October 2004
1995-2004 Archive

Dancing in the dark

Photo essay: Tehran party

He's the best!!!!

7-year-old speaks for Kerry!
Yassaman Jalali

My 7-year-old niece Mitchka volunteered to speak on behalf of John Kerry at school. She wrote the following speech and read it to her classmates. Although George Bush was the final winner after the kids voted (20 to 8), I am so proud of her courage to stand up for what she believes, specially since she lives in a mostly Republican neighborhood!

A dozen Iraqis for an American eye

The terrorist is alive and sounding like a real Yale graduate
Kourosh Taghavi

today i read an article in the NY times that reported over 100,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq because of the direct actions of the war that has been launched by America and its Allies. i thought about QESSAS -- an eye for an eye, ... America went to this war claiming a fight against the terrorists. the terrorist is alive and well and sounding like a real Yale graduate (unlike the commander in chief of the occupying force). And the only revenge taken was from the absolutely Innocent people of Iraq.


Iran is badly in need of a school of thought like Turkey's Kemalists to guarantee democracy, secularism and nationalism
Ardavan Bahrami

Secularism, the key to Turkey's survival and prosperity, has been used and mentioned over and over by those Iranian activists outside and inside Iran in recent years more than ever before. After the death of the man who introduced its concept to us - Reza Shah the Great, it was never paid much attention until his grandson reintroduced it to our daily vocabulary.

Full plate

Reza Laal Riahi

* 1918: Reza Laal Riahi was born in Mashhad, Iran on September 26.
* 1963: Living in Brussels where he creates the works.


Dr. Khonji's Golestan group in Hungary
Compiled by Azam Nemati

The album "Majar" was sent to me by Dr. Khonji. I loved the cover because of the artistic design. However, once I listened to the album, I was really impressed with the beautiful music and the selection of songs.

Free Izadi now!

Interview with Maryam Kousha
Maryam Namazie

Zhila Izadi, a 13-year-old girl, was recently sentenced to death by stoning by the Islamic Republic of Iran for having sexual relations outside of marriage with her brother. Soon after, the regime backed down saying she had never been sentenced to stoning and gave her an 'alternative' punishment instead. Can you give us an update?

Suffocating memories

Every time I see Rumsefeld shaking Saddam's hand, memories rush back
Pesare Gol

Bakhtavar's arguments regarding why Iranians should vote for GW seem as if he has not been living on this planet. But then again he may have been too young to remember. Here, I like to refresh his memory. During the war with Iran in the mid 80's Saddam Hussein resorted to the ultimate weapon: chemical warfare. It is now evident that the chemical weapons that Saddam used were provided to him not only by the French and Germans but also Americans.

The shrub

Who supports the shrub? Who finances almost all of his campaign? The religious belt
Nilufar Chakeram

November 2 is Election Day and, just like everyone else, I am very nervous. I have been asking myself why people would vote for the non-elected president Bush. It just doesn't seem clear; there is no good reason why anyone in their right mind should vote for him. I've thought about the precarious situation and I have an answer.

One reason to vote for Bush

Kerry is better, except on the issue of regime change for Iran

To guide you into the fact that Bush is good for Iran and Kerry will be the worst thing to ever hit it, let me make this claim. The goal of an Iranian-American voting for Bush is purely for regime change, nothing else. Yes Kerry is better for countless reasons, but as Iranian-Americans our number one issue must be regime change for Iran. We must vote for who will help end the Islamic regime and against who will help it.


Photo essay
Nader Davoodi

In Banafsheh Tavanaie's comedy "Sizdah" (Thirteen), the shah has decides to add a woman to his harem. But this time he has set his eyes on a French woman. The shah's mother strongly objects and his harem wives try to immitate Western women to win back the Shah's... heart.

My parents' JFK landing

"So, sir, you are here for what purpose?"
Sara Sefeed

I am sure we have all been interrogated once or twice in our travels, and asked the usual questions about the purpose of our visit and so on. On a recent trip to the United States, my parents, both Iranian passport-holders, recounted their experiences to me after being detained for 5 hours post-landing. This incident occured at JFK airport in New York, where I had gone to pick them up.

Invitation to the hungry ghosts

Zara Houshmand

There has never been such a good time to be alive:
Fascism digging in like gangrene, the earth abused,
Rolling over to die, the work laid out like a feast.

For the sake of our adopted & native lands

Why I will vote for Kerry
Mohammad H. Eslami

I just read two articles about why Iranian-American community should vote for Bush. After I got over my nausea I thought I should write back. I wholeheartedly believe that it is critical for us to participate in the US voting to be a force in our adopted country for the betterment of our native land. So go and vote.


Part 2
Bahram Saghari

Also down the street from us and next to Ashraf khanoom's, lived the neighborhood nightmare, Jaafar, a boy who would put Dennis the Menace to shame and Dennis' parents proud. I used to call him Jaafar JeerJeerak because he was always shouting in this endless pre-puberty voice, asking other kids to pass him the ball when we played football in the streets in the afternoons.

