Dr Shaheed, what you have presented is just the tip of the iceberg

Arash Hejazi’s open letter to Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Dear Dr Ahmed Shaheed,
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,

I am Arash Hejazi, an Iranian physician, writer, publisher and journalist, and the Doctor who tried to save the young girl shot to death by the Iranian Basij or the pro-government militia, orchestrated by the Revolutiosnary Guards of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I then spoke up about the circumstances of hear death to the international media and for that I have lost my publishing house in Iran, I have been prosecuted and persecuted, and I have had to go on exile, leaving my family and my life behind.

I read your Special Report with interest, and while I appreciate your efforts on producing an accurate image on the dyre situation of human rights in Iran, I would like to bring to your attention that what you have presented in your report, is just the tip of an immense iceberg of years of undermining human and basic rights of the citizens of Iran.

You didn’t mention,

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The End of Illusion; a review on The Gaze of the Gazelle

Source: The New Republic, 17 October 2011

THIS BOOK IS a story of failure—the failure of the Islamic Republic, despite thirty years of propaganda and political education, to inculcate in a new generation of Iranians faith in the ideology of the regime. The children of the revolution of 1979 have turned their backs on its values; and this was nowhere more evident than in the mass protests against the manipulated presidential elections of 2009. The young joined the protests in hordes; and the regime’s harsh suppression of these protests, along with the widespread arrests, torture and deaths in prison that followed, were the final steps in delegitimizing the Islamic Republic and its barren ideology.

The generation of Arash Hejazi’s parents embraced the revolution; and their children volunteered to defend it when Iraq invaded Iran in 1980. But when, as young adults, they took to the streets two years ago to ask, “Where is my vote?” they were mowed down by the regime’s goons and security forces. These young men and women were not afraid. They had fought every effort by the regime to isolate them from the West, and now they used their cell phones and their blogs, their videos and the Internet to broadcast to the world the violence taking place on the streets of Tehran. As Hejazi writes, “We were also a generation that, for lack of anything else to do, spent its time learning. We were the true witnesses of our nation.”

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Washington Post’s analysis on Iran is ignorant and Naive: There is more depth to what the Iranian people are doing

By Arash Hejazi

An article published in Washington Post on June 16 2011, called ‘In Iran, ‘couch rebels’ prefer Facebook’, claims — based on its interview with three or four Iranians, whose identity (except for Abbas Abdi) is not known — that the Iranian people have given up on their protests that started in 2009, because they prefer ‘playing Internet games such as FarmVille, peeking at remarkably candid photographs posted online by friends and confining their political debates to social media sites such as Facebook, where dissent has proved less risky’.

To someone who knows about the undercurrents of the Iranian society, this simple explanation shows how ignorant the Western media, and probably politicians, are in interpreting what’s really going on in the Middle East and the socio-politico-cultural differences in each country. I have seen more that one ‘political’ analysis or opinion pieces in the media that try in vain to compare the successful rebels or ‘revolutions’ in Egypt and Tunisia to Iran and Syria and Libya, while these comparisons cannot be more relevant than comparing the 1917 Revolution of Russia to the Independence wars of America.

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Thank you for making me appreciate my freedom… another feedback from an Italian reader of The Gaze of the Gazelle

Thank you Arash, I want to thank you for making me appreciate my freedom to be and do whatever I want and feel. Thank you for letting me know lot of things about your beautiful country. Thank you for letting me know about the story of your country, of its culture through the innocent but critic eyes of a little smart boy, of an adolescent and of a young man as you was and I am. Thank you for letting me knowing Neda, the Voice of freedom. Last but not least thank you for letting me cry, on a plane, reading the last page of your beautiful book “The Gaze of the Gazelle” just few hours ago, reading words of hope for the present.

Nothing personal just wanted you to know how much you impressed me with your words. Again thank you

Damiano

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Your book hit my the soul… a kind feedback from an Italian reader of the Gaze of the Gazelle

(A very nice feedback from an Italian reader of The Gaze of the Gazelle)

Sorry but I write with translator, my name is Romina, I am writing from Italy (ancona-marche). I read the book In the Eyes of the Gazelle (the Gaze of the Gazelle: Negli occhi della gazzella), it was so beautiful!
I tried to understand better what you meant, jihad, Basij, imams, mullahs, jinn, Shari’a, Tudeh and other terms … I have seen many pictures, women with hijab, your wonderful mountains, the lights of Tehran in the evening, the moon, the stars, Iran is really a beautiful world!

I found pictures of Neda when she died, and I have them saved on my PC, sometimes I look at those beautiful eyes that only the Iranian women have … Her smile is forever caught in the middle, then it’s your book, which hit my soul, I would like to thank you for the gift that you gave me, your story, your writing about your life, your emotions … I can never forget!

I thank you very much for what imprinted on my heart!

I’m talking to my friends about your work, I would like to share this excitement with them!

I hug you my friend!

with great affection

romi

Publisher Weekly’s review on The Gaze of the Gazelle: The Story of a Generation

Arash Hejazi, foreword by Paulo Coelho. Seagull (Univ. of Chicago, dist.), $21 (408p) ISBN 978-1-906497-90-3

In this ungainly but colorful memoir, Hejazi describes growing up in the Islamic Republic of Iran as a member of the “Burnt Generation”–many of whom fought on the Iraqi front only to return home to a corrupt, murderous regime. Hejazi avoided war, but shared his generation’s growing disenchantment with the government, first as a young doctor forced to turn away the poor, and later as a publisher battling state censors. Hejazi’s personal story abounds with anecdotes striking enough to Continue reading