Adepeju Solarin

Adepeju Solarin (Association for the Defense of Azerbaijani Political Prisoners in Iran - ADAPP): Adepeju was born in America and raised in Nigeria. She earned her Masters degree in 2010 from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Masters of Liberal Studies (MLS) program. At the time of her fellowship Adepejo was researching US-Iranian relations, restorative justice, and diplomacy as it relates to foreign policy. After her fellowship, Peru wrote: "I am more patient, yielding, and have a deeper acknowledgement of my people skills."



I CAME, I SAW, I TRIED: AN END?

26 Aug

This marks my last entry, while out “in-the-field.”

Entries of this nature are often subject to much emotion and reflection. I can’t say this will be any different. The last few weeks have schooled me in ways of the Azerbaijanis of Iran. Previous entries have discussed the fight for equal rights and a better Iran, and I have encountered several Azerbaijanis with varying perspectives on their plight. Some are of the belief that a separate nation is the solution, some believe the situation is not so bad, believing Azerbaijanis can easily assimilate into the dominant Persian culture.

But the real core of the issue is a universal stance that all peoples have the right to keep their identity and let it flourish. Having education in your native tongue is part of this; cultural and linguistic rights. This is why Fakhteh Zamani and ADAPP do the work they do. I hope my blog has been communicating this, if not, forgive me.

Today, I had an interview with Abbas Djavadi—had mentioned him in the preceding entry, he graciously allowed me an audience. You will hear about it soon enough. I also had a “going-away” fete! Put on by my Azerbaijani fam here! Yes, the people I have met are like family, unfortunately, I cannot mention them as they seek privacy and security. They are the true heros. They are the ones, who have shared stories, pain, and struggles. I shall leave, and they will keep fighting—if only I could have such singularity of focus.

Thank YOU

Allow me to express my sincerest gratitude and appreciation for joining me on this journey. Some months back, I asked you— E-mentors, E-readers, family, friends and random visitors—to follow me on my sojourn into Iranian human rights, the real issues and not the politics. You accepted and here we are.

To ADAPP, its affiliates, supporters, and adversaries, I also send my thanks. There would have been no summer fellowship without you all.

To those who made this possible, especially my funders: Upper Midwest Fellowship (of the Human Rights Center, UMN), Human Rights Program (UMN), Claude, Joe, and MT. Thank you and I hope your support has been a good use of your support.

The End?

Well, I have enjoyed having this bully pulpit and I hope, still, to use it as a platform to raise awareness of this issue of Universal Human Rights. Although frequency of entries may reduce, my commitment to this issue will remain. As I mentioned, I still have an entry on Djavadi, and several others that are waiting for their turn. I look forward to the day Azerbaijanis—and all minorities—in Iran freely enjoy their cultural and linguistic heritage.

Peace.

Posted By Adepeju Solarin

Posted Aug 26th, 2010

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