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>>> Archive
May 2006

 

TRAVELERS
Sheikh Ishraq

Part 12: Returning to Iran: 1986-87
Sima Nahan

A long-standing National Front member -- blindfolded, his hands tied behind his back, in solitary confinement for eight months -- knows this. He is close to seventy years old with much prison experience during his lifetime, and while his body may not take severe beatings, his spirit is virtually indestructible. The effort to break him takes all the ingenuity the prison system of the Islamic Republic can muster. They work on disrupting his psychological balance by tampering with his visual and auditory senses and his perception of time. No sound reaches him but the Nuha, on and off erratically for hours or just minutes at a stretch. "Lunch" is not brought to him for a good twenty-four hours after "breakfast," but is followed immediately by "supper." Or breakfast may follow lunch and lunch supper. This goes on in a calculatedly unrepeated pattern. But pattern is not something that can be erased from a developed human brain so easily. Sensory awareness and memory discern patterns >>>

TALKS
Lion vs. Eagle

Kianosh Saadati

Now that Condoleezza Rice has officially offered talks with Tehran, many people would think this offer will resolve issues after 26 years of deadlock between the two countries. But it is just the beginning! Hours after Rice's press conference, Tehran refused conditional talks for a very simple reason. If they suspend uranium enrichment they have opened up the door for the eagle to dominate. The mullahs perfectly know that uranium enrichment and the nuclear crisis are the only playing cards in this game. The moment the Lion (Iran) backs down, Tehran will not have any card to play. Simply an unconditional check and mate!! >>>

PALESTINE-ISRAEL
Let them solve their own problem

Let Arabs and Israelis resolve a conflict which has had little to do with Iran’s interests
Azita Pakravan

Let Arabs and Israelis resolve a conflict which has had little to do with Iran’s interests. If my fellow Iranians did some soul searching, I am sure that they would realize that their concern is plain hypocrisy, and in fact it most often masks their anti-Semitism and the hatred of Jewish people. Listening to them talk about Israel and the Jews makes one think that they have been brainwashed by the likes of Ahmadinejad. Any self-respecting human being cannot avoid condemning the Israeli government for its brutal treatment of Palestinians and the denial of their human and national rights. Moreover, the power of Israel and the Jewish lobby on American policy in the Middle East (with its disastrous consequences for the region) is also well-documented. However, as Iranians and human beings, we have to condemn violence and hatred in any form shape or place >>>

LETTERS
Talks without pre-conditions

On poll, "Should Iran accept or reject U.S. offer of direct talks?": Need one more choice on your direct talks: “Talks under no pre-conditions” >>> MORE LETTERS

TV

Rice talking

Photo essay: Condoleezza Rice TV news conference on Iran
Jahanshah Javid

LIFE
Ghosun

I wanted... .no; I needed to write about this child because I want to be able to put her out of my mind
Lance Raheem

Although Ghosun had no connection to Iran or Iranians, I'm sure that in her physical appearance she looked very much like millions of sweet little nine year old Iranian girl. In my mind's eye, I can imagine that Ghosun probably liked to play with dolls like other little girls do, she probably liked to sing songs and play games like other little girls do and she probably craved love, security and affection from the adults in her life like others girls do. I am also sure that she doesn't crave any of these things anymore because little Ghosun is dead. Anytime a child dies prematurely, it is a tragedy, but the circumstances of this child's death are exceptionally sickening because the intimate bond of love, trust and security that any child ought to rightly feel toward his or her parents was savagely shattered and desecrated in little Ghosun's case >>>

ART

Power of words

Photo essay: Artists of the Modern Middle East is a new exhibition at the British Museum
Mehrdad Aref-Adib

The "Word into Art" exhibition demonstrates the imaginative ways in which artists across the Middle East and North Africa are using the power of the written word in their art today. It includes wonderful examples of calligraphy transforming writing into art, books of poetry, and works which reflect current issues facing the modern Middle East including Iran >>>

IRAN-U.S.
Possible futures

The mêlée of US-Iranian relations
Eskandar Sadeghi

Although it seems that a dialogue without intermediary has for the time being been put aside due to the explicit resistance of both parties, direct talks between the US and Iran could bear significant fruit. Firstly, speaking strictly in terms of US interests, it could provide greater stability for the fledgling Iraqi government, security guarantees for the US's ally Israel, through the solicitation of security guarantees and possible recognition. I'm not pulling this out of thin air. A copy of a 2003 Iranian proposal for Iranian-Israeli peace was obtained by the Inter Press Service from Trita Parsi, a specialist on Iranian foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies -- the report entailed recognition of Israel which would also necessarily incorporate the cessation of funding for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah etc... Moreover, pressure would be applied in order to bridge the transition to a total renunciation of violence by these parties >>>

FATHER
Baba Joon

Letter of a mournful daughter
Laleh Khalili

It is your chehelom, Baba Joon, forty whole days after your death, and I am still searching for the vocabulary that could explain this physical feeling of nausea that washes over me sometimes at the thought of you not being here, the overwhelming sense of asphyxiation as I lie in bed waiting futilely for sleep to come. No words, Baba Joon, no language.  I can’t even find the proper line of poetry to use as an epigraph.  I thought of “to nisti keh bedani ... ” and “be koja-ye een shab-e tireh...” and “bozorg bood ... ” but none can articulate the sense of guilt I feel for not having let you know how much I love you before you died so abruptly, so young >>>

PERSIAN
I am Persian because

Iran today represents decadence, destruction and decay
Tina Ehrami

"Where are you from?" My co-worker asked me a couple of days ago. "From Persia", I answered. "Uhm, that doesn't exist anymore, does it?" Was his response. I hesitated whether I had the energy to explain the source of my answer "Persia" instead of "Iran". I decided that I would explain it once again in my life and this time try to keep it short and simple. "Well no, the Persian Empire as Persia refers to, does not exist. But it is the association with that empire that I prefer than the theocratic, Islamic Republic that it has now become." That explanation usually asks for an understanding and paradoxically confused expression and nodding. This time I did not get that same old response though >>>

IRAN
Great, in spite of

A great nation, in spite of our government
Tahereh Aghdassifar

"Are we really a great nation?", Kianosh Saadati asked. It's not necessarily a silly question to be brushed off quickly by rabid nationalists who don't feel a need to even justify their immediate growls of "yes." I must admit, it did catch me off guard when I first read it, "of course we are" I thought to myself without questioning why I felt this way. The question, in itself, is quite valid, but unfortunately the reasons presented as to why we may not be "a great nation" are not quite as compelling. Attacking such issues as disorganization and driving habits are not going to outweigh the contributions that Iran has indeed made throughout history. Italy is notorious for the driving habits of its citizens, as is Turkey; do we then discount the remarkable contributions both nations have made to the world because of erratic traffic behavior? Again, I do not believe such silly issues really give merit to the idea that we may not be a "great nation." >>>

TRAVELERS

Dancing under the sun

Photo essay: San Francisco carnival
Shahin Alborz

POETRY
Joys of a simple meal

A handful of figs
Esther Kamkar

POETRY
I sit at the edge of my memories

... and I wonder if I own them
Baharak Sedigh

POETRY
Strokes of oddness

Like a rolling ball through time life's black spots keep appearing with each revolution
Parviz Sadigh

POETRY
Mind

... that fixes or destroys you
Akbar Showkatian

POETRY
Return the Favor

The father who dreamed as much as stars dream to shine
Arash Daneshzadeh

POETRY
Shopping again

You assume: this is happiness
Sasan Seifikar

POETRY
Why?

Why do i wish for you when the stars are far and few?
Persian Chilly

POETRY
At home in the world

From this shore to that
Leora Douraghy

POETRY
Doost koo

Digar nimam kojaa raft
Mehran Ahmadi

LETTERS
Safe to say he's delusional

On Amil Imani's "He's no dummy": Bravo for your article about the Iranian President. I agree he is no dummy but he might have a severe pathology. According to some experts distinction between sanity and insanity is not always clear. While overvalued ideas are thoughts in the border of sanity to insanity, delusions are clear indication of insanity. In contrary to people with fanatic overvalued idea who have some doubt in the truth of their belief, people with delusion have a false and fixed belief excessive to their cultural or religious background. The severity of delusions depends on their affect on the affected individual or the people around them >>>

TRAVELERS

Paradise found

Photo essay: Dominican Republic
Abbas Atrvash

LIFE
Lostville

Hooman Golshan

he was stuck in gridlock for 2 hours.... after a long day's work, all he wanted to do was get home.... finally he got home at 8 pm.... starving, exhausted and delirious.... he opened the door, and went in...."honey... where have you been? we can't go on like this.... it is about time you decided what is more important to you... our marriage, or your job.....".... too tired to argue, he went into the bathroom, locked the door, took off his clothes and sat in the tub.... the hot water started to sooth his body... aaah this was better.... it gave him a chance to clear his thoughts... see what his priorities were.... he thought of his house, and all the crap that was in it.... all the furniture, rugs, and all the other clutter... it meant absolutely nothing to him... and his car that gas-guzzling clunker... he hated that car.... it was more like a mobile coffin than anything else.... he was thinking last week, that he had probably spent three years of his life in that car stuck in traffic.... he snapped out of it... this was depressing him.... he got out of the tub.... put on his bathrobe and went into the bedroom... his nagging wife came in.... "honey, i was going to tell you next week, but i thought i might as well let you know now.... i'm filing for divorce!! >>>

WAR
Please don't

I ask President Bush now; please do not attack Iran with any sort of weapon
Alborz Yazdi

Dear President George W. Bush, When I first though of the idea, it did not scare me, for as any person would think, “it would never happen to me...” But while eating lunch today, the reality of this matter struck me in the face. I am an eleven year old Iranian-American boy in the 5th grade. In a few days, I will be leaving my home on vacation to Iran for the first time with my mother and sister. Yes, Iran, the country causing a new controversy throughout the world. Throughout the midst of the Iranian nuclear crisis, the question has pondered in the minds of many: Will they strike Iran? In my head this blur of terror and fear has inquired me too. And the most terrible idea is if it is hit with nuclear weapons of mass destruction >>>

POP CULTURE
American hickup

Taylor Hicks? Taylor Hicks?! Are you Sh---ing me?
Behrouz Bahmani

When the American Idol announcement was read by an ever increasingly annoying Ryan Seacrest, "Taylor Hicks!", I shook my head in disgust and disbelief. If you are like me, the results of this season's idol were shocking to say the least, disturbing, dumbfounding, and just plain dumb, to say the most. If you are not like me, you've got better things to do than live out your childhood fantasies, but then you are pretty much alone. And I am sorry for that. A record 60+ million votes were cast to pick this season's winner, more than voted in the general election that may have precipitated this continuing downward spiral of American culture, now that I think about it >>>

TRAVELERS

Wrong guy, wrong place

Photo essay: Egypt
Dario Margeli

POINT
Kodaam mardom? Kodaam hokoomat?

