At this point, I am sure anyone reading this blog entry knows about the situation going on in Iran, or at least has read/seen/heard some bits and pieces. The truth is, we don’t know anything, or we wouldn’t know anything if it wasn’t for social media utilities like Flickr, Twitter and Facebook. Through these mediums, Mir-Hossein Mousavi presumably won an election.
Following in the footsteps of Barak Obama, Mousavi rallied millions of Iranians to his reformation platform, a platform of change. Each of these presidential candidates used Flickr, Twitter and Facebook and drew millions of viewers, followers and fans.
We all know the results of the election in Iran. With about 125% of the populations votes reported, yes, 125%, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has won with a sweeping 66% of the vote.
With that, the people of Iran decided to stand up for themselves and after days of peaceful, mostly silent, protests, it has become violent.
The Iranian government closed off all cellphone service, muted international media outlets and shut down internet service providers. But in this world we live in now, that simply isn’t enough to stop a population, much of which are young, intelligent and passionate about their lives.
Workarounds were discovered, people created proxy servers for Iranians to access and IP addresses were quickly distributed through Facebook and Twitter. Videos began streaming through YouTube from cellphones, TwitPic and Flickr streams overflowed with images of peaceful protests, followed by the blood stained faces of people. Civilians, from children to grandparents; bloodied, beaten but not defeated.
Here’s a post from Soodeh Nezamabadi’s Facebook. Soodeh Nezamabadi, by the way, is a recent graduate of Berkeley University in California. It isn’t unreasonable to think that someone reading this blog entry might have met Soodeh on campus or in the bay area…
This Facebook note is the reason I made this post. The strength and spirit of this note overwhelmed me.
Can you imagine yourself, in this situation, thinking this way? Understanding how unimportant your individual life was for the sake of an entire nation, world? The pictures on Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s Flickr stream (click here to see) provide a gruesome telling of the situation in Iran. His last Twitter message, sent over twelve hours ago…
I don’t know what else to say, or what else I could say. There certainly must be something we can do here in America and around the world to help these devalued citizens. If all I can do is blog about it, change my Twitter avatar green… then so be it. I can’t simple stand idle while I read, see and hear of the things going on there.
In two months my parents are moving to Saudi Arabia. What if something like this happens there? It isn’t so unlikely is it? Some how this hits close to home for all of us. What will you do, what can we do?
At the very least, we can’t forget. Take a look at your life and appreciate, again for the first time, the world we share; who knows when it might be taken away from us.