February 2005

The day I became an Iranian American

I laugh. I now have two homelands, two governments, that are enemies of each other
Massoud Noghrekar

She is dancing. The wind makes an umbrella out of her short skirt. Her tiny underwear, like her skirt, is an American flag. Her long white legs entice those of us standing in line. Her big breasts bounce beneath her t-shirt, which is also an American flag. Even her earrings are shaped like the American flag and flow when she moves.


Photo essay: Ashoura in Tehran's Javadieh neighborhood
Nader Davoodi

Unity for a second

This Norooz, let's unite against war and devastation
Massoud Etezal

Shokooh's couch

Why is she so afraid?
Shokooh Miry

The essential component of a specific phobia is a marked and persistent fear. A person who has a phobic fear of snakes will react with an anxiety response. Sometimes this anxiety response will be so serious that it will look and feel like a full panic attack -- complete with symptoms such as a pounding heart, difficulty breathing, or dizziness.

What's up, Tech?

Virus or spam, Plug-ins, Icon colors, Can't get rid of IE
Tourang Birangi

So what's all the fuss about Google's desktop search? Well google's main bread and butter has been its internet search. The key in any search engine is the efficiency of its engine to search. Well, a few months back Google decided to turn its powerful engine to desktops. They can now search your desktop (your hard disk) much faster than Microsoft is capable of searching using it's Windows search tool.

Dubai's downside

UAE society is completely stratified with every inhabitant categorized
Rachel Cerbone

A significant challenge that I have faced would be the enslavement of the non-locals in the United Arab Emirates. I can't speak for all Arab states in the Persian Gulf , but my experience is the UAE is quite disturbing. I decided to go to the UAE because I wanted to work whilst traveling abroad. My friend boasted of a thriving metropolis that has anything and everything you could want from a typical Western country; she also explained how easy it would be to find a job in this budding city of Dubai.

Westward wind

Gender equality in the 21st century
Behshad Hastibakhsh

The dawn of the 21st century marks an important milestone in the worldwide campaign to eliminate traditional social and cultural barriers to gender equality. While women in some societies enjoy their equal social status and access to education, employment and career opportunities similar to men, gender based segregation and discrimination remains common in communities with strong conservative values.

Strategy for survival

Altruism in social exchanges
Afshin Afshari

Through the ages, evolution has biased man's reasoning ability toward favoring long-term social contracts. Man, therefore, has an unconscious tendency to view all social exchanges in a long-term context. This archetype-God is -- in average -- strong enough not to need the help of such painful supplements as fear and guilt which constrain natural instincts and are detrimental to the mental health of the individual and the stability of society.


For Simin Behbahani
Jahangir Sedaghatfar

Tanesh: Iran va Amrika

Strategic factors in Iran-U.S. tensions
Ramin Kamran

Akharin rooz-e donyaa

I wish it was the last day of the world
Leila Farjami


Poetry from an early 20th century immigrant
Ali A. Parsa

All is calm

Photo essay: Bushehr
Ehsan Shahinsefat

The good neighbor

A film on the life of novelist Ahmad Mahmoud
Azam Nemati

When I received e-mail from my friend at the local Iranian Cultural Society regarding their upcoming event featuring the documentary Ahmad Mahmoud: A Noble Novelist directed by Bahman Maghsoudlou, I was thrilled. As always when I get excited, I forgot to read the rest of the e-mail. My mind went back to when I was about ten years old and I had managed to borrow the book Neighbors from an older friend so I could be cool by knowing the content since his name was often brought up as a brave and great writer.

Time in circles

"Their faces are grave under their turbans, but their eyes smile"
Farid Parsa

Doris Lessing in her book Time Bites: Views and Reviews (Harper Collins, London, 2004), pours out many of her inner opinions, secrets, influences that had an impact on her life as a writer, political activist, social commentator, feminist, and above all human being who craves for something deeper. Lessing, who was born in 22nd October 1919 in Kermanshah, is an author of critically acclaimed novels, short stories, opera, drama, autobiography, poetry and nonfiction. She is considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

Who is doing whom?

The more I looked into this, the more I realized that we, the Iranians, are the ones who are being terrorized
Hamid Bakhsheshi

I just finished reading the "Updates" section of the Iranian.com. I came across Notes of an Iranian boy and it really got me. I mean I've been reading a lot about the "American attack on Iran". I've talked to friends either in person or by phone and haven't found that many who have an IQ above 30, who like this idea. Yes, this is my take of it and I don't think people who have half a brain in their pumpkin can really agree with this stupid idea.


The voice

From Earth to distant galaxies

Firouz Naderi will become the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Associate Director for Programs
NASA news release

Dr. Firouz M. Naderi, manager of NASA's Mars Exploration Program since April 2000, will broaden his oversight of endeavors to study other parts of the universe, from Earth to distant galaxies, in a new leadership position at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif ornia. JPL Director Dr. Charles Elachi said, "Firouz was called on to lead the Mars Program at JPL five years ago when the program had experienced some setbacks. He helped restructure the program and has led it to some spectacular successes..."


