Over the weekend a devastating 7.3 magnitude earth quake hit the Iran/Iraq border destroying towns and villages and killing over 500 victims.

Iran’s western province of Kermanshah suffered the most, where hundreds of victims were killed and thousands more injured and left homeless.

Kermanshah is a rural mountainous and impoverished region with a large Kurdish population, and a high unemployment rate. Perhaps this is not surprising given Islamic Regime’s animosity towards the Kurds in Iran.

The Kurdish population in Iran has always been a vocal and active voice against the Regime in Iran, and has faced the consequences of systematic persecution over the last 37 years. The tragic news of the earthquake in the region of Kermanshah has been devastating for millions of Iranians both inside and outside of Iran. Knowing that hundreds of people have lost their lives and so many more are injured and homeless in the middle of winter is completely heartbreaking.

What is even more tragic is the fact that given the Regime’s corruption and lack of concern for its citizens it’s almost impossible to find reliable organizations to make donations for the victims of this tragedy. I think it also goes without saying that the Regime will NOT go out of its way to help the Kurds.

Further alarming news from Sarpol-e Zahab, a city that was devastated by the earthquake states that homes that were built by the government were destroyed during the quake while homes that were privately built were much less damaged.

I am not surprised by this news. The corrupt Regime in Iran has no care or concern for its citizens and it’s not surprising that the government and its corrupt officials would cut corners and risk the lives of less fortunate people in order to pad their own greedy pockets.

My thoughts are with the victims of this earthquake and hope they will be able to receive the help they need.

The horrific terrorist act in Edmonton on Saturday, which let 1 police officer and 4 civilians injured has left many Canadians including myself angry and in shock.

As someone whose family was forced to flee a radicalized Islamic dictatorship in Iran over 30 years ago, I am deeply saddened to see that the same type of radicalization is now starting to take root in Canada. I have called Canada home for over 25 years, happy in the belief that I live in a secular democracy with a clear division between Government and Religion.

Unfortunately in the past few years I've seen the rise of radical Islam in Canada on more than one occasion. I've witnessed Al-Quds demonstrations, year after year in Toronto, on Queens Park grounds no less, where many demonstrators openly call for the destruction of Israel, spread hate about the Jewish people and hold up pictures and praise Islamic radical dictators such as Khomeini and Hassan Nasrallah. I've also watched with great concern and trepidation the soft stand the Justin Trudeau has taken toward radicalized Islamic dictatorships in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The terrorist attack in Edmonton unfortunately seems to point to the fact that we are starting to have a "radicalization" problem in Canada which is extremely serious and extremely dangerous. It is important for us Canadians to first recognize and admit that we do have a problem that needs to be addressed, and to find reasonable and effective means to combat this problem.

I strongly believe the Muslim Community can play a very important and positive role in both condemning the terrorist attack and also by implementing steps that will ensure people in the Muslim Community do not become radicalized. These steps could include closer monitoring of what is being thought and discussed in mosques, other places of worship and religious schools in Canada. It could include condemnation of Al-Quds and other similar protests where the message of hate is spread, and also by ensuring that the message of love, respect and acceptance is spread at every opportunity and especially among the younger Muslim generation.

Of course the Muslim Community cannot combat this problem alone, and needs the support and the understanding of the Canadian Government, law enforcement agencies, the media, educators and all Canadians to ensure radicalization does not take root in Canada.

My thoughts are with the victims of this senseless terror attack, their friends and family and the people of Edmonton. I hope this shocking and brutal act will serve as a catalyst for us to recognize that we do have a problem and we need to face it head on.

After a decades long fight by women and male Saudi activists, the Saudi dictatorship has been forced to take a step back, and give the hard won right to drive to women of Saudi Arabia.

