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July 2004

July 25...............................To top

* Watch your language

If you still think "queer" has a negative connotation, I should bring you up to date. These days, describing a homosexual as a "queer" is almost like stating a neutral fact. Same thing with "dyke". But I suspect it would not be appropriate to call a lesbian a "dyke". However if she tells you she's a dyke, you're supposed to accept that as OK. It's cool :o)

And Iranians should reconsider using kooni (asshole?) to describe a gay person. I'm curious to know what gay Iranians call each other, but in their official literature they describe themselves as hamjens-garaa, which means attracted-to-the-same-sex, and NOT the age-old hamjens-baaz, which means same-sex-pervert.

And a Jew is not a "joohood" (You would certainly not use that term in their presence. So why would should it be used among non-Jews?) A Jew is a "yahoodi" or "kalimi".

You disagree? Speak up!

What else? Oh, siyaah (Black) is OK to describe African-Americans but siaahpoost (Black-skins) is (or should be) on the way out of our journalistic vocabulary, to say the least. Meanwhile, siaah sookhteh (charcoal-Black) and siaah zangee (Black slave from Zanzibar)... are definitely off the chart.

And ... come on! We MUST find something other than cheshm-baadoomee (almond-like-eyes) to describe the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and...

And not anybody who speaks Spanish is MEXICAN!

Any other words need to be reconsidered?

-- Jahanshah Javid

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* Reedam

It was so embarrassing...

Saeid told me he comes to Berkeley on Saturdays to play soccer with a bunch of Iranian guys. I asked him if I could come, even though I don't play well. I just want to exercise and enjoy myself. He said that wouldn't be a problem.

I put on my all-black shorts and t-shirt, my red-and-black stripped long socks, and my football shoes, which have seen action only twice in the past year. With my messy afro, three-day-old beard and round glasses, I looked... ridiculous.

It would have been fine if I wasn't the absolute worst player among a field of 18 anxious, hard-working, passionate football players. But I was so so bad.

In an hour and a half of play as a right-back, I touched the ball 10 times, and I kicked nine of them in the direction of our own goal. (I heard a frustrated teammate tell another: "Cheraa eenjooree meekoneh?!" -- essentially, "What's his problem?")

My glasses kept falling from my sweaty face and once I got rammed so hard that my glasses smashed against my eyes and left a scratch on my nose. There was blood! :o)))

When I got on the field, our team was ahead 2-0. When it became 4-4, it was decided that the team that scores the next goal wins.

One of my teammates told me to defend the goal, which I was thankful for. At least I would not have to run around and the goal looked pretty small and easy to defend. It was best for the team if I didn't handle the ball and from that position, the only direction I could kick was forward.

I made some pretty good saves. Once I used my hands as the ball was coming 200 miles an hour right at my chest. I was told that I should not use my hands since the goal is very small. I did it again (defensive reflex, again) and it cost us a corner. But we survived.

Then I took a direct hit in the groin. People! It was painful, very painful. But funny enough, I didn't get much sympathy. I think my teammates thought I deserved it. It was undestandable. I probably deserved worse.

This is how it all ended: Someone kicked a high ball, I jumped to head it away. But instead, it bounced off my head and dropped behind my back into the goal.

Sorry guys, reedam... cheh jooram.

-- Jahanshah Javid

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* Where are you from?

A story from Saeid about his high school years in Turkish-controlled Cyprus:

In 1983 the Iranian government allowed people to travel for the first time since the war with Iraq had started three years earlier. At the time many teenage boys left the country to avoid the draft.

My parents sent me to a British high school in the Turkish part of Cyprus. I had an Iranian classmate whose name was Mani. There are many ancient ruins in Cyprus where Mani and I would play.

One day we went into a cave where we found mounds of cannon balls used centuries ago by Portuguese colonizers. Mani and I thought it would be fun to take them home.

We picked up a couple and started walking. On the way, a British hiker stopped us and said we were not allowed to take ancient objects. He had sensed that we were not locals. "Where are you from?" he asked.

I knew he thought we were thieves, or had done something very wrong. So before Mani could open his mouth I said, "We're Iraqis!"

I didn't want to ruin my country's reputation :o)))

-- Jahanshah Javid

July 22...............................To top

* Not my nonsense

Someone is using the email address writing things in my name and sending them off to various people. Please beware of this and any similar nonsense written in my name -- except nonsense I write in

-- Jahanshah Javid

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* Weapon of Mass Destruction

I picked up my wife from English class today. She said her Israeli classmate asked her whether it's true that Iranian women remove facial hair with regular thread? My wife said yes it's true, and proceeded to teach her and a couple of (fascinated) Brazilian classmates how it's done.

