>>> Archive
June 2006



Far far away

Photo essay: Iran
Homayoun Bazargan

Sheer lack of support

We need to do a better job protecting and promoting Iranian history, but in this fight, we are alone and lack resources
Khodadad Rezakhani

As a scholar-in-training from Iran, getting my education in the US, I would like to add a few comments to Arya’s very correct suggestion about promoting and preserving Iranian culture and history. My friends and I who are involved in the “business” of history notice the same thing every single day. I notice that in high-school history books, the whole of the Achaemenid Empire is a footnote to the chapter on Greece and Arsacids and Sasanians are mentioned in passing while talking about the glory that was Rome. Samanids and Seljuks are parts of the Islamic civilization and Safavids are only mentioned in college level courses when talking about the Ottomans. I see that etymology of words are constantly given as “oriental origin” and are left at that and nobody notices that Margaret is an Old Persian name! >>>

Thou shall love no one else but me!

Iranians revisited: mother-son relationships
Ms. Insight

The mothers as covert lovers and the sons who cling to them as their own eternal saviors and undying icons of perfect love and divine security are countless in the Iranian culture. An overbearing mother’s characteristic signs are: feeding the son with excruciating guilt for making rightfully personal choices, interacting in a purely conditional manner as if every gesture of affection or kindness is being executed with some degree of effort and burden, interfering with the son’s matters of the heart; incessantly disapproving the son’s partners or significant others; having the “no one is good for my son” attitude, manipulating circumstances and situations to her own benefits and personal merit instead of considering the son’s ultimate happiness, individuation, and independence >>>

New way out

Gasoline subsidies in Iran
Ebrahim Mohseni

Iran is a classic welfare state.  The economy is run by the government and everything from cheese to electricity is subsidized by it. The subsidies were initially introduced to garner public support for the Shah and where later maintained on social justice grounds.  Gasoline subsidies account for 17% of Iran’s energy subsidies.  It is becoming evermore expensive to maintain and is introducing severe inefficiencies on several grounds. Many measures have been proposed to bring gasoline subsidies under control.  None of the proposed measures, however, were able to overcome the entitlement mentality of the public and as a result failed to survive long enough to be effective >>>

Amrika va naft

As long as the U.S. is thirsty for oil it will continue aggressive policies
Homayoun Abghari

Shame on you

Yalda Hakimian

To Persis Karim, editor of "Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora" and 3 other so called "intellectual" women who were interviewed on KQED in Berkeley Thursday morning (June 29th), I only have 3 words: Shame On You. When asked by a listener what they thought about Iran sending Tehran Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi to the UN, they all skirted the issue by saying: "Is human rights situation better here at US?" >>>


Stronger than ever

Photo essay: San Francisco Gay Pride parade
Talieh Shahrokhi

It has become a tradition for many San Francisco Bay Area residence to go out and support the Gay Hamjens by attending the Gay Pride Parade. This year was no exception and the numbers were stronger than ever! Note: if you are easily offended, please do not view these photos! >>>

Freedom deserves better

New York's "Freedom Tower"
Saman Ahmadi

The latest design of the Freedom Tower to be built at New York’s “ground zero” was just unveiled. The original plan, created by Daniel Libeskind, called for a series of angular buildings with one rising significantly above the rest, its spire reaching 1776 feet -- the height, a gesture to the date of the signing of the US Declaration of Independence. In his plan, the lone tower and spire evoked the Statue of Liberty, freedom conquering tragedy >>>


My monsters

Pantead Rahmani

These are my latest paintings which will be on show in Tehran. The concept started from monsters -- div in Farsi -- and lately they became my own creatures instead >>>

Very dangerous place to be

Omid Townsend

Any student of history will be able to point out heights in Iranian history. Our culture is one of the oldest and most renowned in the known World. Our food, architecture, literature, language, people and customs have been admired and written about the World over. Islam has been a major contributor to a great number of these things, no doubt about it. However, the past is the past. How can Islam and the Iranian version of it be compatible with the world as it is today? >>>

Democracy is not top priority

Kianosh Saadati

No matter the outcome of Iranian nuclear crisis, undoubtedly, Iran is heading to full scale chaos! Even if they can reach a deal with the Western world to suspend the Uranium enrichment, the economic situation in the country has become so bad that being optimistic about the future is a fatal mistake. Despite the hype made by the outside world that the main priority for Iran are democracy and freedom, many people do not even care them. They simply want lower inflation and a better economy. Sooner or later when the government rations gasoline or sells it with two different prices, inflation will skyrocket. Indeed it is already high and it is going to go higher and higher >>>

Heaven on earth

What kind of democracy in the Middle East? Islamic, secular, liberal or populist?
Ben Madadi

I wonder whether people would embrace fundamentalist religion (fundamentalist religion sounds like something bad, something out of touch with true religion, but it literally means the real religion in its true nature) if they had the chance for a life without purpose, but with enough chances and opportunities to make it enjoyable and nice. Life according to religious fundamentalism does not have much of a meaning actually. It can hardly be called life. A true religious Muslim has so much religious duties he can hardly get a chance for a happy life. But the fact is that human nature, with its aptitude for survival, is not fit to be a follower of religious fundamentalism. Then the question is, why do so many young Muslims go for religious fundamentalism and go so far that they even do the ultimate religious sacrifice, with their whole God-given soles? >>>

In good faith?

Analysts hold that the United States changed its rigid position as a result of various obvious factors and reason
Joseph M. Cachia

In a significant shift of policy, the United States offered to join Europe in talks with Iran on its nuclear programme, if Tehran suspends its enrichment of uranium. One must remember that in 2003, Bush refused to allow any response to the Iranian offer to negotiate an agreement that would have accepted the existence of Israel. The decision to change tactics towards Iran is definitely a major policy shift for the Bush administration, who earlier had refused to join the talks or make other diplomatic overtures to Iran, despite calls from European nations, other leading diplomats and former US Secretaries of State, overturning a high level decision by Washington last March to freeze Iranian talks >>>


One world, one tribe

Photo essay: Exhibiting photographs by Reza Deghati in Washington DC
Jahanshah Javid

Selected images from 30 years of work by internationally known photojournalist Reza Deghati will be displayed indoors and outside the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington DC (June 27, 2006 through October 9, 2006). From Asia to Africa these photographs witness the torments of war and revolution and express the power of beauty and hope behind human tragedy >>>

How do we prevent China from colonizing the world?

Tina Ehrami

Until today development economics have aimed at improving the economic and social conditions in developing countries. The IMF for instance gives loans to developing countries along with a list of conditions that stimulates these developing countries to improve their government systems, combat corruption and improve their legal and human rights situation. Some find organizations like the World Bank or the IMF paternalistic or perhaps even neo-colonist, but at least they set conditions so that the people of these developing countries can have a better quality of life. This on itself is a noble goal and from my point of view the most appreciative way of friendly state intervention >>>

Kodaam democracy?

