This week, Voices of the Middle East and North Africa brings you an update about the protests in Iran, and on the governments continued wave of repression from Dr. Mansour Farhang, professor of politics at Benigton College. We also bring you the second part of a speech by noted writer, journalist, and filmmaker Tariq Ali delivered at the Twelfth Annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture at Hampshire College on November 17. His lecture was titled “Obama’s War in Afghanistan and Pakistan”. Finally, we have a poem by Ahmad Shamlou, ready by Iraqi poet Sinan Antoon.
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From New York Times, “Witnesses said there was an anger to the protests not seen since the summer months, when protests broke out after the June 12 presidential election, which the opposition has dismissed as fraudulent. The Basij responded with ferocity, using copious amounts of tear gas, electrical truncheons and stun guns in an effort to disperse the crowds.”
We speak with Eric Hooglund, professor of politics at Bates College and editor of the scholarly journal, Middle East Critique. He will discuss the debated notion of the rural/urban divide in Iran in the context of the most recent elections. Kaveh Ehsani will also share with his take on this topic. Dr. Kaveh Ehsani is an Assistant Professor of International studies at DePaul University. He is also a member of the editorial committee of the Middle East Report Quarterly as well as the editor of an independent journal of social analysis in Iran called “the Dialogue.”
We also hear from Iman, a young activist who recently escaped from Iran will share his story with us. Iman had to flee to Dubai on June 15th – three days after the election – fearing imminent arrest by the Iranian regime. Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk to Iman on the phone.
Finally we will hear the reaction of two Tehran residents about the historic demonstration that took place two weeks ago.
Flashpoints – June 23, 2009 at 5:00pm
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Watch this video of the Iranian election protest in San Francisco, California on June 16, 2009. Thousands including supervisor Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi gathered in San Francisco’s Union Square to protest the false election results in Iran.
Ali Abunimah, co-founder and director of the publication The Electronic Intifada, talks about his new book, "The Battle for Justice in Palestine" and Rachel Rosen talks about Middle Eastern films at the International Film Festival.
The Nation's sports editor Dave Zirin speaks about varying levels of aggression facing Palestinian soccer players at home and abroad, and Medea Benjamin from Code Pink discusses her rough treatment in Cairo on her way to Gaza.