USA & democracy
Homayoun Abghari

MOOSH
The obsession with a mouse

The world seems to know plenty about the Persian cat, but what about the Persian mouse?
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

Ask any mouse and he may tell you he would willingly give his right ear -- or both -- to be an American citizen. America is indeed the land of opportunity, look how fast it spotted the entrepreneur in the little creature we dismissed as a worthless rodent. An inferior species to the rest of the world, no sooner had he obtained his green card than did he begin to earn enough fame and fortune to create job opportunities for a millions of humans. Before the ink on his naturalization documents had dried, he abbreviated his name to Mickey, thus making it easy to remember, found a wife -- making sure she went no further than her “first lady” position -- and proceeded to build his own kingdom. Castles were built, parades were organized to glorify His Rodentship and soon, people from around the world came for their holy pilgrimage. Preposterous? Tell that to the average guy who pays good money to wear those ridiculous ears on his head just to prove that he’s been there. Now let us take a look at what becomes of the same mouse that may be stuck in, let’s say, Iran >>>

KURDISTAN
Fighting words

I am thankful that I have online dialogue and not a real face to face confrontation with such angry individuals
Kamal H. Artin

Some angry commentators threaten with retaliation and call free thinkers traitors. It is unlikely that they know that real traitors are those who leave their abusive home country to enjoy the comfort of a democratic host country yet remain critical of the latter to defend the former. I am wondering how safe it is, for one who does not share the threats of angry individuals with the authorities; the authorities in democratic world at least provide security for all and not a preferred group. Free thinkers choose a home where they can feel at home, and the free world is their home regardless of borders! I am wondering if events such as 911 or assassinations of migrant intellectuals in European cities would have happened, if people would have notified suspicious, angry, and threatening individuals to the authorities of the free world >>>

ART

Marriage of civilizations

Digital designs
Reza Rowhani

LIFE
An American and an Iranian

He remembered the day he had officially become American, standing in a government building with his family among a crowd
Siamak Vossoughi

And afterwards, he had thought of his mother, crying in a room full of everybody celebrating. She had known that it was just a piece of paper too, but she had cried because that feeling of coming outside to the city had been Iran for her, that feeling that had included her mother and father and sisters and brothers, coming outside in the morning and the evening, and he had felt good to see her tears because they were the closest he had come to Iran in a long time. As a a boy, it was often death that did that. He would be going along with American thoughts of an American girl in his class, and then all of a sudden, a death would bring Iran to their house in a way that was darker and older but also more poetic than anything he felt ready for. Oh boy, he would think, I don't know if I have enough for this. I don't know if I've been preparing for this here in America >>>

POINT
He's no dummy

Iran's Ahmadinejad is not unhinged
Amil Imani

The world is captivated by the sudden rise of a relatively unknown to the presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for his torrent of outrageous statements and claims. He has, thus, in a short time acquired great many appellations. He is viewed as zealot, fascist, fanatic, anti-Semitic, lunatic and more. One prominent Western columnist called him "unhinged." All these labels aim, in part, to dismiss the man as an aberration. As someone who is in urgent need of psychological help, a person out of touch with reality who represents nothing of substance. Once again the West is misreading and misjudging the people and the events in the Middle East, due to the fact that it views things through its own prism. Looking at the man through the Western spectacles, he indeed appears to be all of the above and more. Yet Ahmadinejad is far from unhinged. As a matter of fact he is firmly hinged to a set of beliefs that dictate his views of the world and how he should deal with it from his position of power >>>

HUMOR
Tabaadole naameh

Presidents Ahmadinejad and Bush exchange letters
dAyi Hamid

CHARAND
My name is... Imam Mahdi

Imam Mahdi

Allah-u Akbar. My name is Imam Mahdi, and the time is here and now. I have prepared a brief website for all who hear, obey, and understand Allah'subhaana'wa'ta-illah al'Qur-an. Please see my website and send your support detailed in the website to assist my moving forward in Islam continue triumph over all religions in the world. Imam Mahdi invites every Believing Muslim Mujahidun to this website: www.aljaaucoao2001a.com. Tawhid through the vessel of al'Qur-an is the only way to salvation in this world life and in the Hereafter -- please see website: www.aljaaucoao2001a.com. Imam Mahdi, Post Office Box 966, Cheraw, South Carolina 29520. USA.

HUMOR
Irooni-baazi

Nicole Pajoohi

For all of you Iroonis, the word 'Irooni-baazi' should sound familiar. This term has come to encompass a wide gamut of Persian tendencies that take place in day-to-day activities, typically negative in nature. Literally translated "Irooni-baazi" means "Iranian games"; however, its connotation implies a degree of dishonesty, exaggeration, and deception leveraged for one's benefit, whether to give the impression of status/class/wealth or to conjure pity. It is essentially the belief that through calculated and harmless deceit, favorable results may be realized. Most of us have been subjected to random episodes of such behavior, although it seems that recently I have had more than the recommended healthy allowance >>>

PROTEST

Graduating with honor

Student protests in Tehran
Photos

WORLD CUP
Dream team

Yes, indeed! Iran has all the ingredients for success in Germany
Ron Delan

Regardless of Iran's results in World Cup 2006, Team Melli is cause for celebration! We have attained a record level of progress in our soccer. However, even the most faithful, inside and outside Iran, who believes Iran has a chance to advance to second round, describes such an event as a "surprise". Most outsiders, including Scolari, Portugal's brilliant coach who has led Brazil to one of her 5 World Cup championships, do not hold much account for Iran's chances of advancement ... And this story is different. Let it be told, and make no mistake about it, Iran WILL qualify for the second round, ....and oh, by the way, don't be surprised if neither Portugal or Mexico make it past the first round! >>>

SEX
Let there be light

Visitng 'Sex sites,' hardcore puritan nations come out unclothed
Iqbal Latif

Ideological legislation restricts the freedom to access sites considered as bad for the faithul in countries like Iran, Saudi and Pakistan. This legislation of 'human attitudes‚ more often than not leads to exactly the opposite effect. Even Adam, everyone‚s biological father, slipped when he was enticed to eat the forbidden fruit by our common mother, Eve. It is coded in 'human genetics‚ that this intelligent being is designed to do more of what is prohibited. Google report produced ample evidence of that closet mentality. Google found that of the top 10 countries - searching for sex-related sites - six were Muslim, with Pakistan on the top. The other Muslim countries are Egypt at number 2, Iran at 4, Morocco at 5, Saudi Arabia at 7 and Turkey at 8. Non-Muslim states are Vietnam at 3, India at 6, Philippines at 9 and Poland at 10 >>>

IRANIANS
Are we really a great nation?

Kianosh Saadati

Like many other Iranians, I have always been asking myself: Are we really a great nation?? We have (or at least been told to have!) 2500 years of glorious history with numerous achievements in Art, Culture and sometimes science and technology. We Iranians always portray ourselves in front of foreigners as a nation with great or sometimes greatest history in human history. But how many of these claims are really true?? You do not need to be a historian, a politician or a journalist to be aware of discrepancies and problems facing Iranians inside the country and abroad. Iranians inside the country are facing many economic, political and cultural difficulties. A nation with 2500 years of history still does not know what to wear in its own country without facing prosecution. It does not obey even the simplest traffic rules properly and it even can not stand in a simple line when it wants to buy a piece of bread or attending the bank without violating other people's rights >>>

DRESS CODE
Dirty tricks

Ali Dadpay

The Islamic Dress Code is NOT even a law yet. It forces a certain standard on dress and to be honest conservatives have played their hand very intelligently. They brought a group of people, who constitute a minority in Iran, to Majlis. They were opposing the current situation and fashions in Iran last month, then conservative leading MPs left the Majlis session to give guarantees to these concerned citizens, whose opinion apparently is not shared by the youth and a large group of people. Then Majlis started to ratify a new law to safeguard Islamic values in the society, based on its members understanding of them, which many oppose. There is nowhere in this law such additions forcing minorities to wear colored ribbons, there is not even such an intention. Actually this law is meant to make life difficult for the Muslim majority (98%) and the youth not the minorities >>>

LIBERATION
Rooze khoob

On the liberation of Khorramshahr
Mandana Zandian

ART

Outlines

Drawings
Jalal Motevalli

OIL
Don't be crude

Farid Moghadassi

When the demand is as high for a non-renewable resource like oil as it is now, a supplier has the luxury of exploiting the situation to plan for a better future. Imagine a major oil supplier, for example Iran, making it a national policy to, within a decade, not export a single drop of crude oil. All petroleum exports must be processed and refined before export. Refining oil is about as big a business as extraction. Moreover, it is an industry, employing significant number of laborers, traders, brokers, etc. This would be the next logical step for any oil producing nation which has already naturalized its natural resources, and has an independent, forward thinking government.

SHARING
Typical immigrant story

Farid Moghadassi

Evan is my roommate and he had a kidney transplant. I wrote this to him the night before his transplant, typical immigrant story: Dear Evan, When I first moved to America in ninth grade, I couldn't speak a word of English so high school was definitely brutal as football players were generous enough to give the new Middle Eastern kid an All-American beating every morning. It was difficult to make friends but I tried very hard to conform. This one time, I was in class sitting next to this kid who I knew liked Nirvana. In my pursuit to make friends, I thought he might be interested that I also find a liking in Nirvana. Unfortunately, he asked me to name a Nirvana album and I couldn't so in front of the class he called me a poser and a loser for trying to be a wannabe Nirvana fan >>>

TRIP
I love this place

My first 5 weeks in Iran
Pouya Alimagham

The Persian language class at Dehkhoda Institute has been integral to my Iran experience and I think all Iranian-Americans travelling to Iran should attend Dehkhoda.  About the center:  Dehkhoda Institute is a language center sponsored by Tehran University and is located on Vali Asr Street halfway between Parkway intersection and Tajrish Square.  Three days before the class began, I went to the instititute, registered,  took a 45-minute placement exam and qualified for the advanced level class (advanced for foreignors).  They have beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes for a duration of either five weeks, three and a half months, or seven months.  My course is the five-week class that begins at 9:30am and ends at noon.  At 10:30 we get a twenty-minute break where we go downstairs and have Pomergranate juice and tea.  At noon we have an Iranian lunch which varies by the day >>>

JESUS
So what is the big deal?

