The Iranian Times

Monday, December 21, 1998 / Azar 30, 1377, No. 628


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Shahin & Sepehr

    Baba Taher

Cover story

In fond memory of Eprime Eshag; friend, economist (1918-1998)

By Ebrahim Golestan

The following was read at last month's cremation ceremony for Eprime Eshag:

In a short while the body of Eprime will return to the purity of basic elements. The memory of what he was will remain with some of us. Our memory of him is the essence of his existence as reflected in the polished, or tarnished, mirror of our mind.

The image that I have of him is of bold sincerity. He was nothing if not sincere. The sincerity was always critical. He was nothing if not critical. The alert analysis that he would make of problems and people, and his almost immediate evaluation of events and situations was, most of the time, judged as abrasive and authoritarian -- by a lethargic and convention-bound mundane majority ... GO TO FEATURE


Iranians celebrate Zoroastrian feast during Moslem holy month

TEHRAN, Dec 21 (AFP) - Iranians celebrated Monday night the feast of Yalda, a religious tradition older than Islam, even though this year it fell during the Moslem fasting month of Ramadan.

While Ramadan is marked by abstinence from eating, drinking and smoking, Yalda, which celebrates the longest night in the year, is an occasion for gorging oneself on various snacks and fruits.

Yalda dates back several thousand years to when Zoroastrianism, a dualist faith concerned with the battle between good and evil, was the official religion of ancient Persia.

It is characterized by family reunions and feasting with grandparents and friends, the telling of stories and the reading of poetry to the younger generations.

It is also virtually obligatory to eat summer fruits like water melon and local sweet melons, along with dried fruits and nuts, in the belief that they will keep illness at bay until the spring ... FULL TEXT

    Forwarded by Payman Arabshahi


    Empress-ive email

Farah Pahlavi has got her very own email: And her web site is here.

Forwarded by Farhad Sepahbody

More Letters

* Absolute genius

Farhad Jahromi writes: I first read this poem ["Iraj Mirza: "Missing the point"] in 8th grade (eight years ago). Government censorship and a teenager's curiosity had made it that much more interesting to read. It was actually this poem, which I believe is called "Aref NAmeh" and not "ChAdor", that introduced me to Iraj Mirza's other works.

To me he is an absolute genious. His poems are simple yet so expressive and clear, and the fact that he was a "Shahzadeh" gave him the freedom and immunity to openly create poems, no one had attempted before in Iran.

Iraj describes the ignorance and vulgar culture of Iran with uttermost talent. The fact that his poems relate so closely to today's Iran shows how backward we have been moving for the past twenty years.

Attached is one of my favorite Iraj poems. (Hope you like it too. Click on poem to see full text:)

* Literature: Storytelling and dialogue, N. California

The Committee For Freedom Of Thought And Expression In Iran (Northern California) presents: "Storytelling And Dialogue" with Akbar Sardoozami, Iranian writer in exile.

Date: Sunday December 20, at 7:30
Place: Albany Senior Center846 Masonic Ave., Albany
(Take I80 East, exit Albany/Buchanan St., at 3rd stop light turn left on Masonic, drive one block and cross Solano, Center is on your left.)

Information: (510)644-0403

Book of the Week

The Persian Boy

By Mary Renault

I have read many books in my 17 years, but few have captured me as The Persian Boy has. It is the story of a persian boy sold into slavery and eventually becomes slave to King Darius III. As Persia is lost to Alexander's army early in the story, the boy becomes first a servant then a lover to Alexander. Perhaps the most interesting part of the story is that Renault maintains an enormous level of accuracy both about the historical events, and about the relationship between this boy and Alexander, based on records from the time. -- A reader

Recent featured books


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More news

World press group award for Iran's Sarkuhi

PARIS, Dec 21 (Reuters) - The World Association of Newspapers awarded its 1999 Golden Pen of Freedom award on Monday to exiled Iranian writer Faraj Sarkuhi. The association said Sarkuhi, former editor of the cultural journal Adineh freed from jail in January after serving a 12-month sentence for ``propaganda'' offences, had consistently defended press freedom in Iran ... FULL TEXT

Shadowy fundamentalist group claims murder of Iranian writers

TEHRAN, Dec 21 (AFP) - A shadowy Islamic fundamentalist group has claimed responsibility for a series of murders of writers and dissidents in Iran in the past month, a newspaper reported Monday. "The revolutionary executions are a warning to all those whose pens are in the service of foreigners and want Iran's return to foreign domination," the Fedayeen (Devotees) of Pure Islam said in a statement published in Khordad daily ... FULL TEXT

Struggle over upcoming local council elections

Tehran, (Hamshahri) - Arguments between conservatives and moderates rage over who should and shouldn't be allowed to become a candidate for local council elections, due to be help in February. There are several reports in Monday's political section of Hamshahri ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Khatami pushes liberal reforms

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- It's an uphill battle, but President Mohammad Khatami is doggedly pushing through liberal reforms over the opposition of powerful conservative rivals. What's emerging, says Abbas Abdi, editor of the moderate newspaper Salam, is that the country is being run by a special kind of balance. The conservatives challenge Khatami at every turn, but ousting him from office ``isn't doable,'' Abdi says. ``To a certain extent, they stick to their boundaries and don't exceed their limits.'' ... FULL TEXT

Total again defies US law on trade with Iran

TEHRAN, Dec 21 (AFP) - French oil group Total is again openly defying US threats to punish foreign companies doing business with Iran, negotiating new projects with Tehran, one of which involves a vast onshore field. "With 10 percent of the planet's oil reserves and 15 percent of the gas reserves, Iran is central to our development strategy. We reject sidelining this country because of political reasons," Total's Middle East director, Christophe de Margerie, told AFP ... FULL TEXT

Iranians begin Ramadan fasting a day late

TEHRAN, Dec 21 (AFP) - Iranians began fasting for the month of Ramadan at dawn on Monday, a day late according to the Islamic lunar calendar and after a number of Arab countries had already begun the dawn-to-dusk fasting. Iranians were obliged to wait until Sunday afternoon to be told by religious authorities that they had seen the new moon, which heralds the fasting month ... FULL TEXT

Theater: Iran in the 1940s

Tehran, (Hamshahri) - Golab Adineh's paly "Shabi dar Tehran" (A night in Tehran), takes us back to the 1940s ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

Iran ranks 7th in Asian games

December 21, 1998 (New agencies) - The final medals count of the Bangkok Asian Games, including a breakdown of Iran's medals ... FULL TEXT

Iran, even with 10, win gold

BANGKOK, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Iran, even with a player sent off late in the game, won the Asian Games soccer gold on Saturday, beating Kuwait 2-0 in a game played under extra security because of U.S.-led bombing raids on Iraq. The outcome of the all-Middle East final, played on the first day of the holy Moslem fasting month of Ramadan, was never in doubt as Iran, with most of their World Cup squad on display, took control from the start ... FULL TEXT

$ Rate

The dollar now offered at up to 710-717 tomans

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

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Arts of Persia

"While we appreciate the painting traditions of the past, our goal is to present to you the artworks of two extraordinary artists with contemporary styles..."

Beyond Iran


This is the Turkish city where Rumi settled and thrived.

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Quote Unquote


At great personal risk to himself and his family, he has upheld the highest mission of journalism -- the search for truth. He is an inspiration to publishers and journalists everywhere.

The World Association of Newspapers
Statement on the 1999 Golden Pen of Freedom award for Faraj Sarkuhi
December 21, 1998

Photo of the Day

Bacheh-haa motshakerim!

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Musician of the Week


* Soghaati * Neshaaneh
* Man ham raftaniyam
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