Once again we will be LIVE today at 3 pm eastern, beginning with Palestinian journalist Sammi Ibrahem from the UK.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kourosh Ziabari (in Persian: کوروش ضیابری) (born April 27, 1990) is an award-winning Iranian journalist, peace activist and media correspondent. He has received the Superior Iranian Youth award from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He has also won Iran’s 18th Press Festival first award in the category of political articles. Kourosh is a member of World Student Community for Sustainable Development and also a member of the European Association for Teaching of Academic Writing.
Kourosh Ziabari began writing articles for local magazines in the northern Iranian province of Guilan since he was 8. He has also written articles on politics, society, culture and technology for Iran’s leading national dailies including Shargh, Hamshahri, Etemaad, Iran, Ham-Mihan and Jame-Jam. He is also a regular contributor to Daneshmand Magazine, Iran’s oldest popular science publication.
Kourosh Ziabari believes that Muslims are subject to blind prejudice, systematic discrimination and unjustifiable bias in the Western societies. The portrayal of mass media of the Muslims is unrealistic and biased and does not represent the reality of Muslims’ lifestyle and attitudes. He believes that anti-Islamic sentiments are rising in the U.S. and Europe and that a horrendous wave of Islamophobia is encompassing the West, especially following the September 11 attacks. He believes that Western media are fueling Islamophobia.  Ziabari strongly condemned the burning of Holy Quran by the extremist pastor Terry Jones and called on the international community to bring him to justice. In an article titled “Does burning Quran solve your problems?”, Kourosh Ziabari responded to the burning of Muslims’ holy book by pastor Terry Jones.
Ziabari is a strong advocate of Persian culture and civilization. He maintains that Iran, during the course of past 100 years, has never attacked nor invaded any country and this is a proof that it doesn’t pose any threat to international peace. Those who accuse Iran of threatening global peace and stability are already involved in several military expeditions around the world. Kourosh Ziabari believes that the Western mainstream media are engaged in an all-out psychological operation and black propaganda against Iran and are depicting a distorted and false image of Iranians to their audiences. Ziabari condemns the war of words directed by the United States and Israel against Iran and asserts that Western mainstream media are run by a group of influential Zionists who want to demonize Iran and portray a black image of Iran to the international community. 
Kourosh Ziabari believes that Persian Gulf and its islands are parts of Iran’s cultural and historical heritage and should be preserved diligently. He believes that efforts aimed at distorting the name of Persian Gulf are parts of an anti-Iranian campaign spearheaded by certain countries that want to derail Iran’s regional supremacy and dominance in the Middle East. He has written numerous articles about the historicity and authenticity of the Persian Gulf’s name and argued that all the historical evidence and documents attest to the fact that Persian Gulf has always been called with this name.  He has also conducted interviews with the geopolitics expert Prof. Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh and proved that the islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunbs have always been inseparable parts of Iran and claims made by the UAE on this islands are unfounded and encouraged by Israel. 
Ziabari is a strong proponent of political and cultural reconciliation between Iran and the United States. He has written several articles and conducted many interviews in which he has attempted to convince the American public that the embittered relations between Iran and the United States should be restored to normalcy and that there’s no reason for hostility between the two countries. In 2009, he took part in a debate with the American freelance journalist Dave Eriqat  and discussed with him a variety of issues including the cultural affinity of Iran and the United States, the contributions of Iranian community to scientific and economic progress of the United States and the possible ways for settling the disputes between the two countries.
Iranian culture and civilization
Ziabari maintains that Persian culture and civilization has been consigned to oblivion as a result of the intensive media propaganda against Iran. He says that Iran has historically been a land of arts and sciences, but many people around the world are unaware of this fact. What the majority of Western citizens know about Iran is limited to controversy over Iran’s nuclear program, while the other facets of Iranian lifestyle have been largely ignored. In different articles, Ziabari has tried to introduce prominent Iranian scholars, scientists and artists who have made important and remarkable contributions to the global culture such as Avicenna and Omar Khayyam. Ziabari believes that although the Europeans have constantly called themselves the pioneers of sciences and arts throughout the history, they were the Iranians who revolutionized different aspects of the human life since ancient times up to now.
