Poseurs or Revolutionaries?

The worse thing that has happened these thirty years is that Iranians have become callous

30-Aug-2009 (88 comments)
One middle aged man, came back recently from Iran, I saw him at the July 25th protest here in our town where less people showed up than at my friend’s birthday party. Like many others that day he was wearing a cap, big sunglasses and scarf to hide his face, he stood way back and did not repeat any chants or slogans, he boasted to me of chasing plain clothes men on motorbikes during the recent protests in Iran. I thought to myself: how can this guy, who worked for the foreign ministry under the Shah, who covers himself so much here in the safety of Place Massena, have had the courage to go chasing motor-biker bassijis in Tehran?>>>


چه کسی از فیس بوک می ترسد؟

زندگی سیاسی و اجتماعی ما، چه این اعتراضات ادامه بیابد یا به زیرزمین کشیده شود، بدون فیس بوک، یوتیوب و تویتر قابل تصور نیست

با اینکه فیس بوک هیچ گاه شمار اعضایش را در یک کشور اعلام نمی کند اما دو قرینه نشان می دهدکه این سایت در طول بهار 88 محبوب ترین سایت ایرانیان در داخل کشور بوده است، نخست انتشار گزارشی از تعاملات جهانی در شبکه فیس بوک که در مقایسه با فصل مشابه در سال قبل نشان دهنده رشد شگفت انگیز استقبال از فیس بوک در ایران بود... اما این سوال که چرا ناگهان مسئولان سانسور در ایران که در همان حال حتی از فیلتر کردن وبلاگ هایی که کمترین نشانه اعتراض در آن موجود بود نیز نمی گذشتند، سایتهایی چون فیس بوک و یوتیوب را آزاد کردند؟ برای پاسخ به این سوال ابتدا نشانه هایی از استفاده عوامل اطلاعاتی حکومت برای ردیابی، رصد و مانیتورینگ نیروهای شاخص مخالف یا روزنامه نگاران یافت شد >>>


Middle Eastern Men

Does every Middle Eastern man have to be a wife beater in their stories?

30-Aug-2009 (3 comments)
On one of my recent trips to the Middle East, a friend and a business associate, Hesam, invited me over to his house for dinner. I eagerly accepted. The dinner was plentiful, the host and the hostess extremely gracious, and as the tradition goes, some relatives, including Hesam's parents and his wife’s two sisters and their husbands, were also present. Everyone was dressed in western-style clothing except my host, who was wearing a long while dishdasha. The house was sumptuously furnished with European sofas and chairs, artworks from the surrounding Gulf countries, expensive Persian rugs, and lavish, beautiful curtains, which dressed the bay windows that faced the Persian Gulf across the street>>>


Empty nest

Where's my humor when I need it the most?

30-Aug-2009 (2 comments)
Humor and practicality have been my safety net through life’s ups and downs, especially the downs. Years ago, I used my imaginative mind to change those wasted summers of youth at my father’s farms into an education. While my older sister nagged incessantly about the unfairness of missing the city fun, I took the three months of life in Abbas Abad as a learning experience and tried my hands on a few native skills: field work, tending to livestock and weaving baskets. During school, whenever I came across a subject too difficult to memorize, I made lyrics out of such subjects as the table of elements, names of fossils, or human nerve passages>>>


A sight for granted, never...
To unlock the lock, I must endure this pain,
To harness the journey’s craft, I must negotiate with
The stones on this path,
To kill the monsters, I must be willing to die first
And then watch how my ashes shall rise against
Another day's sunrise. >>>


كودتاي مخملي كار من است
30-Aug-2009 (5 comments)
در كمال صحت و عقل و شعور
خالي از هرگونه جبر و ضرب و زور

مي نمايم نزد مردم اعتراف
تا شوم از درد وجدانم معاف

عامل اخراج آدم از بهشت
كشتن هابيل وصدها كار زشت >>>


I’ll make you humble…

History of rape in Iranian prisons

29-Aug-2009 (13 comments)
Raping a man is a definitive act of callousness which breaks his spirit and completely drains him from self respect and worthiness. It so badly screws up the man’s mental state that “overthrowing a government” will be the last thing on his shit-list. A man with no self-worth is no danger to society. That’s why addicts are considered no threat to countries’ national security. The acts of gang rape in Iranian prisons should not come as a shock to anybody. I’m baffled at how Iranians act so staggered about this everyday occurrence.>>>


Closed door

For my child, the excitement of the back-to-school month is one filled with great fear, disappointment and grief

29-Aug-2009 (15 comments)
I call out to you… to those of you who enjoy utmost liberty in your lands … those of you who have the freedom to register your child at any time, at any school, and to send him/her off to acquire knowledge of all that she/he desire… To those of you who sit back in your armchairs at day’s end and give ear to the news of the world … such news as is meant to inform you of patrol resources and of its price fluctuation in the world market … of the rise and fall of stock from this firm and that factory… or of rocket-science research and countries that have developed nuclear power>>>


Coffee and Conversation (2)

He nods, picks up his cup and walks inside the café. Before I know it he is at my table.