My luck with women
Peyvand Khorsandi

She was Portuguese and worked in a bakery called Olivers. It served cakes, coffees, sandwiches and was run by what we school kids guessed was a retired military general. We all hung out there when school was out. “You can’t congregate here!” he shouted at the sprawl of uniforms that amassed each afternoon as a result of a cappuccino someone had ordered at two o’clock.

My lover

For Foroogh Farrokhzad and Jimi de la Cruz

On sale

You matured

Zendaani-ye vojdaan

Zir-e sarzamin-e faraamooshi...
Farah Afshari

Oghoobat-e eshgh

Kicked my heart like a puppy dog
Qasem Nosrati

When Danny met Chanty

The new love of my life

You've heard about it in talk shows. You've seen it in documentaries. You've even witnessed the peers, mostly female talk about it in the healing circles at your gym but you somehow never quite understood just what the fuck they are talking about. How can you possibly have orgasms -- and even better, multiple ones -- without a pair of helping hands or even better without involving your own helping hands!?

Selling dreams

Striking a balance between dream and reality
Arash Emamzadeh

In times when international travel and communication are so common while tradition and old time values are disappearing, sociopolitical and geographical borders are meaningless. Nowadays the only real borders are financial ones. In my previous two articles, I attempted to push for a new definition of Iranian identity based on shared values because I felt that a definition based on geographical borders is starting to lose its meaning (with us Iranians spread all over the globe).

The dream

Short story
Siamak Vossoughi

Just to know that if a man wanted to, he could walk into a video store and walk out with a dream. Not even a dream to get all excited about, but something to walk home carrying as casually as if it were a loaf of bread. Somehow that made it even more magnificent, as though it had already gone straight inside him, skipping any outward effects. He wouldn't have a smile but he'd have a purpose, and a big one at that, if you stopped and thought about it. He'd be taking all this stuff with a city and streets and people and everything inside them and squeezing it down into something manageable, love, let's say, or death.

Welcome Dean

It is time to take a stand and play our part by supporting the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party
Chris Urkofsky & Hamid Karimi

In the aftermath of the 2004 election, we, like other Democrats, have searched for ways to equip and empower the Democratic Party to take our country back from the right-wing extremists who have dominated all 3 branches of our government for the past few years. As a progressive organization that believes in the need for profound reforms within the Democratic Party, BAIAD -- Bay Area Iranian-American Democrats -- celebrates the election of Howard Dean to the Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

My big fat Persian gulf

When it comes to maps which draw lines of identity around the people of a nation you must apply more than just rules of cartographic practice
Raman Kia (Buddahead)

What the editors of National Geographic did not realize was that when it comes to maps which draw lines of identity around the people of a nation you can't simply apply the rules of cartographic practice and forget that maps are about history too. To the people of Iran, who are of Indo-European decent, the name "Persian Gulf" is symbolic of the historical memory of a great civilization spanning 7,000 years, a history which was their identity long before oil was found and Americans and the British stepped on their shores.

President Mossaddegh

I hereby announce my candidacy for the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Cyrus Mossaddegh

The greatest threat Iran faces today is America, and if the next President of Iran does not understand the Americans, then he or she is putting Iran in great danger. We must all agree that we cannot ignore the American military forces that are in close proximity and we must also agree that military confrontation must be avoided at all costs --- and to do that we must communicate with the Americans.

Bass kon ey zamin

For the victims of the Zarand earthquake
Orkideh Behrouzan

Deen va hokoomat

The Islamic Republic is bad. But you cannot separate religion from the state. Not in Iran.
Aghaye Hichkas

Misplaced pride

The gazillion-dollar Russian-built money-pit-of-a-power-plant in Bushehr is nothing to be proud of
Farhad Radmehrian

Watching the earthquake news reports on TV, the first thing you notice is the obvious and painful lack of equipment, emergency services, infrastructure and proper building codes. A uniform and capable public emergency assistance system, like fire, paramedics and civil defense corps can be a national project of utmost importance that will improve and save thousands of lives, way ahead of the country needing to worry about generating electricity from enriched uranium!

Journey to the Caspian

Part 3: An American's travels in Iran in 1973
Rick Misterly

The beauty of approaching any subject with very little knowledge has the effect of putting one in a constant state of awe. You never cease at being surprised, seeing everything as new for simply what it is. My previous knowledge of Iran was that it was run by a guy who looked a lot like my dad and that it was a desert. But here I was in a totally different land, Mazanderan, with a different climate and people as well as the setting for many of the stories from the Shahnameh.

