Young Iranians Express Hope, Fear in Aftermath of Elections

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As Iran has been gripped by protest, violence and allegations of vote fraud in the wake of a contentious national elections, people around the world are watching — but perhaps none more closely than the young Iranians who helped push voter turnout to record levels.

Some of those young Iranians, in interviews with FOXNews.com, spoke openly about their hopes and fears in the wake of the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s contested victory over reformist challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi.

“My fellow (Iranian) classmates in Turkey were crying when they found out the news,” said Amir Arman, who is a 33-year-old doctoral candidate studying social psychology in Turkey.

He said he wanted Mousavi to win badly.

“Mousavi is not necessarily the best candidate. But he is the least-worst of all four candidates,” Arman said, adding that one of his reasons for backing Mousavi was his fear that the world’s oil reserves are running out. “If Mousavi comes to the stage, he will bring nuclear power to the scene.”

Arman also is concerned about the lack of civil freedoms in Iran and poor management of the government.

Other Iranians gave different reasons for voting for Mousavi.

“If there was a 1 percent, just a 1 percent chance that I could keep Ahmadinejad’s vote from coming up, that’s the chance I took,” said a 27-year-old woman who asked to be indentified only by her first name, Samereh, for fear of retribution.

Samereh, who moved to Shomal from Tehran for work a few months ago, compared the Iranian government to the Taliban. She said people are fed up and willing to die for their country.

Mid-conversation, the Yahoo chat function on her computer started faltering. Minutes later, her connection was lost.

“The government is taking satellites down from peoples’ homes,” she said. “They’re everywhere.”

Masoud, a 27-year-old computer engineer who is fluent in both English and Farsi, also spoke on condition that his last name not be revealed.

He currently is unemployed, which is common among today’s young people in Iran, a sign of less-than-hopeful economic times. Masoud blames Ahmadinejad for this and said that while Ahmadinejad is in office Iran’s “freedom, economic situation and our relation with other countries are getting worse.”

Samereh and Masoud both expressed frustration with Ahmadinejad’s “superstitious” mentality and how he used warnings of foreign threats as a tool to boost himself to the presidency.

“A lot of people voted for him because … they were afraid of Ahmadinejad’s curse,” Samereh said. “They play with peoples’ senses.”

All three Iranians said they are tired of the Islamic republic’s current regime, in particular its mismanagement of the government and the economy.

But in an unprecedented move, Iran’s 12-member Guardian Council announced it will review ballots in a partial recount after what is believed to be the largest voter turnout in Iranian history.

Not all Iranians are optimistic that the outcome will be fair.

“In these times, you can’t trust anyone,” Samereh said.

Click here to read Adelle’s article on FOX News.com

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Oinked to Death? A Sattire

porky_pig_350Everyone panic! But don’t forget to remain calm.

Could the swine flu be the pandemic that was predicted to wipe out the human race?

Could we be witnessing the beginning of the end as we know it? (The year 2012 — said to be the apocalyptic end of the world according to the Mayan calendar — is only 2.5 years away. So maybe the swine flu is the disaster that will start it all?)

Or could we possibly, maybe, perhaps, really just be making much ado about…nothing too major?

For starters, here are some swine-a-licious flu facts and stats:

  • According to a World Health Organization (WHO) scientist, 30-40% of the population will become ill in the next six months if the swine flu turns into a pandemic.
  • Both the swine flu found in Mexico and the 1918 Spanish Flu virus are of the H1N1 subtype — the most common cause of influenza in humans. And both viruses appear to have originated in animals — hence the reference to ‘swine’. Get it?.
  • Swine flu CANNOT be spread through consumption of pork products. But a sneeze is all you need to contract it.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an estimated 36,000 people in America die from the REGULAR FLU alone each year.
  • So far there have been 155 cases of individuals infected with the swine flu in the U.S. and one death — a 23-month-old baby boy. (The very young and elderly are more prone to getting the flu since their immune systems are usually not very strong).
    • # of people confirmed sickened worldwide (according to the CDC, WHO and gov’t officials) — Mexico:343 / Canada: 51 / Spain: 13 /Britain: 10 / Germany: 4 / New Zealand: 4 / Israel: 2/ France: 2 / Switzerland: 1 / Austria: 1 / China: 1 / Denmark: 1 / Netherlands: 1
    • # of deaths worldwide: Mexico: 15 / U.S.: 1

So what are our government officials saying?

