Friday, June 5, 2015

Dialogue with Yassin al-Haj Saleh on Syria, Iran, ISIS and the Future of Social Justice

Yassin al-Haj Saleh is a leading Syrian intellectual and former political prisoner who participated in the Syrian Revolution from its beginning in March 2011.  Since October 2013 he has been forced into exile in Turkey where he continues to write and speak out in defense of the aspirations of that revolution. He contributes to several Arab newspapers including Al Hayat and is the author of several books in Arabic, including:  Syria in the Shadow: Glimpses Inside the Black Box (2009), Walking on One Foot (2011), a collection of 52 essays written between 2006 and 2010, Salvation O Boys: 16 Years in Syrian Prisons (2012), The Myths of the Successors:  A Critique of Contemporary Islam and a Critique of the Critique (2012).  He is the editor of Deliverance or Destruction?  Syria at a Crossroads (2014). In 2012 he was granted the Prince Claus Award as “a tribute to the Syrian people and the Syrian revolution”.  However, he was not able to collect the award, as he was living in hiding in Damascus.  Below is an interview which Frieda Afary, the producer of Iranian Progressives in Translation, conducted with him in English and via e-mail.  This interview and Afary’s Persian translation of it were originally published on May 29, 2015 by Zamaneh, a Persian-language human rights radio station and website based  in Amsterdam.  The Persian translation can be found at http://www.radiozamaneh.com/221018


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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Joint May Day Resolution of Independent Iranian Workers’ Organizations

Translator’s Note:  The following joint resolution by seven independent Iranian labor unions and organizations has been issued amidst a growing wave of strikes by workers, protests by teachers and nurses, and arrests of union leaders.  The resolution specifically targets “the capitalist system which rules Iran …cannot and does not want to put an end to the existing unbearable situation.”  The resolution further opposes discrimination against women, ethnic, national, religious minorities and Afghan migrant workers.  In conclusion, it states:  “We condemn the escalating war and killings in the Middle East region.  In our view, this horrible situation, the unprecedented rise of terrorist organizations and the policies of terror in the countries of the region are caused by the dead end which capitalist relations have reached in their failure to satisfy the needs of human beings today, and by the anti-human policies of western and regional governments.”     The original Persian text can be found at http://www.etehadeh.com/?page=news&nid=4333   This translation will be published in the Bulletin of the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran.


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Friday, April 10, 2015

Idolatry of Nukes Is "Enrichment" at the Cost of Impoverishment: An Iranian Progressive's Response to Iran's Nuclear Agreement with World Powers

Translator’s Note:  Below are translated excerpts from an article by Mohammad Reza Nikfar, philosopher and chief editor of Zamaneh, a human rights radio station and website based in Amsterdam. 


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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Iranians Debate Combating ISIL & Defending Kurds/ Kurdish Women



The urgent need to combat the onslaught of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL),  and the fact that the Kurds are being seen as a democratic bulwark against ISIL, has led to some important debates among Iranians.  These debates concern the struggles of the Middle East region’s Kurdish national minority and Kurdish women in particular. 







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Friday, March 14, 2014

Iranians Discuss Nancy Fraser’s and Women of Color’s Critiques of Feminism

Nancy Fraser’s recent article, “How Feminism Became Capitalism’s Handmaiden and How to Reclaim It”  has led to some interesting discussions among Iranian women and men inside Iran and in exile.  In her article, Fraser argues that the second wave of feminism has abandoned its original ideal of social justice and has been co-opted by capitalist careerism.


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Monday, November 25, 2013

Responding to the Rouhani Administration’s Executions of Ethnic Minority Prisoners


With the latest nuclear agreement between the Iranian government and six world powers, which reduces the threat of foreign military intervention and lightens severe sanctions, Iranians can now focus on their country’s internal problems. At the same time, the Rouhani administration’s latest executions of ethnic minority prisoners reveal that the regime wishes to stir up hatred against national minorities to deflect attention from Iran’s deep class, gender and ethnic inequities.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Iranian Intellectuals Break Taboos Concerning Bahais, Israel



Mohammad Nourizad and Mohsen Makhmalbaf are both filmmakers. Both were active supporters of the Iranian regime but later turned against the regime and became ardent advocates of human rights. Now they have openly broken with another feature of their past: prejudice against religious minorities.

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