Features

November 2004
1995-2004 Archive

FILM
The best -- misrepresentation of history

On Oliver Stone's "Alexander"
M.A.R.

In Oliver Stone's eyes, Westerners own the whole world and if you're not one of them, then you're too dumb to tell the difference between your king and some other guy who doesn't even look like him. Even if you do realize the difference, you're still happy to welcome the new guy, because the Persian king was definitely a cruel leader, as oppose to Alexander who was the nicest king ever.

WORLD TOUR
Beautiful tomorrow

Today's good thoughts will make tomorrow beautiful
Amir Ahmadi and Hassan Alizadeh

REFERENDUM
Now what?

Calls for referndum shows opposition weakness
Dariush Sajjadi

PHOTOGRAPHY
The color of light

Photo essay: New Zealand
Farhad (Amir) Nabipour

LANGUAGE
Learning to love English

"Mom, you need to start reading in my language"
Sima Shahriar

I was thirteen when my family moved from Tehran, Iran, to Minneapolis. It was 1978. It wasn't an easy move. Our move coincided with the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the hostage taking of Americans for 444 days. I've lived between two cultures for so many years that I really don't know what it means to be in my comfort zone. I don't have one.

SOLDIER
G.I. Farrokh

The fact that a deserter received only a slap on the wrist is outrageous
Farrokh B.

One of the reasons for which I, just an Iranian with a green card at the time, joined the ranks of the US Army over 17 years ago was out of pure financial and situational necessity. I was a husband to an unemployed wife with no high school diploma and a father to a three year old daughter, while I held only an associate degree in science for which I couldn't find any job offerings.

IDENTITY
A simple question

What are the criteria for being an Iranian?
Arash Emamzadeh

As an individual born in Iran, and now residing in the West, at one time or other I have struggled with defining who I was, and at times such definitions seemed irrelevant and at other times would occupy my mind to the extent that I could not concentrate on anything else. Having met many "Iranians" here and recalling many "Iranians" from Iran, I finally decided to pose this question, hoping that someone would answer this question to my satisfaction.

DIARY
Why sheep chew gum

Memories from Shomal
Bahram Saghari

There were two great things about summer and growing up in Tehran: No more Emtehane Fasle Sevvom [third trimester / Final exams] or going to school for a while, AND, going to Shomal [slang for Northern Iran]. Spending three whole months by Daryaye Khazar [the Caspian Sea] was the ultimate treat. The water was delightful, not too cold, not too hot - not too salty not too sweet.

BOOK
Ketab-e neek

Excerpt from a book on Zarathustra's influence on major world religions
Paul Kriwaczek

Very little is known about Zarathustra himself, but Kriwaczek follows clues from China to Europe to find traces of the "first" prophet in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It's a personal journey into the history of religion and I enjoyed every step. -- Jahanshah Javid

RELATIONSHIP
Iranian guys suck

Do you think we are going to go out with you, knowing that you fuck anything that so much as moves?
Tuff Wild Chick

First of all I'm not a writer or anything, but I just had to get all this off my chest. Of course this article doesn't apply to all Iranian guys, but it does to most of them. I am slowly loosing faith in the whole idea of relationships, for a number of reasons. But the one that I find the most disheartening is the misleading act that Iranian men put on the first few "days" in a relationship.

MUSIC
Aghasi

Motrebe Peer
Azam Nemati

This is his latest album. He has gone back to singing more traditional Koocheh Baazaari style where a man with beautiful voice recites poetry in "sooznaak" or heart wrenching harmony. I love the style. The voice is a bit tired and raspy at this advanced age, but still, very much Aghasi.

DRUGS
Inhale

Faulty arguments against drug legalization
Slater Bakhtavar

The whole uproar about drugs in the first place is rather odd. Statistics show that drugs like cocaine kill far less people than the legal alternatives in the United States. In fact, cocaine kills less people than swimming pool accidents. To quote statistics from Dr. Walter Wink, a specialist in the field, "alcohol is associated with 40 percent of all suicide attempts, 40 percent of all traffic deaths, 54 percent of all violent crimes, and 10 percent of all work-related injuries. "

DRUGS
Something to talk about

Iran's losing war on drug trafficking could be a subject of discussion with the U.S.
Nima Kasraie

Dozens of drug enforcement officers are killed when their patrol is ambushed by heavily armed drug traffickers. The officers are captured during the ambush and then executed. I'm not talking about Colombia. Drug-related deaths has been a fairly routine occurrence in eastern Iran on the country's border with Afghanistan where the situation is "close to a war," according to Maria Costa, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

MUSIC
Buddahead

Music & Memories
Raman Kia

DESIRE
You've got them. We want them. Why?

I have been doing a lot of research on men's attraction to breasts
Shahriar Zahedi

The subject of my fascination has different names in the English language; breasts, boobies, mammary glands, knockers, hooters, racks, etc. This very multiplicity of names illustrates how powerful an effect this external organ of the female anatomy exerts on the psyche of the male. The more important a thing is, the more nouns a language offers to refer to it. You may know that the Arab has many different words to describe his favorite beast of burden, the camel.