Top Ten

"The best of the best of the best"

In recent weeks I have chosen the ten best Iranian songs... ever! Nine of them had no objections on my TV show in southern California. People are killing me to replay these songs.

Happy ending

Photo essay: Taziyeh in Berkeley
Jahanshah Javid

A group of us had talked about going to the theater Thursday night. Torange's festival of plays had started and I wanted to go. We forgot to go on Thursday, but made it to Saturday's show. And I'm so glad I did. I had no idea I would be witnessing theater history: a Taziyeh where Imam Hossein isn't martyred.

Alexander is back

Oliver Stone's upcoming epic on the Macedonian conqueror
Darius Kadivar

Narly 50 years after Robert Rossen's Epic "Alexander the Great" starring Richard Burton in the title role, Hollywood is once again taking interest in the Macedonian conqueror. A man of action who after defeating the mighty Persian Empire stretched his conquests to the extreme limits of the known world only to return to Babylon and die at the age of 33 in mysterious circumstances without ever naming his successor.

Expressions and rays

Short story
Afsan Azadi

Ramin walked into his apartment, tired, exasperated and beat. It was a little past eleven o'clock at night. The atmosphere of silence and loneliness reigning over the apartment was intensively disheartening and excruciating. It was like walking into a cemetery. The darkness was exceedingly spread within the tiny proximity of his one bedroom efficiency studio apartment. His body was aching of all the walking in the cold, snowy weather. He was feeling the anguish of the daylong extensive walk that, once again, had produced no result.

Show we exist

Next step for the Iranian-American community
Ali Mostashari

A while ago we published a report in the Iranian Studies Group at MIT on the socioeconomic characteristics of Iranian-Americans based on the 2000 census. With the report supporting the notion that Iranian-Americans rank among the most successful ancestry groups in terms of education and financial status, many critics scolded us for contributing to the complacency of Iranian-Americans. Some pointed to the fact that these were not achievements, but only reflected the status of Iranian-Americans in the American society. Even if some were actually achievements, these could be attributed to Iranian-American individuals, not to the efforts of the community. They couldn't be more right.

Easier said than done

Democracy and freedom in Iraq?
Yahya Kamalipour

In the post-9/11 world, it is quite obvious that we face great uncertainty and confusion about the future direction of the US, Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism, war, and peace. The information age is upon us and so misinformation. Through an increasingly concentrated, corporate owned and managed, channels of mass communication, we are continuously bombarded with an avalanche of sophisticated propaganda techniques that are aimed at furthering the political-economic agendas of an elite--rulers of the global village.

Four more years

An endorsement of George W. Bush
Ramin Tabib

I think George Bush is the wildest and most damaging political whirlwind of my lifetime. He has single-handedly, and within only 4 years, invaded and set devastation to two foreign countries, caused the death of countless unarmed people, insulted and lied to most of the world and alienated his allies in the NATO - and so far he has no tangible results to show for it but a smirk. However...

Ending with an "i"

My name is on a U.S. security watch list
Kouross Esmaeli

No doubt about it: I am being monitored by the Department of Homeland Security. I have been stopped, searched and interrogated 3 out of the 4 times that I have passed through US borders in the past four months. What started as a "routine and random check" two months ago at JFK airport in New York turned into individual interrogations, a two-officer escort from an airplane, and an active file with my name on it.

Turning point

I knew there had to be more to life than teeth
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

I have never forgiven Bernard Shaw for saying, "Girls are either beautiful, or go to the university." Not only did he make the teenage me more self conscious, he turned my success into more of a second best. When it came to careers, my generation of Iranians either faced limited choices at home, or enjoyed infinite options in other countries. The youngest of seven, I was the only one who wasn't sent abroad upon graduation from high school.

Miss taken identity

Iranian women have proved undeserving of having any rights at all
Susan Moeen

Women of Iran are able to exploit and oppress their husband and children because of the excessive rights given them by the Islamic republic. Under Islamic Law family and children born within the family structure have no place; only women count in an Islamic family; simply because our randy mollahs see women as merely sex objects who should be made fully satisfied so that they (mollahs) can have as much sex with them as they want and wish for.

Corrupting good thoughts

Zartosht does not claim to have any pre-conceived answers to the choices in life
Trita Parsi

The disposition towards dogma is as common of a feature of humanity today as it was 2,000 years ago. The anonymous writer Persia Lover lends strength to this statement through his misguided article "Bad thoughts, bad words, bad deeds." Reacting towards the trend of Iranian soul-searching and glorification of Iran's pre-Islamic past, Persia Lover argues that Zoroastrianism was "another intolerant religion which the Iranians wanted to get rid of. "

President Bush? Yes!

