Category Archives: Resistance to Change

Change for democracy has it’s own price; Human suffering could be prevented.

Dogma Our worst Enemy

Do you have you one way of knowing, thinking, and believing that you are absolute sure, being the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Do you consider yourself being “the knower” or ‘the seeker”?

Do you believe that you know everything and you do not need to learn more? Then maybe dogma is your enemy too!

What is dogma? What is bias?

Dogma is nothing but a psychologically proven distorted belief pertinent to rigidity, biases, and black and white thinking.

How many of us believe in something and we would make any sacrifice to proof ourselves being right? How many of us Iranians remember those years we argued long nights about who would be the absolute “liberator” of our home country?

Who remembers those who would blame, label, spread hatred, and create conflict in order to present the absolute truth. Not only we Iranians, but also the entire world have those people who come across as dogmatic and biased just because they have no tolerance for others way of being. Surely, we Iranian have suffered physically, psychologically, spiritually, and mentally due to the germ of dogma and extremism that has moved into the most invisible layers of who we are today.

How many people do we know that suffered deeply for the sake of one or another ideology they choose?

There are no simple answers to these questions. Dogma is an embodied discourse in many ways of looking at life. How come we decide to stay at one side of a line and not consider many ways of life circumstances, and various style of life people have?

We have to reorganize out thoughts, values, and opinions if we like to clean up our bodies from this killing germ. We have to detoxify, cleanse, and purify ourselves from this killing poison that is called dogma. The first step is to say: I do not know what I thought I knew and I will learn from now on. Seek help if you are contaminated already. Help and hope is around the corner, just open your eyes and be willing to change.

Note: This article was originally written and published in EzineArticles September 26th, 2010 by this autor.

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Change is a Process Not a Word


The story of how our Iranian life changed forever back in 1979 is an old story. For many of us time has halted. Huge number of older Iranian had to leave a life behind back in 1980 and they have continued this almost one-way trip since then. Now passing the third decades of our sad story, we need a new fresh set of ideas. We need to be able to leave the past and live for today.

We as Iranian, as individuals and families with various cultural groups, we have been unfortunate to experience this huge amount of events all at once. We are dealing with oppression, sexism, human right issues, war treats, torture and jail if we speak up, suppression, subjugation, and hatred. Those of us who have sought freedom out of Iran, we have never really been able to set our minds free. We suffer everyday by the news about how life has become complicated more than ever. Our life outside Iran is being impacted by the hardships of life back home. Who does not talk about the expensive life back home, the story of financial crisis showing by the price of food, and low wages that are not matching with the real costs of life?

We have suffered just by the knowledge of how a system of anti-happiness in Iran never gives up. This is a well known name for the unfortunate situation we are forced to, an anti-happiness group of people who are governing our home country who are trying badly to make us addicted to sadness, to depression, and to madness.

Our Iranian culture is ailing because some anti-life people in Iran believe they will be able to make our average Iranians against the culturally affiliated concept of happiness.

Our Iranian culture has always been associated with love for laughter, joy, parties, dance, music, songs, picnics, cultural celebrations, outdoor activities, sport, and happiness. Our men and women are now separated; they are living in various worlds, one way or another. Our children are confused, in homes they have a more secular life than outside, and they have to pretend things are all right in order to survive, while we work hard to adjust ourselves to various cultures.

Every one of us knows about the lack of congruency in our lives. We are in pain, we shall admit that. Our Iranian culture is in pain and it has never been more in need of a real cure than today. Our younger generations today are seeking answers and they are tired of this antagonistic way of handling our home country.

This old story of pain is presented today by our young rappers back home who create their own rap-music in hidden place and still they manage to voice their minds with help of the Internet. If you listen to these young rappers, they ask for being left alone, away from all the lunch buffets with religion as main dish.

We cannot let go of what is going on because we are all responsible; yet, no one can envision any change. Not at least in the picture of another glamorous revolution or another senseless war. Our physical, mental, spiritual, and psychological health is in big jeopardy. We need change and we do not know how to create change. Change is a process that has to be contextualized. We are already in this process, we have to only admit it and learn from it.

