Iran News ...


We didn't make it this time but...

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran


We sure made a difference for the next election and others that follow.  I am writing this without knowing the final outcome of last Friday’s election for Tehran city council in which I ran as an independent westernized educated candidate.  The turnout in the election improved from 12% to about 40% in Tehran.  However it seems that victory for us will have to wait a little longer.  I can only pray and hope that in the next elections many more people from our background will come forward and run.  We now know how much can be achieved with the mere US$2500 which we put up for this campaign, the money that we had earmarked to change our car, but some things take priority.   I hope you will agree with me that our poster was one of the best, even if some people or parties had a hundred times the money to spend.



I ran for this election to help bring to the attention of our segment of society that being passive in the past has not been helpful and that it is up to us to stand up for our rights, issues, needs and values.   We must try to make things happen for us by our own efforts even if they take time.  From what I have heard from many people and reading the hundreds of emails that I have received I think I have achieved this aim.



Throughout the past two weeks, I have received heart warming and enlightening encouragement and promises of help that I did not dare to expect.  These were from Payvand readers, their families - across the globe - by new and long time friends and my family, by past colleagues and associates and above all from my editor at  Life was not all full of roses, to my disappointment I did not get any real help or support from some of those that I had been working with and whom I thought would be most eager to help me, as one of them, along this short yet difficult road, since I was mostly promoting the values and issues that these groups and individuals are working towards!  Their myopic points of view and political alliances stopped them seeing this as a major change and challenge.



I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who did their best to promote my candidacy and all those who did vote for me.  I had many phone calls and emails from people who said that despite their previous decisions not to vote in any election here, they would go and vote for me.


The best part of any endeavor, especially one of such an unusual nature, is the lessons that one learns.  The first lesson reaffirms my strong belief that everything is possible, yet we have to take the initiative to make things happen.  The second is that unless and until we are prepared to work together for a common goal, others who may not have the same noble values and ideals will win and we will have only ourselves to blame.



I do hope that the successful candidates in the election, who will be council members for the next four years, have a deep love for the city and will do their very best, despite their political affiliations, for this city of ours and hopefully follow some of the points that I have mentioned in my manifesto especially bringing more women into top managerial positions, expanding the metro (especially now that European banks are showing some interest in financing it) as well as forging a closer working relationship with many NGOs.


Once again thank you all for your support. Until next time!


... Payvand News - 12/19/06 ... --

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