Features

March 2005
Latest

APRIL FOOLS
Liberty Gulf

U.S. renames Persian Gulf to
" promote freedom and democracy"

ANTHEM
Rethinking "Ey Iran"

This terrible song is for silly royalists, whining Mossadeghists, sheepish ex-Hezbollahis, and clueless leftists, both inside and outside Iran
Hushang Shahabi-Sirjani

I have just opened my 27th Nowruz e-card containing a recording of Ey Iran. The centrality of this song to Iranians' collective identity first struck me when I gave a lecture at an Iranian association in the United States a few years ago. I was flabbergasted that proceedings began with a playing of Ey Iran, as the audience got up, put the right hand on the heart (an ancient Iranian gesture attested in the Avesta and the Shahnemeh, no doubt), and looked solemn.

APRIL FOOLS
Aghdashloo quits "24"

Iranian-American star leaves hit Fox TV show amid controvery
Ken Hakarimoran
Khollywood Reporter

In a stunning announcement Thursday at the Gala Night ceremonies, oscar-nominated actor Shohreh Aghdashloo announced she is quitting "24", the FOX counter-terrorism show. Aghdashloo, who was nominated last year for the supporting actress role in "The House of Sand and Fog," cited personal reasons for her decision. She said after long hours of contemplation and soul-searching, she could not continue with the show in good conscience.

PEACE
Omead's hope

Photo essay: Anti-war exhibit in San Francisco
Keyvan Fotoohi

MUSIC
Niyaz

Crossing back and forth over centuries of
musical expression

Vas vocalist Azam Ali, Axiom of Choice's multi-instrumentalist Loga Ramin Torkian, and producer/remixer Carmen Rizzo have joined forces to create a globe-spanning sound that the trio calls "folk music for the 21st century." Mingling the textures of traditional acoustic music with new electronica, Niyaz represents a finely-tuned balance that ushers in a new era of artistic possibilities for Iranian music.

POETRY
Baazi 5

Saaz raa meezaneem, sokhanraani raa pakhsh meekoneem va eshgh raa baazi...
Aram Gharib

IDENTITY
Are Iranians really Aryans?

That's not important. We should find common grounds based on respect, understanding, and finally, freedom -- not race
Ben Madadi

Every country and every nation, in one way or another, is bound to be defined as a united group. And in order to prosper and strengthen, it needs to have a definition, some fundamentals to unite the citizens or members. The lack of such a unity would render a country, or supposed nation, either unsustainable or properly unworkable. There is ample evidence to support this like the Soviet union or the former British empire.

LIFE
Alley of fate

Story
Azam Nemati

I had written this story last May but finished the last chapter recently. I had planned to publish it in the book which one of these days I will get around publishing but because I have had so many e-mails from readers asking me for stories of my college days I decided to sent it to the site. I do not like to make my stories short for the sake of some readers because my readers are not interested in short stories but the whole story.

IDENTITY
So where are you from?

I found that identifying myself as an Iranian in the U.S. was generally not a good idea
Soroush Kordestani

I am Iranian. Why is it difficult to utter these three simple words in the United States? Compared to Europeans, Americans seem generally less interested in anyone’s cultural origin. The assumption is that you are lucky to be here and to have the opportunities offered by this great nation. Talking about what you consider to be your home country is treated with suspicion particularly if you come from a “terrorist” country. Americans distrust their government in terms of domestic policy but trust it completely with foreign policy.

HOMOSEXUALITY
Ding dong! Ding dong!

Think about it: Which countries tolerate homosexuals, which want to kill them?
Dario Margeli

Last mont, for the first time in my life, I went to an Iranian embassy. The Iranian embassy in Madrid. I wanted to visit Iran as a tourist, just like I have visited many other places in the world without any problem. As I got out of the metro station, I saw the embassy of Pakistan. Walking towards the Iranian embassy I cross other embassies on the way. All normal so far. The Iranian embassy is located on a small street to my left.

SATIRE
Persian romance

He imagines under-age blondes running their hands through the Persian rug on his chest
Payam Ghamsari

She stands before me, the blonde highlights in her hair catching the chandelier's light. Her nose is small, slightly upturned and cosmetically straight. Her eyebrows arch gently like a crescent moon over her liquid chocolate eyes. She smiles with a "I will castrate you if you ask me to cook for you or try to take me from behind" look. There is a glint in her almond shaped eyes. Her skin is stained a powdery white, her cheeks blushing rouge, collagen enhanced lips, lined in black, life nourishing breasts, ample and full. A slender liposuctioned waist and wide child bearing hips...

ELECTIONS
Tahrim-e entekhaabaat kaafee neest

Boycotting presidential elections not enough
Hossein Bagher Zadeh

WORLD CUP
Without Daei

Iran goes against North Korea with notable absence of skipper Ali Daei
Siavush Randjbar-Daemi

Iran goes into the game with only one notable absence with respect to the team that faced Japan, that of skipper Ali Daei, who was subbed out at the end of the first half due to injury. Asian Player of the Year Ali Karimi will probably take his place, vacating his own central midfield position to Fereydoun Zandi, who is getting more and more into Team Melli schemes, despite his lack of adequately spoken Persian.

 

DIASPORA
Ash-e reshteh nation

Our diluted culture
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

On Sunday, the Iranians of San Diego had a fantastic time at Balboa Park. Not only did we celebrate Nowruz again -- eight days after its arrival -- but the Mayor unveiled the monumental copy of the first declaration of freedom by Cyrus the Great, and everyone wished everyone else a Happy Easter. Two American musicians -- an oboist and a kettle drummer -- repeated the same set of notes on their dohol-sorna until I could sense the approach of my suicidal nervous breakdown and probably would have if I wasn’t rescued by the aroma of chicken kabob.

HOLIDAYS
Dar setaayesh-e betaalat

Holiday culture in Iran
Mohammad Ghaed

BOOK
Everything will be fine

Excerpt from "Even After All this Time"
Afschineh Latifi

On February 13, 1979, my father, Colonel Mohammad Bagher Latifi, was detained at his barracks in the Farah Abad section of Tehran. A group of enlisted men stepped into his office, relieved him of his weapon, and informed him that he was under arrest. Less than an hour later, three men arrived at the barracks, escorted my father into the back of an open jeep, and drove away. As the jeep approached the main gate, on its way out of the facility, my father asked if he could leave his house keys behind for my mother.