Slater Bakhtavar
Those who would replace President Bush are working to shore up the enemies of America and the Iranian populace

As the American electorate enters the last couple of weeks before the 2004 presidential elections the American left are stepping up their propaganda war against President Bush. The closer the election gets, the more desperate the left gets in their attempt to undermine President Bush's presidency and his doctrine for a free, democratic Middle East. In the 1980's the Democrats were highly critical of President Reagan's initiative in Eastern Europe to wrist control from the Communists and install democratic regimes. Decades later Eastern Europe is home to some of the worlds strongest democracies.


Compiled by Azam Nemati

The long wait is over! The beautiful, memorable and everlasting songs by the legendary singer Tajik can be enjoyed time and again in the greatest hits album "Nakhlestaan".

Kabul days

Part 1

Journalist Hossein Shahidi arrived in Kabul from London on 2 February 2003 to take up his post as gender and media specialist with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The brief of his programme was to support women media professionals and raise gender awareness among journalists. The assignment ended on 21 September 2004, when he left Kabul for Tehran


Lyrics to Eminem's anti-Bush song

Slim Shady, Eminem, Marshall Mathers, no matter what alter ego is used there seems to be someone they attack. Well, Shady already had a huge week on the charts for his first single "Just Lose It" off "Encore" which will be Eminem's 4th Major Album being released on Nov. 16th. Now its time for Marshall to arrive and show his face and this time around Marshall attacks President George W. Bush and the political, economical, & social state of America on the new song "Mosh".


From orangish to yellowish
Jahanshah Javid

I've been worried about my teeth for a long time now. They've yellowed to an unbearable point -- even for me. To me, hygiene is just a fancy word. Just this week I played tennis for an hour, four days in a row, and I think I took a shower once, maybe twice (if you count today). I know I slept in my stinky tennis outfit last night. (My poor wife...)

Money talks

Women's economic independence in Muslim societies
Fatima Farideh Nejat

To address the core decay of a Muslim society, I often questioned the status of women in the society first and foremost. Naturally, children born from the mother, seek special bond with the mother. Prosperous women implant fertile prospects in the society. The trend in recent decades discussing women's plight in Muslim societies has raised important questions regarding the economic independence of women in Muslim societies.

The bartender

Part 2
Siamack Baniameri

"Yeah, she ruined me. I was one of the hottest Persian singers in LA. I opened for Black Dogs in Vegas. There was a talk of me opening for Googosh. But she ruined me. My CD sales went from thousands to zero in six months. The Black Dogs don't even talk to me anymore. "

Our own MLS team?

Iranian investors make a bid to buy first professional sports franchise
Behrouz Bahmani

Tony Amanpour, a local businessman who in spite of the obvious path of high tech silicon valley careers, chose to go into the Real Estate Mortgage business instead (Amanpour is also the cousin of CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour). Now as CEO of First Portfolio Mortgage, he has rallied some 20 other local Iranian entrepreneurs to prepare to put up what will likely be close to $10 million.

Lashes per dollar

Canadian trade with Iran and the issue of human rights
Samira Mohyeddin

The Iran Canada Business Council is quite concerned that the tragic killing of Canadian photojournalist, Zahra Kazemi, will be bad for business. But they need not worry. When everything in our world is measured by dollars and cents, it has become increasingly difficult to situate the abstract and, at times, ambiguous notion of human rights as the new bottom line.

Plain politics

Goli Ameri's candidacy should be regarded as nothing less than a political event
Kyle Kourosh Saghafi

Moji Momeni's piece supporting Goli Ameri's election to the U.S. House of Representatives, came across very much similar as a campaign commercial, with a very strong and partisan tone to it. In fact I would not hesitate to assume that you have ignored all principles of spreading the "Get out to vote", message in a non-partisan fashion. First issue that I have problem with is this mysterious "we" you constantly refer to. Does this mean we the Iranians, or we the Oregan Repulican Party supporters?

Roshanfekr-e dini 3-noqteh baayad gardad

On religious intellectuals
Ahmad Sadri

Mahmoud's old Tehran

Photo essay
Thanks to Saeid Asadian

Photos by Mahmoud Pakzad published in "Tehran-e Qadim" ("Old Tehran ", Did Publishers, Tehran, 1994)

Man vs. chance

Farhad "Amir" Nabipour

As a self-taught artist from Iran, Farhad "Amir" Nabipour began drawing and painting at an early age. Encouraged by his family to pursue his talent, he gained profession in drawing and oil painting. In 1990, he left Iran to find freedom of expression and began his professional career as an artist in New Zealand.

President Bush? Yes!

Slater Bakhtavar
Those who would replace President Bush are working to shore up the enemies of America and the Iranian populace

As the American electorate enters the last couple of weeks before the 2004 presidential elections the American left are stepping up their propaganda war against President Bush. The closer the election gets, the more desperate the left gets in their attempt to undermine President Bush's presidency and his doctrine for a free, democratic Middle East. In the 1980's the Democrats were highly critical of President Reagan's initiative in Eastern Europe to wrist control from the Communists and install democratic regimes. Decades later Eastern Europe is home to some of the worlds strongest democracies.

