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Old 06-10-2009, 07:11 AM   #121
Boarder06 OP
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Iranian Election

Iranian Election

There are only two days left until the Iranian election and public support I have seen so far has only been for *Mahmoud *Ahmadinejad and Kathami backed **Mir Hussein **Mousavi. People have put posters on their cars and in their store windows. Some store owner hedge their bets and have put up posters of both candidates. My unscientific study in Yazd reveals that electronics/mobile phone/computer stores are 100% pro Mousavi, convenience stores go either way with about a 70% advantage for Mousavi. Fabric stores on the other hand are almost 100% Ahmadinejad. I think all the progressive fabric dealers have left and set up shop in LA I talked to a few nice Iranians there.
Every once in a while you see a pickup driving around blasting, what I believe to be slogans for one candidate or other, through some speakers driven well into distortion. So you can’t understand a thing anyway. The other two candidates don’t seem to figure in public at all. Iranian TV maintains it is a close race but there are no polls to back this up. Ahmadinejad definitely seems to get an advantage on Iranian TV. I watched a supposedly Canadian documentary on Ahmadinejad, which was basically just an interview with very soft questions. He answered in a “nice uncle”, lecturing style with what seemed like well practiced facial expressions, gestures, and answers. The piece was cut MTV style in an obvious attempt to appeal to young people. More social freedom for young people and women’s rights are definitely a topic but no concrete promises are made It is all just between the lines. This is the first time they had presidential debates on TV and they certainly are a topic for discussion. Mousavi does promise to turn around Iranian foreign politics and lead the country out of isolation, more opportunities for woman, and more social freedom. Women and young voters have to be won in order to win the election and most Iranians I talked to are just sick and tired of their President making them look like idiots on the international stage and they want somebody intelligent to manage the country’s vast resources. Well, I also get frequent comments on Ahmadinejad’s cleanliness and appalling fashion sense, but that’s a bit below the belt. Some of the older people I’ve talked to tell me that they won’t vote because they think it doesn’t matter at all who wins the election. Considering that the four candidates are picked by the guidance council and the Supreme leader and any decision the new government makes can be vetoed by the same, I think they do have a point.
The majority of young people however seem to rally behind Mousavi. Last night I threw myself into the middle of things and watched rallies of Mousavi and Ahmadinejad supporters. It was total chaos. A lot of kids or whole families on bikes racing up and down the street with flags and banners. People stopping cars and handing out leaflets, Mousavi supporters handing out green wrist bands, painting green tick marks on any car that will let them, or even painting the hands and arms of people in the car. Traffic came to a complete standstill but most took it in good humor, including the uniformed police. They let people be and just tried to regulate traffic with little success. In the middle of all this kids are pulling wheelies while someone is sitting on the back waving a huge flag. I’m surprised nobody got hurt. Not all of the Mousavi supporters are happy to have their picture taken and I got yelled at a few times. Can’t blame them. Who knows how this will end. I just smile and nod to everything and they let me continue after they find out I’m either a foreigner, just a tourist, think I’m a journalist, because I’m German, Arian, not Iranian, or all of the above. I talk to a young couple well past midnight, which is very late for Iran, and they explain that there is just so little going on that people seize the opportunity to enjoy this bit of freedom until the election. Almost anything goes for the next few days. They ask me if the elections in my country are anything like this. I’d have to say no to that one.
In Tehran Mousavi supporters formed a human chain that ran the entire 20km length of Valiasr Avenue. Mousavi seems to have mobilised the young in huge numbers and if nothing else, the election turnout should be huge.
In no particular order a few election related pictures from the last few days:

















P.S.: OK, I have to say this. You may have noticed that Ahmadinejad supporters put the poster right on the wind screen. Mousavi supporters put them in the back. Ahmadinejad has a Ph.D. in traffic management and one of his declared goals is to reduce traffic fatalities. Bit of an irony in this.
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Old 06-10-2009, 08:10 AM   #122
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Toller Bericht und super bilder!!!!

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Old 06-10-2009, 10:10 AM   #123
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Amazing! True eye (and mind!!!) opener!

Keep it coming!
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:39 AM   #124
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Thanks!

I am really enjoying this ride report! Thanks so much for showing us a side of Iran that we normally don't get to see. And what an amazing time to be there, during these elections! Do you know if this ride would even be possible for a U.S. passport holder? I'm guessing even if I could get a visa, the checks you've encountered along the way might be a bit more of a hassle?

Have a safe trip back home! I'll be following along...
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:45 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyderweber
I am really enjoying this ride report! Thanks so much for showing us a side of Iran that we normally don't get to see. And what an amazing time to be there, during these elections! Do you know if this ride would even be possible for a U.S. passport holder? I'm guessing even if I could get a visa, the checks you've encountered along the way might be a bit more of a hassle?

