Rooftops of Tehran. Human Rights and Culture
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Rooftops of Tehran

Rooftops of Tehran | Rooftops of Tehran. Human Rights and Culture | Scoop.it
Courtney Cufaude's insight:

This book takes place in 1973 where Pasha the main character enjoys spending the summer with his best friend Ahmed. During this time, Pasha realizes he has fallen in love with the girl who lives next door to him, Zari.
 Unfortunately for Pasha, Zari since birth has been arranged to marry a guy
 who is nicknamed "Doctor" in the neighborhood. Doctor is a strong
 revolutionary and is highly against religion and the political regime of the Shah. Going against the Shah during this time period was not
recommended for the consequences would be severe. When Doctor, a respectable man to Pasha, goes away to escape the SAVAK police force,
Pasha's friendship grows stronger with Zari. But, when Doctor does come  back to the city of Tehran, he is wanted everywhere by the SAVAK. When
Pasha's carelessness accidentally reveals to the SAVAK where Doctor has
hidden, Doctor is faced with some severe consequences.

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About the Foundation - Human Rights in Iran

About the Foundation - Human Rights in Iran | Rooftops of Tehran. Human Rights and Culture | Scoop.it
The Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation for the promotion of human rights and democracy in Iran (ABF) is a non-governmental non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of human rights and democracy in Iran. The Foundation is an independent organization with no political affiliation. It is Named in memory of Dr. Abdorrahman Boroumand, an Iranian lawyer and pro-democracy activist who was assassinated allegedly by the agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Paris on April 18, 1991, the Foundation believes that promoting human rights awareness through education and the dissemination of information are necessary prerequisites for the establishment of a stable democracy in Iran.
Courtney Cufaude's insight:

Before researching this topic, I would have never imagined a support group in Iran to promote human rights and democracy for the citizens of the country.  Now knowing all about the Iranian revolution that occurred during the 1970s, I am so glad there are support groups out there to help these civilians.  Iran is still struggling to achieve human rights and democracy.  We are blessed in the United States that we have these freedoms.  By donating and becoming aware of this continous issue helps everyone get equal rights in Iran, and even other Middle Eastern countries. What a great website!

 

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Culture of Iran: A History of Moharram & Other Rituals of Death in Iran

Culture of Iran: A History of Moharram & Other Rituals of Death in Iran | Rooftops of Tehran. Human Rights and Culture | Scoop.it
Iranian Historical & Cultural Information Center


The next major days are ‘Hafteh’ (7th day), ‘Cheleh’ (40th day) & one year after death (Sal). The gravesite is visited on these occasions and at all the gathering participants will be served with special meals. Flowers will be placed on the grave and the site will be sprinkled with rose water. Rich people will give ‘Nazry’ (free food) to poor people. Such acts are regarded as good deeds (Savab) and there is the hope that the act will elevate the deceased’s status in the eyes of God. With the death of young people black candles are burnt on the grave till the fire extinguishes itself. With the rich on the seventh day seven of these candles are placed inside expensive crystal candelabra to produce haft nour effect or seven lights. All these traditions are suggestive of Zoroastrian concepts of the sanctity and importance of light.
Courtney Cufaude's insight:

This article in particular talks about Iran and the funeral traditions that are held during their mourning period. In the United States, our funeral processions usually last one-two days. A wake is held the previous night,
 and then a funeral procession followed by the burial the next day. In Iran,
 it is natural for the relatives to fast and make a blood sacrifice for the first three days (Price 2001). The seventh day after is another major celebration for Persians in Iran. This day is known as the Hafteh. During this day the family members of the deceased visit the burial sites and
place flowers at the grave. It is also common for rose water to be sprinkled on the grave during this time as well. This is a time for the
family to redeem themselves with good deeds (Price 2001). Another crucial day in the Persian culture is the 40th day known as Cheleh. During this ceremony a candle light vigil is performed and family members perform numerous prayers the their loved one. A special fest with dried and fresh fruit is also held. For the first year of death, Persians usually wear black everyday to mourn for the deceased and avoid attending any happy holiday traditions.
     

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Yahnnis Rivera's curator insight, February 5, 2013 10:02 AM

la muerte ha sido un tema importante con todas las religiones y el paso de esta vida a la otra ha sido tratado en una variedad de maneras, dependiendo del sistema de creencias en particular. Las principales religiones de Irán puede ser dividida en tres períodos distintos. Pre Zoroastro o proto-indo-iraní, y punto zoroástrica e islámica. Alrededor del tercer milenio aC, proto-indo-iraníes son identificables por el discurso como dos pueblos distintos, los indios y los iraníes.

