Features

>>> Archive
June 2007

COMMUNITY
Strategic philanthropy

PARSA Community Foundation announces 2007 Norooz grantees
Mariam Hosseini

A core element of PARSA's mission is to strengthen entrepreneurial individuals and nonprofits that serve the Persian community.  To that end, PARSA just completed the first round of its two semi-annual grant cycles with $114,000 going to six powerful ideas.  Youth leadership, preservation of Persian history, promotion of cultural understanding and civic integration are common themes.  The overwhelming response to our national call for grant applications provided further proof that the community needs enormous resources to fight defamation, prevent our history from being rewritten, and cultivate pride in our heritage.  There are countless opportunities within our reach that require funds and volunteers to bear fruit >>>

MIDDLE EAST
Blair's future is Brown

It is inconceivable to think that Tony Blair and his advisors are not aware of his image in the Middle East
Mohammad Kamaali

As Tony Blair left Downing Street, leaving Britain's Prime Ministership to his long time rival and co-leader of the Labour Party, Gordon Brown, the protesters outside Blair's office were greeted with the news that Blair had just been appointed as the new "Middle East Envoy" for the Quartet. (US/EU/UN/Russia) Looking at the realities of the Middle East today and reviewing Blair's contribution to the current mayhem, one is left wondering whether this decision is born out of delusional thinking, sheer cynicism, or is there any possible constructive utility in this appointment? >>>

TRAVELERS
In the name of fun

Photo essay: Las Vegas
Salim Madjd

POETRY
Amaan az maa

Dar aalame khelghat masalan keh yek shaahkaareem
Shahireh Sharif

POETRY
Tea

Nothing is as refreshing
Sasan Seifikar

POETRY
Precious moments

Come together
Arezou Raeisghasem

REVOLUTION
Painful truth

With the forced and enforced external religious appearance, religion itself may have had an unfortunate setback in the hearts and minds of Iranians
Paymaneh Amiri

I read Lawrence Reza Ershaghi’s article, Opportunists, not academics, with trepidation and reservation, interspersed with amusement.  While Ershaghi appears passionate and marginally knowledgeable about his topic (of the “just enough to be dangerous” kind), his rationale and thinking structure is worrisome -- in fact I believe Ershaghi’s argument to be equally worrisome to his opponents and proponents.  I do away with the names he calls Iranian scholars and activists abroad, and what many have been saying about Ershaghi.  To rehash disrespectful and accusatory literature is neither constructive, nor helpful.  I am glad Ershaghi has published his opinions in a forum where it can be approached and examined by all, and as an ordinary individual concerned about the future of Iran and interested in young Iranian minds anywhere, I feel invited to join the dialogue >>>

DEMOCRACY
Az entekhaabaate azaad taa diktaatoriye aksariyat

Democracy, elites and the ballot box
Esmail Nooriala

WAR
Hole

It wasn't the first time that I had to plunge to avoid death
Azarin Sadegh

I could have been killed on that day if I hadn't dropped my book. I hadn't thought about the fact that it was an extraordinary moment until I glanced at my morning newspaper. There I saw a picture of an Iraqi home with a big hole in the middle of its living room wall; a sad man, avoiding the camera, stood to the right of that hole. He was hiding a photo against his chest. Until I saw that picture, it never occurred to me that a particular day in my life, so many years ago, wasn't just an ordinary event. My memory of the moment is blurry. I remember almost nothing from the moments before it happened and definitely nothing from that same day afterward. I do remember it was a cold winter day in 1980; I still lived in Iran >>>

ART
Clash of cultures

Paintings
Aydin Aghdashloo

GENERATIONS
Aghebat hameh mesle ham nashodim

Today's young genertation knows nothing about revolution & war
Mazdak

WRITERS
"Siaasat" baazi baa ghalam

Writers union in exile plagued by politics
Massoud Noghrekar

WAR
Battle over 'hearts and minds'

Interview with Paul Ingram on the role of the intelligence services in the anti-Iran propaganda in the Western media
Mehrnaz Shahabi

In the months preceding the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the mainstream media in Britain played an instrumental role in softening the public opinion for war by disseminating the US Neo-Conservative propaganda against the Iraqi regime. The key allegations against Saddam Hussein’s regime of harbouring Al-Qaeda terrorists and possession of a clandestine nuclear weapons and other WMD programme were unfounded at the time and all proved to be false after the invasion. The incriminating stories of the infamous UK Iraq Dossier and the supply of uranium yellow cake from Niger to Iraq were shown to be total fabrication... The media is waging the same relentless propaganda bombardment to clear the path to yet another war, using the same tactics of anonymous sources, distortions and unsubstantiated claims to manufacture consent in a population that predominantly has no appetite for war >>>

ZIONISM
Why are Iranians so concerned about Israel?

My reckoning is that this whole anti-Zionist/anti-Israeli rhetoric we are seeing is a new form of anti-Semitism and nothing more
Ben Madadi

There is so much talk about Zionists and Zionism in the Iranian blog-sphere nowadays. Even doing a Google search on Iranian.com itself (the website, not the whole Internet) gives 265 results for "Zionist" and just 280 results for Islamist (Iranians write about Zionists almost equal to what they write about Islamists). What??? Why are Iranians so much concerned about Zionism and the Zionists? I am no supporter of Zionism but from what I have seen those Iranians who shout so much against the Zionists are not people who are appalled by the activities of the Israeli government against the Palestinians, but somehow paranoid that Israelis (Zionists, Jews, whatever) are plotting against Iran! >>>

CINEMA
Très bien!

Press review: Satrapi's "Persepolis" in French newspapers and magazines
Darius Kadivar

REFERNDUM
Hold them responsible

Let us sue the Islamic Republic and make it accountable
Amir Nasiri

Yesterday the government announced that it will ration gasoline line usage among the people. Every household e is only allowed 21 gallon per month. Is that not ridiculous? I fill up my car here very week and is more than 21 gallon. In Tehran with a poor transportation system imagine how people are going to survive. The government is squeezing as much as they can from the people. An ordinary Iranian has three jobs how are they going to live in a city where renting a 1 bedroom apartment is so high that it takes two teachers salary to pay for the rent. That is a shame an oil rich country like Iran which is the third in the world has gasoline line shortage problem >>>

VIEW
No crime is sacred
Camron Amin

Mr. Ershaghi's has written an elegant and lawyerly defense of the Islamic Republic and has reminded us of the accomplishments and insights of one of the most gifted scholars in Iranian Studies: Hamid Algar. I would point out that it is not necessary to belittle the efforts of other Iranian, Iranian-American or American Iran specialists to achieve these ends. Indeed, it seems to be a particularly provocative stance when four of us are being detained in Iran without any evidence of wrongdoing -- even by the standards of the Islamic Republic. Furthermore, as talented as Hamid Algar is, he defended not only the goals and ideals of the Islamic Revolution, but also its ruthless suppression of opposition in the 1980's >>>

PLAY
What's love got to do with it?

