My Dear Son

An Open Letter

07-Dec-2008 (14 comments)
From the onset of my journey to this country, I had to work hard because I knew that was the only way for me to support myself and to continue my education. I had to do odd jobs ranging from janitorial, car hopping, dishwashing, truck driving, and pizza delivering to support myself and my education. I did them all. Did I like them? No. I hated them, but I didn’t have much choices. I did not let the feeling of despair to overwhelm me. I considered those odd jobs as the temporary sources of income I needed to support my long-term goal which was to have a good education. Surviving might be easy; succeeding is not. I managed to climb my way up inch by inch through perseverance and hard work. This is not to claim that I am a very successful person. Given the circumstances, I think I have done well>>>


 ‏برگشتن روزگار سهل است

نخستين زن وکيل ‏مجلس، نخستين زن وزير و مبارز راستين راه آزادي و تساوي حقوق زنان

07-Dec-2008 (16 comments)
روز پنجشنبه ۱۸ ارديبهشت ۱۳۵۹ روزنامه کيهان نوشت: "ساعت يک و نيم بامداد امروز فرخ‌رو پارساي تيرباران ‏شد". مرده‌شوي‌ها از شستن جسد وي خودداري کردند زيرا وي به نام "مفسد في‌الارض" اعدام شده بود. زنان خانواده ‏بودند که پيکر وي را شستند و ديدند که سه تير به زير سينه‌اش اصابت کرده و از پشت بدنش خارج شده است. اين ‏سرنوشت زني بود که در خانه مادري چون فخرآفاق پاراسي ناشر مجله "جهان زنان" و پدري چون فرخ‌دين پارساي از ‏روزنامه‌نگاران بنام زمانه خود پرورش يافته بود. پدر و مادري که تلخي توقيف و تبعيد را در کشاکش تناقضات دوراني ‏که ايران راهي نوين را در پيش گرفته بود، چشيده بودند. مادر از پيشتازان مبارزه براي حقوق زنان و از ياران صديقه ‏دولت‌آبادي بود و پدر در شمار کساني که زبان خود را نگاه نمي‌توانستند داشت.‏>>>


Reading Kafka at Harvard (5)

The Fictitious Crime Story

06-Dec-2008 (16 comments)
“Mr. Afrasiabi. The DA has just given me this piece of paper telling me that after due investigation there is no evidence connecting you to any of these charges. Go home, you are free, and thank God that you live in a free society where there is due process of law.” These were the exact words of the judge presiding at my initial pre-trial hearing more than four months after my arrest. ”Thank you, your honor. It’s Dr. Afrasiabi. While I am happy that these charges against me have been dropped, I am very unhappy that they were attached to me in the first place. The damage has been done. I have lost my job, my income, my reputation has been severely damaged, and I have incurred tremendous costs, not to mention the emotional pain on me and my family...>>>


Give and take

Why diplomacy and sanctions don't always mix

04-Dec-2008 (22 comments)
Change often occurs at a faster pace than people can comprehend. That is certainly the case with the quickly shifting political realities in Washington on Iran. In less than 50 days, America will be led by a president who made dialogue with Tehran a campaign promise--and yet he won. Perhaps even more surprising, one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington failed--in the middle of an election year--to convince the US Congress to pass a resolution calling for a naval blockade of Iran, even though the resolution had more than 250 co-sponsors. The debate in Washington is no longer whether to negotiate with Iran, but how, when and in what sequence such negotiations should take place. This, however, does not mean that talks will occur or that they will succeed>>>


Let’s Have a Referendum.  Not!

Why are we still debating the return of Pahlavi?

04-Dec-2008 (143 comments)
Our motherland has said no to the Pahlavi dynasty, has rejected the dark ages of mullahs, has dismissed the advances of Mojahedin-e Khalq to tryout another flavor of Islam, and still awaits the revelation of a new, coherent proposal from the radical left. As a child of the revolution, I have earned the right to say on behalf of my motherland, “What part of no don’t you understand, gentlemen?” And as an Iranian woman who is anything but a “silenced, mute, and answerless mother,” I submit to you the fruit of my labor: Generations of patriots and freedom fighters raised by Persian mothers since the dawn of our civilization. Unite them to change our future! A referendum in the current environment of Iran is a joke at its best and a fraud at its worst. Upon whom will we bestow our trust to conduct and monitor such a referendum? >>>


Pebble Beach – Half a Sandwich

I feel that I am reduced to a drag on that cigarette

04-Dec-2008 (13 comments)
I call his room from the hotel lobby. It wakes him up. A brief silence. He asks me whether I want to go up. Hesitation. I respond that I will wait for him in the lobby. I am not in the least bit offended; surprised a little; flattered somewhat, but interested, I am not. I grab a cup of coffee and the local paper, and settle into one of the plush chairs in the foyer. I pore over the Carmel news with gusto. A local resident has come across a $20 counterfeit bill at Dolores and Ocean which he dutifully turns in to the local authorities. A squirrel has munched his way through the front seat of a car parked at Mission and 7th. A resident on San Antonio finds the tires of her car missing. The culprit turns out to be an ex-boyfriend who has disabled her mode of transportation in exchange for the money she owes him>>>


