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Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’

Monday NYC Theatre, 2005: “From Tel Aviv To Ramallah”

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, Millennial Generation, NEW!, NEWS AND COMMENTARY on June 29, 2011 at 10:24 AM

From Tel Aviv To Ramallah  was a production I attended, spontaneously and alone, on a rainy Monday night in Manhattan, late 2005.  As many theatre patrons know, Mondays are the day of the week when many theaters are dark (no performance.) But sometimes, these are the best opportunities to catch the magic of live theatre. And here’s how I managed to catch this one particular night which resonates more and more with each passing year.

Here in New York City, a smorgasbord awaits the avid theater-goer. Even if you are on a budget (students or starving, Bohemian artists; or cash-poor adventurers, like me,) folks have ways of getting tickets. The catch is, most discounts demand the person be ready to go the day-of the performance.

Well, there’s a reason why I love seeing theatre, at the last minute, with no expectations. To elaborate, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict inspired a number New Plays Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway in 2005 and I found myself trying to attend as many as possible. A handful of these plays challenged perceptions, offered insight, a human story, all those things that made other productions worth the risk. To bluntly put it: if I allowed the synopses and especially, the critical reviews, to pick and choose which productions I saw then, I’d have missed the best one.

The habits for overtly political theatre may be a time honored tradition in theatre history but what is it more akin to in the 21st Century? What politics are we addressing and how?

Every time we sit down for a performance arts piece, centered around modern day conflicts and cultural-politico-socio-ideologies, we risk exposing ourselves to the moribundity of Populist Theatre. (Not just theatrical mediums but all media and its audiences are more easily are mistaking political for populist propaganda.) A bad-habit we are all forming, because it is becoming all to “normal.”

That is, to employ mechanisms like “definitive archetypes,” portraying only selective pieces of information, building upon one opinion, one perception of a war, stereotyping each of the cultures involved. Pounding cheap, theoretical conjecture into an audience already over-saturated in Op/Ed news and information.

In the case of certain productions about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and also, the War On Terror, the human experience serves only to cater for the intent of Populism. To add emotional impact, ignite the zeitgeist, am I correct?

A reflection of the humanist struggle when the forces of Political or Cultural Movements subsume a person’s existence?

See, this is why I like walking into a production, understanding the risk, not knowing much about it, and hoping for a jewel.

As part of the Out Loud: New Play Reading Series at Ars Nova in 2005, the show From Tel Aviv To Ramallah performed for only that one night. And for those 75 minutes or so…  Man, I wish I could bring Yuri Lane and his solo production here, today, for people to see. I think its message is more important than ever.

At a small but inviting performance venue on 54th, between 10th and 11th Avenue, I took my seat among the small audience. Two young men, maybe 16 years old, were sitting in front of me, excited to see their favorite beatbox performer and drinking Red Bull. They came in from Connecticut. They were not expecting a powerful piece of theatre and neither was I.

Yuri Lane avoided all the aforementioned pitfalls for the Political and Populist Theatre productions. He did it simply. With minimal design, he told us a story. Using his skills with beatbox, language, rhythm, gesture; using three light cues to distinguish SR, SL and Center; finally inverted pictures, multimedia projected on the backdrop, he set the scene for a fable about one young man from Tel Aviv and one young man from Ramallah.

Instead of showing us who was wrong and who was right, he told us of Amir and of Khalid. The idea that dreams and ideals of youth exist in separate microcosms outside the larger reality of (the Israeli-Palestinian) conflict set the story in motion. We learn about two different, but also similar people, whose goals are not unlike yours or mine. One wants to be a DJ. One wants to own an Internet Cafe. They share the threat of attacks. And their journey shows how a gradual diffusion of the greater reality into each microcosm, negates the youthful idealism for a future independent of violence and injustice. Both have their dreams compromised. Both must transition from adolescent to adulthood. Both must face each other in the end and the choices they make, leading them to the final moment of the play. A vision of peace comes down to two young men, who make one choice. Peace, perhaps, may not be realized by Treaties or United Nations intervening, or a great leader’s solution, but perhaps, it begins with a choice. An understanding.