The revolutionary Shakespeare
Keyvan Tabari

In San Francisco, where I live, the 40th anniversary of the “Summer of Love” is fondly remembered -- not just by the local newspaper that has written copiously about it, but also especially by those of us old enough to have been present. Thus it was that recently on the number 45 bus to downtown, my neighbor and I talked not about work but about her college classmate at Michigan, Libby Appel. My neighbor noted that Libby, in her valedictory season as the Artistic Director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, was promising “another Summer of Love.” >>>

IRAN-U.S.
Troubled history
Nahal Zamani

The recent arrests of Ali Shakeri, Kian Tajbakhsh, Haleh Esfandiari, the barring of Parnaz Azima to leave Iran have been present in articles and discussions within the Iranian community. But the average American still has a limited understanding of the relationship between Iran and the United States -- these arrests, though unfortunate, may just be the tool with which Americans can finally bridge this gap. Tension between Iran and the United States is nothing new; here are some brief highlights... >>>

IDEAS
How to build a community: Lesson 2

The Town Hall Meeting Hey! It's not as difficult as it looks!
Bruce Bahmani

So far so good. My head is still attached to my neck! I expected nothing short of a public hanging, after the last article on naked micro-emperors. Some even sent me emails congratulating me on my candor. Almost all of you however, chimed in and it was, as the famous poet Berra said, "'like déjà vu all over again..." Here's a few of the responses: -- "Sadly, what you say is true. I hope Iranians [will] become' a real community similar to the Irish, Italians and Chinese. There will always be politics but having work[ed] in the nonprofit world for the past 15 years, I have never experienced such cut-throat actions in the name of 'community'." >>>

TRAVELERS
Breathless

Photo essay: Iran snapshots
Ali Majdfar

TONS OF LETTERS
Freudian slip or insensitivity

On Mohammad Reza Alidoosti's "Mahaal ast": "Johood" is a racial / religious slur, equivalent to Yid in English. The proper word for a Jew in Farsi (Persian) is Kaleemi or at least Yahoodi, even though according to some even Yahoodi (people of Yahveh) is improper. It is ironic to say the least that a patriotic call to all to defend the mother land addresses one group by such an ugly name. Freudian slip or an indication of the majority's insensitivity to and lack of knowledge of the minorities? >>> More letters

HIGH-RISE
The new culture
Laleh Larijani

The new reality of life in Iran is finding it in you to be part of the High-Rise culture.  Everywhere you look you’ll find buildings.  The beautiful districts of Darband and Koohestan which were once places of retreat and summer gardens are now literally transformed into what seems like a landscape fit for a downtown metropolis.  Tehran is transforming daily and rising from the ashes  are concrete and stones.  The half-finished buildings are the new  wonders of this city.  This is the booming business of Tehran.  There is big money to be made in construction and everyone and their dog wants a piece of the pie! >>>

FICTION
Aghdass at impasse

Short story
Azadeh Azad

Aghdass dragged her husband’s dead body out of the house, down the wet steps and into the snow-covered back courtyard. It was wrapped in blankets, stuffed in an army sleeping bag and bound around and around with ropes. The Tehran winter night was as cold as ice and Aghdass’s stomach was churning like a stormy sea. With her gloved hands tightly gripped to the end of the rope, she hauled the wrapped body of Mammad over the snow-packed ground, leaving a trail of drag marks. This was the body of a man who was once her beloved, a man who had gone to the war with Iraq and come back shell-shocked, a man with crazy eyes and uncontrollable urges >>>

LIFE
Maybe we will listen to Rumi
Nahid Shafiei

There was a picture and some comments on the "Iranian of the Day" section about losing people you love and not having the chance to tell them how much you loved them. At one time or another in our lives we have all been estranged from our parents, siblings, friends, and other relatives. But it is never too late to call them and make up with them and tell them how much you love them. Life is too short and we should do this before they die because then it will be too late. Mowlana Jalal-al din Rumi talks about this subject so beautifully in a poem. We Iranians love our poets and maybe we will listen to him. I am attaching the peom in Persian >>>

TRAVELERS
Music to the eyes

Photo essay: Tehran, Darakeh, and Shomal
Javad Fakharzadeh

KIAROSTAMI
Two solutions for one problem

Short film
Video

RAP
Fardad

"Down Upon You" and more
MP3s

GRASSROOT
Stop the clash

The "clash of civilizations" is not inevitable, and we don't want it
Video

MISLEADING
A step towards the right direction

After I (and hopefully others) sent the New York Times a letter to complain, the editors published the following correction
Behrooz Ghamari

After the debacle with Judith Miller, it seems as if the New York Times is a little bit more careful about publishing articles by journalists who have little informed knowledge about the foreign culture they are reporting about. Because journalist Neil MacFarquhar does not read Farsi, for his front-page article published on Sunday, June 24 in the New York Times, he dependent on an interview with an unnamed source with an open political agenda for details about events in Iran. The photograph used in the story, "Iran Cracks Down on Dissent," was misleading. While disturbing on its own right, the picture had nothing to do with current crack down on dissent >>>

ART
Pixels of liberty

Digital reflections of Kabul
Ali R. Rabi

SUGGESTION
Drink tap water

The choice is as clear as water
Mazloom

I don't like bottled water! I have always thought drinking water should not be more expensive than drinking gasoline. Do you know that Rocky Mountain snowmelt is bottled and shipped to France, and French Alps water is shipped to USA? Do you know Rocky Mountain water is cheaper than Alps water? That makes me think, maybe the French buy cheap Rocky Mountain water and pour it into their more expensive water bottles? I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I have heard that once Shah complained to General De Gaulle about water being more expensive than petroleum, and De Gaulle supposedly responded by saying Shah did not know economy. Well decades and many economic books later I still don’t know why >>>

RUSHDIE
Stabbing at Muslims

The simple point I am making is, that Rushdie is actually being rewarded for causing controversy in the Muslim world
Jalil Bahar

The British government, of all governments, should know that these types of awards (knighthoods) have real consequence and implications... It’s one thing to protect free speech and protect Rushdie from death threats. That is absolutely correct. Any sort of religious intimidation and censorship are absolutely wrong and unwarranted. It’s totally another thing to reward someone for causing controversy in the Muslim world by deriding a religious text that Muslims believe is sacred. If the shoe was on the other foot (i.e. someone caused controversy about the bible), I do not think they would be awarded a Knighthood. It’s simple hypocrisy. Democratic and secular Governments and all self-respecting leaders have a responsibility to promote tolerance and respect for other faiths and beliefs >>>

RELIGION
Terrorists’ bill of rights

Terrorists are not radicals from their interpretation of their doctrine--they are only doing exactly what Muhammad demanded of them
Amil Imani

In the interest of impartiality, the authors of the constitution did not define what constitutes a religion. Presently, a plethora of sects, cults, orders -- all claiming to be religion -- cover the length and the breadth of the land. So long as these “religions” minister to the legitimate spiritual needs of their congregation without threatening the rights of others, there is no reason for concern. However, when one or more of these claimants strive to undermine the very Constitution that protects them in order to impose their belief and way of life, serious problems arise. One such religion is Islam in all its forms >>>

IDEAS
Demokrassi, entekhaabaat va nokhbegaan

Democracy, elites and the ballot box
Esmail Nooriala

GEOGRAPHY
Daryoozegi baraaye arabaan!

Zibakalam's comments on the Persian Gulf
Hassan Behgar

THEN & NOW
We had our guards down
Masoud Arefi

As a high school student in Tehran, I thought we were living the dream life in the early 70's, with many of us not even knowing it. Our biggest fear was often the plight of our favorite football team, and only moments of fear was facing dad after a bad report card from school. We were the hippies of the Middle-East living the "love thy neighbor" life, singing the best of songs about love and life, ours and the best from the rest of the world, and we had our guards down! Our dreams all involved driving up the yellow brick road, to wealth, leisure, and happiness, all materialistically justified and feasible, especially since we were witnessing thousands of Indian physicians, South Korean engineers, Pilipino nurses,... coming to Iran chasing the similar dreams >>>

TERRORIST
Had he been Muslim

If you're name is not Mohammed or Ali, you're not going to be front-page news
Tinoush Moulaei

Without a shadow of doubt, one has to be a Muslim/Middle Easterner to be called a “terrorist.”   Otherwise, it really doesn’t matter what you have in your possession.  Take the recent case of Ronald Swerlein, a retired electrical engineer from Colorado... What would you think happened to him?  He was released on a $50,000.00 bail and ultimately charged only with possession of explosives, and one count of drug possession.   Oh, did I mention that the police were sensible enough to release him after safely detonating his stock pile of nitroglycerin!?  And of course, Mr. Swerlein’s cache of PETN and Thermite (explosives used in demolition jobs) were not returned to him! >>>

LETTERS
Nostalgic Natanz

On Bita Ria's "Returning to Kesheh": I was overjoyed with much exhilaration to have looked at the pictures you shared on Kesheh. My parents, like yours, had left Natanz for Tehran when they were young to finally settle in Shemiran via SaboonPaz khooneh in south Tehran. I was born in Dezashib and grw up in Evian, outside the notorious wall along the Parkway. In fact, my last name Rahni, corresponds to Rahan, a small village south of Natanz proper, which is now in effect annexed to Natanz >>> More

HERO
Rostam strikes back!