-- Jahanshah Javid

July 17...............................To top

* Roo keh neest

I just got an email from SM with this photo attached. It shows a public wall in Tehran. I looked at it and I thought, "How sick... what nerve!"

Islamic Republic, the defender of human rights? Qorboonam beree!

-- Jahanshah Javid

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July 16...............................To top

* Journalism fellowship at NYT

The Social Science Research Council, in partnership with The New York Times Company Foundation and The Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism at the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, presents a week-long institute, to be held September 27 - October 1, 2004 in New York City, that will explore in-depth the practice of Islam and the Muslim experience in America.

Fellowships are available to 15 practicing professional journalists to attend the institute in New York City, which will feature a broad range of experts leading discussions key to understanding the complexities of Islam. The program will focus on Islam's practices and its communities with an emphasis on distinguishing between articles of faith and political ideology. The goal is to provide journalists with context and understanding of issues essential to framing news stories on American Muslim life with greater depth.

The program will address issues including:

-The social, cultural, and political diversity of Muslims in American society -Reporting on the cultural, linguistic and transnational aspects of the religion
-The role of Muslim women in political, business and community life
-The institutional, ethnic, and religious ties of American Muslims with Muslims abroad
-Coping with post-9/11: fear, civil liberties, foreign policy, terrorism and war

Fellows will also probe the challenges of reporting and writing about Muslim communities, and learn where to find source experts, community contacts, websites, literature and other resources.

WHO SHOULD APPLY: Reporters and editors from print, broadcast and online news organizations who specialize in issues related to religion, diversity, immigration, globalization, social services, legal affairs and foreign policy. Fellowships cover lodging, meals, field trip expenses, reference materials and one-half of travel expenses up to a maximum of $300.

HOW: Applications are available on the WKC website, Applications must include

-completed application forms;
-personal statement;
-letter of recommendation;
-samples of professional work.

Applications must be sent to :

Vikki Porter
Director Western
Knight Center for Specialized Journalism
USC Annenberg School for Communication
3502 Watt Way Los Angeles, CA 90089-0281

For further information or questions: Email:
Phone: (212) 377-2700 ext. 604

Deadlines: The deadline is July 22, 2004. Email or faxed submissions will be accepted, but a hard original copy of the application must be received within five days of the deadline date.

Email applications to:
Fax: (213) 743-4985.

-- Sent by Masoud

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* Trash-talking ads

LOS ANGELES (July 15, 2004) - The Academy Awards have some new rules, including a ban on ads by studios trashing the competition.

In a decree released Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences formally banned studios from referencing rivals in ads aimed at voters. The new rule "prohibits specific and disparaging references to other pictures or individuals competing in a given category in ads, mailings, Web sites or other forms of campaign communication," according to the Academy.

It's an apparent response to DreamWorks' trade-newspaper ad last season that promoted best supporting actress contender Shoreh Aghdashloo from "House of Sand and Fog" in a way that was perceived as a slap at fellow nominee Renee Zellweger from "Cold Mountain.

The ad included clips from newspaper and TV critics saying that Aghdashloo deserved to win the Oscar, but that Zellweger was more likely to get it. The Motion Picture Academy denounced it as an "attack ad." DreamWorks apologized and later bought a special ad congratulating Zellweger on her victory.

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* Run Lola Run

I highly recommend you guys to see this exciting film by a young German director called Run Lola Run. One of the actors is Malik Shah in Kayvan Mashayekh's film The Keeper. This is an excellent thriller with an intelligent plot. In short, how would you save a friend from sheer death knowing that to save him you need to collect 100,000 German Marks in exactly twenty minutes? JUST ORDER IT AND SEE IT.

-- Darius Kadivar

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Shorts: July 1-14

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July 25
* Watch your language
* Reedam
* Where are you from?
July 22
* Not my nonsense

July 17
* Roo keh neest
July 16

* Fellowship at NYT
* Trash-talking ads
* Run Lola Run
July 14
* Saddam: Take action now
* More than a possibility
July 12
* Who are we?
* Neruda's birthday
* Sean Connery: Cyrus
July 10
* National costume
* Opportunity?
* Domestic abuse
* Agha Ranjbar
* Looking up
July 8
* New bill, new nonsense
* Ace band?
July 7
* Open the door
* The greatest contender
* Women in Iran
* Last leg for peace
* Persian in San Diego
* Camp limbo
* Underlying factors
* Notorious Al-gebra
* Poor millionaires

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