Change has to come from within and each one of us has to change if we wish anything changed at all. Change comes when each one of us can humbly communicate about our commonalities and differences. We need to shift our thoughts toward health, constructive critique, healthy discussion, and I guess this depends on how much we care for Iran, for our culture, and for us.

Note: This article was originally published in EzineArticles July 25th, 2008 by this author.

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Election in Iran – Deception and Challenge For Our Iranian Mental Health


We Iranians are pushed into a seriously depressing and anxiety provoking situation.  Past couple of weeks of May 2009, millions of our people cheered for a seemingly peaceful and secular election. We managed to argue for change in order to ask for an active participation in this election of presidency in Iran.

On June 12, 2009, Thousands of us who had let go of practicing our rights to vote, broke the cycle of indifference and went to the polling stations every where they lived.  People voted for reform instead of stagnation, life instead of death, and hope instead of violation of human rights in Iran.  In this process people invested their emotional, physical, and spiritual health into working for change of a president who seems to be willing to put the whole world into fire just to boost his insecure yet self-righteous mind.  Young people in Iran who had before lost hope for a human, trust able, and dignified life worked hard to get their friends and families to vote for reform.

Level of excitement, joy, happiness, fellowship, and recognition of democracy made these peaceful people go out, stay in lines, and vote for the candidate they believed would be able to move Iran beyond it’s capacity for change. Soon however, all these emotional investment showed to turned into anger, disbelief, shock, loss, fear, hopelessness, and anxiety.

Those in the Iranian government who are clearly against change and happiness for Iran managed to find ways in which they could switch all the ballots for a  president who had shown his anti-social personality in the past four years.  Lies and deception became to impact our individuals health and wholeness.

Millions of votes became useless and worthless while this belligerent regime of Iran used the old ways of silencing people.  All the ways of communicating with the outside world was stopped and a coup took place. This way of fighting against people’s will and votes has now caused a national grieving for this dark retrogression. Our Iranian mental health is once more time challenged to the maximum and in an intricate path.  At this point the level of sadness and frustration among many of us Iranians are overwhelming.  Now we may remain positive and think of either a miracle or a peaceful solution for justice.  Is that possible?

August 18, 2009
www.middlepeace.com

Original Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Election-in-Iran—Deception-and-Challenge-For-Our-Iranian-Mental-Health&id=2473324

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Democracy – Integral Part of Our Mental Health

Our basic human rights are defined as the right to live, to grow, and to develop. Besides food and shelter we have the right to feel safe and secure. Our psychological health is the main part of our basic rights as a human beings.

However this definition does not match our reality, our Iranian reality.

We Iranians live our lives with an overwhelming emotional suffering that has surrounded us one way or another.  We are heartbroken now more than ever.

The chaos, brutality, dehumanization and repression in Iran in current times and the past thirty years have left us with a feeling of constant pain, anxiety, fear, and stress.

From one day to another we are not sure what else can be happening.

In our minds we cannot picture more brutality, yet we know what the repressive regime of Iran is capable of doing more. We know it with our flesh and blood.

The ongoing suppression and crack down of every voice, the demonstrated hatred towards Iranian nation, and name calling of our people are only some of those weapons the oppressive hardliners in Iran’s government keep using.

Before the stolen election of our people, millions of us were hoping that we could leave the past behind and move forward under the current accepted laws.

Yet we were wrong.  We had not prepared for what an election coup would take us too.

Millions of us Iranians feel our votes, our voices; our choices are stolen from us.

This was the biggest disrespect that has inflicted a great deal of pain and anger.

The horror scenes that we watch on our T.V. screens are only one fragment of the horrible situation our people are enduring.

We watch and we feel our people’s pain. We take their pain into our hearts while we feel we are powerless to help them.

The flashbacks of the thirty years of physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental damages on our nation are too many to bear with, particularly in this time of history.

Our mental health, our family peace, our social life, and our whole well-being are at risk.  A national grief and sadness are what we are experiencing right now in the month of June 2009.  Never before despite all viciousness that the Islamic regime of Iran has always used, have we felt this level of pain.