Kerry? Yes!

He deserves our full support
Pedram Moallemian

Looking at the prospect of taking sides this November, you can't help but to follow this general notion that elections with an incumbent on the ballot are often more about one's record rather than ideas and future plans presented by the other. After all, the contested position has one person who has shown how he/she handles the job vs. one that is looking for a similar opportunity.

Let me tell you where I’ve been

...when you have traveled far
You begin to long for that particular thing

Persis Karim

It is honky-dory, my friend

I want to share these especially before the election
Mohammad Seifikar

I am truly in love with you

I love to be next to you while you watch television
Sara Ansari

(Good-bye) party time

Fault lines as oil rises above $50 a barrel
Iqbal Latif

During the first eight months of this year, the price of oil has risen to nearly $55 from just under $29. For the last 30 years, the price of oil has been the single most important determinant of the economy and the stock market. However, there is something amiss in this whole equation of steep oil price rise. Whilst in the short term it provides opportunity, to me, in the long term, it sounds like a death knell for OPEC.

Going overboard

You always know, and have known, when you're over doing it
Farrokh B

Today, as a matter of fact just right now, I had a premonition. You see, a friend of mine died just yesterday from a lung cancer that had spread to mess all his insides up. He was 49, almost obese, smoked like forest fire, and drank like a fish. Qasem was a jovial fellow who always seemed happier than a rat in a cheese factory.

Khatoon Khanoom

Part 1
Bahram Saghari

Do you have Molly Maids? They are a home custodial service organization, like what we had in Iran 40-50 years ago except that instead of Esmeralda, Yolanda, and Josephine, we had Naneh Youssef, Ashraf, va Belgheis Khanoom. Unlike Yolanda, Naneh didn't drive. She took two buses to our house! Neither did she have a crew of 3-4 others, all arriving in a minivan.

Sigheh Q & A

We knew we were all doomed
Zeeba Tehrani

One day at work, I saw an announcement that, next week there will be a conference on "Women's Rights In Islam" by Mrs. Zahra Rahnavard (the wife of newly elected prime minister, Mir Hussein Moussavi) in the Ministry of Agriculture Bldg. on Kargar Blvd. (formerly Elizabeth Blvd.). Some of my female coworkers and I decided to attend the conference.

She's OK

Goli Ameri is not ideal but she is breaking barriers
Moji Momeni

Goli Ameri is the first Iranian-American to have come this far in the democratic political process of the United States. She is the Republican candidate for District One of the State of Oregon and she has a very good chance of winning the election. When she goes to Washington, she will have a few Iranian-American aides and advisors amongst her staff and she will become a role model to some Iranian-American youth.

One man's dream

A private tour of Darioush Winery in Napa Valley
Behrouz Bahmani

Khaledi's passion has always been wine and winemaking. From the early age of 6 he began by sneaking sips from his father's home made wines, and in his early adulthood began collecting fine wines in Iran. Several years ago he began in earnest to try and realize his 30 year dream of owning his own winery. He had been to the Bordeaux region of France on many vacations and wine hunting trips, and he even looked seriously at a Bordeaux winery, complete with chateau. But the tax laws in France were too restrictive. So he began investigating the Napa Valley option with it's close access to his home in LA.

Pay attention

Sooner or later the Kurdish people will taste freedom in their ancestral home like any other nation
Kamal Artin

While we recognize the identity of these ethnic groups, and appreciate the beauty in their language and culture, we expect no less toward Kurdish identity, language, and culture from them. Their governments have used us against each other with Islamic and ethnic "brotherly" slogans and betrayed us after they have achieved their objectives over and over. However, since our cause has been just, our movement has never died despite its downfalls

A nation smiles again

Darya Kabob was in ecstasy; everyone hugging each other, slaps of high fives everywhere, joy resonated at every corner
Ali Ardeshir Jowza

October, 13th, 2004. A smile was re-born on a cloudy day in a small kabobi restaurant on the outskirts of Virginia with around thirty of my fellow Iranians. A friend and I, after attending an Iranian political meeting, made our way to this kabobi, and got there just in time for the kickoff. I remember most of my fellow football fanatics that have been on the same rollercoaster ride with me in following Iranian football this past year, where present. However, what struck me was the number of new faces that dotted this small restaurant..

Bad thoughts, bad words, bad deeds

The myth concerning Zoroastrianism
Persia Lover

If you read our pre-Islamic history, you realize that, to the Iranians, the Arab invaders" new religion, Islam, seemed to be less rigorous than the corrupt Zoroastrianism prevalent in Persia. To common Iranian people, Islam seemed more tangible and more humane because it denounced the caste system upon which Sassanian Iran was based. In actual fact, Muslim invaders abolished the class society of Sassanian Iran after they brought the whole empire under their domination.