What kind of democracy in the Middle East? Islamic, secular, liberal or populist?
Ali Salari

Things I learned from watching football with my husband

Pillango Farfar

I don’t know how many women watch football, but definitly not the ones I know. I thought why not for once sit down and watch a football game with my husband and try to grasp what it is that he like so much about this game. I watched a couple of games with him and found out interesting things. I also ended up having some questions. Like who decides what color outfit the players wear? Who designs them? I thought maybe the chosen color had to be in harmony with where the players come from >>>

Pride & prejudice

Email exchange on Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:
Dariush Abadi & Ali Kimiai

It is interesting that you guys claim you want Hossein Hajiagha to stop bashing "Western minded individuals" but yet Western minded individuals should believe in individual right of freedom of expression. Why shouldn't he have the freedom to express himself without you guys sitting there and trying to censor him? If you want your say, let him have his say. Please take your 2,500 year old backward mentality and put it back in the stone age with Cyrus and Darius >>>


See the truth

Photo essay: Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth"
Pedram Moallemian

I get sick to my stomach

On Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons: I know the Iranian.com's motto is "Nothing is Sacred" but an we STOP giving so much airtime to Hajiagha.  I love Iranian.com and visit it regularly but every time I see one of Hajiagha's cartoon's I get sick to my stomach.  While "nothing is sacred" is a motto worth sticking to, I think you would be well within the rights of your role as the editor to stop publishing him.  Many of his cartoons are not funny or satirical and don't make any points other than highlight his personal hate for homosexuality and for what he perceives to be the western culture.  If he was worth the fight, he could probably be charged under Canadian hate crime legislation.  PLEASE STOP PUBLISHING HIS DISGUSTING CARTOONS >>> More letters



Night had fallen as they got to the gates of the beloved stone villa that had belonged to Mariam’s family for generations
Sanaz Salehi

They had driven a few hours through the rocky mountain terrain, which snaked its way upwards through tunnels, bending and winding around endless dusty corners. The red hot moulds had absorbed the heat of the scorching sun all day and effused a dry earthy scent, a barren scent almost as barren as the scenery around them. And then it came without warning, the unexpected change in scenery, a thick green lushness covered the mountains almost suddenly and the temperature dropped. The magical forest unfolded over the mountains for as long as they could see and touched the clear blue sky. A cool breeze caressed her flushed cheek and blew her raven hair. Mariam inhaled deeply. This was the moment she had dreamt of all these years. The familiar scent of the wet forest, musky wood and distant rice fields filled her nostrils >>>

Goooooooooooal or no goal

What makes football incredibly exciting, for me
Saman Ahmadi

Watching the games as they happen is part of the experience -- in some ways sharing in a joyous event with the rest of the world. Some of my friends and I watched everything on the Spanish channel live -- even though I don’t understand a lot Spanish, I got the feel of the game with their announcers where the ones on ABC or ESPN have no idea about how to call a football game... I think one thing that people unfamiliar with football do not understand is how the game could have been interesting if the final score was 1-0, or worse yet 0-0. What they miss is the fact that a near goal is the second most exciting event in all of sports -- furious agony for some, desperate relief for others >>>

Auto-tune out

Musical tragedy with no act
Babak Khiavchi

No, your ears are not having hearing problems. The whining voices in your head are only echos of shifting vocal pitches, not the actual tormented souls being exposed to the latest Persian Pop music hits. What started out as a simple plug-in tool for correcting pitch in vocal and instrumental performances has now become the de facto style of singing among Persian Pop singers. The Auto-Tune audio processor by Antares Audio Technologies was first used to produce more precisely tuned recordings by disguising Out-Of-Tune singing and inaccurate tuning with its pitch shifting capabilities in studio post production and sound engineering. It was designed to be a musical spell-checker... >>>


Basking in Baku

Photo essay: Capital of Azerbaijan Republic
Vahid Garousi

Genuinely popular

At home, Iranian president is admired
Meir Javedanfar

Iranians living abroad are ashamed of him. Wealthy Iranian entrepreneurs and political moderates shudder at every word he utters, especially on foreign policy. Foreign leaders and analysts have called him a "great danger" to the region. Israel's Iranian-born former defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, has likened him to Adolf Hitler. Yet to millions of Iranians, far more than the West can imagine, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a rather popular guy. Barring his outbursts denying the extent of the Holocaust and threatening Israel with annihilation, Mr. Ahmadinejad is saying and doing what a majority of Iranians want to hear. The key to his success is that he has learned who the average Iranian is and what he or she wants. The West has not >>>

Santa Maria

Chronicles of Fredrick D. Sauma
Farid Parsa

Maria arrived exactly at 11.30. Her dress matched the climate with its bare minimum. A surge of eroticism spiraled in my being. It was our first date and I didn't want to ruin it, giving her the impression that I was desperate, unrestrained and promiscuous. We hardly knew each other. I had never got physically intimate till the third date, even then it was perhaps a kiss on the cheek or merely holding and rubbing hands. But then again oriental girls were different and that's where I'd learned the rules. I felt much more relaxed with Christine. I didn't have to pretend that I was going to marry her or throw money around like a rich man trying to impress her as I usually did. But the less we played games, the more the intricacies and insecurities of our soul came to surface. In those seemingly tactile gazes, passionate kisses, reluctant goodbyes and sensitive touches there are always many hidden uncertainties, fears, unfulfilled fantasies and a few old wounds still throbbing here and there >>>

The new oral tradition

Part 14: Returning to Iran: 1986-87
Sima Nahan

Underground and without paper to write on, the Iranian intellectual community has been forced into a new oral tradition. Private gatherings -- parties, dinners, and all-night sessions of poetry, music, discussion, or instruction -- are the medium for the realization of this tradition. It is typical that the most personal thoughts and the most rigorous learning are imparted by the same person and in the same sitting. To describe these exchanges I can conjure up memories of steaming inside my Islamic uniform in the heat of a July afternoon in a bare classroom of one of the universities where I talked to a professor of Persian literature >>>

Be a better keeper

Iranians, especially scholars with Iranian descent need to do a better job of trying to be keepers of their culture

As I was going through reading and formulating my thoughts on what I was about to write I came across another article here "Ancient Persia's virtual absence in Hollywood" written six years ago which basically discussed both the lack of presence and or misrepresentation of Iranian history in the West and more specifically in Hollywood. Of course since then we had several-failed attempt and some successful ones in this area. For instance many Iranians had hoped that finally Alexander Jovi project in 2003 will introduce Koroush to the West but apparently his attempt has failed. That failed attempt was followed by the fiasco surrounding arrest of Cyrus Kar while working on the documentary project on the life of Koroush >>>