Riding the subway pondering the impact of "The Da Vinci Code"
Roozbeh Shirazi

This year, Larry Brown's departure from the New York Knicks to coaching purgatory seems imminent, cherry print Louis Vuitton bags are favored, everyone has an iPod, and the book of choice without a question is The Da Vinci Code. It's kind of impossible to resist reading it, with all the hype that it has received and the movie being released a few days ago. I myself read it a few months ago, and though not brilliantly written, I enjoyed the book very much. True or false, creatively controversial or cheaply low-brow, The Da Vinci Code is a big deal -- I realized it on the subway today as I looked at the riders on each side of me reading the book while I read an article about the novel in the New Yorker, while all of us sat under a ceiling panel advertising the movie on the subway >>>

COUNTERPOINT
Please elaborate

On Democracy and Freedom
Omid Farda Manesh

After reading Guive's prose, my mind at beginning endured numbness from our international law lecturer's punch lines such as "Zeki", "No shit", "what kashk, what mast", "tavalod, tavalod, tavalodat mobarak, n-bareh!", "Either shit happens or doesn't happen", "dandan aryeh", "kabob", "Ajab", "O, no? Watch me", "Good luck", and so on. With BA, PhD, MALD, MA, JD and possibly more in his backpack, I sensed abnormality of not finding dependable political elaboration of concerned issues, and then, I wrestled to find a center of gravity to respond objectively. However, it was futile and ineffectual. As I revisited his text, his intention became visible more as self served and egoistic >>>

TRAVELERS
The color black

Part 11: Returning to Iran: 1986-87
Sima Nahan

The entire country is pervaded with the color black. This is not the solitary and sorrowful black we are accustomed to see worn in mourning for forty days or a year. Nor is it the dramatic black of the banners of the Tasu'a and 'Ashura mourning processions, flying against a backdrop of white cotton and green silk, bringing to life the massacre of the Seventy Two Innocents and drawing tears from the great Lion of Persia. This is a new color. It can be the color of lead -- opaque and massive -- as in the paint on the windows of the whitewashed building of Chalus Hotel turned interrogation center and prison >>>

FRIENDS

On fire

Photo essay & video clips: A party in San Francisco
Jahanshah Javid

BUSH
How unpopular is he?

Pedram Moallemian

I think most of us read the poll results on the falling approval rating of this administration with little or no interest. The latest results put 'W' and company at 29% (if you are pessimistic) and 31% (for the highly motivated supporters.) Many will probably look at that and just shrug their shoulders at how could close to a third of the populace still remain in such deep comma. But the truth is a bit more complicated. To add some perspective to these numbers, a look at recent 40 year history may offer some help: President Carter's approval rating sank to a low of 28% during the debacle surrounding hostages in Iran. As the only other recent President with less favorable numbers during their term in the office, Nixon held a 23% approval rating at the height of Watergate Scandal >>>

VIEW
What do we really need?

Fighting before they destroy us
Amir Nasiri

The whole situation over Iran's nuclear ambition and access to technology has overtaken the main news for the past few months. On one side there are a group of people (neo cons) who want to take military actions against Iran and destroy the military and nuclear sites then there are others (European countries) who believe diplomacy is the way to go. But then you have the Iranian government who adamantly is persisting on its right to nuclear technology and is using the pretext of NPT as well as the rights of Iranian people to such a technology. However; I would like to argue here that despite I am not for a military strike against Iran, but I am 100% for the removal of the Iranian government and the regime and I will discuss in this article how one can take such an action against one of the vicious and cruel regimes of 21st century >>>

POLITICS
To free Iran

Iranian democratic movement
Jahanshah Rashidian

I cannot propose an extensive definition of an Iranian democratic movement that would certainly be presumptuous; such a movement is a big aspiration of all freedom-loving Iranians. It must be called and discussed by all Iranian democrats. Unfortunately, it neither has a place in political life of Iranian society nor has a name in our collective memory. Long apathy of international community and lack of an Iranian democratic movement have permitted the IRI to further oppress the Iranian citizens, many of the people have turned against the IRI as a system of political repression and brutality. Corruption and economic mismanagement by the IRI have provided fertile ground for a democratic political movement based on secular and unconditional democracy >>>

POETRY
Salam azizam

Negaraan nabaash
Leila Farjami

POETRY
Disaster on the horizon

For the people of Iran
Persis Karim

POETRY
Unpacking

... for a storm
Zara Houshmand

POETRY
Silent river

Of an untold humid truth
Reza Eslami

POETRY
Khate etefaagh bar rooye chatr

Beh ejaazeye katbi ehtiyaaji neest
Habib Shokati

POETRY
The shadows

Stealing the souls of Innocents
Akbar Showkatian

POETRY
Crash

I hunger for the hurt
Tahereh Tavous

POETRY
My hands & your eyes

My hands climb on the long and smooth walls of wanting
Farah Afshari

POETRY
You reap what you sow

Stealing the souls of Innocents
The Bangman

POETRY
Bethlehem, March 12, 2003

Bang...bang...bang...
Reza T. Saberi

POETRY
Never ending love

Underneath the sadness and tears/ It is not the Iran/ That everyone has come to fear
Leila Register

TRAVELERS

City in red

Photo essay: Abyaneh
Nader Nabavinejad

ISRAEL
Recruiting Mohammad Attas of the world

Afshin D.

I would agree that when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the present Iranian government may often times play the "kasseh-ye daghttar az ash" (More Catholic than the Pope). However the rhetoric that has been going around between Iran and Israel of late goes both ways. Israel for some reason has carte blanche to do as it pleases, violating all UN resolutions, and not signing the NPT, and it also makes veiled threats of nuclear annihilation every now and then. And yes, the US is in the unfortunate predicament of having to defend such rhetoric by adding a few idiotic comments of its own. Much like a parent would when their child misbehaves. This is precisely the kind of nonsense that recruits the Mohammad Attas of the world >>>

CONVERSION
For the gladness of Ahura Mazda

Kurosh Goshtasp Aryana

With the blessing of Ahura Mazda, and cooperation of Anjuman-e Bozorg Bazgasht in Norway and Zoroastrian Community of Sweden, two group Sedreh Pushi ceremonies (Navjot) were held in Oslo and Dubai during recent days (early days of April 2006). The first ceremony took place in the capital city of Norway, Oslo where a group of seven people including five Iranian citizens and a citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan and a citizen of Afghanistan joined the Zaratushti religion. The second ceremony took place in Dubai where three Iranian citizens from Iran came to Dubai just to attend the ceremony to join the religion. It was a historical event that took place in an Arabian country after more than 1,300 years. May Ahura Mazda bless all.

WAR
Yes I will die for Iran

Bardia

I was born in Abadan. As the matter of fact my life changed on my 10th birthday, 21 September 1980 when Iraq started bombing my city. All I know is that if the U.S. decides to invade iran, I will be in a plane to Iran in a couple of days. I've been in the U.S. 21 years but I will go back to defend my country. I have no doubt about this at all. Politics aside. I will fight to death for my country. I am sick of Iranians that live outside Iran and want a regime change inside Iran. Let me tell you something: A lot of things are much better since that dictator, Shah the Butcher, left. Sure there are something that are not allowed nowadays. You can't be half-naked walking the streets like here in America, and they don't have sex and violence on TV for kids. But Iranians are doing everything they want behind closed doors. What if there was a regime change and those asshole Mojahedeen that are ten times worse than the Taliban came to power? Ahmadinejad might be a crazy bastard, but I give him credit for having balls and telling the Israelis, British and the U.S., to piss off. Damesh Garm. Yes I will die for Iran.

TRAVELERS

For Rudolph, Miami 2006

Photo essay
Ali Mobasser

To all the people pictured in these photos, thank you for welcoming me as one of your own and allowing me to celebrate the life of a wonderful man and the father of the one I love. A week that will not be forgotten >>>

INTELLECTUAL
A democratic symbol

The meaning of Ramin Jahanbegloo’s arrest
Rasool Nafisi

On 27 April 2006, the Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo experienced what is coming to be commonplace for many Iranian intellectuals and political activists. In Tehran's Mehrabad airport, on his way to India, he heard his name being called out from the loudspeakers. He followed instructions and went to the security department of the airport where he found himself subject to the re-enactment of a frightening scenario. It is the norm of the Iranian security forces to calm the suspect by telling him or her that he was most likely brought in because of "name confusion". The detainee is then typically taken to the "bureau", where he or she is reassured that his or her name would be "cleared". In the meantime, the suspect's passport is confiscated. At that point, the person is accused, and forced systematically to "confess" >>>

BOXER
Mahyar for mayor!

Goli Farrell

Last night I saw a program on TV (France 3) about successful foreigners in France. Among these there was a young Iranian by the name Mahyar Monshipour who has been France's boxing world champion for the last 6 years. And because of Mahyar, France has held the title of World Champion for years. He is very popular and much loved by his French compatriots. He came across as a modest, articulate, honest, and ambitious guy who wants to serve his fellow citizens and was elected to the post of town supervisor at age 31. He lives in the town of Poitier and plans to be elected Mayor of Poitier. I was very glad for this young man who came to France from Iran at age 11 and did many things to get "accepted" in a foreign country. Finally he decided to become a boxer and they showed him working out and pract-icing diligently, day and night until he beat everyone in the featherweight category and became world champion. I enjoyed watching this sweet Iranian champion talking a perfect French and planning to be elected mayor of his town. His pictures are all over in the boxing world web sites. thought you might like to know.

COUNTERPOINT
What democracy, what freedom?

