A Little Perspective . . .
I know that I’m supposed to be writing about interesting destinations or posting travel videos, but it all seems a little trite after spending some time watching the videos from the protests in Iran on YouTube’s new “CitizenTube” channel, or reading this heartbreaking story about Neda, the woman slain by Iranian forces.
Not to sound too simplistic about this either, but I can’t help thinking that those who are orchestrating the violence and oppression in Iran are exactly the types of people whom the travel community are hoping to change: those whose backwards view of the world has likely been shaped not by their exposure to other cultures, people and ideas, but rather by their own insular surroundings.
It’s hard to propogate xenophobia or condone an anachronistic type of government when you yourself have sat down as a guest for dinner with a family from the people whom you purport to hate, or have spent time in a functioning, credible democracy that recognizes basic human rights for all.
Something tells me Neda may not have had the opportunity to travel and to do either of these things, but she likely recognized these principles. At least more than her killers did.
Published on June 24, 2009