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Posts Tagged ‘ DNC Convention ’

  • 5 September 2008
  • Posted By Emily Blout
  • 1 Comments
  • Diplomacy, Election 2008, Presidential 2008 Elections, US-Iran War

Dems are from Mars, Republicans are from Venus

Check out the Iran section in the Democratic and Republican party platforms. They couldn’t be more dissimilar, yet so much the same.

Kerry to be the next Biden?

You probably noticed that Massachusetts Senator John Kerry had a pretty public role at the convention. This is not only because he was the democratic presidential nominee last time around, it’s also because he’s positioned to be the dem’s next foreign policy authority in Congress.

  • 28 August 2008
  • Posted By Sara Shokravi
  • 1 Comments
  • Presidential 2008 Elections, Uncategorized

The Most Popular Kid…or a Has Been?

The United States is in horrible shape and is in dire need of some serious leadership.  Whoever the next president is, they would have to crawl out of a hole to ground level before reaching the sky.  At least that was the message to the 500 diplomats from 100 countries and 760 students from 12 high schools from around Colorado, which surrounded me.  We were gathered to hear Madeleine Albright and other prominent individuals speak on Enhancing America’s Reputation in the World.

The Rocky Mountain Roundtable was moderated by Tom Brokaw where the panelist painted a desperate picture of America’s foreign policy practices and its current state in the international forum.  According to pollster Geoff Garin even American’s have lost faith in US foreign policy and no longer agree that terrorism and war should be at the top of the agenda.  Instead they believe that the next president needs to focus on the economy and jobs.

  • 28 August 2008
  • Posted By Emily Blout
  • 1 Comments
  • Election 2008, Presidential 2008 Elections

Obama speech not open to everyone

Its a little past noon, and I’m on my way to Invesco Stadium to get in line to see Obama’s speech tonight. Contrary to what the candidate proclaimed during his surprise appearance at the convention on Wednesday, the event is only quasi-open to the public. While 75,000 tickets have been made available, I’ve talked to die hard supporters and volunteers from out of state who have not been able to secure a ticket to get in.

When Obama declared that everyone could come to see him speak, I was sitting with about thirty supporters congregated around the televison at a hotel near the convention center. They all booed and shook their heads. It was the first time, and likely the last, I’ve seen such as response since I’ve been here.

Do you know your neighbor?

Last night, NIAC held an informal meet and greet where members of the community were welcomed to come by to meet NIAC staff and ask questions and discuss any issues on their mind.  Between the hours of 7-9 pm, Iranian-American Denver residents dropped in at their own convenience to say hello and talk politics.

During the meeting I was amazed to find out that there are approximately 4,000 to 10,000 Iranians in Colorado!  The large difference in the numbers is mainly due to a lack of accurate data since the last census was taken.  The 2000 U.S. Census places the overall Iranian number far lower than what is commonly predicted and Iranians are constantly growing in numbers. Hence, speculation often tends to range from the very low to the very high.

My amazement at the discovery of the numbers in Colorado came at the fact that we don’t know we exist!  We all know about Tehrangeles and New York and some other key locations Iranian Americans have chosen to migrate to, but we’re not too sure about our own neighbors.

Regardless, I am impressed by the large numbers and the apparent vibrant community here.  The individuals that we had an opportunity to meet with are well informed and very much aware of the political environment.  All in all, our informal event was well received and well attended.  Thanks to all of those who chose to take an hour or two of their evening to join us for an informal chit chat session!

To be or not to be: what is your identity?

Soldiers crowding the streets, strapped with imaginary guns, make their way through the city as they reenact combat as if they are on the streets of Baghdad.  Military veterans from Iraq are only few of the many groups in Denver, here to make a statement.  Everybody here has a message, whether in suits and in formal panels, or in dreadlocks and on the streets.  But it is obvious what the big issues are: everything!  Oil dependency, the economy, poverty, environment, race/gender/ethnicity/religious issues, women’s issues, healthcare, foreign policy, to name a few and all of them with their own long list of subcategories.

Minority groups represent at the Dem Convention

There are about 200 outside events going on in the four days of the Denver National Democratic Convention. (On Monday alone, there were no less than 84).

New congressional lobbying rules require that these events- which are organized by corporations, unions, political caucuses and other interest groups- don’t honor just one individual candidate or elected official in particular, but rather a larger group or theme. Finger food abounds, as the rules also prevent organizations from giving full meals to Congress or their staff for free.

  • 26 August 2008
  • Posted By Sara Shokravi
  • 2 Comments
  • Election 2008

Yallah, Vote!

“I am Persian, like the cat, meow!”  And the crowd already rolling with laughter breaks out in an even louder burst of hilarity.  Just a few hours before, Michelle Obama delivered an inspirational speech formally kicking off the Democratic National Convention, speaking of “belief in America’s promise, [and] commitment to our children’s future.”  A harder act to follow, was that of an emotional Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), predicting a “new wave of change.”

Despite the challenge, Maz Jobrani and fellow comedians, Dean Obeidallah, Ahmad Ahmad, and Maysoon Zayid, did a stand up job in bringing in the crowd to two back to back shows and having them laughing their socks off at the Kabob Comedy show.  Jokes aside, all four comedians spoke passionately about the importance of voting and being an active Iranian/Arab/Muslim/female American (or any combination of) in today’s political climate.  Each having faced their own challenges, from the extreme of being detained post September 11 to racial slurs, they saw hope and change with the 2008 presidential election.

NIAC covers the Democratic and Republican conventions for the Iranian-American community!

NIAC Legislative Director Emily Blout and West Coast Director Sara Shokravi will cover the Democratic National Convention in Denver for the Iranian-American community. From Denver, they will report on the week’s events and meet with NIAC members, local and national organizations and elected officials.

Throughout the proceedings, NIAC will present an Iranian-American perspective through daily reporting, right here on NIAC’s blog, NIACinSight.

Sara and Emily will also host an informal get-together for local members and the general public in Denver on Tuesday, August 26.  Come say hello to NIAC staff and learn more about the organization at  Café Europa at 76 S. Pennsylvania Street between 7 and 9pm.

Director of Community Relations Babak Talebi and Assistant Legislative Director Patrick Disney will attend the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota from September 1 through September 4.

If you are attending either convention and are interested in meeting with NIAC staff or contributing by writing on our blog, please contact Hormoz Rashidi at hrashidi@niacouncil.org.

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 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.

Sincerely,

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