elizrael + doublethink   43

'It's time to live a normal life,' says resident choosing to remain in East Ghouta as government regains control - Syria Direct, april 3, 2018
Right now, I am afraid that the regime will hold accountable all those who stood against it, even if only through words. I am scared that my sisters might curse or say something against Bashar al-Assad, or that they might sing a revolutionary song and be arrested. I fear they could slip up, and that it could cost them their lives.

You can see fear in the eyes of the people who stayed. People must now painstakingly think over every word they utter. We were living freely, and now we are returning to [Assad’s] regime to chant his name and glorify him.

We curse the regime in our hearts, but in front of the regime’s forces we chant praises for our strong and victorious ruler.
doublethink  Mar15  fear  Damascus  Reconciliation  hidden 
may 2018 by elizrael
A ‘disgraceful reality’: Islamic State spies posing as defectors - Syria Direct
An Islamic State (IS) fighter, posing as a defector, befriended two journalists, one of whom was with the Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) media campaign in southern Turkey. The activists took the alleged defector in to their home. He returned the kindness by beheading the two activists in the apartment last Friday.

The murders of the two activists, “among the best from A-Raqqa,” is a harsh reminder of the risk posed by any sort of encounter with an Islamic State sympathizer. Defectors may well be spies, says Furat al-Wafaa, a member of Reporters Without Borders and former activist with RBSS.
surveillance  activism  doublethink  ISIS  Raqqa  Mar15  execution 
november 2015 by elizrael
Syrian Alawites horrified by rising death toll - Al-Monitor, August 5, 2014
However, in statistics published July 12, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced that 65,803 people from the ranks of the Syrian regime forces and armed groups loyal to it have died. It is likely that the vast majority of the dead are Alawites, especially among the militias fighting alongside regime forces.

A visit to the cities and rural areas inhabited by an Alawite majority suggests that the number of deaths may exceed this figure. There are thousands of photos posted on walls and hung at intersections of young men who have lost their lives in the war, and all of them include slogans in support of President Bashar al-Assad. In these areas, Alawite support for the Assad regime remains strong, as evidenced by the large number of portraits of Assad spread throughout the coastal region. But words of anguish are being quietly muttered in these corners of Syria, as the death toll among Alawites continues to rise.

Al-Monitor spoke with a young girl during the funeral for her brother, who was killed in a recent battle. She said, "In spite of everything, Assad is our choice and we will not back down on this. The conspiracy against Syria is huge and there is no substitute for Assad, with his political expertise and alliance with Russia and Iran. Without Assad, we will all meet a bad fate and perhaps be killed at the hands of terrorists in the same way that the soldiers of the 17th Regiment were killed in Raqqa."

In one of the Alawite villages in the countryside of Latakia, sadness and despair are evident on faces everywhere. A village resident in his 60s who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said, "At least half of the village's youths are spread among the fighting fronts. Dozens have been killed, and the authorities weren't even able to recover the bodies of some of them. Assad is leading the sons of the Alawite sect to certain death." Asked why they fight for Assad and support his authority, even though he is leading them to death, he replied, "Although I believe that Assad is leading the Alawites to death, only a minority of the village residents share this opinion. Even I don't dare to say this in front of many of them. Most Alawites believe that there is no alternative to Assad, and that they cannot stop fighting alongside him. The extremism of most Islamic opposition brigades pushes [Alawites] to cling tightly to their positions."

In the coastal cities of Latakia and Tartus, funerals for the victims are held on a near daily basis. Moreover, only rarely do the people show anger about the large number of dead. However, Al-Monitor spoke with the brother of a soldier who was killed last year. Speaking in a quiet voice for fear that those sitting near him in the Latakia cafe would hear, he said, "Assad has failed as a leader. He is sacrificing our lives to stay in power, but we have no other choice. Abandoning the regime would mean that we would be at the mercy of radical Islamists, and there is no third possibility on the horizon." As to whether many others shared this view, he said, "I think so, and this explains why some Alawite youth evade military service. But many are afraid to express their opinion on the Assad regime because they fear the consequences, including being accused of treason or of being sympathetic to opposition militants."
Mar15  Alawite  doublethink  death  Assad  SAA 
november 2014 by elizrael
Asking Assad to stay is asking Syrians to be party to a charade | The National, Nov 23, 2013
In Ambiguities of Domination, political science professor Lisa Wedeen examined the Syrian regime’s rule of domination under then-president Hafez Al Assad.