One generation, three centuries

I am daunted by how the images have remained intact despite the passage of time
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

Among the many political articles, I come across a short piece someone has written about what he remembers of life in Iran [See: "Once upon a dream"]. His words sound almost as nostalgic as I feel and what I read is so saturated with images, voices and fragrance, it opens an old door to memories. I know that door too well for it took me years to build it. I put a padlock on it a long time ago and threw away the key. Or, so I thought.

Bam's little blossoms

Interview with a sponsor of orphans from Bam
Fereshteh Nouri

Welcome to the 21st century!

I wondered if at the end of the day this generation is really that different from those of the recent past
Baharak Sedigh

My grandmother, who lost her husband at a very young age, never remarried. Relationships really were for a lifetime back then. Even if it meant a lifetime of loneliness! I wondered, if grandma were still here, what would she say is the right amount of "mourning time" after the end of a relationship, before one could appropriately take a date to the old "favorite spots"?

Haalat-e aad'dee

Short story
Elham Gheytanchi

Jamshid and the Lost Mountain of Light

Children's book
Howard Lee

Many years ago in Persia, a traveler on horseback had just made his way through a narrow mountain pass. The downward path was rough and stony as it threaded its way around giant boulders and jagged rock formations. Snow-capped mountains towered above him, their barren slopes too hostile for even grass to grow. Over the rush of the river beside him, he could hear the eerie call of an eagle echoing above him.

Shokooh's Couch

Finding a good psychologist
Shokooh Miry

E.D wrote: Can you please recommend a good psychologist? My kids are having a lot of problems and my husband has agreed to visit a psychologist with me and the kids. I don't want to pick someone at random from the yellow pages. How can I check to see if the psychologist has a license? Where do I start?

In so many words

Comments on issues of the day
Hamid Boroumand

I would like to see Hossein Shahrestani become Iraq's next Prime Minister, I would like to have Benazir Bhutto return to power in Pakistan, and if things don't change for the better in Iran within the next few months, I would be favorable to an organized bloodless coup with a timetable for free, fair and democratic elections in that country shortly thereafter.

Sex, lies & shish kebob

Part 3: Anything's okay, so long as your ass remains a one-way street
Siamack Baniameri

It was obvious who wore the pants in that relationship. The guy was another victim of the Zan Zallil Syndrome and he was too much of a coward to stand up and tell the girlfriend like it is. I felt a strong connection with the guy due to our intense male bonding episode earlier. We guys are stupid like that. Just because we spend a few minutes sharing something primitive but personal, we automatically become best friends. So, I figured what the heck, I'll help the dude.

Greater Iran

Federated commonwealth of Iranian states
Nima Kasraie

The purpose of this writing is not to present you with yet another flabby history lesson about Persia, something which I trust you all to be sick to death of. Yet the topic of the current article is something which I feel I cannot ignore writing about, as it seems that nobody these days cares to sputter about, save myself.

Hossein hocus pocus

In an era when the world is making quantum leaps in science and technology, we Iranians still spend a lot of our lives in the past
Pesare Gol

As I flip through Iranian satellite TV channels I can't help stop and watch the Ashura processions offered by the Islamic Republic. A big room full of hundreds of bearded men, as well as some children, weeping and hitting themselves on the head mourning the loss of a character named Hossein.

Once upon a dream

All that remains is the memories
Arash Sayedi

The sound of my friends' laughter. The warmth of my grandmother's touch; the smell of her scarf. The sour taste of Masht Hassan's lavashaks. Playing with marbles in the dirt. Street soccer. Fighting with my neighbour's kid; beating that fat kid up real good and then getting beat up by his brother. Pushing a tire down the road with a stick. Ringing door bells late at night and running like a bat out of hell. Noon Barbary. Smell of naphtha on Charshanbeh Soory.

Pieces of Parima

Parima Shahin Moghadam

Fresh look back

Iran-U.S. relations in 1977
Mahmoud Foroughi

Farhad Sepahbody writes: In the heat of today's rethoric, it is perhaps useful to enter a time machine and take a look at Iran's past relations with the U.S. Take a fresh look at Ambassador Mahmoud Foroughi's interesting paper on the subject that I found in my old archive.

Evil in jitters

A natural yearning for freedom and justice in the Middle East is (thanks to the United States of America) turning to impatience
Alidad Vassigh

The news is good. Like good storytelling, it condenses an immense, disparate set of experiences into an essential thread. And like any engaging tale, it triggers tension, anxiety or excitement. The writing is on the wall for Middle Eastern fascism and the ghastly ideologies of the 20th century:


Seventeen different spellings of "Nowruz" have been detected on the Internet
Bahram Gerami

Fluid times

Modern designs (no pun intended)
Kamran K. Amid

Turning to the sky

The fire at Tehran's Arg Mosque
Roya Hakakian

I grew up around a kerosene heater, the kind that caused the fire in Tehran's Arg Mosque last Tuesday. They are damn messy. Owning one was a demanding affair. You'd have to fend against blostery winds, fetch a container, march through the snow, stand on queue at the kerosene distribution center for what, to a child whose toes were losing sensation, felt like an eternity.