Have a safe trip back home! I'll be following along...
+1 on this ride report

US passport holders can still only obtain tourist visas & travel/ ride in Iran with Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs-approved itinerary pre-booked with approved Iran-based travel agency. Solo riders would have to bear full cost of approved itinerary and accompanying guide. Group ride has been done 2006 by http://www.motodiscovery.com/tours/middleeast/iran.html
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:49 AM   #126
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uh


Quote:
Originally Posted by CourtFisher
+1 on this ride report

US passport holders can still only obtain tourist visas & travel/ ride in Iran with Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs-approved itinerary pre-booked with approved Iran-based travel agency. Solo riders would have to bear full cost of approved itinerary and accompanying guide. Group ride has been done 2006 by http://www.motodiscovery.com/tours/middleeast/iran.html
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:48 AM   #127
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It looks like a very interesting time to be in Iran right now !
Please keep up this terrific report and great pics, and good luck .
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:22 AM   #128
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Jake Speed Fund

Hey Inmates,

I hope you all enjoy reading about my little adventure. To come is a report on my experience with the Iranian judicial system.

While I'm out there a friend of mine was not so lucky. AFAIK he is not a rider other than snowmobiles, but if there ever was an adventurous spirit it's him. You guys would love him. It's guys like him that allow me and others to "do science" down in Antarctica and Greenland. He does it all. Whether it's grooming a runway, delivering fuel, keeping the buildings heated, rescuing you if you get stuck with a snowmobile and being there for a good time. So, if the thread puts you in a charitable mood consider contributing to the Jake Speed Fund.

The story in short:

The headline perhaps could have read “Man Lost in Whiteout Survives 58-Hour Ordeal in Sub-Zero Temps.” It is an amazing saga. On April 15, Jake was caught in a whiteout without survival equipment while working near Summit Camp, the highest point of Greenland’s ice cap. He had just checked equipment several kilometers from the main station, intending to return before an impending storm hit. However, a faulty fuel gauge meant his Ski-Doo ran out of petrol about 5km from safety. He dug himself a snow hole and spent the next three nights and two days fighting to keep his blood flowing by standing and walking, as well as forcing himself not to drift into an eternal sleep. When he spotted a plane he followed its direction until he met one of the search vehicles and asked for a lift.
Although he managed to walk out on his own two feet, there was extensive nerve damage. Jake was transported to Nuuk, Greenland for preliminary examination. He was then flown to the UC Davis hospital burn unit in Sacramento for extensive evaluation and treatment. After multiple surgeries, and attempts to partially save his original feet, he has now undergone full amputation of his right hand and both feet. He is currently undergoing an abdominal flap procedure to save full use of the left hand.
It’s easy to help … just send a check payable to “The Jake Speed Fund c/o Beth Watson” to:
The Jake Speed Fund c/o Beth Watson
7722 East Phillips Circle
Centennial, Colorado 80112

For wire transfer/deposit/European account information, please contact me at steffen | at | Adventure-Antarctica.de. (You know how to put that one together).

Read the full story at http://www.adventure-antarctica.de/2...ke-speed-fund/

A bit of info also from my hometown newspaper and the National Science Foundation press release.

Thanks inmates
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:11 AM   #129
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All is well

I got a few PMs asking about the situation here after the election. I spent election day and the day after in quiet, rural Alamut valley, which is Ahamadinejad country for sure. IMHO the election was rigged.

The protests and violent police reaction are mainly in Tehran, Shiraz, Esfahan, Tabriz, and even Yazd. This election could have just been the spark that was needed. At what cost? Only time will tell.

All is quiet here in Zanjan but there is riot police out in the streets in a show of force. I'll see if there are any protests tonight. I shall drive past Tabriz tomorrow, which is not much of a tourist destination anyway, and head back into Turkey a day after.

Most of the social networking sites (facebook, twitter, etc.) and CNN are blocked but can be bypassed with Tor. German site spiegel.de, which has detailed coverage, on the other hand is fully accessible. In the past many articles on there have been blocked.

Non of the protests are shown on Iranian TV. It's all Ahmadinejad clips. The things this guy says are unbelievable.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:09 AM   #130
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Glad to hear you are in a quiet part of the country. You have been on my mind since the violence broke out after the election. Stay safe!

Ted Bell screwed with this post 06-15-2009 at 01:55 PM
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:45 AM   #131
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Stay safe!
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:18 AM   #132
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Boarder06 is out of Iran and back in eastern Turkey.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:51 AM   #133
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I look forward to his next update.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:57 AM   #134
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Thank you so much for the work it sure takes to write this phantastic story.

The pictures are superb


I just can't wait for september when I'll be riding around Iran too.


Noch einmal, Vielen Dank und alles gute bei deine ABENTEUER.
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:27 AM   #135
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Glad you made it out of Iran unscathed, Steffen!

This House of Polies is enthusiastic to hear of your adventure details.
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