This evening I tucked in with Shirin Ebadi's book, Iran Awakening. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. This book is an inspiring account of her life and what she has done. Thankfully she is still young, so there is even more she will do to further increase liberty and freedom for the people of Iran, especially the women and children.
What is most astonishing is that U.S. Treasury regulations prohibited her and any Iranian intellectual from publishing in the U.S. Supposedly her book, her memoir was "information materials" from an embargoed country. She challenged it in a lawsuit and the Treasury backed down in 2004 and revised the regulation, so now we have the opportunity to read her book, a book which is not flattering to the U.S., and, therefore, even more important to read. We need to keep close tabs on our government. It's our money they use to abuse.
Years ago, I attended a poetry reading of Cuban poets. We were informed that the words had been smuggled into the country. A woman, not the author, read the poems to us. They were astonishingly beautiful and were legal in all other countries, just not ours. We were told it was illegal for us to be listening to these words. I found that information unfathomable. Isn't this a country of freedom, of freedom of the press, and freedom of and for all words and thoughts?
We need to read the words of the poets of Cuba, the writers of Iran. Suppression often leads to better writing. The power of the word is seen and valued. We need access to all that is written if we are to choose and create the future of our own country. We need to energize on full linguistic fuel.