ED HALE TRANSCENDS TO DISCUSS RECENT IRAN ISSUES ON VANCOUVER PERSIAN RADIO 93.1FM CKYE

Ed Hale with American Peace Delegation to Iran with former President Khatami
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.”

Ed Hale and Princess Little Tree Host Bed In For Peace In Gaza Celebration

Seattle, WA
January 2nd, 2009

Over the New Year holiday weekend this year, singer-songwriter and recording artist Ed Hale and girlfriend Nahal Mishel-Ghashghai, who Hale affectionately refers to as Princess Little Tree, held a Lennonesque three-day “Bed In for Peace In Gaza” in Seattle, WA.  The project was originally intended to create awareness about the ongoing violence in Gaza and promote peace in the region, but snowballed into a much bigger event over the three day period. The singer and Mishel-Ghashghai communicated with a multitude of people via social media along with a wide variety of media outlets as well as various embassies of countries like Israel, China, Iraq, Chechnya, Russia and South Korea. They posted a video synopsis of the event on YouTube a few days later that can be viewed below.


Ed Hale and Nahal Mishel-Ghashghai Post Three Day Bed In For Peace In Gaza Press Event on YouTube

 

ED HALE RELEASES BED PEACE 2008 VIDEO PROJECT ON NEW YEARS DAY

“The problem was how to celebrate New Years Eve respectfully with all of the recent violence, turmoil, and humanitarian crises happening around the world, especially the brutal battle going on in Gaza and Palestine. To do the usual party to party scene all night just didn’t seem appropriate at the time considering… the idea just grew from there… from that original thought… Then it just came down to if we had the energy and the commitment to really do something. That’s what it always comes down to isn’t it? The idea was how much can we do if we focus 110% on peace in the world for four solid days and nights? That was the question.”

ED HALE TO MEET WITH IRAN PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD DURING UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING


Coinciding with this week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City, singer-songwriter Ed Hale of the rock group TRANSCENDENCE, will be part of a coalition of prominent members of the United States peace and human rights movement who will be meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Over 100 peace and human rights activists representing over three dozen American peace and human rights groups will fly in to attend the private meeting with the Iranian president in an undisclosed location. There has been an embargo on releasing the date, time, or location of the meeting to the press in order to avoid any interruption of the proceedings.
Hale visited Iran in March of this year along with 12 others as a Civilian Diplomat to discuss US/Iranian relations with members of the Iranian government including former President Khatami. Hale has been interviewing with the media about the trip over the last six months, as well as giving formal presentations to discuss it with the public. He has also written about it on his blog, The Transcendence Diaries. Photos from the trip can be viewed by visiting Hale’s Flickr page here. This meeting in the US is being held in order to introduce Ahmadinejad to the peace community in the United States and to illustrate how this sector of civil society works to oppose war and the use of violence to resolve differences. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and UN Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee will also be in attendance.
Ed Hale at the Center for Hadith Studies in Qom, Iran
In response to those who have vocally protested his involvement in meeting with Ahmadinejad, Hale had this to say: “Iran and the United States have not spoken diplomatically in over 25 years. When the governments of these nations do speak to each other it is usually behind closed doors through special envoys in some remote neutral country or they speak AT each other publicly through the media making accusations and threats and bullying each other. Israel is also involved in this childish power struggle. All three countries need to grow up and start representing the people of their nations in a more mature and responsible manner that respects human life. Until the governments of our countries are willing to stop the chest beating and start a real dialogue about the most pressing issues that the people are facing — most importantly peace between our countries — then we the people need to step up and do the talking for them. This is what Civilian Diplomacy is about. It is imperative that someone say something constructive that moves us forward; at the same time we need to start listening to each other more. For me personally I don’t care who I have to meet with if it means that it might potentially save human lives. Our meeting with President Ahmadinejad does not imply that we agree with his Holocaust denial statements anymore than our meeting with Dick Cheney would imply that we support the invasion of Iraq. What is most important is that we get the message out to as many people around the world as possible that peace is possible and that if we have to then we the people will make that happen if the governments of the world are not willing to. We certainly cannot continue in the direction we are headed in now. We need to open the lines of communication in order to assure that we save more lives. That’s what this meeting is about.”

ED HALE TO START GUEST BLOGGING ON SUNDANCE FILM CHANNEL

Ed Hale – who has been hard at work on his new book Revolution in Me while awaiting the release of the band’s new CDs – will begin a regular weekly guest blog for a few months on the official Sundance Film Channel website in the coming weeks focusing on his peace delegation visit to the country of Iran and how it relates to all things GREEN: the environment, peace, war, oil, nuclear energy, and most importantly humanity. The blogs will be similar to his regular posts on his long-running Transcendence Diaries blog but will be shorter in length of course. The blog posts will feature photos, and links to videos and photo slideshows from his trip, as well as guest interviews with authors, scientists, and experts in various fields. Stay tuned for the first installment.
In the meantime, Transcendence does indeed have three new CDs releasing this year including the band’s official two new albums, The Great Mistake (EMI) and All Your Heroes Become Villains (DVG), and a new rarities and unreleased tracks album called The City of Lost Children. Stay tuned for release dates.
To best stay informed of the latest, head to Facebook and add as a friend or subscribe to this site or the band’s site either through email or RSS Feed.