Yeah, how about plagiarizing the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution while you are at it?
Guive Mirfendereski

The exhortations in the piece "Unsettled" lack rationality and foundation. Here are examples of some of the statements that pass supposedly for enlightened polemics. Notice how the title seeks democracy and freedom for Iran. Here is a redundancy, if I ever saw one. You folks, need to make up your mind, one or the other, you cannot afford both. Pure freedom is the antithesis of democracy, which is based on rules and obligations. The end result of all the is that one day Iran will be democratic, free and independent. Query: Democratic, meaning what? Freedom from what or whom? Independence from what or whom? Throwing around these words as if they are supposed to mean the same thing to everyone is nonsensical. To admit that they may mean different things to different people means that the polemicist would rather define them, as he/she knows that by defining terms one also controls the debate >>>

WAR
Why Iran wants war

Ahmadinejad & Co. starring in Armageddon
Slater Bakhtavar

"The Iranian nation will wipe the strain of regret on the foreheads of those who want to bring about injustice", President Ahmadinejad scorned at a recent rally in the province of Zanjan. Iran "will cut off the hands of any aggressor", any attack would be met with a response that is double-fold including suicide attacks across Europe and the United States, he warned. "Israel should be wiped off the map", the predominately Jewish nation "cannot survive" and is headed "towards extinction" quipped the fanatical President. If one were to listen to his rhetoric alone, even the most astute political intellectuals would think Iran is a nation equipped with the most dangerous military arsenal capable of challenging any nation. But Iran's rhetoric has little to do with their outdated and dismal military, their fledging economy or their detested government. The root of the government's fiery tone may be traced to their Shi'te ideology messianic belief in a mysterious, mystical twelfth imam who ventured into hiding over a thousand years ago >>>

ART

Universal identity

Photography: Self-portraits & negative collages
Shadi Yousefian

EXPERIMENTAL
Meysam

I took his lovely face in my hands and kissed his innocent eyes and told him how wrong our relationship was
Shana Yazdi

A few months ago I sent you the true story of my life. In just a few hours I was overwhelmed with all the mails I received from people who had read it.  There was only one reason why I wrote and sent it to you. To be seen by others of course. I wanted to know what kinds of reactions I would get. What degree of tolerance is there for these kinds of  life among our people? And was that possible for me to talk about my past to a relative one day? What kind of labels would they give me? A whore? Or a bitch? Or just a self-indulging woman? At first I decided to categorize and statistically analyze them but then much more important events happened in my life that I forgot about that for a while.  After a few months I decided to send this letter and give my analysis of the responses I got as well as my new life-changing experiences >>>

TOILET HUMOR
Ode to a Persian thunder mug

Instead of toilet paper there is a weird kettle with a spout
Fathali Ghahremani

Yesterday, out of the blue, I suddenly remembered the attached poem. The last time I actually saw it was when I was about 16 or 17, it was a mimeograph that I assume was printed up in the offices of the Point 4 Program in Tehran. I am not 100% sure of the the exact wording and considering that this is from some 40 years ago, the fact that I remember anything at all is amazing. However, if we can find the original author and the original text I think it would be fun. So here goes. Put it on the web let’s see if anyone can claim it. If they can’t, I’ll claim it with all the caveats that I swear I did not want to plagiarize or take over someone else’s work of art! >>>

ART

Silk Road

Paintings
Saeed Siadat

TOILET HUMOR
Shaash & awe strategy

To prove the invalidity of the urination attack strategy, I did some quick calculations
Mazloom

A human bladder has about 500 cubic centimeter (cc) of urine capacity. Even though at about 250 cc a person begins to feel that he has to empty his bladder, for the sake of argument let’s assume the invading urinating soldiers hold on till the last minute to empty the whole 500 cc of urine, also let’s assume one billion Arabs and other Moslems and their sympathizers line up along Israel borders and they all empty their bladders at a single moment, that would create 500,000,000 cubic meter of urine. Giving benefit of the doubt to the ignorant and assuming there is absolutely no loss of urine to ground infiltration, one can approach what might happen next in two different ways: >>>

EBADI
Talkh o Shirin

Photo essay: Shirin Ebadi in LA
Nima Mehraeen

EXTREMISM
End the madness

Divided with extremism
Sohrab Ferdows

The Persian proverb of "bringing a head instead of a hat" is well known to Iranian people. This is in fact reflecting one of the biggest issues that we as a nation, have had for a very long time ensuing in creation of numerous problems for us throughout the history. It seems to be a historical issue which, even though we could get away with it at some points but, running into difficult and obnoxious situations have always been a greater possibility. The events in year 1978 and beginning of 1979 could count for one of these occasions in which, we lost control over our extreme emotions and became a tool in implementing aliens plans with a little domestic icing on the cake! >>>

DEMOCRACY
Unsettled

Democracy and freedom for Iran
Omid Farda Manesh

A century matured wish of millions of Iranians in Iran and aboard has been for a true democratic and free Iran. Could a confluence of major events this year conspire in bringing nearer the everlasting democracy and freedom in our country into fulfillment? Let me start by echoing pundits that Iran is the key to stability in the Middle East. And since it has always been a regional leader, the peace, democratic movement, and stability in Iran will spread outward swiftly into other neighboring countries. Apropos, it is well documented that Iranians historically were among the guardians of civilization and human rights >>>

PACIFISM
Let us imagine

Pacifism in the Middle East
Behnam Sadeghi

Here I will criticize the widely held notion that violence is justified in self-defense.  Another conventional claim is that in a conflict, violence can be directed at military personnel or official/strategic assets of a state (or non-state actor).  Yet I would argue that such violence is typically reprehensible just as targeting ordinary civilians is.  My arguments are intended to apply to typical conflicts (i.e. not exceptional ones; thus the use of force would have been justified to prevent the Holocaust or the Rwandan genocide).  I will use the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a case in point >>>

ART

Forough & Shamloo on canvas

Paintings based on poetry based on Forough Farrokhzad and Ahmad Shamloo's poetry
Ava Serjoie

MUSIC
Ey Iran

Rouhollah Khaleghi's gift for generations to come
Azam Nemati

One Iran's most amazing, world renown, talents is Rouhollah Khaleghi. Those of you who love to listen to timeless music, I have selected some tracks from two of his albums "Ey Iran" and "Remembering My Father" arranged by his daughter Golnoush Khaleghi. I highly recommend giving these albums as gifts to those you want to be enchanted by the beauty of Iranian music. It is only appropriate to share the biography posted at the site dedicated to this amazing talent which will be remembered by generations to come >>>

NUCLEAR
Not the first time

Eric Jerpe

In his May 16 Washington Post article, Kissinger mentions "... Iran's disregard of its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty" and declares "Iran has refused to agree to international control over its uranium enrichment program, in the absence of which no control over a weapons program is meaningful." ... This is not the first time Kissinger has accused the other signatory of violating a treaty without specifying which clause(s) they have violated. Shortly after the fall of Saigon in 1975, Kissinger declared that the North Vietnamese regime had violated "every single clause of the Paris Peace Accords [of 1973]." >>>

HUMOR
Bush: Iran must halt production of long letters

Author Unknown

Days after receiving an 18-page letter from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President George W. Bush called the lengthy missive "an act of war" and demanded that Iran halt its production of long letters at once. At the White House, aides said that writing a letter of such length to President Bush, who is known for his extreme distaste for reading, was the most provocative act Mr. Ahmadinejad could have possibly committed. "Everyone knows that the last book the president read was My Pet Goat," one aide said. "Expecting him to read an 18-page letter is really asking for it, and that Iranian dude must have known that." >>>

EBADI
Down With Khomeini, Long Live Kabob!

Leila Farjami

It all started from a dear friend’s genius idea to replace the “lion and sword” symbol of the pre-revolution Iranian flag with “Seekh va Kabob”, or “Kabob and Skewer” sign, since the latter appears to be the first and foremost and at times the sole common denominator amongst all Iranians. We were on our way to Shirin Ebadi’s speech at UCLA. Of course, we expected to see protestors from different political factions, the Mojahedin, the monarchists, the anti-Ebadis, and etc. and firmly predicted that all would be dining along with pro-Ebadis in the nearest Persian restaurant afterwards, devouring Kabob, rice, and grilled tomatoes with raw onions >>>

LIFE
Growing up as a minority

We were of Moslem, Jewish and Bahai families but we were all Iranians
A.S. Mostafanejad

When I was a child in Tehran my father was the only Bahai in his family. His father had been a Bahai and had passed away prior to my birth and his mother was a Moslem. On my mother's side her mother was a Bahai but her father was a Moslem.  My upbringing was as a Bahai but my relatives were of both faiths.  We associated with all as any family would. We lived in an apartment at the end of a narrow koocheh, or lane. Above us lived a Jewish family and across the lane there was a Christian family of Armenian descent.  The rest of those in our lane were Moslems and we all rented from a Haji we used to call “Haji Esfahani”. We all got along and we were all on friendly terms.  The old Haji would sometimes drop by for tea and oranges >>>

CULTURE
Culture of lying

Iranians lie just as a simple way of talking
Ben Madadi

Cultural differences between Iranians and Europeans, or Americans, are not just about how people sit, drink or shake hands. There are some things that are less of a celebration of diversity but more of a huge difference in thinking and perception. These differences are not just for the Iranians, though they usually wish to see themselves far different from others in the Middle East. The whole Middle East has some characteristics of its own that cannot easily reconcile with Western modern values. I may be considered one-sided, and actually on the wrong side, but I am trying to view my home culture critically to see where there may be issues worth re-considering >>>

POINT
Mozaakereh va manaafe' melli

Ahmadinejad, Bush & democracy
Homayoun Abghari

ART

Softer side

Paintings
Sima Chakamian

BOOK
Profound message of peace

Ann Tyler's Digging to America opens a window to a place that both the Iranians and Americans know only too well
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

The recent world events have introduced a new wave of books about Iranians and in fact, there has been more written about Iran during the past two decades than any other period in the history of literature. It is as if the political turmoil has finally awakened the world to not only the existence of the Middle East but also its people, their stories and ancient culture. The sudden interest has flooded the market with books, films and other artful means of information. A bookworm myself, I keep a keen eye out for such books and often read them as soon as they become available. An avid fan of Ann Tyler’s, I looked forward to her upcoming book, Digging to America, and when I learned that the story also portrays Iranian characters, I asked my bookstore to notify me as soon as it came in >>>

SATIRE
Thank you Agent Smith

"Listen, don't do it, man," the voice said
Siamack Baniameri

Like many of my hot-blooded Iranian expats, I've been courting this hot chick in Iran for the possibility of marriage. I understand that the age difference of 23 years and the fact that she is a high school dropout in rehab might pose a threat to our future relationship, but my mother and her family insist that she is a great gal with many qualities which are waiting to make an appearance any-day-now. Hours of phone calls to Iran every night was hitting me hard in the pocket. The fact that she has multiple personality and fights all the time didn't help much either. But I had invested a good deal of time and money on this honey and the time had come to make my move. After all, if my charm and pictures of my brand new BMW don't do the trick, my American passport will >>>

VIEW
Mad in Iran vs Made in Iran

A Mickey Mouse that rants regularly is very handy. And that is why we have such a buffoon in charge in Iran
Ali Mostofi

It is really quite ironic to finally see an American admit to "Thinking Outside the Iran Box" (Jim Hoagland in the Washington Post). Blimey, for how long have all of us, who live outside US, have said about the US's two-faced policies with the mullahs. All the US Treasury Department has to do, is to act on the info it has, and bingo the mullahs are out. A list of all the companies that do business with the US and Iran is readily available. All the US Treasury needs to do is to give a warning to those companies about doing business with the Islamists in Iran. But let's just go back to the moment when the Shahanshah left Iran. He was deemed to be a threat to the world, because he was developing his military too quickly to the future. At that time Israel and the Arabs thought just like now, that the nuclear technology will get out of hand >>>

POLITICS
Who do you trust?