In a particularly powerful chapter entitled Acting As If, Wedeen writes: “Power manifests itself in the regime’s ability to impose its fictions upon the world.” The complicity of the people within this imposition enforces the regime’s power of domination. In other words, the regime’s power is mainly constructed by the people’s enacted participation in that very construction.

According to Wedeen: “The politics of acting ‘as if’ carries important political consequences: it enforces obedience, induces complicity, identifies and ferrets out some disobedient citizens ...”
doublethink  authoritarian_regime  Assad  Mar15  Syria 
december 2013 by elizrael
Fear Still Rules Political Expression | Damascus Bureau, July 10, 2013
Opposition activists aren’t the only one to be threatened by expressing dissent; ordinary people are affected as well. On the bus, or in any other public space in Damascus, it is enough to hear someone say “may God end this crisis” when commenting on anything related to security or politics to make one feel that the speaker is not comfortable expressing their honest opinion in front of others. While examining IDs at checkpoints, security forces listen carefully for any comment citizens make.

I am not convinced that the “wall of fear” has been broken, because people still speak in a low voice in areas controlled by the regime,” he said.

This view is echoed by another opposition writer still living in Damascus who asked that his name not appear in print.

“Fear still roosts in our hearts,” he said. “The effects of 40 years of totalitarianism under the complete control of the security forces will not go away easily.”

The writer added that he believes both loyalists and opposition supporters live in fear in all areas controlled by the regime.

“There is no such thing as talking politics freely,” he observes.

“The security agent is not the [only] deterrent,” he said. “Every loyalist has become a fierce monitor, and they have taken on this role with unprecedented zealousness.”
freedomofspeech  Mar15  doublethink 
september 2013 by elizrael
Secret reading in Sudan | Reem Abbas | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
In a matter of minutes, social media broke the news of these latest confiscations and a whole crowd of youngsters started asking where they could get their hands on the confiscated books as an act of defiance against a surveillance state where freedoms and civil liberties and now creativity are shackled.

Trading secret books is somewhat similar to organising a protest in Sudan. Code words are used, the planning takes places only through trusted sources, and personal security becomes important.
Sudan  banned_books  doublethink 
october 2012 by elizrael
Syrian revolt arrives at the capital’s doorstep - The Washington Post, Jan 30, 2012
For months, many Damascenes attempted to tune out the unrest unfolding largely out of sight of their city’s trendy cafes, upscale malls and traffic-clogged streets, aided by a government intent on convincing the world that an uprising cast as a foreign plot would be vanquished.

A recent visit to the city made clear the extent to which the revolt can no longer be ignored.

The power is off for two, or four, or six hours a day, depending on the wealth and loyalty of the neighborhood. The Syrian pound, which mysteriously sustained much of its value for many of the previous months, has plunged past the psychologically significant barrier of 70 to the dollar, from around 50 for much of the past year.

Prices are soaring, fuel is scarce, and lines form at gas stations as sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union take their toll on the economy.

A string of recent bombings targeting the security forces did more than anything else to burst the bubble. Concrete barricades have been erected around key security agencies and the homes of top officials, while soldiers in flak jackets and helmets peer out from sandbagged positions around important government facilities.

In the souks of old Damascus, where some of the first protests last year were quickly suppressed, the talk is not of when the revolt will end but how bloody it will get — and what the finale will look like. According to the whispered confidences of merchants, support for Assad is eroding, and only fear of the pervasive security forces is deterring city residents from joining in the revolt.

“No one can protest here,” said a man selling head scarves in the Midhat Pasha section of the souk. “Damascus is not like the rest of the country. Here the government is so strong. It is a security government.”