We are part of the whole world that deplores the brutality in Iran, yet we fear worse.  Our families, our dignity, our integrity, and our national identity are under attack by those who managed this election coup.

We suppress our feelings to be able to protest, yet our voices are being shut down. All means of communication with our home country is cut off and we witness human suffering imposed upon us, whether we live outside Iran and for sure inside Iran.

Our grief and sorrow is beyond imagination.

The denials of basic human rights in Iran are now compounded by the physical violence, torture, and organized crimes towards our people.  We Iranians are sufferings on a national level, something that makes us more united.

While democracy opens the door to creation, participation, and belonging, dictatorship increases our emotional pain leading to mental health problems.

We Iranians have for thirty years fought to keep our minds intact by getting connected to the world.

Still, the hardliners of the government of our home country mobilizes every means to alienate us from ourselves and from others.

The power of resistance, dreams, solidarity, and hope for a peaceful life however are what we have got after all.

Democracy and peace are integral part of health; on all levels.

August 18, 2009
www.middlepeace.com
Initially, this article was written for and published in EzineArticles June 27,2009 : http://ezinearticles.com/?Democracy—Integral-Part-of-Our-Mental-Health&id=2534930

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Mourning ceremony in Iran

For a long time our Iranian culture has respected certain customs when it comes to mourning.  Day 3 and day 7, and day 40 are those important days when family and friends get together to pay respect to the deceased one.  These days are a manifestation for dignity, care, love, greeting, value, and healing.   The level of anxiety over losing a loved one’s often is helped when a community is offering its support to the deceased family.
When a trauma hits, our Iranian tradition and Iranian culture appreciates a collective action to individuals, families, and communities in pain.  From a clinical stand point this collective response helps to lower the collective grief and loss, while individuals benefit from one another’s solidarity, compassion, and empathy.  In a large scale of trauma, when our people are being beaten on the streets, tortured in prisons, and life in general seem to be threatening, the mourning ceremonies are even more significant.
Our people have carried a huge psychological trauma due to 30 years of injustice while a collective mourning has not been possible.   Now the barriers imposed by government of Iran creating more harm when individuals and families have no way to get help for an emotional processing.
The violence and brutality to stop people from mourning will result in more damages to everyone’s mind and soul to a degree that people’s every day functioning is impacted. A growing level of pain, disappointment, frustration, anger, and resistance are all feeding a boiling pot, in which innocent people will only be more traumatized and left in a psychological chaos.
A collective mourning is people’s right to deal with their trauma.

July 30, 2009
www.middlepeace.com

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Lies

Lies, dishonesty, inaccuracy, corruption, falsifications, and deceptions have caused great pain in our Iranian lives during past decades.  Evidently the quality of life back home has been directly impacted by the obvious lies told by those in power.  Our sense of integrity is insulted when authorities keep telling lies about the truth, power struggles, and decisions made over every one’s heads.
There are no needs of examples of lies, because each one of us Iranians know multiple of them.
Now the question is how do we feel about lies? How are lies damaging out trust, worldview, perception, and integrity?  Remember when you were a child and some class mates spread a rumor about you. How did you feel? You wanted to do anything to help clarify the lies and proof that you are not what they think you are.
During past 30 years, our human agencies and our human rights activists have worked hard to raise awareness about the level of injustice and lies in our home country.
After the corrupted election now in June 2009, we Iranians are now facing a whole new situation.   Now the heartbreaking lies about the killings, torture, rapes, and arrests of dissenters in our home country have come to the forefronts of the whole world.
The damages of lying to a nation in this large scale are many.  The direct consequences of a systematic lying that we Iranians have witnessed are anger, pain, frustration, and sense of humiliation.  This deliberate and corrupted way of lying to people in order to control or manipulate them, has caused serious damages to the structure of our communities.  Now that our people in Iran have shown clear distance from their government, people just feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety when they hear the damaging and perpetuating lies about the situation.
The bold-faced lies about shootings on the streets and the brutalities we have witnessed through our TV screens are another harm to people’s well being. It seems that Iranian government has nothing else to do than fabrication and misleading of our people.
Lies allow a stream of widespread pain rushes to our bodies, souls and minds. Lies, censorship, brutalities, and more lies have been a negative circle in which fewer and fewer people can tolerate it.   Lying by those in power does however help the truth to come forward by itself.  Resistance, heroism, action, collective attention and protests have been unfolding as result of the lies about our nation, our communities, and our families.  May the truth be always the only thing we stand for.
July 29, 2009
www.middlepeace.com

