The Iranian Times

Friday, January 29, 1999/ Bahman 9, 1377, No. 655

BBC: Story of the revolution

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Shahin & Sepehr



    A first concert
    A performance of Gipsy Kings tunes in Tehran

    By Laleh Khalili

    A few weeks ago, the sophisticated scene in New York was in an uproar over the conduct of the conductor of the symphony orchestra -- I think it may have been the venerable Zubin Mehta -- who walked out on the concert because the audience was coughing too much. Last night at the Golreez Theater in Tehran, I remembered the controversy and smiled ear-to-ear thinking that the fragile egos of these great men of art in the West would surely never withstand an Iranian audience.

    Tehran is celebrating the annual Fajr Festival season which provides an excuse for holding concerts, shows, plays, and films. My young and handsome cousin -- who is something of a dandy "dude" -- and his beautiful girlfriend took me to my first concert in Iran the very first night after my arrival. As we all have heard in the West, Iran is enjoying a cultural and social spring of sorts, and since the purpose of my return to Iran has been to sense and feel and hear what is happening, I was tremendously excited to see the evidence of the new freedoms firsthand.

    The concert, a festival season opener, was to showcase the talents of a young Iranian musician (Pedram Amini Abyaneh) and his band of six other young musicians. The smudged and hand-cut announcements for the concert promised "new music, Gipsy Kings" and the music of a few other Western bands who all sounded like they played the Latin/gypsy variety of music so popular among Iranians. My cousin was immensely excited about the concert and perhaps even more so about the semi-illicit meeting with his girlfriend ... GO TO FEATURE


To be 20 in Tehran ...

TEHRAN, Jan 29 (AFP) - The boys don baseball caps, the girls trainers under their black Islamic veils or chadors.

If they can afford it, they'll eat out in one of Tehran's many burger joints or pizzerias, as trendy as any fast-food eatery in the West.

Iran's teenagers or 20-somethings are showing scant interest in the 20th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, for which official festivities are about to begin ... FULL TEXT


President (Lotfollah) Johnson

The late U.S. president is alive and well... CLICK HERE

More Letters

* Patent non-issue

Babak writes: While I appreciated the spirited defense of the Arabo-Persian script by the author ["No thanks"], I wonder who on earth brought the subject up in the first place. I see some of these Iranians living in the West pondering such questions, and think how ridiculous and pathetic they are. They are in no position to make the decision, one way or the other.

Furthermore, it is only the residue of the Pahlavi regime that escaped to the West that have this distaste for their own Middle Eastern background (have any of them actually looked at themselves in the mirror, saw that they had big noses and dark curly hair and screamed, realizing they were far from European or Aryan??). Changing the script is a patently non-issue.

* Sponsorship: Learn Persian in Iran

From: William Hanaway <>

The American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIrS) hopes to sponsor an eight-week course in the Persian language this summer at the International Center for Persian Studies of the Dehkhoda Institute in Tehran. The course would be open to U.S. citizens who have had at lease one academic year of training in Persian and who are enrolled in a doctoral program where a knowledge of Persian is essential to the student's research. AIIrS hopes to be able to provide travel, tuition and maintenance for each student. The course would begin on about July 1.

Interested students should apply to the below address, describing the general topic of their dissertation research and giving their reasons for wishing to attend such a course. They should also supply names, addresses and email addresses of two referees, one of whom should be the student's academic advisor.

Dr. Brian Spooner
Middle East Center
839 Williams Hall/6305
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Book of the Week

Daneshvar's Playhouse
A Collection of Stories

By Simin Daneshvar

In five intriguing stories, the formal detachment of Daneshvar's prose reinforces her subtle revelation of repressive features in Iranian society. . . . These seemingly simple stories disclose a rich culture in a time of ferment and change, of women in chadors, held in contempt by the men who control their lives. . . . This volume is a valuable addition to our knowledge of Persian culture and the political complexities of modern Iran.
-- Publishers Weekly

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More news

Local elections spark new rift within regime

TEHRAN, Jan 29 (AFP) - Preparations for Iran's first ever municipal elections next month sparked a new rift Friday between the government of moderate President Mohammed Khatami and his conservative opponents. Interior Minister Abdolvahab Mussavi-Lari slammed the conservative-dominated Supervision Council for rejecting "a significant number of candidates" for the elections due on February 26. "The Supervision Council should monitor and endorse the decisions of the Executive Council and not allow itself to approve or reject the candidacy of this or that candidate," Mussavi-Lari told the official news agency IRNA. In an uncomfortable sharing of powers, the two separate bodies are responsible for preparing the final list of "eligible" candidates which the interior ministry says should be published on February 4 ... FULL TEXT

Iran recruits engineers for nuclear training in Russia

TEHRAN, Jan 29 (AFP) - Iran is recruiting engineers to receive training in Russia for its controversial Bushehr nuclear plant, just weeks after Washington stepped up pressure on Moscow to end its nuclear cooperation with Tehran. Advertisements published in the Tehran press by the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization said a total of 225 engineers were needed with expertise in the fields of nuclear physics, physics, mechanical engineering and computer science. The adverts said that the applicants must be Iranian nationals and that the successful candidates will be sent to Russia for training after a short period of preparation in Iran. Once trained the Iranian technicians will take delivery of a 1,000 megawatt pressurised water reactor Russian engineers are building at Bushehr on Iran's Gulf coast ... FULL TEXT

U.S., Russia tackle Iran

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) -- Vice President Al Gore urged the Russian prime minister met privately to discuss arms technology transfers. The United States has imposed sanctions on three Russian scientific institutions which, it says, helped Iran develop weapons. The United States says the question of Russia's ability to control the flow of rocket technology to Iran could hurt future collaboration in space. Russia, which denies the accusation and has criticized the U.S. sanctions, also warned that the sanctions could damage relations ... FULL TEXT

Canadian-Iranian lives out dream -- in soccer stadium

Friday, January 22, 1999, (Canadian Press) - Somewhere in Austria, in the bowels of a soccer stadium, lives Canadian Tom Rajabzadeh. That's where he trains. That's where he dreams. And that's where he sleeps. On a wing and a prayer -- and a lot of tuna because he can't afford much more -- Rajabzadeh (pronounced Rah-jar-ZAH-day) flew to Europe four months ago in search of a team that might want him ... FULL TEXT

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Updated Jan 27

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Quote Unquote


We arrived at the Theater some 15 minutes before the beginning of the concert. The hall was brimming with women in extremely chic mantauxs and with skimpy scarves and beautifully made-up faces and their handsome well-coifed male companions who were carefully cultivating a look of proud nonchalance. With very few exceptions, the crowd was under thirty years old and all the young couples seemed to be on dates. Most men were buying their companions popcorn and grape-juice of soda and a few younger men leaned against the wall anxiously trying to appear cool and sophisticated.

Laleh Khalili
"A first concert"
The Iranian
January 29, 1999

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