But, he added, “people are so angry. It will come soon to Damascus.”

“I used to be pro, but now I’m not,” said another merchant, selling children’s clothes deep in the warren of narrow alleyways where stall owners lament that they haven’t had customers for weeks. “But you can’t say you support the opposition or you will be arrested.”
Syria  Mar15  civil_war  doublethink 
january 2012 by elizrael
To Die For | Jadaliyya, Aug 18, 2011
She had contacts in the army who had secretly pledged not to shoot innocent civilians but were terrified of defying orders. They were ashamed of the “military black market” filled with objects stolen from the homes of the vanished, snatched off of the bodies of the dead;

The regime “cuts our wings” and dictates the limits of our dreams. By fear, oppression, ignorance, corruption, the “system” has become the only possibility, the only way to exist. Syria, the graveyard of ambition, of ideas, of innovation, of hope. Our country, a panopticon that infinitely watches, judges, punishes, and worst of all, limits.
Syria  Mar15  doublethink  society  fear 
august 2011 by elizrael
It's Not Him, It's Them | Jadaliyya, Aug 1, 2011
most moving chants of this revolution is al-mawt wa la al-mazalleh, “We would rather die, than be humiliated.” They chant against humiliation, not murder, not torture, not rape, not imprisonment, just against the shame of submitting to live with heads bowed low. For the deluded Syrians who still believe their karameh, dignity remains in tact: as long as you need a bribe to get anything done; as long as you fear to speak your mind; as long as his picture hovers above you by force; then all of you, no exclusions, from the powerful to the marginalized, experience daily humiliation. It is the one trait that unites us all.

The image is all the regime has left, and it is as thin as the paper it is printed on. Our president is a two-dimensional graphic with no substance, and that is both the brilliance and devastation of the plot. We don’t want to believe the fallacy of the image of perfection, because we don’t want to face what the glaring blemishes really represent: humiliation en masse.
Syria  Mar15  propaganda  Assad  conspiracyTheories  doublethink 
august 2011 by elizrael
Syria code: Fearful Syrians use coded language to mask protest activities - latimes.com, July 10, 2011
When protests first broke out in the Damascus neighborhood of Midan, state media said people had come out to celebrate the rain. Now some residents and activists will say there was "heavy rain" during a protest when referring to gunfire from Syrian forces.

"The coded language has been in existence for 40 years; it has been inherited from generation to generation," said Al-Abdullah's husband, who didn't want his name used to protect his family in Damascus, the Syrian capital. "And that code has been transferred from verbal to electronic."

But when Al-Abdullah later spoke to her mother on the phone, the older woman didn't mention anything about a protest.
Syria  doublethink  Mar15  surveillance 
july 2011 by elizrael
Tension beneath the calm in gateway town to Tripoli | Reuters, June 25, 2011
"Two thirds of the people here are for the rebels," he told Reuters, giving his name as Mohammed.

Libyan government minders brought a group of reporters here on Wednesday to demonstrate that despite fighting to the west, Gharyan has been unaffected and that people were going about their lives as usual.

The few who were willing speak to reporters in front of the minders were strongly pro-Gaddafi.

Well away from the government minders, the shop owner, Mohammed, said the majority of Gharyan's residents were looking forward to the arrival of rebel forces.

"We can't wait for the rebels to come here," he said.
Libya  Feb17  doublethink  Qaddafi  propaganda 
june 2011 by elizrael
Majority of Persian Gulf Arabs too afraid to protest against their leaders, new poll says - latimes.com, June 25, 2011
And more than more half of those polled in countries in the Arabian Peninsula said they would be be "too scared" to go out in the streets and protest against their leaders.

The feeling among pollsters in the gulf Arab countries contrasted sharply with respondents in other parts of the Middle East, especially North Africans, who expressed far more optimism, according to the study.

