I’ve known journalist D Parvaz for a decade and may never quite see the world the way she does.
But it’s worth trying.
Parvaz is a reporter for Al Jazeera and was formerly a colleague of mine for many years at the (dearly departed print version) Seattle Post Intelligencer newspaper — now Seattlepi.com
She returned to Seattle this week to moderate a talk at Seattle Town Hall by Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who used Facebook to help spark the Egyptian revolution.
D Parvaz and Wael Ghonim at Seattle Town Hall
It was a great talk and Ghonim’s story is fairly well-known, as described here on NPR, in part to publicize his new book Revolution 2.0.
But a lot of the folks in the packed room would have liked to hear from D (technically, it’s ‘Dorothy’ but she prefers D). Ghonim tried to get Parvaz to talk about that moment last year when she was world famous – jailed by Syrian officials for attempting to report on protests there.
Held for nearly three weeks, first in Syria and then later in Iran after being secretly deported there for more interrogations, many think she’s lucky to be alive.
D refused to talk last night about her own experiences and perspectives, so I will. Continue reading →
Tonight, at Seattle Town Hall, Ghonim will speak on being Inside a Revolution. Moderating the panel will be D Parvaz, a reporter for Al Jazeera based out of Qatar and, before that, a colleague of mine at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Parvaz received international attention last spring when she was arrested and held for weeks in Syria after entering the country to attempt to report on the protests there.
Egypt remains in turmoil but Ghonim says he is hopeful:
“I’m very optimistic … We are basically recovering from 60 years of military rule, 30 years of dictatorship and 10 years of a very bad economic situation for most Egyptians.”
Ghonim can be expected to speak tonight in Seattle about his experience, the power and the limits of social media in popular protests and about what he believes has already been an amazing amount of positive change in Egypt. “What’s needed,” he tells the Economist, “is patience, passion and optimism.”