The Iranian Times

Friday August 27, 1999 / Shahrivar 5, 1378, No. 794


Sehaty Foreign Exchange



Unwanted battle
Rostam and Esfandiyâr fight against their own best interests

By Jerome W. Clinton
August 27, 1999
The Iranian

From Jerome W. Clinton's In the Dragon's Claws: The Story of Rostam and Esfandiyar (1999, Mage Publishers).

For a work that is usually described as one of the greatest stories of the Iranian national epic The story of Rostam and Esfandiyâr displays a surprisingly modern skepticism about the values we associate with the epic. In the world of the Shahnameh, monarchy enjoys divine sanction and society's most admired virtues are embodied in heroes like Rostam and Esfandiyâr, yet the story expresses a profound ambivalence about the demands of heroism, and is sharply critical of a monarch who exploits the courage and loyalty of his heroes to further his own selfish ends. The climactic event of the story is the battle between Rostam and Esfandiyâr, yet the two heroes do not view themselves as natural enemies. On the contrary, they fight each other against their own wishes and in violation of their own best interests ... GO TO FEATURE


Rostam & Sohrab
A play in Tehran

An interview with the director Pari Saberi
Hamshahri, August 26, 1999



Great film

If you like scary movies, don't miss The Sixth Sense, the story of a boy who sees dead people walking around and the doctor (Bruce Willis) who tries to help him. Great acting. very well made ... CLICK HERE

More Letters

* Too many donuts

Bruce Kermane writes in response to Leyla Momeny's poems, "Ali & Mark":

A girl
wanting to say
something profound
but too many donuts
and bubbles from stale
glasses of Coke
left overnight
get in the way.

Who falls
upon the thorns of life?
who bleeds?

* An American in Iran

Larry Rutzell writes: I just wanted to let you know that I absolutely loved your articles on your personal travels to Iran [Steven Shaffer's "An American in Iran", "Mostaqeem", "Shomaal", "Passing seasons"].

I was 14-16 years old (but very mature) and lived in Tehran with my mom and dad back in 1975-1977 (1354-1355 by the Iranian calendar) It was fascinating. We traveled from Tehran to Rasht, Ramsar, Bandar Abbas, Chalus, Karaj Dam, Damavand, Ab Ali, Shemshak, Karaj, Ghazvin, Qom, Isfahn and Shiraz. What a Country.

In two years we only had stones thrown three times at our large American made Ford, with license plates that in Farsi said "Service". But everyone for the most part was extremely friendly.

It has been 22 years now, and I am a travel agent, and I'm yearning for a trip back. Reading your stories make me believe that it may not be to bad for an American tourist.

Again, great stories and wonderful pictures.

* Literature: Persian educational seminar, Berkeley

Zahra Taheri will instruct three hours of classes per week (in Persian), including reading and analysis of literary texts of various genres, such as sufi treatises, ethical texts, and essays. Through representative selections from medieval literary, historical, and mystical texts, we will discuss the grammatical and stylistic rules in different periods of classical Persian literature. Date: Sep. 8 - Dec. 15. Time: Wed. 7:00-10:00 p.m. Place: Room 252, Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley. For registration and more information please call: (408) 377-7789, or ... GO TO

Books of the Week

* Do gharib (1998)
Letters from two friends in Iran and abroad
By Farideh Golbou

* Yek ruz maandeh beh eid-e paak (1998)
By Zoya Pirzad

* Istgaah-e aabshaar (1999)
Back when we were just kids...
By Parviz Davaie

* Talkhaak (1998)
Love story, best selling novel
By Nasser Karami

See more Iranian books for sale


Video of the Week

Life and Nothing More
(Zendegi va digar hich)

Abbas Kiarostami's film investigates the aftermath of a devastating 1990 earthquake which killed thousands of people in northern Iran. In many ways the most beautiful and powerful Iranian film. Directed by Abbas Kiarostami. Farsi with English subtitles.