HOW-TO
Theocracy to Democracy

... in 10 steps
Behshad Hastibakhsh

By identifying the symptoms and source of political backwardness, it is imperative to present a political alternative to the current theocratic regime in Iran. The new political alternative must be distinct and rich in inclusiveness, tolerance, democratic ideas.  To bring forth change, we have the alternative of working towards peaceful transition from theocracy to democracy in ten steps:

OPINION
Left overs

Leftist radicals not only ruined their own lives, they ruined the life of a nation
Parkhash

The guerrillas that Maziar Behrooz describes them in such affectionate terms were no other than the forefathers of the present day Al-Qaeda, and other minor terrorist groups. They showed no regards for human lives and in their madness they maimed and murdered hundreds of law abiding and innocent citizens of our homeland. They were not independent, politically or financially, as Behrooz so timidly avoids admitting.

ALEXANDER
Blood thirsty barbarian

"Sikandar" (Alexander) was called "Gojesteh" or the "accursed" by every right thinking Persian. We will not see any of that in the movie. Oliver Stone did not do the required research before foisting a blood thirsty barbarian on to the unsuspecting sensibilities of the intelligent among us. But guess what - the majority of morons who succeeded in electing their representative, George Bush will pay through their noses to see this flick. -- Noshir Mullafiroze

 

POETRY
Zendegi

Breathing with you in a crazy world
Mehran

LIFE
Divaaneh-ee az qafas pareed

The nut who flew out of the cage
Cyrous Moradi

TALK
The solution

Photo essay: Iraj Pezeshkzad at Stanford University
Jahanshah Javid

STORY
Jacob

From "Confessions of a Writer"
Saeed Tavakkol

The writer, sitting behind his desk for hours, tires. He looks at the pile of papers on his desk, throws his pen aside in frustration, and to walks toward his bed. The roaring wind rattles the window panes. He narrows his eyes as he gets up and thinks autumn is not his favorite season.

FILM
Miserably lousy

Oliver Stone's "Alexander"
Trita Parsi

I simply don't know where to begin. I must admit that the original purpose of my writing a review of Oliver Stone's movie "Alexander" was to point out the film's historical inaccuracies. While these errors were abundant, never did I expect to leave the cinema feeling sorry for the director I was about to critique. Fortunately for Stone, every aspect of this movie is so miserably lousy that one can't but forgive him for his historical slip ups.

LIFE
A story is a story and a bar is a bar

Short story
Siamak Vossoughi

At the bar around the corner, where I go to watch basketball -- I don't have a television --, there is an understanding as to the importance of opinions. They are something to have at a place like that, when another day is about to come to an end. Opinions can feel like an awfully good match on the world stage, mixed with alcohol under the bar lights. But the opinionated patrons are going to go back outside to a world not really all that different from how it's ever been. It's the state of night turning dark.

FICTION
Crows in the nightingale's tree

Excerpt from a novel
Sharene Azimi

Zarah's grandmother was beautiful, even in death. Her hennaed hair framed a face that, while matted with mortician's makeup, still managed to look smoother and fresher than a sixty-nine-year-old woman's had a right to be. Zarah wished she had remembered to wear lipstick to the wake, if only as a small tribute to the feminine qualities her grandmother had tried so hard to instill in her.

OPINION
Stop bitching

The dangerous path ahead, but it doesn't have to be this way
S. Sadeghin

Roozbeh Shirazi wrote an excellent article posing the notion that everyone wants change for Iran, but not everyone is on the same page as each other as what those changes entail and these changes will be implemented. And until we decide what we want things won't change in a manner that as smooth as possible. Basically we are like a 5-year-old in a candy store. The mother has told the kid that he can have only one kind of candy and for the first time the kid has to decide what he wants on his own.

SATIRE
Pahlavi pizza

It's not the Virgin Mary. It's Empress Farah.
Farhad Radmehrian

The whole world has been staring at this piece of years-old grilled cheese sandwitch and quietly wondering about the things reasonable person come to believe. The face on the lunch is not the Virgin Mary! At least not the likeness of her that we have been shown for centuries. In fact it looks nothing like her. So, who is she?

ART
Black & white & color

Photo essay: Iran
Lida Ghaemi

DIASPORA
My own private hostage crisis

I began sobbing as soon as the boys had tied us up
Samira Moheyeddin

November 4th marked the 25th anniversary of the hostage crisis in Iran. A quarter-century after reactionary students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, and held 52 Americans hostage for more than a year, I am again reminded of my own, all too early introduction, to hate, xenophobia, and violence. You see, on November 4, 1979, while walking home from school in a suburb of North York, with my sister and two female cousins, a group of older boys from the junior high surrounded us and began yelling: You eye-ranian's took them hostage... now we're gonna take you hostage!