Today, football dominates every corner of Iranian society, an occasion both for people to forget the chaotic situation of the daily life and for the regime to mask this situation
Jahanshah Rashidian

For the IRI’s team, a sense of unity only could take hold in an artificial stance. In fact, there was no unity for a team on which the public debate has already focused the question if the team after all represents its nation.  Of course, there are seemingly irreconcilable differences among Iranians concerning the legitimacy. For some epicurean Iranians who have trouble to accept the sad face of heir country, this legitimacy is not the issue at all. Instead, on a lower intellectualism out of touch with the realities, they may even carry any flag, chant any anthem and happily cheer and dance with any music. For some other Iranians, who truly tackle the problem, they do not let things drift with the euphoria of football, but instead point out the worries of people that will be appeared into the background >>>


To remember

Seyed Alavi

The excecutions in Mashhad

In memory of Ayad and Mohammad
Karl Hoff

Intrusive memories

But are they intrusive if they are all you have left?
Tahereh Tavous

Khalij Chabahar

Chabahr Bay
Cyrous Moradi


Inspired by watching Baghdad on TV
Shoja Adel


Taken by Tabriz

Photo essay: My recent trip back home
Vahid Garousi

From Zayandeh Rud to the Mississippi

A voice from a road between East and West
Mahnaz Badihian (Oba)

Perfectly parallel mirrors

for John T. Chalcraft
Laleh Khalili

Welcome to Iran

I am a 16 year old Persian boy living in London and missing Iran
Abtin Sadeghi

Dining with Death

Last night in his castle beyond all mountains i dined with Death, drinking wine from crystal goblets
Baharak Sedigh

Hobaab baazi

Leila Farjami

The longest war

Hangs like an impossible breath through immovable cracks in the concrete
Arash Daneshzadeh

Dead to the world

An all purple dance show
Parviz Sadigh

Kenwood in Taurus

An all purple dance show
Vida Kashizadeh

Time and Life

In search of a free soul
Akbar Showkatian

Marze Por Gohar Party

Group makes strides in Los Angeles and abroad
Lisa Daftari

Thirty-four-year-old Farahanipour resembles his childhood pictures. He still has that baby face with two big, black eyes that turn almond-shaped when he smiles. He’s not so tall, and not so short, but his lofty yet eloquent Farsi rhetoric gives him a tall stature. By training, he is a journalist and a lawyer, and ashamed to admit that he now has to host tables at Shamshiri, a Persian restaurant on Westwood Boulevard, in order to pay the bills.  Things haven’t changed that much for Farahanipour absent the beating and torture. Now they have an American twist. Farahanipour runs his political party Marze Por Gohar, MPG or Glorious Frontiers Party out of Los Angeles, sometimes called Irangeles, the closest place to home. Their platform has stayed the same >>>

Is Hoder's era over?

Kianosh Saadati

Since the launch of first, or at least one of the first, Persian blogs, one name has always been prominent. Hoder (Hossein Derakhshan) has been recognized as the Father (or technically the Godfather!!!) of Persian blogging. Numerous efforts have been made by him and others to encourage Iranians to launch and manage their own blogs. Indeed Persian blogs have been one of the fastest growing in today's media world... But these days he is quiet. He simply blogs once he is travelling or when he wants to judge current political issues in Iran. Maybe he already knows that Persian blogging is close to the end! Maybe he realises that many Iranians (including me!) do not enjoy reading other people's weblogs anymore. Instead, they tend to go to more reliable media and official sources >>>


I got that Angola feeling!

Photo essay: A day in Leipzig
Sasan Seifikar

Fanatic friends

MEK tricks US progressives, gains legitimacy
Rostam Porzal

While MEK activists feign humanistic values before mainstream audiences, they work closely with some of the extremist Washington circles that push for pre-emptive US confrontation with Iran. (Other American unilateralist think tanks prefer to support the rival monarchist Iranian groups here.) For example, the Iranian "security expert" who regularly warns us about Iranian fundamentalism on Fox News television, Alireza Jafarzadeh, is none other than the terror group's former registered Washington representative >>>


A new art in the making

What Mazloom has presented us with makes him as much of an artist as, let’s say, umm, actually can’t think of anyone I know. Maybe my sofa. What reveals his real talent is his own admission that what he does is neither satire nor art. He calls it “tamaskhor,” and by God, until I had read the caption, I had been wondering how to classify these recent surges of bubbles in pictures (BIPs) produced by some newcomer talents at Iranian.com. Tamaskhor is what they are, nothing more and nothing less. An insult on the person (here Ahmadinejad) and an insult on us readers’ intelligence >>>


Qajar Family Gala

Group photo at Automobile Club de France in Paris
Ferydoun Barjesteh van Waalwijk van Doorn

Football dallali

What's wrong with Iranian football?
Davoud Bahrami

Sweet, free (unachievable) dreams

Kianosh Saadati

World Cup 2006 is over for us. It was already finished for us. Long time ago, many people criticized our national team because it was not prepared enough for this tournament. But the world is not over yet! Logically, we need to sit back and try to learn from our mistakes. We need to prepare ourselves physically and mentally for upcoming 2010 World Cup in South Africa. But I still wonder whether we will learn from mistakes or not? I assume we will be the same even in the next World Cup >>>


Clay therapy

Avideh Zahedi

Where do I sign up?

Siamack Baniameri

I got an email the other day from a group of Iranian ex-pats, inviting me to take part in an "electronic sit-in to support human rights in Iran." I'm all for that. As a matter of fact, I'm all for anything that protects me from bodily harm and possible injuries. Therefore, I volunteer to participate in: online hunger strikes, virtual flag burning, cyber rebellion, internet human chains, electronic passive resistance, computer-generated insurgency and dotcom uprising. Where do I sign up?


Thank you, Germany

Photo essay: Leipzig hosts Iran-Angola match
Nader Davoodi

Our children need to be told the truth

To the young people of America
Doug Soderstrom

Just over 50 years ago it was No Gun Ri. Then My Lai. And now Haditha ... and, as (headlines declare), even more mass murders, most recently in the Iraqi villages of Ishaqi, Hamdaniya, Latifiyah, and Yusifiyah; young men fresh out of high school, frustrated by life, with nothing better to do than to sign up as mercenaries ready and willing to kill for their country, yet, as always, afraid to die and angry as hell as a result of buddies (comrades-in-arms) having been killed, everyone of them having been thrown into a world of cultural confusion and death wanting nothing more than an opportunity to return home, body and mind unimpaired >>>

We can do this

I want to create an article containing every aspect of Western Civilisation that has been impacted on by Iranian civilisation
Saied Ardakani

It was Eid (the Iranian new year), and with my Eid money, I wanted to go and by a good history book about Iran. So we went to Pages For All Ages first.  My expectations were high, and I was thinking that I would be reading a great book that evening. However, it did not take long for me to realise that there were no books on my topic of interest! I was shocked and angry. Where were all the books on this great civilisation that has impacted Asia, North Africa, two of the great monotheistic religions (Islam and Christianity), and the West? >>>

Irrational intellectualism...