29-Aug-2009 (6 comments)
As soon as a nice coffee shop opens up around here, hordes of Gucci knock-offs and disaster nose jobs descend and take away the ambiance. August in LA is stifling. I need to get out. If you drive west on Highway 101 towards Santa Barbara and take the State Street exit, the road twists and turns through the mountains and eventually brings you, in the middle of nowhere, to a slice of Scandinavia – a place that goes by the name of Solvang. Patisseries, ice cream parlors and cafés abound. Once there, it is quite possible to think that one has died and gone to java heaven>>>


The Ascension

Nader standing by itself just means rare and unusual. Applied to my cousin, it could just as easily mean “oddball.”

29-Aug-2009 (9 comments)
Aunt Tahmineh somehow knew she would remain barren until she had found a name for her future child. So for the first fifteen years of her marriage, she and her husband fought over what they would call their unconceived offspring. She liked authentic Iranian names, while her husband, a religious man, insisted on a character from the Koran. Finally they came to an agreement. If the child were a girl, they would name her Farangis, an ancient Iranian heroine. If it were a boy, they would name him Esma’il, a Koranic name which also appears in the Bible as Ishmael, the son of Abraham. Esma’il means “God listens.” Presumably, “God listens to us and has answered our prayer for a child.”>>>


29-Aug-2009 (5 comments)
رخسار تو در ظلمت گیسوی چلیپا
صبح دل‌ عشاق بود در شب یلدا

پیمانه صهبای نگاه تو در آن صبح
خود مست و دو صد مست بر آن واله و شیدا

و آن موی که نخجیر گه گله دلهاست
در هر خم او کرده دلی‌ مسکن و ماوا >>>


Lost Game
29-Aug-2009 (one comment)
To the wind I look
standing outside
awaiting you
awaiting you with dreamy eyes
here behind all that is next to lost, I stand hopeless
awaiting for the wind to leave
without you
playing a lost game >>>


The Sanctity of the Womb

Unspoken words form a knot in my throat

26-Aug-2009 (14 comments)
The last rays of the sun stream through the stained glass windows surrounding the altar of a temple, illuminating the corner where an old woman sits beside me in silence. The light refuses to make room for the darkness and somehow reminds the occupants to capture the essence of its radiance in their prayers. Both of us gaze at the shimmering beam and acknowledge its message with a faint smile. We have found momentary peace in that house of worship with our heads bowed and our lips moving in apparent prayer recited in English. The reality is different though: The old woman is uttering an ancient Hebrew verse from the Torah; I pray in my ancient tongue to Ahura Mazda for guidance>>>


Release Kian Tajbakhsh!

Those who love him are pained to see him used as a pawn in a power struggle

26-Aug-2009 (9 comments)
Pictures and video footage of Tuesday’s show trials in Tehran show Kian Tajbakhsh among a group of defendants associated with Iran’s reformist movement and accused of conspiracy to foment a “velvet revolution” in Iran. The pictures show Kian seated directly behind Said Hajjarian, a reformist ideologue and a principal defendant in Tuesday’s trial. The coupling of Kian, a secular Iranian-American academic, with the leaders of the Islamist reform movement of Iran is alarming. Dressed in blue prison pajamas and brown plastic slippers Kian looks thin and depressed>>>



به سختی می‌توان تصور کرد که جنبش اصلاح‌ طلبی از این سرکوب جان سالم به در ببرد. از سوی دیگر، این اقدام حاکمیت در نهایت یک عمل خودزنی بیش نیست

26-Aug-2009 (2 comments)
چهارمین جلسه نمایش مفتضح «دادگاه» دستگیر شدگان هفته‌های اخیر روز سه شنبه برگزار شد. در طی این چهار جلسه، غالب سران جبهه اصلاحات در برابر دوربین‌های تلویزیون رسمی جمهوری اسلامی مورد تحقیر قرار گرفتند و بسیاری از آنان به اظهار توبه و ندامت واداشته شدند. دادستان برای آنان و سایر متهمانی که در این نمایش ردیف شده بودند تقاضای «اشد مجازات» کرده است. علاوه بر آن، دادستان خواستار انحلال و ناقانونی شدن سازمان‌های متبوع آنان شده است. در مجموع، حاکمیت بر آن است که بر جنبش اصلاحی جمهوری اسلامی مهر ختام بزند و نه فقط اصلاح‌طلبان را برای همیشه از قدرت سیاسی محروم بدارد و بلکه محتوای نظری این جنبش را نیز نابود کند>>>