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September 25, 2007

A Voice Of Dissent

A Voice Of Dissent

Today, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks to the U.N. Yesterday, he made his controversial appearance at Columbia University, during which he claimed - among other things - that Iran's citizens are free to say and do as they please.

Akbar Ganji has a personal interest in how Iran is perceived by the rest of the world, and how it sees itself.  He is his Iran's foremost political dissident. He was imprisoned for 6 years, during which time he both went on a hunger strike and continued to smuggle out his pro-democracy writings.

But he wasn't always of such political orientation. As a young man, he supported the 1979 revolution and even joined the Revolutionary Guard. But after he started investigating the deaths of reform-minded activists and intellectuals, he started to run afoul of Iranian authorities who were implicated in the killings. Since Akbar was released under much international pressure and attention, he has been living in the U.S., still agitating for reform within Iran while publicly disagreeing with U.S. policies.

He talks with Dick Gordon about his resistance, and his plans to one day return to his home city of Tehran.

The Miracle Of The Leis

Robin Sagadraca's mother died a painful death from cancer. One year later, her family took her remains from Virginia, where she had lived much of her adult life, to Hawaii, where she had grown up. After an elaborate memorial service, family members took the urn along with armfuls of leis to toss with her ashes into the ocean. The water was unusually rough, and things did not go as smoothly as the family had expected. Robin tells Dick about that memorable journey, and how the flowers they laid out on rough waters somehow made their way back to the shoreline where they were staying a day later. 


Evan Madaen from the album The Passion of Rumi; music by the band Hapa

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