ART
Green gray orange

Nowruz art
Negar Assari-Samimi

WORLD CUP
Tab-e daagh-e footbaal dar qalb-e sard-e Canada

Soccer fever among Toronto Iranians during Iran-Japan match
Souryeh Kabiri

MUSIC
Afro-Persian

I immulate the language and song of a bird rather that the radif notation
Larri

My music has some sapects of gushe from Mirza Abdolla radif , but it also has some melody influence from "Jimi Hendrix" radif. So I call it Arfo-Persian as not to offend traditional Persian ostads . I have great love and respect for the music and culture.

GEOGRAPHY
Plain of paradise

Origins of Fenderesk
Guive Mirfendereski

I began this exploration into the origins of Fenderesk a few years ago in order to fill a nagging void left from my childhood. I had been fascinated with the name because it was an unusual-sounding name, one of a kind, and worse than sounding Russian no elder in the family could explain its meaning. We all knew there was a place called Fenderesk, located at the heart of a region northeast of Gorgan where the interplay among the plains, mountains and streams produced in the springtime an unrivalled floriferous scenery -- so beautiful in fact that parts of this region had earned the name ‘plain of paradise’ and ‘king’s pleasure.’

POETRY
Fasseleh

For Neve Farahandouz
Mandana Zandian

LIFE
Dar setaayesheh shaadee

In praise of happiness
Massoud Noghrekar

ROYAL
Crown jewel

What we are offered in the memory of our fragile Princess, is a lesson in love
Reza Bayegan

Sunday was the 35th birthday of Iran’s Princess Leila Pahlavi who died in June 2001 in London. Her death was by and large due to the pain of an exile that had become unbearable to her. Accordingly, the coincidence of her birthday with the days of Iran’s greatest national celebration, marking the beginning of spring could not have been more felicitous. This beautiful Princess renewed in our hearts a passion for the country she could not live without. She made us search in our souls and see that what was sine qua non to her was also absolutely essential to our own spiritual survival. Her tragic death made us more than ever aware of the urgency of liberating our homeland.

ADVICE
Shokooh's couch

She drinks too much
Shokooh Miry

A reader writes: I am dating a great woman and we have always been very close. Lately I have noticed that she drinks a lot. When we first met, we used to go out a lot and drink and I guess I never noticed. I have been paying close attention and I think she drinks close to a bottle of wine every night. When I asked her about this very gently she said that it helps her sleep better and that it is harmless. My question is when does drinking get or become dangerous and at what point do I have to worry about this behavior?

ADVICE
What's up, Tech?

Email fraud; PDF files
Tourang Birangi

Once in a while I receive these emails in broken English from Prince of Gamibia (a small African nation that nobody has ever heard of, claiming that his father left a 2 million dollar fortune and that he needs my help getting this money out of the country. Subsequently he needs my bank account number to deposit this money into or $5000 in cash would be fine too. As ridiculous as these emails sound, I have heard that some people have actually fallen prey to them and ended up giving up their bank account numbers to these criminals who took them to cleaners.

POETRY
Sisters, choke

Living stories / that stay untold
Setareh Sabety

POETRY
California-ye man

Dar talaash baraa-ye peydaa kardan-e tavaazon
Mehran

POETRY
Khamooshaaneh

Na'reh-o-baadeh-ye baadeh-gosaaraanat koo?
Mohammad Reza Shafeie Kadkani

POETRY
Mosht-haaye sabz-e nowruzi

Moshti baraa-ye Iran / moshti baraa-ye man
Alireza Tarighian

POETRY
Ravaadeed

Visa
Orkideh Behrouzan

POETRY
Ode to the eggplant

Olive oil would simply be lost without you
Persis Karim

POETRY
Healer

I wave at you / With history at the tip of my tongue
Farid Parsa

POETRY
Is Islam a terrorist religion?

Alcohol, sex, gay marriage, vulgarity / AIDS, all in your free advanced society
Ashaq Raza

POETRY
Siaaho va teshneh

Mohti baraa-ye Iran / moshti baraa-ye man
Kimia Arian

POETRY
Remembering a blissful presence

That elusive dream I blindly grab for / stares back at me
Meenoo Chahbazi

POETRY
Complementary mourning 84

Wake up; it's the postmodern mediated chat
Hossein Hashemi

POETRY
Between me and you

You tell me the news and I show you the night sky
Sara Ansari

PHOTOGRAPHY
Abyaneh

Photo essay
Ehsan Shahinsefat

SATIRE
Heritage shmeritage

‘Preserving’ Iranian culture
Peyvand Khorsandi

New York has a network of dead Iranians. Last week they took to the streets to take part in the embarrassing and misnamed ‘Persian’ parade. Pick up a copy of Persian Heritage magazine and you will know what I mean. Meanwhile, Iran Heritage Foundation, is busy ‘preserving’ Iranian culture in association with London’s Victoria & Albert museum... and its long-running love affair with film-maker Abbas Kiarostami continues. Here’s their May programme in full:

BOOKS
As you wish

Excerpts from "A Persian Letter"
Nasser Shojania

SOON AFTER OUR FATHER PASSED AWAY we moved from the nameless cul-de-sac in Sanguelaj District to an open ended, well-known street in Tehran, named Koucheh-ye Del-Bekhah, meaning As-You-Wish Street. It was located near the southern limits of Tehran, just before the intersection of Amirieh Avenue with Mokhtari Avenue. It connected the prestigious Amirieh Avenue to its dusty parallel, See-metree Avenue. The Mokhtari Avenue was named after the brutal chief of police during the time of Reza Shah, who was tried and sentenced to a few years in prison after Reza Shah was replaced by his son during the Second World War.

