Symphony of Volleyball

Ahmad Masjed-Jamei

The chairman of Tehran City Council says the recent victories of the volleyball team are a harbinger of better days to come as far as teamwork is concerned.

Ahmad Masjed Jamei, who heads Tehran City Council and is a former minister of culture and Islamic guidance under ex-President Mohammad Khatami, has written an op-ed in Sharq newspaper – July 1, 2014 – in which he praises the stellar performance of Iran’s volleyball squad in the FIVB World League and recalls the lingering absence of esprit de corps among Iranians. The article regards the recent victories of the volleyball team as a harbinger of better days to come as far as teamwork in Iran is concerned.

“[…] Recent weeks have seen our athletes put their enormous capabilities on display at a world event. In the past, Iranian athletes were rarely able to prevail against global heavyweights in team sports. The victory [the Iranian volleyball squad] secured came with a kind of civil mentality and collective confidence that could set the stage for a greater push for teamwork excellence down the line.

The victory [the Iranian volleyball squad] secured came with a kind of civil mentality and collective confidence that could set the stage for a greater push for teamwork excellence down the line.

“A few years back, the industry ministry hired a foreign adviser to train its managers. What is remarkable about that adviser was that he held up a musical example to demonstrate that ‘Important projects do require teamwork to come off.’ Although in a symphony, different instruments are at play, the euphonious end-product comes across as one, he said. […]

“In the words of that adviser, Iranians are talented but success often eludes them when it comes to teamwork. That argument applies to the country’s management as well. Successful teamwork is not much in evidence. The victory of the Iranian volleyball team is a new development as far as teamwork is concerned. A closer look at the performance of our players shows that they selflessly strove for collective success without focusing much on individual excellence. Their looks, their words and their deeds were all indicative of eastern ethics which electrified the fans, who, in turn, displayed national zeal and etiquette. No foul language was used in the arena. […] Last week I met with Davarzani, the head of the Volleyball Federation, who said such victories are rooted in specific training designed to promote teamwork. […] Iranian female volleyball players are also expected to make their presence felt in regional and international events. […] Talent along with beefed-up national spirits and teamwork holds the key to success on every front. Iranian players including […] showed that it is possible to forget about themselves and focus on collective success. Let’s hope more such victories down the line will fill the hearts of Iranians both at home and abroad with joy.”

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