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Letter to Shirin Ebadi by the Executive Committee of the Iranian Association at the University of Toronto

Dear Ms. Ebadi:

Seven days have already passed, but we are still awestruck by the news! It will be some time until the full effect of your winning the Nobel Peace Prize is felt in Iran and among the millions of Iranians who live away from home. It is still too early, and many are still too dizzy, to gauge the magnitude of the honor that you have bestowed on your compatriots, and on human rights activists across the world.

You have helped open a new chapter in the relationship between the Iranian people and the rest of humankind: we are all woven of the same cloth, you have shown, even if our governments and politicians make a habit of demonizing one another. We all admire the same humanity and egalitarianism, you have told us, no matter what our race, ideology, or religion.

The Iranian people and their friends everywhere will owe your accomplishment a debt of gratitude for generations to come. And history will record the recognition you have received as a milestone in intercultural understanding and in promoting the cause of world peace.

While the honor you have received will adorn all Muslim women, it is the Iranian people who must especially thank you for your tireless activism and advocacy for their human rights over the past three decades.

The special gift you have bestowed on Iranians has been your equanimity and inner composure. While defending the wrongfully accused in Iran, you never compromised your principles. And upon hearing the news of this great victory, you did not forget those for whom you had struggled all those years. You maintained your humility even as millions people around the world were captivated by your words and presence.

May your life's work and this great achievement embolden human rights activists everywhere.

With Best Wishes,
Members of the Executive Committee
Iranian Association at the University of Toronto

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