The Day I Became a Feminist

April 17, 2014
Equality is in the act

Arseh Sevom–Feminism is essentially the idea that women and men should have equal rights and opportunities. “The notion of freedom for men is not reality in Iran as long as women are not equal” Safoura Elyasi writes. She spoke to several Iranian male activists about their relationship to feminism. One told her: “A lot of people think that women are not currently in the right situation to be treated equally, so we should not extend equality to them. Equality needs to be in the act. It’s related to power. This idea that women are not ready for equality so they should not have it is flawed. In addition to civil actions, we need underlying cultural changes.” In part one of a two part article, we hear from three different men.

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Nasrin Sotoudeh: Equality Will Prevail

March 19, 2014

Arseh Sevom — In this exclusive interview with Arseh Sevom editor Mohammad Reza Sardari, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh discusses the very personal impact of her struggle for equality and justice. She tells of a young son who lost his childhood. “I grew up all of a sudden,” he tells her. In 2013, she was released from prison after serving three years of a six-year sentence for her activities defending the rights of her clients. In this interview, she reminds all of us that there is a price worth paying for the achievement of justice and equality.

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#Iran: Abuse in Soccer Schools, Feminists Speak Out, Economy and Sanctions

March 10, 2014
Why aren't we all feminists

Arseh Sevom–Women’s day passes us by and we can look forward to another 364 days dominated by men. Award winning reporterNaeimeh Doustdar wrote for Arseh Sevom: “I know I should be a feminist and am a feminist, yet I wonder why others, men and women, are not. Discrimination is complex, and the struggle is complex. The ideals of feminism are not simply for the benefit of women…” [fa] This week’s review paints a picture of a society struggling with difficult issues: rights, abuse, corruption, and poverty.

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#Iran–Negotiations, Prisoners of Rights, and More

February 19, 2014
Omid Kokabee

Arseh Sevom–Wow, is Iran ever in the news. Nuclear negotiations, prisoners of rights, fertility treatments, and sanctions relief all feature this week. What we didn’t include could fill an entire newspaper. Arseh Sevom congratulates physicist Omid Kokabee on the award of the Andrei Sakharov Prize from the American Physical Society and calls for his immediate and unconditional release from prison. We are watching other developments with interest.

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#Iran — I’m Sorry, So Sorry, #Rouhani Apologizes on State TV

February 10, 2014

Arseh Sevom – There are times when the sword is mightier than the pen and on January 29 it was so. Two Ahwazi Arabs were executed without warning, without the chance to say goodbye to loved ones. Their crime: “enmity against God.” This review looks at politics, sanctions, apologies, and executions.

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US Sanctions Law Shuts Down Online Courses in #Iran

January 29, 2014

“Few things illustrate the bone-headedness, short-sightedness, and sheer chauvinism of the political structure of the United States better than the extent to which its ideologues are willing to go to score cheap domestic political points with narrow interests in the pursuit of a sanctions regime that has clearly run its course.” Those were the words sent to the students of the online course “Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World” this morning. A U.S. Treasury spokeswoman reminds us that Coursera needs to apply for a license to operate and that the office of the treasury has a history of approving educational licences.

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#Iran — Can you See the Music?

January 28, 2014
Can you see the music?

Arseh Sevom –We cherish the small victories: the small acts of solidarity, defiance, kindness. Maybe seeing musical instruments on television seems trivial, but we see it as a win. A small win, yes. But one nonetheless. The rest of the news isn’t quite as rosy: the economy remains disastrous for Iran’s working class. Promised liberalization of society is stalled. Still, the current Iranian administration works to connect Iran with the rest of the world. “The last six years have taught us that no country can succeed alone,” Iran’s president tell the World Economic Forum. Yes, and no country can thrive without space for dissent, celebration, and basic rights. We’ll be looking for more small wins in the months and years to come.

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#Iran — Where’s My Gold?

January 14, 2014
Wheres My Gold

Arseh Sevom – Anyone who has every read Joseph Heller’s classic novel depicting the insanity of war and military life, Catch 22, won’t be surprised by speculations of unscrupulous profiteering in the name of country and honor. Iran’s Babak Zanjani — deal-maker extraordinaire – seems to have walked right off the pages of Heller’s book. He’s a billionaire many times over thanks to international sanctions against Iran and his clever manipulation of his position as the Islamic Republic’s bagman. Recently he began a new stint as a prisoner in Iran’s Evin Prison.

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2013 Year in Review — #Iran and Its Civil Society

January 2, 2014

They say that an optimist is someone who knows that one step forward and two steps back is a dance, not a defeat. In 2013, those acting for a vibrant civil society in Iran wore out their dancing shoes. This post presents a brief and incomplete overview of the last year of posts from Arseh Sevom.

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#Iran: I’m Dreaming of Citizens’ Rights

December 26, 2013
Iran - Dreaming of Citizen Rights

Arseh Sevom—In this season of celebrations, we begin by wishing all our readers happy holidays. A Citizenship Rights Charter has been presented to the people of Iran. The charter, like the constitution of Iran, guarantees nothing in the end. It’s as substantial as a dream. Meanwhile, the interim nuclear deal seems to be doing little to change the economic reality for Iran’s population. An EU Delegation visited Iran for the first time in six years. Their meetings with Sakharov Prize Honorees Nasrin Sotouden and Jafar Panahi has led to protests from hardline factions.

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#Iran — Free Expression, Dream or Reality?

December 12, 2013

Arseh Sevom— The nuclear agreement may represent a step away from international isolation, but Iran’s people still have a long way to go before breaking down the barriers to dissent and free speech. Read more in this week’s review.

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#Iran — Time for Attention to Human Rights

November 29, 2013

Arseh Sevom–Trust, but verify: that is the message of the recent nuclear agreement with Iran. The completed agreement sent hopes of better times soaring in Iran where a whole generation has felt itself sacrificed to hardline policies and the results of sanctions. If trust can be built in the wake of these negotiations, there is an opportunity for the international community to engage Iran on its human rights record. That is the next step.

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