Note: This is the
introductory speech by Brian H. Appleton at MIT on the occasion of the screening
of Jahangir Golestan-Parast's
Bam 6.6 jointly
sponsored by MIT Persian Student's Association and Harvard Iranian Student
Before I begin I wanted to tell
the Harvard students in the audience that my father was a Harvard Alumni, class
of 1936, Lowell House.
I am a columnist for CASMII,
(Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in
Iran) and a free lance journalist for:"The Iranian Times,
The Persian Heritage Magazine, The Persian Mirror, Payvand News,
Irandokht Magazine, UK
Guardian, Al Jazeera English and others.
I lived in
for 5 years in the '70's and was taken hostage during the revolution. That did
not change my love for Iranians and their culture and this is not the Stockholm
You may recall after 9/11 that
the families of the victims made it very clear they did not want a war of
retaliation in response to 9/11 but unfortunately they were not in charge.
Violence is not the only available response to violence.
Jahangir is a self taught film
maker who cares very deeply not only for Iran but for all humanity and for
peace...so deeply in fact that he has burrowed a ¼ million dollars against his
house, spent all his savings and given four years of his life to bring this film
to you as an olive branch. What are you willing to do for peace?
4 weeks ago, his film took 3
awards at the L.A.
Noor Film Festival for Best Picture, Best Story and Best Director. He
has screened this film at UCLA,
University, UC Berkeley, UC
Irvine, the National Cathedral, The World Affairs Council of San Francisco and
the UN Film Festival. In the summer it will be shown at the Dubai Film Festival.
Jahangir has made avoiding
politics a religion, which is not a bad choice in a world where we worship false
Gods like wealth, fashion, virtual reality, gourmet food and high altitude
Brian H. Appleton and Jahangir
Golestan-Parast at MIT
Everything is worshipped except
our common humanity these days and this film is out to rectify that situation. I
am here with Jahangir because I share his mission of keeping a human face on
Iran. I am here on a mission to make love not
war...and why would I not try to save a country I love and a people I love, who
showed me only kindness...IRAN...from
bombardment, by supporting this film designed to win over American hearts. The
main hero of this film is an American by the name of Tobb Del'Oro, who was a non
governmental, self appointed goodwill ambassador to
Iran. The film is a tribute to his leadership and
provides his death with new meaning. It is also a tribute to Farzaneh, the
incredibly loyal tour guide and to all the Iranian people.
Mr. Bush has alluded to
as part of the "Triple Axis of Evil" and to starting World War III over
Iran, Mrs. Clinton has used the words "obliterate
Iran." To my knowledge,
Iran has not bombed any other country or started any wars
for the past 100 years, it defended itself in an 8 year "silent war" in which a
million young Iranians died fighting Iraq
armed by the US
government. Iran has no proven
nuclear weapons program, is a member of the NPT and has cooperated voluntarily
with UN inspectors and yet we see the president and all three presidential
candidates saber rattling because
might be thinking about it...while her neighbors who are not members of the NPT
are full of nuclear weapons.
The town of
is where the spirit of 1776 started, it is where the Boston Tea Party took
place, it is where we threw off the yoke of tyranny and our Republic was born.
Surely we must be able to relate to a people who want a choice other than a
monarch or a mullah. Columbia
University ridiculed Mr.
Ahmadinejad. Perhaps he is not as polished or as sophisticated as we would like.
Perhaps he does not want to be a
puppet. That shouldn't be a crime.
I believe that we the people of
do not want a war and we deserve better leadership.
The Iranian people are a very
kind and generous people especially towards foreign visitors...they always extend
a helping hand...even in times of natural catastrophe it is not "every man for
himself." This film tells the story of their character.
I give you Jahangir and his
film Bam 6.6, which is not only a tribute to
but to all of our common humanity for celebrating what is the very best in us.
Thank you Jahangir for your leadership and for showing us what HOPE and COURAGE
... Payvand News - 05/12/08 ... --
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