West faces another 'barbarian invasion'
Iqbal Latif

PARIS -- Top security analyst Rear Admiral Chris Parry compares present threat to Western border breach that preceded collapse of Roman Empire. Rear Admiral Chris Parry makes comparison to 'The mass population movements that could lead to the "Rome scenario," he asserts, referring to the collapse of the western Roman Empire in the 4th and 5th centuries when groups such as Ostrogoths Visigoths, Suevi, Huns and Vandals flooded its borders. Western civilization faces a threat on par with the barbarian invasions that destroyed the Roman Empire in the 5th century, warns one of Britain's most senior military strategists. Immigrant groups from the Third World with little allegiance to their host countries could undermine Europe in a "reverse colonization," said Rear Admiral Chris Parry, according to the Times of London >>>


Fans in Frankfurt

Photo essay: On the day of Iran-Portugal match
Nader Davoodi

I adore it (Mirzapour)

Email from a football fan in love
Maria Erli de Melo

'Como faço para me corresponder com o Ebrahim Mirzapour? Sou fã dele'
How I make to correspond me with the Ebrahim Mirzapour? I am fan of it. I adore it.


Three sample tracks rolled into one MP3 from "Oje Gharibe Yek Seda"
Olive Tunes

In 1981, Shirin was arrested with thousands of young people as a political activist and spent five years of her youth in prison. Her passion for music and her memory of melodies of life strongly contributed to her ability to survive the intolerable conditions of life in prison. Her first melody was composed in her mind, based on the poem Cest Une Femme or This is A Woman, inside the prison walls. In 1990, after escaping Iran and moving to Canada, Shirin was introduced to Iranian traditional music, training in Avaz and Radif. She became an integral part of the Khavaran and Saba ensembles, and they toured successfully throughout Canada. Her performances have been enthusiastically received in many social, cultural and charity events >>>

Chill out

Qumars Bolourchian

Dear Iranian fans, Chill out! It's not the end of the world. Both Mexico and Portugal are excellent teams, ranked ahead of Iran and were the favorites to win the group from the outset. This is only the 3rd time Iran has even made it into the finals. It's unrealistic and frankly unfair to expect miracles at this point in the development of Iranian football. As good as we are against Asian teams, our national team has had little experience and even less success at the world stage. For us to be upset that Iran lost today is just as rediculous as the Americans' "demand" that their team beat 3-time champion Italy >>>

That's it!

Anatomy of a digital drawing
Pendar Yousefi

Being a part-time illustrator, the first question many people ask when they visit my website is: what software/hardware do you use to make your illustrations? While the answer contains nothing new for people who are in the business, I thought I will settle this for others once and for all by writing up a short tutorial about the process I use to make a simple illustration. Hopefully this will encouarge other potential artists to start their own digital drawings. After reading this tutorial, you can check out some of my other drawings here >>>

The Press vs. Velayat-e Faqih

Factionalism in post-revolutionary Iran
Mariam Hosseini

The contrast between modernity and tradition in modern-day Iran is striking to say the least. It is a society in where social and political institutions contain both modern and traditional elements, and this contradictory nature is most clear the post-revolutionary press. To compensate for the lack of political parties following the 1979 Islamic revolution, the clerical leadership slightly loosened restrictions on the press. While this did not create an easy transition to social and political freedom, the press has succeeded playing a crucial role in shaping Iranian public opinion through introducing discourse different from that of the state, as well as enabling the public to communicate their views within the established boundaries >>>

Vorood mamnoo

She was a sweet Pakistani shopkeeper. And married.
Shahriar Zahedi


It was magic!

Photo essay & video clips: Two nights and three days in the California Sierras
Jahanshah Javid

Local vs global

We do not live any longer in the times of vast empires, only commercial ones
Ben Madadi

Recently there have been a lot of talk about Iran's diverse ethnic mixture. As long as provocative issues are discussed in civilised and peaceful manners there can never be any bad outcome. Nothing is sacred, nothing ought to be a taboo. Everything is open to debate... What to do now? My intention was to introduce probably a different way of looking at historical facts. In order to move on and do something for now and for the future any person or nation must come in to grips with the past and accept the goods and bads done for or on his or her behalf ... Nowadays big has come back in fashion, like in the old days of vast empires. But this time it's all about commerce. It's all about big trading blocks, huge markets >>>

I just had a brilliant idea


Having noticed that the players in this World Cup keep faking fouls to get some time off for refreshment, I'd like to propose the head of FIFA to consider setting up a long bar on each football field, complete with sexy bargirls and Bud Light advertisements, and giving the players a five minute break in each half so that they could go suck on those yellow water-containers and get to know each other better.  Maybe the world will be a better place after this.

Inflating the truth

Did Human Rights Watch get it wrong?
Rostam Pourzal

I was reminded of all this by conflicting reports about the women's demonstration in Tehran last week. Contrary to dispatches by news services, I learned from an eyewitness whom I infinitely trust that he saw no beating or gassing of the demonstrators. Having attended the rally as a sympathizer, he believes Iranian women (and men) have every right to press for their demands, without a permit if necessary. But he is also an honest observer. Referring to published photos, he wrote me that some demonstrators were taken away by policewomen, but except in one case they were not physically abused. This is the opposite of what we are told by activist blogs and Western press about the scale and intensity of "the crackdown" on June 12 >>>

Forsat.org's opportunity and future

Interview with entrepreneur & philanthropist Noosheen Hashemi
Alaleh Azarkhish

Forsat.org is run with the discipline, team, and vision more akin to a high technology start-up than a non-profit endeavor. The core team's efforts are supplemented by a larger circle of volunteers sharing their professional expertise through contribution of articles. As an intellectual philanthropist and a member of the circle, I find my experience rewarding and want others to join this positive experience. Towards those goals, I sat down with Noosheen Hashemi to get a better understanding for Forsat.org's opportunity and future >>>

You embarrassed me in front of a group of life-long Brazilian friends

On Saeed Nia's "Brazialian youngsters got nothing better to do than kick a round ball all day": With all do respect... this was one of the dumbest comments I've read on Iranian.com in a looooooong time. This is what you said: "So what if Brazil is the best team in the soccer world? That's because unemployment is high and younsters got nothing better to do than kick a round ball all day." What's your expertise on Brazilian culture based on? Economics? Education? Politics? Science/Technology? Agriculture/Natural Resource? Religion? Language? Have you been anywhere within 500 miles of Brazil (or south of equator)? How many cities can you name in Brazil? What does their flag mean OR say in green text? What's the name of their capital city (without doing quick google search)? >>> More letters



