The Iranian Times

Monay November 8, 1999 / Aban 17, 1378, No. 843

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

    Obayd Zakani

Cover story

The plaid sofa
If I keep lying there I can re-live all those moments and years

By Termeh Rassi
November 8, 1999
The Iranian

I was 12, full of angst - even though I didn't know the full meaning of the word -- seated on a horribly plaid sofa, in an apartment hotel taken over by Iranians in Madrid. We had been there for months. As I looked outside I recognized the profiles in two thirds of the windows. All of us with our own stories, anxiously waiting to see where each of us would go.

We were all kids on the play ground waiting to be picked by a team - not knowing which team we would end up with - desperate not to remain standing in the field. The field was Spain - a haven for those of us who got there by 1982 - one of the few European countries that didn't require a visa from Iranians. But there was nothing you could do there, and you couldn't leave because you couldn't get back in ... GO TO FEATURE


The arts in Iran
When leaves begin to dance

The Economist , U.S. Edition
November 06, 1999

TEHRAN -- IN THE eyes of western cinema-goers, a shot of a newly-wed standing at the foot of the bed occupied by her slumbering spouse would rate as a tame allusion to sexual love. And a second image, of the same woman cowering in terror before her husband (who turns out to be a nasty bully), would hardly be considered outlandish.

Not so in theocratic Iran, however, where the ruling clerical establishment has long prevented sexually-aware cinema from getting anywhere near the screen. Imagine, then, the astonishment of Iranian audiences when they saw both these images in "Two Women", a film which recently ended a triumphant, four-month run in cinemas across the country ... FULL TEXT


The insider

The plot, the acting, the directing, are all right on the money. "The Insider" is the gripping story of a former Big Tobacco executive who goes on 60 Minutes to reveal that the cigarette makers have been lying for years about the addictive nature of nicotine. It entertains and shows how decisions are made at the most popular American news program. My only complaint would be that the Mike Wallace character in the movie is a complete jerk. The man isn't that bad, is he? ... FILM CLIP... A REVIEW

More Letters

* Easy to be ignorant

Roya Zarnegar writes in response to Mr. Beeler's letter : ... If someone wants to be ignorant, it is very easy to stereotype a whole nation. My co-workers, patients, neighbors, and some of my best friends are American. It would terribly undermine their intelligence if I were to stereotype them as a bunch of rednecks who have beer bellies and burp hotdogs all day.

Last but not least, I recommend you travel around the world a little and not limit your world eye view to the media and its representation of other countries ... FULL TEXT

* Shameful!

Margaret Habibi writes: So many wonderful books have been written about Iran. Iran is a beautiful country. Its people are gifted, civilized and charming, kind and hospitable.

Someone has written of James Buchan's book ["A good place to die"] : "This must be one of the most perceptive attempts to understand the Iranian psyche ever undertaken in an English work of fiction".

As a foreign wife of an Iranian, I lived in Iran for many years. I find this book quite shameful!

* Info: Iranian airline industry?

Abbas Atrvash writes: I'm in the process of writing a book in Persian about the history of the airline industry in Iran. Any publications, newspapers, articles, books and pictures will be very helpful. I'm particularly interested in information relating to years before 1927 and between 1935 and 1945. Any contribution or or any tips about available sources will be greatly appreciated. Please email:


Books of the Week

* Ruzegaran (1999)
History of Iran up to the Pahlavi dynasty
By Abdol-Hossein Zarrinkoub

* Zanaan haramsaraa-ye Nasserdin Shah (1998)
Pictorial history
By Khosro Motazed and Abolghasem Tafazoli

* Baagh (1998)
Short stories
By Parviz Davaie

* Qand va namak (1998)
Tehrani proverbs
By Jafar Shahri

See more Iranian books for sale


Video of the Week

Divorce Iranian Style

A new documentary that goes where Western camera s have never before gone: into an Iranian divorce court. The film is directed by award- winning independent filmmaker Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini, an Iranian anthropologist and writer, based in London, whose specialty is women's rights and family law in the Mid-East.