WORLD TOUR
Last lap

Cycling world tour getting closer to the finish line
Amir Ahmadi and Hassan Alizadeh

MUSIC
Maziar

Mahigeer
Azam Nemati

Maziar captured the heart of many with his beautiful voice in the late 1970s and then vanished from the music scene. The private artist re-emerged in 1979 by singing his most memorable song "Iran Iran " which made everyone feel the message.

IDENTITY
Glorious loneliness

Iran will never be what it used to. But Iranians can built a 'better' Iran
Ben Madadi

After having read quite many articles I always notice one striking similarity or preoccupation among most and that is what I may call an identity struggle. I shall convey my own view of the issue and I do not expect everyone to agree with me, though I would appreciate a fair and pragmatic critical evaluation. I consider myself to be a human being first of all. I am also an Iranian, that means that I was born in Iran. As I grew up in Iran I met Islam, a relatively moderate, or even a very easy-going, type of Islam embraced by my family. My family looked at religion like a personal choice rather than a way of life for a community.

ETHNIC
Bravo South Kurdistan

Hope in a referendum signed by 1.7 million people
Kamal H. Artin

Bravo South Kurdistan. You ought to be commended for your efforts in this very critical stage to be part of the solution. You have been betrayed over and over by all of the dominant powers in your neighborhood, yet you are hopeful and keep working with them. You have experienced humiliation, discrimination, abuse, murder of your freedom fighters, and bombing of your cities and villages with conventional and even chemical weapons, yet you are willing to go extra miles and hope that your opponents will turn civil and acknowledge your rights at some point.

ART
Flights of fancy

Paintings
Taha behbahani

LIFE
The Gardner

It's up to the Persian to preserve the dignity of roses
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

The name, rose garden, brings back a most spectacular vision of Shiraz, in particular the Eram garden on a summer day. I remember walking under the tall cypress trees and how the citrus aroma mixed with the fragrance of roses made me dizzy. Some days, I took my sandwich to a garden near the hospital and enjoyed a break in the serenity of the flowers that surrounded me. Those magnificent gardens now remain a faded photograph in the album of my memories.

IRAN
Conservative challenger

Former TV chief launches unofficial campaign for presidency
Hossein Derakhshan

I guess the Iran presidential election would eventually come down to a dirty fight between former president Akbar Rafsanjani and former head of state radio and TV (IRIB), Ali Larijani. But Larijani, very close advisor to the Supreme Leader, is not very well-known in the West, despite his crucial position among young conservative politicians in Iran. He is known to be one of their greatest strategists who has been leading the gradual but very effective crackdown on the entire reform movement.

MUSIC
Jamshid

Khosh amadee
Azam Nemati

I caught the image of this singer for a few seconds and heard him singing a few lines on an Iranian TV. I loved his voice and when I heard the album I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful this young man's voice was.

CENSORSHIP
Az weblog neveesaan hamjensgaraa hemaayat koneem

Homosexual weblogs banned in Iran
Nassim Barid

FICTION
A love in Iran

Short story
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi

Friday afternoon, November 5th, 2003. I was late getting to TARANEH's rehearsal, and began shooting the moment I stepped inside the room and saw TARANEH turn a weary eye toward me mixed with happiness, reminding me of our first encounter in Dusseldorf so many years ago. "We have to wait for a friend," TARANEH said to me after we were through and had exited to the hall way of the theater house, added, "we're doing his play - about Bam."

CULTURE
Forming visions

Speaking to the founder of a rare venue to showcase children and youth culture
Farid Parsa

Filmmakers and distributors whose works were about children and youth and had limited options in presenting them globally instantly recognized the festival. Lack of venue to showcase children and youth produced works was another element to attract younger filmmakers to utilize this event, as their preliminary platform for self-expression and professional development. Also, being the only international film festival for children and young adults in Australia generated an enormous interest from the rest of the world. i.e. in its 5th edition, the festival presented 41 countries.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Stone faces

Photo essay: Tehran gravestones
Nader Davoodi

PALESTINE
The anti-shah

Yasser Arafat's endearingly secular anti-Westernism
Setareh Sabety

Yasser Arafat died and with him the era of secular terrorists or freedom fighters, depending on your politics. For those of us who grew up in the Middle East in the sixties and seventies and for whom the plight of the Palestinians was a sentimental if not an immediately important issue, he was, without a doubt, a hero.

PALESTINE
No friend

Arafat switched alliances depending on which way the wind blew
Ghassem Namazi

I usually would rather not spend time on issues that are not related to Iran. After all, Iran is where I believe should be our focus, not the Palestinian cause. There are four hundred million rich Arabs that could very well defend the Palestinian cause, politically and financially. However, after reading a couple of articles on this Website with praise for Yasser Arafat and his leadership; I felt someone needed to provide some balance to this view.

