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View Diary: Delusional Optimism (59 comments)

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  •  "Nothing is impossible - except impossible" (6+ / 0-)

    That was how two brothers I heard speak yesterday summed up their experiences.

    Both doctors, they had begun setting up programs in Iran to address HIV - at  a time when the government's official position was that HIV was a Western problem, not something found in Islamic countries. They still managed to start up outreach, education, prevention, and treatment programs. They crafted links with international organizations. They won an award for their work - and were arrested within hours, tried in secret, and sent to prison for attempting to 'overthrow the government in a soft revolution.'

    Except… prison is where their major target group was, drug users imprisoned in a zero tolerance approach to drug abuse. Without official sanction, without official funding, despite deliberately being barred from officially working as doctors and instead shuffled off to things like yard work or the prison bakery, they still managed to continue education, building social support networks for HIV sufferers and their families, address public health, and work on making the prisons less of a hell hole.

    They were eventually released thanks to international pressure and left Iran - but their work goes on. (Here's a couple of links about them, here and here.)

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Nov 09, 2013 at 05:26:10 AM PST

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