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The White Tiger

The White Tiger | Rooftops of Tehran. Human Rights and Culture | Scoop.it
Courtney Cufaude's insight:

Another book I am interested in reading is the White Tiger by Aravind Adiga.  Even though this book takes place in India, not the Middle East, I am interested in how the main character manages to overcome the social classes of India.  This book is similar to Rooftops of Tehran due to the way it talks about society in general.  Ever since reading my book, other books on world issues and rights have sparked my attention.

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Gale World History In Context - Document

Gale World History In Context - Document | Rooftops of Tehran. Human Rights and Culture | Scoop.it
Gale World History In Context


The Shah's political police, known by the acronym SAVAK, was designed to strike fear in the hearts of the regime's young opponents. A new generation of torturers creatively honed their craft. It appeared as if SAVAK was deliberately flaunting its brutality. Tehran's Evin Prison symbolized SAVAK's merciless image. It is not clear how much of SAVAK's brutality actually occurred and how much was the result of the deliberately cultivated image of SAVAK violence or the creative allegations of political opponents. In the end, the brutality and the reputation of SAVAK fed upon each other.

Torture was used to extract confessions and recantations. More significantly, torture began to cast a dark shadow over the lives of the leading activists. The torture-induced confessions, broadcast nationally, were meant to break the resolve of the activists and dissuade university students from entering the forbidden political arena. In many cases, however, it had the opposite effect. In this convoluted world, which would outlast the dynasty and continue into the Islamic Republic, having been tortured—and not any independent act of bravery or a prolonged service to political causes—became the arbiter of who would rise as heroes and who would fall into infamy. Dying under torture created real martyrs.
Courtney Cufaude's insight:

This article in particular gives a detailed summary about the SAVAK in Iran during Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's region. He created the SAVAK as a police force to "strike fear in the hearts of the regime's young opponents" (Afshari.2005). The SAVAK had the ability to arrest anyone accused of  political oppression of the Shah. They would torture these people brutally as a way to get them to confess to the crime. In some cases, these trials would actually be broadcasted on television throughout Iran in order to "break the resolves of the activists and dissuade university students from entering the political arena" (Afshari.2005). Lastly, the corrupted SAVAK would actually raid anyone's house, especially in Tehran and arrest people for having any books that went against the Shah. The fear that struck the civilians of Tehran made the SAVAK even more powerful.

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Iran

Iran | Rooftops of Tehran. Human Rights and Culture | Scoop.it
Courtney Cufaude's insight:

The story Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji takes place in the capital city of Iran, Tehran during the 1970s.

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Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi | Rooftops of Tehran. Human Rights and Culture | Scoop.it
Courtney Cufaude's insight:

This is a picture of the famous leader Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (the Shah of Iran).  He ruled the country of Iran from 1941-1979 when he was exiled out of Iran and overthrown by Ayotallah Ruhollah Khomeini.  Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was a terrible dictator to the citizens of Iran.  During his reign, the economy suffered and political oppression was strictly forbidden.  Anyone caught by the SAVAK (police force) would be sentenced to tortuous prisons with harsh conditions.  His terrible leadership is part of the reason Iranians still suffer today from lack of human rights and democracy.

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"Iran." Countries and Their Cultures

In Iran women control marriages for their children, and much intrigue in domestic life revolves around marital matters. A mother is typically on the lookout for good marriage prospects at all times. Even if a mother is diffident about marriage brokering, she is obliged to "clear the path" for a marriage proposal. She does this by letting her counterpart in the other family know that a proposal is forthcoming, or would be welcome. She then must confer with her husband, who makes the formal proposal in a social meeting between the two families. This kind of background work is essential, because once the children are married, the two families virtually merge, and have extensive rights and obligations vis-á-vis each other that are close to a sacred duty. It is therefore extremely important that the families be certain that they are compatible before the marriage takes place.

Marriage within the family is a common strategy, and a young man of marriageable age has an absolute right of first refusal for his father's brother's daughter—his patrilateral parallel cousin. The advantages for the families in this kind of marriage are great. They already know each other and are tied into the same social networks. Moreover, such a marriage serves to consolidate wealth from the grandparents' generation for the family. Matrilateral cross-cousin marriages are also common, and exceed parallel-cousin marriages in urban areas, due perhaps to the wife's stronger influence in family affairs in cities.

Although inbreeding would seem to be a potential problem, the historical preference for marriage within the family continues, waning somewhat in urban settings where other considerations such as profession and education play a role in the choice of a spouse. In 1968, 25 percent of urban marriages, 31 percent of rural marriages, and 51 percent of tribal marriages were reported as endogamous. These percentages appear to have increased somewhat following the Revolution.

