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Iranian revolution: 1979

The Iranian revolution in 1979, was the key event for the radical change of the country Iran was governed bya shah, and after this revolution it would became a republic.
The Iranian revolution took almost 2 years long. It was in 1953 when Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq was expelled from the power when he was trying to nationalize the oil resources in a deal managed by British and American countries (Ajax Operation).

With the support of the U.S. and the UK, the shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi dominated the Iranian political scene. Promoted by him, the modernization of the country’s industry started. In order to avoid quarrels and revolts, the shah eliminated all the opposition to his regime with the help of the SAVAK* intelligence agency. These plans of socioeconomic modernization, that popularly were called as the “White Revolution”, relied on oil revenues, military help and on U.S. logistics. In this way, the country started some important reforms like: a land reform, employee participation in company profits, women’s suffrage, and the attempt to create a form of Islam that take benefits of these reforms and in the regime.

iranian revolution

Nevertheless, the reforms did not have the effects that the goverment expected. A large proportion of the population was becoming poorer and poorer every day, and at the same time others enriching by the ruling oligarchy. Everything was getting complicated because of the tight political control and the repression increased, parallel to increasing discontent. Discontent is used by the Shiite clergy, that were against some “westernizing” aspects of the regime. The shiite clergy became the main opponent of the monarchy, despite the existence of secular opposition organizations such as the Tudeh Party (communist), the National Front, social and urban character, and the extreme left. The clergy is well organized with a hierarchy similar to the Catholic clergy and has the support of much of the country’s population.

When the 70’s were almost finished spreads the desire for regime change. Mass demonstrations and repressions were increasing .The shah then promises the revision of the political reforms, but the discontent is so big that it did not work.
At the same time, a man was leading in some way this discontent: it was Jomeini. He was exiled in neighboring Iraq since 1964, and the political tensions in Iran make the Baghdad regime to get out of it. Then he was installed in France, where the Western media make him a spokesman for the Iranian opposition.

The authority of the Shah was so big that the society had no opportunity to have any revolt. As we have said before, this is because of SAVAK, a police group that was responsible for overseeing all activities of the civilian population. To their activity are attributed the disappearances and tortures during the reign of the Shah. Some people, like  Ryszard Kapuscinski, a well-known journalist, were witnesses of the methods that the SAVAK used in order to maintain the order in the streets of Iran. The Savak worked like a “thoughts police” controlling every thought against the regime. That is why most of arrested people were intellectuals of the country.  The shah’s dictatorship and its oppression became unsustainable, as well as the social and economic problems in Iran. For that reason the shah brought down later on.

According to Kapuscinski*, the revolution started in Qom, a town 150 km at the south of Tehran. Ayatollah Jomeini (the ‘French’ spokesman named before) was native of that town, and he had been critical of Reza Shah’s management.  This man especially defended Islamic values an d the thoughts of the country. He disapprove the ‘invasion’ and intrusion of the western powers.

An article published in Etelat newspaper attacked Jomeini. He was described as a “foreign” because of his Indian lineages. The connotation that ‘foreign’ brought to their minds was indignant, so in Qom, there was a big protest for the support of Ayatollah. To have demonstrations was forbidden in shah’s regime, so the police tried to break up the protest. The protesters did not want to leave and stayed there, which led officials to take other measures. They take the square and opened fire on the crowd. As we can imagine, the result was dramatic. Hundreds of dead.

This is undoubtedly one of the key events for the iranian revolution. It  brought national consternation, and the protests over Iran were more and more common, causing the same consequences: more deaths.

Even though the police and the military tried to crush the demonstrations with violence, they could not stop them. The atmosphere became too tense and the Shah could not stand it, so he resigned and fled.

On January 16, 1979 the Shah was exiled to Egypt, and Jomeini returns on February 1. Under his leadership, the Islamists take care of the revolution and suppress other groups. In March 31, there is a referendum on the proclamation of the islamic republic.