I woke up

Photo essay: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Ray Rafizadeh


Photo essay: New England
Sheema Kalbasi

Searching for Shiva, Vishnu, Buddha, Allah, ...

Religious life in Chennai, India
Ali Akbar Mahdi

India is a vast land with a lot of people from diverse religions: Hinduism, Islam, various traditions within Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Bahaism, Zoroastrianism, and other nature based religions. This religious richness and diversity cannot be missed by anyone visiting India. Religion is central to Indian culture, and its practice can be seen in virtually every aspect of life in the country. Statues of various gods and goddesses, placed in doorways, shops, and street corners, are hard to miss.

Infinite dimensions

Iran was a tiny place outside Iran
Shirin Shahrokni

During the first several years spent in the "outside world", my emotional bond towards Iran quickly merged with the one I had towards my family. To me, Iran was no longer a country; in a way, it was simply a warm and affectionate unit where my parents, Mani, and I had never ceased to speak our Dezfouli southern dialect, where we weekly ate our home-made Chelo-Kabab, and where we listened to the Beatles, Joan Baez, and, most often, to exquisite pieces of Iranian traditional music.


Watching the U.S. presidential debates in the livingroom
Jahanshah Javid

I watched all the debates and took hundreds of pictures. Here are 30 of them, distorted.


Bush's concept of freedom is rigidly one-dimensional
Lee Howard Hodges

A "free" Iraq. A "free" Afghanistan. Freedom! Freedom! Freedom! If there is a Holy Grail of President Bush's foreign policy, it is surely the concept of freedom. As was evident in the first 2004 presidential debate on September 30th, the President seems obsessed with the idea that America can and should make people "free." Bush's conception of freedom, however, is extremely simplistic.


Behind the mask there is something constant, immovable, old as the dust on the ruins of Perspolis: the rage thundering inside

As I sit across from an officer of one of the most distinguished intelligence agencies in the world, he asks me the single question I am not prepared to answer at a job interview: "Who are you?"


Farrokh Shayesteh

I am fascinated by dots. Rain drops. The sands of deserts or ocean shores. Stars. Dust. Atoms and molecules. From a distance people are moving spots. Even, or especially, the age of electronic consciousness is made of dots. So we artisans, in praxis and practice, work until all and every species of dust and dots express their hidden luminosity.


Getting my fill of wonderful food
Shahrokh Nikfar

Interestingly, during my first three visits to Iran, I never got a chance to visit a museum or an art gallery but had visited all the best restaurants and had become a chelokabab connoisseur. This last time though, I went back as a vegetarian. Having been a vegetarian for about six months then, I was confident that I could resist all temptations in Iran, even the chelokabobs! Besides, I figured that I would have an easy time in Iran as a vegetarian, considering that so many Iranian dishes don't use meat. Well, I was wrong!

The ego prize

On Anousheh Ansari's $10 million throwaway to promote space travel
Azam Nemati

I am sorry but she is not my role model. And to all those young women and men whom I mentor I also would say that Mrs. Ansari could be your role model in terms of her professional achievements and hard work. But as far as giving a large sum of money to get name recognition, she's nobody's role model.

Tomorrow will come

Miracles do happen
Sasan Seifikar

New world leader

If Kerry is elected, then the real kingmakers will have a new face in the White House
Mohamad Purqurian

Before you know it, we will have a new face in the White House. I maybe wrong, but this is the most likely scenario in the world of politics. Bush will be defeated, and kingmakers will have their new man in the office. But who are kingmakers?

The bartender

Part 1
Siamack Baniameri

Okay, picture this: you walk into a party full of elite Iranian expatriates. The guest list is made of Jews, Bahais, Moslems, and some Christians. The party is tame yet chic. Brandy in one hand, Cuban cigar in the other, the talk is all about real state. Some say buy and some say sell. Guests are well-bred, sophisticated, and a bit snobby. The assembly is made up of thriving individuals who wear their money and drive their money, and occupy $5-million mansions.

Flying kiss

There is always a way to find that special something -- even online
Nikoo G.

To some, Internet dating turns out to be just as romantic and special. I am sure you have all come across someone you know, whether at work, or even closer at home, one of your friends, who has been through that experience. The talk is that the success/failure rate for e-love is the same as other dating methods. Recently, I read an article about a guy who drove 10 hours for his first kiss. And they live 'happily ever after'. That's how we hope every story in our life ends.

Coastal cradle

A poem I wrote on a recent trip to Maine
Nina Habibi

Saying no

Just as a mass movement said no to racial Apartheid, so it must say no to the Hejab and segregation of women
Maryam Namazie

Racial apartheid was vehemently and for years supported by Western governments for their political and class interests. It was strongly justified and excused. This included finding scientists who could 'prove' that black people had smaller brains to groups that said separate was still equal and therefore not a violation of rights or racist. Today, the same must be done with the apartheid of the 21st Century - sexual apartheid, and particularly in Iran as a pillar of political Islam.

