The City of Angel, etc., etc., etc.

30-Apr-2009 (one comment)
In March of 1978 at Bangkok’s Oriental Hotel I declined the receptionist’s offer of a room at the swank newly opened tower. I asked to be lodged, instead, in the hotel’s fabled old building. I followed the porter who carried my luggage past a maid in uniform who said “sawadee ka.” I reciprocated with my own greetings: “sawadee krup,” self-consciously using the proper male speaker gender ending. Never mind my accent, the heretofore reserved porter was delighted and felt free to speak to me. The suite the maid was cleaning, he said, was where the writer Joseph Conrad used to stay when in town. I was given another suite on that same second floor of the 19th century building. This one had been used by Somerset Maugham>>>


Restoring the Balance?

This Iran strategy looks awfully familiar

29-Apr-2009 (21 comments)
A familiar specter is haunting foreign policy circles, hovering in particular over liberal experts and intellectuals, compelling them to re-examine their views on two former ideological adversaries, namely Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. In an exceptional turn of events, the two ex-presidents are being unanimously hailed as a pair of foreign policy visionaries--Nixon for going to China, and Reagan for embracing Mikhail Gorbachev. The specter, of course, is Henry Kissinger. Nowhere is this transformation better evident than in the debate about Iran. These days, the new conventional wisdom in Washington advocates the pursuit of a diplomatic solution with Tehran. The only existing disagreement is not over whether to negotiate but when to negotiate>>>


Right time, wrong man

Ahmadinejad is effortlessly getting all the attention he needs

29-Apr-2009 (56 comments)
As Iran nears its presidential elections, Ahmadinejad's team who were so far acting rather low-profile in gathering support for his second-term, are slowly beginning to make public one of the largest and most coordinated media campaigns in Iran's history. Perhaps interestingly not a single private donor will contribute to this campaign. Nor will Ahmadinejad need any local campaign offices, according to himself. Costly bill-board adverts? Why bother when you have the combined resources of the country's largest newspapers, hours and hours of unchallenged airtime on state TV and radio stations, coupled with analysis that often only adds insult to injury>>>


Reagan-Khomeini deal

“The Complete and ExtraOrdinary History of the October Surprise"

29-Apr-2009 (3 comments)
Two gentlemen, both tall and stooped, both with hairlines thoroughly receded, both wearing the golf wear of the elderly – khaki pants with drawstring waists, untucked golf shirts made of cheap polyester, white tennis shoes, socks once white but darker now due to stains and overuse, socks noticeable due to khakis slightly on the short side – these two men stood on a green in the middle of a warm Ft. Lauderdale winter, determining line and speed. Both men wore oversized eyeglasses. Neither man could read green speed; neither man could putt. Golf wasn’t exactly their chosen career path. Both men were lawyers. Both men catered to the super wealthy. On the side, both men dabbled in Republican politics>>>


داد و بیداد

سهم زنان در ترازوی عدل اسلام

29-Apr-2009 (28 comments)
سیزده سال قبل، برای شيعيان افغانستان شایعات تکوین پروژه های نظامی طالبان و کامیابی های مهیج و بیدرنگ آنان باعث نگرانی و اضطراب بود. بواسطۀ خصومت تاریخی طالبان با شیعه، رهبران اهل تشیع افغانستان از تحلیل نقش سرمایه داران عربستان سعودی در بسیج طالبان و همدستی آمریکا در تجهیز و تسلیح آنان نتیجه گرفتند که بدون تردید، توطئه‌ و دسیسه ای بر علیه اهل تشیع در جریان می باشد. بر این اساس و مبنا، طی مدت کوتاهی، رهبران شیعه افغانی به جمهوری اسلامی ایران پناه برده و طلب حفاظت و حمایت کردند. بعد از تسلط طالبان در افغانستان، مهاجران افغانی در ایران موسسۀ اهل تشیع افغانستان را بنیاد کرده و با کمک دولت ایران به حراست و حفظ حرمت عقاید شیعیان افغانی پرداختند. هدف این گروه از آغاز نه پوشیده بود و نه قابل انکار>>>


چشمها را باید شست

این نسل طلبکارترین نسل از زمان آدم ابوالبشر به این طرف است

توی دبستان های سوئد به بچه ها یاد می دهند که پدر و مادر صاحب شما نیستند، شما تنها این سالها را با آنها زند گی می کنید. یعنی که ای گوز! پشم کلاه من و ترا مدتهاس باد برده است. وقتی هم رفت رفته دیگه. بی خودی نشین برای خودت بهار بکار. « درسش که تموم شد برمیگرده میاد همین جا زن میگیره، عید نوروز میاد سر میزنه. میادش بالاخره. خاک وطن آدمو هر کجا که باشه….» همه این حرفها را بدهی یک آدامس خروس نشان هم بهت نمی دهند. بقول آن مرد خدا توی آبادان «… دیگه گوگوش نمی یاد.» حالا برو شکر کن که پیمان خیال استرالیا نداره. ارمنستان که همسایه تان است مومن. توی تبریز بروی پشت بام، نوک کلیساهایشان پیداست! خلاصه خودتو بی خودی سبک نکن. از من گفتن!>>>


Ego Identity
29-Apr-2009 (5 comments)
Words of love
Perhaps a mystery
Even if open book
Only Nobles understand
When heart is misty with its sorrow
And its light dimmed with fog
In dreams will come clarity
As Gods descend in your heart
This life seems often unfair >>>


29-Apr-2009 (3 comments)
I chased life with fast pace
Tried to catch up with the race
Through the darkness of distant space
I saw a flicker – a radiant trace
On a summit, the highest place
So I climbed the mountain of grace
I finally reached its high peak
What was I really trying to seek? >>>