And the audience is left without any clear answer about who is right, who is wrong and why one side is bad versus the other. Why would we presume an understanding? How to solve the permutations of a conflict, as deep and complicated as the Israeli-Palestinian hostilities?

Rachel Havrelock wrote and directed this play.

Is our civilization so solid that you do not fear to shake the pillars on which it rests? Can you not see that all falls in upon you if one column be shattered? Could you not have learned if not to love one another, at least to tolerate the great virtues and the great vices of each other? Was it not your duty to attempt –you have never attempted it in sincerity– to settle amicably the questions which divided you, the problem of peoples annexed against their will, the equitable division of productive labor and the riches of the world? Must the stronger forever darken the others with the shadow of his pride, and the others forever unite to dissipate it? Is there no end to this bloody and puerile sport, in which the partners change about from century to century– no end, until the whole of humanity is exhausted thereby?

ROMAIN ROLLAND, “Above The Battle,”

Journal de Geneve_, September 15, 1914.

Ring-Around-A-Rosie, Lay Me Down To Sleep

In Daily Musings, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, HAUNTED, poetry on February 16, 2011 at 10:02 PM

#FLASHVERSE 02:26

Ring a-round a-rosie

Pocket full of posies

Ashes

Ashes

We all

fall

DOWN

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray the Lord my soul to take

God Bless Mommy, and Daddy, Grama and Grampa….

There was a turtle by the name of Bert

Bert the turtle was very alert;
When danger threatened, he never got hurt
He knew just what to do…

He’d duck!

[gasp]

And cover!

Duck!

[gasp]

AND COVER!

He did what we all must learn to do

You

And You

And You

A N D   Y O U !

[bang, gasp]

Duck, and cover!


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a…

~

~

So is the equal poise of this fell war.

Compilation by Kimberly Cox, © 2011

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American Media’s Silence and Sakineh Ashtiani

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, NEW!, NEWS AND COMMENTARY on November 5, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Remaining absent from the coverage surrounding the International outcry against Iran and the case of Sakineh Ashtiani, her imprisoned son Sajjad, her lawyer, Houtan Kian, and the two German journalists arrested on October 10, 2010, is the American media. Minimal coverage has been seen online in the Washington Post and The New York Times. Cable news networks have also reserved any reference to the story for their online blogs. While the Canadian Newswire and The Guardian are giving the story ample coverage, the citizens of the United States of America, whose voice could offer a significant force in appealing to the Islamic Republic of Iran, remain unaware that anything is happening at all.

It is no coincidence either that the timing of Iran’s announcement to move forward with the execution of Sakineh Ashtiani occurred during the Mid-Term Elections. Nor does it surprise me that anyone I reached out to in the American Media responded. Election nights are chaotic enough in every major newsroom and they all reserve their coverage for following and reporting their outcome. However, now that the results are almost all in, why are they still remaining silent? Why will they not join the International community, who see this as a leading story?

As the execution of Ashtiani remains imminent and the global protest continues, those participating know this is affecting the Iranian Government enough to pause and hold a stay of execution. However, as of 20:00 (EST) those familiar with the Iranian Judiciary Process, are well aware of the precarious nature of how this affects both the case of Sakineh Ashtiani and others awaiting execution. America’s MSM has yet to step up and report on this story for the American people. I implore those who can influence the heads of editorial to consider giving a reasonable amount of coverage in order to inform our citizens of this horrific case.

Most recent coverage here, advocates for the efforts to save an Iranian mother’s life. Dr. Phyllis Chesler offers a solid synopsis of what is happening right now. However, we still need your help. We need you to spread word of this effort to put pressure on the UN, Iran’s allies and join in with the rest of world, condemning the treatment and human rights violation in the case of Sakineh Ashianti, her son and the two German journalists currently imprisoned by Iran’s government.

