Nov 19, 1998
The males are pregnant
The poetry of Katayoon Zandvakili
From the back cover of Katayoon Zandvakili's
Table Legs (University of Georgia Press, 1998):
Few first books of the last decade have attempted such a delicate challenge
as this one. A subtle variation on Romeo and Juliet, Deer
Table legs is multicultural in the widest, most generous use of
that term. Sometimes locating her poems in the Iran of her birth, Katayoon
Zandvakili tells more than one kind of love story in narrative filled with
irony and tenderness. In "the Boy & the Girl," the face of
the beloved is "the kind of face that sits by the fireplace, / listens
into the night, wears the sleeve of years." But in "Jerkfish,"
"Your face came into mine / with the brilliance of teeth, loud water
promises." With titles as enigmatic and illusive as those of Wallace
Stevens, these poems verge on the dreamlike but hold always to a dramatic
clarity.... FULL TEXT
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Nov 18, 1998
A way for the U.S. to end its isolationist policies in the
By Majid Tehranian
The time has come for the United States and its allies to do what in
diplomatic circles is politely called "an agonizing reappraisal."
The failure of "dual containment" in the Persian Gulf policies
of the last few years have now become apparent to everyone except the most
obstinate. Iran and Iraq have not been contained. On the contrary, both
countries have taken advantage of the emerging rivalries of the post-Cold
War era to develop economic and political ties to subvert those policies.
Russia, France, and China as well as the U. S. Arab allies are opposing
military action against a recalcitrant Iraq, while revolutionary Iran under
President Mohammad Khatami is entering into a rapprochement with Europe
and the conservative regional powers, notably Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Despite
its current reconsideration of past policies, the Clinton Administration
has not yet shown a more imaginative approach. Why is the United States
being isolated in this vital region of the world?... FULL TEXT
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Opposition groups meet to express their latest views
A first-hand report from a member of Columbia University's Gulf/2000
-- an internet-based forum of Middle East experts around the world:
Rainy, cold Copenhagen hosted seven Iranian opposition groups who had
announced a multilateral meeting to discuss "Civil Society, Rule of
Law and its relevance to people's rule" in Iran. The meeting was held
in a hall not far from the Iran-Denmark Society at Blagardsgade in a mixed
and highly populated area near the center of the city. The meeting turned
out to be something between a conference with its conceptual limits, and
an opportunity to declare some new positions about Iran.
Some of the representatives of the opposition groups claimed they didn't
know that other groups would br talking and declared that their presence
did by no means imply that they were in a kind of alliance with other groups.
Almost all groups implicitly or explicitly distanced themselves from the
Mojahedin Khalgh Organization (MKO)... FULL TEXT
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Nov 17, 1998
Marrying an Iranian woman
...with strings attached
By Siavash Soroosh
I read Laleh Khalili's marvelously-written "Loving
an Iranian man" in The Iranian. Her note appeared very
similar to my recent experience. Though mine was somewhat different, we
both happened to have been bound by the same expectations that ultimately
reduce loving relationships among Iranians to a cluster of traditions and
conventions -- conventions according to which it is the mind of the elders
that determines fate, not the emotions of the loving couple.
Perhaps one difference between the two experiences is that, in Laleh's
case, she ended up being a winner, thanks to the atmosphere of the Western
world she lives in, accommodating her individual freedom and therefore
her expectations. I ended up being a loser, owing to the traditions hovering
over the fate of many, back home.
I hope you find my article a complement to her observations:...
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Nov 16, 1998
The time machine
Musings, memories and further esoteric rhapsodies
By Yasmine Rafii
Not long ago, I had the occasion to celebrate my eighth birthday, in
Manhattan. As I remember, it was a sweltering August day and my parents,
little brothers and I had just arrived from Chicago, on our way to a great
adventure. We were going back to our homeland, Iran. The journey would
start on board a ship, the SS Liberte, which was due to sail in three days.
In the meantime, we did the usual NeverBeenToNewYork routine and took in
a few of the more prosaic sights. Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Macy's...
I think that about covered it.
My main birthday wish was to see, the now classic film based on the
H.G. Wells novel, "The Time Machine". It had just opened in a
very grand theater in Times Square. The Time Machine in Times Square. Profound,
no? My dilemma, of course, was how to accomplish this with two baby brothers
in tow. This was less profound... GO TO FEATURE