Debut album, "Saazeh Taazeh" [New Melody] brings out a bit of the old, a bit of the new
Behrouz Bahmani

The new album by Soraya entitled Saazeh-Taazeh [A New Melody], actually should be entitled, "Fresh Melody", because that is exactly what it is. A fresh new look at traditional, what I am now calling, Mature Iranian-Pop.


Short story
Mohammad Hossainzadeh

Babysitting in style

The twins won't let us spend too much time doing anything to really appreciate our expensive holiday
Siamack Salari

Last November we paid nearly £6,000 to book a two week-holiday to the Royal Mirage hotel in Dubai. We depart this Sunday and for the last month or so have been wondering why we spent so much money on luxury that we won't really appreciate because we will be too busy chasing after the twins trying to stop them breaking things, pulling things off tables and eating sand.

Bush, Iran, war & democracy

The opposition should form a broad shadow government
Hassan Behgar

Distant stars

Welcome to the wasteland of Persian intellectual history
Fouad Kazem

The obsession with the past is rampant among Iranians. Our love for the past has been so great that many have chosen to ignore all that our great writers of the past actually said. They have chosen to boast about their greatness. A summary reading of all vulgar patriotic writing will show that their point is to prove the greatness of the Persian heritage, our real or imagined differences with the Arabs. These writers are troubled about our history and our present predicament.

And the winner is.... Qom

While Mr. Bush publicly denounces the IRI and promises to help the opposition, he has in fact done everything imaginable to reinforce the regime in Tehran
B. Bamdad

It simply could not have been delivered more efficiently to the mullahs even if they tried! In Iraq, the newly elected party is the Shia, Pro-Iranian political alliance with long-standing ties and past residence in Iran. And in Afghanistan the big winner has been "the Northern Alliance" (long supported by the mullahs in Iran) with large sections of the country under their direct control. Shia factions in both Iraq and Afghanistan are taking over - with direct US assistance.


A modern geopolitical primer for Iranian expatriates
Ramin Davoodi

Iranians in America are starting to wake up to the palpable sense of danger facing their homeland. This danger isn't limited to just the very real sense of a potential physical encroachment by an outside state; it is all the more felt, as it has been in decades past, in the imminently humiliating context of a loss of vital state sovereignty at the hands of larger, more aggressive powers.

The optimism of No-Rooz

In my imagination, I replaced the girls' dark veils with a tiara of pride and in place of dark beards the successful young men wore bright smiles
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

Once again, I open my window to let the No-Rooz air rush in along with memories of a lifetime. Although for sometime neither my feasts have felt like a feast nor my new years proven so new, I can't deny the magic of spring. A magic that, regardless of a thousand broken promises, still makes me believe in the pledge for a better tomorrow.

Valentine abgoosht

Saltanat entered the apartment with her nose first sniffing like a Bassett hound on the trail
Kaveh Aminian, Seattle

I knew Saltanat loved abgoosht. This Valentine's Day was my opportunity to show her how much I loved her, but it had to be just right. I had never made abgoosht. I didn't even have a Dizi. Then, suddenly I thought of Asghar. If someone knew about abgoosht it had to be him.

Remarkable, independent -- and incomplete

A taste of the 21st century female attorney

21st Century Female Attorney - she is a woman first, then an attorney. She does not work at a big firm. She has her own schedule. She has a well-balanced life. She exudes power, confidence, and strength. She is self-reliant, capable, and independent, and above all she is a woman -- she is sexy, chic, glamorous, loving, caring and compassionate. Even outside of the office, she has the talent of presenting a well-thought and articulate argument with all sides taken into consideration.

Who benefits?

Former Lebanese prime minister's death is harsh blow to quest for freedom and independance in entire Middle East
Cyrus Rasti

On Valentine's Day Lebanon was the scene of an appalling act of terrorism at mid day local time. The explosion rocked the beach front district of Beirut where allot of the cities five star hotels are located. The target was the motorcade of Mr. Rafiq Hariri, who was the former prime minister of Lebanon. Prior to his death, he had attended a session of the Lebanese parliament in the central part of Beirut. Afterwards he was heading to his residence where he then tragically met his end.

Persians push for Bush

As long President Bush stands with the Iranian people, the Iranian people will stand with him
Slater Bakhtavar

Everywhere I've gone in Iran, with one exception, people have been exceptionally friendly and fulsome in their praise for the United States, and often for President George W. Bush as well." Thomas Friedman another Pulitzer Prize winner and ardent critic of the war in Iraq wrote "young Iranians are loving anything their government hates, such as Mr. Bush, and hating anything their government loves. Iran... is the ultimate red state."

