Fresh clashes in Esfahan
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jun 9, 2004
Fresh clashes erupted in the City of Esfahan, this morning, as the Islamic regime security forces intervened in order to smash the peaceful protest action of tens of demonstrators in front of the Justice Palace.
Clubs and chains were used against the demonstratorswho were shouting slogans against the regime and its leaders while denouncing the official corruption leading to the banckrupty of the local Islamic Saving Funds.
Several demonstrators were also injured or arrested, yesterday, as they gathered in the Nickbakht avenue.
These new popular actions follow several weeks of unrests during which tens of demonstrators have been injured or arrested by the regime forces. The protesters had set banks on fire and smashed windows of several public buildings in retaliation to the regime forces' brutal attacks.
The residents are defying the security forces in order to show their anger against the Islamic regimes' empty promises to replace millions of Tomans (Iranian currency) that had been stolen from deposited assets. The rumor of the bankruptcy of the local Islamic funds has resulted on massive withdraws and is leading toward its collapse.
No longer their parents Iran
Former monarchy of another generation is a far different nation following the Islamic revolution of 1979
BY RAMIN GANESHRAM
June 9, 2004
When Kayvon and Sassan Mesbah of Oyster Bay Cove visited their parents' birth country of Iran last summer, they were impressed.
"The culture is very lively and interesting," said Kayvon, 13. "... The new generation was becoming more westernized. It's evolving from what it's been since the Islamic revolution."
The largest U.S. communities of Iranian-Americans are in California and New York -- most around Los Angeles and New York City. Roughly 10,000 Iranians live on Long Island, many in the towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay.
Ruled by the shah
The Iran into which the boys' parents, Mohammed and Nasrin, were born was a monarchy ruled by Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, an American ally. But 25 years ago, in January 1979, the country underwent a bitter revolution after which Islamic fundamentalists emerged as the ruling power.
In the years since, many liberties, including political speech, have been restricted. Women are required to cover their hair, wear Islamic dress and are restricted from many jobs. For example, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, a judge before the revolution, was forced to leave the bench.
The teens' parents represent the most common Iranian immigration experience. Mohammed came here in 1958 to complete medical school, while Nasrin arrived for a visit in 1987, but met her future husband and remained. The largest influx of Iranians to the United States was in the years following the Islamic revolution. Previously most Iranians came here for higher education, often returning home.
Although Sassan Mesbah, 15, says many of his friends are confused about whether Iranians are Arabs, the people who settled Iran were tribal folk called Aryans. They were forefathers of a great Persian Empire that at its height in the 4th century B.C. spread as far as Greece to the west; Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia to the south; Afghanistan and part of central Asia to the east, and northern India. Invaded by Greeks, Arab Muslims and the French, the empire saw its borders dwindle to what they are today. (Iran is slightly larger than Alaska).
The Persian Empire was the birthplace of many great achievements. The king's palace in the capital of Persepolis had indoor plumbing -- not widely available for another 3,000 years. The idea of a "pony express" delivering mail on horseback also originated in ancient Iran. Alcohol was first distilled in Persia, too.
"I'm really proud ... that our culture is so old and one of the first civilizations," said Sassan.
Kayvon and Sassan attend Farsi school to keep up with their parents' native language and celebrate the ancient holidays of their Muslim religion, as well as secular ones. Kayvon said his favorite holiday is Nowrooz, new year, celebrated this year on March 20. "When all my friends celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah, I always say that I can't wait for New Year's, which seems funny to them."
Recently, the brothers participated in a relief fund drive to help victims of the December earthquake in Bam, Iran, and of the railway disaster in Tehran, the capital city, in February.
Today, young people in Iran are finding ways to protest for democratic reforms.
Said Sassan, "I believe that young people there have ideas that are straightforward and true to what will make Iran a great country compared to what it has been since after revolution. I feel that since they [young people] make up most of population, their voices will be heard."