Well, when asked by Matt Lauer — co-host of MSNBC’s “Today” show — what advice he’d give his family members if they plan on traveling any time in the near future, Vice President Joe Biden basically said “JUST DON’T DO IT!” He also advised against traveling in “confined spaces” like airplanes or subways where a cough or a sneeze by a person infected with swine flu could spread the illness.

Shortly after, we learned that a member of Obama’s Energy Department has been showing swine flu-like symptoms just days after returning from Mexico. (EVERYONE SHUT DOWN THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER!!!!!). And just in case you’re wondering — don’t worry — he hasn’t been withing 6 feet of President Obama.

One word: Q-U-A-R-A-N-T-I-N-E

Everyone relax.

 In a worst-case scenario — I repeat WORST-CASE SCENARIO –, we can expect to see approximately 1,700 U.S. cases of the swine flu over the next month. SO let’s just say this happens until the end of the year…that leaves us with about 11,900 people infected over the next 7 months. That’s STILL less than the 36,000 people who die each year of the regular flu. Plus, with all the dynamic advancements we’ve had in biotechnology — and word of a new vaccine coming out next month to combat the various new versions of the swine flu — most of those, hypothetically infected, people will not even die. This is nothing like what happened in 1918 or 1968. So it’s probably safe to say, you’re going to be OK. CLICK HERE

Follow these tips:

  • Wash your hands
  • cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. If someone near you DOES happen to cough or sneeze…RUN AWAY
  • Get on your doctor’s good side (I jest)
  • Be grateful you live in the 21st century
  • And most of all…stay calm =)

Tainted Dialogue?

open_hand_3202Could we be witnessing an unclenching of fists in the Mideast?

In his speech on Wednesday, April 15, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated his intention to pave the path for a new relationship with the West. His offer of a fresh start for dialogue with the United States was apparent throughout his delivery: “The Iranian nation is a generous nation. It may forget the past and start a new era.”

This came just hours after the Obama administration expressed its interest to get Iran back on the negotiating table. A senior official for the Obama administration pointed out this would involve allowing Iran to continue enriching uranium at its current level; a stark departure from the former Bush administration’s long-standing demand that Iran halt uranium enrichment as a condition for any talks to take place between the two adversaries. So it appears Obama’s talk of no preconditions stands.

But are Ahmadinejad’s statements really a step forward for U.S-Iran relations? Or do ACTIONS speak louder than words?

His words at the United Nations anti-racism conference in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday seemed all but encouraging. Yom HaShoah (יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה) is Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day — a day when the world recalls the heinous massacring of millions of Jews and other minorities throughout European concentration camps. Yet Ahmadinejad chose to use his time on the platform at yesterday’s conference to condemn Israel — a staunch U.S. ally –, citing the country as having the most cruel and racist regime”.

Not only was he publicly humiliated when a man dressed in a rainbow coloured clown wig chucked his red clown nose at Ahmadinejad after he insulted Israel, but a good number of European nation states got up and walked out mid-speech.

This criticism of Israel comes from the same man who denounced gays in his September 2007 appearance at Columbia University — “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country” — and whose country’s devolving government has killed innocent civilians for practicing Christianity and other ‘minority’ religions; this is not to mention the countless transgressions against humanity Iran’s backwards Islamic regime has committed.

  • Why doesn’t Iran have gays? Maybe because they are either in hiding or are executed (such was the fate of Mahmoud Asgari, 14, and Ayaz Marhoni,16).
  • Why does Iran shed the blood of individuals whose religious beliefs differ from those outlined in Islam? Perhaps it has something to do with the possibility that the extreme Islamists running Iran truly believe they are the supreme race after which Hitler fashioned his systematic slaughter of ‘lesser beings’. Superiority complex anyone?

So has recent dialogue from the Iranian president really been a show of efforts toward the advancement of U.S.-Iran relations? Or is this just a sneaky guise with which Ahmadinejad is attempting to better his own public image as he runs for a second term in office? After all, his poll numbers have been a long time slipping…

Hello World!

My name is Adelle Nazarian. And my goal here is to expose you to the multiplicity of the world while raising key issues surrounding our global society — both culturally and politically.

As we embark upon this journey of discovery, I look forward not only to informing you, but also — and even more importantly — I look forward to learning from you.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the opinions expressed on this blog are strictly held by the author.