Beneath Vosooghi

"Az Maahvaareh Baa Eshgh" was more like "Az Maahvaareh Bikhod"
Mahin Bahrami

It was half past nine on a Sunday evening and the show was supposed to start anytime, well at least according to what was written on the ticket. The seats which were filled contained a lot of peroxide and a few hairless heads. Many of them had hopped over the Persian Gulf to Dubai to make it to the last day of a highly publicized theatre production from Los Angeles. It had been years since the last time I had attended a theatrical play, making me all the more anxious to experience another, especially one with a famous celebrity.

Boom & bust

Social engineering and the contradictions of modernization in Khuzestan's oil company towns, Abadan and Masjed-Soleyman
Kaveh Ehsani

This essay is a comparative study of the design and social impact of Abadan and Masjed-Soleyman, the first and most important oil towns built in Khuzestan by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC). The construction of these company towns almost a century ago forms an important chapter in the history of modernization and urbanization in Iran. As a result of this experience a new model of social engineering and hierarchic modernization was introduced into Iranian social life by powerful actors that included transnational capital, the central state, and professional elites.


Best of
David N Rahni

In 1974, at age twenty-four, Nasrin's dream came true. The National Iranian Radio and Television Network was looking for new talent that would appeal to the young population. Nasrin was blessed to have both youth and talent, and the rest is history.

To My Valentine

Pumping hope through tired veins
Setareh Sabety

The sound of all swollen words

For Forough Farrokhzad
Farah Afshari

Booseh reez

Mozaab-e maah-o she'r-o hozoor-e toh
Alireza Tarighian


There is an infinite sky / A perpetual distance.
Baharak Sedigh

This doctor shit is hard

The link between studying for medical school & plumbing
Maziar Shirazi

I can't write these days; actually, I can't do much of anything that involves not sitting down, reading, or writing out something. MCAT year is a lonely year. My world has been reduced to an apartment, three bus routes, four or five Easton Avenue restaurants, and a martial arts class. Oh yeah, and how could I forget: a shitty prep class that is making me hate the concept of, well... learning.

ABC's of democracy

Ways and means of democratization
Fatima Farideh Nejat

Would electoral reform make the political system more democratic? The following is a discussion about the possible benefits and the inherent limitations of the following three approaches to improving governance: 1) professional training for government employees; 2) organizational and managerial reform of government agencies; and 3) electoral reform to make the political system more democratic. If the first two approaches are lagging the third element would be ineffective.

The shah and the people

Part 2: A tentative sketch of the Shah's personality
Afshin Afshari

In Part One of this series, the main life events of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the late Shah of Iran, were briefly recounted. Here, we will attempt to sketch a psychological profile. In this context, the use of certain psycho-analytical terminology and concepts seems appropriate. Naturally, the characterizations set forth herein bear no clinical significance and should therefore be taken, simply, as indicative of one possible paradigm for understanding this complex multi-facetted personality.

Body gestures

The accent in your sign language
Bahram Saghari

One of my Iranian friends, to this day and after having lived in the states for some 25+ years, still extends his thumb instead of his middle finger, to bad drivers. He says he loves the puzzled expression on the recipient's face, while he is enjoying, just like these kids do, the fact that he is in fact putting a finger on them.

The toughest woman in Tehran

Iranian of the year: Shirin Ebadi
Raman Kia (Buddahead)

Thank you to all of you who wrote in to me earlier this year with your suggestions for Iranian of the year. To those of you who feared that the majority may chose someone from the Iranian football team, let me assure you that the majority of you had no interest in the Iranian Football team.

Baba's passing

In loving memory of my Baba, who passed away last weekend.
Persis Karim

Sex, lies and shish kebob

Part 2: The games Iranian girls play: always acting, always dramatic, always cunning; it never ends
Siamack Baniameri

"You don't understand. I'm suicidal, man. And it's all because of these pretentious Iranian women. They make you wanna hang yourself. It's all a game, brother. It's all a conceited, shallow game." "I hear you. I just got my butt handed to me by one them," I said. "That's exactly what I'm talking about. Aren't they arrogant or what? The only thing that matters to them is money..."

Destination Tehran

An American's travels in Iran in 1973, Part 2
Rick Misterly

The road stretched ahead to the East as with the sun at our backs we headed into the country. The landscape looked like it had been arranged by an endless succession of earthquakes with huge boulders and jagged cliffs coming right to the edge of the road. Occasionally we would catch a glimpse of a mud-brick village, most easily distinguished by the green of trees. Water flowed down the slopes through the dry land and was directed to the village to make life possible.

Territorial integrity

How would a country continue to exist without having the right to defend its heritage and territorial integrity?
Amir Naghshineh-Pour

It is difficult to comprehend why an individual would take issue with a legitimate academic, legal and historical defense of a nation's heritage. It would seem that Ms. Mohyeddin has failed to distinguish between educated and peace-loving Iranians (and non-Iranians who support their position) from a small number of fringe chauvinists, who are to be found in any culture. These fanatics have begun the game of changing historical facts for political and racist motives.

