Stand up and be counted

Dec 7, 20090 comments

An Iranian-American friend of mine is helping us out in Amsterdam. Saturday, he found himself in the camera’s path as dozens of photographers made pictures at an event we were attending in Delft. He realized that he was not ready to be recognized and had not properly thought out the ramifications of his new volunteer work. Mohsen Namjoo tells us that he does not consider his work political. “Unfortunately, we may think that we are not political, but politics has come after us,” he says. “Every day we witness in the news and other accounts that the situation in Iran is getting worse and worse.” Honestly, I love Iran. I spent almost four of the most frustrating, hair tearing years of my life there and still managed to have fallen head over heels in love with the country. Call me crazy, I deserve it. So when I say that it is time to take a stand and make your voice heard, I am not saying it with a light heart. I know what Iranians living abroad are risking. I know that they fear that they will not be able to travel to Iran without risk. I know that many are cynical. After all, there have been so many dashed hopes and so many attempts at reform. Iran’s politics have been meddled with and manipulated with disastrous effects.   Still, if you are unwilling to stand up against the arrests, the abuses, and the oppression of the people you left behind, who will? There are so many brave people in Iran. Your friends. Your family. People you’ve never met. What they risk is everything. If you remain unconvinced that your presence is important, enlist a non-Iranian friend to participate in protests and events for you. Why not? United4Iran needs to broaden the base of support for the civil rights movement in Iran and every little bit helps. In Amsterdam? Don’t forget to buy tickets for Saturday’s United4Iran event at Studio /K. 020 692 0422.