I made it to Frankfurt

Photo essay: Iran vs. Portgal
Sasan Seifikar

All losses are not created equal

Siamak Farah-bakhshian

As the pragmatist in you says that in the world cup a loss is a loss and the table of standings only remembers numbers and not effort, I would like to quickly remind you that all losses are not created equal. The loss to Mexico left us all with a sense of disgust, a shock followed by disappointment and in many cases ending in resentment, primarily since there was a feeling that we did it to ourselves. We couldn't stop thinking what if Grandpa Daei was not playing, or what if Mirzapour for once in his life would stick to his goal, communicate with his defenders, and not mosey around the field, or what if our coach would substitute in fresher players in the second half. Anyone I know did not think we lost due to lack of talent, rather due to not using that talent properly. The loss to Portugal today was of a different nature >>>

Pulp lies

In a visual culture, nothing short of video evidence will force some columnists to abandon their lies
Peyvand Khorsandi

Ralph Nader turns up to an Al Gore book-signing event. According to Dana Milbank in the Washington Post, two men in the line approach Nader and say: “Thanks to you we had Bush all these years, how many are dead in Iraq because of that?” It would take a highly creative legal team to build a case against Nader for causing the bloodbath that is Iraq. But we live in a time when people closer to power make increasingly outlandish claims against their foes. Rather than call for heads to roll, it becomes the job of liberals and the Left to prove, say, that the men who committed suicide in Guantanamo Bay were, far from working for an ad agency, deprived of the dignity of zoo animals. You can imagine the board meeting: “It’ll be the ultimate in experiential marketing, three boys in orange hang themselves by their beards, and the whole word will turn against the US.” >>>

The fever

Here is an article for all you guys who set the alarm for 6:00 a.m. this morning!
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

Watching the World Cup games, I am reminded of the true definition of an old Persian proverb, “sitting ringside and shouting, ‘knock him out!’” Here I am, a retired tennis player -- the only game I competed in -- and with limited understanding of soccer, shouting at the Iran goalkeeper, “Catch the ball, you incompetent -- bee-orzeh!” Indeed, it’s so easy to sit on the sideline and let your imagination score. With Iran out of the World Cup, my “football fever” will soon subside, because to be honest, I for one watched with more interest as long as Iran had a chance. Waking up early morning on Saturdays and skipping breakfast just to watch those guys lose has taken its toll on many of us. Onward with our daily lives in “The land of the free”, some of us may even find it in our hearts to forgive those guys for this huge letdown >>>


Romance on rugs

Negin Ehtesabian

Taabestaane pish

Last summer
Mohammad Hossainzadeh

A palace coup in the making

A rift has opened deep in the power structure of the Islamic Republic
Hossein Bagher Zadeh

Ever since Hashemi Rafsanjani was defeated in his last bid to become president of the Islamic Republic (again) in June last year, observers have speculated on his future in the establishment and his likely next moves. He bitterly complained about the election that saw his unassuming rival Mahmood Ahmadinejad sweeping to power. At the same time, he refrained from lodging an official complaint for what he saw as "vote-rigging" and "vote-fixing", on the grounds that "the people who are supposed to deal with these violations are the same who have committed them". This, coming from someone who has been the main pillar of the Islamic Republic since its formation, and who still carry a lot of weight both on and off the scene, sounded ominous >>>

Beh tarhe Amrika "nah" begooeem

Oppose American designs on Iran
Abbas Shahidi

Let it go

It seems there are still a few among us who are determined to make the World Cup a miserable affair
Tahereh Aghdassifar

I realize that some Iranians do become a bit blinded by nationalism during these sorts of events, yes perhaps it's extreme to think we'd win the actual World Cup, but it is not outrageous to want to win one or two games! No one is being nationalistic when they are disappointed that their team lost a game, why is it that Iranians feel like they must attack each other every chance they get? Can we, please, for just this one occasion, pretend to be united? Here is an event that does not involve politics, culture, gender, ethnicity, religion or anything else Iranians use to divide themselves. Here is an event that only requires we support a group of athletes who want, probably more than we could imagine, to win a game of football >>>

The exceptions

We Iranians do help each other and understand that a strong community helps all of us but the good ones do not brag
Azam Nemati

I am always interested in reading articles when someone takes up an issue, which not only interests me, but most often I address in the circles I travel. Although Mr. Nouraeei's article "Take care of your own" has many valid points, as an Iranian I am offended that he is putting all of us in the same pool. That seems to be the norm every time I read an article about what is bad about "Iranians". Yes, I know that I have written about these issues as well but I am always fair enough to say what is good about us and point out the exceptions. Let's examine some of his comments. First of all not all Jews have money. Ironically, this morning coming from my Iranian dentist's office located in a beautiful shopping center in Palm Beach County where mega million dollar homes surround the area, I drove no more than 5 minutes east and sure enough the development well known in this area which only has Jewish residents was to my right >>>


A football pilgrimage

Photo essay: My adventure on the way to Nurenberg
Sasan Seifikar

Don't arrest me just because I'm beautiful

Scenes from Tehran's Golestan Mall
Ramon Kashkooli

The three girls walked into Golestan Mall. They were pretty, real pretty, tight jeans, tight smocks covering tight shirts with tight roosaris barely covering long beautiful hair. One stood out more than the other two, a spitting image of Charlize Theron. Charlize really is a brunette right? They walked and smiled and talked and giggled and glided gorgeously across the white shiny marble floor of the mall. Outside a white police car with the words "Ershad" (orthodoxy) pulled up to the curb. Out stepped a fat officer, gestapo styled cap cocked sleazily to a slight angle. He had a scowl on his face already. He waddled and followed the girls immediately. He pulled up behind them, quickened his pace until he was alongside them, and barked, "Khanoum Een Cheh Vaazesheh!" (Miss, What's all this then?) Charlize turned around, and said "What?" >>>


Go Go

Video & photo essay: A very cute and spoiled cat
Zi Kia

Being there

Part 13: Returning to Iran: 1986-87
Sima Nahan

As Sheikh Ishraq would have it, the community of arts and letters, for one, has transformed itself into a zoo of sorts in Iran. Were I to describe any one creature to any degree of accuracy, however, I would blow his or her cover. I cannot relate the opinion of a particular scholar, or the style of a poet, or the generic nuances of the latest work of a short-story writer, or the timbre of a singer's voice, or the background of any of them, without taking a risk at their expense. In a tightly knit community each one of them is well known. Let us just say that some of them are men, some women; some have work, others no longer do; some ancién régime, some "left," others neither; some with prison experience, some not; some hopeful, some in despair >>>

Only the blue remains unchanged

Who was it that came to rescue these slippery vowels from disgrace?
Parinaz Eleish

