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Sunday, June 21, 2009

A candle for Neda, Iran

Seldom do you get to watch history unfold so rapidly -- unless you live in times such as ours. What was the Chinese curse? May you live in interesting times. I think curses are meant to be transformed into blessings of insight through hard work, endurance and love. In Iran this weekend, they are doing very hard work, deciding what they want to be as a country, and standing up, one by one, for their own individual answers.

One young girl in Tehran yesterday was standing up for her answer when a Basij sniper peered down at her from a balcony. For some reason, he decided to aim straight at her heart and he was a good shot. She died in her father's arms while an amateur videographer captured the tragic event on film and uploaded that video to the Internet. The film rocketed around the world via a new use of technology whose power we are just discovering as Iranians discover their use of it to get out word of these events.

The girl's name -- I've read that she was only 16 -- is Neda, which means voice or call in Farsi. It has in 24 hours become a rallying cry for the cause of freedom. How remarkable an event this is, helped to unfold by people like us, fingers poised over our keyboards, alone in our offices and rooms, expressing our thoughts and feelings about such events in often brief but moving posts. Here's one I just grabbed from Twitter. It touched me deeply:

Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it. --Mahatma Gandhi #neda#IranElection