Speaking truth with power.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Neda Agha-Soltan

Recently, Iran held presidential elections, and, let's just say things didn't go so well. Rumors of corruption ran rampant, and the people took to the streets. The Ayatollah and the Guardian Council promised to look into these claims of injustice. And after a few days of investigating, determined there very well may have been something sketchy going on. The rulers of Iran also determined, however, that its citizens should shut up about it already, and quit with all the protesting.

But of course, this did not happen. The people took to the streets and protested with renewed vigor and determination. Reports of violent clashes emerged from Iran, (thanks to Twitter of all things). And while the violence was condemned the world over, it took on an entirely more personal tone when the world heard the story of Neda Agha-Soltan.

Neda Agha-Soltan, 27, studied Islamic philosophy at Azad University, and studied singing privately. Prior to the election, Neda was not considered very political. She was engaged to be married. But in the face of the recent election, she herself took to the streets to protest. At around 6 p.m. she began to walk towards Kargar Avenue in Tehran. While observing the mass protests she was allegedly targeted and shot in the chest by plain-clothes Basij paramilitaries.

It's important to know that Neda was not the first protest-related death in Iran in the last couple of days. What sets Neda's story apart is that her death was caught on video. And her death, thanks to social networking sites such as YouTube and Twitter, was broadcast and seen all around the world, almost instantly. It's amazing that a futile time waste of a website like Twitter could actually be making a difference in the world. But it is.

And now with a quick search on Google you too can watch this young woman's grizzly demise. You too can see the struggle of the Iranian people played out on this young woman's dying face. You too can watch her eyes look to the camera one last time, begging someone, anyone to take notice, to take action, and then in a moment, expire. You too can witness martyrdom in action.


Blogger gknearbombay said...

as a journalist, it is time that you started taking social networking sites more seriously! leading to their demise, the internet has unfortunately reduced the timeliness and relevance of newspapers, but it has also empowered individuals to have their voice heard. a defragmented industry does hurt revenue generating operations (like advertising) and has also watered down credibility in many cases. however, we have embraced the internet as a form of news... and the industry will figure out how to adjust by fact checking, 'unionizing,' and monetizing

I get my news from MuckBreaker!

June 28, 2009 at 2:31 PM


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