The glass is still half full

Kaveh L. Afrasiabi

Iran's loss to Mexico anguished the hearts of millions of Iranians, and I have followed with interest the huge deluge of negative commentaries on the internet and beyond about the poor performance of the Iranian team and while I agree with some of the criticisms, nonetheless I strongly think that the glass is still half full, rather than half empty, for the following reasons: First, for full seventy five minutes, Iran stood shoulder to shoulder with Mexico, which is, in fact, a semi-Brazilian team with some naturalized Brazilians on its roster. That was, quite honestly, gratifying and especially when you consider the fact that Iran played a superb first half and nearly scored during the first few minutes of the game, only to be denied by a superb dive by the Mexican goale keeper. Second, >>>

Remember 22nd of Khordad

Support Iranian women, condemn violence and arrests of peaceful activists

The peaceful women's rights protest demanding changes to family laws and legal discrimination against women, which took place between 5:00-6:00pm on June 12, 2006, in 7 th of Tir square, in Tehran, ended in extreme violence when police attacked the crowd with batons, and pepper gas. A large number of police and security forces arrived at the scene hours prior to the scheduled event in an effort to prevent the protest from taking shape. Despite this, it is estimated that several thousand protesters were dispersed throughout 7th of Tir Sqaure, which is one of the main squares of Tehran. The names of those arrested and released are unsubstantiated. But thus far, the following persons have been reported as arrested: >>>


New & Modern

Selections from "New Visual Culture of Modern Iran: Graphic design, Illustrations, Photography"
Reza Abedini and Hans Wolbers

Pink security forces

Siamack Baniameri

I'm a sucker for the way Iranian security forces handle dissidents. They actually have a gender-specific system. During gatherings by male activists, the male security forces and police beat, arrest and disperse the protesters. Recently, the Iranian women's sit-in on June 12th was broken up by club-wielding, pepper-spraying female security forces. I'm beginning to understand how it works and I can't wait for gatherings by gay, lesbian and transvestite dissidents.

Take care of your own

You want to know why Jews are stereotyped as having money and power? It's because they do. And you know what? More power to them
Kaveh Nouraee

From time to time, I read with great interest, the articles that claim to have the recipe for that magic all-curing chai, the one that will solve all of Iran's problems, whether political, social, cultural or whether a Bee Em Veh is better than a Benz. They have been written by both Iranians/Persians (I forgot what we are calling ourselves this week, I seem to have misplaced my "Pick My Identity" calendar) or by some busybody khareji, who has either been to Iran, heard of Iran, can locate it on a map, or just some jackass who ate chelokabab for the first time. This so-called intelligentsia always claim to have all the answers, when truth be told, they don't even understand the question. This recent article concerning how Iranian-Americans can learn from the example set by Jewish-Americans is especially nauseating. For no other reason except that it fails to address the single biggest problem in our culture--a total absence of personal accountability. Ask an Iranian what is accountability, and the answer will be, "Ven you can have checking account." >>>

Red hot pepper spray

Women's rights gathering in Tehran
Golbarg Bashi

This gathering occurred on the anniversary of a similar protest last year in front of Tehran University, when a group of Iranian women and men came together peacefully demanding a change in the rules and regulations specifically targeted against the civil and human rights of women in the Islamic Republic. This coalition of individuals, associations and NGOs that had attempted to put their “grievances and demands through civil disobedience” had formed “the largest independent women’s coalition to appear since the fall of the Shah”. The sit-in on 12th June 2006 had been widely advertised online and was a peaceful plea to the Iranian government to change its unequal gender laws. The principle demands were as follows: >>>

Waiting for a miracle

Kianosh Saadati

This Saturday, the match against Portugal is the judgment day for our team. A loss or even a draw will simply toss us out of the round of 16. This Saturday we will show the world how we have learned from our mistakes and whether we have tried to correct them or not. Many fellow Iranians might be upset with those who criticize the Iranian team in Germany. But the reality is there! The fact is that we should not be waiting for a miracle if we lose or draw it is better to pack up and the match against Angola will be a formality >>>

Bachehaa motshakereem!

On Iran's3-1 defeat to Mexico: I just want to thank the Iranian national team for making it to the world cup, and the opportunity to watch them represent Iran. Even though they lost to Mexico 3-1, I won't let myself belittle them or their effort in any way. This is because I realize I've done NOTHING for Iranian football or Iranian players. Therefeore, I expect nothing from them in return. However they play, it's more than we deserve >>> More letters



Fan fever

Photo essay: Iranian fans in Nurenberg
Nader Davoodi

Democratic criticism

Critique of American imperial designs IS NOT complicitous with theocratic tyranny
Eskandar Sadeghi

In his powerful and cogently argued essay Native Informers and the Making of the American Empire (Al-Ahram Weekly, 1 - 7 June 2006, Issue No. 797) Professor Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University has provided an exemplary paradigm of critical intelligence. His conclusions echo more or less what I've been trying to convince partisans of the late Shah (unfortunately the dominant constituency of my own family) for some time.   In a somewhat disconcerted tone he asks, 'How could one account for this politically expedited collective amnesia -- of manufacturing consent and discarding history at the speed of one major military operation every two years?' The vast majority of Iranian émigrés it seems to me suffer from the same ailment of collective amnesia which Professor Dabashi diagnoses here as characteristic of the American public >>>


We are not the team we all think we are
Saied Ardakani

Well Iran lost and I have been angry and frustrated for the past couple days. We went from being extremely happy and hopeful at half time to having our dreams crushed by 12:31. If I have learned anything from that game, it is that Iranians are so nationalistic that they put everything before reality.  What we Iranians have to accept is that Iran's team is actually one of the worst teams in this World Cup. We are not the soccer power we think we are, and ofcourse we can't beat teams like Mexico, Portugal, and yes, probably even Angola, when we have a hard time beating Asian teams >>>

Beating women

We are dealing with violent and dangerous animals
Lance Raheem

How and why we, the men of Iran, have stood by and done so little for our brave women while they have, for nearly three decades, been suffocating as second-class citizens boggles ones mind. Have we no honor, no courage? Have we forgotten our manhood? How is it that we have not stood against those that have stripped them of their rights as Iranians and their dignity as humans? How is it, that in silence, we have allowed them to be beaten, tortured, raped and killed without running to their defense? Why have they had to stand alone on the frontlines of their quest to be treated equally under the law? How is it that they became the courageous and we became the meek? Have we forgotten who we are? Have we forgotten who they are? They are the heart and soul of our country >>>


Blasts from the past

Updated photo essay: Unearthing half a century of underground revolutionary material
Jahanshah Javid

A beautiful plant or a man-eating monster?

