«آه، ای روشنی...»
22-Nov-2008 (5 comments)
آه، ای روشنی

مگر چه می شد

اگر که می آمدی

تا بر سینه ریز سادگی،

معنای خورشید را

سریر سرودی سازی؟ >>>


Can we forgive and forget?

To this day, the case of all the murdered victims remains unsolved

20-Nov-2008 (4 comments)
In a few days, 10 years will have passed since the brutal death of Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar. Later Mohammad Mokthari, Ja’far Pouyandeh and Majid Sharif were abducted and strangled by rogue agents of the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic. To this day, the case of all the murdered victims remains unsolved. No one has really been charged and no one has been imprisoned. Yet, the best and the brightest of our young journalists, women activists and even some of their lawyers have been incarcerated, and the saga continues. The lucky ones get to leave but they, too, have to struggle. The other day, Mr. Abbas Amir Entezam in an e-mail message said that he may have to go back to prison after a furlough. The date is set for the 30th of Aban>>>


Reading Kafka At Harvard

“Don’t worry Kaveh. You will always be the man who took Harvard to the US Supreme Court.”

20-Nov-2008 (19 comments)
In March 2006, the Harvard Gazette featured a story about a symposium on Iran and the future of non-proliferation regime at Harvard Law School, adorned by a color photo of three of the four speakers. They were, Matthew Bunn, the director of Kennedy School of Government’s program on “Managing the Atom,” an M.I.T. political science professor, Barry Posen, and Flynt Leverett, a former White House national security advisor. Somehow missing from the photo was the speaker identified by the event’s oversized poster as Director of NGO, Global Interfaith Peace, and former advisor to Iran’s nuclear negotiation team, Kaveh Afrasiabi, me. Any one else may have taken issue with the Harvard paper, perhaps wondering if this were a mere case of pure neglect, or photographer’s or editor’s unfriendly choice to exclude me, but by then I was rather used to such discrepant treatments at Harvard>>>


Berkeley Rep Does Arabs

This vision of the Orient fortifies West’s image of itself as the White man who must forcefully rescue the decadent, dark East

20-Nov-2008 (3 comments)
Shahrazad entered and she had the whitest porcelain skin and the lightest blond hair. Dark-haired and dark-skinned actresses surrounded her, playing her sister and slaves but this future queen, the rescuer of Moslem virgins looked eastern European not Middle Eastern! And gone was her self-assertion, the will to decide her own destiny. In Mary Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights, King Shahryar explicitly asks the Wazir for her. When the father brings news of this fate, Shahrazad weeps and finally acquiesces, reminding herself and the audience that she might be able to save other lives. Her wedding night encounter with the king is screechy, almost whiny. The sexual act is barely implied; yet the gleaming dagger at Shahrazad’s throat is real. It dominates the first act as the unhinged king, ferocious in his desperate pain, keeps it there and presses it into her flesh in every bit of conversation between them >>>


آخرین روزها

غلامحسین ساعدی در پاریس

20-Nov-2008 (6 comments)
روز یازدهم فروردین ماه سال 1361 (31 مارس 1982) با سبیل تراشیده و ریش نتراشیده، با چهره ای خسته و درهم "پای آبله و خسته، غریبه و دلمرده، با ترس كبود، راه گم كرده، متحیر و عاجز، خسته و ناتوان، آشنا به هویت خویش، ولی درمانده، اشكی به یك چشم و خونی به چشم دیگر، در حالی كه نمیداند به كجا خواهد رسید؟ به زمهریر هاویه؟ یا به كنار حوض كوثر؟" با كیف دستی كوچكی از فرودگاه "شارل دوگل" بیرون آمد. در اتوبوسی كه از فرودگاه به شهر میرفت، نگران و پریشان، در ردیف آخر نشسته بود. برای دوستانش از ایران تعریف میكند و از تیرباران بیرحمانه، دوست نزدیكش سعید سلطانپور حرف میزند و از اینكه پس از آن مجبور شده به زندگی مخفی پناه ببرد و بالاخره از آپارتمان كوچك و دخمه مانندی كه در تهران داشته است حرف میزند اما لبهایش میلرزند. >>>


Change in Regime Change

Remember that actions speak louder than words

19-Nov-2008 (14 comments)
First of all my dear campaign leader for regime change in Iran, please give poor Machiavelli a break and beware of applying his ideas to your activities. ‘The Prince’ is not a recipe book for concocting fast political food. Instead of looking for some self-serving quick fix, invest in the loyalty of the people you are working with. Earn their respect and rely on the kindness and sympathy of those you are trying to liberate. Remember that the art of leadership does not consist of setting man against man. If you think of people as numbers, pawns and vehicles, this attitude sooner or later becomes evident in the conduct of your campaign and the way you organize and direct your regime change activities. Instead of bringing people together you then have the opposite effect of tearing them asunder and making yourself despised by everyone>>>


Drill (somewhere else) baby! Drill!