Free to express

Kaveh Dadashzadeh: The art of elderly Iranian immigrants

27-Apr-2009 (17 comments)
Today a good portion of first-generation Iranian Immigrants to the US have reached old age. Comparing the conditions of these elderly Iranian immigrants to their counterparts in Iran leads us to two contradictory conclusions: Loneliness and estrangement have hardened their adjustment to the requirements of old age, and compared to patriarchal Iran, the individualistic society of America has lowered their social prestige as carriers of old traditions. In contrast, because they enjoy the same legal rights and social and medical benefits that the American senior citizens are entitled to, the elderly Iranian immigrants can potentially be more creative and active than their counterparts in Iran>>>


سعدی، ميان احمدی نژاد و اوباما؟

چگونه می توان آقای خمينی و خفتگان در گورستان خاوران را اعضاء يک پيکر دانست؟

27-Apr-2009 (18 comments)
حضور و سخنان شرم آور، ظاهراً انساندوستانه و باطناً سرشار از نفرت و تبعيض احمدی نژاد در سوئيس، آن هم در کنفرانس بررسی مسائل مربوط به تبعيض های نژادی و... از يکسو، و حضور سخن مشهور سعدی در پيام نوروزی رئيس جمهور آمريکا خطاب به دولت و ملت ايران، که شوق و خشم، و اميد و نااميدی های فراوانی را در ميان ايرانيان برانگيخت، از سوی ديگر، نشان از دوپارگی عميقی دارد که در کل فرهنگ انسانی، و بخصوص در ملغمه ای به نام فرهنگ کنونی ايرانی، وجود دارد. اين روزها هر پاره از اين دو در جائی سر بر می کشد تا ما را در چهرهء خويش به جهانيان بشناساند؛ آن هم بهمراه اين واقعيت تآسف برانگيز که «چهرهء فرشته گون ما» در سخنان ديگران و خطاب به خود ما رخ می کند، و چهرهء «اهريمن آسامان» در سخن کسی که رئيس جمهور کشورمان شناخته می شود>>>
The Secret Agent

Part 5

27-Apr-2009 (8 comments)
She had an attractive figure, large hazel eyes, dark hair and soft looking skin . But it was the riding outfit that promoted her from pretty girl to beautiful woman. She stood, whip in hand, one boot on a rock, planting a kiss on the muzzle of a magnificent white stallion. In that outfit and pose, she looked like she could be the leading lady in a movie starring Golbaz as the male hero. “Did you ever get to meet her?” I asked. “It would have been better for both of us if we had never met,” he said cynically. “You fell in love with Nojoom’s fiancée?” >>>


Decline of Iranian Football

The administrative and organizational structure of our football organizations must be changed

27-Apr-2009 (8 comments)
Our football has been in decline in the past thirty years, especially in the past year both at club levels and at the national level. There are a few good players, but they cannot make a huge difference. Clubs should be privatized and managed professionally. Iranian players formerly had a physical advantage over other Asian players but this advantage no longer exists. Many Asian players are stronger and more physically fit in comparison to our players. At the same time, our individual player’s talent is not as good as before and while the Asian players have improved in this area as well>>>


هیزم شکن های نروژی

آقای خدا با دیدن هوو ها، به تندی از جا بلند شد

27-Apr-2009 (4 comments)
از کنار رودخانه که رد می شدم خورشید را دیدم که داشت خودش را در میانه ی آب می شست. سر جای همیشگی خورشید ، کس دیگری نشسته بود. خانم ماه در کنار رودخانه با حوله ی سفید، نگران شنا کردن آفتاب بود. می ترسید خدای نکرده اتفاق ناگواری بیافتد. از روی پل معلق رد شدم. رودخانه مشغول کار همیشگی اش بود. آب می چرخید و سنگ ریزه های کوچک تکان می خوردند و سنگ های بزرگ نشسته بر کف رودخانه، خود را صیقل می دادند با سمباده ی آب! آقای خدا، کنار بیشه به روی صندلی چوبی دراز کشیده بود. همان طور که خورشید آب بازی می کرد، باران شروع به باریدن کرد. رنگین کمان، موقعی شکل گرفت که آفتاب به روی باران رقص گرفتنش گرفت. آقای خدا لبخند قشنگی زدو دست هایش را صلیب وار باز کرد و با صدای بلند نفسش را بیرون داد>>>


Bridging the gap

Talking with the first Iranian-American appointee of the Obama Administration

24-Apr-2009 (44 comments)
Before accepting his new position as senior advisor to special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Vali Nasr had already distinguished himself as one of the leading analysts on the Middle East and South Asia, appearing on CNN, ABC, NPR, and lending his expertise to articles in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Time Magazine and Newsweek. Author of The Shia Revival, Democracy in Iran, and The Islamic Leviathan, Nasr is also a Professor of international politics at Tufts University, and an Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think-tank focusing on foreign policy. PAAIA's Rudi Bakhtiar caught up with Nasr as he prepares for his new role in the Obama Administration>>>


Fighting together

Counternarcotics offers opportunity for U.S. cooperation with Tehran

24-Apr-2009 (10 comments)
On March 31, Washington took its first step toward engagement with Tehran through a diplomatic encounter with the Iranian government at the Afghanistan conference in the Hague. Even though the initial contact was awkward, it was clearly a step forward for the Obama administration, and both countries agreed that the opium/heroin trade was a destructive force in both the region and the world. As such, the United States should consider using collaboration on counternarcotics as an effective means to jump-start diplomacy with Iran. Although such an approach would be difficult, it could succeed if both sides focused solely on law enforcement, without the intrusion of politicians, intelligence operatives, and diplomats>>>