OPINION
Thanks to Tankman

The seed of the present mushrooming of successful civilian revolutions
Iqbal Latif

Even freedom seekers and optimists across the globe would be surprised with the pace of contemporary happenings: freeing Afghanistan from clutches of a bastardized version of the "Green Revolution" and Iraq from a "blood-infested version of secular tyranny" are surprisingly reassuring symbols for enslaved masses. The "domino effect" of the regime changes in Afghanistan and Iraq has led to a number of popular uprisings around the world, mostly recognisable by the colourful names that are given to them.

WRITING AWARDS
* From a distance
* Letter home

iranian.com feature writers Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani and Kathy Katayoon Hadizdeh are two of the Grand Prize winners in the California Council for the Humanities/New California Media Letter Home Contest annouced yesterday. Congratulations!

WORLD CUP
Maa eydi meekhaaym yaallaa!

Team Melli should give Iranians a Nowruz present by defeating Japan
Siavush Randjbar-Daemi

On Friday, Asia's currently two best teams (Iran and Japan take turns in being ahead of each other in the monthy FIFA World Rankings) will go head to head in the West Tehran cauldron, where a crowd of over 100,000 Iranians, most of whom afforded the spare time of the lengthy Nowrouz holidays and the economic incentive of the promise of free tickets for some parts of the stadium, will match a determined contingent of fans who will arrive from Tokyo.

FICTION
Adam and Eve

Short story
Arash Emamzadeh

"Why in hell aren't you worshiping me, Satan?" Adam asked, while scratching his nuts. Adam was standing on a stage, well above hundreds of angels, all of whom had kneeled before him except Satan. "Are you referring to me?" Satan replied. "No, I'm talkin' to the other spirit with flames comin' out of his ass...of course I'm talkin' to ya!" Adam screamed back. "Are you referring to me?" Satan enquired. "Yes, yes, you Deniro- wanna- be. I feel like I'm talkin' to that soldier in 'Taste of Cherry'. What are you, deaf?"

DUBAI
Royal Mirage

A holiday to remember
Siamack Salari

SATIRE
Ensaan, Arashmidos va raadikaalizm

Man, Archimedes and radicalism
Mohammad Ali Esfahani

IRANIANS
Tomorrows of togetherness

Who am I in relation to Iran and Islam in the new millennium?
Natalie Esfandiari

As thinkers and artists of our time, maybe we should learn how to be inclusive in our ways and find that point in our fabric, that spiritual center -- not a mosque, church or temple -- that can include all of us. We are now living in every part of the world and the world always demands our best. Our challenge as Iranians is to find the tomorrows of togetherness spiritually and physically. We should realize how close we are inside. We argue, but deep inside we know in our hearts we are so similar.

BOOK
Maadaraan va dokhtaraan

A review of Mahshid Amirshahi's "Mothers and Daughters"
Hassan Behgar

HISTORY
The glorious Gutians

Historic Kurdistan as ancient Gutium
Samar Abbas

One of the clearest indicators that the powerful Gutians of Gutium were members of the Irano-Afghan race is provided by the geographical location of ancient Gutium, which lies within the modern orbit of the distribution of Irano-Aryan languages. In fact, ancient Gutium appears to have been merely another name for modern Kurdistan, a region inhabited by the Iranic-speaking Kurds today. In this regard, the great savant Archibald H. Sayce holds that the name of Kurdistan represents a mere derivation of 'Gutium':

CELEBS
Simply jealous

Our national psychological disorder
Taraneh Izadi

I was watching an interview with Shahreh Aghdashloo the other night in which she verbally attacked Googoosh. Aghdashloo has done this on many occasions and I have always wondered why. I would like to analyze the situation to get to the bottom of the matter. What is wrong with our culture that we can never tolerate each other? Why do we resort to personality assasination to detroy others whenever we get a chance? I would like to ask you the reader to help me find some answers.

MEMORIES
Shahr-e Farang

Going to the movies in Tehran
Bahram Saghari

Going to the movies was a paradox in my family: While it was a common event and we probably went to the movies at least once a week, it somehow maintained its novelty and remained an exciting event. For us kids it was hardly ever the actual movie, it was rather the whole process of going to the movies that was all the fun.

AMERICA
New York Persian Parade

Photo essay
Alireza Tarighian

U.N.
The piano and the stool

How to reform the United Nations
Fereydoun Hoveyda

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has proposed a series of reforms of the world organization, including new rules for use of military force and adopting a tough anti-terrorism treaty that would. Among other things he is seeking to enlarge the membership of the Security Council, overhaul the discredited Human Rights Commission, increase development aid and debt relief to poor countries and stem the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

FICTION
Zir-e Aseman

Short story
Mohammad Hossainzadeh

ANIMAL
Farewell to a dog

I often wonder if the roots of cruelty in our society does not rest with our cruelty toward animals
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi

Kim's dog, Blossom, died last Thursday, apparently of a brain stroke, and left us a huge void. A beautiful, gentle, smart, and eternally playful golden retreiver, Blossom was considered the fourth member of my sister's family, and for some eight long years she was their guardian angel, barking at any stranger even approaching their home, in Palo Alto, California. So, as we celebrate Nowrooz and the dawn of the new year, my family is grappling with the sadness of Blossom's untimely departure.

WAR
Making little girls cry

Scars of divorce vs. scars of war
Hamid Bakhsheshi

Years ago my cousin, who had just separated from her husband decided to stay with us after my repeated requests and pleading with her to do so. She was the typical Iranian girl who wanted to get out of Iran so badly that she married a promise. This guy's grandmother was a neighbor of my aunt's and upon seeing my cousin, thought she would be a good candidate for her beloved grandson in the U.S. He was an engineer, a rarity among Iranian men in the U.S.!

ADVICE
What's up, Tech

Yahoo groups & PDF files
Tourang Birangi

Wouldn't it be great if you could just send your emails to let's say myfriends@xyz.com and all of your friends receive it? then your friends can send an email to the same email address (or reply to the one you sent) and yourself and others receive it? Well Yahoo Groups comes to the rescure.