RIGHTS
Not the last

On Theo 'an Gogh's assassination: interview with Azar Majedi
Maryam Namazi

Theo van Gogh, a film director and journalist, was assassinated in broad daylight in Amsterdam on November 2. He was repeatedly stabbed and his throat slit. They say his assassin has "radical Islamic fundamentalist convictions". There is a debate on whether this is the act of an individual or the political Islamic movement. Why have you said it is political Islam?

DIASPORA
First cousins

Images of Zoroastrians in India
Sharene Azimi

Fueled by a sense of urgency as well as admiration for her community, the screenwriter and photographer Sooni Taraporevala spent nearly 25 years documenting the faces, feasts, and faith of her culture. As she writes in the introduction to her new book, Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India -- A Photographic Journey, "This book has its genesis in that childhood desire to hold on tight to what is precious, not allow it to change or disappear. For me photography has always been a form of magic. Photographs freeze time and survive death."

BOOK
Superior inferior

Excerpt from "The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict between Iran and America"
Kenneth M. Pollack

In its day, the Persian Empire was a superpower like nothing the world had ever seen -- with a monotheistic religion, a vast army, a rich civilization, a new and remarkably efficient method of administration, and territory stretching from Egypt to Central Asia. All Iranians know that history well, and it is a source of enormous pride to them. It has given them a widely remarked sense of superiority over all of their neighbors, and, ironically, while Tehran now refers to the United States by the moniker "Global Arrogance," within the Middle East a stereotypical complaint against Iranians is their own arrogant treatment of others.

SATIRE
No Kerry, no bush

Grandpa was determined to support his hero. But there was a catch.
Siamack Baniameri

The day Grandpa decided to cast his vote in the presidential election pretty much marked the end of Western democracy as we know it. Grandpa, an avid supporter of George W., called several times on Monday, reminding me to pick him up the next day and drive him to the polls. That's right, folks. Grandpa was determined to support his hero.

MUSIC
Let's get in on

Prynce Payumy's new single
Said Amin

Several weeks back I met Prynce Payumy (aka Payam Abbasi), who runs his own record label titled "Pohectic Life Records". Upon visiting their site and listening to the tracks I was quite impressed. His label has already put out one album and now, they have released a single.

ART
Yellow skull

Paintings
Kourosh Bahar

Kourosh Bahar currently lives and works in New York City. This is his recent work.

DIASPORA
Almos Baba

Iranian woman arrives in America in 1929
Ellis Island Foundation

This is the text of a document from 1929 on public display at Ellis Island museum in New York. It records the arrival of Almos Baba Shiman, an Iranian woman to America. Thanks to Ali Tavaf for sending a photo of the displayed document.

IRAQ
Heavy metal Islam

Laid-back Iraqis who enjoy indulging in worldly pleasures find they're becoming a minority, as more and more of their carousing pals defect to religion
Borzou Daragahi

It is Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting and mourning for the Prophet Mohmamad, during a year where Iraq's troubles have driven more toward faith.These days in Baghdad observant men shun short sleeves for long black shirts and even modern women don modest headscarves in gestures of piety. The muezzins call out prayers late into the night as Iraqis contemplate the spiritual world. But behind discrete brown metal gates along a busy commercial street lies a colorful garden of earthly delights: an underground liquor store.

LIFE
Recalling a night

Short story
Roozbeh Shirazi

This memory is not mine, yet it is my birthright. Different strangers have told me the same story over the years upon meeting me. There is no beginning, no course to climax only an instant immersion. At long last, the enemy was at hand, the prize captured and with the pop of a cork, the celebrations begin. It is a crowded room, full of those would-be heroes, bearded by neglect, intellectual bookish types, and honest-to-God mistakenly picked up strangers, all in a row, perhaps somewhere bright, certainly somewhere uncomfortably hot.

MUSIC
Sandy

New album "Tagh"
Compiled by Azam Nemati

"Tagh" is the latest album by Sandy. This band is one of the original musical groups to mix elements of Hip Hop and Rap with their unique brand of Bandari. I am a fan and look forward to seeing more albums by them.

RIGHTS
Ok which country am I in?

Iran or the U.S.
Hamid Bakhsheshi

Recently I spent twenty wonderful days in Iran, my motherland. I saw my family, my aunts and uncles, and all of my cousins. I grew up with these nice people around me and I need to see them every time I go back.  I heard about their hardships and daily difficulties of providing for their families. It is not easy, I gathered. When I was asked about how it is in America, my response was always that it is very much like the Iran in the 60's and 70's. If you worked hard, there are opportunities. 

PALESTINE
Saluting Abu Ammar

i salute Arafat for his love of his land and people
Kourosh Taghavi

long time ago when i was probably ten or eleven, when i had just begun to actually hear things on TV and pay attention to them, i saw a man in a military uniform with a big smile and a "chapyeh" wrapped on his head. the tv announcer said something to this effect: "Yasser Arafat, rahbar-e terrorist-haaye Felestin..." (Yasser Arafat, leader of terrorists in Palestine) i paused and thought about that word . i asked my mother about who he was and what a terrorist was?