Firmly re-introduced as a comic book hero, Rostam makes a spectacular comeback in a second adventure
Darius Kadivar

UK
Three awards and one man of distinction
Peyvand Khorsandi

Last October Mohammed Khatami – a man who has yet to be investigated in connection with human rights abuses and murders that occurred under his watch both as president of Iran and during his tenure as head of the country’s ministry of culture and Islamic guidance – travelled to the University of St Andrews in Scotland to accept an honorary degree for his efforts in promoting “dialogue between faiths”. (Surely an insult to the women stoned by his government and the writers and political dissidents it has killed.) >>>

POETRY
Govaahi

Heech kaaram shabihe aadam neest
Laleh Irani

POETRY
Chand kaare kootaah

Shorts
Naanaam

POETRY
She're colaage

Poetry collage
Ali R. Rabi

POETRY
Dirooz ahan ast

Emrooz rafighe man ast
Ali Zarrin

ART
Hide & peace

Paintings
Ali Esmaeilipour

BOOK
Emptier today than ever before

Excerpt from Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s novel, MISSING SOLUCH
Translated by Kamran Rastegar

Mergan raised her head from the pillow. Soluch was gone. Her children were still asleep -- Abbas, Abrau, and Hajer. Mergan tied the loose curls around her face into a scarf, rose, and stepped through the doorway into the small yard. She walked straight to the bread oven. Soluch was not there. Lately, at night, Soluch had been sleeping outside next to the oven. Mergan didn’t know why. She would just see him sleeping out beside the oven. He had been coming back home late at night, very late. He would go straight to the awning over the oven and curl up beneath it. He had a tiny body. He would fold himself, pull his knees to his belly, and fit his hands between his thighs, which were hardly more than two bones >>>

NUCLEAR
Vast right-wing conspiracy
Asghar Massombagi

The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy is hard at work drumming up another fake crisis in spite of the "don't worry, be happy" sentiment of some... Of course there is no use reminding the dyslexic "American people" that there is no such thing as Iran's nuclear weapons program (the premise of the said lunatic poll), a claim that even the Bush Administration has not made, and that Iranians are years away from producing weapons grade uranium and that Iran has no incentive to initiate a nuclear attack on anyone, an attack that would surely spell the annihilation of the entire country subjected to a counter-attack >>>

MIDDLE EAST
Operation isolation

Rolling back Iran’s influence in time for a showdown
Pouya Alimagham

Iran’s Islamic government has nurtured the Shia Islamic parties that now wield enormous power both in Iraq’s government and on its streets in the form of militias. Iran has also forged a defense pact with Syria, its main ally in the region. The militant group Hezbollah, which forms one of the Lebanon’s major power centers, was a creation of Iran’s foreign policy in cooperation with Syria. To the east, Iran continues to exert significant political and cultural influence in post-Taliban Afghanistan, particularly in bordering provinces. For these reasons, Iran can be marked as a rising regional force. Iran’s newfound strength, however, is not unchallenged and therefore may not last >>>

ALI SHAKERI
He is a man of peace
Mehdi Amini

Nearly two months has passed since the arrest of our friend and colleague, Ali Shakeri (M, 59). Ali went to Iran to visit his ailing mother who passed away days after seeing him. Ali was using his basic right as stated in the 13th Article of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states:” Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. We who know him are still bewildered as to why he was arrested? He is a man of peace. How could that be a crime? He is a man against hatred. How could that be a crime? He is a man for dialogue. How could that be a crime? We still don’t know. But what we know is that his wife and children are anxious to see him back in their arm safe >>>

VIDEOBLOG
Superheroes to the rescue!

Kourosh and Siavash play Spiderman with mom
Siamack Salari

TRAVELERS
Shades of home

Photo essay: My trip to north & south Iran
Fatemeh Farajmandi

IRAN-U.S.
Sober, not high

These are new arrivals, young people needing scholarships, victims of domestic abuse, families who have lost a loved ones
Kaveh Nouraee

While there are those who believe that the Bush administration is "high on hate", some of the facts surrounding possible military action against Iran are being obscured just for the sake of inciting intense and primitive emotional reactions, which will serve to cloud the truth behind the issue even further. It is without a shred of doubt that the current administration has enthusiastically engaged in games of Russian roulette when it comes to bending and breaking the rules both domestically and globally. However, engaging in military action against Iran using the same deeply flawed Iraq strategy would amount to certain political suicide, thus, the likelihood of a first strike against Iran is extremely low >>>

IRANIANS
Needy in Ameirca

These are new arrivals, young people needing scholarships, victims of domestic abuse, families who have lost a loved ones
Hossein Hosseini

Neda (not her real name), a single mother and a victim of domestic violence, is attending law school in LA. She has exhausted her resources and needs a loan to finish her degree. Ali is a designer whose green card was revoked due to a scam by his lawyer (who is currently in jail). Ali needs to find a job and legal help to handle his case. Pari has moved to Southern California from Chicago, doesn’t know anyone, and needs a job. What do these three people have in common? They are all Iranians living in America, needing help, and have approached me. I am sure you might have similar stories. Who is helping them? >>>

FICTION
Garage sale

Short story
Tahmineh Katouzi

POETRY
Mahaal ast

"Mosalmaan, Masihi, Bahai, Johood... Hameh yeksedaa bar zabaan een sorood"
Mohammad Reza Alidoosti

ACTION
Phoenix of political opposition

Iranian Solidarity Assembly in Paris draws democratic blueprint
Tina Ehrami

Ever since the Islamic revolution in 1979 Iranian opposition groups, from both inside and outside of Iran, have searched for ways to oppose the Islamic Republic of Iran. The challenges they encountered disallowed them to perform adequately and gain the trust and acknowledgement of the Iranian people. Therefore their efforts to reach a political cooperation between the different opposition initiatives remained fruitless. Until today >>>

IRANIANS
Blue blood? So what? Get to work!

It is ignorance and a great waste of time to blame Arabs for the problems of Iranians
Ben Madadi

Persian history and culture is a very rich one, worth being proud of. That doesn't mean various pre-Islamic Persian dynasties or empires are also worth being proud of. Post-Islamic Iranian plateau has actually missed Persian leadership and it has been ruled by mostly Turkic tribes or dynasties for about a millennium. Persian literature, culture and scientific contributions to the world are indeed worth being proud of, and interestingly many Iranian Turks, or other non-Persians, have had extensive contributions to the Persian literature, culture etc. There is also some history that is not worth much talk, and that is the Persian pre-Islamic imperial past and what the Persian rulers have done. Maybe not all they have done are bad but their actions are simply out of context for the present-day world in which there are different values and ideals >>>

JENAAYAT
I have lost a part of my humanity
Azarin A. Sadegh

Today I saw this video and I am beyond mad... I can't work. I can't think... I have lost a part of my humanity. This is "Romeo and Juliet" story of 21st century. Who is going to act like our era's Shakespeare to tell their tragedy? What should be the question this time? "To be or not to be?" I am not sure. What if we choose "to be", but refuse to see the simple reality of the world? It is almost like not being, not being human >>>