SATIRE
Payback time

A woman leads prayers? What's left of Moslem men's dignity?
Siamack Baniameri

On Friday March 18, 2005 something interesting happened. Amina Wadud, a professor of Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, led an Islamic prayer service before a congregation of 100 Moslem men and women at Synod House at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan. As expected, a few hours later, all hell broke loose... I feel the anger of my fellow fundamentalist brothers. We're not only challenged by an intellectual who knows her Islam but, even worse, we're challenged by a woman.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Yankee come home

Anti-war rally in San Francisco
Jahanshah Javid

WOMEN
Mojgan's dilemma

"To succeed in this city you will eventually have to remove your hejab in public," I told her
Mahin Bahrami

Her petite figure was conveniently packaged in a fashionable blue overcoat and her restless head wrapped in a matching sky blue veil. She had just stepped into the heavy gulf air surrounding the airport, her lungs filled with anxieties about what lays ahead. It was her first time in a foreign land. She had heard a great deal about the cosmopolitan Arab city and was only too eager to experience its magic and splendor.

REMEMBERANCE
The day the sun never rose

For the children of Halabcha
Cklara Moradian

... An unnatural wind began to blow behind me and my long dark hair and colorful dress moved about violently. My heart began to pound upon my fragile chest as the birth of day was stopped by a monster shaped helicopter, flying right above me towards the city I had first opened my eyes to see. Fear began to entangle itself around me, squeezing my body, making it hard to catch the ever escaping air.

DIARY
Zendegi-ye yek khalabaan

Private thoughts of an airline pilot
Amir Kasravi

I have recently decided to put pen on the paper, in this case my fingers on the keyboard, and share my private thoughts and experiences during my years as a pilot for Iran Air and airlines in the Western world. This would be part of a book I'm writing about flying, pleasure, anxiety, thoughts and behaviors of airline pilots and their passengers.

IDEAS
The game goes on

We try and go on because it’s Nowruz!
Amir

In chess, the king is a figure that ought not move or be moved much, and the life of the game depends on the very survival of the king, but wanting the game over, the nihilistic approach in the crisis of values beyond a systematic thought patterns, as apposed to what the nobles saw as game.

NEW YEAR
Nowruz-e barfi

Away from Iran
Sadaf Kiani

POETRY
Nowruz 1384

Nowruz raa baa yaad-e khaaneh / Mehmaan-e shahri deegaram man
Orkideh Behrouzan

MANNERS
Ta'arof

A lie is no longer considered a sin when hospitality is the intention
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

“Please step on my eyeball!” is how we invite people into our homes. (Excuse me? Step on my eyeball?) “This is your home and whatever I have belongs to you.” Heaven forbid, he says something in reference to having disturbed the kids. “My children are your slaves!” you’ll declare. Let’s hope your guest is also Persian and knows ta’arof so that not only no one takes advantage, but she may respond with equal enthusiasm and similar pleasantries. “May your hand not hurt; may God grant you tea in heaven!” As for your children, “They are the crown on my head, may I be sacrificed for them!”

THEATRE
Stage presence

Acting
Kourosh Salehi

Soudabeh Neeya is one of Iran's finest acting talents with an impressive body of work. I first saw her on stage at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1987 and was bowled over by her stage presence. She had been living in Paris and was in London to perform the female lead in Iraj Jannati Ataie's play "Prometheus in Evin". The work and her part received critical acclaim and she went on to perform the same part in English at the Young Vic afterwards. She has appeared in films, plays and television Dramas alike.

SPORTS
Iron woman

Mehrnoush "Noushi" Barmaki shows us all how over 40 doesn't stop you from being world class
Behrouz Bahmani

As a hobby writer, I am always amazed at how stories seem to land in my lap. As did this one. I heard about the person you will get to know next, from the farthest of connections, a phone call about a technical issue of no great importance. Mehrnoush "Noushi" Barmaki as you will see, is a treasure. A disciplined, and dedicated person, challenged by both circumstance and herself, to overcome normal and abnormal obstacles. A definition of a winner. A spokesperson for women (and men) over 40 facing the realities of shall we politely call, gravity!

REVIEW
Cheraagh-e haghighat... nakhaahad mord

A reply to Iraj Mesdaghi prison memoirs "Nah zeestan, nah marg"
Hamneshine Bahar

BAHAI
Thanks to Khomeini

Disrespecting the dead
Cyrus Iranzad

As a result of the Islamic Revolution, I now have as many as 300 cousins and relatives, all descendants of my great grandfather in about 10 countries worldwide, anywhere from Canada, Britain, Venezuela, Romania, China and New Zealand. Though we were mere middle class folk in Iran, many of my cousins have achieved fair amounts of financial and educational success -- and I suppose in an ironic way they have Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers to thank.

IRAN-US
Sooner or later

We have to deal with Iran
Shahriar Afshar

Faced with a variety of priorities in a second Presidential term and the growing $280 billion bill for the War on Terror, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the US Administration’s tone with Iran has changed over night. This is a dramatic shift in US policy and perhaps a cautious step towards a less costly and diplomatic solution with Iran. The rest of the world welcomes the President’s initiative but some may be privately concerned for their own benefits.

GOD
Undying faith

Money helps... but faith is the key to happiness
Sami Nilli

Without some kind of faith in something or someone greater and more omnipotent than ourselves, we lead meaningless and empty lives. We are not dogs, cats, tress or bugs. We are God's most glorious creation and all we need do is remember that. Always keeping that in mind, we will never forget to believe in Him. He is here, there and everywhere. If you are His friend now, perhaps He will be your friend tomorrow. If, however, you forget Him in this life, He'll forget you in the next. I'm not trying to preach here, but I just want to give you something to think about.

LIFE
Stockwell Station

Eid-e-shoma mobarak!
Peyvand Khorsandi

Outside Stockwell station, in a gap between the Costcutter store and the low outer wall of a small housing project, there is a platform of wooden crates. Everyday an Iranian man and woman travel to Stockwell, in south London, from Shepherd’s Bush in the west, and set up shop there. Batteries, small synthetic rugs, prayer mats and toothpaste decorate the makeshift stall.

TRAVELERS
Checkpoint

4Shanbeh-Soori party in Iran: anxiety & freedom
Nana

Two nights ago I witnessed pop culture progression among Iran's youngest generation. There was a gathering at a villa in the outskirts which I went with one of my good friends. The villa itself was spectacular, not because of it being as luxurious as a castle, so to speak; but because of its use of architecture and design to ensure comfort. A green gate opened to a vast field divided in several sections that were levels going underground. Each level had a different use.