Seventy percent of North Africans polled said they felt that they were about to enter "a new era in the Arab world."
polls  Gulf_region  fear  doublethink  arab_world  ArabUprisings 
june 2011 by elizrael
Learning to speak freely in Libya | BBC News, Mar 10, 2011
Before that, he said, he felt that this was not his country - he threw his cigarette butts on the pavement, for instance, not caring which state his city was in.

"I felt like an animal," he continued, "liable to be taken away at any moment for any reason."

He was specific about when he had decided that Colonel Gaddafi was not right for Libya - January 1976, when several protestors, including a couple of friends, were hanged from Benghazi lampposts.

All that has now changed, said Osman, "I don't throw anything away, I tidy my street. I am now a human being".

One of the staff, who overheard our conversation, said the air was now clear in Benghazi: "The rains came a
doublethink  Libya  Feb17  freedomOfSpeech 
june 2011 by elizrael
The 'fallen' heroines of the Arab spring | Nesrine Malik | Comment is free, June 8, 2011
For women such as these it is tempting to cut and run, to reject those who have rejected you, to either become a recluse or flee altogether. It is a double-edged sword. To be gay or lesbian, divorced, widowed, an atheist – or simply a man or a woman not willing to indulge in the hypocrisy of heterosexual chastity or faux religious piety – presents great challenges to be navigated in everyday life. But it also gives one the beneficial position of not having much to lose, or having less to lose than the more conventional. It is hence liberating, and allows one to believe despite being branded an unbeliever (Amina maintains her commitment to religion despite being "out"), to be moral despite being branded immoral, and to be patriotic despite being branded as an agent of the west.
doublethink  female  dissident  society  arab_world 
june 2011 by elizrael
Syria’s Not-So-Secret Police - IWPR, April 12, 2011
But for most Syrians, even amongst the convivial setting of mosaic-tiled cafes and bustling bazaars, there remain a number of conversational minefields which must be carefully sidestepped in everyday encounters.

These entrenched taboos - what locals refer to wryly as the “forbidden trinity” of sex, religion and politics - have long defined the parameters of public discourse in Syrian society.

And while the first is being gradually corroded, it is the third proscription that is the most sensitive and, as has recently been confirmed, potentially lethal.

In contrast, there seemed to be few holds on conversations about Iran, Israel or Gaza – topics which featured heavily in the lively arak-fuelled discussions of Damascus’s small bohemian sub-culture.
Mukhabarat  Syria  authoritarian_regime  Mar15  doublethink 
april 2011 by elizrael
Khaled Al-Johani: 'The Bravest Man in Saudi Arabia' | AOL, April 8, 2011
Khaled al-Johani said on camera that he knew he'd be arrested -- and he was correct. After he returned to the home he shares with his wife and four young children, Saudi police arrived and arrested him in front of his family, Ali al-Johani said. He hasn't been heard from or seen since.

The teacher has been dubbed "the only brave man in Saudi Arabia" and "the first Saudi hero" in text and email messages and Facebook postings, according to a leading human rights activist in Saudi Arabia.
freedomOfSpeech  Saudi-Arabia  arrest  video  media  doublethink 
april 2011 by elizrael
In Tripoli, Airstrike Damage and a More Outspoken Population - NYTimes.com, March 22, 2011
Though the airstrikes do not appear to have led to any new uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi here, there was evidence that they had had a significant psychological impact. On an organized stroll through the old city with Qaddafi government minders, several Tripoli residents approached foreign journalists to offer their disdain or impatience with the Qaddafi government. Sometimes they spoke within just a few yards of a government representative.

Offered the bromide that it was a beautiful country, one man replied in perfect English, “It will be after we change the system.”

Despite the government’s many warnings that the population was boiling with anger at the West over the airstrikes, there appeared to be no hint of hard feelings. Most people, even those with nothing to sell, were as eager as ever to talk about America or Europe and welcome Western strangers.
doublethink  Libya  FEb17 
march 2011 by elizrael
Hushed and Growing Dissent in Cairo: "It Is Going to Happen Here" | The Awl, Jan 21, 2011
Egyptian society functions on the careful maintenance of exterior surfaces that are the result of these rules. But this week, in public and in their daily lives, Egyptians have been breaking rules.

