Arseh Sevom — In the US, April 1st is marked with practical jokes. In Iran the first of April is celebrated as Nature’s Day with millions taking to parks all over the country. Iranians around the world mark the end of the celebrations marking the new year with picnics, family, and friends. This year during [...]
“I have always believed that, no matter how dark the cloud, there is always a thin, silver lining, and that is what we must look for.” – Prof. Wangari Maathai
Arseh Sevom remembers the Nobel Prize winning activist, Prof. Wangari Maathai who died recently of ovarian cancer.
For many of us, she is a hero, someone who is not daunted by even the largest of problems. As one of our staff says, “It’s tough to imagine Prof. Maathai being no more. True, she never looked like she was 71 and I have seen people much younger than her be consumed by that affliction. But still, there are people that you don’t ever wish to think of as mortal. For me, Maathai was one such person.”
Maathai was the founder of the Green Belt Movement. She began the movement in 1977 in order to respond to environmental degradation. It all began with the planting of trees.
Update: Radio Farda reports that the Parliament in Iran has budget up to $900 million to address the problem.
Six months ago, environmental activists in Iran starting sounding the alarm about the state of Lake Orumiyeh (Urmia). Many began posting about Lake Orumiyeh on Facebook. They urged others to take notice: Lake Orumiyeh, the third largest salt water lake in the world, was drying up. This environmental catastrophe was not receiving the attention needed to force action from the government.
Protests about the state of the lake have moved from Facebook to the streets, where they are occuring on a regular basis. Several dozen people have been arrested in Northwestern Iran protesting the government’s inability to ensure the long-term survival of the lake, which is drying up as a result of drought and the man-made diversion of rivers that once flowed into the lake.