the Caltech Y: Social Activism Speaker Series

 2016 Calendar

 Jan 20:

David Baltimore: Genetic Engineering

 Jan 10:

Kathleen A. Doherty & Michael R. Nelson

 2015 Calendar

 Nov 17:USC Professor: David Cruz
 Oct 27:Space Entrepreneurship Panel
 Oct 19:Congressman Seth Moulton
 Oct 13:

Dean Joseph Shepherd

 Aug 18:Dr. Scott Pace
 May 18:

Pres. Reagan Science Advisor: Dr. Bill Graham

 Apr 7:

Lunch Series: Prof. David Goodstein

 Feb 26:

Former Black Panther: Hank Jones

 Feb 24:

Lunch Series: Prof. Pietro Perona

 Feb 23:

Civil Liberties Protection Officer: Alex Joel

 Jan 27:Journalist Betty Medsger
 Jan 7:

Ebola Crisis: Dr. Wendy Kohlhase



the Caltech Y
505 S. Wilson Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91125

Phone: (626) 395-6163
FAX: (626) 584-7161

SASS is a subsidiary of
the Caltech Y
Making a World of Difference

The Graduate Student Council and the Caltech Y Social Activism Speaker Series present

A Series on Iran: Struggle of a Nation

NY Time Foreign Editor

"Tumult in Iran: The Islamic Revolution at 30"

7:30 PM, Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Ramo Auditorium, (Bldg 77)
Free, no tickets required.

** Reception after event with the speaker **

Three days after the June 12 election, Iran rises up. Full of fear, people descend toward the broad central avenue between Enquelab (Revolution) and Azadi (Freedom) Square. But when they see the vast crowd -- later estimated at 3 million people -- their fear evaporates. Seldom have dignity and silence achieved such power. Whenever there is a murmur, people say, “Sokoot, sokoot” (silence in Farsi). People all have their arms raised and are making the peace sign. A solitary military chopper passes: they look up and wave their hands. A banner says, “Silence will win against the bullets.” Ahmadinejad has called his opponents “dust.” A man says to me: “We are dust but we will blind him.” I ask a young woman her name. “My name is Iran,” she says.

Young and old, shopkeeper and student, men and women march side by side. “We were hoping that after 30 years, we would be allowed a little choice,” says one student. I clamber up on a pedestrian overpass shaking from the number of people massed on it. I look back to Enquelab, forward to Azadi: no end to the crowd. I wonder what would happen if this immense throng wheeled toward the palace with the opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi —- ready to stand or fall beside his followers -- at its head. I write in my notebook: “Iran is on a razor’s edge. Will Moussavi allow the moment to pass?” One thing was clear that day: the Islamic Republic, 30 years after the Revolution, would never be quite the same.

BIO: Roger Cohen is the foreign editor of "The New York Times." He joined "The Times" in 1990, and served as a foreign correspondent for more than a decade before becoming acting foreign editor on September 11, 2001, and foreign editor six months later. Previously, Cohen served as foreign correspondent for "The Wall Street Journal" and "Reuters," reporting from the East Mediterranean, South America and Europe. Cohen has recently appeared on Charlie Rose and Tavis Smiley shows, and his accounts of the unfolding drama in Iran have been widely read. Cohen is also the author of "Soldiers and Slaves: American POWs Trapped by the Nazis' Final Gamble" and "Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo," an account of the wars of Yugoslavia's destruction. He has also co-written a biography of General Norman Schwarzkopf, "In the Eye of the Storm."

This event is made possible by the generous support from the Moore Hufstedler Fund. The Series on Iran: Struggle of a Nation is a forum aimed at bringing various perspectives in raising awareness of and encouraging dialogue on the recent events in Iran. For more information about this event or the series, please contact the Caltech Y at 626.395.6163 or email

Website design by Celia La Designs
© 2014-2015 Caltech Y Social Activism Speaker Series. All rights reserved.