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IRAN: Campaign launched to annoint Neda Agha-Soltan Time magazine's Person of the Year 2009


The flickering images of Neda Agha-Soltan’s last moments in a Tehran street on June 20 before she died from gunshot wounds gripped the world, galvanized the nation and made the 26-year-old music student the face of Iran’s recent protest movement.

Five months after an unknown assailant took her life at a demonstration in the Iranian capital staged by pro-reform activists, supporters across the world have spearheaded a grassroots initiative in a move to immortalize her.

Through the use of various social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, they are pushing to make Agha-Soltan Time magazine’s Person of the Year 2009.

Each year, the U.S.-based magazine grants the title to one or several persons who "most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year."

Administrators of the more than 1,000-member strong Facebook group "Nominate Neda Agha-Soltan as the Time Woman of the Year" say she deserves the title because she has become “the symbol of the recent Iranian movement towards democracy and freedom" through her tragic death that shocked the world.

Members of the group are encouraged to send letters to Time magazine to vote for Agha-Soltan and spread the word to their friends.

The campaign is also triggering traffic on the micro-blogging service Twitter, where supporters of the initiative are "tweeting" their thoughts on why Time magazine should choose Agha-Soltan as its Person of the Year and calling on fellow Twitterers to give her their vote.

Last year, Time magazine named President Obama its Person of the Year.

When he won the Nobel Peace Prize last month, a surprised and humbled Obama made, perhaps, an oblique reference to Agha-Soltan when he said in his acceptance speech that the award was not only about the work of his administration but also about the "courageous efforts of people around the world" who strive for "justice and dignity."

While giving examples of whom he considered courageous, President Obama spoke of "the young woman who marches silently in the streets on behalf of her right to be heard even in the face of beatings and bullets."

Coinciding with the calls for Agha-Soltan to be named Time magazine's Person of the Year, Glamour magazine recently named the women activists behind Iran's One Million Signatures initiative its "Women of the Year 2009." The campaign calls for more women's rights in Iran and urges an end to alleged discriminatory laws against women in Iran.

-- Alexandra Sandels in Beirut

Photo: Supporters of Neda Agha-Soltan are campaigning on the Internet to make her Time magazine's Person of the Year 2009. Credit: Facebook

Comments () | Archives (77)

Neda deserves to be person of the year she gave her life for democracy.

the world must know that ahmadinejad is not our president and we are all neda..she is in our hearts

I Think Neda will be an inspiring woman for the democracy all over the world. I think Iranian people deserve a better life. They will contribute to every movement for a better life to human being if they have a democratic goverment.

Neda Agha-Soltan as the Time Woman of the Year

Peace and democracy for Iran, equal rights for women in Iran

Neda was & is a light & hope to Iranian nation. She is an inspiration to all courages people who fight for freedom & democracy.
I am proud to say she is Iranian. I am proud to say I am Iranian. I have never been so proud of Iranian women who have always been in for front of struggle for freedom in Iran. She deserve to be person of the year 2009.

I truly hope Neda is going to be chosen as the "Person of the year 2009 ". This young, smart and beautiful woman, lost the chance of living and loving in a very unfair situation. She ( and many other young students in Iran) are the victims of a crule dictatorship. At least let the world know why and how she died.

Neda Agha-Soltan’s murder is just a sample that shows the world the way that Islamic Republic government treat oponents and protesters even for ones who protests peacefully.

Neda is alive

I hope all people live in peacful and never see such happen.

Down with ahmadi nejad and khamenei
******************************************************************************* American People are my Friend ******************************************************************************************************************************************

Neda is a symbol of democracy and freedom not only in Iran but whole middle East. With helping democracy in Middle East, you bring mankind closer to peace.
Hushang from The Netherlands

down with ahmadi nejad and khamenei
only nedaye iran

Dear Sir,
Neda was not music student, she plays music as a hobby I guess. she had a Master in Philosophy.
Rest her in peace.

This is the best thing LA Times can do to contribute to democracy in Iran


I started liking Time!! I used to hate it during Bush s it was always trashing Iran and Iranians.

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