Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Journey to Italy

I was invited by the Italian Minister of Sea,Land and Environment.After arriving at Rome, we met with Ms.Emma  Bunino who was the former Foreign Minister of Italy . Our first visit was at the Environmental Research Center,ISPRA, we visited their advanced laboratories and spoke about plans for joint activities. We met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs that after noon in the immense ministry building which was built once by Mosillini.
Bilateral political,economic and environmental issues were discussed. We then left to visit the Minister of Environment with whom we discussed the status of Climate Change negotiations.
The MOU for energy and climate change was then signed and we attended a reception of  pasta, fish and chips hosted by the Minister of Environment in a antique setting in central Rome.
I began the next day with RAI international news channel broadcast live from the residence of the Ambassador.
The reporter and her director were both interested in Iran and related developments.The rise of ISIS was alarming for all and this matter was brought up in every meeting and interview.After several short interviews with local media and newspapers we left for a meeting with the Italian Parliament Speaker. Scores of protesters were loudly rioting outside the Parliament premises, against austerity measures which were severly hitting their livelihoods.Laura Boldrini spoke about the importance of the role which Iran as  a stable country has in preventing the spread of ISIS.
The Diplomatic Research center SIOI , had invited me to speak. I chose the title " Spirit of Dialogue and the Journey to Perfection." I spoke about how we had to bring the change we want in the world first within ourselves and particularly those in positions of leadership.
I also responded to questions a out , human rights, foreign policy and internal politics in Iran. Our final program was to take part in the Minerva Award Program .
This is a prestigious award given to women by the Anna Marie Mamolliti Foundation. Several women were awarded mostly from Italy , I was given the award for Political Leadership. There was a large audience attending and I took a few moments to thank the organizers and to mention the achievements nof Iranian women in different fields and to note that this award is an indication of the common values that we cherish in spite of all the cultural differences.
I hope this visit has played its role in providing a more objective image of Iran and improvement of bilateral relations.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hussein,Light of Guidance,Ship of Salvation

In the darkness you grope for light, a small ray would do enough to illuminate the path before you.  If there is no light there is little hope. Hatred, injustice and slavery are all elements of darkness that we see so much in today's world . Global equations are set on power struggles, for the accumulation of wealth, for lust and control over the world' s resources and nations. Justice and peace are elusive today more than ever, even though these terms are articulated well and used to justify our actions but in many parts of the world in West Asia or Africa in particular war and conflicts have devastated livelihoods, in other areas poverty and disease are taking their toll. Drugs, human and arms trafficking are controlling economies and instead of creating employment opportunities for the youth they undermine their future and their hopes. Extremism and terror in the name of God has emerged ominously in the Islamic world, quickly labled as the so called Islamic State or Daesh by western media. Where is the world leading and what fate awaits humanity? 
These days Muslims are mourning the martyrdom of Imam Hussein as the epitome of compassion and human values.Ashura is one of the most relevant Islamic historical events  61 years after the Hejira, Yazid the  despot has taken the rule of Islamic lands in his hands, Baniommayid dynasty never followed the true spirit of Islam and teachings of the Prophet. The Islamic Khalifat has lost the original spirit of Islam. 
They abused the people's beliefs to strengthen their power and wealth. Injustices were so widespread that the people of Kufa sent thousands of  letters asking Imam Hussein the grandson of the Prophet to relieve them of tyranny. These corrupt and devious rulers were the equivalent of Daesh today. They distorted the teachings of the Holy Quran to meet their interests and condoned bloodshed and terror. Imam Hussein was reluctant at first ,but the insistance of the people convinced him to move towards Iraq with his companions and family. 
Representatives of the rulers came to prevent Imam Hussein from entering Kufa, in a spirit of peace,  he agreed to return, but Yazid insisted that he return to Damascus to pledge allegiance to the Ommayid establishment . "You will die before you see me submit to oppression and tyranny" he replied. "If the religion of God will not be  corrected other than by my death ,then oh swords encompass my body" , "My cause is to enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong."
Once it beacame clear that a battle will occur next day, Hussein told his companions that they could leave freely if they wanted, "they will come for me he"said you may all leave. Imam even darkened the tent so whoever wished could leave in the darkness. His companions remained, Abass, his brother said "we will die with you". 
The narrations of Ashura are filled with stories of love compassion even for the enemy and of bravery and resistance for the sake of the truth. Yazid had commenced a smearing campaign to undermine the personality of Hussein who was revered and known for his truthfulness and honesty. Imam invites all souls of humanity, those present and those to come to join the cause of righteousness: " Is there any helper to assist me?" 
All sons and companions of Hussein fought bravely on Ashura and thereby left an indelible mark on the history of Islam. Ashura became a milestone that dilineates between the authentic Islamic teachings and practices and that which hypocrite rulers may practice to protect their throne and their worldly interests.
1375 years later the legacy of Hussein is alive, hundreds of millions mourn Hussein today as the ultimate symbol of  salvation, the fulfillment of sublime human values. Ashura inspires humanity irrespective of religion, nationality or race since its message is the universal call for righteousness and justice.
The world today needs leaders who could stand up to the expectations to enjoin what is good and forbid evil. Leaders are required who could  sacrifice to promote justice,equality hope and prosperity not for themselves but for their nations. Leaders are needed who have the altruism to stand up against corruption and oppression,against the warmongers and arrogant who think they are the superior race and should lead the world.
In a world lost in war, poverty, insecurity and excesses, Hussein has won the war of hearts and minds, for Hussein is the light of guidance and the ship of salvation.