I didn't realise it, but on the 1st of February 1979, the Shah of Iran was overthrown by angry crowds throughout Iran. It was unprecedented in the age of modernity that a popular revolution would put in place an Islamic Republic rather than any party motivated by the ideologies of the European enlightenment. Saddam Hussein, then the darling of the United States, was encouraged to fight a devastating war against Iran, thinking it was in a weakened state and eventually reducing his country from a modern and developed nation to a debt-ridden and weak country which would eventually invade Kuwait and threaten his former backers in the Gulf. Of course we know what the United States then did to Iraq and Saddam and the result is as we see it today. I've supported Iran as an Islamic state, as well as in its position against the United States and Israel, but I haven't the stomach for the harsh and sometimes brutal austerity Khomeini brought with him. Still, he was no fool and chain of events he set in motion since then are being felt right up to the present. The United States (as well as Israel) still don't know what to do with Iran, which is a good thing. Also, I discovered a new word today that I quite like: Gharbzadegi. I have come to realise many Arabs have that same disease.
Monday, February 02, 2009
"I say that gharbzadegi is like cholera [or] frostbite. But no. It's at least as bad as sawflies in the wheat fields. Have you ever seen how they infest wheat? From within. There's a healthy skin in places, but it's only a skin, just like the shell of a cicada on a tree."