Sunday, June 28, 2009

Missing but Not Forgotten

When I started Glimpses of South Pasadena almost a year ago, I thought of it as a window into my own little town. Instead, it has been a view to the entire world.

As part of a planet-wide community of City Daily Photobloggers, I've had the privilege of being part of a huge neighborhood that spans not just city blocks but entire oceans and continents. This experience has been invaluable to me as a human being. It has shown me time and again that people may be separated by boundaries and governments, we might express ourselves in different languages or flavor our foods with different spices but on a basic level we are alike. We want the same things: freedom, creative expression, the opportunity to do good work, a safe place to live, and happiness for those we love.

One of my fellow bloggers has been missing in Iran since June 17th. He is believed to be in prison after taking part in the post-election protests. His photographs of Tehran in the days immediately following the election offered the world a view of the madness -- one that Western journalists were banned from capturing. His bravery in the face of such grave danger has been an inspiration.

Today, a number of his friends across the blogosphere dedicate our posts to him and all Iranians who bravely struggle for self-determination. We send out our hopes and prayers for a safe return -- and for better days ahead. Let the simple sidewalk chalk drawing in the above photograph show how connected we are to the rest of the world. We're thinking of you here in Southern California. We care.


Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Click here to sign the Avaaz petition to the Organization of Islamic Conference, the Non-Aligned Movement and all UN member states as a global outcry to stop the Iran crackdown. (Thanks Hilda at My Manila and Petrea at Pasadena Daily Photo for the Avaaz link.)

UPDATE: 8:00pm It has been confirmed: AMIR WAS RELEASED TODAY AND IS HOME SAFE! Thanks to Green at Portland Daily Photo for confirming the happy news. And thanks to the dozens and dozens of bloggers around the world who participated today. May there be more happy stories from Iran. And a happy future for all people there.

18 comments:

Ineke said...

well said and great image.

Hilda said...

And because of your photo, all I hope for right now is that Iranian children can go out safely again and draw on their sidewalks with chalk.

The violence is heartaching…

Julie said...

An excellent image, Laurie that expresses how tenuous is our grip on community and on life itself. I like the words that you have used to express your opinion both on the missing blogger and on the plight of the broader Iranian people.

I am so glad that you have chosen to participate in this special Theme Day. I hope that our missing blogger will be able to participate in our next Theme Day.

The world is watching.

Ms Baroque said...

Linked. I think I was using his photographs earlier in the protests; I know I was looking at them. And had clocked that they had stopped coming. They were some of the best pictures to come out of the protests, too. Thanks for flagging this up again, all of you - that's part of the value of a network.

But what good any of us can do, I have no idea.

Ms Baroque said...

Linked. I think I was using his photographs earlier in the protests; I know I was looking at them. And had clocked that they had stopped coming. They were some of the best pictures to come out of the protests, too. Thanks for flagging this up again, all of you - that's part of the value of a network.

But what good any of us can do, I have no idea.

Judy Williams said...

Oh dear. My heart is breaking. When you feel like you actually KNOW one of the people being detained, it puts a three dimensional spin on the daily images you see from there. It is unfathomable how other parts of the world live. We sit in our air conditioned houses watching our flat panel tv's while they are fighting for their mere existence.

Thank you for that reminder. That simple chalk drawing says so much. The blown leaves scattered throughout are particularly symbolic.

Sending love and hope.

Jilly said...

Your image is compelling, as are your words. Let's hope our blogger is set free soon and that the Iranian people will one day know democracy.

Jean Spitzer said...

Beautifully pictured and said. The world wide web, really is.

altadenahiker said...

Well done my friend!

Sharon said...

Beautifuly written. You have expressed my very own feelings about this wonderful group of photo bloggers.

Babooshka said...

As always it's the words that will linger after I close the page. It is good to see so many of us posting today. We have to be the voice for those that have their silenced.

TheChieftess said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with him...

Petrea said...

Beautifully expressed, Laurie. This isn't the first time such a thing has happened in the world, but thanks to the internet it's the first time I've known people directly involved. What a change that makes in my feelings. What a lesson it teaches me. What if I put a face on Afghanistan, on Iraq, on civil war in Africa? Et cetera.

I'm trying to visit everyone who posted today. I'm overwhelmed that an online discussion of a week or so ago became this outpouring of support. As you say, we are alike. I think we're basically good. It gives me hope for Iran's future.

-K- said...

I just checked his blog and its says he's home. Hope its true and not just disinformation.

http://portlanddailyphotos.blogspot.com/

Petrea said...

K, the word that Amir is safe is relatively reliable. His blog is here: http://tehranlive.org/

The Portland blog is that of an Iranian exchange student in Portland who has been blogging as Tehran 24 since Amir's disappearance, in his honor.

Laurie said...

This is extraordinarily happy news! Petrea's comment gives the details. I had not posted Amir's name or our friend Green in Portland's website because Amir was still in prison. I am overwhelmed with happiness that he is back with his family. A happy story amid so many tragedies in that part of the world.

Mateo said...

I'm glad for your support. I'd like to make you aware of this video. Jump to 00:27:10 if you don't like to watch the whole video. I think this is what most western countries deny but it is all connected.

Andrew said...

That's really awesome pics...Nice to see this..

This is pretty interesting...

Thanks for sharing..
___________________
Andrew
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