Best kind of love

Dapper and handsome Loris Tjeknavorian is a world-class conductor and composer

30-May-2008 (16 comments)
Maestro Loris Tjeknavorian was a guest of Berkeley Persian Center in the San Francisco Bay Area in March. A suite from his opera, Rostam and Sohrab, was to be performed by East Bay Symphony Orchestra on March 14th at the Paramount Theatre. The weekend before the performance I had the great fortune of meeting the Maestro at Darvag Group’s play in Berkeley, where I tagged along with him and some other good friends to a restaurant in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto area. We had time for a brief chat, so I asked him what he would like to talk about, and he chose the subject of “love”! He also gave me the CD of his “Love Songs”, telling me stories about how he became inspired to write those melodies>>>


Don't be scared

Constant crying wolf has only strengthened the regime

30-May-2008 (23 comments)
Iran will not be attacked because Iran’s retaliation would trigger an out of control escalation which would require nuclear weapons to put an end to. Also, the rapid cycle of retaliations would most likely force Russia’s hand. Only recently Putin said, “An attack on Iran would be an attack on Russia.” The central reason Iran would be attacked would be to gain control of its oil and gas and attempting to achieve this through military means is close to impossible and would be too disruptive to the oil dependent world economy.>>>


Oh no, not another Persian rug shop

The Persian Rug Dealer has become a pillar of American stereotypes

30-May-2008 (2 comments)
Some years ago, well before I began traveling regularly to Iran, I started to understand the disconnect between the way Iran was portrayed in the American news media and what I suspected the reality would be like. When I first went to Iran in 2001 it didn't take long to realize I was right, but it has taken all the years since to understand what was wrong and lacking from so much of that coverage, and still holes remain. Now the coverage always strikes me as simply one-dimensional representations; caricatures of a perceived reality>>>


Sir; are you Iranian too?

I was asked to show up early next morning -- as a lion

30-May-2008 (11 comments)
It was more than 35 years ago when I entered the United States for the first time, a non-stop flight from Tehran to New York City by Iran Air. I carried a big orange suitcase in my right hand full of stuff including half a dozen hand-made shorts packed into the suitcase by my mother, as if I was going to a shortless country, an English-Persian dictionary in my left hand, $2100 in my pocket, and a burning desire to succeed in my heart. Tehran and a couple of other Iranian cities were the only places I had traveled to before coming to the United States. I was acting like a nincompoop, bewildered and baffled. Any observer can surmise from my behavior that I was not a regular tourist. I felt like a functionary who was dispatched to an unknown territory for a really important mission>>>


لیز! لیز!

سختم است به او بگویم که نمی خواهم هر وقت به تو فکر می کنم به سرسره فکر کنم و "لیز" بخورم توی پارکهای کودکی ام.

30-May-2008 (2 comments)
باز یک همکار جدید! دختر جوانی است با چشمانی زیبا و شاد و قامتی رعنا. لباس پوشیدنش در عین کلاسیک بودن شیک است! بالاخره سر صحبت را باز می کنیم، خوش صحبت است و خندان، و برعکس من که چشمان غمگین و تیره ای دارم او چشمانی شاد و روشن دارد. موقع حرف زدن "ر" ها را بدجوری کش می دهد، هیچ نمی توانم لهجه اش را حدس بزنم، آخر سر ازش می پرسم: "کجایی هستی؟" با همان چشمان شوخ و شنگ پاسخم می دهد: "آمریکایی! ایالات متحده!" با حیرت نگاهش می کنم و آخرش به حرف می آیم و از او می پرسم: "ناراحت نمی شوی اگر به تو بگویم من ایرانی هستم! ... از پارس باستان!">>>


The age factor

Irooni mid-life crisis

29-May-2008 (54 comments)
If a man tells his wife of 20 years that she should be aware that at any moment he can go back to Iran and marry a 25 year old; should the woman be offended/ threatened/ mad/ sad? I find myself to be obsessed with the issue, simply because lately, my husband has been saying that to me repeatedly. As you may guess, we are not in our honeymoon anymore, and we are not in our old age either. He is a very educated man; a prominent figure in our community and I am an educated and a professional woman. Yes, things are not going so well between us lately and we have had arguments>>>


هنوز دوران جوانی است

به بهانه سفر به ایران -- بخش دوم

29-May-2008 (9 comments)
در ایران متوجه شدم طرفداران دولت احمدی نژاد را در بین توده های مردم، محرومین و زحمتکشان و در میان گروه های سیاسی، نیروهای عدالتخواه تشکیل میدهند. آنان که از حق درمان، حق تحصیل فرزندان، حق مسکن وحداقل زندگی شرافتمندانه محرومند احساس میکنند احمدی نژاد توانسته آنها را تا حدودی در سرنوشتشان شرکت دهد و به حق و حقوقشان آگاه سازد. برای آنها احمدی نژاد نمود رهبری است که مصمم است خدمت به مردم رابه عنوان یک فرهنگ فکری به الگوئی در بین مسئولین دولتی تبدیل نماید و بهمین دلیل بسیاری امتیازات را از مدیران دولتی حذف کرده است. او با سرسختی وپشتکار سعی در ترویج روحیه کار سخت و سازنده را دارد. احمدی نژاد توانسته است برای این اقشار معیارهای فراموش شده در انقلاب بهمن 57 را دوباره زنده کند.>>>


