It’s June 23rd, Alan Turing‘s birthday. Turing is considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. He aged 41 years, but would be 109 years today.

Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts; the Labouchere Amendment of 1885 had mandated that “gross indecency” was a criminal offense in the UK. He accepted chemical castration treatment, with DES (a non-steroidal estrogen medication), as an alternative to prison.

Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined his death as a suicide, but it has been noted that the known evidence is also consistent with accidental poisoning.

Today, in a good news, the new £50 note featuring Alan Turing has been released into circulation by the Bank of England. A man who once was persecuted because of his sexual orientation is now pictured and celebrated on the highest bill in England.

Happy birthday Alan Turing, father of our computers.

Sculpture of Ferdowsi in front of legends he created in Shahnameh
Sculpture of Ferdowsi in front of legends he created in Shahnameh

Abul-Qâsem Ferdowsi Tusi (or just Ferdowsi) is probably the greatest Persian poet of all time. His book, Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), is known as the book that keeps the Persian language alive. Ferdowsi is celebrated as one of the most influential figures of Persian literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature.

The writing of Shahnameh took 33 years. The Shahnameh is a monument of poetry and historiography, being mainly the poetical recast of what Ferdowsi, his contemporaries, and his predecessors regarded as the account of Iran’s ancient history.

Ferdowsi is one of the undisputed giants of Persian literature. After Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, a number of other works similar in nature surfaced over the centuries within the cultural sphere of the Persian language. Without exception, all such works were based in style and method on Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, but none of them could quite achieve the same degree of fame and popularity as Ferdowsi’s masterpiece.

Ferdowsi has a unique place in Persian history because of the strides he made in reviving and regenerating the Persian language and cultural traditions. His works are cited as a crucial component in the persistence of the Persian language, as those works allowed much of the tongue to remain codified and intact.

In this respect, Ferdowsi surpasses Nizami, Khayyám, Asadi Tusi and other seminal Persian literary figures in his impact on Persian culture and language. Many modern Iranians see him as the father of the modern Persian language.

Ferdowsi was buried in his own garden, burial in the cemetery of Tus having been forbidden by a local cleric. A Ghaznavid governor of Khorasan constructed a mausoleum over the grave and it became a revered site. The tomb, which had fallen into decay, was rebuilt between 1928 and 1934 by the Society for the National Heritage of Iran on the orders of Reza Shah, and has now become the equivalent of a national shrine.

Every year on Ordibehesht 25, people gather in the tomb and celebrate his legacy by reading Shahnameh and washing his grave stone.

I’ve reached the end of this great history

And all the land will talk of me:

I shall not die, these seeds I’ve sown will save

My name and reputation from the grave,

And men of sense and wisdom will proclaim

When I have gone, my praises and my fame.

Karl Marx, one of the greatest thinkers and revolutionaries in history was born on this day (May 5), 203 years ago. Despite our differences in thinking and ideologies, we can’t deny the fact that Marx was one of the most influential politicians and philosophers of the world.

Marx’s critical theories about society, economics, and politics, collectively understood as Marxism, hold that human societies develop through class conflict. In the capitalist mode of production, this manifests itself in the conflict between the ruling classes (known as the bourgeoisie) that control the means of production and the working classes (known as the proletariat) that enable these means by selling their work-power in return for wages.

We shall not say: Abandon your struggles, they are mere folly; let us provide you with true campaign-slogans. Instead, we shall simply show the world why it is struggling, and consciousness of this is a thing it must acquire whether it wishes or not.

Karl Marx

Protesters march through Seattle during anti-capitalist protests following May Day marches [File: David Ryder/Reuters]
Protesters march through Seattle during anti-capitalist protests following May Day marches [File: David Ryder/Reuters]

Each year on May 1, people across the globe take to the streets to commemorate International Workers’ Day, or May Day. In dozens of countries, May Day is an official holiday, and for workers’ rights campaigners it is particularly important.

In the late-19th century, socialists, communists, and trade unionists chose May 1 to become International Workers’ Day. The date was symbolic, commemorating the Haymarket affair, which took place in Chicago, in the United States, in 1886.

The 1904 Sixth Conference of the Second International, called on “all Social Democratic Party organizations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the eight-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.”

The first of May is a national, public holiday in many countries across the world, in most cases as “International Workers’ Day” or a similar name. Some countries celebrate a Workers’ Day on other dates significant to them, such as the United States and Canada, which celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday of September.

