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November 06, 2006

Remembering those days ...
Yaser Kerachian  [info|posts]

anti_shah_demonstration.jpg
Recently, I read a book titled "The Confederation" which has a very interesting historical review of The Confederation of Iranian Students, National Union from late 1950s till late 1970s, the last years of its activity. Confederation was a very strong anti-shah student organization which played an important role among the oppositions of the Shah's regime. What strikes me about this organization and its several tousands members, all Iranian students living outside Iran, is how much active they were at those times when the only tools of communication were expensive phone conversations. For more than 20 years, Confederation had regular annual gatherings where they were attended by student representatives from all around the world. They were responsible for many anti-Shah demonstrations in Europe and North America which had a great impact on raising international pressure on Shah.

While reading the book, I kept comparing those times with the recent years. Despite the significant increase in the number of Iranian students outside Iran, there is not much political activism one can see, if any. You rarely see students signing an online petition and almost never, you can find them organizing a demonstration. Probably, the only political student organization outside Iran which still exists is the Union of Islamic Studentsí Associations in Europe which has some kind of affiliation with the Iranian government. There may be several other groups using the label of Iranian students but they can hardly represent even a small group of Iranian students.

I know, it's been almost 30 years and the world has changed a lot. We, too.

Comments
Mehdi Y at November 8, 2006 02:43 AM [permalink]:

Your question is a good one. One answer that I have heard is that before the revolution, the western countries were friends of Shah, as a result, protesting against the regime in the West made sense. However, today, the west is against the Iranian government and often Iran is portrayed much worse than it is. That is why it makes less sense to do anything here even if someone is strongly against Iranian government.

Ali M at November 8, 2006 04:30 AM [permalink]:

It Made sense if you were on the left like the Confederation was. The left has always been good at organising protests and the only reason they are quiet today is that they hate more the liberal and democratic West than the islamic republic.

Yassir Svet at November 10, 2006 06:24 AM [permalink]:

Yes, I agree with the original poster of the story. It is strange, in light of today's situation, how the "Confederation" was able to communicate for so long in an organized fashion. Today, we have far more technology beyond telephone/telefax and yet we still are devoid of any OUTSIDE student leadership or substantive guidance. I say we, as in the new voice of Iranian youth who are anti-regime. I feel sometimes we are incompetent as compared to the days of the "Confederation" when Iranian students studying in the U.S. were political, not just wanting to go to "gher" "gherri" parties like today.

Thank you and I welcome all your comments and suggestions:
http://secretcommunique.blogspot.com/

AIS at November 11, 2006 06:26 PM [permalink]:

The reason is obvious. Sliding down a "sorsoreh" and falling down a cliff, is easy, rushed adrenaline and has a lot of noise.
It is climbing up that is hard, in most of its duration silent and in need of sweating.

maziar at May 10, 2007 12:31 AM [permalink]:

The right question to ask is WHO was funding the confederation??

In my university, it was the British government through the student untion grant...

maziar at May 10, 2007 12:31 AM [permalink]:

The right question to ask is WHO was funding the confederation??

In my university, it was the British government through the student union grant...

maziar at May 10, 2007 12:32 AM [permalink]:

The right question to ask is WHO was funding the confederation??

In my university, it was the British government through the student union grant...

fa at July 31, 2007 05:44 AM [permalink]:

You are way out of line. you do not know what you are talking about!!!!!!

fa at July 31, 2007 05:44 AM [permalink]:

You are way out of line. you do not know what you are talking about!!!!!!