ART
Words in nature

Paintings
Rafi

In 1991, I began to paint in gouache over some old letters which were dusting away in the back of old cupboards and forgotten for many years. I used the pattern of the words and tried to bring them to life.

POINT
Closet Bush supporter

This election has shown that our similarities are much more profound and well entrenched than we had ever realized
Sharif N Mafi

Here you have it folks, little did I know that I have been a closet Bush supporter all along. True, I have a weak spot for Old Europe's Lavazza espresso, I read Robert Fisk ardently, I hold Maureen Dowd in high regards, and hassle my neo-conish friends all the time. So imagine my surprise when I find out that I have been a closet Bush supporter for a long time; perhaps even before I started to smirk and put quotation marks around the word "liberation", and while shaving twice (if not three times) before boarding an airplane.

RELIGION
The fire within

Zarathushtra's thought compared to "Bad Thoughts, Bad Words, Bad Deeds"
Dina G. McIntyre

Persia Lover, in "Bad Thoughts", speaks of the caste system of the Sassanians and states that Zoroastrian priests of that time considered ordinary Iranians to be unclean and "untouchable." With due respect, I do not think that is entirely accurate. But even if we assume, for the sake or argument, that that was so, such practices are totally contradictory to Zarathushtra's teaching that something of God lives in all the living as the fire within.

DIALOG
Peace

Perhaps we are angry because we tend to read too much between the lines
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

After reading an overwhelming article by Persia Lover who sounded as if he knew books and documents to back up his words on Zoroastrianism -- which I knew nothing about -- I wrote the author and thanked him for the information he had provided and voiced out some doubts of my own as to the perfect image of the people. He wrote back and said he's been getting a lot of negative mail and asked if I would please send my letter to the Iranian. Why not? If it was going to help someone, I would do it. Heaven only knows how much anger is out there because the letters have been coming ever since.

REPLY
I, Zarathushtra

For better or for worse, one of the living reminders of our sense of pride and nationalism comes from the Zoroastrians
Aryadoost Ahanshir

The Vietnamese are in their rights to still denounce Americans. Jews are in their rights to still denounce Nazis. And Zoroastrians are in their rights to still denounce Muslims. To not denounce them is the issue. It is an expression of civility and greatness on the part of the harmed.  However, if someone makes any criticism of a largely cherished religion (by Zoroastrians and Nationalists alike) then people will get upset, because it seems that there is a mark of disrespect being made on all those that suffered 'neath the heels of cruel Arab tyrants and savage Arab laws. The same dire straits that Iranians endure today.

POETRY
Message

It was in 2036
the World was burned

Jam

POETRY
Then and now

I liked girls a lot.
I don't like them as madly now

Farid Parsa

POETRY
On being a woman

Blue and purple pansies
Spread under your eyes
Swollen shut for the class photo

Nina Habibi

POETRY
Thriving toward desolation

I finally found the inspiration to write lyrics for a song that I wrote
O'meed Entezari

POETRY
Seeking

I look in the mirror
But I don't see myself in it

Sara Ansari

POETRY
Payaamgir-e vatani

Injaa Tehran ast
Mana Aghaie

POETRY
His and Hers poetry

The storm of your fantasy,
The gale of my jealousy

Haleh Anvari

POETRY
Iran

Blistering in the heat
Of a homeland's unknown destiny

Bahar Mirhosseini

POETRY
The vision in my tongue

With my eyes now I can hear!
And with my nose I can taste!

Abol Hassan Danesh

POETRY
Long lost love

Countless hours the hands of the clock
Did not mov; The moon slept 'til dawn

Jamshid

POETRY
Zan

Man manam man yek zanam...
Ziba Shirazi

POETRY
Golnar-e man

Anbaar-e mohemmaat...
Bejan Baran

POETRY
Mercy

We have become
the warriors of no mercy

Amin Gorjizadeh

POETRY
Saalrooz-e jodaaee

Yaad-e to aaraamesh shabhaa-ye man ast
Azam Nemati

POETRY
Fall in submission

Weary of words, laden with Love
They are sprinkled across Your praying rug

Bijan Khazai

POETRY
Parishaan-sar

Selections from "Chahaar Rooyesh"
Partow Nooriala

POETRY
Daricheh-ee besoo-ye baagh

Selections from "Gharibaaneh: Poems 1982-1994"
Jahangir Sedaghatfar

POETRY
Good night, baby girl

Harvest International award for Best Poem
Sheema Kalbasi & Roger Humes

POETRY
Resist

Reside. Resident. Resign. Resilience. Resist. Resist. Resist.
Voices echo in your ears

Choob Dosar-Gohi

POETRY
No love lost

I hate all the anger and hatred in this little world of ours
It breeds nothing but anger

