Jila and Bahman - personal comments

    As examples of the sincerity and passion shared by Jila and Bahman, here are translations of two notes from their weblogs: Jila's praise for Mir-Hossein Mousavi, after his continued protest against the declared election results, and Bahman's praise for Jila, after she had been declared a winner of the 2009 Courage Awards by International Women's Media Foundation.

    Jila and Bahman's blogs are both titled 'We Are Journalists'. 

    "We brought the painter out of his home"
    By Jila Baniyaghoob
    Tuesday, 16 June 2009

    For years, I had promised myself that I would not become fascinated with anyone, be it in the personal domain, or in the social or political arenas. I know that fascination leads to an absolutist perspective and I fear absolutism greatly.

    I have not become fascinated with Mir Hossein Mousavi, but cannot hide my deeply positive feeling towards him. In the past few days, he has shown such admirable integrity in protecting people's votes.

    So much so that he himself said in the march by millions of people in Tehran: "I have come 'to resist' until a Green Spring arrives and to make sure they cannot 'plunder the green symbol'."

    During the green march in Tehran yesterday on Azadi (Freedom) Avenue, I saw a young boy handing out leaflets with the picture of a hand, out of which green leaves had grown, and with words that said:

    "We took the painter out of his house and asked him to paint our city. We are tired of all this blackness. We are tired of insults and darkness. We want Green, so we can breathe. We want Green. We now call on all Iranians who love their country to paint their hands green, very green, and paint the walls of the city, so that on that day, we will hear the voice of Iran."

    I hope this painter, Mir Hossein Mousavi, will resist, as he has said, until the Green Spring arrives. Of course, I know that in order to resist, he will need the public's green and calm presence on the scene.

    (The original Persian version can be found here)

    The International Courage in Journalism Award for Jila
    By: Bahman Ahmadi-Amouee
    Tuesday, 19 May 2009

    Today, Jila won the International Courage in Journalism Award. This is very important for me, for several reasons:

    Firstly, I am honoured to share my life with such a woman. But more importantly, this same journalist, with her undeniably personal style and courage in professional work, has repeatedly been treated unkindly or ignored by some newspapers, journalists, and journalists' organisations [in Iran]. Later on, I may have occasion to write about the reasons for this.

    However, this moral award amounts to social capital for Iranian journalists, Iranian women journalists, and the Iranian women's movement, and this gives it greater importance.

    I congratulate Iranian women journalists, especially the feminist journalists who preserve their integrity and promote their professional work solely through continuous, untiring work. And I envy them.

    "The Feminist School", a news and information service for the Iranian women's movement has published an interview [in Persian] with Jila which you can read here.

    (The original Persian version can be found here)

    Hossein Shahidi teaches journalism at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. He is the author of Journalism in Iran (Routledge, 2007).

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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