Direct negotiation

How should Iran preserve the name of Persian Gulf
Nader Habibi

While Arab countries have repeatedly used the name Arabian Gulf in the past four decades, Iran's reaction has never been as severe as the National Geographic incident. This incident has increased Iran's sensitivity to such a high level that it could have an adverse effect on Arab-Iranian relations. Under popular pressure, Iranian officials will have to react to any future incidents where any international organization uses the name "Arabian Gulf".

The joy of masks

Photo essay: Venice Carnevale, 2005
Yasin Memari

Death & rebirth

An essay on the 1979 Revolution for English class
Jahanshah Javid

I wrote this essay for an English 101 class on April 10, 1990 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. I had left Iran four months earlier after spending the 1980s as a reporter and photographer who was more than just sympathetic towards the Islamic Republic. By the time I left for America, I was angry and disappointed at the revolution and religion -- and myself. I still am... :o)


Life and death in Persian
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

Peculiarities in a culture seem to go unnoticed by its people until they are pointed out by others. I remember twenty-some years ago, an American lady -- who took care of my children while I went to work -- brought such a fact to my attention. Her daughter had inquired about the family she worked for."I told her they are nice people," she said. "Except that they are constantly threatening to kill each other!"


NIAC's latest brainchild proves it's worth by helping in the crusade to save the Persian Gulf
Behrouz Bahmani

Eight weeks ago, we all began hearing the first rumblings of the National Geographic's Persian Gulf debacle concerning the updated 8th edition of their world atlas and the controversial inclusion (in parentheses) of the words "Arabian Gulf" below it's historically relevant and rightful label.

More Muslim than others?

It isn't difficult to see Arab racism creeping back into the psyche of contemporary "Islam"
Nima Kasraie

An American college student who had just converted to Islam, once came up to me and asked: "Do you have to be an Arab to be a good Muslim?" "Of course not." I replied. "Who told you that?" "The people in the mosque give me that idea," She said.

Wham, bam, thank you Azam

I owe Ms. N. a debt of gratitude for love finally coming and knocking on my door
Sima Shirazi

Doctor Ruth step aside! Let a real love doctor shake up the house! That's exactly what Azam N  is doing in the cross-dressing and the gay communities these days. Her love guide, Make it your bible, bubba, on to how to win a mate has become must read material for anyone looking for a same-sex relationship around the world.

Competing dreams

Photo essay: Public painting competition
Ehsan Shahinsefat

Team Melli's big test

Bahrain-Iran is only the first of a series of six games: it is, however, a crucial one
Siavush Randjbar-Daemi

Alarm clocks are being set, coffee is being brewed and well-crafted excuses are being sent to puzzled bosses. Today, the Iranian National Football Team will be playing the first game of the final round of Wold Cup qualifiers, after a couple of close shaves in the preliminary stages that nearly provoked a very early elimination from the Qualification Tournament.

Controlling a hurricane

Iran and the myths of non-proliferation
Camron Michael Amin

The recent ups and downs of the European brokered deal between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency will provide fresh fuel to the debate over non-proliferation strategy here in the United States. Full of more heat than light, it will be a pointless debate. We can no more control nuclear arms than weathermen can control hurricanes. Our superpower status has insulated us from perceiving that the global climate is ideal for nuclear arms proliferation. On the eve of its own Atomic Age, Iran is the case in point as to why.

Welcoming separatism

Kurds should break the taboo and welcome separatism as the most appropriate alternative at this stage
Kamal H. Artin

Recently the media has been talking about Iran as another potential war zone. Some might wonder what the role of the Kurds would be in such a situation. Foremost, I hope and assume that because of being the victims of genocide, war, and abuse, the Kurds wish that no one goes through their bitter experience!

Rewinding Shahnameh

Photo essay: Rostam & Sohrab puppet opera in Tehran
Mehraneh Atashi

Rooz-e Shanbeh

Short story
Mohammad Hossainzadeh

The other terror

Part Two: The art scene
Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian

While we do not need to use the dishonest tactics of cultural terrorists, some of whom, I have been told, even resort to raiding classrooms, if the lecturer discusses the Persian contributions to Islamic culture, there is ample reason to be on our guard. Being right is enough, if only politics do not interfere. Dedicated scholars need our support to withstand the onslaught.

The heirs of wars

Bahman Ghobadi's "Turtles Can Fly"
Sasan Seifikar

What makes Turtles Can Fly a very unique film is that it shows us war from the perspective of children. This is a very different point of view than the one we usually find in war movies. What the film makes clear is that in any war or military conflict, children suffer the most and that when world leaders go to war, it is the children who will bear the brunt of the misery and grief.

Who needs defusing?

