• 25 November 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • Human Rights in Iran, Iranian American activism

Make Neda Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

NedaIn 1951, Iran’s first democratically elected leader, Mohammad Mossadegh, was recognized by Time Magazine and the world. He led his life based on the ideals of democracy and Iran’s sovereignty. Now, another Iranian who gave her life striving for freedom and justice needs to be recognized.

Her name is Neda.

Time Magazine awards the title to the person who “most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year.” Neda moved us to tears, gave us hope and moved millions to take action – all without uttering a word.

Her impact is undeniable. She has come to symbolize the struggle for democracy in Iran.

The campaign to nominate Neda for Time’s Person of the year began by ordinary people in Iran. NIAC wants to amplify their voice and enable you to do the same.

The Iranian government has done their best to quell her impact – calling her murder staged and refusing to let people visit her unmarked grace. Her life was ended by a single bullet, but you can make her live forever through a single email.

Tell Time Magazine’s Managing Editor, Richard Stengel to recognize Neda’s impact by making her the Time Magazine’s 2009 Person of the Year.

Posted By David Elliott

David Elliott is the Assistant Policy Director at the National Iranian American Council.

    8 Responses to “Make Neda Time Magazine’s Person of the Year”

  1. Pirouz says:

    Remember in 2006 when Time Magazine picked President Ahmadinejad but didn’t have the guts to go through with it, so they used a corny “you” instead?

    The “award” lost what credibility it might have had after that.

  2. Iranian-American says:

    You seem to be trying hard to convince yourself that the Time magazine person of the year is not important. Perhaps it is not, but the notion that Time magazine “lost credibility” for not making Ahmadinejad person of the year in 2006, is literally laughable. No one remembers/cares that in 2006 Time Magazine picked Ahmadinejad and didn’t go through with it. Furthermore, most people that remember would probably agree with the decision. Your claim seems to suggest a level of desperation in your efforts to discredit Time magazine even to yourself.

  3. Iranian-American says:

    Furthermore, it is not an “award”. TIME’s Person of the Year is the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or for ill. Ahmadinejad would almost certainly fit under the “for ill” category. If it was an award, then I guarantee you Ahmadinejad would never have even been considered.

  4. Alireza says:

    Pirouz, in place of Ahmadinejad, Time should have considered the crane, the firing squad or the noose as Person of the Year. These are various methods that the IRI has used to execute over 15,000 Iranians since coming to power in 1979.

  5. noroja holso says:

    I woud like neda will be person of the year 2009

  6. rezvan says:

    why not mohsin rouhul amin? His death and abuse at kahrizak actually epitomises better the cruelty inflicted? Neda was not a political activist and happened to be an innocent bystander and it is unclear who actually killed her or better still the children of Gaza many of who have been victims of Israeli phosphorus bombs during its offensive earlier this year.

  7. mohamad says:

    Ahmaddi-nejad won another title in 2006: Olagh of the year!

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Sign the Petition


7,350 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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