The Iranian Times

Monday November 29, 1999 / Azar 8, 1378, No. 856

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Iranian books

    Abu Saeed

Cover story

Faramarz Rahmani's fresh approach to Qajar art

November 29, 1999
The Iranian

All we know about Faramarz Rahmani is that he was born in Tehran in 1961 and has had five individual and 25 group exhibitions. But you don't need to know much more. Just look at his paintings. I'm very close to getting tried of this Qajar craze. But Rahmani's cartoonish portraits are original and fun. Imagine them in huge sizes hanging from a wall in a bare room with high ceilings. Awesome! ... GO TO FEATURE


Court Silences Iran Reformist With Jail Term

The New York Times
December 28, 1999

Iran's most powerful religious court Saturday imposed a five-year jail term and a five-year banishment from political activity on a Muslim cleric, Abdullah Nouri, who is a close ally of Iran's reformist president and has won wide popular support with demands for an end to authoritarian rule by the religious hierarchy...

Nouri himself maintained a scornful attitude toward the court and a seeming indifference to his own fate, which characterized his defiant speeches at his trial before the Special Court for the Clergy this month. This week, he told reporters he would not appeal the court's sentence and predicted that the trial would only accelerate demands for sweeping changes in Iran's political system that would take power from the religious authorities and bestow it, under a democratic system, on Iran's 70 million people.

"It might take them a long time to learn this lesson, or it might take them a short time," Nouri said, referring to the ruling clerics. "What is clear, and beyond doubt, is that the case we have put before the court will have an effect, on society and the state. What we know for certain is that there will be change." ... FULL TEXT



TEHRAN, Nov 28 (AFP) - Sir John Keer, the most senior British diplomat to visit Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, met Sunday with Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi, the Iranian ministry said ... FULL TEXT

More Letters

* Predictable behavior

Dariush Rafaei, PhD writes: So far as procrastination is concerned, there has not been a more powerful tool invented. I read your article ["The search"] with some interest as I, like many other young products of our time, have been coming to grips with assorted questions of identity. Although your article read well, it sounded more like an introduction to a thesis (a long-winded abstract perhaps) than a sharp inquisitive article. You suggest a hypothesis, which although sounds trendy is hard to define or justify, and then you fail to refer to it again...

... There is no specific handbook for being an Iranian or an exiled Iranian. However what you have failed to grasp here is that there is a pervasive pattern in each set which is easily defined based on various parameters including socioeconomic background, education and alike. So as you see, in most cases there is a predictable pattern of behavior which is governed by the competing and dominant forces in an individual's life ... FULL TEXT

* Erotic Sufi tradition

Dr Fereidoun Abbasi writes in response to Rasool Nafisi's letter:

There are a few specific themes that I wish to explore in Sufi mysticism. The Prophet Mohammad was the starting point of Islamic mysticism; Rabi'a, as the founder of the theme of Sufi love; al-Hallaj, whose writings are the locus classicus of impassioned union; al-Ghazzali, as the clear-headed systematizer and reconciler of mysticism with orthodoxy; Ibn al-Farid, as the composer of what is perhaps the greatest erotic love poem in all of Sufi literature; Ibn al-'Arabi, as the supreme philosopher of the erotic in the Sufi tradition; and Rumi, as the exponent of love best-known to the West ["Let's not talk about sex"].

The earliest foundation of the theme of the erotic in Arabic poetry predates Islam. Poetry was the primary form of literature, indeed, the main form of artistic expression, of the jahiliyya period, circa 500-622 C.E. While there were a few different types of poetry, the qasida, or ode, was the only finished type. The qasida tended to have a fairly invariant structure: a nomad would stumble upon the remains of a desert camp and sing of its desolation. His loneliness would inspire him to recall his fondness for those who had once encamped there, and he would describe with great nostalgia the strength of his affection for his beloved and not infrequently would describe her in detail. This section of the poem is called the nasib, "erotic prelude." ... FULL TEXT

* Music: Shahin & Sepehr concert, Washington

Shahin & Sepehr will be giving a free concert at the Discovery Flagship Store in the MCI Center in Washington DC on Saturday December 11th from 1-4 for the Holiday Celebrations. Address: 601 F Street NW Washington. Tel: 202/639-0908.


