Move over Barack. Lawyer and activist Melody Moezzi is organizing an event to coincide with the Democratic National Convention in Denver and all you will need besides a commitment to peace in the Middle East is a hula hoop. Here is how she describes it.

I am an Iranian-American. I have two homelands: the United States and Iran. I am not half-Iranian. I am not half-American. I am 100% Iranian and 100% American. Thus, peace, particularly between the US and Iran, is not simply a political issue for me: It is deeply personal. Any attack on Iran by the United States would constitute the eruption of an internal civil war within me and so many other Iranian-Americans. It would be a conflict that I am not certain my soul could withstand, and it would be a conflict that would result in the loss of my countrymen on both sides. Indeed, I am not taking up peace as a cause because I am some delusional hippie (far from it) and have nothing better to do (I assure you, I do). I am doing this for unabashedly selfish and painfully practical reasons: I do not want my family, my countrymen, or my generation to die or struggle at the hands of others. I have presented my “home,” which includes all my biases and underlying intentions here, so if this is too much for you, then HHP is likely not your ball of wax, or more specifically, your ring of plastic.

Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, let’s move on to what we hope to achieve:

Hula-Hoop for Peace will unite people across race, culture, gender, language, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. HHP will promote the possibility for peace on this planet, and it will denounce and protest all acts of aggression that are not in immediate self-defense.

Furthermore, the hula-hoop is more than just some gimmick. It is a symbol of unity and also of our support for Barack Obama’s call for peace and his election as the next President of the United States.

The hula-hoop is also a throwback to the 1960’s, a similar time in so many ways. A time when, however, the US & Iran (for example) were still allies, despite the obvious imperialist relationship which cannot be ignored. A relationship epitomized by the 1953 CIA-sponsored coup to overthrow the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh because of his efforts to nationalize oil, so that the Iranian people could benefit from their own natural resources.

Still more similarities to the 1960’s include the fact that we were then and are now in an unpopular war without a practical positive solution or conclusion in sight. In response to that war and civil and human rights violations at home, the 60’s were also a breeding ground for the counterculture movement.

Today, I believe that we have our own counterculture movement brewing. To distinguish and be precise, this movement deserves a name of its own, thus I am calling it the counterscareism movement. Globally, and particularly in the United States, citizens are constantly being warned by leaders and governments of impending amorphous threats of terror. This attempt to induce mass fear and hysteria, particularly about something so rare and nebulous, allegedly related to a religion that so few Americans truly understand, results in fear, anxiety, and most dangerous of all, hate–particularly in the presence of ignorance.

My hope for Hula-Hoop for Peace is that it serves as an antidote for such hatred, ignorance and bigotry. And as I mentioned above, I am starting at home: on American soil, with inseparable American heart and Iranian blood.

While I deny that this is simply an exercise in lighthearted frivolity, I embrace the label “lighthearted,” for we all must empty our hearts of fear and hatred in order to let the most powerful human capacity fill them. That capacity is love, and unlike panic and bigotry, love is a light emotion that raises us up, instead of dragging us down.



Melody Moezzi

For more details on the event, go to