An Islamic constitution
Tina Ehrami

I remember the first day I attended class at the Leiden University, Faculty of Social Sciences. The subject was " Introduction to Public Administration". The professor gave us such an inspiring and confronting task that even now, a year after graduating I still think back with admiration. He split the class in half and gave us the following mission: "Your airplane with passengers from different countries has crashed into a deserted island and with no hope of ever having contact with the outside world, you have to start a whole new society. Just how will you shape this? Will you create a government? What kind? What would be your constitution? What would you base your shared values on?" >>>


Color of tomorrow

Photo essay: Delivering donated art supplies for children in Tehran
Sadaf Kiani

When I arrived at the Center, and after unloading the art supplies, with the assistance of the children, I was introduced to the teacher, her name was Hiwa, who was an architecture student and volunteer art teacher. We had two memorable hours >>>

Snapshots of a day

"You sing a sad song just to turn it around"
Sara Darcy

I picked up the phone and called G's number ... two rings and the familiar message, "Thank you for calling ****. I'm sorry I'm unable to come to the phone at the moment, but if you leave your name and number, I shall get back to you as soon as possible". Same message I've been hearing for days now followed by the same six beeps and the same robotic voice saying "me-mo-ry full". God I hate that robotic voice, and I hate that stupid answering machine, and I hate the fact that he doesn't erase his damn messages ... granted, most of them are from me, which is probably why he keeps them there ... just so I can't leave him any more annoyed messages ... "G, it's me again ... I can't believe you're avoiding me like this ... can we please behave like adults and at least have one last conversation? Please call my mobile when you get this." >>>

Symbolic beheading

Daniel M Pourkesali

Dear editor at New York Times, June 9th op-ed commentary by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon is a laundry list of all the horrible things the terrorist mastermind Abu Musab Zaraqwi has committed... What offended this reader, and I'm sure score of others who are familiar with history, is the mocking of a very important iconic figure in this article: The ancient human-headed winged lion or lamassi which has been depicted as a headless lion with presumably scud missile wings, were guardians protecting important doorways to palaces of the great Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 B.C.) Your ridicule of this important historical symbol is an insult to humankind and the birthplace of our civilization in ancient Persia and Mesopotamia >>>


I'm just flat tired of getting disppointed every time our national team makes it to the World Cup
Shahriar Zahedi

"Oops they did it again." I said to myself after watching the disaster of a game the Iranians played against Mexico. Lasting for 70 minutes, they let themselves get humiliated in the last 20 minutes of the match. Mexico's second goal, which by the way, destroyed the morale of the Iranian squad, was scored in part, due to an Iranian defender's inability to stop the ball right outside of the 18-yard box. The Mexican side nimbly capitalized on the mistake and pushed the ball past the poor goalkeeper and caused the Mexican Nation to jump for joy. Good for them. This skill of stopping descending air balls under one's foot is something that succesive Iranian teams have been lacking for as long as I can remember. All other teams seem to know how to do it but not us. Our players need an area 2 meters in radius to bring air balls under control. I'm beginning to think it's something genetic and as such, can't be fixed >>>

Pointing the finger at the victim

The so-called “Clash of Civilizations”
Joshua Shahab Nouril

Instead of discussing real issues that upset Muslims as the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the West’s one-sidedness in support for the Israelis to the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, such scholars point the finger at the victim as to not put the blame where it should be, on themselves and the governments they support.  These theories thrive on racist sounding rhetoric which when looked at seems absurd that this is considered scholarly material. I work in a bookstore and one of the saddest things about this is that these books sell, and some look to Lewis in particular as being a professional when it comes to Islam.  This to me is like reading works by Islamic Fanatics to learn about the West, both rely on their stereotypes of the ‘other’ and push it as the truth >>>



Photo essay: Mexico destroys Iran
Jahanshah Javid

The cup that ran empty

Random observations on the Iran-Mexico match
Guive Mirfendereski

When the teams exchanged greetings I realized this Iranian team is a joke. Typically, before the start of the game the captains from the two teams exchange banners or pennants. The Mexican team offered the Iranian captain a normal, regular token. The Iranian guy, on the other hand,  presented to his Mexican counterpart a framed piece of Iranian tapestry -- a ghalicheh hazrat-e soleiman! Was more like it! I thought this presentation was over the top and therefore ludicrous. More offensive than this display of pos-e aly (hip appearance) was the picture of the Iranian player (No. 10) who from the time that he line up in the tunnel to the time that the teams lined up to play was holding the soccer ball in the palm of his left hand -- showing off in a manner more suited to a basketball player >>>

I accuse: Iran sucks!

Kianosh Saadati

A few days before the World Cup kick off I wrote on this site that we do not have to be overconfident and we need to evaluate each situation very carefully. Now after this 3-1 humiliating loss to Mexico I see how much I was right... Our strikers and half-backs were really disorganised in the second half. What really happened between the two halves? Is it not time to discharge Ali Daie and send him home to enjoy the rest of his life? There are some unconfirmed  reports indicating that our players had a very heavy and tight training session the night before the match. This is why they were looked so exhausted especially in the second half. Well, Branco has already been paid. He will depart from our team right after the tournament. We are the ones who have to care about ourselves. He doesn't care anymore >>>

Raaze Da Vinci

The Persian Da Vinci Code
Gharib Ghorbati


Talking at the TV

Photo essay: Thinking out loud while watching the opening World Cup match
For dAyi Hamid
Jahanshah Javid

Funny & musical

Reza Ghobadinic

I've just seen the "Happy Feet" movie link and I became happy actually (not because it is in the Anyway column though) because I am working in that movie. It is two years now that I have left Iran/Tehran and I am working in this movie as a Crowd Technical Director and unfortunately I am the only Iranian in this movie at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney. This movie is one of the 3 blockbusters of 2006 from Warner Brothers and I encourage everyone to see it. It is funny and musical. Thanks for putting a link to that movie. The official movie website is here.

I've got an idea

Siamack Baniameri

Two things all diehard football fans have in common are colossal testosterone and small IQs.  No other sporting event brings together a large group of jackasses like the World Cup. From British hooligans, Italian Mafia, Columbian drug lords to Brazilian gangsters, World Cup manages to bring together the idiots of the world. While 22 finely tuned athletes play the game, large numbers of drunken, out-of-shape, artery-clogged, high-school flunky wannabes (the diehards) rampage the streets, burn cars, and stab each other to death. Having said that, at the end of each World Cup match, I would like the fans to be allowed to go at it and beat the shit out of each other on the field. That would be awesome. Imagine the ratings. Wouldn't it be great to see eyes gouged, heads smashed on goal posts, kidneys rolling down the sideline and Molotov cocktails flying from one side to the other? Better yet, let's have the fans of the losing team chase the ref and behead him on the field, Taliban style. And all of it televised live to audiences around the world. Wouldn't that be great? Just an idea!

