Date

IRAN-U.S.

Shouting match diplomacy

Erratic U.S. foreign policy

31-Jul-2007
The bi-lateral meetings of mid-May and last Tuesday in Baghdad between U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, and Iran’s ambassador to that country, Hassan Kazemi-Qumi, were the sole talks at the ambassadorial level in more than two decades. This could be viewed as a change of attitude, however temporary, in the Bush Administration. If in the aftermath of the first meeting Crocker was cautiously upbeat about the outcome, in the press conference following the second he unleashed a salvo of unfounded claims that Iran is funding, arming, training and even planning the operations of the Iraqi militia against the U.S. and Iraqi troops>>>

STORY

The initial conditions

Me, Abbas, Ms. Morrison, jockstraps & Chaos Thoery

31-Jul-2007
The most popular way to describe the Chaos Theory is that a butterfly's wings fluttering might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear (or, for that matter, prevent a tornado from appearing). The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the final outcome and its consequences would have been vastly different. Gently pressing the spot between side of his right foot and and top of his toes, I said: "Look son, if you want to get power and accuracy you simply have to shoot the ball with the front third side of your foot. Toe-poking it will give you zero control.">>>

TEHRAN

Whisky and coke

The minute the door opened the blasting sound of music nailed my feet to the ground

31-Jul-2007 (one comment)
It was late night in Tehran. I was sitting at my laptop thinking what I could do to entertain myself. Porn would be so out of the question. The lines are probably monitored. Imagining a police showing up at Mamani's door step with photos of Kirs hanging right out -- the thought gave me shivers. I thought of the late night parties we had in Melbourne. I missed getting smashed and rolling in the hallway of my student apartment. There was this time I had thrown a party at my flat and I remember being the best host I could be, however my friends had other interpretations of the night, they were too drunk so they said I was laying on the concrete door step while it was raining and apparently they had tried to pull me over the fence to avoid embarrassment>>>

ARTS

Brush with history

Brush with history

Paintings

by Hannibal Alkhas
31-Jul-2007

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TRAVELER

A house I call Iran

And I'm going back there this week!

31-Jul-2007
I was surprised by the kind smiles I received from my hosts when they opened the door for me. This was hardly what I expected. They welcomed me with such warmth, kissing my cheeks and embracing me as I was lead to explore the dimly lit interior of their home. Richly decorated, it contradicted all that I saw from its exterior. Magnificent carpets of all colors and motifs, murals and frescoes on walls depicting historical scenes and daily life throughout the ages. The painted brown eyes of a turbaned man in one of these paintings stared at me firmly, as if attempting to converse with me about his time. The past was as active as the present in this mythical home. The architects had done a splendid job, as well as its decorators. Supposedly fashionable western elements did not exist here, for the residents stood firm to their beliefs and the flavor of originality in design that they were given from their forefathers.>>>

SONS

Mashad’s collage of life

What I saw next in the next to last row of photographs had my stomach churn and a sob escape my mouth

31-Jul-2007
In 2001, while on a business trip, I was invited to the home of a family in Mashad as their new family member. They were a devout Moslem family, who lived in an old traditional house in the older part of Mashad, near Imam Reza’s shrine. The house consisted of a very large living room, with two bedrooms and a kitchen to the side. There was another small living quarter off the backyard. The family of two daughters and three sons had all gathered to welcome us into their home, with the family’s patriarch sitting against pillows against a wall, turning his rosary in his hands, the women walking quickly and efficiently to move the plates and platters and cups and saucers of cookies, fruits, and tea. Other male members of the family were sitting on the floor near the father, and children played in a corner.>>>

FOOTBALL

The saga continues

As fans, we are left disappointed and unfulfilled, hardly influential in the course of the team that we so passionately love

31-Jul-2007 (one comment)
Let us as football fanatics be just that: fanatics, and let the extremities of our emotions overwhelm our logic in dealing with the continuation of the same, old saga. But this saga does not consist of any heroic exploits; there is an abyss of notable achievements. It is the saga of Iranian football filled with the short-lived ups and the long-lasting downs, the flashes of brilliance and the enduring taste of misery and underachievement. This saga belongs to the post-revolution times, experienced by me and the likes of me especially since Team Melli's exit from the 1996 instalment of the Asian Cup of Nations. It may well be a matter of irony that the joy of a revitalized Iranian football, initiated and led by the golden generation of Daei et al, brought about hard falls of hopeful dreams>>>

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