We are kidding ourselves in believing that oil companies are interested in anything but their profits

19-Nov-2008 (3 comments)
Ok, there is this old dude, T. Boone Pickens. He’s an old oil dude, or as they say it in Texas, “ole” to replace “oil” not “old”. He’s been yapping about alternative energy, dependency on “foren” oil, which is actually “foreign” oil, solar energy, natural gas…blah blah blah... He started this fine concern about our air and dependency just last year. He is 80 years old, mind you, and just last year, after 54 years of being in the oil business, he just realized that we should look for alternative energy. After years of producing, oil and knowing what it does to the environment he had an epiphany in 2007 and started talking. Couple of years, few months, or even a few days from meeting his maker he became an environmentalist>>>


The Newlyweds (18)

I knew Kati felt the same way as me

19-Nov-2008 (15 comments)
Dear Brother: I never thought that I could be so happy. Kati and I have made our decision. We are going to be together. Together forever like we were always meant to be. I can’t stop grinning these days and it is all I can do to stop myself from packing up this very minute and saying good-bye to my former life, if one can even call it a “life.” It was more like existing without purpose, breathing under water, forever suffocating, dying little by little. It didn’t come easily of course. At first, Kati refused to see me, to heed my calls. When I finally saw her face to face for the first time after the kiss we shared, she put up the resistance that I expected from her. She tried to deny it at first, saying it was a mistake, we got carried away, etc. But every time I touched her, she recoiled like she had been struck by lightning. She kept trying to turn from me, avoid my gaze>>>


 آزادي وجدان: پايه مردم سالاري

وظيفه روشنفكر اين نيست كه اگر ملت به تفكيك دين از دولت راي دهد او هم از آنها پيروي نمايد. رسالت روشنفكر اين است كه در اين كار پيشرو باشد

19-Nov-2008 (5 comments)
وقتي كه شيرين عبادي پشت ميكرفون مي‌آيد همه برمي‌خيزيم و برايش كف مي‌زنيم. او ديگر به خودش تعلق ندارد. نماينده‌ي ملت است. اعطاي جايزه صلح نوبل به يك ايراني به ملت ما فرصتي تاريخي داده است تا عليرغم حكومتي سركوبگر و ويرانگر به جهانيان نشان دهد كه جنبش آزاديخواهانه‌ي مردم ايران درون و برون مرز، طرفدار زن، صلح و مردم سالاري است. البته تا آن روز برخي از سخن ها و مصاحبه هاي شيرين عبادي را شنيده بودم و از برخي از مواضع او انتقاد داشتم. ولي اكنون مي‌خواهم خودم سخنان او را بشنوم و از نزديك حضور او را حس كنم. وقتي از قتل مختاري، پوينده و فروهرها حرف مي‌زند و از تبعيض نسبت به زن در ايران سخن مي‌گويد شاد مي‌شوم و پس از شنيدن نام ناصر زرافشان از دهان او شروع به كف زدن مي‌كنم. ولي متاسفانه شيرين عبادي در افشاي ماهيت ضددموكراتيك رژيم از حد آوردن چند‌ نمونه فوق فراتر نمي‌رود و بخش عمده‌ي صحبت خود را به تجاوز آمريكا به عراق اختصاص مي‌دهد كه در جاي خود خوب است ولي مي‌توانست آن را از تريبون مجلس در تهران نيز ايراد‌ كند>>>


سمپاشی هدفمند

نگاهی بر فیلم «شوک» و نظری بر تنوع مفهومی در محتوای موسیقی رپ ایران.