Ed Hale Returns from Homebuilding Trip In Ghana, Africa

Ed Hale and children in Akra, Ghana in West Africa
Ed Hale in Akra, Ghana in West Africa

Ed Hale just returned from a two week homebuilding trip to Akra in Ghana in West Africa with Habitat for Humanity. The team he was a part of built three full houses. He also visited the former “slave castles” on the coast. “The building was brutal. The sun was scorching hot. The slave castles were dark shocking and horrifying. I didn’t go in. We are f**king animals,” Hale said about the trip. He created a Transcendent Television series of video shorts about the trip on YouTube which can be viewed below.

ED HALE TO GIVE FIRST OFFICIAL NEW YORK PRESENTATION ABOUT HIS RECENT PEACE DELEGATION TRIP TO IRAN

Hi New York friends!

I’m sending you all an email to a few of my New York friends because many of you were sponsors of my peace delegation trip to Iran last month and/or were awesome email/phone supporters. So I wanted to let you know the details of the official presentation I will be giving about it here in NYC.

The last two months have indeed been insane with almost more work post-trip than the trip itself. A lot of interviews and articles and yes even the obligatory appearance on Muslim TV — (which was quite “candid cameraish’ I must say).

My official presentation about the trip in New York City will be this coming Sunday. I pasted the details below for you in case you have the time to come – and are interested in this subject. It was quite the experience and we learned a lot. More than anything, we were brought there specifically by the Iranian government to bring back a message to the American people…

So that is why we do these interviews and presentations. It isn’t necessarily a “perfect message.” But it is a real message – as opposed to what we hear on the news here in the States… which is just ‘the White House said…” So, that will be the aim of the presentation. To show some pictures, tell some stories, and answer as many questions as possible about the subject.

The presentation will be filmed (so dress sharpJ). By the way, since I have you all on the line at once: Our show Transcendent Television got picked up by Warner Home Video for distribution!!! No, we’re not on traditional TV… YET, but this was a real surprise blast of forward momentum out of nowhere that was very welcomed.

If you want to see the first DVD they are going to officially release you can see it here because there are segments still on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=AE689FEEAE0C2E66 It is the “Going to Ghana” series I made last year.

Many of your beautiful faces I have not seen in a long time… I know we’ve all been over the top busy. Such is life in New York. It has been a crazy year or more for many of us. But I would love to see you! If not Sunday, then hopefully soon.

(For you rockers in the bunch, it does begin at 12:45. I know that’s early, so if you don’t show, don’t sweat it. I TOTALLY understand. J)

If you do decide you can attend, let me know, and I will make sure that lunch is reserved for you. if you’re not sure, feel free just to show up. Hey, this is New York. Who knows what we’re even going to do tonight let alone Sunday!!!

Hope all is well with all of you and would love to see you there.

Ed Hale

Below is the description of the Presentation:

Ed Hale will give a talk about his recent Peace Delegation trip to Iran entitled “The Value of a Single Human Being”

Sunday June 1st starting at 12:45 PM

Mark your calendars for Sunday June 1st 2008! Ed Hale who just recently returned from a 15 day peace delegation to the country of Iran with 13 other Americans will give a presentation about his experience. The trip was sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Iranian government. The 14 delegates held formal meetings with leading government officials and religious leaders including former president Mohammad Khatami and three reigning Ayatollahs to discuss how to improve US/Iran relations and foster more peace and harmony between our countries. Ed will share his experience with us, as well as present a slideshow of photos from the trip and also answer questions about this increasingly important issue. He also brought back some delicious samples of traditional Iranian food, tea, and candy to share with the group.

As always the session will offer a valuable opportunity for group sharing and interaction. Lunch and drinks will be provided for all.

Ed Hale Introduces a New Project – PeaceWithIran.com

“I am very glad to hear about what Ed Hale is doing. It’s of extraordinary importance. The threats by the US against Iran are not only criminal — technically, in violation of the UN Charter — but are also extremely ominous. I don’t think there can be an invasion, but bombing is possible, and a terrible prospect. On the likelihood, no one can say, even the White House. It depends in no small part on our efforts.”

– Noam Chomsky

A personal message from Ed Hale

As many know, I just recently returned from a 15 day peace delegation to the country of Iran. The trip was eye-opening to say the least. It was also exhausting. Hence my absence over the last two months since my return. Had to get my head on straight. I have written hundreds of pages about the experience and yes as always I have gigabytes of video footage and photos to share. This will come in time.

