O, mankind! What has made you be arrogant and rude towards your creator who is the supreme bounteous
**Follow my friend in Iran, Sadaff, on Twitter.**When we were in Iran last summer we met Sai who taught us a lot about this amazing and complex country. One unforgettable event happened on the outskirts of Yazd on the way to Shiraz when a soldier stopped us at a checkpoint. What was supposed to be a routine check turned a bit more heated when he asked for our passports. After we complied he demanded we open our bags. Sai stood up to him refusing to do so and accused the soldier of overstepping his authority. After a few more words we were allowed to continue on our way. It was a brave act that took guts and demonstrated Sai's willingness to invoke his own rights in a way that I found truly inspiring.
One of the legends that make up the Persian epic, Shahnameh, or Book of Kings, involves the hero Rostam mistaking his own son Sohrab for his enemy on the battlefield. As he cradles Sohrab's dying body he recognizes who he actually is, learning of his mistake only when it's too late.
Today a case of mistaken identity plagues Iran. Over 60% of the population is 28 or younger and they identify more with the Persian elements of their culture than the radical interpretations of Islam that the old revolutionary guard represents. The people we met all fit this description - the women said if they had a choice they would discard their headscarves, while both men & women expressed more interest in pop music, Sufi poetry and Zoroastrianism than in any strict adherence to Islam.
The older generation is holding the younger generation down. Iran is a country where youths are carving out alternative identities and pushing the envelope in dramatic ways; where the average age is 27 and epic poetry is as popular as the Koran. Will they be sacrificed in battle, mistaken for counter-revolutionaries or pro-western dupes?
This message from Hossein Moussavi, Ahmadinejad's opponent, comes via Andrew Sullivan:
"I AM UNDER EXTREME PRESSURE TO ACCEPT THE RESULTS OF THE SHAM ELECTION. THEY HAVE CUT ME OFF FROM ANY COMMUNICATION WITH PEOPLE AND AM UNDER SURVEILLANCE. I ASK THE PEOPLE TO STAY IN THE STREETS BUT AVOID VIOLENCE"