After decades of Saudi activists both men and women fighting for the right of women to be able to drive in Saudi Arabia, they have finally won! The Saudi dictatorship has been forced to take a step back from its oppressive laws and give women the hard fought right to drive. Until now Saudi Arabia was the only country in the world that did not allow women to drive! This is a great victory for the women of Saudi, I am so proud and humbled by their dedication and persistence in the face of persecution to obtain the what is rightfully theirs.

Women of Saudi are a great inspiration and a ray of hope to the women in Iran who have led their own decades long fight against the Islamic dictatorship in Iran. Over the last three (3) decades women of Iran supported by many Iranian men have forced the government to take steps back and make concessions that they would not have made otherwise.

I am inspired by all these brave women and can only hope to be as brave and strong as they are.

Big victory for women of Saudi Arabia today! YOU DESERVE IT!

Dear Friends,

I have just been alerted to the case of Ms. Neda Amin, an Iranian blogger who has been residing in Turkey for the past two years and has had refugee status. It has come to my attention that the Turkish Government is threatening to deport Ms. Amin back to Iran on August 5th 2017! Ms. Amin has been blogging for the Persian edition of Times of Israel for the past two years as well as writing on her personal blog about the situation in Iran.

Given Ms. Amin's affiliation with Times of Israel she faces grave danger is she deported to Iran.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs has created an online campaign to support Ms. Amin. Please find the link to the Online Campaign HERE

As well the organization Change.org has created an online petition to support Ms. Amin. Please find the link to the petition HERE

For a full article on Ms. Amin's background and current situation please refer to THIS ARTICLE on the UNWATCH.org

If Ms. Amin is deported this may lead to Erdogan's Government deporting more and more Iranian and other refugee's which would lead to a very tragic end.

This is an urgent matter as Ms. Amin is scheduled to be deported on August 5th 2017! Please act as soon as possible!

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian-Canadian Lawyer, blogger and Pro-Democracy Activist

To Fool the Rain is a beautifully written book that depicts the lives of Heiti’s poorest, with a specific focus on women who work hard every day to create a better life for themselves and their families.

Author Steven Werlin takes a lot of care in telling the stories of women who live in the worst kind of poverty imaginable, sometimes not having any money or food and being in the heartbreaking position of not being able to feed their children or send them to school.

While the circumstances of these women are sad and sometimes even tragic, the book and the stories of the women portrayed in this book are uplifting and full of hope.

Werlin writes in detail about “Fonkoze” a small loan program which gives Heiti’s poorest a chance to make a better life for themselves, not only by giving them small loans to start a business, but by giving them training, teaching them necessary skills, and providing them with mentors and case workers who will support them and help them succeed.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the stories of these women, their determination and motivation for change and creating a better life for themselves and their families. As well I found the information about “Fonkoze” extremely helpful and eye opening, and would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about practical ways of helping those less fortunate, not by giving them charity or hand outs, but by providing them with lifelong skills and knowledge as well as the means to start a small business to create a sustainable and better life.

I was provided with a review copy of this book.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran's ex-President and one of the founders of the Islamic Dictatorship in Iran has died!

Hashemi Rafsanjani died of a heart attack today at the age of 82. Rafsanjani was one of the most hated political figures in Iran, involved in the presecution, torture and execution of tens of thousands of political dissidents over the past three (3) decades.

Rafsanjani's role within the Islamic Regime in Iran was always very dominant and prominent, whether through serving on the Assembly of Experts from 2007-2011, serving on the Expediency Discernment Council, or serving as Islamic Regime's President from 1989 to 1997, when some of the most atracious human rights violations in Iran took place.

It should be noted that Rafsanjani was also the de facto commander-in-chief of the Iranian military during the eight year Iran Iraq war in which an estimated 1 million Iranians were killed!

Rafsanjani's crimes against the people of Iran are too many to count, Rafsanjani was a hateful Islamic Dictator who has left behind a legacy of persecution, blood, war and death. He will not be missed.

Sayeh Hassan

Chair Person of Marze Por Gohar Movement

Long Live Freedom in Iran