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Press court begins hearings against veteran reformist editor

TEHRAN, Nov 8 (AFP) - Veteran reformist newspaper editor Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, who has repeatedly thumbed his nose at court bans on his titles, went on trial before Tehran's press court Monday on charges of offending Islam. Shamsolvaezin was called to answer charges of "insulting Islamic sanctities, as well as forging news items," state television said ... FULL TEXT

Adineh's life-time ban reduced to five years

Tehran, (Hamshahri) - The ban for life issued by the press court against the respected independent magazine Adineh last winter, has been reduced to five years upon appeal. However, the new decision will also be appealed, editor Gholam-Hossein Zakeri said... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Leading member of Iran's banned communist party dies in Tehran

TEHRAN, Nov 7 (AFP) - The former secretary general of Iran's banned communist Tudeh party, Nuredine Kianuri, died Friday at the age of 87 in Tehran following a heart attack, sources close to him told AFP Sunday ... FULL TEXT

Khatami calls for "culture of criticism" in Iran

TEHRAN, Nov 8 (AFP) - Iranian President Mohammad Khatami defended his policy of opening up society, as the conservative courts continued their clampdown on the moderate press with a high-profile case against a veteran newspaper editor, Monday's press reported. The "culture of criticism in society" must be expanded and strengthened, the English-language Iran News quoted him as saying during a visit to the culture ministry ... FULL TEXT

Iran link emerges in 1983 Beirut Marine bomb attack

NEW YORK, Nov 8 (AFP) - US intelligence officials have linked the government of Iran to long-unsolved bombing attacks against US military forces in Beirut and Saudi Arabia, Newsweek magazine reported Monday ... FULL TEXT

Tehran-Washington talks "meaningless": Iranian FM

TEHRAN, Nov 8 (AFP) - Iran's foreign minister said Monday that talks between Tehran and Washington were "meaningless" as long as the United States maintained its hostile stance towards Iran, the official IRNA news agency reported. "From Iran's point of view, as long the hostile policies of the US still prevail, talks are meaningless," Kamal Kharazi told IRNA ... FULL TEXT

Iran plans to start exporting gas as well as oil

TEHRAN, Nov 8 (AFP) - Iran plans to start capitalising on its vast reserves of natural gas, the largest in the world outside Russia, building pipelines to Turkey and even India. The known reserves total some 24,000 billion cubic meters (840,000 billion cubic feet), and exporting them will go far to ease the problems of the Iranian economy, which is over-dependent on oil ... FULL TEXT

Origins of Persian

Tehran (Hamshahri) - What we do know about the origins of the Persian language? Dr. Taqi Vahidian Kamyar, a professor at Mashhad's Ferdowsi University, tells us what he knows ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Cartoonist wins award

Tehran (Hamshahri) - Bahram Azimi wins second place at an international cartoon festival in Belgium ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Perseplois in quarterfinals

Tehran (Asr-e Azadegan) - Persepolis only managed a scoreless draw against Lebanon's Al-Ansar but that was enough to put them in the quarterfinals of the western division in the Asian cup-winners championships ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Getting the national soccer teams ready

Tehran (Asr-e Azadegan) - Jalal Talebi, an assistant headcoach of the national team, talks about the readiness of the national teams in various age groups. He believes the younger players should be given more opportunities to prove themselves ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN


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The Web


1,000 songs

A fellow named Payam has linked "a thousand" Persian songs online in RealAudio. Although nearly all of them are from

Beyond Iran

Fifty Years Inside the People's Republic

Here's a terrific accompaniment to a real-world exhibition put together by New York City's Asia Society. The online collection of photographs provides an artful glimpse at a country that is home to a quarter of humanity.

More web sites

Quote Unquote

Why go back?

Why would I want to go back to the street where the house I grew up in is no longer there? ... Why go back and drive home the point that I don't belong - when I belong so beautifully in my heart?

-- Termeh Rassi
"The plaid sofa"
The Iranian
November 8, 1999

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Non-political mural, for a change


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