Iranian opposition forces
Jahanshah Rashidian

Since 27 years, there is in Iran one of the most barbaric regimes of the recent history. But what is wrong? Many people around the world amazingly raise this question. Where is that force that once swept away the Shah’s regime, one of the strongest dictators of the region? This article tries to present the conditions of the Iranian opposition groups as they are represented through their political history and their positions vis-à-vis the democracy, secularism and radicalism, which are the main elements of union or division. These three characters are today the necessary conditions of an Iranian democratic opposition to confront the plague of the IRI. The radicalism is a tactical character to avoid any possible approach to the IRI or to factions within the regime. The secularism and democracy are the constant characters of a viable democratic movement in Iran >>>

MOTHER

The wild one

Photo essay: Mother's day
Jahanshah Javid

WORLD CUP
That football video

Nema Milaninia

There's two things that bother me about Arash's new video on the Iranian football team. One, none of the portrayed "football players" are actually on the national Iranian team. I mean come on now, if you're doing a song on the Iranian football team, it might be a good thing to show their pictures. And second, how ridiculous are those Iranian flags in the picture. Imagine someone waving the American flag with the letters USA written in bold in the center of the flag or FRANCE on the French flag. Its obviously a political move to disassociate with the Iranian national flag. What’s also interesting is that it's a political move to disassociate with the former Iranian sun and lion flag. The perceived relevancy of the debate, at least amongst exiles and the Diaspora, about what is the "legitimate" Iranian flag is pretty obvious in this video given the producers and directors desire to remain "neutral" on a sensitive matter.

FICTION
Hymn to the waters

For Mother's Day
Azadeh Azad

The Caesarean section lasted about half an hour and Parissa's baby daughter was born at the dawn of the day, out of the belly of her completely anaesthetised mother. Parissa didn't participate in her own baby's birth, which hurt her profoundly. A few hours later, in a room full of dozing women, Parissa was awakened by the loud voice of a nurse who was repeatedly calling her name. The nurse transported her on a wheeled bed through a corridor and showed her a new-born baby held by another nurse behind a window. The baby seemed to be looking directly at Parissa, her turned-up nose shining and her big black eyes staring expectantly at her mum. "This is your daughter," the nearby nurse said softly >>>

TRAVELERS
On a roll in Tokyo

I am jet lagged but the excitement of being here is too much. Let’s start with the toilet
Siamack Salari

I am jet lagged but the excitement of being here is too much. Let’s start with the toilet. The seat is heated. I also have an array of digital controls next to the seat which will spray, squirt a jet or simply blow warm air from underneath. And it feels magnificent. The thought of a toilet which does everything short of taking your trousers off amazes me. Later today I am going to see if the squirt jet shoots high enough for me to use it like a drinking fountain. Hey, why not? >>>

LIFE
Between Mike Wallace and me

I was considerably naive and, yet, diligent, as my own attorney, litigating my civil rights action against the people who had abused my human rights
Kaveh L. Afrasiabi

Mike Wallace is retiring from CBS' "60 Minutes" at the end of this month and I thought a personal retrospective on my little bit of history with the legendary reporter, who has visited Iran on numerous occasions and has interviewed the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the deposed Shah, as well as Ayatollah Rafsanjani, is called for. I saw Wallace last at a bookstore in Boston promoting his latest book, Between You and Me, a couple of months ago. At first, he barely recognized me and then, after a deep stare, joked that I had gained weight. As we chatted for a couple of minutes, the long line of people behind me, waiting for their autograph session with Mike, was getting impatient. "Take care kaveh," he said as we shook hands good bye. It was so nice to see him after so long, at least two years >>>

FICTION
All trees start somewhere

Short story
Baharak Sedigh

Whoever said honesty was the best policy has never had to tell a group of nine-year-olds about being left at a hospital door when a few days old. Whoever said honesty was the best policy must not have had a horrendous secret to hide in the first place. I remained still begging my heart to stop beating so fast. I knew some would ignore me, some would become nicer. Either way everyone would change. I always saw the words that went through people's minds when they found out. Everyone thinks they can hide their thoughts, but the words cross people's eyes and I read every one of them. Unwanted. Left behind. Unlucky. Sad. Alone. Futureless. Unloved.  I always wondered if they could read mine. Unloved. Unwanted. Alone >>>

TRAVELERS

North by south

Photo essay: Traveling in Iran
Saba Parsa

IRAN-U.S.
Mahmoud on a mission

Ahmadinejad’s grand gestures of defiance and brinkmanship
Hossein Bagher Zadeh

The letter by President Ahmadinejad to President Bush generated a lot of speculations both inside Iran and in the outside world. It was the first time that a leader of the Islamic Republic had directly written to the leader of the “Great Satan”, and used polite terminologies in addressing them. At home, the reformists welcomed it as a breakthrough in the long-standing estrangement between the two governments, while the conservative press hailed it as a grand gesture on par with letters sent out some fourteen centuries ago by the Prophet Mohammad to leaders of the then empires inviting them to the bosoms of Islam. The latter group knew more about the Islamic President than the formers, and their judgements must be nearer to the truth. Ahmadinejad seems to be on a Messianic mission to save the world >>>

TRAVELERS
Repent, repent...

Part 10: Returning to Iran: 1986-87
Sima Nahan

Taba is the Arabic root for "to repent." Tavvab, in the Persian pronunciation, is "the repentant one." In the vocabulary of the prisons of the Islamic Republic, tavvabs are those prisoners who repent their "counter-revolutionary" and "divisionist" pasts and see the light of God on pain of death. Depending on the degree of their cooperation, tavvabs enjoy privileges and authority within the prison system. They may be given the responsibility of distributing food, rationing the tea, or keeping an eye on the activities of fellow prisoners. They may be chosen by male guards as mates for siqeh (temporary marriage) and occasionally rewarded with frivolous contents of confiscated handbags >>>

REPLY
Paasokh yek shaaer

Replying to Ahmadinejad's letter to Bush
Mirza Agha Asgar (Mani)

TV
One-sided BS

Saeed S

Did you watch the show "Iran: The Next Iraq?"  on the History Channel? It was some of the most one-sided propaganda BS I have ever seen! Especially coming from a such a well respected program provider. They basically were talking as if these suspicions/allegations were actual facts. It was amazing! They did not even have a person from the other side of the debate! The scary part is I was able to see that almost every word was BS, but to the average American who may not have ever studied about Iran, or anyone else who sees and believes that the programs on the History Channel as accurate and honest will be so misled by this show. If you can find a way to watch it and if you agree with my evaluation of the program could get the word out to try to get the History Channel yank it and apologize. Or at the very least discredit them and their program.

ART

Going for a ride

Drawings
Reza Hedayat

NUCLEAR
Hysterical

Bush administration continues to pursue an aggressive media strategy against Iran
Daniel M Pourkesali

Since the beginning of this new manufactured crisis, the so called mainstream media has done everything in its power to conceal the facts and spin the details in a way that advances the warmongers objectives. No doubt the propaganda is working as evident by the results of a recent Time /Bloomberg pole that found bout half of those surveyed support military action if Iran continues its nuclear activity. This is reminiscent of the polling done prior to Iraq invasion when about the same percentage gullibly bought the Saddam/911 connection and the WMD he was ready to unleash on us lest we acted >>>

IRAN-U.S.
Why do they hate us?

Interview with Stephen Kinzer, author of "Overthrow" and "All the Shah's Men"
Fariba Amini

Stephen Kinzer is well known in the Iranian community. His book All the Shah’s Men which described the 1953 coup d’etat in Iran reads like a spy novel and won praise both in Iran and the US. Stephen received hundreds of emails and letters from people all over the world including a man who was only a little boy in Philadelphia when Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh went to the Liberty Bell, offering the Iranian nation's friendship for America. That little boy had delivered a bouquet of flowers to the then Prime Minister of Iran. A long time correspondence with the New York Times, he has now left the Times to teach journalism at Northwestern University in Illinois. He was the Times bureau chief in Istanbul, covered wars in Nicaragua, Guatemala as well as Serbia. Now, S. Kinzer is out with a new book, Overthrow: America’s century of regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq >>>

REPLY
Paasokh beh naameh

Replying to Ahmadinejad's letter to Bush
Ali Salari

HUMAN RIGHTS
Saving Nazanin

Former Miss World Canada struggles to save 18-year-old Iranian woman from execution
Darius Kadivar

Afshin-Jam, considers Nazanin to be the real victim rather than the criminal in this case, and is determined to help save the young teenager's life, and is using her own International fame to draw attention to the teenager's predicament. If nothing else, it seems to spur on the determination of Afshin-Jam, a former Warrant Officer First Class of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and a Political Science Student. To raise awareness to this case, she has launched an online petition to support this cause. However, it is very likely that the Iranian Judiciary will carry out the death sentence. This makes Afshin-Jam's petition all the more important and her struggle to save her compatriot all the more urgent >>>

ART

Blue working girls & orange little men

Photography
Ali Mobasser

MUSIC
Persian Rock comes of age

Well, what do you know? It seems that after a 40-year-long delay, Iranian rockers have finally found a way to stand up and be heard
Saeed Ganji

Nothing can connect with today's youth as easily and transparently as rock music. Towards the end of the ‘60s, when I was ten or twelve, this music was at the height of its flight, and what an awesome time we had with it. That novelty and freshness, and specially the particular social conditions that gave birth to this music, such as the Vietnam War and the vocal opposition to it, or the hippie movement, many of whose leaders were musicians, the whole thing, was like a modern social renaissance in which music had a most central role. All these electric-guitar virtuosos have come and gone; still, the picture of {Jimi Hendrix}, with his emotional and sarcastic rendition of the American anthem, during the massive Woodstock concert, is forever etched into our memories. >>>

