June 29, 2010

California Group Advocates Universality of Human Rights


Washington, DC – “As Iranian Americans, we understand the common ground between two great cultures who have contributed so much to the civilization of mankind,” says Majid Baradar, founder of the 12Petals Media Group.

Based on this cultural understanding, Baradar founded the 12Petals Media Group to help foster and promote a culture of universal human rights around the world. The organization aims to refute the claim that human rights differ in the East and West and to advocate for democracy and universal human rights from their base in California. The organization spreads its message through media and visual arts, offering unique and socially penetrating ways to view the world around us.

Baradar points to the foundations of both Iran and the United States as evidence of the importance of human rights in both cultures. “America was founded on the principles of equality, and this is what Americans continually aim to preserve,” notes Baradar. “Iran was founded on the principles of individual rights, and this is what Iranians are aiming to re-establish.”

Recently, 12Petals debuted a new project, the Human Rights and Responsibilities Advocacy Production Series, to advocate the universality of human rights through visual media. The first film in the series, “Culture of Human Rights,” documents key events in the development of human rights throughout the world, beginning with the Cyrus Cylinder in 539 BC and continuing to the present day. “This history shows that human rights is neither a Western nor an Eastern concept and belongs to all humans,” states the short film.



The 8-minute film also shows a scene of protesters in Iran calling for their votes to be counted and their rights to be respected. “Government should be formed by the people and for the people,” on printed message says.

“Cherishing modernity, democracy, and human rights is not something that should be seen as a Western desire of domination, but as a step towards advancing civilization for the twenty-first century and beyond,” Baradar told NIAC. He pointed to the Cyrus Cylinder and much of Iranian literature as examples that human rights are as much Iranian as they are Western.

As the Development Executive for 12Petals, Baradar hopes to continue to help inspire passion in the community to value humanity and create a world of tolerance, in which individuals and cultures in all societies can thrive.

Baradar hopes that in the future more creators and social entrepreneurs will join 12Petals in promoting and encouraging respect for the rights set forth by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As this short film notes, “We can all be a part of humanity’s continuing effort toward creating a just world.”




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