Let’s all be pixels

Introduction: December 7 is the student day in Iran, and like similar events after the disputed election, we expect riots and consequently brutal crackdowns of protesters in many campuses in Tehran as well as many other cities.

At the same date, we students at NTNU, want to make a global image in order to support the Iranian students’ peaceful movement. Many universities around the world will join this program to support non-violent GREEN movement and to show their solidarity with Iranian students and teachers who are in prison due to their peaceful democratic demonstration. We invite you all to join others to be a pixel in this global image!

Besides, there will be a brief discussion panel and live videos of crackdown will be shown.

  • Time: Monday – December 7, 2009 (16:00 to 18:00)
  • Location: NTNU, Gløshaugen Campus, Central Building, Lecture hall S1 (confirmed)

Notes if you join:

  • Every piece of green that you wear (or bring) will sharpen our image!
  • Be creative! Wear GREEN in solidarity (shirts, wristbands, ribbons, balloons, …)
  • Hold signs such as : “WE SUPPORT YOU”, “WE ARE IRANIANS”, “WE ARE WITH YOU”, etc.
  • Norwegian flags, NTNU logo, etc, are more then welcome

The end result will be a video with all the photo shoots combined, which will be shared on Youtube and sent to Iranian students back home.

Although these global actions do not change anything overnight, but they do render an immeasurable service to the morale of those who are struggling for the democratic project within Iran.

Historical background:

Iranian government stole votes of its own people and announced the election results upside down. The people didn’t give up their right. They protested peacefully and as a result they were killed, imprisoned and raped. They stood by their rights. They exposed themselves to all these dangers and through that they presented their movement to the rest of the world. Now, Iranians not only do not have right to protest peacefully, but also after the supreme leader’s religious dictum on May 19 they might easily get shot by the government’s agents while taking part in any kind of riot, however they still take any opportunity, ceremony and event to express their movement and to eventually take their votes back. Dec 7 known as the student day in Iran is one of those events in a row.

The student day goes back to 55 years ago. During the Shah era, since Iranian police agents fired and killed three students (two marxists and one liberal) inside the campus of Tehran University, the day 7th of December has been recognized as an official day in Iranian calendar called the Student Day. Since then, before and after the revolution, Iranian students, both secular and religious, celebrate this anniversary, protesting against the dictatorship and policies of the government.

Oppskrift for persisk mat: Gheymeh

En av de mest vanlige matrettene i Iran er kombinasjonen av ris og stew. Stew som (Khoresh på persisk) kanskje heter stuinger på norsk, er en kombinasjon av bønner, erter, grønnsaker, kjøtt, og krydder kokt i vann i lang tid. Det er veldig forkjellige typer av “stew”ene i persisk mat og nå skal jeg beskrive en av dem som heter Gehymeh:

Maten er laget av Malene Heidenstrøm Hauge.

Gheymeh stew:

Ingredienser: (for 6 porsjoner)

  • lam eller biff, 750 gram
  • erter, 250 gram (en spesiell type erter som heter split pea)
  • 2-3 løk
  • poteter, 500 gram
  • ½ kopp matolje
  • tomatpure, 2-3 teskjeer
  • 4-5 tørkete lime
  • salt og pepper
  • gurkemeie og paprika, 1 teskje

Instruksjoner:

  • Før koking, legg split-ertene i varmt vann i 2 eller 3 timer, etterpå tøm ut vannet.
  • Kutt løkene i småbiter og stek i matolje i en kasserolle til den blir gylden.
  • Vask og skjær kjøttet og stek dem i den samme kasserollen som løken i 10-15 minutter.
  • Tilsett 3 glass vann og la det koket langsomt i en time.
  • Da Tilsett erter, salt, pepper, krydder, tomatpure og tørkete limene. Fortsett å koke alt på svak varme.  Tilsett mer vann om nødvendig.
  • Vask potetene og skjær i småbiter og stek dem i en stekepanne med olje i 20-30 minutter.
  • Server denne deilige maten i Ildfast form og legg potetene over.
  • Spis med hvit persisk ris:

Persisk ris:

Persisk ris bør ikke være klebrig!