NUCLEAR
Third camp

Iranians and the nuclear issue
Mehdi Amini

Ever since the escalation of tension between Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and the west over Iran’s nuclear program I have tried to follow this issue among the Iranian community abroad. Since the revolution of 1979 not one topic has become as controversial among the Iranian Diaspora as the subject of Iran’s nuclear activities. This paper tries to look at both sides of this issue and propose a third option that can help us to come up with a viable solution out of it. On this issue I have come up with two different views. On one side, are the Iranians of different political ideology who are against the IRI and the other side are those who see this purely from a nationalistic point of view. >>>

IRAN-U.S.
War must be avoided

Time for substantive Iran-US talks
Farhang Jahanpour

On 8th May the Iranian government's spokesman revealed that the Iranian president had sent a letter to President George Bush suggesting new ways of resolving the differences between the two countries. US officials have summarily dismissed it as 'rambling' and not addressing the nuclear standoff. They have also indicated that they do not intend to respond to the letter. However, the very fact that the hard-line Iranian president who had declared only a short time ago that there was no need to talk to the United States has decided to take this unusual step is of enormous significance, at least as a reflection of Iran's internal politics. This is the first time in more than a quarter century since the Islamic revolution that the Iranians have broken the taboo of directly communicating to US officials >>>

LIFE
Scheduled execution

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam

I am an Iranian scientist and human rights activist. You can read about me in this BBC-report. As you know one week is remaind until the scheduled execution of Valiollah Feiz-Mahdavi, a young and courageous Iranian political prisoner. I have started a petition in protest against his execution. I know that the Iranian regime might not care about international pressure, but we shouldn't let it happen in silence! Regardless of our political view, we, as Iranians, should not let the regime do whatever they want to the people. Here you can hear his voice (recorded from a phone call he made from the prison).

LIFE
Two steps for Farivars & Nazanin

Kia Atri

It is not every day that the cause of a fellow Iranian (or fellow Iranians) is championed by those close to or holding the reins of power. There is however a British politician who has chosen to put honour and principal before position and expediency: Claire Short... The Farivar family are in the UK requesting asylum. The UK government wants to deport them. The Right Honourable Claire Short MP has championed her cause. Please sign the petition to both encourage her and keep the cause of an Iranian family alive. If signing that petition killed off two minutes of your time kill another two minutes by signing another to high light the case of the young Nazanin who defended herself against rapists and was condemned to death for having killed one of her assailants. She has had a stay of execution but is not out of the woods yet. Yes this is classic Islamic Republic and you can do something about it as Miss Afshar-Jam did >>>

TRAVELERS

Every color you can imagine

Photo essay: Keukenhof flower garden, a genuine Dutch treat
Sasan Seifikar

IRAN-U.S.
My letter to Ahmadinejad

A letter I would have written on behalf of President Bush
Nema Milaninia

As many of you know, Ahmadinejad has recently sent a letter to President Bush discussing, amongst other things, the occupation of Palestine, nuclear technology, the war in Iraq, all of which with references to the teachings of Christ and Moses. Just by reading the letter it is clear that its message objective was not intended for reapproachment. I'm not even sure if it was intended to sincerely guide Bush. Thus, one is left with two alternative objectives: 1) its either intended to mock the US president and point out inconsistencies in his policy and faith, or 2) intended to articulate Ahmadinejad's policy position to the Western word, by which the letter was simply intended to fan the media. I'm intended to believe in the latter position then the former, although both objectives clearly could have been in mind. That being put aside, here's a letter I would have written on behalf of President Bush: Dear President Ahmadinejad >>>

REQUEST
Chop chop

Siamack Baniameri

The U.S. government has announced that it will make President Ahmadinejad's 18-pages-long letter to President Bush available to the media. The letter has pages and pages of references to historical events, ideological hypotheses and philosophical commentaries. For those of us who don't have much time to read, I would like to ask official editors to shorten the letter down to a few pages by summarizing the historical events up to World War II, reducing the ideological section to stoning and chopping heads, and finally include only philosophical commentaries that reference Freud and interpretations of sexual dreams.

STADIUM
Women can go to stadiums. Not!

Ahmadinejad needs to play women against hardliners and hardliners against women
Ali Dadpay

In the midst of the nuclear agenda, hardening the regulations regarding the veil and collecting satellite dishes from residential areas, President Ahmadinejad announced that women must be welcome in stadiums and sports events. He ordered one of his deputies to make necessary arrangements. Clergies, traditionalists and radicals alike, opposed such policies in most determine language. The most interesting part was the reaction of radical faction of Iran's Parliament (Majlis). Some of its members openly told the residents of Qom that their Fatwas are not law, and won't be obliging until becoming so. Loftier heads had been lost expressing such thoughts in the past. More surprisingly the radical faction of the house is constituted by those who are there because of the support of the same clergies they defied for one brief moment. At the end of the day, President caved in. There won't be any women in stadium for a while. Another episode in the Presidency of Dr. Ahmadinejad is over. But why? >>>

WORLD CUP
Support Iranian soccer team

Guive Mirfendereski

International sports is politic by other means. We all know that. When the Czechoslovakia hockey team beat the Soviet team one winter it was a vindication of the Czech pride, which had been so hurt and humiliated when the tanks of the Warsaw Pact rolled into Prague and overthrew Dubcek's government in the previous spring. The year the English soccer team played the Germans in the World Cup it was World War II on grass turf. Who can forget the political dimensions of the Iran-Israel or German and Netherlands soccer contests in the 1970s. Or who can forget the beating of the US team by Iran two or three World Cup games ago. I think I have made my point >>>

WOMEN
Sheyda

Short story about battered women
Daniel Zangeneh

Sheyda was wearing a short white manteau over short blue jeans, a little over her ankles, and high-heal black shoes. She covered her beautiful dark brown hair with a designer white-and-light-blue scarf. Her long black eyelash made her gorgeous eyes so stunning that one would never want to stop looking at them. Her smile was so mesmerizing and addictive that you wanted to capture that moment eternally. Her incredible body was truly like an undiscovered southern paradise; as if God brilliantly sculptured her to just watch ceaselessly. "Mahsa Jan, please tell me, what do you think about Koorosh? Tell me the truth?" Sheyda said. "You are so damn lucky; he is so handsome, highly educated and damn rich. What else do you want? You are thirty-two-years old, you better act fast, " Mahsa replied with an envious smile >>>

PATRIOTISM
Living up to the Bill of Rights

The word "Patriotism" that may move most Americans may not move me, but this little episode on a TV show did
Hamid Bakhsheshi

I wasn't born in America, so I feel as if either I missed the flag waving and the pledge of legion, and everything else that goes with it, or I was saved from the propaganda that goes with it and some brain-washing that comes with it. I never really did understand all this "we're number 1", "The greatest power", or rhetoric like it. I'm not arguing the validity of it, I just don't relate. So, it gets to be a bit difficult to digest words like freedom and spreading democracy, especially since we hear it in the president's speech eight or nine times in three sentences. A few days ago I walked into my wife's home office and heard words coming out of this guy's mouth that stopped me with hunger to listen to. She had received it as an attachment in an email and it was closing arguments in a court session from an episode of Boston Legal. Now I haven't watched any of the weekly shows, but this bit really got me interested >>>

RESPECT
Making fun of Islam & Muslims

Damon Taghavi

Let's imagine these scenarios:
- The New York Times publishes an ad defamating homosexuals.
- The Atlanta Journal prints an article mocking African-Americans.
- The Wall Street Journal prints a notice that Jewish buisness men/women are stingy.
Now imagine the reaction. Furthermore, imagine everything you have believed in your entire life -- and all things you were told were pure, just, and right -- was now being desecrated by someone you believe to be impure and possibly an enemy of your faith. Point of the matter is to envision ourselves in both perspectives. Now who is to blame? People who've reacted to intolerance or idiots who have as much right to freedom of speech as do Nazi enthusiasts. I ask you not as nationalists but as humanists to respect the beliefs of the people of the world no matter your political views, creed, race or any other divider of men and women on earth. Not so much about freedom of speech but about the respect of peoples. If you dare to disregard other belief systems based on your education, please do re-evaluate that education.

NEPAL
Long live the king!

You have to be a perfect ignoramus or an astoundingly grand idiot to assert that Maoists in Nepal wish to impose a democratic republic
Alidad Vassigh

I do believe the media manipulate people, though probably there is no grand plot. Check the images from Nepal, and you will see the usual riff-raff in the street, and doubtless members of the middle class (in scenes reminiscent of events almost 30 years ago in an ill-fated country not a million miles from Nepal), shouting and waving red flags with the hammer-and-sickle. These are the democracy protesters, and no news agency or website mentions any communist agitators and sympathizers among them. An AP or Reuters report explained recently in the background verbiage that concludes every report that Nepal's government has for years been fighting against Maoist rebels who want to replace the monarchy with a "democratic republic." >>>

QUESTION
Marketable art

Parsa Pezeshki

It is quite a widespread notion: the incontestable reign of money in our world. Time is money; money is power; money is the root of all evil, money corrupts... and so the trite sayings carry on. The continuous recurrence of such sayings, though, does not detract from their truthfulness. Indeed, the reign of currency, as we know it today, ought to be dethroned. Contemporarily, in light of dominant materialistic values, money decides the direction of travel in most journeys of life. Nevertheless, what has just been said is merely the exterior; money's extensive influence is rather obvious to most >>>

MUSIC
HACK

Tracks from "Man"
MP3s

HACK sarted in 2001 by Moni Safikhani as Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist. After two solo albums , in 2003 Moni teamed up with modern Persian poet Mehrdad Fallah and Sarakhs, another popular local rock band, to record Hack's first album named 'Under my Skin'. Kasra Ebrahimi (Drums) with Behzad Khiavchi (GuitarBacking Vocal) and Peter Akop (Bass) from Sarakhs joined Moni for the first album, each adding their own energy and vibe to the music >>>

MUSIC
Daad

"Dastaa Baalaa", "Sai Nakon" & more
MP3s

Daad is a Persian hip hop group living in Berlin/Germany, in existence since 2005. The band consists of two members: Mehty and Kaaveh. Mehty is the producer. He composes the tracks, rarely using any samples, arranges and mixes the songs. Moreover, he plays the guitar and is a multi-talented singer. He sometimes raps but mostly sings soul and is one of the first artists that sings reggae and raggamuffin in the Persian language. He studied guitar and played for several artists, mostly coming from Jamaica. He has also played melodies and produced various tracks for known R&B and rap artists from Germany and abroad >>>

