“OnTen” Exclusive: Bono Offers Message of Solidarity to People of Iran

Bono and The Edge, from the band U2, perform.WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bono, lead singer of the rock band U2 and co-founder of the advocacy group ONE, reached out to the people of Iran today, with a special message broadcast by VOA’s irreverent satirical program OnTen.

In his four-minute video, aired to coincide with Iran’s presidential election, the songwriter and advocate says, “In Iran we had people saying to us, look, those messages of love that you sent out were important. Could you do it before the elections?”

The Grammy Award-winning singer, who is widely known for his philanthropic work, included parts of a live rooftop performance of the hit song Bloody Sunday in his message, which also talks to the “good people of Iran” about protest songs and what they mean.

In addition to Bono, this week’s edition of OnTen features a street art project in Brooklyn, New York, that pays tribute to the Iranians who died in the violent protests following the 2009 presidential elections.

The mural, inspired by JR, the well-known Parisian artist renowned for his public displays, was installed by OnTen creative force Saman Arbabi and members of the OnTen team, who produce the weekly 30-minute satirical show, broadcast into Iran on satellite and the Internet.

The program, hosted by Arash Sobhani, includes a mixture of humor, mockery, and news that provides viewers in Iran with comedic relief and a lighthearted look at serious issues.

In the run-up to this year’s election, OnTen, which follows in the steps of the earlier hit VOA show Parazit, has focused heavily on the use of photos and video blogs from the candidates, with occasional sharp humor on subjects that range from campaign issues, to soccer and hairstyles.

Despite Iranian efforts the jam the program, it has attracted a growing audience, especially on Facebook and YouTube, where many young viewers watch. OnTen, which is optimized for easy download in more than 35 file sizes, airs Friday evenings on direct-to-home satellite in Iran at 9:00 Tehran time, and is available on the VOA Persian website.

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