Ingredienser: (for 6 porsjoner)

  • 500 g langkornet ris eller basmati
  • 6 spiseskjeer matolje
  • 1 spiseskje salt

Instruksjoner:

  • Kok risen i varmt kokt vann i 15 minutter med salt og olje.
  • Etterpå tøm ut vannet og vask risen med kaldt van.
  • Hell tre spiseskje matolje i en kasserolle. Ta i risen uten vann og etterpå hell tre spiseskje olje over risen.
  • Før du serverer risen, legg 10-20 spiseskjeer av persisk safran i varmt vann, slik at det blir gult.
  • Server hvitris og legg gul ris over.

Vel bekomme!

Liar, liar, burns on fire

Before the stolen election Mirhossein Mousavi, the Iranian president of elect warned the society:

We have now faced an incredibly bizarre new phenomenon able to look right into the camera and to say self confidently that up is down and black is white!

Some days after, the same phenomenon  (Ahmadinejad) claimed electoral victory while in absence of any other witness, his own men of the previous cabinet were the only persons in charge of counting the votes.

Now after his interviews in NYC the world may understand us better. No one (even Larry King) can avoid playing his game.

p.s. It’s not always that bad. Watch this one:

AN suddenly became surprised that westerns know about the second enrichment facilities and was not sure to make a lie or not! He roughly denied that and postponed the answer to see if Obama really knows or not…. Eventually the American real president happened to know. And just some hours later, Iran’s representative confessed this in a letter to IEAE to keep pretending that everything is clear.

Ahmadinejad is not Iran’s elected president!

Thanks to all of our contributors in the Green Scroll in Bodø, Trondheim, Hamar and Løten (Norway).

This is our famous Green Scroll exhibited in Paris. 1700 meters, hundreds of thousands of signatures gathered in a couple of weeks from the Iranians living in 200 cities all across the world. Seconds 0:43 to 0:52 belong to us! 🙂

And the same Scroll in NYC more than a month later. Our part comes around 1:58′ to 2:05′, The only part cut off from the sticks:

Roozbeh Pournader‘s comment on this:

Lots of pieces came out, including every holder in my group except mine. The wind was very strong. I like to believe I kept it intact by thinking about the physics of it, applying the force where it would minimize the pressure on attachment points.

Parviz Meshkatian (1955-2009)

Today afternoon, Parviz Meshkatian, Iranian composer, musical researcher and santur (cimbalom) player passed away due to cardiac arrest while he was just 54. In the past few years he had become artistically isolated, being very unsatisfied with the censorship and other troubles in the Iranian art scene.

I’ll never forget that once I had an epileptic seizure (when I was 14) as a result of listening to one of his pieces over and over and over… Its scale called “Bidaad” (can be translated in to something between injustice and catastrophe!) is very close to the harmonic minor but the tonic is two semitones higher.

To me introducing the Persian flute (Nei) with a syncopation or a back-beat is one of his signatures. This old song of unity (…0:07″ and 0:16″) which once more after thirty years has become widely spread around again (now in the Iranian green movement) is a good example . The epic lyrics are also written by him:

Just beat it!

In this video, Muslim Reverie says about Mousavi:

The western media has been giving many non-Iranians the impression that he’s a secular reformist who is going to bring an American-style democracy to Iran. This is misinformation and untrue. Mousavi’s supporters are shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) on rooftops and they have mullahs and religious clerics supporting them

I disagree. Unfortunately, some right-wing western media and fairly so many middle eastern voices have sometimes given some other vague visions that the nominees of the main rivals of the Iranian presidential election, Mousavi and Ahmadinejad, are the same and Mousavi just knows how not to say wrong things in a wrong place. We Iranians know that like many other politicians inside Islamic Republic, Mousavi has changed a lot since 20 years ago. The world out there doesn’t realize it that much though.

Those analysts didn’t wanna believe that Iranians have voted for the reformist side and as soon as many were convinced that the election was rigged and Iranians “might” have voted for a reform, they started to say that: Well, Mousavi must be the same shit.

