Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Voice of Neda

Much has already been written about Neda Agha-Soltan, the 26-year-old Iranian philosophy student in Tehran, who was shot to death last Saturday during rioting in the streets, in protest of national election results. The brief low-res cell phone video of her final moments has been seen on the internet all over the world.

Much has also been written about the response of the current Presidential administration, or the lack thereof, depending upon whom you ask. It has been said that our government has been playing Iran and Iraq against one another for over half a century. It has also been argued that America's vital interests in the region, which includes its stability as a means of international accord, demand a response.

Well, maybe so. But before we get caught up in the pouncing of pundits...

Consider what a former Speaker of the House, the late Thomas "Tip" O'Neill, once said: “All politics is local.” This sentiment has also been rendered another way: “Think globally. Act locally.” Some have already responded, by providing cyber-based conduits for the angry, honest citizens of Iran, to get their message out, past government censors and threats of retribution. (The family of this young girl has been barred from mourning her publicly according to Islamic law and custom. This from a nation that claims to govern under strict Islamic law.) If we are indeed a beacon of freedom in the world, we can make it possible for lovers of freedom to chart their own course, in helping them to help themselves.

I've asked Paul Alexander to provide information on how we can help.

so here's some info on how your more tech-savvy readers can make an impact on the situation in iran: set up a proxy server on their computer for iranian internet users who are being censored.

[Please refer to the home page to stay current with further developments. -- DLA]

users should take a look at the comments section because of some issues with connectivity, but this is a good start. i was able to set it up on my computer with the help of a friend. in a situation where even 24 hour news outlets have basically become glorified twitter feeds with colorful commentary, this is a way that americans can make a positive impact by helping to get the word out.


Neda is a Persian name that translates variously as "the voice" or "the divine calling." As followers of Christ, we are taught that a thing must die in order for another thing to live. If the passing of this innocent girl can be the seed from which justice may flourish, then that peace which is not of this world -- that which comes only from the God of Issac and Ishmael -- might one day reign down upon the land, from which the wisdom of Esther once delivered the people of Israel.

No comments: