New Year, New Iran! (Lyon) نوروز  ، نو ایران

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New Year, New Iran! (Lyon) نوروز ، نو ایران

Join fellow Iranian exiles of all backgrounds as we imagine a new Iran & discuss how to support our sisters & brothers fighting for change!

Où et quand

Date et heure

Lieu

Jardin Botanique de Lyon 69006 69006 Lyon France

Carte et itinéraires

Comment s'y rendre

À propos de cet évènement

  • 3 heures
  • Billets électroniques sur mobile
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Imagine a New Iran

New Year, New Iran! is a chance for Iranian exiles, expats, and descendants of Iranians to take the next step beyond protests to actively support change in their home country. Many of us in the diaspora have sat by and watched our sisters and brothers in Iran struggle for change and freedom, feeling helpless to support them. Though we cannot march alongside our brave family and friends in Iran, we CAN use our freedoms and privileges in our adopted countries to isolate the Islamic Republic and build a broad coalition between Iranians of different ethnic and religious backgrounds.

What Does Change Look Like?

If the regime falls, what will replace it? Many argue that this question should not be asked until the regime falls, but history begs to differ. Revolutions can be a very messy business if there is a fragmented and disorganized opposition. The Arab Spring, Yugoslavia, and Syria in particular are examples that we must all learn from. Revolutions can be thwarted by men who would be dictators. Foreign powers will seek to exploit the country's chaos. Extremists will look for opportunities to divide and conquer. Or the country can descend into unending civil war. Already the regime is trying to fabricate divisions between Iranians of different ethnic and religious backgrounds to cling to power. Conspiracy theories are running rampant.

So far, the strong beautiful bond that is the Idea of Iran (we are Iran whether we are Kurds, Armenians, Baluchis, Persians, Khuzestanis, Azeris, Shia, Sunni, Christian, Bahai, Zoroastrian etc) is holding us together against the regime. However, if we do not actively cultivate those bonds of friendship and support, Woman, Life, and Freedom will only ever a dream.

We know what we do not want. The regime must go. But what do we want a new Iran to look like? What do our family and friends in Iran want their government to become? If we do not seriously begin discussing these questions and envisioning an alternative to the Islamic Republic, our revolution will fail like the Constitutional and 1979 revolutions before it.

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What Will This Event Entail

This meeting will be broken up into several discussions:

Introduction & Ground Rules

The facilitator will explain what the discussions are, what her or his role is as a facilitator, and will help the audience decide on the rules of etiquette for discussions. Depending on the number of attendees, the discussions will take place in multiple small groups or just one larger group. Groups should ask members about whether they will need someone in the group to translate for them. This should take about 30 minutes.

Discussion on Supporting the Protests

The facilitator will read out the first set of questions. Questions being discussed will include:

  • What do you think protestors inside Iran need to be successful in creating change?
  • What have your family and friends inside Iran said that they need the outside world to do?
  • What are some tangible actions we can take to pressure the Islamic Republic from outside Iran?
  • As members of the Iranian diaspora, how can we build a unified opposition to the Islamic Republic?

The group or groups will begin discussing their thoughts, with each group member getting a chance to speak. After about 45 minutes have the groups merge again into one and have each group summarize their discussion for the rest of the attendees. If there is time, continue the discussion with the full group. This should take about 30 minutes.

Discussion on Alternatives to the Islamic Republic

The facilitator will read out the second set of questions. Questions being discussed will include:

  • Why do you think the Islamic Republic has failed?
    • What have family and friends inside Iran said about this?
  • What do you think are the barriers to making political and social change in Iran?
    • What have family and friends inside Iran said about this?
  • What do you think are the opportunities for making political and social change in Iran?
    • What have family and friends inside Iran said about this?
  • What values would you want a new government of Iran to have?
    • What have family and friends inside Iran said about this?
  • Describe the style of government you would like to see replace the Islamic Republic?
    • What have family and friends inside Iran said about this?

The group or groups will begin discussing their thoughts, with each group member getting a chance to speak. After about 45 minutes have the groups merge again into one and have each group summarize their discussion for the rest of the attendees. If there is time, continue the discussion with the full group. This should take about 30 minutes.

IMPORTANT: Do not forget to eat! Decide whether you all want to eat together or rather people grab food whenever they are hungry.

What to Bring

In the spirit of Nowruz, this event should be a happy occasion to begin the process of building a new vision of Iran. One thing we can all agree on is the Iranian love of food and the outdoors. This event is a potluck so please bring food, drinks, cups, plates, bowls, and utensils to share with your fellow Iranians. Also since we are gathering in a park, bring folding chairs or blankets to sit on. Also to keep track of your thoughts during discussions, it is recommended to bring a notebook and pen or laptop.

How to Prepare

Many people shy away from political thinking because they think it is too daunting. That is not true and if regular Iranians do not start thinking about what their government should look like, elites, demagogues, and foreign powers will do the thinking for them and we know how well that's turned out.

Do a Little Reading

If you are not politically savy, no problem at all. Reflect on the political things you like about the country you live in and think about all its political problems that you would like Iran to avoid. Just do a little research on what are different political systems and on successful ways diasporas have supported their home countries going through upheaval. Here are some materials you can read to start the process of reflection:

*** If you have suggested materials for people to read, please email latif.simorghi@envisioniranshahr.org ***

Listen to Protestor Voices

Living in the diaspora is very different from living in the home country. It is important that we do not speak for our sisters and brothers fighting for change but that we amplify their demands and thoughts. If it is safe to do so, ask your family and friends in Iran these questions:

  • What is the message you want the world to hear about the protests?
  • What is the change you want for your country?
  • How can the Iranian diaspora support Iranians protesting in Iran?
  • What kind of government do you want to replace the Islamic Republic?
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Event Facilitator

This event does not yet have a facilitator. If you or your organization would like to be the facilitator for this event please contact Latif Simorghi at latif.simorghi@envisioniranshahr.org. A facilitator will guide the wider discussions by helping establish the etiquette rules of these conversations and help participants understand what will be discussed. Facilitators will receive a digital Facilitator Handbook before the event.

Buy a Book to Support the Protestors

Envision Iranshahr has a special offer to help support the protestors. If you buy a copy of A Vision of Iranshahr: Constitution for Change, we will donate 100% of the proceeds to organizations supporting the protestors and Iranian refugees fleeing the regime. This book is a conversation starter on what Iran and the broader region could look like if we built a political system based on democracy, political autonomy, freedom, feminism, and some ancient principles that allowed Iran to flourish throughout history.

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