Iran -- or U.S. media?
John Mohammadi

TIME magazine has a quick article about Iran entitled "Can the U.S. Defuse Iran?". Besides the author's name and the date of the article, almost everything else was in the article was misleading, false, a half-truth, or spin. If you want to know why most Americans still think that WMDs have been found in Iraq, it's because of this sort of reporting. So, here we go:

America is our big hope

Iran has become like a patient whose immune system has ultimately failed to cope with a deadly tumor
Omid Parsi

I can't imgine how a liberating occupation by a Western superpower today can be any worse than the repression and wretchedness that Persians have suffered under the rule of Hezbollah. What is the alternative? The irony is that if the purpose of a hypothetical Western invasion were to achieve the outcome of the Arab conquest of a thousand years ago, in a few decades our "identity" would be based on Gap and MTV and, sadly enough, we would be still better off for it!

2,500-year-old lady with Alzheimer's

Interview with Esmaeil Mirfakhraei
Farid Parsa

All scientific discoveries have certain social and political ramifications but at the moment our nation seems to be exempt of all these responsibilities that face the civilised world. It seems to be easier this way. Let's be a child forever and just play with our toys while the rest of the world faces up to to real challenges and grows stronger as a result. 

Joghdee keh khodaa bood

Dedictaed to the followers of the Imam
Mahshid Amirshahi

Forward & back

Personal photos
Mahshid Amirshahi

The groundhog and the spate of the union

It is official: there will be six more weeks of winter and four more years of George Walker Bush
Samira Mohyeddin

Let's face it, George Bush's speech is not just about the state of the union in America, it is about mapping out how America's state will inevitably end up effecting the state of the world, and judging from Bush's proscriptions and prescriptions, the focus of the administration has shifted to the state of Iran. However, military aggression and the promulgation of US hegemony is not the answer; as my own oracle recently told me: no bully ever made the playground safer.

Will the U.S. attack Iran?

Don't listen to the so-called liberals and intellectuals who claim the war has begun or will start soon
Payman A.

The most important explanation for why Iran won't be invaded is pretty simple. The U.S. military is overextended. Where would America get the necessary soldiers needed to invade Iran? There would have to be a lot more soldiers for an Iranian invasion. And no, the draft will not be revived, because the public outcry would be tremendous.

Yekshanbeh, 22 Bahman

A diary entry from February 11, 1979
Shirin Vazin

I used to write my diaries from the age of 13. When the revolution in Iran took place I was just 15. The attached files show what I have written on 22 Bahman 1357 (February 11, 1979). Since I don't have a Farsi program on my computer I scanned the relevant pages. Maybe you can still use it somehow on your site.

1979 things that went wrong

I was listening to old tapes of Khomeini's famous speech...
Amir Nasiri

The year was 1979. It was the year of change and reconciliation. Yes, it was the year of change. A mullah came out of no where and gave a series of promises to millions of people of no mans land and then betrayed the same people who fought and helped him to come to power. The mullah's name was Khomeini, the people were the Iranian people and the country was Iran. I remember that time. I was only 6 years old. I could see the happiness, confusion and some sort of hope in people's eyes the first few days. My father used to drive in his small beetle (ghoorbaghe-ee) and hand out Cigar Shirazi to all soldiers and then grab their head and give kisses on their foreheads.

The Islamic Revolution lives

All this mumbo jumbo about a "second revolution" happening in Iran is just gibberish echoed by disillusioned Iranians in exile
Lawrence Reza Ershaghi

In this article, I wish to travel down the road of contemporary Iranian politics to deconstruct the mainstream version of events by Iranian expatriates on post-revolutionary Iran. The time is more critical than ever for us to understand such events as the drums of war are being beaten by the neo-cons in Washington.

Looking for a few good spies

Washington calls the Iranian MEK a terrorist group. But some administration hawks think its members could be useful
Christopher Dickey, Mark Hosenball and Michael Hirsh

This is a terrorist cultleader? Maryam Rajavi is dressed in a Chanel-style suit with her skirt at midcalf, lilac colored pumps and a matching headscarf. Over a dinner of kebab, rice and French pastries, Rajavi smiles often and laughs easily. She's at once colorful and demure, like many an educated woman in the Middle East. Indeed if George W. Bush -- who relies on powerful females for counsel -- were pressed to identify a Muslim model of womanhood, this 51-year-old Iranian would look very much the part.


All I can imagine now is sitting in the park this month admiring the silky saffron sways to the motion of the cool New York City air
Tala Dowlatshahi

A few years ago, I was given a print of The Gates project for Central Park, New York City. The print was a gift from a former board member of a school programme I used to help manage. The unique quality of the print was the signature by the artist himself, Christo, back in 1980, when initial design for the project began. American-Bulgarian Christo and his wife, American-French Jeanne Claude, are responsible for a series of amazing wrap works around the world.