More than a cause

Behnoush Babzani dedicates her life to educating people of the significance of donating marrow

29-May-2008 (6 comments)
I was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder and my doctors told me that my only chance of survival is if I have a bone marrow transplant. The doctors were telling me that the only way that I could live is if somebody else would give me some of their bone marrow!... I made a promise to myself that when I am better and able to live a normal life, I will dedicate my life to educating people of the significance of donating marrow and how truly important such a gift is to patients in need. The only reason that I am alive today is because my brother was able to overcome his intense fear of hospitals and needles and donate the marrow that now keeps me living.>>>


Hunting humans

Persecution of Baha'is is a litmus test for rights and Iran is failing

29-May-2008 (16 comments)
In contrast to reforms under Mohammed Khatami, the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has intensified hate propaganda against Baha'is in government-controlled media, where they are variously demonized as agents of Russian, British, and U.S. imperialism, not to mention Zionism and even Wahhabism. A 2007 UN report revealed that the Ministry of Intelligence has been collecting detailed information about Baha'is across Iran. Death threats and attacks, desecration of cemeteries and places of worship, denial of pensions and university education, the harassment of Baha'i children in schools? all signs of a concerted campaign to strangle this community in the land of its birth.>>>


Meet Keiko

Why the idea of “obliterating” seventy million people does not make you shudder?

29-May-2008 (14 comments)
Twenty Years ago, when we first moved to St. Louis
I met this lively graduate student named Keiko
After twenty odd years, it is hard to recall details beyond her round face framed by short shiny black hair
But I remember the way she moved through the building with a combination
of agility and grace, in bursts of short successive moves -
much the way robins would explore a tree (without making noise or knocking anything down) >>>


My War with the Americans

As a result of my personal experiences, I have become completely guarded against most Americans

28-May-2008 (130 comments)
This begins with a personal story. For eight years now, I have been at war with a few lunatic Americans currently residing in Colorado, California, New Mexico and Kansas, who have been responsible for several years of harassment, slander, libel, stalking, interference with employment and other felonies. These individuals have all received legal warnings and orders per their ongoing activities but as my lawyers have claimed, when dealing with people who are mentally ill, deluded and incapable of understanding what the law means, you can expect them to continue their illegal activities until they land in jail or have every penny they have taken away from them>>>


Lies, damned lies, and statistics

Trust in a society is a kind of capital just like any other kind of economic asset, they say

28-May-2008 (9 comments)
The fastest way to build trust and generosity in someone is to spike her nasal spray with a dose of the hormone oxytocin. But hurry to the point--money, promotion, sex, whatever it is you can't get without cheating; the drug degrades to half its strength in only three minutes. The science article with this info coincidentally comes with a graph that suggests, among 29 nations, Iranians are the fourth least likely people to resort to this sort of deceitfulness. Norwegians stole the gold medal in trustworthiness, Denmark grabbed the silver, and if it hadn't been for the Chinese, Iranians would have come home with the bronze>>>


روان ملی ما

نگاهی به کتاب «ایرانیان» اثر ساندرا مکی

28-May-2008 (2 comments)
در کشورهای مردم سالار همه مردم قانونا برابرند و در ابراز اندیشه‌ها و احساسات خود آزاد. به همین دلیل در این سرزمینها«ملت» مفهومی‌ست که از هاله‌ی آرمانی درآمده و واقعیتی اجتماعی به خود گرفته است. اما در کشور ما ملت هنوز یک مفهوم آرمانی‌ست، زیرا یک گروه خاص(در گذشته سلطنت طلبان و امروزه ولایت فقیه گرایان) بر شهروندان ایرانی حکومت می‌کنند. تا هنگامی که ما ایرانیان نتوانسته‌ایم در پیشگاه قانون برابر باشیم و آزادانه نمایندگان خود را برای نهادهای تصمیم گیرنده انتخاب کنیم، هنوز ملتی«در خود» هستیم و نه «برای خود». چرا که اجازه نداریم آزادانه در تعیین سرنوشت خود تصمیم بگیریم و مجبوریم فرمانبردار گروهی خاص باشیم. >>>



We cannot communicate

28-May-2008 (8 comments)
The carpet on my face is scratchy. It smells like dust and dead spider. I lift it to breathe. I crawl on my back and my head hits the leg of dining table. I drag myself toward the cold teapot. “Once the ceiling is lifted, we could get out of here,” Ahmad says. He is holding the fridge on his chest and its metallic bottom has set visible traces on his skin. “Once the walls are painted, we’ll take a few days off,” I say. “Do you like to have some coffee?” “Without sugar,” he says.>>>


Alarm bells

The war camp in death throes is intent on striking Iran

27-May-2008 (40 comments)
The most aggressive posturing and accusations against Iran, yet issued by Washington, signal the rapid closure of the window of opportunity for peace which opened up following the release of the US’ National Intelligence Estimate in December 07 concluding that there was no evidence of a nuclear weaponisation programme in Iran. This revelation which was concordant with the IAEA’s own repeated assessment over 5 years of intrusive inspections, and which had been held from publication by the Vice President Cheney for over a year with the aim of altering its key findings, put a spanner in the frightfully accelerating wheel to another war and a potential inferno in the Middle East and beyond>>>