SHOMAL
Booming

Photo essay: Developing Caspian region
Yashar Z. Sany

NUCLEAR
Muffled voices

ElBaradei’s unheard assessments
Shirin Saeidi

The Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) urges recognition of the dangerous path of the new phase of U.S.-Iran confrontation by all those who oppose the insane and criminal foreign policy of the Bush administration, for the sequences currently unfolding bear an unsettling resemblance to the events leading up to the American-led coalition’s illegal and criminal invasion of Iraq. As the voices of ElBaradei and the United Nations are once again muted, the drum beating of warmongers in Washington, London, and Tel Aviv becomes louder and louder >>>

DISCOURSE
You have your view, so do others
Siavash Ardalan

Thanks to Bita Ria [see: "Swearing rappers"] for taking the time to reflect on that "Rooze Hafom" program. I was going to write you an email next week anyway telling you how much I was impressed with your performance in that discussion and with how you managed to set the agenda and raise awareness on the patriarchal aspects of rap lyrics for all those who were listening. Bita, it is not in my place to lecture you on the ethics of debating. Just because someone doesnt agree with your analysis, it does not mean that you must question their expertise. You have your view on Persian rap, which I happen to share, but so do others >>>

FICTION
The big bad wolf revisited

Short story
Azadeh Azad

The woman in red saw the man in the woods. A deliberate accident. He was running and bouncing like an errant ghost, his head, that of a beast. "It is him," she cried to herself. The chilling afternoon breeze swept through the autumn leaves. Standing in the heart of the woods, her throat tightened with the desire to unravel her braids, to drop her dark sunglasses to the ground and crush them with her frantic feet. She did so. From behind the trees, the man glared at her and growled, "She must be another whore!" Twitching her lips, she placed her backpack on the ground, took out her set of colour tubes and brushes, unfolded her easel and set it up towards the east >>>

INTOLERANCE
Hamalaate akheer alayhe Bahaian

Recent attacks against Bahais in Iran
Bani Dugal & Diane Ala’i

INSPIRATION
10 women of Shiraz
Jian Khodadad

June 18th marked the anniversary of the hanging of the 10 Bahai women in Shiraz (June 18, 1983). I wanted to remember and honor each of these individuals, one of whom, Mona Mahmudinizhad was only 17 years old. I know that there are many Iranians -- from a diverse array of religious and philosophical belief systems -- that have been inspired by the remarkable qualities of these Iranian women >>>

PEOPLE
Up 5th Avenue

Photo essay: Latin American arnival in New York
Siamack Salari

IDENTITY
Attachments

Photography
Sara Rahbar

AUTHOR
Humble fame

An evening with the Kite Runner's Khaled Hosseini
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

A couple of year have gone by since the The Kite Runner was published, but the book remains a best seller. Those of us who enjoyed Hosseini’s first novel have been eager to read his next book, while, film buffs look forward to the upcoming movie based on his first. As soon as A Thousand Splendid Suns hit the shelves at our local bookstore, I bought my copy, but this time I also paid the extra $ 5 for a ticket to his book signing event due the next month. The Kite Runner told a touching story about two boys in Afghanistan and their peculiar friendship. I remembered meeting the author at Warwick’s book store, where eight of us, along with a few members of Dr. Hosseini’s family attended a small gathering >>>

HUMOR
Dear Mack II

Emails from women married to or dating Iranian men
Siamack Baniameri

Throughout years of writing for iranian.com and other publications, I have received enormous amount of emails from women married or dating Iranian men with a wide range of questions about their husbands and boyfriends. Here is another selection and my responses: >>>

RUSHDIE
Sir Ruhollah Khomeini

For services to the British crown & country
Jeesh Daram

The objective is not to defend the 'organized religion' and sometimes the best is to let it be just like we do not mess around with 'organized crime'. But the intention of this discussion is to show how religion is being used to suppress millions of people. If it wasn't for petroleum and greed of oil; Islam in the eyes of the westerners most likely would have been as dear as Buddhism or any other organized religion. Salman Rushdie most likely would be nobody if it wasn't for Ruhollah Khomeini. Considering Rushdie's cheap novel Satanic Verses, it would have been ignored even by the most zealot Muslims, but following the British line, it was Khomeini that made a name for this "Indian" author and eventually helped him to get a title of "Sir" and knighthood from Khomeini's bosses >>>

DISASTER
A human catastrophe in the making
Nazy Kaviani

A human catastrophe of the most devastating dimensions is taking place in Sistan and Baluchestan provinces of Iran.  Earlier this month, Gono, a tropical storm hit Oman and swept through Sistan & Baluchestan, creating floods and havoc, destroying roads, restricting transportation into and out of the area, disrupting daily life, leaving the area vulnerable to diseases.  In the wake of Gono, 350,000 people are now threatened with Malaria and Cholera, as well as other diseases and disasters.  Drinking water is at best available for only 30% of the population.  Management of emergency assistance has always been a problem in Iran, judging from the horrific conditions of earthquake victims of recent time >>>

ART
Red winter in June

Digital paintings: Pixels of Nostalgia
Ali R. Rabi

POETRY
Silent

Let’s make a quiet that tells a story
Tahereh Tavous

POETRY
Khomeini

We thought you were wrong
Nader Iranpour

POETRY
Composition in blue and green

The sky is red
Sara Rahai

POETRY
Poignant felicity

From "Persian Pomegranates- A Young Poet's Soliloquy"
Tina Ehrami

POETRY
Golbarge khoshkideh

Dokhtaraki keh tabdil be shekaarchiye beerahm shod
Shoja Adel

POETRY
Do wonder

Every now and then someone jumps
Jam Hamidi

POETRY
Thirst for perfection

For MB
Arash Daneshzadeh

POETRY
Saahele aghl

Gostareye aghooshash tamaami nadaarad
Shokooh Mirzadegi

POETRY
El Diablo

Soon, he discovered, this veteran lover, he was my muse of tragedy
Tara Shirani

POETRY
Baazgasht

Nadeed aan khaaneye eshghe haghighi
Saied Taheri

POETRY
To my brother

May the sun the air the moon guide your soul from dream to dream
Baharak Sedigh

SALMAN RUSHDIE
Sir Zero

The approach of Rushdie (and others) has zero effect in dampening the waves of Islamic extremism
Tinoush Moulaei

Regardless, to the people of faith, the book would be offensive.  If it was another religion, then I guarantee that portraying that religion’s prophet in the same manner would have offended his followers.  None of this, of course, justifies calling for Rushdie’s (and other’s) death.  Rushdie ought to have the right to write and publish what he wants.  Muslims ought to have the right to be offended and express themselves PEACEFULLY.  However, the focus in the media at the time was Islamic extremism and issues of freedom of expression. I have no problem with freedom of expression and I fully support it.  But to connect only Islam with extremism is absolutely unfair and counterproductive >>>

FATHER
Bald angel

My father was the one crying like a baby at the airport every time I was leaving Iran after a short visit
Azarin Sadegh

Ever since my father passed away, my father in law has taken his place. I call him "Pedar". In Farsi it means "Father". I never called my own father this way. I called him "Baba". That means "Dad" in English. For me, Baba sounds warmer and more intimate. But I love Pedar a lot. He is intelligent, logical and witty. Besides, I can talk to him and he knows how to listen. Sometimes during our conversations, I envy my husband for having such a great father. Maybe because my father was not as funny and as understanding as Pedar. But today I know very well how much he loved me and what he did was the best he could, and this is why sometimes I just miss him so much >>>

KINDNESS
Please don't disturb

Photo essay: Bird's nest in parking lot
Ben Bagheri

We saw this bird in Sherman, Texas, while visiting my in-laws. This little bird laid her eggs between the crack in the asphalt and turned it into a nest on a church parking lot >>>

RAP
Hichkas

"Havaaset Baashe" and more
MP3s

ARTIST
Most wanted

Videos & photo essay: Taraneh Hemami's thought-provoking solo exhibition in San Francisco
Jahanshah Javid