M. Alami

POETRY
Asr-e yekshanbe-ye ghorbat

Blistering in the heat
Of a homeland's unknown destiny

Hamid Izadi

POETRY
Beh Tehran khosh aamadid

Welcome o Tehran
Majid

POETRY
Ranj-e deereeneh

Long suffering
Houshang Ebtehaj, M. Sayeh

POETRY
Tamana

Desire
M. S. Noury

POETRY
Hope

If I can't see, I hope
Kianoosh AJ

LIFE
The beginning of Mehr

There is wisdom amongst that tribe; how they bend with the wind, wait for the fuss to pass
Kambiz Naficy

It's Mehr, the month of kindness, and so to seek solace like all Fridays, I head for the mule paths of Ahar, just South of the Shemshak slopes. And every year as I grow, I realize the nobility of donkeys, adorned with multi-colored beads, eye lashes long and shy, their ankles trembling under the weight of butane capsules, bricks, or like today, green apples that fall in autumn.

POLITICS
How voting works

An inside look at an election
Behrouz Bahmani

While most of you were wringing your hands watching the election results on TV, or out voting, this election I was lucky to be inside the polling station as a Clerk at my precinct. It was an awesome experience and I learned a lot of things about the process. I volunteered to do this.

MEMORIES
Summer with grandpa

I was ecstatic when one day he asked me to accompany him to the coffeehouse
Shahrokh Nikfar

As a kid growing up in Iran, I spent most summers in two distinct ways: going to the movies to watch the latest Hollywood or Italian cinema creations and playing with my friends in summer "tajdidi" school. But there was one special summer, when I was sent to stay with my grandparents in Kermanshah, 590 km southwest of Tehran. I loved being near my grandparents for they were both very kind and loved me unconditionally. And unlike my mom, they refused to criticize me for being a tajdidi -- one exam away from failing my grade and staying a year behind.

IRAN-US
The dangerous path ahead

Many Iranians want change in Iran and so do many policymakers in the US. That does not mean they want the same thing
Roozbeh Shirazi

Bush has won a second term and continues to pursue his vision of a transformed Middle East, and the sights have now set on Iran. Accused of developing nuclear weapons (charges rendered groundless by IAEA reports and offered ironically by a country currently developing nuclear 'bunker buster' bombs), Iran is now being threatened with a range of punitive measures, among them regime change to no doubt secure the freedom of the Iranian oil reserves and people.

DIARY
Khatoon Khanoom

Part 3: Man keh nazadamet
Bahram Saghari

What brings together Me, Jaafar Jeerjeerak e Harroomm zadeh, Naneh PMM and Ashraf khanoom PMM is Noone e Sangak. Like I said before, buying Noone was my responsibility. It was also Jaafar's job to buy the bread for his family. Do you remember Noone e Sangak Forooshi ha?

SATIRE
Four more years

Cartoons
Saman

MUSIC
Mystery classics

Name that tune
Compiled by Javaneh Khodabakhsh

AMERICA
Shattered bubble

I escaped a theocracy by a few and ended up in a theocracy by majority
Goudarz Eghtedari

Since I opened my eyes and began to learn where the United States of America were on the bluish globe in our living room, I have associated America with John F. Kennedy. I even drew a card and sent it to the White House for the birth of John Kennedy Jr. when I was only 4. Growing up in a country far from here, I also knew the US through the actions of a young American, Barkley Moore, who was a Peace Corps volunteer in a small town close to the Soviet border in Northern Iran.

DIASPORA
Helpless hypocrites

Not me: I choose not to be that quiet American that the powers that be bet on us being
Assal Badrkhani

We do what Iranians have been doing since epochs before the creation of chelo kabab: We sit behind our Persian satellites and wait for someone else to do what we should be doing ourselves. We don't take part. We came to America for freedom, but how many of us appreciate our freedoms? Who attends their kid's PTA meetings? Who knows what a presidential voting ballot even looks like? Who honestly cares? I bet Ahmad Batebi would care.

IRANIAN-AMERICANS
Habits that devide us

Let's not perpetuate them
Rostam Pourzal

The emergence of Iranian American civil right groups is encouraging, and I offer two additional points. First, contrary to what my fellow activists told your reporter, a few million among Iranians are ethnic Arabs. To deny that (or to refer to Kurds, Baluchis, Turks as "Persians", as is commonly done) is to sidestep a hot debate about discrimination within our country of origin and our immigrant community. It also unintentionally concedes ground to Aryan Nation extremists among Persian Iranians.

TRAVELERS
Visual sale

Indian Billboards and murals >>> photos
Ali Akbar Mahdi

It is quite normal in the United States to see huge signs on the highways and rural roads. In India, it is the reverse. It is in the city, where majority of the population move during the day, that you see these billboards. But you do not see just large billboards, you see monstrous boards overshadowing much of the city. If you happen to be standing below, they look quite intimidating.