Iran and terrorism
When in office, the former U.S. President George W. Bush called Iran part of an “Axis of Evil” and accused Iran of sponsoring international terrorism. Kourosh Ziabari argues that contrary to these claims, Iran is itself a victim of the state-sponsored terrorism. He says that the terrorist gang MKO which is said to be supported by the United States has killed hundreds of Iranian civilians and even politicians and should be held accountable for these crimes. However, the European Union has removed the name of MKO from its list of terrorist organizations, thus giving more room to it to further its dangerous operations around the world. Kourosh Ziabari believes that Iran has always been at the forefront of confronting terrorism and there’s no credible evidence confirming that Iran has been a supporter or sponsor of terrorism as the United States and its European allies claim. 
Views on Israel
Ziabari is opposed to Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank and has written several articles and conducted many interviews regarding the ordeal and plight of the Palestinian nation under Israeli aggression. He, however, believes that having anti-Israeli sentiments is completely in sharp contrast to anti-Semitism and that those who oppose Israel’s actions and policies should not be vilified as anti-Semite. He believes that Jews, like the Muslims and Christians, are the followers of a divine religion and should be respected and allowed to practice their religious ceremonies without being persecuted and harassed. Ziabari has argued that even in Iran which is a Muslim-majority country, Jews are peacefully living along with the rest of Iranians and are entitled to every political, social and economic right which the rest of people enjoy. He calls Jews a “respectable minority” and believes that all followers of the monotheistic religions should be revered and allowed to enjoy social rights. 
Saudi Arabia’s policies
Ziabari posits that Saudi Arabia is a source of sedition and insecurity in the Middle East. He says that Saudi Arabia has betrayed its Muslim neighbor Iran and is taking orders from Tel Aviv in confronting Iran. He believes that Saudi Arabia is dancing to Israel’s tunes and is taking serious steps to demonize Iran and make the international community believe that Iran poses a threat to the security of Middle East. According to Ziabari, Saudi Arabia has exaggerated the potential threat of Iran’s nuclear program and is spreading falsehood with regards to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. By referring to the remarks of Saudi Foreign Minister, Kourosh Ziabari has argued that Saudi Arabia has become a stooge for Israel and the United States in the region and turned its back to the Islamic values for which she has been venerated by the majority of Muslims around the world. 
2011 Norway attacks
With regards to the 2011 Norway attacks in which a mass murderer and terrorist named Anders Behring Breivik opened fire on hundreds of young members of the Norwegian Labour Party’s AUFwho had hold a demonstration in support of the Palestinian nation and voiced their criticism of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands, Ziabari believes that the Western mainstream mediadeliberately put out of sight the truths and realities behind the terrorist attacks and euphemistically downgraded Breivik to a “shooter” instead of calling him a terrorist, as he really was. Ziabari maintains that this attack was not only a massacre of innocent civilians in the heart of Europe, but an assault on multiculturalism and an Islamophobic ploy which the mass media in the West tried to conceal and hide from public view.
Rohingya Muslims massacre
With the eruption of unrest and riots in the Rakhine State of Myanmar in the late July, 2012 and the massacre of Muslims in the Western Burmese state, Kourosh Ziabari reacted promptly and wrote articles which were widely published on the web. In one of his articles co-authored with Iqbal Ahmad, he demanded international response to the massacre of Rohingya Muslims and called on human rights organizations to take practical steps to ensure that the plight of Myanmar Muslims will be drawn to an end. 
IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THAT, we will be interviewing Cpt. Joe Cortina, decorated Green Beret officer about his trip to Israel and what he saw that changed his opinion of that country/people forever.
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