STORY
Time

Chronicles of Fredrick D. Sauma, Part 7
Farid Parsa

Since I spoke English and my asylum was still in limbo, I was told by one of the embassy workers that I had a very good chance of migrating to Australia. Yet it was going to be months before any official answer came through. Meanwhile, all my daily routines were changing. I couldn't plan my day any more. Meeting people and talking to them, which used to be the bulk of my daily activity, was now on a great downward slope, for I no longer had the desire or the necessary skills to interact with people. Since many of my acquaintances knew where I lived and still came knocking on my door I changed my apartment. That, however, was only one reason to move. The other was the terrible things that happened in that place >>>

QUESTION
Is dealing with Iranians good or bad?
Faramarz Fateh

This pertains to Iranians in the U.S. more so that anywhere else. How many times have you heard a family member, friend or just some Iranian man or woman you know say "agha moamele ba Irooni jamaat nabayad kard" or "man taa oonjayee ke mitoonam baa Irooni jamaat kar nemikonam"? Last night, at my cousin's home, someone started complaining about his Iranian real estate agent and how she had screwed up everything during the sale of his home. He was barely finished with his story that another guy started complaining about his Iranian tile setter and how he had broken his promise for finishing his kitchen time after time. The recurring theme was do not deal with Iranians >>>

IDEAS
Demokrassiye yekbaar masraf

Disposable democracies
Esmail Nooriala

RAP
Yar2

"Beh To Che Marboote?" and more
MP3s

AUTHOR
The man with a smile

Photo essay: Having lunch with Najaf Daryabandari
Jahanshah Javid

SEARCH
Ghassem Abad's treasures

Looking for exquisite chadorshabs in a village in Gilan
Nazy Kaviani

On my way out of the museum in Rasht, I noticed a bright red piece of hand-woven fabric on a wall.  I asked the museum attendant what that was, as there was no description for it nearby.  She said this was a chadorshab.  I knew what a chadorshab was.  It was a huge square of fabric wherein in Iranian homes extra bedding for guests was lovingly wrapped to stay clean and dust-free.  I suppose as the tradition of big houses, surprise visitors, and extended stays of guests have one by one disappeared in Iran, there is no more use for the concept of the article, at least in big cities.  I asked her if it was made in Rasht, and she said that it was woven in the village of Ghassem Abad.  I left making a note to myself to seek out Ghassem Abad and go visit it someday >>>

MUSIC
Swearing rappers

Abusing women must not become the new entertainment
Bita Ria

The Iranian government has put our people in a confined space, in a box where they are told what to wear, what to say and what to think, so these rappers have used this Western genre to voice their own dissatisfaction. But now there is a huge problem, this new tool is being used to reinforce the very patriarchal issues in the Iranian society. There is enough damage done to women's rights in Iran, enough women are being raped on the streets of Iran, enough women are being burnt after rape, enough of them are thrown out of houses for their bothers' and fathers' reputations. Enough is enough, and now this popular genre is being used to reinforce these same issues, that, it is okay for a woman to be abused and they encourage unprotected sex in their music >>>

HISTORY
How shallow have we become?

Mel Gibson and Sassanian Apocalypto
Mehrdad Khodayari

I couldn’t sleep, turning and tossing so much that my wife politely suggested that I might be more comfortable sleeping in guess bedroom. I just closed my eyes and start picturing once great forgotten culture that I knew about it, “The Sassanians and their version of Apocalypto”. Apocalypto is a Latin word and in English it is called Apocalypse. It means “end of something and beginning of something else”. After the war of Nahavand, for most part Persian frontier was wide open to Arabs. For more than thousand years Persian were forced to accept a new God and it couldn’t come in a worse time. Drained and exhausted nation after surviving 20 years plus non-stop excruciating war in the hand of a Mad-man Khosro Parviz and his archrival Byzantine emperor Heraclius was no match for Arab invaders with shabby clothes, small sword and on foot >>>

IDEAS
Hokoomat va araae mardom

Democracy & the state
Homayoun Abghari

HUMOR
Temporary marriage

Cartoons
Ali, 2500BC

LIFE
A drop of humanity

Photo essay: He was far too excited to notice a drop of the liquid gliding down to the ground
Shahireh Sharif

IDEAS
Swimming with doctor Matin Daftari

A brief story of Iranian civil law
Keyvan Tabari

As my friends who attended his classes at the Faculty of Law of Tehran University tell me, Dr. Ahmad Matin Daftari did not suffer fools easily. When a student finished his rambling non-responsive answer to his question, ostad fixed his gaze at him for a few seconds and then said: “you are like a man who has rubbed his body with oil before going into the sea; you come out not even wet.” I thought of this parable when I recently waded into the Professor’s three volume tomb on Iranian civil procedure. My task was more daunting as I had to retrieve a concise essay that covered not only civil procedure but the much broader topic of the civil law of Iran - which meant diving into many more oceans of sources >>>

IRAN-U.S.
High on hate?

Bush administration finds itself in a position where it needs to prepare the world opinion for mass genocide with a compelling reason
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich & Nader Bagherzadeh

While the poppy fields in Afghanistan are thriving in supplying the demands of millions, this White House and their neo-cons accomplices are cultivating their own fix - hate. But in order for them to get their high, their hate must be transferred into people’s fear -- A fear they plan to turn into another bloodbath. Pushing forward with their latest warmongering idea that Iran is planning to extend the reach of its Shahab 3 missiles from 1200 to more than 2500 kilometers in order to reach Rome, the media beats the war drums, hoping the fearful sound will drown out reason and logic >>>

WISH
Dreaming of democracy

Be careful when you wish for freedom and democracy, because you may just get it
Ben Madadi

In a country like Iran where there is a small minority who rules over the rest, the majority is always dissatisfied one way or the other. So, the majority is tempted to desire freedom from the ruling class; Islamists as it happens to be at this moment. The majority of the people, observing that there is an abusive and favoured minority, feels disgruntled and angered, asking for change. And it is common practice to be idealistic when you are disadvantaged. Idealism attracts others and opens the possibility to creating a forceful action against the favoured, therefore improving the probability of change >>>

ISRAEL
Payback time

Israel should give the Iranian people a helping hand by supporting the freedom-loving Iranians
Amil Imani

Ahmadinejad does not represent the Iranian people any more than his turbaned-colleagues presently ruling Iran do. What needs to be understood is that in fact Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs, above all else, are true Muslims and despise anything “Iranian” and its ancient “pre-Islamic” heritage. Iranians are proud of their historical friendship with the Jewish people. The bond of friendship goes back to the landmark action of King Cyrus the Great of Persia. In 537 B.C., having conquered Babylon, the benevolent King Cyrus freed the Jews from captivity and empowered them to return to the Promised Land and build their temple >>>

WORLD PREMIERE
Afsoos

Kiosk music video recorded in San Francisco Bay Area
Afshean Hessam

LAUNCHED
Warmth and grace

Monir Farmanfarmaian's memoir
Excerpt

The car was inching around Tajrish Square through a traffic jam of proportions that would prove prophetic. In 1958, the behemoth that Tehran would become had not yet swallowed this suburb in the foothills of the Alborz mountains. The weekend picnics spread on carpets beside the roads leading out of the square, complete with samovars and kebabs over smoking charcoal, had not yet become stubborn islands in a rising sea of exhaust fumes, and the melted snow still ran fast under Tajrish bridge, with only a few melon rinds bobbing in the froth. But that day, the traffic in the square was as slow as glue, and I had time to take in every detail, from the white-capped mountains looming above, to the brightly colored hills of fruit in the greengrocers' that fronted the small bazaar >>>

NEW!
Namjoo's "Diazepam 10"