19-Nov-2008 (2 comments)
در این فیلم ساختگی، مشخصاً نگاهی یکطرفه و منفی به موسیقی رپ و راک ایران و حتی نوع لباس پوشیدن و مدل موی جوانان شده است. نگاهی هدفمند با چیدمان تصاویر و گفتگوهای یکسو با روانشناسان و کارشناسان انتخابی و نظر پرسی های بی پایه واساس از جوانانی که ناآگاه از گزینه های خود هستند. در فیلم «شوک» بی آنکه از دیدگاه های سازندگان این نوع موسیقی ها و آگاهان از این نوع گرایش های اجتماعی پرس و جو شود نتیجه گیری نامنصفانه ای از نوع زندگی و سلیقه های متجددانۀ جوانان گرفته شده است. از اینرو بد نیست به گونه ای حتی با نوشتاری کوتاه این موج موسیقی متفاوت نسل معاصرمان را مستند کرده و به سازندگان و مخاطبین فیلم «شوک» دیدگاههای دیگری را نیز نشان دهیم. از آنجائی که در این فیلم تلاش بر انحراف افکار عمومی و ارتباط این جوانان و موسیقی مورد علاقه آنان به شیطانپرستی و مواد مخدر بوده و همچنین بیشترین حمله بطرف موسیقی و موسیقی پردازان رپ فارسی شده، بد نیست ما نیز بیشتر بر روی این نوع موسیقی تمرکز کنیم و بطور خیلی خلاصه به آن بپردازیم. به امید آنکه آموزنده و روشنگرانه باشد. >>>


Letters to Majid

If I were desirable and beautiful and sexy and interesting, then why did you leave me?

18-Nov-2008 (50 comments)
The alarm went off as the feeble late autumn sun was breaking through the window, illuminating the room, telling her it was time to get up to go to work. She couldn’t. She had woken up from a dream at 4:00 a.m., unable to fall asleep again until 6:00 a.m. She forced herself out of her bed, but couldn’t get very far. She made herself a cup of tea and inched her way over to her computer, where she sent a note to her boss, telling him she wouldn’t be in today. The dreams had become a part of her life over the past few weeks. Each time they visited her, she was useless the next day for she would have spent most of the night recovering from them. Sipping her tea at her computer, she had an idea. What if she wrote him a letter and explained the dreams and her feelings to him? All of a sudden she felt a little burst of energy, desperately needing to write down that which haunted her and ached inside of her >>>


Gregory Peck Was Iranian

It was very casual, Gregory Peck's Iranian-ness

18-Nov-2008 (5 comments)
Gregory Peck was Iranian. That was the only explanation for it. He was speaking in English and his characters had American names like Atticus Finch and even particularly American accents sometimes, but if he was going to be as principled as he was, if he was going to be so attuned to the story of the search for justice, and so sure about how much of that story to tell and how much to hold inside him, then the only explanation that made any sense to me as a boy was that he was more or less Iranian, and languages and names and accents didn't have that much to do with it. He looked it too. Not just the black hair and brown eyes that looked even darker in black-and-white. It was the way he kept something of who he was for himself and something for the world>>>


Everyday realities

Afsaneh: Short Stories by Iranian Women

This book of 20 unusual short stories by Iranian women edited and translated by the 48-year old journalist, Kaveh Basmenji and spanning several decades, is deeply melancholic with its spartan prose. A profound sadness with no respect for the etiquette of pretense, hovers like a funeral wake in calling out for each story's theme, no matter the fictitious woman's joys or sorrows. A poetic atmosphere, designed to haunt and trigger brooding reflections to its sharp introspection is what lends the reader, its lavish beauty. No doubt, the English-Language collection has been translated as closely as possible from the Persian and so there is no boastful writerly approach or superficial sophisticated style one way or the other>>>


18-Nov-2008 (20 comments)
اى گسترده پهندشت قدرت و مكنت جهان
وى بيشه سبز سبزينه دلار،
اى كه جنگل شيشه و پولاد افراشته اى
وز اوج بلند آن
سينه سپهر خراشيده اى.
اى كه  آبى آسمان و سپيدى ستاره را
با رنگ سرخ خون آميخته اى، >>>


The Rise of Apocalyptic Islam

Causes and Implications

17-Nov-2008 (7 comments)
Ahmadinezhad is responsible for much of the rise in the apocalyptic trend's popularity and visibility in Iran. Prior to his election, Iranians knew very little of Ahmadinezhad's religious mindset, and he never mentioned Mahdism during his campaign. After taking office, however, he began supporting institutes working with the apocalyptic ideology and included prayers for the return of the Hidden Imam at the beginning of every speech. Still, Ahmadinezhad's apocalypticism is a greater threat to the religious establishment of Iran than to the West or Israel. The apocalypticism of Ahmadinezhad and his close circle is distinct from the narratives of traditional religious authority. Ahmadinezhad's primary influence is Ahmad Fardid, an Iranian philosopher who attempted to reconcile Islamic concepts with Martin Heidegger's philosophy>>>