While in many countries workers are still demanding basic laws for their work status and environment, in some other countries workers protest and demonstrate for equality, equity, justice, peace, and human rights. Workers often plan for anti-capitalist protests and show their fight for anarchism, liberty, and socialism.

Workers understand how capitalism is a war against workers class. They understand the modern slavery we are in. Workers understand this new slavery is not based on skin color or race, but based on class, imposed by bourgeoisie to the proletariat.

May Day has been a focal point for demonstrations by various socialist, communist, and anarchist groups since the Second International. May Day is one of the most important holidays in socialist countries such as Cuba.

Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!

Today, April 25, is the anniversary of the Portuguese Revolution of 1974, also known as the Carnation Revolution.

On this day in 1974, Portugal’s 40-year old fascist dictatorship was overthrown, ultimately ushering in parliamentary democracy and the end of Portugal’s colonial wars in Africa, leading to independence for Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and São Tomé e Príncipe.

As hundreds of thousands of people became politically active and workers took over their factories and farms, the overthrow of the regime not only led to the downfall of the Portuguese Empire, but brought Portugal to the brink of a socialist revolution, bringing socialism back on the agenda in Europe for the first time in decades.⁠

Signaled by the playing of the popular anti-fascist song “Grândola, Vila Morena”, left-wing army officers and soldiers of the Movement of the Armed Forces moved against the fascist dictatorship. The military coup had near-universal support among the poor and working class, who came out in the streets in masses to celebrate the overthrow. Women confronted soldiers in the streets of Lisbon and put carnations in the barrels of their guns. Soldiers formerly allied to the dictatorship switched sides en masse.⁠

The overthrow of the dictatorship was an incredible achievement and paved the way for the establishment of basic political rights, the nationalization of a large proportion of the economy and land reform. There was an important relationship between the national liberation movements in Portugal’s colonies and the revolutionary movement within Portugal itself. The anti-colonial wars for independence from Portugal had played a major part in bringing about a revolutionary crisis within Portugal as hundreds of thousands of soldiers radicalized and the brave anti-colonial resistance inspired the Portuguese left. In turn, the Carnation Revolution ended Portuguese resistance to decolonization and cleared the way for independence.⁠

The Mozambican revolutionary Joaquim Chissano said: “April 25 is seen as a great day, a historic day that saw the fall of fascism and contributed to the freedom of all our peoples.”⁠

April 24th is the Armenian Genocide Memorial Day. It is a public holiday in Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh and is observed by the Armenian diaspora on 24 April.

It is held annually to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. It was a series of massacres and starvation of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottomans. In Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, hundreds of thousands of people walk to the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial to lay flowers at the eternal flame.

The date 24 April commemorates the deportation of Armenian intellectuals on 24 April 1915 from Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). The first commemoration, organised by a group of Armenian Genocide survivors, was held in Istanbul in 1919 at the local St. Trinity Armenian church.

Many prominent figures in the Armenian community participated in the commemoration. Following its initial commemoration in 1919, the date became the annual day of remembrance for the Armenian Genocide.

In 2019, France marked its first national commemoration of the genocide, with French president Emmanuel Macron declaring 24 April “a national day of remembrance of the Armenian genocide”, fulfilling a campaign pledge.

This year’s anniversary had some good news in it. Amerikkka’s President Joe Biden recognized the genocide on 24 April, fulfilling a campaign pledge.

Sadly, the Turkish government still does not accept genocide and covers it.

Nowruz is the Persian new year which begins on the first day of spring and is the first day of Farvardin, the first month of the Iranian solar calendar. It is celebrated worldwide by various ethno-linguistic groups, and falls on or around March 21.

Nowruz has Iranian and Zoroastrian origins; however, it has been celebrated by diverse communities for over three thousand years in Western Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Black Sea Basin, the Balkans, and South Asia.

We celebrate Nowruz by eating rice and fish, going to meet our elders, giving people gifts and presents, and throw parties. We also believe it is the day for forgiveness and we encourage each other to forgive and reconcile those we think have wronged us.

Part of Nowruz is Haft-sin. Haft-sin is an arrangement of seven symbolic items whose names start with the letter “س” pronounced as “seen” the 15th letter in the Persian alphabet; haft (هفت) is Persian for seven. The following are the primary items of Haft-sin, whose Persian names begin with the letter س in the Persian alphabet.