Turkish delight

European Union's chance to moderate the flame of fanatical Muslim extremists
Iqbal Latif

The present rightist leadership of Turkey is keen to join Europe on its terms to the extent of adopting and adhering to statutes of law on murder, rape and other crimes and apply the strictures of human rights. But the recommendation to put Turkey on the path of full membership has stoked fears among Europeans wary of bringing a poor Muslim country into the prosperous bloc.

The ketchup surprise

The Bush & Heinz families' dirty Iranian secret
B Bamdad

October 19th 1980 is an 'important' date. That is the date when a deal was finalized between the mullahs in Iran and the Reagan/Bush campaign to steal the 1980 US presidential elections. In fact, (Florida) 2000 was the 'second' time the Bush family was involved in stealing a presidential election -- not the first! On that day in 1980, George Bush Senior flew secretly to Paris to meet with representatives of Iran's regime -- including future parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karrubi -- to wrap up a deal to hold on to US embassy hostages until after the presidential election in November, thus humiliating Jimmy Carter and guaranteeing the Reagan-Bush presidency.

The unknown slipper

I would rather die searching
Ali Zandi

Farsi is nectar

... but what about Shi'ite?
Amir Rostam Begli Beigie

One aspect of our senseless pride is trying to get others to adapt or conform to our "correct" view of the world. And a funny instance of that is we have done to the word "Shia", having turned it into "Shi'ite"... And it's become a common joke as many people now instead of using "sugar" say "Shiite".


Not that evil
Since I was the only one coming from the USA, naturally, everybody was looking at me as though it was all my fault!
K. Mahdavi

I also reminded them of the miseries caused by Napoleon, Stalin, British imperialists, and other countries, to remember how many countries helped to prolong the Iran-Iraq war. I said, despite the slogan of "Democracy and Human Rights", most countries act on their own national interests. In comparison, America has not been the most evil!


Taking away our humanity
Creating an imagined realm of hostile peoples: The Muslim Middle East
Maziar Shirazi

Again and again, we members of the "Muslim world" (I'm not even Muslim but that doesn't seem to matter to anyone) are shown as angry, angry, angry people prone to acts of unimaginable destruction and violence, unable to process logic, think long-term, or experience the process of democratization independently. All they seem able to do is hate the US and everything it stands for.


One less flower
What I cannot absorb is the justice in all this

Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

I wake up in the early morning hours and sit at my computer. Someone has sent me shocking news: First Iranian-American soldier killed in Iraq. As I proceed to read the article by Babak Bagheri in the NIAC repots, my eyes freeze on the young soldier's photograph. His clean cut hair, his army uniform, a faint trace of a smile. No, this isn't a grown man. Not by the standards of a mother.


Are we too busy to care?
Vancouver's first homeless Iranian

Behshad Hastibakhsh

Wearing worn-out clothes, the man looks for familiar faces among passing pedestrians. Occasionally, he raises his voice and speaks in Persian: "Please help me, I'm sick." His voice stutters out of shame and guilt. He is Vancouver's first homeless Iranian. The man's past is a mystery; his fate remains uncertain. He crawls through life, one hour at a time. Yet, few acknowledge his presence on the sidewalk.


Aziz Abad
Going back to my roots

Hamid Bakhsheshi

A couple of days after my arrival my younger sister mentioned that she had been to Aziz Abad, a small village near Arak, (central Iran). My Mom's aunt had a house there where we used to visit on some of our summer vacations. I wasted no time. I told my brother-in-law to rent a bus with a driver, we're going to go to Khaleh's house. They all looked at me as if I was crazy.


I meant to leave them behind, God knows how hard I tried, but they followed me across the globe
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

Mashad had the most melancholic fall season. Not only did the sound of Azan echo from every minaret, each year there seemed to be more crows drawn to the tall trees and each day the sun ran away to hide behind the mountains a little earlier. People went home for the evening prayers, leaving the streets lifeless and bare. As a child, I sat outside and watched the sky turn a dark blue and listened to the sound of those ugly birds. Before dark, the sky turned red and the crows flew about in black clothes and screamed, "Marg...marg....marg...."


The most important election of our time
Conversation with Abbas Milani
Hamid Karimi

On Sunday October 3rd, as part of it's ongoing pre-election community education series, Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats (www.baiad.org), held its third open discussion forum entitled ěWhat Is at Stake, Why This Is The Most Important Election of Our Lifetimeî with Dr. Abbas Milani, a Research Fellow at Hoover Institution and visiting Political Science professor at Stanford University as the keynote speaker.