In the intervening weeks since my return I have been more than busy. Besides countless interviews and lectures regarding the recent Iranian trip, the band is in the midst of signing a two album deal with Caroline/EMI Records to release out two new albums this year, so yes to all of your gracious and much-appreciated inquiries, the new albums are going to be released. As soon as we have a release date we will let you know. I have also been finishing a book which we will announce very soon.

I have also been busy with two new non-profit projects, www.TuneInTurnOnHelpOut.org, and www.PeaceWithIran.com. Your presence here is welcomed and appreciated. And it would be greatly appreciated at both or either of these two new sites, which both have noble goals. To speak a bit about the impetus of the peacewithiran.com project, I want to caveat by saying that though “war is imminent” or “military strikes are imminent” may be an idea or thought or belief that many are carrying around today in regards to the United States and Iran and even Israel, I do not personally hold this thought or idea or belief myself.

Yes I certainly see the news being released everyday about the various issues, and I recognize that parties on all sides feel very passionate about these issues; whether it is the threat of a “nuclear Iran” on one side, or a ”bullying America” on the other side, or a “fearful and hostile Israel” on yet another side. I also certainly understand the potential dangers that all three countries pose against the others and truly against all living beings on the planet today. But I believe that what we think about, what we give energy to, is what we create. We have seen it time and time again. As soon as a country starts beating its war drum, it is only a matter of time until it decides it’s time to “go to war.” Regardless of the loss of life, liberty, respect in the world community, or the burden it places upon the rest of the world. Throughout human history, there has always been one country or another “ready to attack” another country.

The truth of the matter is that this is bound to continue until mass human consciousness changes to the point of what might be called “critical mass” in a way that these people who see “war” as the only answer for “peace” simply no longer exist. In time this will be our reality. It might take our total annihilation and extinction and subsequent reincarnation in yet another form for this to happen, but let us hope not. Let us hope that those of us who see “peaceful means” as the only means available to us to achieve “peace” win this historical battle of wits that is being played out on the world stage.

With that said, let us take it for granted that for the next few months or years even we will have ample opportunity to read about “war” and the “threat of war” in regards to Iran and the United States and Israel if we so choose to. There are plenty of people who find the time and enjoy searching for the latest article or report on what “so and so” said bad about “so and so” and of course in the end it is really nothing but talk leading up to more “war” – even if their intentions are good – meaning that they don’t want “war” – but in fact that is exactly what they will create. Some people have just not evolved to the level of understanding of the “mechanisms of consciousness” yet to the degree that they realize that if they spend all their time thinking and reading about it, they will indeed create it. Whether they claim to want it or not. They are creating it simply by focusing so much attention on it.

But that is not what this particular website is concerned with. Our goals with the www.PeaceWithIran.com website is to show an entirely different side of US/Iran relations and to the country of Iran itself, and the Iranian people. The idea is to literally ignore that pink elephant in the room that at various times is called “war” or “threats of war” or worries or concerns about nuclear energy programs or WMDs or any of that lower-mode primitive-minded nonsense. Because God knows we have plenty of people already giving plenty of energy to those ideas in today’s world.

Remember elementary school? There were always those one or two kids in each class who were the bullies, who picked fights for the slightest reason or for no reason at all, who made fun of other kids, who tried to make us laugh at the expense of others, who tried to pit one classmate against another for the sheer wicked enjoyment they got out of it. Though this isn’t elementary school anymore, it sure seems like it sometimes. Those kids have now grown up. And if we aren’t careful and vigilant to our cause – the safety and survival of our species – these grown up kids could blow us all up simply because they haven’t fully matured yet as most of us have, and also because we haven’t done enough to speak up and tell them to back the fuck down.

It’s too bad we weren’t able to do that in regards to the United States Government’s invasion of the sovereign country of Iraq. Lord knows plenty of people from all over the world tried. But no one was brave enough to really stand up and say “no.” And so in the last five years we have watched in horror over one million innocent people die. It is also equally regrettable that we have thus far been unable to stand up against the Chinese government in regards to how they are slowly but steadily killing hundreds of thousands of Sudanese people right before our eyes.

Of course, the issue of Iran is a bit more complex than Iraq or the Sudan. Both countries were radically unstable and not much of a threat nor a strong foe to begin with. But Iran is a very different matter. The people of the United States of America should feel very lucky that the Iranian people are such a strong, busy, and resilient people that up until this time they have not taken the constant beating of the American war drum by the few barbarians in Washington who do not understand the basic principles of diplomacy too seriously. Instead they choose to just continue on with their lives and hope that eventually America finds someone else to bully. For unlike Iraq or the Sudan or Tibet for that matter, Iran does have the potential to pose a serious threat as a formidable enemy if they ever felt so inclined to. Not only do they have a very proud and loyal populace since their own revolution, they also have the backing and allegiance of many other countries around the world. Luckily for all of us, they instead choose to do their best to just keep on trying to move forward with their day to day lives.