Mousavi was accepted by the guardian council being underestimated to be able to attract Iranian seculars’ support. Given the enormous turnout it should have been proven by now that he as a classic leader in Islamic Republic was even backed by the opposition to the whole regime; Those who used to boycott the election before as it is a procedure governed by IR.

Such a claim that there’s not a meaningful difference between Mousavi and Ahmadinejad is unfortunately accepted all over the place and has tendency not to update the old-fashioned exotic viewpoint towards Iran. A better effort is needed to enlighten.

Pixels per head

– How can you capture 3 million heads in a single shot with few mega-pixels?

This is what I’ve been asking myself nowadays.

After the Iranian disputed election and while Ahmadinejad was trying to compete with Mousavi to bring as many people as he can to celebrate his “victory”, millions of Mousavi’s supporters covered streets of Tehran. Before foreign journalists were kicked out of the land, they could cover both rallies and mentioned tens of thousands of supporters for each. That was a great job, however bringing a wrong impression abroad: There are two equally strong crowds in Iran, each claiming its side as the winner and both are “many”.

The point is that while based on some street capacity calculations Tehran’s mayor estimated hugest Mousavi’s rally as having 3 million attendants, Ahmadinejad was able to gather dozens of thousands around Vali-Asr square, including all bribed folk brought from the countryside.

I believe that the traditional shoe leather photojournalistic methods of capturing the crowd have shown their intrinsic inability to reflect a sound comparison. It’s impossible to cover millions of heads distributed over dozens of kilometers just in few digital shots or some high definition video-reports taken from the surface of the town.

While govermental militia is the only one who has access to helicopters over Tehran, for us the satellite photos are the only way to resolve this problem: We are much more and we should be able to prove that! Now given such an introduction does anyone have access to almost-live satellite photos taken of the earth. I remember that NASA had a public service which was used by fire extinguishers and was able to provide shots of the globe every – let’s say – second hour. I can’t find that service anymore.

Update: Marius F.’s email in this regard:

Hey dude!

I’ve been looking around and speaking to my #1 computer wizard about finding real time satelite photos from Iran where you get to see the rally, but i don’t seem to find anything like that. Probobly some of the pay-services got something like that, so I post some links for you that looks interesting.

http://satellite-earth.suggestsoft.com/
http://earth.google.com/
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

I think that it would be easiest to get in touch with someone inside NASA that has interest in the Iranian government and the election, and that is willing to get hold of satellite photos from Iran on that date and time where it all took place. Maybe you know someone, who knows someone, who know an Iranian guy who works there? 😉

Here’s some interesting sites for getting in touch with different satelite holding companies around the world and the people on top in NASA: Org.map of NASA, Other agencies around Europe and so on. It’s not as much as you would hope for, but its a start. Taking a couple of phone calls and start pulling strings would probobly get you somewhere.. Hopefully 🙂

p.s. Later update (18th of September): Finally Google maps updated Iran and now it at least shows the different locations that green supporters were stationed with the videos. 🙂

Happy “Yalda”

Tonight is the longest night in the northern hemisphere, where most of humanity inhabits. Tomorrow, Earth axis is the most oriented away from the Sun which marks the “winter solstice”.

Called “Chelleh“ or “Yalda”, tonight, has been celebrated by Iranians since more than five millenniums ago. It was first as the birth of the Indo-Iranian goddess “Mitra” in the ancient Persia (which was later associated with Sun), and then as a Zoroastrian religious fest. Nowadays, it’s a social occasion where families and friends gather around and stay together, keeping the fire (or candles) burning through the longest night until the sun rises again, reading poems and eating nuts, watermelon and pomegranate.

p.s. Persian Calendar, like the Gregorian calendar, is solar. Moreover its important dates are inspired by nature rather than  human made historical events. For us, today was the last day of autumn and winter started tomorrow, not because one out of billions of humans had birthday or another took over a dynasty and took power. Only astronomy.

p.s. Many thanks to Negin Ehtesabian for that two years ago she made this copyrighted illustration for this blog and I finally use it now. 🙂