Chasing liberty

Photo essay: Bush's State of the Union address
Jahanshah Javid

Want me too

Lover to his (departed) belovedsovereignty

Baaykot-e khabari

Consequences of not giving false praise to those in power
Amir Ahmadi and Hassan Alizadeh

The other terror

Part One: How real is the threat to Persian culture if those who are fanning separatism succeed?
Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian

Iranians abroad are doing a lot to preserve their culture. This is especially important when that culture is under deliberate attack through piecemeal distribution of the components of the whole. A realization of the real issues at stake is more urgent than being drawn into the battle for the dwindling resources of the world under the guise of love of freedom. When it really hurts, we tend to put aside our proverbial discords and present a united front against any abuse. There is need for much more to counter the threats and they are legion. Fragmentation of Iran is actively pursued from many quarters.

Sex, lies and shish kebob

Part 1: Why are you Persian guys such loose mouth, perverted liars? she asked
Siamack Baniameri

I was on my break, outside in the back, chilling, smoking pot, minding my own biz. Severe daydreaming session was in progress and everything was going relatively well. No dramas, no running from the law, no immediate currency concerns, no new STDs, no overdue child support payments, and to top it off, the piss-test came back negative. Life is alright.

Ayaa Iran dovomin hadaf-e amrikaast?

Is Iran next?
Mohammad Ali Isfahani
Including Shargh al-Owsat's war scenario

Iran under siege

The issue is oil
Farrokh A. Ashtiani

Sign away concessions or else, and when a government is corrupt they always make the wrong choices. And as for people they always lose big, what I mean is take a look at the sad truth, Saddam is still alive and shaves everyday and reads books I would not be surprised that he has access to a Nintendo game or a backgammon too, and is allowed to think. But people of Iraq are dying and American soldiers are dying and all in the name of food for oil then and war for oil now.

Slates wiped clean

The truth about "Marg bar Shah"
Jim S.

Today while spending a day at home, I heard a commotion coming from my son's room. Thinking that I had better make sure that he wasn't tearing the room apart lest his mother raise holy hell with him when she got home, I opened the door and walked in. He wasn't tearing the room apart at all. He was sitting on the end of his bed watching cartoons and chanting with the crowd of cartoon characters. Here was my ten year old boy with a clenched fist raised in the air, sitting on the end of his bed chanting "Marg Bar Shah" (Death to the King).

Arguing with reptiles

Thinking leads to truth as much as driving leads to a destination. The question here is what "truth" and what destination?
Arash Sayedi

Pacifism is well and good in the civilized world where truth is divine. But it is of the utmost importance to remember that when you deal with a Christian, Jewish or Islamic conservative (or anyone with fanatical beliefs regarding any subject for that matter), you are not conversing with a higher human mind that is struggling to make sense of reality despite of his lower, irrational brain; but rather you are dealing with the beliefs, opinion and emotions of a reptilian brain in possession of the most powerful tool of reasoning in the known universe.

Sorood-e sobh-e sard

Garmaa-ye mehr
Alireza Tarighian

Visual meets emotional

Patricia Byron Hariri

Bozorg dar alefbaaee koochak

Moher knows
Leila Farjami

Az no baaz baa to hamin

Hossein Nushazar

Ravaan pareesh

Mandana Zandian


Collection of poems
Sheema Kalbasi

A conversation

A conversation between Jelalladin Rumi and Pablo Neruda On the Centenary of Pablo's Birth
Persis Karim

* In those moments...
* What if

A poem and a half
Baharak Sedigh


A westerner walks among their civilization
Patricia Byron Hariri

Bottom line for U.S. spreading liberty

The New American Century has no soldiers to lose, only profits tallied at Arlington Cemetery
Dean Brink


Mard, baaraan, asb
Shahrokh Setoudeh Foumani

Circle of hate

Why must we live by the way of the gun?
The Green Elf


Between us there is still a flame
But no longer does it burn
Sara Ansari

The walls

You can touch it you can feel it but you can not break it
Mehran Makki

Cry rivers

For your tears throw a curse
on the war
and the warmongers
Farah Afshari

Dash-te shaghaayegh-e maa

Pars meekonam dar kharaabe-haaye yaad
Mehrnush Moazami Gudarzi

Broken heart...

I lost my daughter, that I love so
Brenda Jamalzadeh

The torch

For reopening of Statue of Liberty Park in New York after 9/11
Shoja Adel

How to liberate Iran

Please... please... please, pay a bit of attention when carpet bombing the city with your 'precision' bombs
Sharif N Mafi

Seymour Hersh has told us that some GI's are creeping around the deserts south of the Zahedan preparing for W's next war. I do not subscribe to the New Yorker but I tend to listen when Mr. Hersh speaks; he seems to know what's cooking way ahead of time. So I would like to make some suggestions to the GI's in case they actually do make it to Tehran and decide (God forbid) to 'obliterate'... oops. sorry. I mean, "liberate" us... Falluja style.

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