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The Iranian Features
March 15-19, 1999 / Esfand 24-28,1377


* Noruz:
Fire with fire
A smile, at last


* Noruz: NajvAye shAdi
* Cover story: Solitude
* Media: Radio days
* Rights: 160 degress
* Rights: Molla or not

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

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March 17, 1999


    Fire with fire
    Tehranis hold their ground and celebrate charshanbeh suri

    By Laleh Khalili

    There was a fire burning in every street, there were home made fireworks flying all about, in the darker side streets, there were even completely unveiled women jumping over the fires and passing out pastries. The occasion calls for boldness and for joy, and both were in high supply... The air smelled the delicious smell of wood smoke, and I saw more bliss in one street in a couple of hours than I have in one and half months in all of Iran ... GO TO FEATUTE


A smile, at last
The Komiteh joins the charshanbeh suri festivities

Photo by Siamak Namazi

These photographs were the taken during charshanbeh suri celebrations at the Behjatabat complex. The Komiteh "moral police" was actually fun to have around this year. (For the first time since the revolution they announced the celebration is not banned -- though it was carried out every year anyway). I even had the Komiteh guy below pose for me with a sparkler ... GO TO FEATUTE

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March 16, 1999


    NajvAye shAdi
    Noruz music a pleasant distraction in college

    By xAle

    Each year near Noruz, as I get ready to send cards or clean my house, I can't help but think of that one Noruz in Iran while I was in college.

    Mashhad University's college of literature was on a tree-lined street named KhyAbAn e AsrAr. Both sides of the street had beautiful and old AghaghiA trees.

    One afternoon I was standing in the school courtyard with a few other friends enjoying Esfand's mid-afternoon sun when JavAd started a verse and before we knew what was going on, we were reciting these words ... GO TO FEATUTE

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March 15, 1999

Cover story

Electronic drawings by Sadaf Abbassian

"This collection is the result of my daily work with the computer; I'm a graphic artist," says Sadaf Abbassian, whose electronic drawings below were on exhibit at Gallery Golestan in Tehran last month. "Instead of a pencil, I have have used the computer mouse, thus the slight vibrations in the lines which add special energy to the drawings, I think."


I can just see them, each one of them, in their stylish homes and apartments in upper Tehran. Modern, above middle class, even rich. They are not religious in the traditional sense, but they are intrigued by sufism. They listen to Beethoven and Shajarian. They travel to remote areas of Iran, something they would never have done 25 years ago. They have casual relationships amongst themselves. The carry on with life at a slow, steady pace. They are not easily shocked. They often read and try to write poetry. They read Hemingway, in English. They prefer Europe to the U.S. Yet they are deeply Iranian ... GO TO FEATUTE

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March 12, 1999


Radio days
Serving the "Finglishy" community in Virginia and on the Net

By Babak Yektafar

It started slowly as a one-hour, once-a-week show about three years ago. The first few shows where truly fun. I had no idea what I was doing, but I didn't care because I had no listeners. Aside from producing the content and performing, I had to run the audio mixing board as well. I was going to be irreverent and wild. I would speak perfect Finglish (Farsi-English) since this was to be a program for the Finglishy generation. I would play cool, on-the-edge music of the world. I would talk about Morad Barghi, Live Aid, Motel Ghoo, Lesbian Dial-A-Date, Chattanooga, Planet Hollywood, Gol Gov Zaboon and Chai Latte. I would be the Iranian (albeit less controversial) Howard Stern. Little did I know ... GO TO FEATURE

March 11, 1999


160 degrees
A reversal of sorts in attitudes towards human rights

    By Hossein Bagher Zadeh

The pivotal themes of the ongoing debates ... are civil society and the rule of law. Both these themes are used by their proponents as instruments to discredit violence - the latter being a hallmark of the revolutionary power since the foundation of the Islamic Republic. And the remarkable thing is that they seem to be actually winning the argument. Today, even the most hard-line elements inside the regime are trying to forward their positions by resorting to the principle of the rule of law, and rejecting violence in words - though not in deeds.

This in itself is a major achievement: the language of violence is being discredited under the Islamic Republic. Today, not only the reformists, commonly known as the "2nd of Khordad Front", condemn violence and lawlessness but also their opponents are increasingly trying to distance themselves from any act of violence ... GO TO FEATURE

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Molla or not
Concern over Mohsen Kadivar's arrest, even though he's a clergyman

    By Emami

    Could [the] lack of sensitivity [towards Kadivar's arrest] be attributed to the penchant for the dead and the martyrs which is so engrained in our psyches that even after many years of living in the west one would still react to injustice and brutality when someone is actually killed? Or is it, perhaps, the anti-religious, modernist outlook of so many of us that militates against defending a molla and getting unduly involved in some "in-fighting" that is going on out there? ... GO TO FEATURE

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