All posts tagged: iran

Voice of Russia American Edition Interview: Is Azerbaijan’s J-Lo Concert Taunting Iran?

Is Azerbaijan’s J-Lo Concert Taunting Iran? Voice of Russia American Edition Oct 16, 2012 19:37 Moscow Time Interview with Ric Young The country of Azerbaijan appears to be embracing western culture and irritating its conservative Islamic neighbor, Iran, by holding concerts with popular western female singers and sponsoring a women’s athletic event. But is the country as liberal as it appears? Host Ric Young talks with photojournalist Amanda Rivkin from Istanbul about the country: (Listen here.) Rihanna, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez have all appeared at concerts in Azerbaijan recently, but the singers have been condemned by critics due to Azerbaijan’s poor human rights record. In Rivkin’s opinion, the events are less about twitting Iran with a production of “scantily clad” western singers, and more about trying to improve their global image. The true tension between Azerbaijan and Iran is based on ethnicity, rather than women’s rights.

Now on Emphas.Is: BTC Pipeline by Amanda Rivkin (A Crowdfunding Campaign)

Watch this video and consider making a contribution to my ongoing, long-term project, please. There are rewards at every step of the way: For the full project information and pitch on Emphas.Is: BTC oil pipeline I first became interested in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline in the mid-1990s, when the Clinton White House Special Envoy Bill Richardson and Azerbaijani government were pushing oil companies to build the massive multinational infrastructure project. In the tumultuous post-Cold War period and with the demise of the Soviet Union, major oil companies preferred a more direct and less expensive route through Iran, but American interests prevailed. Oil from the BTC pipeline first reached the port of Ceyhan in southeast Turkey in May of 2006, an event hailed as the greatest geopolitical victory for the West in the aftermath of the Cold War. Since 9/11, however, the same interests that enthusiastically backed the project initially have now shifted their attention elsewhere — towards the Middle East and South Asia. In the summer of 2010, with the assistance of a Young …

To Borrow a Title, Revolution: A User’s Manual

In 2006, I attended an event at the New York Public Library, “Revolution: A User’s Manual,” with Adam Michnik, Baltasar Garzon, Giaconda Belli and G.M. Tamas and moderated by Christopher Hitchens. It was my first encounter with Michnik; we would meet again a year and a half later one October day in his Warsaw office to discuss German MP Erika Steinbach’s efforts to build a Center Against Expulsions in Berlin and the prickly question of monuments and historical memory. A partial reading, watching and listening list relevant to the craft of revolution since the manuals are being rewritten yet again. Links to source material from this and past revolutions is provided when available free and online: 60 Minutes/CBS News, “Wael Ghonim and Egypt’s New Age Revolution.” Airdate: February 13, 2011. Al Jazeera English, “Egyptian Actor Supports the Protesters.” Airdate: February 1, 2011. “They think they can hijack 85 million voices saying ‘enough.’” – Khalid Abo Al-Naga The Atlantic Tumblr, “The Most Subversive Protest of All: An Egyptian Protestor [sic] Kisses a Riot Police Officer.” January …

The New York Times Lens Blog Turning Point Series: Newsha Tavakolian on Shah Naser al-Din (1848-1896)

When the Shah of Iran Took the Pictures By KERRI MACDONALD AND AMANDA RIVKIN September 8, 2010, 5:30 pm Newsha Tavakolian, 29, has been covering Iran for Polaris Images since 2001 and has freelanced for The Times since 2004. She discussed coverage of last year’s political upheaval in “Covering Tehran” (June 17, 2009) and shared her photographs of women singers in “A Quiet Song, With Feeling” (June 11, 2010). Her conversation with Amanda Rivkin has been edited and condensed. Q. How was this picture taken? A. This was a news event, a demonstration next to the shrine of the founder of the Islamic Republic. It was extremely busy. I decided not to make a cliché picture of angry people shouting, “Death to America.” Instead, I entered the shrine. Men and women are separated there. The women’s section was more quiet. I saw mourning, crying mothers, who held portraits of their sons. The draperies against the walls intrigued me, so I mixed those with the portrait. Both mother and son resembled each other, but the face …