Monday, August 17, 2009

Ahmadinejad's "female" cabinet!

This one is Fatemeh Ajorloo! She is a clinical psychologist, who is also trying to get a PhD! Although in Iran, after age of 40 you are not ALLOWED to apply to a PhD program, she is a 43 years old PhD student AND a member of parliament--something that Mr Ahmadinejad declared illegal when criticizing Mousavi's wife's credentials. Ajorloo's biography and CV is outright unimpressive! She has been a volunteering nurse during the war; and the rest of her job descriptions read: University's "Basiji Bitch". In my university days, the basiji bitch were these ugly women who harassed and hassled any girl who was dressed well, who looked pretty and how appeared to be happy! She is nominated to become the minister of welfare and social security!!!

This one is Dr. Marziyeh Vahid-Dastjerdi! She is a scientifically incompetent Gynocologist who was appointed by one of the Larijani brothers as the director of one of Tehran University's hospitals (Roo'inTan Hospital). She has been a member of parliament and has membership on a bunch of health-policy committees on her CV; but that doesn't say much about her actual public health credentials (see previous post on nepotism!)

There is rumors of a third female minister circulating as well!

Now, all readers of this blog BEWARE:

When you hear members of the IRI sporting academic titles or high professional profiles, do not assume that they are necessarily talented or deserving of their positions or degrees! Indeed it is the opposite!

In Iran, to become "someone" you need to be part of the system, most preferably related to someone at the helm of the IRI ruling class by marriage or by blood. If one looks at the family charts of the IRI elite, one will find a pretty intricate web of incest!! If you are a woman, and you want to make it to the top, a) you need to abide by the patriarchic bases of the Islamic Sharia; it means that you have to be subject to your husband's, father's, brother's or if they are dead, uncle's wishes and permissions; b) you need to cover yourself from tip to toe and abstract all your femininity in a black veil. (I may have argued elsewhere that the nature of veil and a two-piece bikini in objectification of the female character are identical); c) you need to be a defender of men's right to higher 'value of life', right to polygamy, right to double inheritance, right to physical abuse, and etc.

Of course, the 'beauty' of all things in Iran is that just as its secularists cannot stand the sight of its mullahs; the mullahs of left and right leaning cannot stand the sight of each other nor the sight of secularists, feminists are also caught in irreconcilable discourses. On the one hand we have religious feminists like Zahra Rahnavard (the wife of Mir Hossein Mousavi and the first woman to appear in public on the campaign trail of her husband) and A'zam Taleghani (one of the founders of Iran's islamic feminism), on the other hand are creatures like Fateme Rajabi (a hardliner member of parliament who believes men have to beat up their disobedient wives) or Dastjerdi (Ahmadinejad's pick for ministry of health who believes in segregation of health care system); and all above in opposition to secular feminists who challenge the Islamic fundamentals of discrimination against women.

Therefore, appointment of these women to the cabinet in a country where activists of the 1-million signature campaign for gender equality are arrested; where Shadi Sadr, a human rights lawyer and women rights activist is kidnapped in broad daylight; where a death Fatwa by Ahmadinejad's spiritual mentor is hovering over the head of Iran's peace Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, I will not be impressed nor fooled by this ridiculous appointments!

Nevertheless, I am very curious to watch this play out. Already, complaints are popping that Ahmadinejad has BROKEN YET ANOTHER RULE by releasing a partial list of his cabinet to the media--while he had to first propose his cabinet (in full) to the parliament. I suspect this will become another untenable case where the populist efforts of the fundamentalist president will be nipped by his fascist supporters. Let's wait and see!


Anonymous said...

Naj, Ahmadinejad thinks he can fool the reformers. He ain't fooling anyone. The Basij Bitch was so funny. I have read similar accounts that these ladies are hardliners, and they are really bad for women's right.

At times I wonder whether the current Basijis are really in it because they believe in the cause of they in it for the benefit (university placements, government jobs, etc).

Pedestrian said...

Basij bitch ... LOL! LOL! ;-)

You know, I never saw one single basij bitch the entire time I was at school. I don't know whether it was luck, or they were temporally off the university's payroll.

Pedestrian said...

You know Naj, I was semi-friends with the basij volunteers in my school. We all were. Sure they had K.'s picture on their cell phone but I admired how civil we were towards one another, how we could all enjoy our lunch sitting at one table. Hearing older stories from my family, I thought we'd come a long way. It wasn't just that we were keeping up appearances, I think we actually did get a long.