(*)SAVAK= was the National Intelligence and Security Organization. It was the secret police, domestic security and intelligence service established by Iran´s Mohammed Rezah Sha with the help of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. (the CIA) from 1957 to 1979.

(*) Ryszard Kapuscinski was a Polish journalist and writer. He wrote a book called ‘El Shah’ about the period of the Sha Mohamed Reza Palhevi of Irán.

References

* Iran Chamber society. History of Irán: islamic revolution 1979.   Thursday, May 10, 2012 http://www.iranchamber.com/history/islamic_revolution/islamic_revolution.php

* The new york Times Upfront. 1979: Iran’s Islamic Revolution. By Roger Cohen. http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/indepth/upfront/features/index.asp?article=f091806_TP_Iran

Categories: History, Humanities

El pueblo Bereber.

Los bereberes son un conjunto de etnias precedentes del Magreb, situado en el oeste del valle del Nilo (Egipto). el número de habalantes se encuentra calculado entre unos 55 y 70 millones, que se distribuyen en el norte de África, centrandose mayormente en los países de Argelia y Marruecos.El sobrenormbre “bereber”, fue el nombre de procedencia latina adjudicado a esta etnia por los conquistadores romanos, pero se hacen llamar a si mismos  imazighen, lo que en sui lengua significa “hombres libres”.

a Bereber WomanLa lengua Bereber es esencialmente de tradición oral, poseen desde hace alrededor de  2.500 años, su propio sistema de escritura llamado “libico-bereber” ( tifinagh en bereber). En la actualidad este alfabeto es utilizado por los Tuaregs. Este alfabeto se compone de el lenguaje latino con algunas modificaciones o el árabe, siendo el segundo el más utilizado.

 

 

 

Debido a su situación geográfica, las tribus bereberes han sido testigos de numerosos religiones que recorrieron la cuenca del Nilo desde la antigüedad. Desde 180 d.c., fueron testigos de la extensión del cristianismo, para más tarde en el siglo VII convertirse al Islam, la que ha sido su religion mayoritaria hasta el S. XXI. A partir de 1980 y debido a la represión  de los diversos movimientos bereberes ( conocidos como la primavera Bereber), se ha podido observar un giro en la conversión al protestantismo. Actualmente  la mayoría son seguidores de la doctrina del Islam, habiendo entre ellos grupos menores pero aún así de considerable importancia de judíos y cristianos.

La organización social de estos pueblos se distribuye básicamente entre agricultores y comerciantes, siendo los primeros pertenecientes a las clases bajas y los últimos los ciudadanos con poder. Era tradición que los grupos de agricultores pagasen un tributo a un jefe comerciante para obtener protección, pero con el paso del tiempo los agricultores fueron ganado riqueza a la vez que la importancia de las rutas coemrciales disminuía y con ello la importancia y riqueza de los comerciantes.

Mey Ling Núñez Barbeito.

Referencias

*Bereber: localización, historia y costumbres de esta étnia africana. Ikuska libros. http://www.ikuska.com/Africa/Etnologia/Pueblos/Bereber/

* Bereberes. Wikipedia. 6 mayo 2012. http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bereberes

* Lengua y cultura Tamazight. http://www.melillatamazight.es/sociedad.php

Ancient Egypt World

The more than 3000 year long history of Ancient Egypt has been divided into 8 or 9 periods, sometimes called Kingdoms. This division is based on the country’s unity and wealth and the power of the central government. The Ancient Egyptians seem to have developed the notion of dynasties throughout their history.

The ancient Egyptians thought of Egypt as being divided into two types of land, the ‘black land’ and the ‘red land’.

The ‘black land’ was the fertile land on the banks of the Nile. The ancient Egyptians used this land for growing their crops. The ‘red land’ was the barren desert that protected Egypt on two sides. This desert protected ancient Egypt from neighbouring countries and invading armies. It also provided the ancient Egyptians with a source for precious metals and stones.