Video Store

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More news

CEP Nominates 23-Member Central Council

August 26, TEHRAN (Tehran Times) -- The centrist Construction of Executive Party (CEP) yesterday announced a 23-member Central Council amid objection from its allies who said that there should have been an election and not nomination of the council ... FULL TEXT

Iran will respect legal rights of accused spies

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Iran will respect the legal rights of 13 Iranian Jews accused of spying for Israel and the United States, the foreign minister said Thursday ... FULL TEXT

More than one million Iranians live in land of ``Great Satan''

Teheran (dpa) - There are 1.2 million Iranians living in the United States, the political arch-enemy of Iran for the last two decades and locally branded as the ``Great Satan'', a Teheran daily reported Thursday ... FULL TEXT

Iranian leaders warn of new "plots"

TEHRAN, Aug 27 (AFP) - Iranian Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mussavi-Lari warned Friday of "new plots" against the government of President Mohammad Khatami aimed at showing its economic policy was a failure ... FULL TEXT

Green group in drive to clean Caspian beaches

BANDAR ANZALI, IRAN, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Hundreds of Iranian volunteers combed the picturesque beaches of the Caspian Sea on Friday in the first major cleanup launched by Iran's environmentalist Green Front ... FULL TEXT

Oil firmer before Caracas exporters' meeting

LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Oil markets were slightly firmer on Friday before a Saturday meeting in Caracas between the three exporting countries which engineered this year's sharp revival in prices. International benchmark Brent crude in London was last traded up 19 cents at $20.76 a barrel after repairing on Thursday nearly all the damage sustained in an 80-cent slide the previous day ... FULL TEXT

Shamlu: 40 years of magic

Tehran, (Neshat) - In this short biography, veteran writer Javad Mojabi reviews Ahmad Shamlu's life and work ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN (pdf file)

Shamlu's not-so proud film career

Tehran, (Neshat) - Shamlu has admitted that years ago he was forced to write cheezy dialogue for Iranian B movies in order to make ends meet ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Make-believe leaders suck too

Tehran, (Hamshahri) - Among the latest books in Iran, Nasser Hamrang's novel, "Mir Noruzi" is based on an ancient tradition where a man is chosen as the make-believe leader of a village for 13 days. But (surprise, surprise) he misleads the people ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Haj Qorban residence

Tehran, (Hamshahri) - The National Heritage Foundation is set to preseve the Safavid-era Haj Qorban residence in Kashan ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Mohajerani may get promoted

Tehran, (Hamshahri) - Heshamt Mohajerani, who is currently the head coach of U.A.E.'s youth soccer team, has been approached about taking the top coaching job for U.A.E.'s national team ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Poor journalists

Tehran, (Hamshahri) - The new Azadegan soccer season has just started but the sports suthorities have not issued new stadium passes for sports writers and photographers. So many have decided to boycott the games ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN


Persian Service

For the latest news, interviews and features on Iranian current affairs ... LISTEN HERE

$ Rate

Updated August 26

Buying: 880-897 tomans per dollar

Selling: 902 tomans per dollar

Source: Sehaty Exchange (U.S.) Tel: 602-595-0777

Mention this code for a better rate: FA 37 B

Business news

The Web


Reza Pahlavi

Lots of photos and documents. A bit too much Java script (cheh khabareh?).

Beyond Iran

Museum of Contemporary Art

The San Diego MCA focuses on art created after 1950. At the official site you can take a guided tour of the museum's permanent collection, or pick the work of an individual artist

More web sites

Quote Unquote

Recurrent theme

While there are a number of recurrent themes in the Shahnameh, such as the immortality of noble deeds, the malignancy and inevitability of fate, and the persistent hostility and envy of Iran's neighbors, the theme that underlies all of these is that God prefers Iran to other nations and sustains it through the institution of the shah.

-- Jerome W. Clinton
"In the Dragon's Claws: The Story of Rostam and Esfandiyar"
The Iranian
August 27, 1999

Photo of the Day

Rafsanjani in 1975


Musician of the Week


* Benevis
* Vedaa dar oj
* Ay bahaareh
* Diruz va emruz

Music artists index