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Posts Tagged ‘ Time Magazine ’

  • 17 December 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 11 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Where are their votes this TIME?

Credit Corbis

It is widely believed that millions of Iranian voters had their votes stolen during June’s Presidential election. Now, once again, the Iranian people had their votes taken away when Time Magazine awarded Ben Bernanke the honor of Person of the Year.

For those of you who, like me, were upset that Time didn’t choose the Iranian protesters as their person of the year, there is some consolation knowing that the rest of the world did.

In fact, more than 536,000 people recognized their courage and voted for the Iranian protesters outnumbered the 2nd and 3rd runners up combined. Despite that, it was disheartening to see them eliminated from Time’s shortlist which appeared on Tuesday, a day before announcing their final choice of Ben Bernanke. (See the full results here).

But, why even conduct a poll, or election for that matter, if the votes aren’t going to be counted?

Seeing as the title is Person of the year, perhaps Time wanted to walk away from awarding the prize to another group. If you remember in 2006, Time received a lot of criticisms for choosing “YOU” as person of the year. So why even include the “Chinese worker” on their shortlist, especially if they weren’t in the initial poll? (See the short list here)

If Time did not want to choose another group, then why not choose Neda, who has come to symbolize the struggle for democracy in Iran? It seems like she fit their description of a person who, “most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year.” Apparently they rarely give awards to people who are dead (Einstein was the only one, but he was Person of the Century). Though if you ask anyone who follows the plight of the Iranian people, Neda is far from dead—her memory carries on as she continues to move thousands in Iran to hit the streets and inspire countless artists around the world. Who else has done all of this without uttering a word?

The Iranian government wants more than anything for people to forget Neda, and the other millions of protesters—they’ve gone so far as to call her murder staged and refused to let people visit her unmarked grace. In a way, Time has done part of their Iranian government’s job for them.

Perhaps Time didn’t realize the impact that this award could have had for the Iranian people. While I’m sure Bernanke is happy about his award and perhaps it will put pressure on him to really fix the economy this time the impact of the award for the Iranian people would have been much more tangible. Honoring them would have shown Iran that the world is still watching; as a result, putting pressure on the government to reform its behavior. The Iranian people want to be part of the international community, but how can they, especially if we fail to recognize them?

Time is not solely to blame; in fact, this Person of the Year episode is symptomatic of most media—in the words of one disappointed protester “typical short memory Americans.”

The Iranian people have shown us that the Green movement is not just a trend. They’ve shown their ingenuity as they’ve turned insults into rallying points, (see the campaign to free Majid Tavakoli), money into organizing flyers and they continue to break Iranian government’s internet filters  to keep us informed of their activities. Won’t we at least do them the honor by paying attention longer than a few weeks?

  • 1 December 2009
  • Posted By Jamal Abdi
  • 2 Comments
  • Human Rights in Iran

Iran Protesters #1 in Time Person of the Year Poll

TIME is polling its readers to find out who should be the 2009 Person of the Year and guess what–currently leading as the number one candidate are the Iran Protesters.

This is great news and a reminder to the world that the Iranian people continue their struggle for democracy, even when the headlines focus elsewhere.  Many of you have joined the campaign to encourage the editors of TIME to make Neda Solton, who has come to personify the Iranian people’s battle, Person of the Year.  Today’s poll shows that these efforts are paying off.

There are a total of 10 candidates, including Barack Obama (who won in 2008 and is the current runner up), Steve Jobs (ranked third) and the Somali Pirates (currently ranked last).

Head over to Time.com to view the candiates, see the current results, and cast your vote.

  • 25 November 2009
  • Posted By David Elliott
  • 8 Comments
  • 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.

The Green Movement Keeps Neda’s Memory Alive

The Green Movement and its supporters are determined to keep Neda Agha-Soltan’s memory alive as a symbol of the ongoing struggle against the current Iranian government.

A Facebook page, “Neda Agha-Soltan for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year” has gained 454 members so far and encourages viewers to write Time Magazine at letters@time.com to build support for Neda to be recognized for her sacrificing her life while demonstrating against the government, and for the wider movement she has come to represent. Further support for Neda as Time’s person of the year has been  expressed by readers of Iranian.com.

In his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize, U.S. President Barack Obama made reference to Neda in offering to share his prize with others taking up causes for peace around the world :

…this award must be shared with everyone who strives for justice and dignity–for the young woman who marches silently in the streets on behalf of her right to be heard even in the face of beatings and bullets…”

The Washington Post Editorial Board even weighed in, declaring Neda their preference for the Peace Prize.

Additionally, the Queen’s College at Oxford University in Britain have decided to establish a graduate scholarship in Neda’s honor–the “Neda Agha-Soltan Graduate Scholarship” for philosophy students of Iranian descent. The scholarship will promote academic freedom for Iranians who have faced censorship and persecution by an oppressive government.

Tonight, PBS will air A Death in Tehran at 9 pm ET in which “frontline investigates the controversial Iranian election and the death of one young protester seen around the world,” detailing the extent of the Iranian government’s violent post-election crackdown and the persistence of its opposition. Such recognition for the young woman whose life was taken violently before the eyes of the world help to keep Neda Agha-Soltan from “being just another casualty of oppression.”

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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