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God is Great

 Metaphors in our Iranian culture and our daily life have multiple affiliations.  Currently, our people in Iran are struggling in the darkest time of the history.  People chant “allah-akbar or god is great,” a mantra that besides its religious connotations attracts hope in a frightening, unsafe, and hopeless time.  In a time when people are defenseless and under attack by militia, they call upon god as an effort to fight the injustice. “God is great” is a chant by which people leave the injustice in the hands of god who is supposed to be fair.  This is a peaceful chant because it helps people to stay away from violence and leave the criminals in the hands of god.
Chanting “god is great” creates a style of communication when surviving psychologically, defending self and supporting others have an enormous meaning.  This chant involves unity, solidarity, collective conscious, and engagement for the purpose of change.
Perpetually, Iranians have used metaphors to deal with hardship of life, to increase their resistance and to revitalize their strength. The “god is great” metaphor has a nurturing potential when the cruelty imposed on people seem to be insurmountable. In centuries Iranians have referred the “bad guys” to the god, a source of energy which helps people find peace under the circumstances.
Chanting “god is great” assists our people to have self-confidence while asking a higher power for support. This is a positive statement that has clear message, a positive tone of voice, and a path for releasing the tension. While people’s life are at risk and in the hands of criminals whose main goal is to hurt them, then chanting is only way out to show a legitimate anger and protest.  When a government is against its own people, then citizens try to stay emotionally stable with finding one another’s support.

This chant opens up a door for empathy for self and others, while validating god as a higher power takes the desperation away.

July 28, 2009
www.middlepeace.com

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Global day of action for Iran

July 25, 2009 was the day for action for Iran.  Around the world, Iranians and non Iranians attended rallies to support the movement for freedom and democracy in Iran.  This day was about telling the world what humanity stands for.  Over two kilometer of a green scroll in Paris was a phenomenon to be proud of.  People around the world singed their names on that scroll to show their lack of confidence on a deplorable situation where an unelected president tries to stay in power with help of brutality against our people in Iran.  The global day of action was truly manifestation of people’s power.  This day was the continued action as result of last weeks of protests and screams for help.  It is certainly significant to appreciate the support from the international community for the human rights movement in Iran and for Iranians.  This day had another interesting point, which was about unity and solidarity for what is right.  Gratefully we can notice that the world is moving more towards human rights and moving away from violence and brutality.

July 26, 2009
www.middlepeace.com

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Making sense of what is happening in Iran

UNSEC 1674: RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT POPULATIONS FROM GENOCIDE & CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY…

WHAT IS GENOCIDE?

The 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:

Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group as such:

•    killing members of the group;
•    causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
•    deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
•    imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
•    [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group
The 30 years and continuous acts of genocide in Iran:
Past 30 years, the Islamic regime of Iran has killed huge number of our people, those who by the regime’s standards are not “Muslim” and not part of the close group of authorities defined as the “most trusted.” Although we understand that the religion as Islam is not the issue, however the perception of this regime to force people to accept this religion is what should be focused on.
A vast number of Iranian dissidents have during past 30 years perished, killed, seriously harmed due to barbaric punishments such as bodily mutilations, and psychological attacks on people’s whole being.  This regime has forcibly moved children from families who were called “monafeghin” and transferred to families of Islamic background.  These children, whose parents were killed, hanged, executed, and / or jailed in a longer time, were moved from families to be raised as a true “Muslim.”

Gregory Stanton’s “8 Steps to Genocide”
•    Classification of them and us
•    Symbolization for propaganda
•    Dehumanization
•    Organization of genocidal groups
•    Polarization to get killers ready
•    Preparation, including separation of victims
•    Extermination
•    Denial

Islamic regime of Iran has deliberately, gradually, plan-fully, and by ideology has classified our Iranian nation as “those” who are non Muslims and not trusted, in oppose to “us” who are the authorities and those in power.  This regime has for 30 years committed crimes against all those who were considered to be “secular” and therefore “non-Muslim.” This wide spread and large group of individuals includes minorities, ethical groups, and women in particular.