So instead of focusing on war and threats of war and who has the biggest army or the biggest guns or who said what about whom each day in the international press, those of us on the light side need to start focusing our energy on Peace and on People. After all, Iranis a country full of people. So is the United States. And in a nutshell, war isn’t good for people. Nor has it ever done much good for “peace”.

It is easy to find ourselves upset at the US Government, just as it is easy to find ourselves upset with the Iranian government or the Israeli government or the various factions within the Palestinian government. But it isn’t going to do us much good to focus on these feelings of upset. Let us instead choose to focus on Peace itself. Let us instead focus on discovering how many millions of Iranian/Americans we already have living here in the United States who still have family “back home” in beautiful Iran. Let us instead develop a curiosity for this rich and ancient and historic land once called Persia, now called Iran.

Let us instead develop a place online and in our hearts where we who care can share photos, films, books, movies, art, and music from the fascinating cultural exchange that is taking place right this very minute between our two great countries. Iranians love Americans. There is much to like about us. And they can see that. And though many don’t yet know it, Americans love many famous Iranians. Iran has contributed much to the planet in its five thousand year history. Our very own Constitution is said to be inspired by the Persian King Cyrus the Great and his drafting of what many believe to be the very first “constitution.”

PeaceWithIran.com is a story of hope. It is a place to learn and to share. The goal being to add some balance to the already nauseating clutter of war-related stories coming out from the hawks and bullies of the world – and the hapless media lapdogs who follow their every step. We made a grave mistake with Iraq. We never bothered to even look these poor people in the eye before we attacked them; because our hearts were heavy from the events of September 11th, and our minds were confused by falsified “intelligence reports” coming out of Washington. But we will not make that same mistake again.

Let us take a look at the face of Iran – since after all, Iran is a country full of 70 million faces. Our goal is that not one of them is touched, hurt, injured, attacked, maimed, deformed, put out of their homes, or killed by anyone. Just as I am sure most would agree that we have that same exact goal for ourselves. Let us hold it for our Iranian neighbors as well. (In fact, why don’t we just presume to hold that same goal for all of our neighbors on the planet… and yeah that might mean demanding that China give Tibet back to the Tibetans and stop murdering Sudanese people before we even think about entertaining their hosting this year’s Olympic Games. Just a thought.)

In the meantime, there is much to learn about that truly fascinating people and country of Iran. Take your time and look around the site. If you have something to share, please feel free to. This site is open to all who have something to contribute, even if it is just a photo, a comment, or a message of hope or inspiration. Most of all, share the space in your hearts that we finally acheive that seemingly ever evasive goal of peace not just in words and rhetoric but in actual practice.

Sincerely,
Ed Hale

New “Going to Ghana” Video Series Posted

Ahhhh, the sites, the sounds, the smells…. the excitement of Africa. Well truth be told life on a worksite in the middle of nowhere slaving under the hot African sun for ten hours a day isn’t that exciting. But it does accomplish some noble goals and makes for some interesting thoughts to think about in this new video series “Going to Ghana” where Ed Hale and friends take off on a mission with Habitat for Humanity to build two homes from start to finish in two weeks. Watch them here or head to YouTube where they are posted.

A SIMPLE ACT OF ANTI-WAR PROTEST MARKS THE FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF IRAQ WAR IN NEW YORK CITY

Ed Hale, lead singer for the rock group Transcendence stated: “On March 19th, 2008 people all over the world took actions of all shapes and kinds to protest the fifth anniversary of the United States Government’s illegal invasion of the country of Iraq. There were protest marches, candle-lit vigils, lobbying and petitions in Washington DC, and of course thousands of telephone calls and emails to the US Congress and the White House. Our idea was a simple one, and coincided with an observation I had made that disturbed me a few weeks prior while taking a shower. We live on a very busy street in a very busy city — New York City to be exact. And two or three times a day those BIG RED NEW YORK DOUBLE DECKER TOUR BUSES drive tourists from all over the world around the beautiful city of Manhattan. It bothered me greatly to realize that your average visitor to NYC would not see much anti-war sentiment in this very progressive and otherwise intelligent American town. So what to do? Simple: hang a giant flag outside an apartment building for tourists from all nations to see as they drove by and snapped photos for their scrapbooks that had a simple message: WORLD WE’RE SORRY! As long as the US stays in Iraq, the flag will remain. The hope is that at least a few foreigners can go home and report to friends and family that there are at least some Americans who are aware and truly sorry for all the innocent bloodshed and lives lost.”
View a slideshow of the photos here.
View and download photos here.