LANGUAGE
Modern Persian

New books with audio CD
Donald Stilo, Kamran Talattof and Jerome Clinton

The language presented in Modern Persian: Spoken and Written, Volumes I and II, is that of contemporary Iran, particularly as it is spoken by educated inhabitants of the capital city, Tehran. The text (and the accompanied glossaries and audio CD) is designed to provide beginning students Persian sufficient to meet most everyday needs. Once students have finished these books, they should be able to understand colloquial Persian spoken at normal speed; to speak it fluently and idiomatically, although with a limited vocabulary and grammatical range; to read elementary but unsimplified texts; and to write legibly.

NEW YEAR
'Tis the season

On Sunday morning my family will awaken and dutifully dress in new clothing from the skin out and stand around our haft-seen at 4:34 in the morning
Lilly Ghahremani

With age, I've broadened my appreciation of Persian holidays. Rewind. I grew up, indeed, I think all three of us Ghahremani offspring did, with the mistaken impression that we were Christian Persians. We lived in a Jewish suburb of Chicago. For December arts and crafts you did red and green or you did blue and white. I went with red and green and called it a day. My sister explored more, going through a brief period of exploring Judaism, tacking a homemade Star of David on her door and issuing my mom a stern warning: "don't CHOUCH it!"

MUSIC
Nima & Merge

Fusion of jazz, world music,
and progressive rock

AMERICA
What can Goli Ameri do?

New US human rights rep can raise awareness against IRI's growing pressure on dissidents
Goudarz Eghtedari

Regardless of what motivated the President Bush to appoint Ameri to this position, now that she is there it is our duty to congratulate her and wish her the best. Meantime it is also our duty to remind her of the importance of the seat she occupies and the delicacy needed in maneuvering as an Iranian-American with all the good intentions that I am sure she has.

HOMOSEXUALITY
Canada is not Eden

Say "OK, fine" to gay marriage
Maziar Shirazi

There are several cultures in which "gay" marriage has always been accepted. Even within the Christian faith, there are an increasing number of denominations that bless same-sex marriages; a lot of people who know the Bible a whole lot better than you two have different ideas about who can and cannot get married. Your debate about the intrinsic nature of marriage is misinformed, more the product of your dogmatic religious beliefs than your actual amount of knowledge concerning the matter.

POLITICS
Frankly, here's the problem

Issues facing Iranian candidates for upcoming presidential elections
Amir Nasiri

I can not see any distinction amongst all these presidential candidates; they are all mullahs or support mullahs, so they are corrupt and money/power greedy. But who cares about me? I know many of my fellow country men and women will go to vote. Therefore I would like these candidates to be clearer on certain issues and subjects that concerns millions of Iranians and try to explain these issues in frank and honest way.

ARTS
Effacements

Sneak peek at upcoming show
Ali Dadgar

SATIRE
Zan Zallil

Magazine 4 Persian men... who can't make decisions
Siamack Baniameri

POLITICS
Foulad man

His mission is to educate Iranians about their history and more importantly their religion, Islam
Pesare Gol

When you flip through the Iranian satellite channels you eventually get to MA TV. You will see the figure of a middle-aged man with a slick hair style and flashy clothes often matching the colors of the Iranian flag. Last week his followers stunned the world by refusing to deplane a Lufthansa flight bound to Brussels unless they talk to high level European officials and brief them about the dismal situation of their country. This is one of only a few operations that Fouladvand and his followers have thought of with the intention to free Iran.

ARTS
Karan

Paintings
Karan Reshad

GAYS
Say no to same-sex marriage

No matter what the case, marriage has been and always will remain a religious sanction
Cid Davoodi & Jordan Cross

This month, my friend (Jordan Cross) and I decided that we will challenge two other students in our school on whether same-sex marriage is right or wrong. As you know the marriage between two males is now being legalized in Canada, so I decided I should pitch in my two cents. To my surprise, this article was not accepted by the newspaper and we are in the proccess of writing a new one so that we are not "hateful" and are not "discriminating".

HISTORY
Amir Abbas Hoveyda's memoirs

* University years
* Military service
* World War II

PHOTOGRAPHY
Shiraz is ready for Norooz

Photo essay
Ehsan Shahinsefat

REPORTER
Should I even be here?

What draws me back to Baghdad again and again
Borzou Daragahi

"We're being followed," my translator Nadeem said, repeating the message that Mohammad, the driver of our "chase" or second car, had just relayed via walkie-talkie. Our would-be pursuer, driving a flashy gray Nissan SUV with red rally stripes, had been behind us since we left the hotel. He spoke into either a walkie-talkie or satellite phone as he cut across several lanes of traffic to follow us off an exit ramp and stayed close behind our two-car convoy as we wound our way through the Qadasiya district.

LIFE
Blair, death and Dignity

Who, one wonders, is really in the business of death?
Peyvand Khorsandi

It is a hot day in England. Phil and I have been in the garden reading papers. One of the stories was about a funeral service company that had lost money due to a drop in the death rate in the UK in the past six months. But the company was confident this was merely a ‘quirk’ and that the death rate soon would pick up. Dignity, the firm in question, specializes in horse-drawn carriage treatment. In life this is reserved for royals but in death for anyone with a few bob to spare.

HISTORY
Watching the war

Amir Abbas Hoveyda's
World Warr II diary

MUSIC
Googoosh international

Two songs in English, one in French and one in Italian
Shirin Sanjabi

PHOTOGRAPHY
Man & nature

Photo essay
Said Khorram

FICTION
Mrs. Jung's bouquet of yellow flowers

Short story
Massoud Noghrehkar

I smell something and wonder if someone has urinated in a corner of the hallway. But no, the comers in the hallway are sparkling clean, as always. The smell in my room isn't as pungent as that in the hallway. I spray air freshener to cover the smell and take another peek at the hallway. “Oh, it's from Mrs. Jung's.” Yes, the smell is definitely from her apartment. That was nothing new, but the smell was never this strong. “Poor old woman! She obviously can't control herself.”

