February 19, 2010

Bam 6.6 Highlights Humanity in Tragedy, Need for Easing of Humanitarian Restrictions

Washington, DC – The world was moved by the tragic earthquake that leveled the 2,000 year Citadel in Bam, Iran in December of 2003. The outpouring of global support humbled the Iranian people as they struggled to grasp the gargantuan impact of the event.

In Bam 6.6: Humanity Has No Borders, Iranian American director and producer Jahangir Golestan-Parast presents a new dimension to the tragedy that beautifully highlights Iranian culture and hospitality in ways rarely experienced by non-Iranians due to the difficulty of obtaining a visa.“Even after the tragedy the Iranians put the American aid workers first, before any of their own people,” Golestan recently told NIAC. “This film is not mine, but rather the people of Iran’s.” 

Bam 6.6 follows the story of a young American Jewish girl and her fiancé as they travel through Iran, and their experience interacting with Iranians in the aftermath of the earthquake. Though it is difficult to divorce devastation and tragedy from a story about the earthquake, the film artfully brings to light the unity of mankind in the face of adversity.

The dual pillars of tragedy and hope play off each other beautifully in this film, which is certain to bring both tears of sadness andjoy to its viewers. Ambassador Bruce Laingen, a former hostage in Iran, accurately states, “This is a very moving film. It is poignant. It is veryeffective in getting its message across that we are all one people….”

The film also successfully communicates the crucial role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the aftermath of the earthquake, one which cannot be understated. NGOs arrived from all corners of the globe with food and water, but more importantly, expertise on how best to assist victims of such immense tragedy.

American NGOs in particular lent a helping hand, facilitated by a Bush Administration decision to waive sanctions for relief efforts. The move to relax restrictions under US laws allowed American military cargo planes to land in Iran for the first time since the 1970s, carrying food and water, medicine, and relief supplies.

Six months later, however, the sanctions waiver expired and the NGOs immediately had to leave. The adverse affect this had on the Iranian people,  who relied on these NGOs for support, was tremendous.

NIAC’s goal to ease humanitarian aid restrictions between Americans and Iranians is due to events like the earthquake in Bam.

Still, this powerful film is a testament to what can be achieved when ordinary people stand up to help one another. To find out how you can help ease restrictions for NGOs, please click here.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran Ambassador John Limbert, a former NIAC Advisory Board member, will be hosting a screening of Bam 6.6 at Annapolis Naval Academy on February 23 at 7.15 PM in Mitscher Auditorium, 52 King George St, Annapolis, MD 21402 (Visitor’s Center/Gate 1). A Q & A with Golestan will follow.

On February 24, Busboys & Poets, 2021 14th St NW, Washington, DC will screen the film at 9 PM. Golestan will also be on hand that night for a Q & A as well. For more information, please click here.

For more information on Bam 6.6, visit the website at essenceofiran.com. 




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