Monday, March 14, 2005

The In T View: Medya Reaching For the Stars - Part I

Reaching For The Stars. That's what Kurdish-Iranian Blogger Medya G. is doing in his life these days and through his two blogs, Medya Daily and Focus on the Unfocused, his Photoblog about Kurdistan.

In the In T View: Medya Reaching For The Stars, Medya provides an in-depth look at the life of a young Kurdish-Iranian man in Modern Iran, his hopes, his thoughts, his dreams, and his views for a better tomorrow.

MG: Medya, how is life treating you these days?

Medya: As always hard, I'm trying to get ready to apply for some university abroad. You know in third world countries there is too much bureaucracy for small works...

MG: Yes Medya. I remember reading in your blog about you going for your driver's license and having to cope with all the crazy bureaucracy. I think it took you something like 8 hours or more to get a license. I felt really bad after reading that, because the last time I went to have my license renewed, it took all of ten minutes. And I can imagine, trying to get a VISA to go overseas for your education, must be a nightmare experience. Could you describe or tell us about the things you have to do to obtain a VISA and how difficult the process is?

Medya: Well before a VISA you must have a passport and to have passport, if you are male, you need to finish the military duty that takes 2 years unless you should have a medical exemption.
Thank God I had enough diseases to get a medical exemption (lol). I have been in offices for 6 months just to get the exemption card and I never forget those that were like hell for me ...

The post office sent the Exemption card to me with 3 months delay, so I put 9 monthes full stress just to get an exemption card, tomrrow I will apply for the passport, and then after a univesity sent me the letter of acceptance, I must go to their embassy in Iran, to get a student visa and if the univesity is in American, then I would have to go to United Arab Emirates or Turkey to find an American embassy there. As Turkey government are sensitive about Kurds, then I won't go to Turkey.

You know they had arrested some passengers that had Kurdistan word in their passport, they believe there is no Kurdistan in this world, and they make problem for the people whose birthplace is written Kurdistan. And also getting a student visa from a western country for an Iranian Middle Eastern Iranian Young Kurd can never be easy ... heh , sorry for the wrong reply !

MG: That's okay, Medya. That's a pretty detailed description of the difficulties you have to endure. Is there any particular country or school you would like to go to? And what subject or subjects are you interested in studying?

Medya: Well I love to study in USA, in Georgia where I have some freinds and there are many Kurds too. And I want to study in Software Engineering or Information Technology or a similar field . I like Sweden or Canada as well but you know USA is another thing.

MG: In other words, you'd like to move away from Iran. How dangerous is it to be a Blogger in Iran these days?

Medya: Iran is one of the most dangerous countries for the bloggers, acording to the news they have arrested some bloggers, tortured them and put them to long jails. But the reason that I am gonna study abroad is not just moving away from Iran, the truth is in Iranian Universities I won't get what I want, I want to (be) the best in my field.

MG: The best in your field, I can understand that. You want to reach your full potential and that's not fully available at an Iranian University. Do you ever feel living in Iran that your soul is caged, that your spirit is restricted?

Medya: Yeah, that's the normal feeling that you should have in an ideological government, you were not born to do and to believe what they tell you, specially if you are in youngster age, you can not get along with them. And about Iranian Univesities, I should say, there are 2-3 good Iranian Univesities but you know Iran is the youngest country of the world, 2 million students attend in a one test in one day in 6 hours. The test is only multiple answer questions.

And because of the lack of spaces, only 8% of these 2 million sutdents will be accepted in the univesities and I can tell you less than 1% of them would be accepted to the field they want, most of them just choose a field to get accepted. But the sad part is the test, a test is about all of the Books in one day in 6 hours ... no matter what you want to study, you must answer Shite Relligion (you know Kurds are Sunni), Chemistry and... so If I somebody is good in Shia rellgion and chemistry, can go to computer field easier ...than one who is talented in math and in computer but not religion ... and also students who are Basij (students in Hezbollah ) and sons of Shahids and ...get Bonus Scores ! Arent we talking too much about university let change the subject? lol

MG: Very good Medya, let's move on from the University stuff and talk about your blog and blogging in general. How did you get started in blogging and how did your blog come about?

Medya: I used to read my American Online friend (Justin)'s blog, and one day he encouraged me to open one, I was the first Kurd or may the first Iranian who started a blog in English. I sent my first post on 2003/6/9 with a lot of hesitation. Because Middle East you are not supposed to say how you feel or what you think, you must believe and feel what the others do.

So my blogging faced several objections but I continued blogging in English because: I felt (I) have things to say that Medias don't mention I liked to be heard, to fight with loneliness feeling. To practice English writing. To share my feeling with the world as an Iranian Kurd.

I must say that before US-Saddam war my blog was more personal, but after the war, more people read Middle Eastern blogs, so I feel obligation to talk about my nation's problem too.

MG: What is your nation, Medya, Iran or Kurdistan? Do you identify more with being an Iranian or being a Kurd? And how are Kurds treated in Iran? Is there a lot of prejudice exhibited against them?

Medya: I used "My Nation word" because I didnt want to mention being Kurd or being Iranian. Ok now I have to explain, unlike Kurd& Arab and Kurd & Turk's relation, Kurds & Persians have some ethnic similiarities, Kurds and Persians are Both Aryian. Kurds and Persian are brother and sister they both have the same parent.

But they are not son (Kurd) and father (Persian), as some Persians claim. Kurds were the creator of Iran, Khatami the refomer president of Iran has a famous sentence "without any doubt no nation can say they are more Iranian than Kurds" about 4000 years ago, Medes (Kurds) called Persian and Parts to make a Federation of Nations called Iran and that empire had a great rule in civilization and human rights, but after Arabs attack (1400 years ago) the Iran federation was forgotten, and sad stories happened to the Kurds...

Kurds saved their language/cutlure and nationality from Arabs Domination, but Persians didnt do as well. Today 50% of the words that Persians use are Arabic. The first modern Iranian government was made 75 years ago by Reza Khan on the bases of Persian Nationalism not "Iranian" and he didn't respect any right of the Kurds to save their identity.

I wish I have well explained the difference of Iranian and Persian today although Kurdistan has a rich region but it is one of the poorest parts of Iran. After the Islamic Shia Revolution the Kurds problem in Iran was doubled, because after 1979, Kurds have two sins, 1- being Kurd , 2-not being Shia (Sunni) do I see myself more as Kurd or Iranian? I must say: people of Iran can never be compared to racist people of Turkey or Arabs. I like Iran but I love Kurdistan more, and I will love Iran if I see Kurds happy in it, Kurds can get their rights.



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