In Iran today a love match with someone outside of the family is clearly not at all impossible, but even in such cases, except in the most westernized families, the family visitation and negotiation must be observed. Traditional marriages involve a formal contract drawn up by a cleric. In the contract a series of payments are specified. The bride brings a dowry to the marriage usually consisting of household goods and her own clothing. A specified amount is written into the contract as payment for the woman in the event of divorce. The wife after marriage belongs to her husband's household and may have difficulty visiting her relatives if her husband does not approve. Nevertheless, she retains her own name, and may hold property in her own right, separate from her husband.
Courtney Cufaude's insight:

Arranged marriages have been common in Iran for many years. Although, the traditional way of marriage in Iran is the son must marry his father's brother's daughter. However, this tradition over the years has been eliminated (Beeman. 2001). For the past 40 years it is now common in Iranian culture for marriage to occur outside the family, especially with
close family friends. Even though this is the case, the man still is required to propose the traditional negotiation and visitation to the woman's family. He is required with every family member present to ask for the daughter's hand in marriage to the father of her family. The woman may not be present at this time (Beeman 2001). Once the acceptance for one's hand in marriage occurs, the ceremony will be held. In Iranian culture, the ceremony is usually given by a cleric. The cleric offers a contract to the
man and the woman's family must pay any fees if a divorce happens. The woman also brings a dowry consisting of clothing and goods to take with. Once the marriage has officially taken place, the woman belongs to the man (2001). 

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Legacy

Even though the peak of the revolution was in 1979, key
preliminary events occurred throughout the mid 1970s. During
this era, Iran experienced a harsh economic downturn, urban
overcrowding, monetary inflation, corrupt electoral processes and
leaders, and a large gap in the distribution of wealth.24 Because of
the growing discontentment in Iran, three main revolutionary factions
spoke out in opposition to the Shah: women, students, and religious
reformers. The main of goal of Iranian women was to overthrow the
Shah’s repressive regime. Revolutionary women engaged in protests
and guerrilla activities to undermine Mohammad Reza’s authority.25
Along with women’s groups, university students, domestic and
abroad, participated in revolutionary activities as well. The largest
student organization was the Confederation of Iranian Students.

These students held diverse political ideologies, but the majority
of students belonged to two factions, the religious left or Marxism.
They had many grievances against Mohammad Reza: low college
acceptance rates, poor university education, insufficient housing
and conditions, and political dissatisfaction. Consequently, there
were many student-led protests and uprisings in university cities
such as Tehran.26 Many Iranians were killed while the Shah’s
military tried to suppress the crowds. Since Iranian cities were in
such turmoil, the Shah banned public gatherings in a desperate
attempt to stop the crisis. This act resulted in hundreds of thousands
of rebels protesting in Tehran and surrounding cities because of the
widespread disapproval of the ban.27
Courtney Cufaude's insight:

This article shows perfectly the events leading up to the Iranian Revolution that occurred in 1979. However, during the decade of the 1970's, the downfall of Mohammad Reza slowly began to take place. Many people, especially women, religious leaders, and college students were unhappy with the Shah's "dictatorship". They were frustrated with the failing economy, corrupted politics, and over-populated towns, such as the city of Tehran (Wise. 2005). Even though these issues were rising, the Shah's regime angered many college students. These college students often followed the religion of Marxism. Students were angry at the low acceptance rates for colleges, poor university education, and terrible conditions in housing facilities at universities across Iran (Wise. 2005). These college students protested in a group known  as the Confederation of Iranian Students. Finally in 1979, a man named Ayotallah Ruhollah Khomeini went to the city of Tehran, Iran's capital and  protested with millions of protesters. At this point, Mohammad Reza had
 exiled the country knowing that the collapse of the Shah's regime would
 soon happen. 

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A Glimpse of Shah's Torture Prison

This is a short clip displaying the role of SAVAK within the corrupt government of the Shah. It shows how people were tortured who were against the Shah by t...
Courtney Cufaude's insight:

This video gives a look on the inside of harsh prisons during the 1970s when the Shah ruled Iran.  The Shah also created a police force named the SAVAK that used tortuous methods to kill anyone who went against the Shah.  In this video,photoage is actually shown of the SAVAK torturing these people.  These gruelsome images show how inhumane the Shah's regime was towards the people.  This corrupted Iran and left scars for many families of the ones killed.

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A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns | Rooftops of Tehran. Human Rights and Culture | Scoop.it
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years—from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to the post-Taliban rebuilding—that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of...
Courtney Cufaude's insight:

After reading the KiteRunner and Rooftops of Tehran I have fallen in love with Middle Eastern culture and human rights.  The book I want to read next would be A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (the author of The KiteRunner).  I definitely want to learn more about the history of Afghanistan.  This book would be a perfect choice for me.

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