Khastegi moghoof
Do not cease questioning self-proclaimed representatives of God



Jang-e heydari-nematee
On Iranian intellectuals
Ahmad Sadri


Beyond the dissonance
On accusations made against IAPAC

Over the past year, certain groups and individuals on several occasions have leveled various accusations against the Iranian-American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) and its members. These accusations have ranged from insinuations that certain of IAPAC's members are sympathetic to and act to promote the policies of foreign governments such as the Islamic Republic of Iran to suggestions that the organization is designed to promote the narrow interests of only a few persons.


The art of buying watermelon
Every technique you can imagine
Bahram Saghari

Some squeeze both ends of the watermelon; if they hear a cracking noise, it's good. This technique is doable if applied to smaller watermelons that little guys like me can handle. Lifting a big watermelon and squeezing it at the same time is a job for Herkool (Hercules) and not very practical. I once squeezed one too hard; it was one of these yellow watermelons and I didn't realize they could be more delicate than the red variety. It broke and I got juice all over my face, shirt, pants, and shoes.


Kerry’s Iran
A Kerry presidency may be better for Iran
Ramin Ahmadi

I see too many Iranian Republicans these days. Ed Gillespie may want to consider relocating his headquarters to Los Angeles, known in the Iranian community as Tehran-geles, where in every Kebob house wealthy Iranian expatriates can make a meaty donation to the cause of liberation of Iran by George W. Bush.

Cradle of god
Iran has played an unexcelled role in influencing, transforming, and propagating all the world's universal traditions
Richard C. Foltz

Preface, Spirituality in the Land of the Noble: How Iran Shaped the World's Religions (Oneworld Publications, 2004): Why have the extraordinarily broad and profound influences of Iran on the world's religions gone so largely unnoticed for so long? Simple, authoritative answers are elusive, but a few tentative suggestions may be made. The comparative historical study of religions as an academic approach is fairly recent, as well as Western in origin and orientation, resulting in several fundamental biases.

Bad journalism at its best

A report on Iran's "threat" to Europe and Israel
Farhad Radmehrian

Once in a while you hear a piece of news that makes you scratch your head! You get caught up on the central point. And then you can't help but think that at the end of the day, and as far fairness goes, the giant media machines in Western democracies are not too different than state-controlled Third World media outlets, even those in totalitarian Islamic Republic. You can see clearly that they just focus on certain message to drive particular political goals, with slogans and talking points, instead of relevant facts.

The art of buying watermelon
Every technique you can imagine
Bahram Saghari

Some squeeze both ends of the watermelon; if they hear a cracking noise, it's good. This technique is doable if applied to smaller watermelons that little guys like me can handle. Lifting a big watermelon and squeezing it at the same time is a job for Herkool (Hercules) and not very practical. I once squeezed one too hard; it was one of these yellow watermelons and I didn't realize they could be more delicate than the red variety. It broke and I got juice all over my face, shirt, pants, and shoes.

Up, up, and away!
Space entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari is a role model for all
Nima Kasraie

On Monday morning when SpaceShipOne climbed 368,000 feet into space to claim the $10 million Ansari X Prize, Anousheh Ansari, founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, also climbed one step closer to her dream of going into space as well. The Ansari X Prize is officially named after Amir and Anousheh Ansari of Dallas TX, to reflect their generous multi-million dollar donation to the world's first privately funded space program.

...Cheh khaaki bar sar konam?
Houshang Touzie's play "Az Maahvaareh baa Eshgh"
Majid Roshangar

Pet chicken
Man, I was so happy; finally an animal had decided to stay and not abandon me
Shahrokh Nikfar

As a kid growing up in Iran, I always hoped to someday have a cat or a dog, but most Iranians, don't believe in having pets in their homes! You might see a canary or some other exotic bird in a cage at someone's house next to a fountain or in the garden but rarely anything else. Back when I was kid, I frequently brought home stray cats and dogs since my parents always refused to get me a pet.

Nothing personal
Her reason for hating mullahs
Zeeba Tehrani

It was a Friday in early days of revolution. Ayatollah Taleghani who was released from the prison, was supposed to give the first Friday prayer speech at Tehran University. I was invited to a friend's house for lunch. When I arrived there, I found a big party. The guests were chatting, having cakes, fruits and nuts, while listening to Persiann music. I started chit chatting , and enjoying the party.

Late night browse
Taking a break from motherhood to read letters
Sheila Dadvar

It's almost one in the morning but I don't feel tired, even though I got only 18 or maybe 20 hours of sleep this whole week. I usually can't go to bed till 4 or 5 and if do, I toss and turn so many times that sometimes Afshin get out of bed and goes downstairs to watch ESPN. Then Hasan wakes us up 6 or 7 in the morning by coming to our room (he calls it OUR room too, by the way) and whispers: "Are you still asleep, Sheila?"


