I recently attended an international conference in South Africa on re-evaluating civil society in the Middle East following the 2010-2011 Arab uprisings that failed to bring about lasting changes in the region. There were progressive academics, politicians and leaders of non-governmental organisations in attendance. I had prepared a paper based on my research of welfare and social services in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which I knew was quite radical. However, my presentation created controversy for different reasons than I expected.
Sometimes it is difficult to find words, even in the face of an obvious injustice. You open your mouth to speak, but there is no language to be found. It is not that you do not care, because you do. But sometimes what is before you is overshadowed by something else. Sometimes the distribution of power is so overwhelmingly fractured that it also splinters the tongue.