The Egyptian life

Daily life in ancient Egypt revolved around the Nile and the fertile land along its banks.  The people of ancient Egypt built mudbrick homes in villages and i the country. They grew some of their own food and traded in the villages for the food and goods they could not produce. Most ancient Egyptians worked as field hands, farmers, craftsmen and scribes. A small group of people were nobles.

The Pharaoh

The most powerful person in ancient Egypt was the pharaoh. The pharaoh was the political and religious leader of the Egyptian people, holding the following titles: ‘Lord of the Two Lands’ and ‘High Priest of Every Temple’.

As ‘Lord of the Two Lands’ the pharaoh was the ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt. He owned all of the land, made laws, collected taxes, and defended Egypt against foreigners. As ‘High Priest of Every Temple’, the pharaoh represented the gods on Earth. He performed rituals and built temples to honour the gods.

Many pharaohs went to war when their land was threatened or when they wanted to control foreign lands. If the pharaoh won the battle, the conquered people had to recognise the Egyptian pharaoh as their ruler and offer him the finest and most valuable goods from their land.

The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians believed in many different gods and goddesses. Each one of these gods and goddesses played it own role to maintain peace and harmony across the land.

Some gods and goddesses took part in creation, some brought the flood every year, some offered protection, and some took care of people after they died. Others were either local gods who represented towns, or minor gods who represented plants or animals.

The ancient Egyptians believed that it was important to recognise and worship these gods and goddesses so that life continued smoothly.

The Pyramids and Temples

As everybody knows, egyptians used to built pyramids as tombs for their pharaohs and their queens.

The pharaohs were buried in pyramids since before the beginning of the Old Kingdom to the end of the Middle Kingdom. There are about eighty pyramids known today from ancient Egypt. The three largest are located  at Giza. The most well-known of these pyramids was built for the pharaoh Khufu. It is known as the ‘Great Pyramid’.

Egyptian temples were built for the official worship of the gods and commemoration of the pharaohs. Temples were seen as houses for the gods  to whom they were dedicated. In them, the Egyptians performed a variety of rituals: giving offerings to the gods, reenacting their mythological interactions through festivals, and warding off the forces of chaos. These rituals were necessary for the gods to continue to uphold maat, the divine order of the universe. pharaohs delegated their ritual duties to a host of priests, and most of the populace was excluded from direct participation in ceremonies and forbidden to enter a temple’s most sacred areas. In conclussion, a temple was an important religious site for all classes of Egyptians, who went there to pray, give offerings, and seek oracular guidance from the god dwelling within. 

Egyptian Writting

To end with this tour for the most important points of the Egyptian world, I would like to speak about their writting.  It is one of the most ancient and complex of the world.

The invention of the writing towards 3000 B.C. determines the beginning of the Egyptian history more than any other change. The possibility of reading and writing make the difference between the principal cultures of the Near East and the contemporary cultures, opening new possibilities. The writing was complex and the aptitude to read and write was remaining limited to a minority, up to the diffusion of the alphabetical writing, the society could not exploit the whole potential that the writing supposed.

Along the Egyptian history, three types of writing were developed:
The hieroglyphic or hieroglyphic monumental, used in inscriptions of monuments and decorations. It is the most ancient and more complex type of writing and was used since 3100 B.C. It was a type of sacred, so called writing ” writing of the god’s word “, and as a sacred writting,  it was using in sarchofagi, tombs, monuments and sculptures, and was represented with great details. it could be written in any sense (except bottom up) and in lines or columns.

The Hieratic: It arose as brief writing of the hieroglyphic cursive one and it was the writing used by scribes (that were not forced to know the hieroglyphic one) and for the priests in literary copies.

The hieroglyphic cursive one disappeared concerning 1000 B.C. whereas the hieratic was in use in religious texts up to ends of the Egyptian civilization. Also it was using in scientific texts and literary works. It was a type of very useful writing in papyruses and ostracas. It was written in black ink with a sharp cane and the red ink was using as rebearing of certain paragraphs.

Mey Ling Núñez. 19/03/2012

References

 

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