Music video based on Mohsen Namjoo's song
Levon Haftvan

ART
Wide eyes

Paintings
Samira Eskandarfar

MODERNITY
Making mistakes

Daryoosh Homayoun's talk at UC Berkeley
Ari Siletz

"We all made mistakes," confessed one member of an audience of fifty or so that had gathered a few nights ago at UC Berkeley to see Dr. Daryoosh Homayoun. The former Pahlavi era minister was there to talk about Iran's historic struggles with modernity, but many had showed up hoping to confront the intellectual with his Pahlavi past and to dispute his controversial call for a constitutional monarchy in Iran. The highlight of the energetic and sometimes noisy exchange was the moment following that sadly introspective, "We all made mistakes." The room went quiet, like a daycare center where children fighting over a rag doll had torn off a limb, and now stood in shocked remorse, each holding a piece >>>

TREASURE
Books are for keeping

Each one of my books represents my way of thinking or even my way of life
Shahireh Sharif

After what seemed liked hours, the lift stopped with a jerk on the 4th floor. I jumped out of the lift the moment that the space between the doors was big enough for my head to go through. I admit my behaviour characterized the action of an insane or at least a claustrophobic person, if not someone on the run. Luckily, there was nobody in the lift or in the corridor outside; phew! My integrity was not affected. As the lift door closed after me I noticed my mistake, the “Near Eastern” collection of the library was partly moved to the 5th floor. I should have taken the lift all the way to the next floor and then worked my way down to this level, using the staircase. This way I would have avoided climbing up the stairs; taking the lift just to go up one level would have not been worth it >>>

POETRY
Dar kenaare ham

Assr assre beezaareest
Laleh Irani

RAP
051

"Ghargh Shode" and more
MP3s

TRAVELERS
Indian riches

Photo essay: Mogul achievements in India
Shahriar Nayeri

MUSIC
Very very average
Sahba Aminikia

Despite many Persian musicians I as an all time music student think that generally non-serious music composition does not need any form of knowledge and education which obviously needs no further explanation because this genre of music is not based on ,any kind of better to say ,academic roots. In my opinion this form of music primarily originates from two important factors which are "small signs of musical creativity" and "lyrics". So let's consider (based on my poor logic) that every band or musician who could have become a big hit either had had a creative music or great lyrics . From musical aspect Kiosk can not even get judged because its melodies basically don't exist ,no special harmony texture and very minimal toward polyphony. No special sound effect ,no virtuosity and no exceptional orchestration. Arash Sobhani's voice is a typical impression of the late 70's band lead singer Mark Knofler and even the music follows dire straits stereotypes >>>

MUSIC
Kiosk kicks

... as it Kontinues to Kriticize!
Bruce Bahmani

I finally got the go ahead from Bamahang Productions and modern guitardeity Babak Khiavchi, that the latest album by Kiosk "Eshghe Sorat_amor de la velocidad" (Love of Speed) was finally available on iTunes. A month after the groundbreaking concert at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, as one of many fans of this new form of Iranianpop music, I bought the album, and eagerly put it on my iPod so I couldlisten uninterrupted. Of course we've all seen the brilliant YouTube video by Ahmad Kiarostami of the title track, "Eshghe Sorat" (now available with English subtitles), or as I like to call it, the Pizza Ghormeh-Sabzisong! But before we get to that, I think it is important to clarifyexactly what the importance of Kiosk is, now that we have a secondalbum to quash that whole one-hit-wonder threat the first album hadhanging over it's head >>>

SHABAKEH
That's some network
Qumars Bolourchian

I have to commend Voice of America for another wonderful show they put together last Sunday. "Mize Gerdi ba Shoma" featured the groundbreaking work of distinguished author, scholar and investigative journalist, Mr. Hassan Daioleslam who illuminated for the rest of the world the inner-workings of the IRI-lobbyists in Washington, DC. What? You thought just because Iran is a member of the Axis of Evil, and there's no diplomatic relations with the US, that there wouldn't be any state-sponsored lobbying (like the Israeli lobby, as Mr. Daioleslam points out) here in the US Congress? >>>

IMMIGRATION
Why it failed

We should not remain indifferent to immigration reform in U.S.
Jamshid S. Irani

As key players of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) negotiations, including the team of two-party leaders and the White House attempt to bring back the CIR bill on the Senate floor, we will have to look back at the inherent failures in the compromise bill that eventually killed the CIR process last week. Without defining the causes of the failure, they will not be able to go anywhere when they return to resume the CIR process in the Senate. Clarification of causes of problems should be a starting point for a diagnosis for correction of the failures. We submit that the compromise CIR had two inherent failures: >>>

MEMORY
Meeting Dr. Varjavand
Shirin Vazin

It was summer 1995 when a German TV team from ARTE, a cultural German/French Channel, came to Iran to make a part of a documentary they were producing about Orient. They had a German-speaking tour leader. One day, when they were supposed to meet Dr. Varjavand, I was appointed to be the TV team interpreter. It was early morning when we went to Dr. Varjavand’s house in Tehran's Gisha neighborhood. We were all warmly greeted and tea and sweets were served. Dr. Varjavand was waiting for us at his office downstairs. I was excited to see him for the first time. He was rather short, wearing a beige colored suit with a tie. After many years I was surprised to see a man in a tie in Iran >>>

TRAVELERS
Enjoying my haring

Photo essay: New fish season, Den Haag, Holland
Fariba Mobargheie

POLITICS
Blessing in disguise

The Crown Prince of Iran is wrong about nationalism
Ali Mostofi

I have presented over the years, how Iranian Nationalism, which is the material representation of the Iranian Spirit, is practiced by all Iranians as Nowrooz. This is the foundation of Iran. All Iranians relate to this, whatever ethnic group, religious group, political group, or any new group they may be. This is a very strong force, and it has withstood and defeated any alien occupier over thousands and thousands of years. No alien has ever managed to take that away from Iran. Iranians will never get angry or go to war, because they believe in Nowrooz and all its Spiritual ramifications. The Iranian loves Life, and Nowrooz is his or her way of showing that. Any alien that tries to take that away from an Iranian, to make him or her a fighting force, is making a big mistake >>>

EULOGY
Varjavand beraasti varjavand shod

Remembering a dedicated nationalist and historian
Esmail Nooriala

OPPOSITION
Standing in solidarity

Pro-Democracy gathering in Paris
Pooya Dayanim

This week Paris will host the greatest gathering of Iran’s pro-democracy forces ever assembled to overthrow the Islamic Regime through a non-violent civil disobedience movement. The Iran Solidarity Assembly (“Hambastegi Melli”) of Paris has been an enormous undertaking that has been three years in the making. Over two-hundred political luminaries will attend the invitation-only event. However, millions of Iranians will be following the proceedings with the help of Voice of America, Radio Farda, Radio Israel, The BBC and independent Iranian broadcasters such as: Channel One, Pars TV and Radio Sedaye Iran >>>

ART
Meow

Paintings
Jamileh Vafakish

RAP
Shahkar Bineshpajooh

"Eshghe Khiaabooni" and more
MP3s

DOWLATABADI
Reading Missing Soluch in the U.S.

Treating Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s Ja-ye Khali-ye Soluch as art rather than political metaphor
Kamran Rastegar

Missing Soluch is a novel by one of Iran’s most celebrated living authors, Mahmoud Dowlatabadi. This work has certainly not escaped controversy among Iranian scholars, but generally it has been seen to be one of the most important novels written by Dowlatabadi and perhaps by any of his generation. It narrates the experiences of Mergan, a mother of three children living in a small village in northeastern Iran, who finds that her husband Soluch has one day disappeared. By tracing the complex reactions of Mergan, her children and others in the village to this event, and by coinciding the disappearance of Soluch with migration of the younger generation away from the village, as well as the imposition of a new economic order within the village, Dowlatabadi delicately attempts to trace the significant changes to rural life in Iran over the course of one generation in the mid-twentieth century >>>

WAR
Toward another crusade?