PETITION
Validating Washington's baseless claims

Daniel M Pourkesali

Dear Directors of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy, As concerned citizens of the world while appreciating CPD's effort drafting a statement opposing a war against Iran, we regretfully decline to sign it due to several contradictory remarks and overall misleading language of this announcement. Notwithstanding, however, if the language of text is changed to accommodate our concerns, we would campaign for its universal acceptance. Your statement begins correctly exposing the hostile intents of the U.S. administration by "manufacturing a climate of fear in order to prepare public opinion for another act of aggression, this time against Iran", yet in the very next sentence -- "three years ago it was the specter of Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction; today it's the Iranian nuclear bomb", the word alleged is missing with regard to Iranian activities... The rest of your statement is a diatribe of numerous accusations against the current regime which infringes in an area totally outside your jurisdiction. >>>

IRAN-U.S.
Only Bush can go to Iran

It is time for a new approach to Iran
Hamid Bahadori

The current U.S. policy in dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions has only one unavoidable outcome: Iran having a nuclear weapons much sooner than most would like to believe. Unfortunately, that’s the good news! The bad news is that in pursuing this bizarre policy, the process itself will yield more serious long-term threats to the U.S. national interests than Iran’s nuclear bombs. Most political “pundits”, including some in the current administration, appear amazingly ignorant to history’s tectonic forces. Their concept of world history barely stretches back past World War I, and the new paradigms of “globalization” exhilarate them into a Utopian vision of world peace through a universally shared shopping experience at Wal-Mart while watching MTV on big screens >>>

ART

Bold brushes

HERITAGE

To Bam & back

Photo essay: Bam before & after the December 2003 earthquake, plus Mahan
Asghar Riahi

POETRY
Prayer

(for Maya)
Arash Daneshzadeh

POETRY
Hand painted dreams

In this grey garden of green remembrance
Farah Afshari

POETRY
Spring poems

The sight of wild flowers
Sasan Seifikar

POETRY
Satisfaction

Lighter than a feather
Akbar Showkatian

POETRY
To kill a sand nigger

One day I decided to kill
Doug Soderstrom

POETRY
Midnight solace

Wordless sigh
Matt Fulton

POETRY
Innocent dreams

Tears, best friend of street kids
Aashish Ameya

POETRY
Who is the terrorist?

One, who oppresses, keeps others mum by its might
Malik Ashaq Raza

POETRY
President

The world is not black and white [Persian text]
Alireza Tarighian

POETRY
Ghazale Ghazalhaa

16 days before 9/11
Goli Farrell

POETRY
Don't kiss and tell

Today, a love for real is a love to last
Patricia Byron Hariri

POETRY
Mitavaan beh khish andishid?

Emrooz nah
Ali Tabibzadeh

POETRY
Boredom

What's the point?
Lee Howard Hodges

POETRY
Chashmai purjoush

Agar isyon kunem, ofoq metarkad ba rui mo
Loiq Sherali

RELIGION
Rasmiyat dar Mesr

On Kayhan's response to the official recognition of the Bahai faith in Egypt
Kavian S. Milani

AMERICA

To Disneyland and back

Photo essay
Jahanshah Javid

SHORTS
Sure bet

Manouchehr Mehrparvar

Fresh off the press: Vegas line on payouts for the upcoming World Cup games. Example: If you bet $1,000 on Brazil and they win the World Cup, you''ll win $1,700 minus a few dollars as fees. On Iran, a $1,000 bet will result in a $36,000 minus change payout. Gooooooooooooooooooooooo Iran. Here are the odds:

Brazil: 27 to 10
England: 13 to 2
Italy: 8 to 1
Germany: 8 to 1
France: 12 to 1
Holland: 12 to 1
Australia: 22 to 1
Czech Republic: 25 to 1
Iran: 37 to 1

LETTERS
Will it take a Chernobyl-type accident?

In the Wed. May 3 BBC article by Frances Harrison, "Iranian author arrested in Tehran," linked right here on iranian.com, there is an important point that is brought up by Akbar Ganji. The last paragraph of the article reads: "[Mr. Ganji] questioned why in Iran there is no real debate on the nuclear issue, saying every where else in the world civil society groups protest against nuclear power plans, but in Iran everyone lines up to defend them." This is a classic example of "hameh raa aab bordeh, ma raa khaab." Will it take a Chernobyl-type accident to convince people that nuclear power is a bad idea? Can't we, and our civil society groups, find a saner cause to rally around? >>> More

 

TRAVELERS

Happy mayhem

Photo essay: Trip to Iran during Noruz
Shadi Bahar

POETRY
O morning

Your mission is accomplished
Akbar Showkatian

SHORTS
Hello from Brazil!

Carla Fernandes

I'm a brazilian teacher. I just like to receive any informations about Iran, or email to somebody who can help me. I'm a math teacher and in the school that I work I there will be a Cultural Fair about participant countries in the World Cup. My class is responsable for Iran and we have to talk about whatever related to Iran in the areas of math, history, geography, biology, popular culture, different ethnic groups (main ones), any important peoples (scientists, philosophers, researchers) to do a good work. If it will be able to place me in contact with somebody, or to supply some source to me of research I would appreciate that. Thanks a lot.

SHORTS
Iran barandeh misheh!

Blash

My name is Blash. I've recently finished recording a song for Team melli. the song is now the most requested on RadioJavan.com. i am trying to make this song an official football song for iran. I m just wondering if you can do a feature on me. for more info visit my site Blash.co.uk.

GOD
Man-made and backward

All institutionalized religions are
Jeff Omail

I guess Brother Thomas is itching for a reply here. In this case, let me tell you that your non-sense and inhumane letter to Iranian.com once again points to continual clash between reason and religion in the modern world. Your raised issues attest to this fact that the mankind can not anticipate to survive the existing religion differences indefinitely. As it appears, WMD are and soon will be in control of vicious religious zealots. Where not science has pioneered, these self-believed heads have "clandestinely" mastered "communication" with their insane and brutal "GOD". Their Gods share many similar traits, however, the most common one is the intolerance. Their mission is to deliver death sentence to "infidel" humans on earth with no fear. Heaven is reward.

WORLD CUP
No rights, no sports

It's the IRI in the World Cup, not Iran
Jahanshah Rashidian

An international sport boycott of the IRI must be debated over the drastic record of human rights of the IRI, not because of the Ahmadinejad’s views. Ban of apartheid in sport was a correct means for sensibilities world opinion against that anti-human regime. The same ban can principally also be decided for the similar reasons on the anti-human IRI. Although there are some calls in Germany, demanding a ban of Iran for being a huge terrorist supporter, the German government, by chanting its virtues, has so far not taken a position on that or on the permanent violations of human rights in Iran. Regarding many similarities between the apartheid and the IRI, the German government should expressly answer the question that what the reasons are that the IRI has not been banned from the WC and why the IRI’s crimes are unnoticed.

SATIRE

Be the worst you can be

Cartoons
Houman Mortazavi

SHORTS
Modern treasure

Mariah Ashkenani

When I was searching for a tape among my father's old properties, I found a Neli's old tape belongs to late 70's, an old damaged recording, but It was like a treasure to me. I didn't want to lose that great rare recording of Neli's, the Iranian pop singer who never got known by our generation, I don't know why! Although her songs were just great and modern. So as I'm familiar with sound engineering, I started converting this damaged old recording into equalized digital mp3 files which can be saved for ever. Enjoy listening to "Man o toh" song while I'm working on the other singles of her.

OPINION
Dancing to Western music

Open letter to Iran's Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi
Rostam Pourzal

Apparently you do not realize, Ms. Ebadi, that in the country that leads this pack, the United States, no third political party has been allowed by the two majors to emerge in at least a century. Do you know that no candidate of any persuasion stands any chance of being nominated for a national office (and most other elected positions) unless the super wealthy class here greases his/her campaign wheels with cash? You have rightfully complained elsewhere that the theocratic hierarchy limits political competition in Iran. Does it not bother you then what happens to the aspirations of tens of millions of Americans whose spokespersons rarely win a seat unless they compromise their fidelity to their average constituents?

LIFE
Malaaek

For my parents
Nima Sheikhy

COMPASSION
The glowworm

I have always felt I can light up the forest with the light that illuminates from within my heart
Azam Nemati

Well as the only woman in my community who has no personal life so she is totally dedicated to empower Iranians by bringing us together and helping to empower each other, I used to go to Sofrehs so those who knew my name could put a human face to the name. I also had the opportunity to meet other people I could help in small ways. You see my concept of empowerment and help since I was a child is totally different than most people. I think if I can give advice to a woman which helps improve her life slightly then that is empowering to me. Fro example, I feel if I can help write and submit the resume of an Iranian woman (or man) so we can find her/him a job then that is empowering that person and I hope that this person would remember and helps someone else when the need is there.

MUSIC
Kambiz Mirzaei

Selections from "Adamaaye Kaaghazi"
Vocals by Banafsheh Behzadi, Shahrzad Sepanlou & Kaveh Valaei

NAME
Searching for Suri

A more comprehensive explanation of the meaning of "Suri" in the Persian language
Kaveh T.

I found the comments, and also disagreements on the meaning of Suri in the Persian language interesting, and thought that this might shed some light on this topic. Since I realize that this discussion initially arose, apparently, by Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's remarks about the meaning of the name for their newly born daughter Suri, I have written this for them as well. For the purpose of, as the saying goes, getting to the point and not making this explanation lengthy and boring, I shall refrain from explaining the real or most likely, plausible historic roots and also ancient affiliations to this word (as specifically related to its meaning and usage for celebration, and also to the color red).

SHORTS
I pray for more earthquakes

Brother Thomas

Regarding your web site, in which you have solicited donations for survivors of the earthquake in Iran, you need to understand the earthquake was part of God's plan. First, let us admit that Muhammad himself was an infidel who rejected Jesus as the Son of God. Second, your people have consistently used the excuse of "jihad" to kill innocent people throughout the world. All people are God's children, and all killing is unjust; when we kill our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are, in fact, killing Jesus himself all over again. As Muslims reject Christianity, the frequent earthquake in Iran are God's retribution for your infidelity to Him. I feel sorry for the innocents but, let's face it: if any nation deserves it, it is yours. In all honesty, I pray for more earthquakes, plagues, starvation, and sickness to befall your nation: maybe then you will stop threatening the rest of the world with your idiotic behavior and rejection of the Son of God. Shalom, my brother. Order of Franciscans of the Lax Observance, Texas Catholic Worker, Round Rock, Texas.

