palestinian ex-prisoner, a bereaved Israeli mother and a wounded Palestinian bereaved brother who risk their lives and public standing to promote a nonviolent end to the conflict. Their journeys lead them to the unlikeliest places to confront hatred within their communities. The film explores what drives them and thousands of other like-minded civilians to overcome anger and grief to work for grassroots solutions. It is a film about the everyday leaders in our midst.

The film successfully takes us into the complicated array of emotions behind decades of conflict and occupation, as well the great potential for peace through everyday citizens engaging in dialog and non-violence, following in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Gandhi. I’m glad I could help with the proofreading to help bring the message to a wider audience. Learn more at Definitely worth checking out.

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Clash of Civilizations nominated for Progressive Source Awards


Avaaz’s ‘Stop the Clash of Civilizations’ video has been nominated for the Best Awareness Raising Video category of the Progressive Source Awards. Anybody with an email address can vote for us online, so check out the other entries and vote for us here.

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Avaaz Video Featured on YouTube Front Page This Week


I was part of the creative team of the Clash video, and worked on the localization/subtitling of the non-English versions. After our video was featured on YouTube earlier this week, the number of view counts has shot up dramatically. The video is stirring up quite a buzz online!


This was shot using my MacBook’s built-in webcam at’s New York office.

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Oppose the theft of Iraqi oil

The Iraqi Parliament will soon vote on a US-backed law that could hand too much oil revenue and control to foreign corporations.

A Sunni, Shia and Kurd Parliamentarian are planning to stand together and present this petition to the Iraqi Parliament. They want us to help them show that the world supports Iraq’s right to its own oil and its own future.
Make your voice heard. Take action now

Learn more:
Copy of Oil Law in English

Full Letter from President of Hassan Jum’a Awwad, Head of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions

Christian Science Monitor Article

Price of Oil resource page

Article and Audio/Video from Democracy Now!

Short animation summarizing what is wrong with the Iraqi Oil Law