American and British policy makers seem to be even more determined to prepare the groundwork for a military strike against Iran
Mehrdad Emadi

There is an increasing realisation in the rest of the world that the strategy of bomb-first, talk-last has not been capable of achieving its objectives of nation-building. There has been a failure to plan for the post-military stages of the conflicts and to devise strategies which respond quickly to the immediate needs of the indigenous populations and genuinely engages them in the reconstruction of their own villages, towns and country. Furthermore, the unwillingness of the Americans and the British to involve other members of G8 and/or regional players as genuine partners has weakened the spirit of multilateralism and international cooperation and discredited the United Nations. Despite these issues, the American and British policy makers seem to be even more determined to prepare the groundwork for a military strike against Iran as their last legacy in their now-defunct policy of nation-building >>>

ARRESTS
Even exchange
Siamack Baniameri

In retaliation for recent arrests of Iranian-Americans by the Islamic Republic government, I recommend that the US government consider arresting a number of Iranian-Americans as well. That way the two governments can have a prisoner exchange program. To make this exchange even, the US government should arrest Iranian-Americans who are visiting their ailing parents in the US >>> Shorts

VIDEOBLOG
Globetrotter

Brazil and South Africa
Siamack Salari

IRAN
Sweet & sour

Photo essay: Snapshots from Iran
Ali Khaligh

NUCLEAR
The thief and the emperor

Missile Defense Shield and other imperial misnomers
Daniel M Pourkesali

American President George W. Bush used his platform at the G8 summit to continue spreading the paranoia of fearing states like Iran and North Korea as they are bent on bringing death and destruction to the world and pose a grave threat to international security. In speech after speech countering Russian objections to the so-called American 'Missile Defense Shield' in Europe, Mr. Bush claimed that the two remaining members of the "axis of evil" must be confronted by the 'international community' before it is too late and that in order to defend Europe against these "rogue states", America must be allowed to forge ahead with implementing its Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system there >>>

ENDORSEMENT
Ron Paul
Toofan Hosseinnezhad

If there ever was a moment for Iranian women in the US to use their God like social skills to spread a political message, it would be now. If there ever was a second those Iranian uber internet geeks should help someone with a political campaign who has little money, it would be now. If there ever was a moment for the Iranian lobby in the US to start moving their asses, donating money politically instead of having nose jobs or expensive space flights, and doing something about the fate of their own blood left in Iran, it would definitely be now! Which politician should you give a hand too which is drawing more and more voters both from the Democratic wing, and the Republican side? Ron Paul >>>

DETAINEES
Ambassadors for peace and reconciliation

Perspectives on the arrest of Iranian-Americans in Tehran
David Rahni

The current arrest of five Iranian-Americans in Tehran on charges of promoting "velvet revolution" has once again raised the issues of Iranians in Diaspora to the forefront of headline news. What has been considered a lingering dilemma between the two governments for nearly thirty years has now spilled over to impact the ordinary citizens of both nations at a much-heightened level. In the meantime, the Iranian-Americans, who could otherwise serve as the bridge of mutual understanding between the West and the East, find themselves in a dichotomy of feeling between a rock and place in that they are subjected to xenophobic mistreatment from both sides >>>

RAP
Zedbazi

"Widely known to be the most influential Rap Artists from the Middle East"
MP3s

RADIO
The Hooman

Hooman Khalili: Iranian-American with a different daily commute
Bruce Bahmani

If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, have working ears, and commute for a living, chances are you know the chatter of the top morning drive program on FM 97.3. KLLC, or Alice, or better than that, the "Sarah and No-Name Show" bechuckles, befuddles, baffles and entertains one of the largest audiences in the country from 6 to 10 each morning. Led by veteran radio personality Sarah Clark, and now legendary co-host No-Name (aka Mike Nelson) delivering what appears to be an ongoing topic of the day conversation between a savvy suburban Mom with a mysteriously randy past, and a metal headbanger turned new Dad. But there's one more ingredient that so far I have not found anywhere on the FM dial. A key member of this crew is none other than our own "Irani on the spot", Hooman Khalili, better known as Hooman. Or as I prefer to know him, The Hooman >>>

TRAVELERS
Returning to Kesheh

Photo essay: A place of my childhood near Natanz
Bita Ria

LETTERS
Not evolved one iota after 30 years

On Javad Fakharzadeh's "Inside look": After reading Javad Fakharzadeh's essay it is quite apparent that I would only be wasting my time if I were to try to reason with him. Having said that though, I will make one comment: he says that he left Iran in 1977 and only returned recently, and yet despite an interval of 30 years having passed he has apparently not evolved one iota. Life should be about development, improvement and enlightenment, not about retaining our youthful prejudices, biases and ignorance. His thinly-veiled bigotry ("Zionism" is such a quaint, but hateful, word when used in certain contexts) has been revealed for all to see in his discourse. Elevating tyrants, whether it be Khomeini or the Shah, to mythical stature and attributing qualities to them that they never possessed during their lives is dangerous and misguided >>> MORE LETTERS

ART
Ghosts

Paintings
Neda Hadizadeh

NEOCON
Not so secret
Omeed Kashani

So here we have them -- the Iranian-American neo-conservatives who have been pushing for US sponsored regime-change in Iran. They were all speaking at the neo-conservative secret meeting on Iran in Bahamas last weekend. Together with a long list of Israeli and American neo-conservatives, there were four Iranian American participants -- all favorite darlings of the Israeli and American far-right: Ladan Archie, Rob Sobhani, Abbas Milani and Karim Sadjadpour >>>

WOMEN
North-South divide
Peyvand Khorsandi

It's pelage season in Iran. The well-to-do of Tehran take time off and head to the segregated beaches of the north. Men armed with binoculars line up to hire speed boats to gawp at the women's section from a distance. "The problem is," says Arghavan, a 25-year-old graphic designer, who came to London four months go, "that you can't get rid of segregation overnight. Can you imagine how those men would react without a curtain separating the genders?" So, what do to? >>>

EXPRESSION
Perverts have rights, too

Without doubt, Hossein Hajiagha is a full-fledged, uninhibited pervert, but that is no reason to strip him of his right to speak
Lance Raheem

Free Speech has never been about getting along or agreeing with others. Nor is it about promoting unity within any community. The right of free speech is predicated on the notion that robust and vigorous debate within any community or society is the only avenue to harmonize divergent opinions and beliefs and to find the truth about any subject. When we attempt to silence others or when we ask others to do it for us, we are ultimately chipping away at our own right to speak freely.  When we seek to limit another individual's right to participate in open and free social discourse, we are, in essence giving our unqualified support to the notion that censorship is acceptable >>>

KHOMEINI
Open your eyes

The founder of the Islamic Repulic doesn't merit commemoration
Kaveh Nouraee

Javad Fakharzadeh's piece "Inside look" on his visit to Iran have stirred up some deep seated feelings that are a mix of anger, disgust, and sadness. First of all, it must be said that Ruhollah Moussavi (Khomeini's real name) is responsible for the deaths of countless men, women and children (as young as 6 years of age). For such an animal to be called "Emam" is an affront to everything sacred, regardless of your particular religious convictions.  The very meaning of the word Emam is "someone who can lead mankind in all aspects of life as he is appointed by God" >>>

PROTESTER
Living for justice

Women leaders and women in the public eye face many challenges deep rooted in the patriarchal power structure
Elahe Amani

On the day after Memorial Day, Cindy Sheehan, the soldier’s mother who gave momentum to the anti-war movement, announced that she will no longer be its public face. In her “resignation letter” she stated “Good-bye America... You are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.” At the end of her close to three-year involvement,, the mother who media made the public face of the anti-war movement was tired, disappointed and heart broken. She gave all she had, including a 29-year marriage, to a movement that in her view, “Often puts personal egos above peace and human life.” >>>