WRITING
Critique versus criticism

A writer’s response
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

One of the most valuable lessons I learned in creative writing, concerns the difference between critique and criticism. Although in Persian we do have the word “naghd” for critique and “eerad” for criticism, most of us tend to use the word “enteghad” for both. However, in English, critique is objective while criticism is more personal and often tends to find fault.

LIFE
Late love

I am looking at what I really am and what I see I do not like
J. E. Sharjahri

I am a 40-year-old failure in life. The immediate causes of my failure to live up to my potential as an adult are all those things that I have done to myself. Honestly demands that I take responsibility for my many shortcomings, failings and behaviors, so I shall do this. When I look at myself in the mirror I see a man who has deliberately sabotaged his own life to a great extent. I am flawed and I am sure that I will be flawed until the day that I die. I have come to realize, however, that with my many deficiencies of character, I do not have to succumb forever to the demons which luck deep within my heart.

DESIGN
Shahrzad goes to Milan

Fashion
Parsua Bashi

POLITICS
Yazdi va Karbala

Still insisting on mixing politics & religion
Hassan Behgar

CELEBS
Aghdashloo has it all

My God, when are we going to understand that she is an actress and she has to show she can tackle any role?
Azam Nemati

Aghdashloo is an Academy-award nominee as well as a nominee for other prestigious awards. She is beautiful, educated and you should all be proud of her. Simply put, there is no reason for her to be jealous of Googoosh (or any other woman) because she has it all. Also, let's be fair: acting is her livelihood and if the role is interesting and not demeaning why shouldn't she take it?

ADVICE
Legal Ali

Small claim / commercial rent
Ali Taheripour

Q: I live in Houston, Texas and last year I won a judgment in small claims court against the owner of a wrecking company for about $900 but he has not paid. Although the amount is not a lot, as a matter of principal I would like to find out how I can pursue this case. I have contacted several lawyers and it seems like none of them are willing to take this case because the financial rewards are not appealing. Is there any way I can follow it up myself?

BOOKS
Iran with Lolita in Persepolis

Presentations of the Iranian Revolution by Nafisi and Satrapi
Teresa Camacho

The Iranian Revolution is the period depicted in Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi and in Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi each in their refreshingly new way though each has its own problems. Though there are similarities in the backgrounds of both authors since they are both from wealthy and educated Iranian families there are differences in their depictions of the period as well as how they see Iran in the present.

DEATH METAL
The voice of music

I saw society and watched my own existence through the eyes of something higher
O'meed Entezari

It was on one of those special Saturdays that Death Metal spoke to me. As I had done so many times before, I inserted a disc into my computer, turned the volume up to an agreeable level, and closed my eyes after I'd become comfortable on my bed. "Atheist" is the name of the band I had played that day and they are typically described as a Jazz-Death metal fusion band; they're adventurous style inspired many including myself.

FLIGHT
Just a lie... honest

She had me confused
Arash Emamzadeh

"This story is just a lie. I mean... I don't believe it," said the old man sitting next to me. He bent down towards me and whispered, "You were only nine?" I nodded. He chuckled as he leaned back again. His rosy cheeks were nearly red. He took off his fogged up glasses again and started wiping them off with a blue napkin. He shook his head and chuckled again.

CULTURE
Barkhord-e khordeh farhang-haa

Clash of subcultures in revelry and in mourning
Mohammad Ghaed

BOOK
Sharing your sorrow

Sometimes one writes to hold a hand across the universe and to use one’s knowledge and pave the way for others
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

One may write for a variety of reasons: to express emotions, provoke thoughts, entertain, and yes, even to make a living. But considering that writing is one of the least profitable occupations, I am inclined to think that most do it for the love of word itself, that they come to a point in life where writing becomes their only way to reach out to the world. And, yes, sometimes we write because we fear that if we don’t, an explosion is imminent.

IDENTITY
Looking for home

I learnt to try and disguise my Middle Eastern appearance until I became Spanish or Italian or Greek. Not any more.
Soraya George

My mum is very English and looks nothing like me. She has no knowledge of Iranian culture and neither did I. My dad was a man I had read about in flowery love letters. I was labeled Pakistani at first. I went to school with chants of "paki paki paki". I found that I had more in common with children from Jamaica or Africa then I did with English kids so I started mixing with them. I was then labeled a "nigger lover", and that went on for years. I could only safely get home in one piece if I had friends with me, otherwise it was a 15-minute run home.

IDEAS
The intangibles

For democracy to take root, we need a renaissance within the Iranian psyche
Mahin Bahrami

From the above trend in the past century one can with certainty predict that should there be another change of regime in Iran in the near future a similar cycle will be experienced by the next generation, only under a different auspice. Therefore, it makes more sense to step back and stop pushing blindly for a superficial regime change. Instead let us look more objectively at the roots of this repeated failure.

POETRY
Redemption

My salvation is at your mercy
Shahrzad Irani and Guive Mirfendereski

SATIRE
Life in terms of BellGheis Khanoom

Ten stages of life
Bahram Saghari

Have your heard the joke about the three stages of marriage? In the year you have sex in every imaginable place. Then for the next five years, sex doesn't go beyond the bed. Finally after 10 years of marriage, all you have is “hallway sex”: When you pass your spouce in the hallways, you say “Fuck you!” Here are the 10 periods of life I found posted anonymously online. I translated it from Persian:

ARTS
Making faces

Fashion
Niki Koohpaima

POETRY
Agahi-ye haraaj-e Superwoman

She's not a cow, but can give milk
Leila Farjami

POETRY
La femme… La Vie

French
Parviz Abolgassemi

TRAVELERS
Desert treasure

Part 4: An American's travels in Iran in 1973
Rick Misterly

Driving by the cab we all got up and waved, smiling and laughing to the driver and passenger, two men in what appeared to be their late twenties, very surprised to see a cargo like us, waving and laughing, as well. Taking our place in front of them we all came alive with mouths watering, craving watermelon. Surely a huge truck loaded with the succulent green fruit could at least give up one or two for the sake of these poor, hot, hungry travelers. We told Bernard to slow down so the watermelon truck could get closer, we didn't want to lose them.