POETRY
Chameleon

He conforms to those around him
Sasan Seifikar

IRAN-U.S.
Fear is the real enemy

Fear always wins, and in our case too, fear is winning again
Behrouz Bahmani

The inability of the most sophisticated military and clandestine information gathering organization in the world to somehow be incapable of hunting down and bringing to justice, the man or men behind 911 becomes somewhat plausible, if not all the more convenient. If fear is the valid intention, having a real boogeyman has its advantages. Now, around this time, the typical cowardly Iranian in me says that I've made my point and I can end this article right here. Our character as faint of heart Iranians seems to allow us to easily criticize the US, whether we live inside or outside of it. Our unique observational skills it seems is always conveniently pointed outward, never willing to consider the stains, skidmarks, and soil of our own land and laundry. So I attempt to purge myself of this sin in this piece. Forgive me if I don't get it right, it is a new page for me. Maybe for you as well.

SHORTS
Threat? Prove it.

Guive Mirfendereski

In order to prescribe the UN Charter's Chapter 7 sanctions against Iran, the Security Council needs to determine that Iran is a threat to international peace and security. If Iran is a threat to international peace and security, then how does it follow that causing a wider war from the Oxus to the Mediterranean necessarily will address the international concern over peace and security!? It will be unfortunate -- if not a dereliction of duty -- if the Security Council should bypass the requirements of Chapter 6 of the Charter, which demands of the Member States to resolve their differences peacefully.

TRAVELERS
Eh eh eh

Outsight and inside out, Part 4: A travelogue on an outer and the inner landscape
Vida Kashizadeh

Interestingly the stronger characters in UK - lets say amongst politicians - know that they should not come out strongly or even sound too sure of what they are talking about if they are to survive in their profession. When these are interviewed on the radio they always start with a consecutive sound of eh eh eh... before each sentence, which means I have a strong opinion about this but I don’t want to put it strongly or be seen as too strong or too sure, because I know it would mean I could end up needing your help desperately, which of course would please you, especially if there was nothing you could do about it but nevertheless made you feel needed. Now this eh sound before each sentence might work on the TV with the help of non verbal communication -- that is body language -- but on radio it is damn irritating; it sounds like they are sitting in the toilet while the interviewer is handing them the paper (toilet-paper or newspaper, depending on the question or the answer) impatiently without listening, while busy thinking how and at what moment of a chance given for an interruption to shove the next question in.

SHORTS
What can we do for him?

M.

Valiollah Feiz-Mahdavi, an Iranian political prisoner is supposed to be executed on May 16. We have now his voice from inside the prison! It is recorded from a phone call he made from the prison where he talks about how he has been treated and sends a messege to all fellow Iranians. He is so brave! He speaks of course in Persian, he tells about his background, when he was arrested, how he has been treated in the prison, and how he got to know his sentence. Recent reports from the prison say that he has been sick (with intestinal and exacerbated skin disease) and brought to the prison hospital last week, and returned back without any treatment. What can we do for him?

SHORTS
Northern comfort

Gary Marshall

Greetings from New York. PLEASE have patience, and understanding, regarding the purpose of this inquiry and a favorable response. I have known a University graduate (MBA Organic Chemistry) from Tehran, Iran for several years. He will be attending the University of Western Ontario studying for his PhD this coming fall semenster. He will be having accommodations on campus. Obviously, he will be quite a distance from family and friends and this will create some degree of discomfort. Therefore, I am attempting to determine how I can communicate with an Iranian community in the London, Ontario area, hopefully by a website or whatever is available. It is my sole purpose to help him become somewhat more comfortable. Thank you.

Paintings
Hasan Vahedi

MUSIC
Googoosh

"Naze Shastet" (with Iraj) & "Forooghe Shabe Tariki"
Rare songs from early 1970s, late 1960s

LIFE
Zire poosteye shahr

Mother doesn't ask how I make the money
Shahriar Zahedi

SHORTS
Airing out dirty laundry

Asghar Massombagi

It doesn't take a brilliant strategist to figure out that a smaller weaker Iran with preferably smaller share of its vast oil reserves is easier to control and deal with for the military-industrial-petroleum complex headquartered in the White House. Breaking up and reconfiguring nations is an old power game. And yet, airing out dirty laundry is the best way to assure the long term health of any community. Collective amnesia never helped any group. Old wounds sooner or later surface and contaminate everyone involved; just look at the Balkans... It's silly to think that the past twenty-seven years somehow has been a national nightmare brought upon by a foreign virus. That said, the majority Shia has suffered the most as a result of the current regime. The majority of those executed, imprisoned and forced into exile have been in fact the so-called Persian Shia Iranians. And yet, no one can ask an Iranian Jew or Armenian or Bahai to shut her mouth and not talk about their experiences.

KURDISTAN
The blame game

Anti-US stance is only music to the ears of those who prefer status quo and reign of brutal tyrants in the Middle East
Kamal Artin

Since Southern Kurdistan is becoming an establishment, its leaders and supporters have become the target of usual criticism by intellectuals. However, at times, such criticism has gone too far, similar to expecting a baby to walk before she or he learns to crawl. As an example a respectable Kurdish intellectual blamed a US leader for the unpredictable chaos in Baghdad and compared him to a fascist, although the criticized leader for whatever reason had been courageous enough to end the reign of a malicious dictator such as Saddam. I can not support everything that the US stands for, but an anti US attitude to the extent of calling its leaders fascists and ignoring the true fascists in the Middle East is as biased as the attitude of Stalin or Ayatollahs. Clearly not everything that shines in the US is golden nor are the US leaders any saints; however, compared to some Western leaders who might have traits of self centeredness and narcissism, most Middle Eastern tyrants have psychopathic traits.

RIGHTS
Black census

Counting minorities is an omen of bad prospects and evil designs ahead
Iqbal Latif

Asma Jilani Jahangir, born 1952, Lahore, is a Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Arbitrary and Summary Executions. The name of Asma Jehangir, human rights activist, commands respect, admiration and affection in the Indian sub-continent comprising India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. According to her, the new wave of Bahai persecution in Iran is a gross infringement of UN Declaration of Human rights. The Special Rapporteur made public a confidential and official letter sent on 29 October 2005 by the chairman of the command headquarters of Iran's armed forces to several Iranian government agencies stating that Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has instructed the command headquarters to identify and monitor, in a highly confidential manner, members of the Bahai faith in Iran.

AMERICA

Can you hear us now?

Photo essay: Immigration rally in Los Angeles
Pedram Moallemian

TRAVELERS
The martyr and his creator

Part 9: Returning to Iran: 1986-87
Sima Nahan

Payam-e Shahid (Message of the Martyr) is an everyday tribunal for the rhetoric and politics of the Islamic Republic. A clever propaganda device, it reiterates stock sentiments and injunctions in a new context each time. When it actually is the words of individual men, it also provides a first and last chance for a great number of faceless sons of poverty to claim existence and, however prefabricated and short-lived, a voice. It is a tribunal for Man-as-Martyr-of-the-Islamic-Republic... In the "Vocabulary of Martyrdom" we are given "love," "quest for purification," and "desire for perfection" to substitute for "pain, suffering, and poverty" which, according to the teacher who celebrated the martyrdom of his student, constitutes the vocabulary of the slums of Tehran. But the stock phrases that are endlessly repeated in a sampling of Payam-e Shahid seem to strengthen the suspicion that the vocabulary of man-as-martyr is infinitely more limited than the vocabulary of the slums of southern Tehran, rich with humanity as that is.

LETTERS
You're not so rational either

On Rod Liddle's Sunday Times piece, "We may have to bomb Iran": Dear Rod Liddle, There is something worse than living in a world where Iran has nuclear weapons: one where ill-informed and illiterate columnists prescribe war as a cure in international relations as casually as a GP might headache tablets. Iran's president is not a particularly rational man. Nor, judging by your impatience to bomb the Iranian people, and the intellectual poverty of your arguments -- shrouded by your shockingly jokey tone -- are you. Please, read a few books about a country before you recommend bombing it. And these are countries, Mr Liddle, with people, with histories, not clusters of nuisance coons as you might think >>> More

 

ART

Fly with me

Paintings
Saeed Siadat

GOOGOOSH
The last seduction

Her voice mixed with the scent of the sea and the memory of that afternoon, and I was sure I’d never heard such lovely music
Jasmin Darznik

Let me be up-front about this:  I am not a Googoosh fan.  The plaintive wail, the disco tempo.    Her charms may be many, her fans legion, but over the years I’ve remained stubbornly uncharmed.  It is true that when I read in the newspaper some years ago that she was staging a comeback in the States, I paused for a moment and said out loud to nobody but myself, “Well, that’s interesting.”  It was a reaction not unlike the one I had a few months ago when learning that a new planet had been discovered.  Interesting, yes, but just too remote for me to really care about it. So who can explain the late night impulse that recently drove me to punch in my credit card information, courting untold perils of fraud, in order to purchase one of her old CDs online?  Wouldn’t it have been more prudent to have waited until the next morning, when I could have calmly pulled one of her CDs from the music shelf of my local Iranian grocery? She’d seduced me at last, our siren of song.  I had to have her.  She arrived last night.  I have been with her ever since.

GOL
The garden within

The love of nature is reflected in our art, poetry and even daily conversation
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

No matter how big or small our homes may be, I am convinced that there is a gardener inside each Iranian. We are in tune with nature and it seems as if the mere act of cultivating the land, brings back memories of our true home. As I prune the rose bushes in my yard, as I feed them and water their thirsty roots, I am reminded of a climbing rose on the other side of the world. Its branches arched over a brick driveway and those multi-colored buds greeted me throughout spring as I came home from school. Unlike many gardeners, I am accustomed to working those bulky, stiff, gloves, and sometimes even forget to wear a hat. As my bare hands dig into the soil and feel its texture, for a moment I feel as one with the earth. When someone asks me if I know the names of the roses, I shake my head and wonder if I need to. A rose is a rose; I don’t need to call that large pink blossom Princess Diana or the red one Mr. Lincoln to know what they are. But roses here are named after people, places, and events, not to mention silly commercials. Weight Watchers Success Story? Give me a break!

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