Saturday, August 27, 2016


Persian Letters

Rohani's 'Yes We Can' Moment

Iranian President Hassan Rohani's charm offensive continues at home with a musical clip that seems to have been inspired by U.S. President Barack Obama's "Yes We Can" music video.

The beautifully made black-and-white clip,  which includes segments of the Iranian president's August 3 inauguration speech mixed with music, singing, and sign language, has been released to mark the first 100 days of his presidency.

Obama's 2008 "Yes We Can" clip was created with the participation of some 30 Hollywood actors and singers.

Rohani's video was posted on his website and shared on Twitter by the unverified account of the Iranian president, which is said to be maintained by his media team.

WATCH: Rohani's 100 Days


The clip, which features a well-known singer and actor, Amir Hossein Modaress, was produced by Iranian documentary-maker Hossein Dehbashi, who also worked on Rohani's election campaign videos. Dehbashi has been quoted by Iranian media as saying that the video was created "spontaneously."

In the clip, unprecedented for an Iranian president, people of all ages play musical instruments and sing to Rohani's words in Persian, but also in the languages of Iran's minorities, including Kurdish and Arabic. (Here's a version with English subtitles.)

The clip also includes sound bites from prominent figures in Iran's modern history including Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and the founder of the Islamic Republic Ruhollah Khomeini.

The main takeaway of the clip seems to be unity:

Let space  and opportunity be given to all Iranians who are devoted to this land. Let those who are competent serve the nation. Let their hearts be cleansed from hatred. Let reconciliation replace anger and friendship replace enmity.

Rohani said his government wants happiness to return to the Iranian people's lives and calls on God to guide him.

Dehbashi lived in the United States for several years. He was arrested in 2010, allegedly for forging a United Nations letter that accompanied his immigration application. Upon returning to Tehran, Dehbashi claimed he had been held in solitary confinement by the FBI.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Barbara Murphy-Bridge from: Canada
November 27, 2013 12:13
I couldn't understand the words ( I only speak English ) but the video conveyed such a warm and hopeful feeling.

Refreshing also to see a video made in a Middle East country that includes women contributing their immense musical instrument talent and singing.

Mamnoon ممنون to all who made this video possible.

by: Martin Morgan from: UK
November 27, 2013 15:59
I listened to the clip but couldn't hear any Hebrew - the language of Iran's Jews. Can anyone with a keener ear hear any?
In Response

by: An Iranian
November 28, 2013 03:01
The language of Iranian jews is Persian.
In Response

by: Anonymous
November 28, 2013 05:10
Iranian jews generally (in their daily life) do not speak Hebrew, they speak Persian which is spoken by majority of Iranians.

by: ElaineMey from: USA
November 28, 2013 21:07
Very beautiful. Marvelous music.

by: Dick Willemsen from: Holland
November 30, 2013 13:46

This is the English text as shown in the clip, with the time behind each sentence. Who judges the correctness of the translation of the song tekst?
The song tekst of New Voyager:
Let the space and opportunity to serve the people open up 0.14
to all Iranians whose hearts are tied to this land 0.18
Let those with merits serve the nation 0.27
Let our hearts be cleansed of resentment 0.34
...be cleansed... 0.41
Let conciliation substitute estrangement 0.43
and friendship substitute animosity 0.48
..Let take this root... 0.54
Imam Khomeini: The destiny of every nation is in its own hands 0.58
Let the compassionate face of islam 1.04
the rational face of Iran 1.08
the rational face of Iran (in Kurdish) 1.10
the human face of the Revolution 1.13
the human face of the Revolution ( in Balochi) 1.14
and the affectionate face of the Establihment 1.16
and the affectionate face of the Establihment (in Azeri) 1.19
continue to create epics 1.22
continue to create epics (in Arabic) 1.24
Dr. Mossadegh: No one but the nation laid the foundation... 1.26
...for Iran's glorious movement 1.30
Ayat. Teleghani: Oh Muslims, you are the mightiest nation on Earth 1.35
I feel the weight... 1.44
...the weight... 1.45
I feel the weight of the these votes... 1.46
...weight of these votes... 1.47
..and I feel the weight of this endorsement 1.48
I seek refuge in God, and in God alone 1.55
May God assist you 1.59
Tomorrow is definitely bright 2.02
I sincerely and humbly ask the compassionate Lord 2.04
O Lord, assist me to save Thy weak servant from evils 2.15
of arrogance and conceit, greed, avarice and envy 2.23
O Lord 2.32
O Lord, I take refuge in Thee 3x 2.34-2.43
from autocracy of opinion, haste in decision making 2.44
putting personal or group interests ahead of those of the public 2.49
and of shutting the mouths of rivals and critics 2.54
and of shutting the mouths of rivals and critics (in Kurdish) 2.59
Radio: This is Tehran. True voice of the Iranian nation... 3.02
...Voice of the Revolution... 3.07
...please note, Khoonin-Shahr, city of blood, has been liberated! 3.08
O Lord, help me 3.15
O Lord, Help him 3.19
so I can be Thy genuine servant 3.20
O Lord, Help him 3.24
and a competent servant of the people 3.26
and a competent servant of the people (in Balochi) 3.29
And not forget 3.38
And not forget 3.40
what happened to those who came before me 3.41
"Observe how the end was for those from before" (30:42) 3.47
There is much to say but time is short 3.54
It would be best to stop talking and step onto this path 3.58
Step onto this path 4.02
Step onto this path 4.03
"O holy bird! Make thy blessing the guide of this path" (Hafez) 4.06
For, to our goal, long is the path and I'm a new voyager. 4.16
Thank you! 4.24
End at 4.36.
May 24, 1982 is the day of the liberation of Khorramshahr from the Iraqi.

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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Seen anything in the Iranian blogosphere that you think Persian Letters should cover? If so, contact Golnaz Esfandiari at esfandiarig@rferl.org