Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Praying for Democracy

In the late 1970s there was a Lee Oskar album that the Iranian college students attending the UW in Seattle played constantly. Although Oskar is Danish, the first three cuts on the 1976 album titled simply Lee Oskar were haunting instrumentals, each titled Remembering Home that told a story of the sadness of leaving and remembering home that struck a chord with young Iranians far from home and witnessing revolutionary change from half a world away. Iranian culture is given to succumbing to sorrow and given their history and religion it is not surprising.

Many young Iranians who left Iran to attend school in the United States watched the Iranian revolution with a mixture of hope and horror. Some returned to Iran to be a part of the revolution while many stayed in the United States, forming what has become a not insubstantial segment of American society in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. I would post the cuts from the Lee Oskar album were I techier or if one of them were available on YouTube.

Once again ex-pat Iranians are watching the television, supplemented by the computer and Twitter to see if this new surge of democratic dream becomes realized in Iran. It is difficult to know where the current protest movement in Iran will lead or how long the Iranian people will have to wait to enjoy a freer and open society. I am sure that many of them have dusted off Lee Oskar either literally or mentally.

Another interesting blog to follow is Regime Change in Iran where articles and pictures from all over can be read. There are so many facets to the Iranian people from those who would like to see a return of the monarchy to a truly democratic, secular government where freedom can be honored along with religion.

If nothing else comes of the current protest movement in Iran, the current government has been put on notice that the overwhelming majority of Iranians want democracy. I hope that the lives that have been given or imprisoned in the quest for change will not have been given in vain.


Grandma L said...

It must be so terrible to be living in that country while this is going on. I hope it never happens here.

Stephanie Frieze said...

The loss of liberty and democracy would be disaster in deed. The struggle to attain it after a brief fling with it in 1953 is an uphill battle for those Iranians who wish to live in a free society. We are fortunate that so many died for our freedom in 1776. With the 4th of July coming, now is the perfect time to honor the debt of gratitude that we owe our founding fathers and mothers and to give emotional support to those in Iran fighting for theirs.