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The Iranian Features
Nov 16-20, 1998 / Aban 25-29, 1377


* In peace: Virtual cemetery


* Poetry: The males are pregnant
* Opinion: Agonizing reappraisal
* Politics: Copenhagen conference
* Relationship: Marrying an Iranian woman
* Cover Story: The time machine

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

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Nov 20, 1998

    In peace

    Virtual cemetery
    A short tour of a very special final resting place

    Photographed by Ashkan Aryan

    I always wondered what Zahirodoleh cemetery looks like. I had heard that Forough Farrokhzad is burried there, as well as many other literary greats and old politicians.

    Then comes Ashkan Aryan, a 22-year-old amateur photographer. He sends an email saying he recently got into the cemetery -- after haggling with the gatekeeper; it's closed to the public -- and took a few quick snap shots. Would I be interested?... FULL TEXT

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Nov 19, 1998


The males are pregnant
The poetry of Katayoon Zandvakili

From the back cover of Katayoon Zandvakili's Deer 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


Agonizing reappraisal
A way for the U.S. to end its isolationist policies in the Persian Gulf

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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Copenhagen conference
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:... GO TO FEATURE

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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

 Cover Story

The time machine
Musings, memories and further esoteric rhapsodies

By Yasmine Rafii

Cover stories

 Gol Aqa



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