Books of the Week

* Saaniyeh-yeh aakhar (1999)
Y2K issues in Iran
By Dr. Ali Parandeh

* Barandeh-haa ham baazandeh-and (1999)
A memoir by a former mayor of Tehran, with photos
By Ahmad Nafisi

* Jazireh sargardaani (2nd edition, 1998)
By Simin Daneshvar

* Mumia va assal (1996)
By Shahriar Mandanipour

* Mehr-e giaah (1998)
ByAmir Hassan Cheheltan

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Khatami defends jailed reformist Abdollah Nouri

TEHRAN, Nov 28 (AFP) - President Mohammad Khatami on Sunday sprang to the defence of his close ally Abdollah Nuri, Iran's leading reformer who was sentenced to five years in prison for religious and political dissent ... FULL TEXT

Pro-reform press slams jail sentence on leading reformist

TEHRAN, Nov 28 (AFP) - Moderate press on Sunday unanimously slammed a five-year jail sentence on former interior minister and leading reformist Abdollah Nuri, a close ally of President Mohammad Khatami ... FULL TEXT

Culture minister deplores Nuri sentence

TEHRAN, Nov 29 (AFP) - Iran's moderate culture minister Monday deplored the conviction of leading reformist Abdollah Nuri by a conservative clerical court, saying like Nuri he contested the tribunal's competence, the state news agency IRNA reported ... FULL TEXT

Conservative papers get lenient court rulings

TEHRAN, Nov 29 (Reuters) - An Iranian court, which has closed several reformist publications, on Monday handed down lenient rulings against two conservative newspapers, effectively letting off both of their publishers with warnings ... FULL TEXT

MPs propose amnesty to include regime's opponents

TEHRAN, Nov 29 (AFP) - Iranians living abroad, including opponents of the clerical regime, could be granted amnesty for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution under a new draft bill, papers said here Monday ... FULL TEXT

Definitive report on Iran's July riots out soon: radio

TEHRAN, Nov 29 (AFP) - Iran's military justice system will make public in the next few days a definitive report on last July's riots in Iran, state radio said Monday ... FULL TEXT

Iran not able to grant US request for consular presence: Kharazi

TEHRAN, Nov 28 (AFP) - Iran is not able to grant a US request to open a consular office in Tehran, foreign minister Kamal Kharazi said Sunday. "The situation in both countries is totally different and we are not able to grant the request," said Kharazi at a press conference with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov, who is visiting Tehran ... FULL TEXT

Iran spared criticism at Gulf summit for first time

RIYADH, Nov 29 (AFP) - Iran was spared criticism at a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Monday for the first time since the six-nation grouping was set up in 1981 ... FULL TEXT

More than 100 foreigners arrested at Tehran residence

TEHRAN, Nov 29 (AFP) - More than one hundred foreigners, including women from various European and South American countries, were arrested during a dance evening in a residential suburb of Tehran, the government newspaper Iran reported Monday ... FULL TEXT

Parliament passes Khatami economic plan

TEHRAN, Nov 29 (AFP) - Iran prepared Monday for a major shake-up in its economic system after the conservative-dominated parliament approved the last clauses of reformist President Mohammad Khatami's ambitious five-year plan ... FULL TEXT

Iran says it has no debts with Britain

TEHRAN, Nov 29 (AFP) - Iran denied Monday that it owes money to Britain following reports that British officials came to Tehran to discuss debts. Iran "is not in debt to the state or individuals ... in Britain," the Iranian economy ministry said, quoted by the official IRNA news agency.... FULL TEXT

Women publishers

Tehran (Iran daily) - More than 70 publishing houses specializing in women's books have participated in a fair in Ahvaz ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Theater awards

Tehran (Hamshahri) - Winners of a theater festival in Tehran have been announced ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Abu Saeed conference

Tehran (Iran daily) - Turkmenistan will host a conference on the Persian poet Abu Saeed, attended by Iranian and Turkman scholars ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

World record shattered by Nasirinia

Tehran (Hamshahri) - Shahin Nasirinia broke the world record in world weight-lifting championships. Other medals by Iranians lifted the team to fifth place ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Esteqlal loses to al-Ittihad

Tehran (Asr-e Azadegan) - Esteqlal 1-0 loss to Saudi Arabia's al-Ittihad was not so bad. Esteqlal now has a good chance for a victory in the return match in front of a home crowd in Tehran ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN


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Quote Unquote

Competent colleague

We have been deprived of an experienced and competent colleague. We could benefit from his services more than before... We should work to promote the people's power of choice. Any action bringing a tense situation will not serve the interests of the country."

-- President Khatami on the imprisonment of Abdollah Nouri
November 28, 1999

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Front page: Nouri's imprisoned


Musician of the Week

Dastan Ensemble with Shahram Nazeri: Homage to Rumi

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