LIFE
Flower boy

Short story
P. Mirfakhraei

He is so small he can barely reach their windows. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some shiny and new, some dirty and old. When he looks at them coming toward him at the intersection, he sees faces instead of the car fronts. He likes to put faces on them as a game to help pass the time between the green lights. Some cars look like angry men and some look like smiling kids.

MIDDLE EAST
Freedom's long march

It is only a matter of time before the proverbial walls come tumbling down from Beirut to Tehran
Cyrus Rasti

"Freedom is on the March!" This was stated by President Bush in response to the recent events that have been taking place in the Middle East. Actions of great magnitude have occurred in the Arab world that can lead to bigger and greater things in the Middle East. I'm sure a lot of Mr. Bush's elitist critics are grinding their teeth in frustration at being wrong. They were wrong in thinking that Dubya's aspirations for liberty in the Middle East were nothing more than a pipe dream.

POLITICS
Death Squad Democracy?

No thank you. The IRI would be a far better evil than the evil leaders America could export to Iran
Farhat Quammaquami

U.S. interference in Iran is a reality. The Iranian government must realize and act now to neutralize it or Iran might join the other burned and devastated lands of Middle East with a "democratically" elected puppet government who will destroy it for the next 25 years. Having seen the atrocities that the Americans committed in Fallujah, I suspect that is what coming up for Iran and the rest of the Middle East.

ADVICE
What's up, Tech?

Necessary firewall
Tourang Birangi

If you access the internet using a DSL or cable connection, or even a modem, it is highly recommended and in some cases necessary to install a "firewall" on your computer. What's a firewall? In simple terms it's the doorman who stands by the door checking people's id cards. It then decides who to let it in and who to send back home.

INTERVIEW
The young scientist

Award-winning molecular biologist Saba Valadkhan
Jahanshah Javid

Who was the teacher who inspired you most?
I think we were blessed with great teachers. Mrs. Farnia, who was our chemistry teacher in high school, told us "if you girls use your brains, you'll see why it's important to study hard: if you become a doctor, you'll be able to hire someone to help you in the housework, otherwise, you'll have to wash all the dirty linen yourself!" That threat was sure to work with me!

LIFE
Igor

There are some things you just don’t say
Peyvand Khorsandi

Igor is the sort of guy if he made a joke about your mother you’d pat him on the back and say “That was funny.” We are at his house and the mercy of his hospitality. He has fed us skewered prawns doused with more salt than they were exposed to in the sea. Hefty and bald, Igor is a best-to-smile-but-no-eye-contact type. A Serb, he lives with his wife Goga and their son in Notting Hill in London.

RELIGION
Happy medium

Listen up boys and girls: We are now at a day and age when religion is more or less a personal choice
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

Recently, I came across two diverse articles in the Iranian, one by Pesar Gol and the other a response by Sanaz. I can only imagine how emotional, and perhaps young, they both must be. Their heated discussions reminded me of decades ago and similar arguments in my family. The problem is, in a society that is in desperate need of unity, too many debates seem to be going on.

MUSIC
Dariush

Tracks from his newest CD "Raah-e man"
eWorldrecords

POETRY
Baazi (2) (3) (4)

Ayandeh raa man khaaham saakht
Aram Gharib

RHYME
There was a young Shirazi girl

Her unibrow spread
The width of her head
Babak Khiavchi

POETRY
Baraa-ye naam-e toe

"This is Tehran, the voice of the Democratic Republic of Iran"
Mehran

FICTION
Zanaan-e sarzamin-e man baa eshgh meemeerand

Dedicated to activist women
Mahmoud Khalili

GURU
Zen of tennis

88 instructions on tactics and strategy for tennis warriors in the tradition of Art of War
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi

POETRY
Atefeh's execution

She has risen again, some say.
Given her body over to the flight
Of souls
Persis M. Karim

POETRY
The knock out punch

You must not only pay
For your own sins
But also the sins of others
Sasan Seifikar

POETRY
War is war

Like a wounded love, fragments of souls and hearts fly into the abyss
Patricia Byron

POETRY
Kindness

When you shed a tear
Just by watching the news
Shoja Adel

POETRY
Omid

Today is not the last day of the world
Shahrokh Setoudeh

POETRY
The day I became "baby"

I wanted to go away somewhere blue and gray, where tropicalities and pacifics don’t matter
Arash Daneshzadeh

POETRY
Embrace

Tomorrows so uncertain and yesterdays ever so lost
I embrace the present and those around
Ana Hojjati

POETRY
Spring
-- Bahaar-e ghorbat
-- Beh peeshbaaz-e bahaar
-- Arezoo-ye bahaar
Poems
Jahangir Sedaghatfar

POETRY
Entre nous

because you are my mother tongue
and because as you played your santour
Samira Mohyeddin

POETRY
The night and us

I stand up and open the window
for the runaway breeze to come back home
Farah Afshari

POETRY
A human insight

When flowerbeds are made from the skin
of the dead, butterflies can’t afford
to have the wings to fly
Sheema Kalbasi

POETRY
Madineye faazeleh

Khaak raa khoob meeshenaasam
Chon laabelaayash dafn shodam
Ali Tabibzadeh

POETRY
Aida in the mirror

Ahmad Shamloo
Translated by Fouad Kazem

POETRY
Fifteen

Do not attempt
To incorporte the word "justice"
Abol Hassan Danesh

POETRY
Dung flies

It's funny how they all claim to be different
Ali Zandi

POETRY
Bedoon-e "Oscar"am hargez

Man... goolhaayam raa khordeh-am
Kimia Arian

POETRY
Undefeated

I can be heaven
I can be thunder
Baharak Sedigh

POETRY
Evanescence

Was I really the propagator or was it a dream?
Slater Bakhtavar

OPINION
Who's to stop them?

Vigilance of democrats against shades of theocracy is the only protection against the erosion of secularism
Ahmad Sadri

Can Shiite and Sunni clergy and their lieutenants use the proxy of democratic processes of Iraq to establish the "Shariah" as the law of the land? I am afraid all this is possible. There is no silver-bullet solution to this problem in democratic Iraq or in democratic anywhere. Every liberal democracy, constitutional provisions for separation of church and state not withstanding, is as secular as its constituents wish to be.