 ستیز با سانسور

به مناسبت 13 آذر روز مبارزه با سانسور

گفته می شود واژه سانسور (ممیزی) یاحذف کلام و سخن, از زمان ناصرالدین شاه و توسط اعتماد السلطنه به زبان فارسی راه یافت و مورد استفاده قرار گرفت. پیش از آن که این واژه در میان واژگان فارسی جا باز کند, حذف کلام تحت عنوان ممیزی به بهانه ی حفظ حرمت " اخلاق و شریعت " در قانون اساسی حکومت مشروطه جا داده شد : "تمامه مطبوعات , غیر از کتب ضلال و مواد مضره به دین مبین , آزاد و ممیزی در آن ها ممنوع است و هر گاه چیزی مخالف قانون مطبوعات در آن ها مشاهده شود نشر دهنده یا نویسنده بر طبق قانون مطبوعات مجازات می شود. اگر نویسنده معروف و مقیم ایران باشد ناشر و طابع و موزع از تعرض مصون هستند." و کتب ضلال هم شامل " آثاری که با دین مباینت دارند" و مواد مضره به دین مبین هم "آثاری که در انتقاد از دین و مراسم و سنن دینی باشد" تعریف شدن>>>


دونده ها
04-Dec-2008 (2 comments)
این مرد هر صبح زودتر از من
شروع می کند روزدوی اش را
زودتر من که کورمال کورمال
راهم را به سمت "ماشین دو"
پیدا می کنم و دکمه ی شروع را می زنم.
توی گرگ و میش بیرون
او خم می شود با ضرباهنگی منظم
به سمت سطل آشغال >>>


A Time for Diplomatic Renewal

Toward a New U.S. Strategy in the Middle East

03-Dec-2008 (11 comments)
President Obama’s principal focus will need to be on Iran, because the clock is ticking on its nuclear program. He should offer direct official engagement with the Iranian government, without preconditions, along with other incentives to attempt to prevent Iran from developing a capacity to produce substantial amounts of nuclear weapons-grade fuel in a short amount of time. Simultaneously, he will need to concert an international effort to impose harsher sanctions on Iran if it rejects an outcome the United States and others can accept. The objective is simple to describe but will be difficult to achieve: to generate a suspension of Iran’s enrichment program before it builds the capacity to enrich enough uranium to provide it with this “breakout” capability>>>


Lessons from inside the ring

From the Forbidden and Impossible to a Movement for Women’s Legal Rights

03-Dec-2008 (6 comments)
I understand that there is great political sensitivity when it comes to addressing women’s needs and rights in Iran and which with the increased activism on the part of women in demand of their rights is also on the rise, making it difficult for the UN and even some sympathetic government officials to work with women’s rights groups in addressing women’s needs. But certainly I believe that at a minimum there should be efforts expended to understand, take into account and build upon the innovative work which women’s rights activists in Iran have done. In fact, this should be a prerequisite for anyone wanting to address women’s rights and issues>>>


Zoroastrian Poem

Part of him was eaten by nature and the rest by sharks

03-Dec-2008 (13 comments)
My friend Dolly was the last one who saw P. alive. Peter Rostopovich Stihotvoreniev was Dolly’s boyfriend, but everybody had already forgotten his full name. It was Dolly who introduced him as P. We were both poets. Living in this town, surrounded by the shores of the Pacific Ocean, the tang of civilization had dispersed in the salty waves of our encircling borders and we were slowly being isolated by the rest of the world. A narrow path was the only link between the city and the continent. Many immigrants had found refuge in this far island and we suspected they could be escaping from something horrific in their past>>>


Before the empire's rage,
before dark men, in shadows,
furious in the calm that reigned,
or will deservedly reign,
narrowed eyes, narrowed lips
and for what glory?
For what power and dominion?
For flamed swords? Taken from
the hands of fallen angels? >>>



در جنگ و بازی قدرت، دیگر اخلاقیاتی وجود ندارد

03-Dec-2008 (one comment)
وجدی موواد در زمینه تئاتر، نمایشنامه نویس و کارگردان و بازیگر است و جوایز بسیاری دریافت کرده که یکی از آنها جایزه مولیر در سال 2005 است که آن را به دلیل بی توجهی ناشران به کار نمایشنامه نویسان جوان در فرانسه رد کرد. او در فرانسه بسیار محبوب است و در سالهای اخیر نمایشنامه هایش مرتب در سالنها به روی صحنه رفته است و یا در جشنواره های فرانسه اجرا می شود. نمایشنامه "حریق"، با مرگ زنی آغاز می شود و با خواندن وصیت نامه اش. او برای هر یک از دو فرزند بازمانده (یک دختر و پسر دوقلو)، نامه ای گذاشته است که در آن نامه از هر دوشان می خواهد به جستجوی پدر و برادر خود بروند و نامه ای از مادر خود را به او بدهند. "حریق" بازتاب جنگ و پرتاب شدن در جهانی سوزان و در میان شعله های آتش است.>>>


Got Depression?

“Kids your age who live in Iran. They should be depressed … not you!" I shouted

02-Dec-2008 (22 comments)
My brother called the other day. I was a bit surprised. We don’t talk much. Life has been busy and our relationship has been reduced to quick chitchats, consisting of a few words and not much content. We sometimes go for months without talking. Dealing with kids, wives, demanding jobs, the in-laws, and everything in between, leave us both with no time or energy to keep the communication channels open. He sounded stressed on the phone. “What’s wrong?” I asked him. “Well, you know, shit hit the fan with Kami. We got issues,” My brother said. Kami is my brother’s teenaged son. The kid is a bit strange and very shy. He is one them kids who wear only black and walk around in long trench coats and military boots. He scares me.>>>


A Dead Man, a Wife, a Mistress, and a Daughter
02-Dec-2008 (5 comments)
Last March I went to see Darvag Theater’s play, In Memory of Kazem Ashtari with dear friends in Berkeley. I was blown away by the play’s original storyline, the crisp and clever dialogue, and the stellar performances of its cast. I found the whirlwind of plot twists and developments dazzling and so entertaining! Sepideh Khosrowjah’s dialogues all through a complex plot were exquisitely simple, yet thought provoking. What would a woman do when her husband dies suddenly? What would she and her late husband’s mistress tell each other if they were to meet? This story is delicious!>>>