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World stage

Oscar performance
Imagine if Aghdashloo wins the Academy Award

By The Cousin
February 25, 2004

This Sunday's Academy Awards show is one of those rare schizophrenic moments for me. I, who generally dislike Iran and Iranians to death, will not be able take my eyes off the TV screen because an Iranian woman is among the nominees. I will be glued to the TV, biting my lips and uncovering my eyes only long enough to see if Shohreh Aghdashloo wins the Oscar.

It is very gratifying and heart-warming to see an Iranian on one of the biggest stages in the world. Besides Shirin Ebadi's climb to podium in Oslo, there has been little to cheer about for Iranians in the past year. In Iran, it is 25th winter of discontent where the political climate has left many reformers and reformer-wanna-be's in the cold. Once again those who pride themselves on being heirs of Cyrus and Darius are entertaining themselves by attending a circus manned by the so called God's representatives on earth.

Aghdashloo is not the first Iranian nominee for an Oscar, nor will she be the first recipient if she wins. Daruish Khondji won that acclaim in late 1990s when he shot Evita. But Aghdashloo's nomination is more high-profile, more delicious, and almost too good to be true.

There are those Iranians who see a conspiracy in all this. I am not joking. I have heard Iranians argue that the U.S., Israel, the Nobel Committee, Vadim Perelman (director of "House of Sand and Fog"), DreamWorks Studios, etc. have all conspired together to make this year a banner year for Iranian women, and Ebadi and Aghdashloo are part this scheme. But stupidity aside, Aghdashloo, if she wins, will have done a man's job better than most men could. And she will have 45 seconds to be adored in the most magnificent stage in the world.

And imagine what happens if she, instead of thanking God, her husband Hooshang Tozie, Mom and Dad, and instead of breaking down, crying and stuttering, stands up straight, dedicates the award to all the women of Iran, not the world, not the middle east, but Iran.

Imagine she looks into the camera, addresses Khamenei by name (doesn't call him Kameini or Komini, but calls him KHAMENEYEE) and tells him how the award is only a beginning for all those whom have to succumb to his whims. Imagine she becomes the first Iranian in recent memory who raises above herself and becomes something bigger than sum of her roles and her person.

That would be an Oscar-caliber performance.

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