the vice presidency for Women & Family Affairs Isalmic Republic Of Iran

VP Masouumeh Ebtekar's Interview with Etemad Online

Wednesday 14 August 2019 - 11:58

Q: As we know you are very fluent in English. You can speak fluently and even have many articles in English. My question is why do you think our men in Iran, especially government officials, do not know about second language, especially English, which is very important and an international language?

A: Yes, it’s very important to be able to communicate. You have to have a high command of a language 

Q: Yes, this is a very important issue. In order to communicate, you have to have a good command of that language. You have to be familiar with the different dimensions of communicating in that language.

A: If it’s political and involves political terminology or if it’s an economic issue you have to be familiar with that field, you have to be able to communicate. This is very important. It’s important for our official diplomacy, but it’s also important for our public diplomacy as well because we need to be able to engage with the world in areas related to women where there is a lot of misunderstanding about the conditions of Iranian women.

There is a lot of misunderstanding about the advances the Iranian women have made. A lot of misunderstanding and clichés about Muslim women. This creates an atmosphere of mistrust between nations and unfortunately, the media has not helped particularly. The bias we see in the western media about the Iranian and the Muslim women and this is what we have to work to overcome through both language in which the language barrier is an issue, but also through methods that we can employ to engage and communicate.

Dialogue is very important. We need to engage in dialogue. We need to give and take in terms of many concepts and common issues, and many of the challenges we are facing in Iran. Now that we are facing sanctions, it’s very important for the international community to understand the pressures that are imposed upon the Iranian people, upon Iranian women, upon Iranian families.

The health issues, the economic issues that we are facing, those we are facing in terms of employment are due to the illegal sanctions imposed by the American government on our people.

It’s very important to be able to engage and express ourselves and to be able to pass on important information. Part of it is the language issue, part of it is the public diplomacy, we need to engage in public diplomacy.

I have done my best. I have an English twitter account in addition to a Persian twitter. I tweet sometimes; but I don’t have much time, but I try to tweet in English as well.

So as you said why is it that our senior officials don’t know a second language. They have to work more. Sometimes it’s because of our educational system and sometimes it’s because they need to pay more attention to this issue. They need to devote more time, but I think that’s changing. We are having more and more people who can communicate well in English. But it’s as you mention very correctly very important and we need to work on this issue.

The rest of this interview will be posted soon.


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