OPINION
A Christian Revolution

Americans have opted for a revolution based on faith, as Iranians did in 1979, and may live to regret it, as Iranians have
Hossein Bagher Zadeh

'How can 59,054,087 people be so dumb?' cried the British mass circulation Daily Mirror referring to the election of George W Bush for a second 4-year term as president of the USA. A similar question has been asked by many young Iranians of their parents' support for the Islamic revolution a quarter century earlier.

DIASPORA
Shabi keh solh dar sarzamin-e aazaadi gereest

The night peace cried in the land of freedom
Mehran

US-IRAN
Tunnel vision

Iranicons are so desperate, unimaginative, and fixated on the idea of 'changing' Iran that they overlook exactly who their champion is
Roozbeh Shirazi

Something momentous has just happened; the ramifications of the election are larger than any one man and will set the course of world events down a decidedly dangerous path. To me, this election was never about John Kerry or George W. Bush; it was a referendum on the neo-conservative roller coaster that the current administration has put the world on.

BOOK
Letters from Ahmad Abad

Mossadegh's letters to his trusted friend and lawyer
Fariba Amini

Namehayee Az Ahmad Abad, 1335-1345 (Letters from Ahmad Abad, 1956-1966) compiled and edited by Fariba Amini, is a collection of  more than 100 letters written by the beloved Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh to Nosratollah Amini, former mayor of Tehran and Mossadegh's personal attorney.

PIONEER
Adam, Eve & Amin

Interview with a pioneer in the internet personals business
Jahanshah Javid

I first met Said (pronounced sa-eed) Amin about six years ago at the Daily Grill in Washington DC. At the time he was close to launching IranianPersonals.com and wanted to collaborate with iranian.com. It wasn't long before I realized that he meant business. He knew what he wanted and he was going to get it. And he did. Today IranianPersonals is by far the most professional and successful site of its kind. And he has expanded to other ethnic markets as well.

RELIGION
A threat to humankind

Political Islam vs. secularism
Azar Majedi

The irony of a believer criticising the beliefs is provocative. I am not a Moslem; I am an atheist. However, I have lived Islam; I have firsthand experience of Islam. I was born within a religious conflict: a religious mother and an atheist father. From childhood, I began to see the flaws, the restrictions, the misogyny, the backwardness, the dogma, the superstition, and uncritical nature of Islam vis-à-vis the enlightenment, the freethinking spirit of atheist thinking.

RIGHTS
Women against women

Women in Iran's 7th parliament
Elham Gheytanchi

The women in the seventh Majlis are against the bill on Iran joining the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which the female reformists in the sixth Majlis had fought for vigorously. So far, the women in the seventh Majlis have exhibited conservative, right wing tendencies setting them apart from their counterparts in the preceding parliament. The CEDAW, adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is an international bill of rights for women.

AFGHANISTAN
Ignorantism

Why are we paying such a high price just because we are girls or women?
Wazhma Frogh

Some three months ago I visited a province in the south east of the country and observed the situation of women and children. I witnessed that their rights have been massacred entirely under the shadow of ignorance of those who call themselves Muslims. In this province, 9 out of 10 families have sold their daughters at a value equivalent to $300. I was shocked when I saw the girls 3 and 6 years of age getting married and being sold.

EDUCATION
Critical thinking

Religious education in Iran and Canada
Azadeh Madani

When the revolution started, my daughter was in a grade school. She had to change the school a couple of times, because her school became boys school. She did not underestand why, as soon as she made some friends and got to know teachers, she had to change school. Before the legal age of 9, she had to wear the maghna-e headscarf, and do her daily prayer on the bare ground in the school. After several years of war between Iran and Iraq, my family and I moved out of Iran, and went to a couple of countries, and finally landed in Canada.

ARCHITECTURE
Humble earth

"Kashani architects were the greatest alchemists of history. They could make gold out of dust"
Nima Kasraie

Back in 1993, when visiting the 7,000-year-old city of Kashan, the chairman of UNESCO remarked: "Kashani architects were the greatest alchemists of history. They could make gold out of dust". And he wasn't the first either to be struck by the beauty of Kashan; 17th century British explorer Thomas Herbert considered Kashan the second most beautiful of Iranian cities, and many Safavi monarchs spent considerable leisure time there. It was from here that the three wise men of the Bible reputedly started their epic journey to Bethlehem.

ELECTIONS
We are here

It's not over by a long shot
Daniel Patrick Welch

For several months, one of my brothers, who is a bit prone to hyperbole, kept insisting that speculation about the election was meaningless, basically because it wasn't going to happen. He was absolutely convinced that the Bush regime would manufacture some excuse to postpone or cancel the election in a bid to stay in power.

SATIRE
... and god farted

A little challenge to the newly created human race
Sehtarman

... and the myth goes as such that when God made man out of clay (dirt, sand , mud etc) God blew "his" soul into the man he had just created and therefore "made man in his own image". there are men like that. women too! in modern history we have had a great number of men and women who fit that description, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Tressa, Camille Claudell, Forough Farrokhzad, etc.