I wonder how I'd feel if I were there now, or if I could bear the sight of them. I wonder what they would have to say about all of this. They seemed so nice.

Naj said...


I think we canont lump all of the basijis together. From what I remember, there was a handful of crooks who called themselves basiji, or were part of basij-daneshjooyee who really tainted the image of the rest.

You went to Tehran U I assume, which was very different from Polytech. Polytech has always been more polititech :)

I was friends with a lot of "mazhabi" students, people who were part of anjoman eslami, or jahad daneshgahi. We all tolerated eachother; and whatever we disliked we kept to ourselves. But the basiji bitch who rubbed tissue on my "shomali" friends gorgeous naturally red lips; or sent another to "herasat" because of wearing nail polish, or chased me across the campus because my long hair showed from the back of my maghne'eh were NOT even students! They were not even war veterans.

War veterans were the nice ones; the shy ones, the sad ones who spoke to you with their eyes on the floor. But it was the thugs who stared you in the eye, DIRTY looks, sickening accents, asking to cover your hair and etc.

If you go back to Iran, I am sure you will find the decent people still decent! And it is our decency that is keeping us still standing; and it is our decency, unfortunately, that makes us withdraw when the monsters take over. We just wouldn't want to get out hands and souls dirty so we won't play their game ... and this has been the case fora loooong time in Iran ...

grannie4peace said...

the decency is one of the things i love about your people. asking for their vote to be heard in silence, refusing to hurt basaji, really believing that if enough people showed up & voted , that that vote would be honored.

Nu'man said...


I think it would have been better to have been sisterly civil with your opponents. Calling your sisters highly abusive names is simply unworthy of your intellect.

Whether one is born ugly or beautiful, we are all from Adam and Eve! And anyway I don't think that it was there ugliness that determines their political position. There are many highly attractive women in the West, who join right-wing movements. Bridget Bardot was once a very beautiful woman and know she is on the right of the French political spectrum. Then take Margaret Beckett, she by most accounts is not at all attractive and yet she is on the left of the political spectrum. Toe nail varnish doesn''t come into this at all.

You also have to take the geopolitical situation into consideration. Iran is surrounded by American and British bases. The entire Arab side of the Persian Gulf is a British colony in all but name. And America is in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Is the Pesian name Fateme the same as Fatima. Because if it is I met a Syrian sorcerer who told me that this name brings bad luck. So who knows maybe she will be abe to bring the regime bad luck.

Anonymous said...

My paternal grandfather was Iran's Minister of Health during the 1930's. He was a physicist.

So Dastjerdi is a medical doctor. That actually makes her more qualified. So maybe this is some kind of progress? We'll have to see.

Naj said...


I am having trouble understanding how your grandparent's job in the 30s has anything to do with this woman being an MD and how that is a sign of promised health care?!!

This woman wants to segregate the health care system; she has been working for this agenda in the parliament; that doesn't make her trustworthy or qualified; that makes her OUT RRIGHT STUPID!

It is STUPID because it is impractical; and inhumane!

If any doctor is THAT DUMB to table such a STUPID PROPOSAL, he/she is incompetent! Simple!

Doctors are not necessarily health care specialists!

Demeur said...

This is sounding more and more like the George W. Bush M.O. You know don't worry about qualifications just look for loyalty.

Nu'man said...


The analogy with George W. Bush is totally misplaced.

Iran is in a region surrounded by American and British military bases. You have the British and the BBC in Iran who just want to get in and divide the country, unleash sectarianism and gorge at its wealth. You know, in England the economy is partly subsidised by "investments" coming from the Gulf. This was not the situation with George W.Bush. By the way, I am not justifying the Ahmedinjad regime's deeds.

Anonymous said...


I've subsequently asked my American mother, a retired healthcare provider of over 30 years, if she could think of any benefits derived from a segregated healthcare system. She couldn't think of any. Then I asked her if she personally would feel more comfortable, under certain circumstances, in such a setting. To that, she brushed aside my line of conversation with the words "That's absurd!"


Naj said...


It is INDEED absurd! I don't mind if they set up a special hospital for women run by women, like they did for a park and a university, to help religious fanatics get their daughters educated and treated and entertained; but putting such a plan on the governments agenda is indeed absurd!