“You live in a country in which 65 million people are controlled by one million people," he said. “How long can this go on?”
Egypt  authoritarian_regime  doublethink 
january 2011 by elizrael
A lost generation of young people of Tunisia discuss grievances that led to their revolution | WaPo, Jan 20, 2011
Saifeddine Amre, 22, spent six months behind bars for writing about Tunisia's inequity. During an internship at a local newspaper, he submitted an article probing alleged real estate transgressions by Ben Ali's wife, Leila Trabelsi, and her family. The editor reported him to the secret police.

In prison, Amre said they beat him and stamped a cigarette butt on his hand. The scar is still visible.

"Facebook was the means of our revolution," Amre said. "We used it to apply pressure on the regime, to make sure the truth came out."

Nairi, the law student, also posted angry messages on her Facebook page. Many of her 700 friends on the site did the same, multiplying their bitterness across a vast network of disenchanted youth, many in Tunisia's middle class.

"I was fed up," said Nairi, whose parents are lawyers. "This was my chance for a better life."
Tunisia  digi-activism  citizenJournalism  sidibouzid  doublethink  youth  unemployment 
january 2011 by elizrael
Tunisia protests: 'The fear has gone … I've been waiting 20 years for today' | The Guardian, Jan 14, 2011
For the first time – in a state where there is estimated to be one police officer for every 40 adults, two thirds of them in plain clothes, and people are afraid of even discussing politics in private for the informers on every corner – people took to the streets today chanting: "Ben Ali out!" and carrying banners saying "Ben Ali murderer!" They railed against his family and that of his loathed wife, Leila Trabelsi,
SidiBouZid  Tunisia  BenAli  regime_change  protests  freedomOfSpeech  doublethink 
january 2011 by elizrael
K-Pop with a Kim Jong Il Spin | Daily NK, Aug 2, 2010
according to a source from Pyongyang, popular South Korean songs are sung in many big restaurants in Pyongyang. However, in order to avoid trouble with unexpected inspections, they sing the songs with different lyrics. Naturally, they add contents of loyalty or love for Kim Jong Il.
South_Korea  music  North_Korea  doublethink 
august 2010 by elizrael
A Vestige of Free Speech in Iran | Tehran Bureau, Aug 3, 2010
Iranians have always found clever ways to maneuver around the censors and criticize government policies. Journalists now write their editorials by strategically piecing together quotes from Ahmadinejad and other government officials to demonstrate the rampant discrepancies and general absurdity of their comments. Painters embed in their art multiple meanings to appease the government monitors while also speaking to the Iranian people.

While all of these modes of expression are significant, theater remains one of the most accessible and easily understood forms of social and political commentary. It also provides a necessary release from Iran's stifling atmosphere. It's a space where the youth can meet with peace of mind, leaving worries about guardian patrols and morality code checkpoints behind.
Iran  censorship  doublethink 
august 2010 by elizrael
Muttawa Raid « Saudiwoman’s Weblog, July 12, 2010
Before the muttawas came in it was noisy and men and women stood next to each other looking up at the screen. At every highlighted moment in the match there was either a collective roar or groan. The atmosphere was electric... Even Tine remarked on how these muttawas must be feeling this power they had over the people. No one objected to having the match turned off. Women went scurrying off to find seats in segregated areas. Teenagers headed the opposite direction that the muttawas were coming from for fear that they would be stopped because of their hairstyles and low worn jeans. Everyone was silently glancing around, looking for the muttawas and guessing who their victims might be.

It’s as if [people] really believed that they were guilty of something. Hundreds of people shaking in fear of a couple of bearded men. No wonder that things remain the way they are. People believe they deserve to be treated this way.
modesty_police  Saudi-Arabia  doublethink 
july 2010 by elizrael
Personal freedom? An alien concept in Egyptian society | Baher Ibrahim | Comment is free, June 17, 2010
There is a prevailing belief that the individual factor must be totally cancelled in favour of society's common good. We are expected to be faceless members of a monolithic block that thinks and acts in only one way.

