All posts in category 'Iran'

Home-grown in Lebanon

January 9th, 2010 | Posted in Beirut, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine

    Bilal Elamine Red Pepper Magazine


Photo: Zoriah (c). Hezbollah logo painted on bullet pocked wall in Beirut, Lebanon.

Responding to the discussion on political Islam begun in the previous issue of Red Pepper, Bilal El-Amine considers the experience of Hizbullah in Lebanon

It is no doubt commendable that Red Pepper has tried to tackle the thorny issue of political Islam and in particular the Iranian experience, a subject that is greatly misunderstood in the west, even in left circles. But unfortunately the discussion created more spark than substance. This can be attributed to both Alastair Crooke’s rather abstract philosophical approach that often clashes with the reality of events on the ground and Azar Majedi’s shrill response, which reduces the legacy of the Islamic revolution in Iran to ‘30 years of bloodshed, oppression, misogyny, gender apartheid, stoning and mutilation’. One wonders how it is that women in Iran make up 65 per cent of university students under such conditions.


Obama must match rhetoric with principle

October 15th, 2009 | Posted in Imperialism, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Politics
    George Bisharat, San Francisco Chronicle October 1st, 2009.


    Photo: US President Barack Obama.

US President Barack Obama has placed restoration of the stature of the United States among his primary foreign policy goals. He has already achieved substantial progress in Europe, where polls indicate that he is widely admired. The president’s June Cairo University speech also won praise in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Yet many across the globe still await the substantive policy changes implied by his inspiring words.

President Obama can solidify broader global respect by supporting the recommendations of the just-released Goldstone report in the United Nations Human Rights Council. Richard Goldstone, an eminent South African jurist, led a mission to investigate allegations of war crimes in Gaza last winter.


Beirut Diaries: film projection

September 15th, 2009 | Posted in Beirut, Culture, Hezbollah, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine

Beirut Diaries is a documentary film by celebrated filmmaker Mai Masri.


    Bar Populaire
    6584 boul. St-Laurent
    entrance: free!
    (metro Beaubien)
    Montreal, Quebec.


Iran: An alternative reading

July 3rd, 2009 | Posted in Iran
    Al-Ahram, Azmi Bishara, July 1st, 2009

    Photo: Faramarz Hashemi. Tehran admits protests over election results.

Iran does not just have an authoritarian system of government, it has a totalitarian one. It is powerful, highly centralised, with sophisticated administrative and control systems, and it applies an ideology that claims to have answers for everything and that seeks to permeate all aspects of life. Instead of a political party and youth organisations, it relies on mass organisations, such as the Basij, that blend security with ideology and even with the benefit of broad sectors of the populace. It also depends on a broad and well-organised network of mullahs and on a politicised security agency and Revolutionary Guard. However, it differs from other totalitarian systems in two definitive ways.

Firstly, no other totalitarian system has incorporated such a high degree constitutionally codified democratic competition in the ruling order and in its ideology. Political competition is systematised in the form of regularly held elections in which rivals espouse different platforms within the framework of the agreed upon rules of the game, just as do political parties within capitalist frameworks. The difference between Democrats and Republicans in the US is not much greater than that between reformists and conservatives in Iran. Of course, these trends in Iran are not actual political parties, but then neither are the Republicans and Democrats, at least not in the conventional European sense. They are more in the nature of electoral leagues.


Iran: People power

July 2nd, 2009 | Posted in Iran
    Hamid Dabashi, Al-Ahram, June 2009.

    Photo: Faramarz Hashemi. Protests over election results in Iran.

The Iranian presidential election of June 2009 will go down in history as one of the most magnificent manifestations of a people’s indomitable will to achieve enduring democratic institutions. The beleaguered custodians of the Islamic Republic, thoroughly aware of their own lack of legitimacy, were quick to use the occasion as a vindication of their illegitimate rule.

They are wrong. This was not a vote for their legitimacy. It was a vote against it — albeit within the mediaeval juridical fortress they have built around the notions and principles of citizenry in a free and democratic republic. The feeble “opposition” to the clerics abroad also rushed to admonish those who participated in the election, insisting on regime change, at a time when upward of 80 per cent of eligible voters willingly participated in the election. Both these desperate, hasty, and banal readings of the election, predicated on bankrupt positions are false.


Montreal: Al Kitab club

June 13th, 2009 | Posted in Beirut, Canada, Culture, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Quebec, Syria, Tadamon!
    Al Kitab (Arabic for ‘Book’), is a new book club organized by Tadamon!

    Photo: James Longley. Al-Mutanabi Street in Iraq.

Al Kitab club members (six to 10 people) will meet in a comfortable place (someone’s home, a quiet café, or a room in a public library) once a month to discuss and reflect on a book.


Lebanon: Doha Deal | Sectarianism

May 26th, 2008 | Posted in Beirut, Hezbollah, Independent Media, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Politics

    Broadcasts from Beirut VI: Nada Bakri reporter with the New York Times.


    Photo: Beirut from above.

A Tadamon! interview project aiming to highlight progressive voices from the ground in Lebanon on the ongoing conflict, voices independent from major political parties…

An interview with Nada Bakri, correspondent for the New York Times in Lebanon, who comments on the recent political deal reached in Doha, Qatar resulting in an official end to the recent political crisis in Lebanon. As Lebanese leaders have agreed on a power sharing agreement, people on the streets in Beirut remain skeptical that the recent agreement will result in long term stability as it reinforces the sectarian nature of Lebanese politics.


Doha Agreement | Economic Crisis

May 22nd, 2008 | Posted in Beirut, Independent Media, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Politics

    Broadcasts from Beirut V: An interview with Professor Karim Makdisi.


    Photo: Krystel Kfoury, Beirut from a distance.

A Tadamon! interview project aiming to highlight progressive voices from the ground in Lebanon on the ongoing conflict, voices independent from major political parties…

An interview with Lebanese political commentator and professor Karim Makdisi offering a critique on the recently signed political agreement on Lebanon’s future signed in Doha, Qatar as without long term substance. As media outlets across the world followed closely the most recent political conflict in Lebanon, seldom was the countries major economic crisis mentioned, with a national debt at around $45 billion, Lebanon maintains one of the highest per capita national debts in the world.

Neo-liberal economic policies adopted by successive movements after Lebanon’s 15 year civil-war have left the country in economic ruins. As the western-backed government and the Hezbollah-lead opposition battled for political power in Lebanon throughout recent months, both mainstream political movements seldom placed the growing poverty rates, crumbling economy and staggering emigration rates front and center.


Radio Tadamon!: Hizballah and Canada’s List of ‘Terrorist Entities’

    Produced for Radio Tadamon! by Vivian Tabar and Stefan Christoff.


    Download / Podcast the program from the Rabble Podcast Network.

A presentation given by Brian Aboud in Montreal on Wednesday, October 17th, hosted by Tadamon! Montreal & the Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) at McGill University within the context of the campaign to challenging Hezbollah’s listing as a ’Terrorist’ Group in Canada.


Radio Tadamon! Lebanon and Hezbollah

    Produced for Radio Tadamon! by Stefan Christoff and Vivian Tabar.


    Photo: Beirut. Download from the Rabble Podcast Network.

Listen to a presentation from Bilal Elamine, the former editor of Left Turn magazine concerning the role of Hezbollah as a political force in Lebanon, touching on the 2006 Israeli attack on Lebanon, the recent political crisis / turmoil in Lebanon, including the general strike of 2006 and opposition demonstrations.


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