Was it Thomas?
Facing the past in a parking lot
Najmeh Fakhraie

She was getting out of the mall with her big shopping bags and trying to keep up on those sexy - yet uncomfortable - high heels and wondering why the heck she didn't keep a pair of running shoes in her car to change after work. That's when she spotted him. Moving around an old Toyota pickup truck as if searching for something. He was some distance away but even from afar she was almost sure it was Thomas. With the fiery red hair and short, small frame.


Marjan Nemati


All of us
Photo essay: A trip back home
Hamid Bakhsheshi


I meant to leave them behind, God knows how hard I tried, but they followed me across the globe
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani
Shahla Samii

Mashad had the most melancholic fall season. Not only did the sound of Azan echo from every minaret, each year there seemed to be more crows drawn to the tall trees and each day the sun ran away to hide behind the mountains a little earlier. People went home for the evening prayers, leaving the streets lifeless and bare. As a child, I sat outside and watched the sky turn a dark blue and listened to the sound of those ugly birds. Before dark, the sky turned red and the crows flew about in black clothes and screamed, "Marg...marg....marg....


Book of poetry
Namdar Nasser


Let the world know
... about the abuses and attacks on freedom in Iran
Shahla Samii

Bloggers inside Iran, endangered by regime harassment but courageously pursuing their only means of getting their messages out, are under constant scrutiny by regime agents and risk imprisonment, torture and worse. In recent days a list has been printed in Iran's conservative Kayhan newspaper. Kayhan is "exposing" a network of Internet journalists and bloggers, inside and outside Iran, accusing them of having a sophisticated network to undermine the Islamic Republic of Iran, even linking them to the CIA. This is a clear sign that the IRI feels endangered.


Truth and confession
Interview with a former Evin inmate
Fariba Amini

When a man is arrested and -- under torture -- confesses to acts he never committed, when under duress and psychological pressure he is told to say things that he was never involved in or admit to participation in groups which he never belonged to, what is he to do? Is he supposed to take all the mistreatment, Ta'zir (Arabic word for flogging) which causes severe infection and dehydration, or being hung from the ceiling for a long period? What is he to do? Is he supposed to take it all or just succumb to the demands of his torturers?


Time for self-reflection
Iran is once again at a crossroads
Hussein Banai

As before, Iran is once again at a crossroads with a regime that has stretched the social fabric of the society to its very limits, all the while earning itself an exclusive place in the infamous "axis of evil" country club. Just as the past, moreover, Iran has come to be more than just a concern in the eyes of a great foreign power - in the case of the United States, the sole super-power - with its own messianic band of administrators more than willing to right what they regard as the wrongs of the past. But perhaps what is most discouraging is the appalling state of opposition groups in exile; how dogmatic and pedestrian their efforts remain.


New reign of terror
'Muslim blood is cheap and flowing freely...'
Iqbal Latif

The unholy troika of Shiite Qom, Wahabbi Alqaeda and Allawite Syria have buried their dissimilarities for their own continued existence; they very well realize that the new emerging "waft of freedom" in the Middle east will mark the first victims and they shall be nothing but the aged 'tyrannies" of the region. With the threat of looming free elections in Afghanistan and Iraq, the ideological gurus within Qom and Alqaeda headquarters of Global Jihad Inc. see their first and foremost enemy as the forces which are helping free elections in countries where there were no elections or electoral history.


Hamid Najafi
"Bright colors of Hope"
Compiled by Javaneh Khodabakhsh

Hamid Najafi's is a romantic experience in blending modern music of the West with original Persian lyrics and style not heard before. The Vocalist (Hamid) grew up in Tehran, Iran, received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University and is a successful high tech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, California. His love of music drove him to also train as an opera singer


Little people
I don’t mean the proletariat but the hypocrites
Setareh Sabety

Having been hurt again by a little person, I ask myself what is it that draws me to them and them to me? I realized they, being hypocrites of the pathological kind, have a problem facing themselves. They are initially attracted to me because they admire me for being myself. They feed off of my confidence like some cure-all for their own weak souls. I become attracted to them because I have this need to feed people. The hungrier they are the better.


My beloved father
I didn't want anyone to know I didn't have one
Davoud Changizi

My English teacher, Mr. Habibi, was young, inexperienced and, therefore, different. He cared about the students and wanted to get to know them. "Please introduce yourself and tell me how many brothers or sisters you have. And also what your father does for living." I thought I hadn't heard the last part right. "Did he ask about our fathers? Teachers don't ask these kinds of questions," I thought. Suddenly, something weird started happening in my stomach. Everything was turning upside down.


He's trying to control my mind
Unedited, sorta

I believe in democracy and therefore respect [XX] in his own right as a Sufi; but if his ignorant, dictatorial and jealous followers get out of hand and do what this man [YY] and his wife do to me as well as other people (in Iran and the UK and USA), then I have the right to speak against their right to abuse their power / knowledge of how to manipulate other people's mind, and force them to do involuntarily things that they would not normally do!

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