Thinking outside the box is strictly forbidden.

Interestingly, Egyptians are quick to flash the "personal freedom" card when it comes to the right of women in France and Belgium to wear the niqab. The west is accused of having two sets of rules, as they allow scantily clad women to roam freely while targeting those who want to guard their modesty. But when it comes to the right of women to take off their hijab or young people to love each other as they please, it's no longer personal freedom, but a violation of our customs and traditions. Those who claim that personal freedom exists actually mean that it only exists within the limits set by society.
veil  hypocrisy  Islam  Egypt  dissident  repression  doublethink  morality  freedom 
june 2010 by elizrael
A new play goes where few dare, criticizing Syria's president and his men | GlobalPost, June 9, 2010
Before the evening is over, the cast will have mauled the regime of President Bashar al-Assad with satire and drama. Such displays of criticism toward the Syrian government are uncommon.

In one scene, members of the feared Syrian secret police (known as the “mukhabarat”) interview a young college graduate who is applying for a government job. Hout plays one of the two officers. When he appears on stage with a Hitler mustache and a Hawaiian shirt, the audience shrieks with laughter. Sustained applause follows.

The play also calls out ministries by name and overtly accuses the country’s vice president of corruption. One scene illustrates how economic mobility in the country is based more on social connections than talent. Another makes fun of conservative dress among women in Syria.
Syria  culture  doublethink 
june 2010 by elizrael
Iran rapper arrested for ‘disrupting the peace’ - The National, March 31, 2010
“Sasi Mankan was arrested when he and some of his friends, dressed in outrageous outfits, danced and performed repulsive acts that were offensive to the public’s morals in a shopping centre in Kish Island,” the police official was quoted as saying. “Police had received complaints from people.”

The popularity of rap music has been on the rise despite the ban. Young rappers, dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and sporting hairstyles that the establishment considers highly offensive, are occasionally seen in parks around big cities performing their songs.

The lyrics are recited to music recorded on mobile phones and contain the signs of political dissent. The artists usually keep on the move to avoid being arrested. “We have things we need to say and find no place to perform our songs so we come here from all over the city once a week to practise and to share our songs. That’s our only option to get together,” a young rapper in a park in western Tehran said.
music  Iran  doublethink  ModestyObsession 
april 2010 by elizrael
How Many Basijis Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb? | RFE\RL, March 27, 2010
A Basij member is asked: “Who is God? He responds: “The representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader in heaven.”

A Basij member is taking part in a Koran reading contest. When he gets to the sura (a chapter of the Koran) of “bani Israel” (the children of Israel), he quits. (The joke refers to the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran does not recognize Israel.)

A Basij member is asked what will happen when the hidden Imam reappears (a messianic figure in Shi’ite doctrine.) He responds: “All will do well, people will care about each other, the killings will end, it will be like the time of the Shah.” (Many Iranians are nostalgic about the era of the Shah and the era before the 1979 revolution.)

How do you torture a Basij member? You tie him down and tell him they’re distributing Sandis (a juice brand) over there.
IranElection  Iran  Basij  funny  CivilDisobedience  doublethink   
march 2010 by elizrael
Child No More | Pedestrian, Feb 10, 2010
I am a child of the revolution. Of ideals and utopia and glory. Of hope … now a barren, forgotten land of blood, and the tears of mothers who will cry in silence, fearing that death squads will come for their little one next.