POLITICS
KO

We must get up; there are 11 more rounds left and many more Bush blunders to capitalize upon
Ramin Bajoghli

Now that the dust has settled and our lame duck President has been re-elected, it is not only vital but essential to reflect over this past election and move forward.  A couple of lessons can be learned from this past year that will definitely galvanize the youth and the disenfranchised  citizens of the U.S.

ELECTIONS
Losing it

We must ask ourselves some fundamental questions
Maziar Shirazi

I lost it.Wednesday, my friend asked me how I was doing and I thought to myself that this was one of the bleakest days that I had experienced. My tears for what has happened in the past 24 hours is something that many could have understood and empathized with; others probably would have taken a special delight in viewing that scene.

POETRY
The great concession

Leila Farjami

That's what I fear
Four more wars!

DIASPORA
Somewhere over the rainbow

Photo essay: Halloween party
Jahanshah Javid

ELECTIONS
It's the policies, stupid

Whoever wins the Big Prize will inherit a free world so angry and fed up with US policies
Daniel Patrick Welch

that world huddles anxiously in the far-flung corners of the planet to see what comes next. This has all been posited as good news for John Kerry, who is poised today to take control of the massive house of cards left behind by one of the most criminal organizations since the Nixon White House. But even if the Republicans manage to fall short in their racist and anti-democratic quest to steal enough votes to cling to power, a new president can't expect a free pass.

ELECTIONS
When facts go out the window

Bush's failed presidency
Lee Howard Hodges


The strange thing is that Bush has been a failure by the very standards of success he has set for himself, and that his supporters have set for him. He has not been an effective leader of the war on terrorism. Although the Taliban in Afghanistan was -- at least temporarily --defeated, Osama bin Laden remains as elusive as ever, as he recently demonstrated. There is no clear evidence al-Queda has been weakened. The al-Queda leaders that have been killed have almost certainly been replaced.

ELECTIONS
Vote for democracy

Kurdish Americans and the US elections
Kamal H. Artin

November 2 is a challenging day for Americans in general and for Kurdish Americans in particular. As a minority without international representation to safeguard its basic human rights, the Kurds always hope for a radical change in national and international politics. As members of a non-partisan organization, the Kurdish American Education Society, we should avoid as much as possible, public endorsements of any candidates; however, we would like to highlight a few relevant issues for the undecided voters in this election.

FICTION
Recovered

Short story
Ali Ohadi

Drenched green fields; wet, gabled roofs over half darkened windows with half drawn curtains; cows munching here and there; the cloudy autumn sky, emerging now and then among the trees along the tracks, extending like a bright umbrella above the fields; stations, empty of bustle save, one or two waiting as exhausted shadows in the corners; filling up and vanishing from the window frame. Shahla was somehow quite pleased to be on the way back to Schultzstrasse.

ELECTIONS
Message from Shiraz

"Please let everyone know that most every young Iranian supports George Bush"
Slater Bakhtavar

Few can forget President Bush's State of the Union speech in 2002 where he bluntly labeled the Iranian government alongside Iraq and North Korea as the world's leading advocates of terrorism. Not surprisingly immediately following the controversial speech Mideast experts, journalists, and politicians spewed forth an anchorage of viewpoints regarding its effects on the battle for the soul of Iran.

ELECTIONS
Forward not backward

Unlike the Neoconservative-infested Republican Party, the progressives in this country do not need to resort to whole scale fiction, seasoned with innuendos, to drive their points home
Payam Ean

I tend to wonder whether the Straussian Neoconservatives that drive Bush's foreign and domestic policies aren't, in actuality, ENVIOUS of the autocratic mullahs in Iran because of the latter's use of religion to maintain control. Interestingly, and despite its seemingly ironic inanity and potential counter-shrewdness, Iran's ruling mullahcracy nonetheless recently endorsed Bush for another term.No, the average student in Tehran knows more about political philosophy than the average student in Los Angeles.

ELECTIONS
The battleground

Ohio could determine the next US president
Azadeh Matinpour

Let me tell you, I moved to Columbus, Ohio in a very exciting time. As you know, we are the battle ground for the elections. We are a swing state that apparently will determine the presidential elections. I've seen every damn political figure go through this city...Howard Dean, Kerry, Bush, Taft, Edwards and so on. And I got to see Bruce Springsteen perform. Everyone is kissing our behind!

ELECTIONS
McBush

Sure a Big Mac looks good, but...
Maziar Shirazi

By no means would I say that Iranian-Americans throughout America are mostly conservative when one looks at the Midwest, Bay Area, or New York area. My personal opinion is that if anybody is "shoring up" or creating enemies for the US, it's the guy who sat around picking his nose in the Oval Office before September 11th before declaring a war similar in philosophy to our enormously successful "war on drugs". The doublespeak of Iranian Bushies is almost as good as the doublespeak coming from Bush himself.

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