At this point the level of hatred and animosity by the current regime of Iran against women is known to the world.  It is significant to view the general actions towards gender apartheid and the mass killing of people who are supposedly polarized in the Iranian society.  Basiji’s killing our women is due to the level of training to target those women who are not alike what this regime wants women to be; suppressed.  According to UN definition we can find numerous examples of public punishments and killings of men and women who were not part of regime’s circle of “trust.” Therefore what is going on in Iran is a systematic, continuous, and planned act of genocide against a nation who fights for their rights as being human.
Dehumanization of individuals belonging to various school of thoughts, political groups, or social class has all occurred in a well-organized, publicized, ongoing and legalized action by this regime for past 30 years.
While this regime, its leaders, and most of its authorities have been feeding, organizing, and training militia groups, they have knowingly done so in order to kill, silent, and destroy individuals, families, and communities who are in their mind non-Muslim.

The threat of having killers out there on the streets and the act of unleashing these militia who crack down people have been one constant and static part of this regime.
In an enormous of cases the militia or morality police on the streets have stopped couples, separated women from their partners, killed and raped women, and never been accountable for anything.
These women who have been killed, tortured, arrested, jailed, raped, and punished, have all belong to the secular group of civilians. The regime of “Islam” in Iran has one main goal and that is about exterminating all those who are not alike them: the secular groups nationwide.
Denial is one big issue that regime has always had, never admitted to any crime, never accepted any role in killing, horrifying, and destroying large groups of our nation.
ACCORDING to THE UN DEFINITION ABOVE AND ALL OTHER EXISTING DOCUMENTS THAT UN GENERALS AGREE UPON, HOW CAN WE SAY WHAT IS HAPPENING IN IRAN IS NOT A GENOCIDE?
PLEASE ANSWER THIS ONE QUESTION: HOW YOU CAN JUSTIFY THE MASS KILLING OF OUR IRANIAN PEOPLE BY A REGIME WHO DOES CLASSIFY PEOPLE AS IT’S ENEMY?
OUR IRANIAN PEOPLE NEED HELP, NOW OR THE WEST WILL HAVE ANOTHER RWANDA UNFOLDING IN IRAN.

After making a comparison between the United Nations own definition of Genocide and the reality of events in Iran, we have no other way than wondering why the 30 years of people’s suffering has not been recognized as an act of genocide?

July 24, 2009
www.middlepeace.com

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SILENT SCREAM 4 IRAN

Thirty years later: our young generation takes their destiny into their hands. For all of us who marched the streets of Tehran and other cites back in 1979, now flash backs of memories are hard to cope with.
Here in Vancouver, B.C.: A group of young, intelligent, caring, and brilliant Iranians have come together to organize for actions against the brutality that is unfolding in our home country.
The methods this group of young Iranians are using are however different than our older generations ways of protesting.
This group are inviting to silent actions called silent scream for Iran.  Starting from June 16, 2009 the silent scream gatherings are being attended by more and more Iranians and all other supporters.
The beauty and glory of this way of protesting is that people use silence instead of chanting.
In these moments of silence people find ways to collect their thoughts while using the positive energy of other individuals who are all sharing the grief.
The silent scream is an innovative, pragmatic, and peaceful way of sending a strong message out there, although there are some radical Iranians who do not think this way.
However, what is for sure is that the peacefulness nature of the silent scream is obvious and attention grabbing.   I guess we Iranian in large are attending a new era of demanding our human rights.
Meanwhile our people are under horrible attacks in their homes and communities, we can only remain hopeful.
Silent screams and peaceful protests are proper ways to keep our minds intact while raising our voice in most loud ways by asking the international community to support us.
We believe that our people in Iran will win in this very unfair battle one day soon and justice will prevail in our home country. Meanwhile we silently scream, the loudest we can.

June 22, 2009
www.middlepeace.com

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