From The New York Times, November 4, 2010

By The Associated Press

The rights group Amnesty International has urged Iran to immediately release the son and the lawyer of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, saying the two were only trying to save her life. According to the London-based group, the woman’s son, Sajad Ghaderzadeh, and her lawyer, Javid Houtan Kian, were arrested Oct. 10, along with two German citizens who were seeking to interview the son. Iran has temporarily suspended the stoning verdict against the woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, 43, and suggested that she might be hanged instead for her involvement with the murder of her husband. Ms. Ashtiani remains on death row in Tabriz and “could be scheduled for execution at any time,” Ann Harrison, Amnesty’s Iran expert, said Thursday

From The Guardian

By Matt Kennard, November 4, 18:01 GMT

It’s shameful that other Latin American leaders have not followed Lula’s lead on offering sanctuary to Iran’s condemned woman.

I furthermore encourage people not to underestimate the propaganda and misinformation released by Iran to international news organizations. Just as they timed the announcement of her execution to coincide with the US Mid-Term Elections, their efforts to further subvert the media with false information and claims will continue.

From Reuters Africa

November 4, 23:00 GMT

A statement from Iran’s Embassy in London Thursday said legal hurdles still remain in Ashtiani’s court case.

“The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in London hereby announces that the recent reports and news concerning the imminent execution of Mrs Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani are all baseless and are strongly rejected,” it said.

“The judicial proceedings and process dealing with the case have not been completed yet. All the recent reports in this regard, merely baseless claims, are meant to stage a propaganda campaign and create a poisonous atmosphere against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” it said.

 

This is not a campaign against Iran. This is not an attempt to slander their country. It is a campaign to save a woman from unjust torture and imprisonment. It is a campaign to save her life and send a message to every country in the world, that while we respect every nation’s individual rights, we will not excuse a country from denying its citizens fundamental human rights.

Furthermore, it is important to note that the Islamic Republic of Iran may very well execute her by hanging, instead of stoning, to alleviate pressure from the International Community condemning the execution of women by stoning. Yesterday, when Mina Ahadi, spokesperson for the International Committee Against Stoning (ICAS) attended an online meeting in Paltalk, it was interrupted by a group threatening Ms. Ahadi. A new room was then opened under the title, “We Demand The Stoning of Mina Ahadi.”

The American Public needs to know that the case of Sakineh Ashtiani is among many untold stories about women who are denied the basic tenants of human rights. Yes, her situation calls for immediate action and it will take only a moment of your time to sign the two petitions which are helping to stop Iran from executing her.

http://freesakineh.org

24 HOURS TO SAVE SAKINEH

Sadly, Sakineh is not alone. Please, America, we can take action that will make a difference. Instead of engaging in the partisan socio-political banter, encouraged by the MSM, we have the freedom to speak out against the violation of human rights, happening right now, in countries outside of our own.

NO WOMAN, NO MAN, NO PERSON SHOULD EVER BE STONED TO DEATH

SAVE SAKINEH, ONE PHONE CALL, STOP IRAN

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, NEWS AND COMMENTARY on November 3, 2010 at 4:33 PM

UPDATE: EXECUTION ON HOLD BUT STILL IMMINENT

If anyone underestimates the power of social media networking, then all they need to do is look at the immediate situation in Iran and the case of Sakineh Ashtiani. For a complete report on the entire case, I recommend this article from The Guardian, here.

*

An International campaign to save the life of Sakineh Ashtiani worked in July. Now, the Iranian Regime, thinking and knowing that many of us will be focused on the Mid-Term Elections in the USA, recanted and will execute her any day now. Since the announcement 48 hours ago, every nation has issued a statement condemning the execution, just as they did in July, and close to 700,000 people have joined in the outcry against the impending act of injustice.

BUT WE STILL MUST TAKE ACTION BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. Please, take a moment and send a message to Iran and its allies. It worked back in July. It worked to stop her execution today. But without your help, they will go thru with this horrific and untenable act, despite every nations’ effort to stop it.

