[By Shideh] My mind has been preoccupied with a number of events lately. I am busy with my last experiment while the world around me seems to have turned upside down. I usually worry a lot about the state of practice in earthquake engineering and am passionate in thinking that I can make a difference in this field, in Iran and perhaps other developing countries. Here I am though, sitting in front of the TV watching CNN in my hotel in Davis, tired of hard work all day, witnessing the world turn upside down once more. What is going on? Are Israeli authorities really planning to bomb Iran’s nuclear power stations (and other things)? Is Iran’s government really showing fake or real movie clips of its military maneuvers to threaten Israel back, to bluff, to defend itself, or to scare others? Are American politicians really open to the military option against Iran? Does it seem like a video game to them or do they actually realize it’s people’s lives they are so easily taking? Am I wasting my life trying to solve a tiny technical problem in earthquake engineering hoping to make cities safe, wishing to save lives, while our governments can blow up the whole world in one second? Who am I trying to save?
I am helplessly writing to you, my governments, the authorities or decision makers of the world, you who think you can make decisions on my behalf to kill others, I am writing this letter to you hoping to make you realize that I am disappointed in how you have all used my tax money toward propaganda against each other, to promote our differences, and to create hatred. When are you going to stop fighting and start solving conflicts without actual conflicts? How many more people do you want to see dead in Iraq, Iran, Israel, and other places? How many historical places destroyed? How many more soldiers are you going to separate from their homes and teach them to kill others for a “worthy” cause? How many more? How long? How much is enough for you all? I am disappointed and am ashamed of calling myself human, if this is its meaning.
How insignificant all my efforts and the efforts of others around me seem to be right now, in the presence of all the damage that our governments are capable to cause. I wonder if we can make a difference while there is so much destruction by the people in power everywhere. I wonder…
We need your help, our beloved governments. Without you, we cannot go forward in a meaningful way. We cannot make changes while you, so abruptly, destroy our efforts, so easily. How can I convince you to walk with me (and others like me) instead of other big powers that are thirsty for more power? How can I make you understand that together, and only together, we can start to walk our human path towards peaceful and safe societies? We cannot do it without you!
a humble letter to the people in power!19 07 2008