From Mt Alborz

This came into my inbox forwarded on from Iran… I found it particularly interesting that they mentioned a member of the Basij that got involved in the protest movement… I had met a pro-Mousavi Basij in Tehran when I was there. Interesting to see he wasn’t a one off. I wonder how many guys there going through that. My impression was that the guy I met was involved for the charity and “boy scout” element fo the organisation, not for the chance to beat up protesters.

Iranian Mountaineer Protesters hold up a sign commemorating their “Martyrs”

This is sent to you with great hopes of triumph, peace and liberty for 2010. The image was taken a few days ago and is of a group young Iranian climbers on the summit of Alborz. The banner that they hold reads “in memory of Neda and Ramin and the all the Shohada [martyrs] of the wars, streets and prisons”.

This salutation from the highest summit in the Middle East glorifies a new generation’s Shohada or Islamic martyrs. They are not the vile suicide bombers that marred the last decade. Their Shohada are philosophy student “Shahid Neda” Soltan as she is often referred to. Or 26-year-old doctor Ramin Pour’andarjani who died of poisoning after his refusal to sign falsified death certificates at the Kahrizak detention center; Or the 19-year-old Mohsen Ruholamini, a member of the conservative student basij who died in the same centre after protesting against election fraud.

They are Iran’s non-violent Shahids who have died for liberty and justice and by their sheer numbers inevitably herald new beginnings for the region.

About Austin G. Mackell

I am a freelance journalist who has worked for a variety of corporate and community outlets from my hometown of Sydney and from the Middle East, including from Lebanon during Israels 2006 invasion and from Iran during the tumultuous presidential elections there in 2009. I have recently moved to Cairo to watch the revolutions in Arab world unfold.
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