How is it possible for a woman to be accused of adultery after the death of her husband? Why has she remained in prison, been tortured, denied fundamental elements of due process and judiciary rights? How can it be possible for this country to first, say they will not stone a woman to death and then, four months later, just when the United States Mid-Term Elections occur, announce her execution for the following day? Why are there two German journalists, her son and her lawyer now in prison for trying to get the message out to the world?   How is it possible for a nation that sits on the Human Rights Council of the United Nations to continually violate the basic tenants of Human Rights by committing atrocities against their own citizens? How much more will the world continue to rationalize this toleration of a regime who has openly lied, recanted on promises, blocked media coverage to cover up these horrific acts of violence, torture and murder?

*

It’s not too late to make a difference and stop Iran again from EXECUTING Sakineh Ashtiani. A global outcry prevented them from stoning her to death in July. Now they say they will carry out the execution, despite every nation’s open statements condoning this act of horrific injustice.

***

PLEASE CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO SEND A MESSAGE & FOR PHONE NUMBERS TO INTERNATIONAL EMBASSIES AND REPRESENTATIVES:

http://freesakinah.org

http://www.avaaz.org/en/24h_to_save_sakineh/98.php?CLICKTF

CALL THE EMBASSIES

You may say whatever you choose but here are some suggestions from the website that has helmed the international campaign to save Sakineh’s life and combat the human rights violations in her case:

1. I have heard that Sakineh Ashtiani might be executed tomorrow and I am calling to urge your government to halt the execution and set a global example by ensuring fairness and justice in this case.

2. I am concerned that Sakineh’s son and her lawyer have also been detained and have had no access to legal counsel. I ask that they be assured fair and humane treatment and released immediately along with the two German journalists who were arrested with them.

3. I am relieved that Iran has invalidated Sakineh’s sentence of stoning for adultery, and urge the government to ensure stoning is banned throughout Iran.

*

Here’s the list of numbers numbers (international codes and alternative numbers in brackets):

Australia (+61) 02 62907000 (ext.9)
Austria: (+43) (0)1 712 2650
Belgium:(+32) 02 762 3745 (2 762 3771)
Brazil: (61) 3242-5733 (3242-5124 / 3242-5874)
Canada: (613) 235 4726, 613 233-4726
Denmark: (+45) 3916 0071
Finland: (+358) 9 6845391
France: 01- 4069 7900 (4069 7971/ 4069 7914 / 4069 7916 / 4069 7966)
Germany: (+49) (0)30 84353399
Greece: (+30) 210 674 1436
India: (+91) 11- 332 9600 (332 9601 / 332 9602 / 332 0491)
Ireland: (+353) 1 288 5881 (288 0252 / 288 2967)
Italy: (+39) 06 863 28485 (8632 8486)
Japan: (+81) 3-3446-8011
Mexico: (+52) 55 – 91722691 / 91722672 / 91722699
New Zealand: (+64) 4 386 2976
Norway:(+47) 23 27 29 60
Portugal: (+ 351) 213 041 850
South Africa: (+27) 12 342 5881
Spain: (+ 34) 91 345 01 12 (91 345 0116 / 91 345 0652)
Sweden: (+46) (8) 636 3600 (765 0829 / 765 3174 / 767 7929)
Switzerland: (+41) (0)31 351 0801 (351 0802)
Turkey: (+90) 312- 468 2821
UK: call the UK embassy in Iran (+ 98) 2164 052 267 — or — fax the Iranian embassy in the UK (+ 44) (20) 7589 4440

USA: (+1) (202) 965-4990

Read the rest of this entry »

24 Hours To Save Sakineh: Stoning A Woman To Death?

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, NEWS AND COMMENTARY on November 3, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Have You Heard Iran WILL STONE TO DEATH Sakineh TODAY?

•••

In a few hours, maybe a day, Iran will execute Sakineh Ashtiani.