  1. Sabzeh (سبزه) – wheat, barley, mung bean, or lentil sprouts grown in a dish.
  2. Samanu (سمنو) – wheat germ sweet pudding.
  3. Senjed (سنجد) – Oleaster
  4. Serkeh (سرکه) – vinegar.
  5. Seeb (سیب) – apple.
  6. Seer (سیر) – garlic.
  7. Somāq (سماق) – sumac.

Coins (سکه sekke), hyacinth (سنبل sonbol), and clock (ساعت saat) are sometimes included too. Other symbolic items that are typically used to accompany Haft-sin include a mirror, candles, painted eggs, goldfish, and traditional Persian confections. A “book of wisdom” is also commonly included, which might be the Quran, the Bible, the Avesta, the Shahnameh, or the divān of Hafez.

In Iran, the Nowruz holidays last thirteen days. On the thirteenth day of the New Year, Iranians leave their houses to enjoy nature and picnic outdoors, as part of the Sizdah be-dar ceremony. Sizdah Bedar (Thirteen Outdoor) also known as Nature’s Day is held on the thirteenth day of Farvardin during which people spend time picnicking outdoors. It marks the end of the Nowruz holidays in Iran.

On that day, we celebrate the beautiful mother nature we have and encourage each other to take care of it. Also, “Lie of the Thirteenth” is the Iranian version of the prank-playing April Fools’ Day which is observed on the first or second day of April in Iran, on the day of Sizdah Bedar.

Nowruz is a nice holiday. It brings us joy and happiness and time to spend with family and friends. It’s one of the nicest holidays I know. Everybody is happy, everybody is joyful, everybody is friendly and everybody is just a human being, regardless of differences we have.

Happy Nowruz everybody. Wish you a great new year.

International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March around the world. It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights.

After the Socialist Party of America organized a Women’s Day in New York City on 1909 February 28, German delegates Clara Zetkin, Käte Duncker, Paula Thiede and others proposed at the 1910 International Socialist Woman’s Conference that “a special Women’s Day” be organized annually.

After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917, March 8 became a national holiday there. The day was then predominantly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted by the feminist movement in about 1967. The United Nations began celebrating the day in 1977.

Women around the world are suffering from inequality and need special attention. I don’t believe men and women should be treated exactly the same. People should be treated good and without discrimination, not completely equal. Being equal doesn’t bring justice and doesn’t eliminate discrimination.

Commemoration of International Women’s Day today ranges from being a public holiday in some countries to being largely ignored elsewhere. In some places, it is a day of protest; in others, it is a day that celebrates womanhood.

Read more about women’s rights on Wikipedia

Yesterday marked three years since 2018 March 04, when Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum, 35, was abducted from international waters and forcibly returned to Dubai.

Earlier that year, she planned to escape Dubai with the help of friend Tiina Jauhiainen. They boarded a U.S.-flagged yacht and crossed the Indian Ocean, with plans for Latifa to fly to the U.S. and seek asylum.

This plan came to a nightmarish end when Indian and Emirati military forces intercepted the boat, illegally, when it was sailing in international waters. Despite her pleas for asylum, Latifa was tranquilized and flown back to Dubai by private jet. She has been confined ever since.

The international community should step aup and help Latifa. Latifa is just an example of many men and women who are experiencing similar situations and are hopeless and muted, because nobody knows them.

Helping Latifa can bring hope to many others who are suffering from same situation. It’s a matter of human rights so it needs real human action. Please step up and start action. Spread the news, ask governments, and do something you can. This specially needs help from governments who pretend/claim human rights is important to them.

Additionally, it’s very good to sign this petition: FREE PRINCESS LATIFA AL MAKTOUM – #FreeLatifa.

Red Hand Day

On Red Hand Day or the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers, February 12 each year since 2002, pleas are made to political leaders and events are staged around the world to draw attention to child soldiers: children under the age of 18 who participate in military organizations of all kinds.

The aim of Red Hand Day is to call for action to stop this practice, and for support for children affected by it.

Hundreds and thousands of handprints have been collected in more than 50 countries and handed over to politicians and to responsible parties, including UN Secretary General. There is progress, but there are still 250,000 child soldiers in the world.

Our demands are

  • Straight 18: No child under the age of 18 may be used or trained in armies, armed groups or other military units.
  • Punishment of those responsible.
  • Care, protection, and political asylum for former child soldiers.
  • Expand financial support for aid programs for child soldiers.
  • Stop of arms exports.
  • Promotion of peace education.