FICTION
Dars-e avval

Short story
Mohammad Hossainzadeh

SATIRE
A letter to the woman upstairs

Weighing heaven and hell
Siamack Baniameri

Dear God, hope all is well with you. I'm doing alright, as you know, but I'm a little concerned. At my old age, I've been thinking more and more about death. As you know, that's what we old people do all day: worrying about death, medicine and diapers. And with all due respect, I'm a bit disappointed with choices that are available to me after I die. After all, I would've liked to have a few more options regarding my final destination.

MIDDLE EAST
Wider goal

On the U.S. threats against Iran
Interview with the leader of Worker-Communist Party of Iran

Hamid Taqvaee: US is undoubtedly not pleased with the Islamic Republic of Iran having nuclear weapons. However I don't think this is the main reason for the US' threat. It is similar to what happened recently in Iraq - the USA did not declare its real motives for its attack on Iraq either. The USA says it is threatening military attack because the Islamic regime is developing nuclear weapons. However, I think the main reason is to make the Islamic Republic submit to US' policies in the Middle East.

IRANIANS
Short list

Things that make us look bad
Abbas Soltani

As an Iranian, I'd like to be proud of my heritage and background. However, it is hard when so many idiots out there make us look so bad. No, I am not talking about our politicians. I am talking about everyday average Iranians like myself. Today, I've decided to make a difference and start to air a list of what is wrong with us.

BOOK
Lazy lechers

Excerpt from "Lipstick Jihad"
Azadeh Moaveni

Qom, a somber, dusty city 120 km south of Tehran, is the Vatican of the Islamic theocracy. Most Iranians -- who derisively called it a "mullah factory"- did not bother to visit, and thought of it only as the place where sohan, a buttery brittle of pistachios and saffron, originates. As a child, I thought the name of the city meant "gham," the Farsi word for gloom, and heard it discussed as the epicenter of clerical evil, the Death Star from which the mullahs plotted their takeover of Iran.

CELEBS
Beg to differ

Aghdashloo vs. Googoosh
Peyvand Khorsandi

Shohreh makes an aside or two about another of her contemporaries, the Iranian “diva” Googoosh, on a satellite TV talk show, and the knives are out. Is it not perfectly acceptable to have rivalry among celebrities? Is it not riveting? Reaction from one or two of Googoosh’s fans suggests not. Feathers have been ruffled with vicious, if incoherent, insults being hurled at the actor. “How dare she take a swipe?”

IDENTITY
Kind of kinship

I have grown up being very different from my English peers
Soraya George

I first met my Iranian father when I travelled to Iran in 1990 on my own, I was 20-years old. My Mum is English and met my dad in London in 1968/9. He spoke Italian but little English. He told my Mum he was a student which was a half truth; although he was studying he was also in the Iranian navy. My Mum discovered this after she had fallen in love.

TASOOA-ASHOORA
Your loss

Doest it really matter what a Westerner would say about our culture?
Sanaz Fotouhi

For the first time in many years, I spent a day among the people of my country, sharing a tradition, feeling my religion. It was a touching experience, to see so many young people driven by their culture, and mourning the loss the great leader Imam Hossein. The energy, the presence, even if only for face, and participation of so many people made me believe that in the days when we mostly feel that Iranians are loosing themselves and their own culture to Satellite television and Western culture...

FILM
To see or not to see

A parental dilemma on Bahman Ghobadi's "Turtle Can Fly"
Kamal H. Artin

Despite the cynical title "Turtle Can Fly", we asked our teenagers if they would like to join us in seeing this latest movie by Bahman Ghobadi. They preferred skate boarding and online chatting over spending an evening with "boring" parents. Since they promised not to waste all their time on "prohibited" sites, we let them have their choices, so they let us have ours.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Framing time

Photo essay
Reza Mazaheri

TERRORISM
Catching a flight

Special treatment for a special passenger
Jahanshah Javid

Last month I scanned an essay I wrote in 1990 for an English 101 class at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Here's another true story I wrote for the class. It needs a lot of editing. But that means I would have to retype it. And that's not going to happen. So I'm offering it as is. While most people around the world have experienced increased security at airports only after 9/11, for Iranians it's nothing new.

POLITICS
Mujahedin-e Khalq's devolution

Attractive prospect for the American war on terror
Arshavez M.

The Mujahedin-e Khalq's (MEK) advent in 1965 marked the beginning of an armed paramilitary campaign against Iran, where collateral damage became a non-issue in their attempts to overthrow two successive regimes. The Mujahedin-e Khalq is a paradoxical concept in itself. Defined as "Holy Warrior" in Arabic, the term "Mujahedin" gained popularity in Iran at the height of the Industrial Age, when European Imperialism was at its most rampant form.

LANGUAGE
Iranians speak Persian

The English called it Persian, the French Persane, the Germans Persisch, the Italians Persano, the Russians Persiska. So should we.
Khodadad Rezakhani

Persian speakers, with their notorious lazyness and ignorance of the laws of host languages, originally started ignoring the laws of English. They created two problems: first, they imported their own word into a language without considering the laws and standards of that language. Second, they introduced a new word for something that already existed in the host language, thus creating confusion!

STUDENT
This doctor shit is hard

Part 2
Maziar Shirazi

I'm a slacker at heart. If you gave me a one week break here at college, I'd just walk around the house screaming James Brown and Ron Burgundy noises until I got too hungry to not have pants on and make/get some food. I'd wear the same wife beater every day before showering, and it would carry the stains of my culinary endeavors. This one isn't doing too well, and I've only worn it for one day. I can explain.

TAFSIR
Bread, pen, power,

Noon, va-alghalam va ma yastaroon
Ali Ohadi
unedited

During one of the times I was in prison under the Shah, one of my co-prisoners was unexpectedly given amnesty because of our New Year celebrations. Usually one needed to sign a special form saying among other things that "I regret about my past misdemeanours and I won't ever do it again". We all know that repenting is sort of confession. However, our friend wrote "Happy New Year" instead of his signature!

>>> Latest features
>>> Previous articles

Copyright 1995-2013, Iranian LLC.   |    User Agreement and Privacy Policy   |    Rights and Permissions