Please petition thru Amnesty Organizations and thru the links below.

ººº

Click the link below to send an urgent call to action — it only takes three minutes and we are her last chance:

http://freesakineh.org This website provides links to news coverage, and over 350,000 names who have signed the petition to stop Iran from stoning and executing Sakineh Ashtiani. Among them are names you know and this site can be trusted.

An emergency message is easy to send to Iran’s allies and key UN powers urging them to intervene and help save Sakineh’s life.  Sending a message NOW may save a woman from being STONED TO DEATH

PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO SEND A MESSAGE & FOR PHONE NUMBERS TO INTERNATIONAL EMBASSIES AND REPRESENTATIVES:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/24h_to_save_sakineh/98.php?CLICKTF

PLEASE HELP SEND A MESSAGE, IT’S ALMOST TOO LATE

(UPDATE, 3-NOV)

For a complete report on the entire case, I recommend this article from The Guardian, here.

2-NOV PRESIDENT OBAMA, US CITIZENS, ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION??

IRANIAN REGIME NEVER SENTENCED HER TO EXECUTION

UPDATE: SKY NEWS REPORTING SHE WILL “HANG” BUT STONING STILL POSSIBLE


Our global outcry stopped her unjust stoning sentence in July. Now we have 24 hours to save her life.

Iran’s allies and key UN powers are our best hope — they could persuade Iran of the serious political cost of this high-profile killing.

Sakineh’s adultery case is a tragic sham stacked with human rights violations. First, she was to be stoned to death. But the Iranian government had to revoke the sentence after her children generated a tremendous outcry against the farcical trial — she could not speak the language used in court, and the alleged incidents of adultery took place after her husband’s death.

Then her lawyer was forced into exile, and the prosecution conjured up a new trumped-up charge for which she would be executed — the murder of her husband. Despite this being double jeoprady, as she is already serving time for alleged complicity in this crime, Sakineh was tortured and paraded on national television to ‘confess’, and was found guilty. The regime has now arrested two German journalists, her lawyer and her son, who has bravely led the international campaign to save his mother. All remain in prison and Sakineh’s son and lawyer have been also tortured and have no access to lawyers.

READ FURTHER, CITATION SOURCES INCLUDED

UPDATE (04:18 EST): Hamid Ashani has aggregated many stories over the past 48 hours about the global out-cry against the execution. Please see the site, IRAN DAILY NEWS

UPDATE: (16:27 EST) No word on whether Iranian Regime has either carried out the execution or whether they will respond to International Community’s Outcry IS THE TIMING ANY ACCIDENT

*

Now Iranian human rights activists state an order has just been issued from Tehran to implement her killing immediately, she is on the list and tomorrow is execution day.

Persistent campaigning led Iran to drop Sakineh’s stoning sentence and captured the attention of leaders in countries with influence on Iran, like Turkey and Brazil. Now let’s urgently raise our voices to stop her killing and inhumane treatment and free her, her lawyer, her son and the jailed German journalists.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/24h_to_save_sakineh/98.php?CLICKTF

A massive public outcry has the moral authority to stop heinous crimes. Let’s use these 24 hours to send a clear message — the world is watching and we all stand together today to save Sakineh’s life and against injustice everywhere.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Stephanie, Pascal, Giulia, Benjamin

and the whole of the Avaaz team

Sources:

The Islamic regime of Iran plans to execute Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani immediately

http://stopstonningnow.com/wpress/4194

Sakineh hanging imminent

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/fears-that-alleged-adulterers-execution-by-hanging-is-imminent/story-e6frg6so-1225946610965

Iranian woman could be stoned Wednesday

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hipKgm5UqJOxciOi1f07BwbfRgFg?docId=CNG.6ef6de7af5f33847d19e690e61087c73.811

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani: A life in the Balance (Amnesty International)

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/089/2010/en/589bd56b-49ac-4028-8dc6-abd903ac9bac/mde130892010en.pdf

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