Until the passing of Michael Jackson it seemed the entire world was fixated on the recent people’s uprising in Iran and the attendant government’s controversial attempts to quell the protests. A hot topic in Western news for more than fifty years, Iran most recently came to public attention again when millions of people in Tehran and other large cities of all ages and religious backgrounds came out into the streets in droves to protest or support the second term election of Iranian president Ahmadinejad. On Saturday July 18th, 2009, singer/songwriter/political activist Ed Hale will be giving a special two-hour radio interview on one of the Western World’s most popular Iranian news programs, Vancouver Persian Radio – CKYE 93.1. The show is hosted by Iranian born Ebby Mohseni and will be broadcast live from 9:00PM to 11:00 PM PST. It can also be heard live on the internet here. In 2008 Hale, also called “The Ambassador” precisely for these kind of social and global cultural activities, co-founded the non-profit organization PeaceWithIran.com after traveling to Iran as a Civilian Diplomat on a special peace delegation where he and ten others met with the Iranian president and many other influential government and religious leaders.
Hale was surprised by the immediate popularity and the positive response the website received on a global level. A few months later he was asked to again meet with president Ahmadinejad at last year’s United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City – along with many of America’s leading peace activists – to discuss solutions for peaceful relations with the United States and other Western Powers. Since the people’s uprising in Iran after the June elections, the website that Hale and company founded as a means to create more peace with Iran became – seemingly overnight – one of the most popular and visited websites on the internet, both as a comprehensive news source updated by the minute from people all over the world, and more importantly – as a secure platform for the Iranian people to communicate with one another regarding political activism and organizing. Hale had not predicted the increased traffic, attention, or popularity the site would receive post-election – assuming it would remain a relatively transparent host for occasional Iranian cultural events and news.
Hale commented, “Well we certainly didn’t see this coming did we? Though I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was excited as hell about this. We’ve found ourselves right in the middle and on the front lines of one of the most exciting people’s democratic movements in recent history! Now I’m not sure how I or anyone outside of Iran itself can offer much that has not already been said… It’s more about what we can do, which is why I’m a little reluctant about these kinds of radio things…” Hale and co-founder Monica Bernardo have been inundated with interview requests from radio stations and newspapers from all over the world and the demand is tough to keep up with, especially considering that Hale is currently promoting a new album less than a month out of the box.
“I’m a singer and songwriter, and an artist and entertainer. I’m not an expert on politics. But there is an opportunity here to help. So we’re going to help. Like many, I love Persian culture, which is why I created the website, to share my passion for the people there. But I don’t believe that makes me a go-to guy for what is happening there now. Though at this time we are receiving hundreds of emails from all over the world with vital inside information that is not being shared with the world from the mainstream media. So if anything, I hope the increased popularity of the website and the interviews we are doing will help spread more awareness about the importance of paying more attention to the struggle of the Iranian people right now so we can do more and help them do more. That’s the real goal with this.”
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