You see, the TV, the books, the school … they were all about getting us to be the same. To believe in the same thing and wear the same thing and watch the same TV shows because we had no choice. So we were determined to cut out a space for ourselves, to show that we could be different, to prove that we could at once obey the rules and defy them. Our lives became a constant battle of walking the lines we were told and swaying this way or that whenever the elders were not looking.
Children  Iran  Iran-Iraq_War  history  doublethink   
march 2010 by elizrael
“Death to Khamenei” Graffiti all across Iran | Persian2English, Feb 3, 2010
Although most slogans are written discretely, a growing number of frustrated individuals are beginning to openly write over regime 22 Bahman propaganda slogans. On Wednesday afternoon, the man in the [in the left] picture was spotted writing “Death to the Dictator” under a propaganda billboard on Keshavarz Boulevard, toward Vali Asr Square.
doublethink  IranElection.Protests 
february 2010 by elizrael
What is Happening at Iran's State Radio and Television? | Rooz, Jan 27, 2010
Speaking to Rooz, he says that the employees are afraid of each other and all are extremely worried. He adds, "But these employees are with the people of Iran. For example, at ayatollah Montazeri's funeral, I saw some employees who were with and among the people, and that night or the next day had programs on radio and television. What does that mean? It means that the organization's body is with the Green Movement, while thought has no value or respect in the organization. They expect you to be a slave. Others will do the thinking for you and you are expected only to work within the confines dictated by them."
IranElection  GreenMovement  doublethink  IRIB  Media 
january 2010 by elizrael
IRAN: Former prisoner says interrogators increasingly indifferent to Ahmadinejad | Babylon & Beyond | Los Angeles Times, Dec 25, 2009
"Recently, in the interrogations, they did not care about Ahmadinejad," he said.... Not only did his treatment at the hands of interrogators improve over time, so to did the food in prison, he said. "The worst days were that time when we were taken two times to the trials," he said.
Ahmedinijad  doublethink  IranElection  interrogations  prison 
december 2009 by elizrael
Going Underground | Tehran Bureau, Dec 16, 2009
In fact, the majority of the musicians in the film seem reluctant to leave the country for one reason or other. And despite obvious hardships, many musicians in Iran are able to do what they love, even if political conditions necessitate different means of livelihood. Indeed, if this were not the case, Ghobadi would not have had any subjects for his movie. So why does he seem to insist on "escape" as the only way to cope with censorship?
music  Iran  youth  doublethink  movies 
december 2009 by elizrael
Is there panic among the Mullahs in Tehran as regime change looms? | The Iconoclast, Dec 10, 2009
For 2 days I chartered a Taxi and traveled throughout the city of Tehran. From Rah-Ahan in South Tehran to Tajrish and Niavaran up north, and from Narmak in the East to Amir Abad in the West of this City and had conversations with ordinary people, and make no mistake about it, at least 9 of out 10 people that I was able to talk with HATE Khomeini, Khamenei and above ALL Ahmadinejad. Even people whom I could trust that are on government pay roll or are current members of either Basij or IRGC dislike/hate this tyrannical Regime. There is a simple reason for this, the regime has lost every ounce of legitimacy that it had among even its own supporters, and the regime knows it very well.
Iran  doublethink  IranElection  society  opposition  IRGC  regime_change  analysis  awesome   
december 2009 by elizrael
Saudi Shewolf « Saudiwomans Weblog, Oct 31, 2009
At about 1:30 am she put on one of her husbands shmaghs (Saudi headdresses), opened the garage door and drove out! And this is not some reckless teenager; shes a working mother in her thirties. She told me that it was the most liberating feeling she had ever experienced.
doublethink  Saudi-Arabia  female 
october 2009 by elizrael
Inside North Korea: Will these people see change? - The Globe and Mail, September 5, 2009
North Korea is changing despite the Dear Leader's best efforts, and that perhaps even the Hermit Kingdom can't isolate itself forever... But some of the North Korean elites – and I interacted with nearly a dozen of them both inside and outside the country during my journey late last month from Beijing to Pyongyang – have been changed by what they've seen outside their isolated country. They know how poor their country really is, and how the outside world views the place they were raised to believe was a socialist paradise... Though they were likely chosen for their perceived loyalty to the system, those I met left the clear impression that none of them completely believes in it any more... The propaganda has been repeated so often that it no longer has any meaning, especially to those who have seen the rest of the world and understand how far their country has been left behind.
North_Korea  poverty  propaganda  doublethink  gasoline  interesting 
september 2009 by elizrael

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