MUSIC
Serendipity in Berkeley

Eastern and Western instruments create a delightful and soulful audio feast
Nazy Kaviani

MUSIC
World class violinist

Meet Vahid Khadem-Missagh
Video

ARRIVAL
Safar bekheyr

Mehrabad survival guide
Abbas Soltani

As many of you often travel to Iran, I thought I provide you with some pointers that I call Mehrabad Survival Guide. These pointers are to help you survive the obstacles that you face on your way out. This part of the guide applies only to the arrival section of the airport as departing Tehran is another story in itself. Also, please not that I have not yet flown into the new airport so these obstacles may not exactly be the same. Okay, here we go... >>>

FINGER
Condi caption contest

Apologies in advance
Bruce Bahmani

A couple of weeks ago I saw this picture in the news and couldn't help but to start laughing. Sometimes, I think there really is some kind of vast conspiracy, but not by the liberal news media, but by news photographers. It's like they try to see what they can get away with. Whatever the real conspiracy may be, it certainly helps put the news in perspective. Because contrary to what they want us to believe, for the most part, most of the time, most of the world is not on fire. I sent out the picture for a contest of sorts to my "Crude Crew" or "Persian Posse" for commentary. Here's what the lovely lads responded with >>>

BUDDHA
One with nature

The belief that happiness is dependent on abundance of material wealth results in greed, competition, hatred, and violence
Zhaleh Semnani-Azad

To the contemporary Buddhist thinkers, violence is the result of the development of greed, aversion, and different views and beliefs hrough science, technology, and modern society. The development of 'lobba', the Buddhist term for desire and greed, through technology and modern society has increased violence in our world. Technology is used as a tool for acquiring material wealth. Through technology industrialized enterprises such as factories are able to get the most productivity out of their workers. Hourly wages and measurement of the productiveness, has motivated workers to work harder in order to better their material standard of living >>>

RAP
Eblis

"Style e Rap" and more
MP3s

ART
Heritage

Digital reflections: Pasargad and Persepolis
Ali R. Rabi

DREAMS
Pedar, nemikhaaham raeese jomhour baasham

I don't want to be president, dad
Nahid Husseini

REVIEW
Before the invasion

Kaveh Farrokh's book covers the entire span of Persia's existence from the Achaemenids to the Sassanians
Maziyar Talaforush

In an honest narration, Dr. Farrokh (born in Athens, Greece) gives it to both sides equally; he mentions the cruel treatment of captured Arab War Lords by some of the Sassanian kings, while praising Greece for her magnificent accomplishments. And amid countless books giving us the same-old-same-old narrations on Greece and Rome, and warped conceptions of ancient Persia seen recently in fantasy motion pictures such as "300", this book is a refreshing change that aims to balance things a bit. But above all, there are NEW discoveries unraveled by Farrokh himself, such as new aspects of the impact that Persian architecture had on Gothic Europe, as well much more >>>

ART
The eye of the beholder

Paintings and drawings
Javad Azar

IRAN
Inside look

Commemorating Khomeini's legacy in changing the fabric of Western influence in the heart of the Middle East
Javad Fakharzadeh

I visited Iran for the first time since 1977 and could feel this atmosphere from within. It is quite different from the Western perspective. As a starter, today is the anniversary of the death of Emam Khomeini; the founder of Islamic Republic of Iran. It is a national holiday in Iran. In fact all government offices, banks, schools and some businesses are closed in Iran for most of this week. Iran's media have been busy broadcasting Khomeini's messages all week and is full of commentaries about the late leader. n fact, this event has been well organized in advance and you could see Khomeini's images, messages all over the capital and cites across Iran for the past several weeks. Such event is not propagated in the western media for obvious reasons >>>

LONDON
Genteel Venice

Photo essay: London's Little Venice & Regent's Canal
Parima Shahin Moghaddam

FOOTBALL
Good hair day
Siamack Baniameri

I was extremely proud to be watching the Iranian National Soccer Team play against Mexico on Saturday. Even though the depleted Iranian team was no match for Mexico's mediocrity, but what made me most proud were the awesome, perky, lavish and bouncy hairdos of the Iranian players. We have to admit that our national team had a good hair day. I especially enjoyed Iranian footballers' fake tumbles and Hollywood-style dives while maintaining a perfect hair posture >>>

FOROUGH
Tadfeene yek shaaer

Remembering Forough Farrokhzad's burial 41 years ago
Esmail Nooriala

POETRY
Makoos

Mojaazaate eshgh, haghighat
Ava Koohbor

POETRY
Sick joke

Perpetuating a corrupt ridicule
Tahereh Tavous

POETRY
Chahar

Four stages of love
Orang Gholikhani

POETRY
Every closet

Every closet has a skeleton; mine is a cemetery of villains
Farhad Zaltash

POETRY
Sorkh bot

Taaziyaaneh bas nabood?
Iman Tavassoly

DISCOVERY
Paykan, down under

Shocking find in Australia
Video

RAP
Emziper

"Fargh Adamaa" and more
MP3s

TRAVELERS
Thinking of you

Photo essay: Turkey on Rumi's birthday
Ashk Dahlen

BIOGRAPHY
Mowlana ye Rum

Who was he?
Shahriar Zahedi

COMMON SENSE
I have a dream

It's not just the Islamic Republic and constitutional monarchy that we need to make sure is forever abolished
Jeesh Daram

Iranians are assumed to be the only nation in the world that just about all of them know about politics, all of them know who are behind the conspiracies and most of them have their very own political solutions. And that is precisely why nothing ever gets done and we keep falling behind. Here is an example. When someone attempts to introduce a novel political analysis; instead of showing some interest and patience, the only response we give is a long "Baaaleh... meedooonam" with the rolling of the eyes which although it translates as "yes I know" but in reality and in true ulterior Persian lexicon it means "boro dareh kooneto bezaaaar ma khodemoon ostadesheeem, tokhmeh ma ham neestee" or its true translation is "go and screw yourself as I am a philosopher and politician myself!" >>>

RIGHTS
Works like magic

The collective stare of humanity awakens the sense of decency in human rights violators
Ari Siletz

I'm still scratching my head as to why Iranian officials had to wear masks to confiscate Dr. Haleh Esfandiari's passport. I've never had my passport taken away, but in the movies it's usually a uniformed civil servant in a booth at the airport. He types your passport info into a computer, there's a moment of suspense, then he picks up the phone, giving you a dirty look. He never wears a ski mask, and if his government has trusted him with a weapon, it's usually a sidearm, not a switchblade. Granted this is just Hollywood, but I've seen my share of airports and can testify to the realism of the costume >>>

KABAB
As good as sex
Faramarz Fateh

LOS ANGELES -- Hello. My name is Faramarz and I am a chelo kabab addict. Let's face it, for a lot of middle aged Iranian men, chelo kabab ranks as high up there as sex. If we are not deprived of sex for too long and we are asked to choose between a soltani at Rafi's place and sex, it will not be an easy decision for us. Especially those of us who have been married for a while. Now thats been clarified, what the hell has happened to price of chelo kabab in the U.S.? >>>

OBSERVATION
Zoleikha!

Elm behtar ast yaa "body"?
Sophie Saviour

I have heard Zoli has a good body and shows some skin. It seems all eligible, non-eligible mid-aged Iranian guys hire her as their personal trainer. They all say good things about her and are trying very hard to convince any other woman that they go to her because she is verrry good. Not for the fact she is good looking! Hard to believe though since these guys never thought about personal trainers before and even when their wives were confronting them to lose a little bit of the belly fat, they would have said: "mard baayad 'del' daashte baashe!" Now all of a sudden after receiving the exciting news from other guy friends about Zoliekha, all have decided to get in a better shape and rid of their belly jelly >>>

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