Not for us

A contrarian point of view on Iran's nuclear program
Karim Pakravan

Iran’s religious leaders' efforts to build a nuclear industry (and perhaps nuclear weapons) are taking it down a path of confrontation with the rest of the world which is guaranteed to increase the country’s isolation and contribute to the worsening of the economic pressure on Iran’s impoverished population.  I’m not just talking about the short-term potential or additional sanctions or even military action against Iran, rather taking a longer-term view. Let’s put knee-jerk nationalism aside for a moment.  Before we parrot the mullahs’ line in claiming that nuclear energy is our legal and God-given right, let’s try to think systematically about Iran’s nuclear ambitions in an objective framework, and examine the potential motivations for pursuing such a program >>>

Looking for a scapegoat

Iranian Azaris are just as much part of Iran as you
Saied Ardakani

Saeed is, in my opinion, one of those disillusional Persians who has been sucked into the Western view on history and doesn't know the history of his country as much as he thinks. I would like to make one thing clear to Saeed and all other Iranians of the Persian ethnic group, there has never been an empire or nation called Persia by Iranians. Iranians, including Persians, have always referred to their land as Iran or variations of that (Ariana, Arya, Iran Zameen, etc...). Saeed says he would support Azari seperation, but what he is actually saying is that he would support Persian seperation. He is one of the rare and few Persian sepratists, who sees everthing in terms of Persian and non-Persian. >>>

Mohammad Esfahani

Selections from "Barakat"
Azam Nemati

Mohammad Esfahani is one of the most admired artists who has reached fame beyond Iran. I liked his first album released a few years ago in which he sang the old and memorable songs. In this album his talent comes through and we can enjoy his beautiful and heartfelt voice. I like his choice of music and lyrics as well. I had received many requests to post this very talented artist and hope all music fans will be thrilled that despite the artistic limitations in Iran, we continue to see emerging artists who keep our musical heritage alive. Those are my kind of artists. This album was produced in Iran and includes one clip of the singer performing "Baa Tou" >>>


Young masters

Works of art by young students
Pantea Karimi

Teaching art to children is a fulfilling and enjoyable line of work for me as an artist. I interact with each student based on his/her interest, imagination and personal opinion. 2006, is the thirteenth-year of my teaching and I would like to share a part of my collection with you. The first collections are from my current students: Anthony Petros and Taleen Bogohssian, both six-years old and the rest of the paintings are from my students in England and Iran, which I chose randomly >>>

Through the desert

Excerpt from "Veiled Souls"
Katrin Kassiri & Reza Safarnejad

In 1976 Iran is a peaceful, prosperous and Westernized country. Katrin is an eight year old girl growing up in Northern Iran in a family who follows a minority religion known as the Bahai Religion. Katrin's seventeen year old sister, Nassrin, commits suicide when Katrin's father disapproves of Nassrin's relationship with Hossein who came from a Moslem family. As the family works through their grief, Iran's political situation destabilizes when various political factions such as pro-democracy students and Islamic fundamentalists vie to overthrow the government through a violent revolution. The bloody revolution is followed by a full-scale with Iraq, as Iran's government cracks down on the civil rights of its citizens and openly discriminates against Bahais. Katrin who sees no future for herself in Iran decides to leave for the United States, but she has to brave a trip through the desert of Eastern Iran into Pakistan with the aid of human traffickers >>>


Korean Mecca

Photo essay: A place Korean football fans call home
Aram Basseri

Soccer has become much more popular in Korea since the South Korean team reached the semifinals and defeated Poland, Portugal, Spain and Italy along the way in the 2002 World Cup finals, which were co-hosted by South Korea and Japan. Last week South Korea had a warm up match with Norway in the host country, which was broadcasted in Korea at 2:00 AM. Korean soccer fans known as Red Devils gathered front of city hall and streets close to the plaza to watch the televised game. Private companies competed to secure rights to access Seoul Plaza, in order to expose their brand image to large crowds gather for live broadcasts from Germany >>>

Lessons in success

Hopefully younger Iranian-Americans will try to emulate the success of their Jewish-American counterparts

I thought of what I'm about to write here after a brief conversation with a fellow Iranian-American. A young man in his late 20's who although was well educated surprised me with his comment that he was considering changing his name to a Jewish name. When I asked why -- he explained that in his field of work he deals with wealthy individuals and the Jewish people are more wealthy than other Americans. I asked him what about the overwhelmingly large percentage of Iranian-Americans who are also affluent. Just as I had expected he said he doesn't want to go after them because they don't want to work with Iranians!  Well after that exchange for some reason I got motivated to learn if in fact Jewish Americans do have most of the wealth in this country, and as I was doing my research I digressed into learning more about their success story especially after I came across  The Jewish Phenomenon: Seven Keys to the Enduring Wealth of a People >>>

You're from Iran, not Persia

Ara Ghandhari

Referring to yourself as Persian is great. I'm ridiculously proud of being Persian. But lets clarify something ... you are not from Persia, your ancestors were. In fact, most "Persians" are mutts. How many Persians do you know that are Tork, Kord, etc? Even if you are fully Fars, you are from the beautiful country of Iran. Be proud of that. I understand that many Persians, living in Iran or abroad, disagree with the present day regime in Iran. I am one of them. But many people all over the world are in disagreement with the political status of their country. Where should all Bush-hating Americans say they're from? Seriously, where? >>>

Yaashaasoon Azarbaijan

Or why should Azarbeijan secede and become independent

Our Iran has been under the yoke of the Turks for the past 900 years. We have suffered innumerous defeats against the Turks. They have been ruling brutally all these years. The only non-Turkic rulers in the past 900 years were Karim Khane Zand and the the Pahlavis. Turks have penetrated most of the Iranian society. More than half of active army and police are Turks. Simply because they are hard-working smart people. Hats off to them. Nevertheless, Turks are NOT Iranian. We were enemies in the Pre-Islamic era. Powerful Iranian armies kept them at bay during all this time. Only after the power vacuum created by the Arab invasion, did the Turks could move westward. It is interesting to note that Babak, the Azari National Hero, was tricked and captured by a Turkic Prince Afshin! >>>



These chicks ROCK! See them perform live in Washington DC on the 17th or the 22nd of June. They will also be performing in Sweden soon. Go to www.abjeez.com -- jj

Iran 2 - International Community (still) 0

Keeping score in the nuclear football between Iran and EU-US
Guive Mirfendereski

A week ago Iran scored yet another stupendous goal against the international community, and this Iran was not even at the table. When it rains, it pours, I guess. I am referring of course to the about-face on the part of the United States to get actively involved in the Iran nuclear negotiations. Why that is a victory for Iran is because the US involvement will drag out the process even more – which means that Iran will keep enriching uranium, split the atom, sew it back together, develop fusion reaction, build a bomb or two (may be three) until it is blue in the face from yellow cake. I will explain this a little further >>>


Wings of imagination

Paintings & drawings
Sirvan Kanani

Do not be overconfident!

Kianosh Saadati

On Sunday June 11th, millions of Iranian inside the country and abroad will be glued to their TV sets to watch Iran's first match vs Mexico. Undoubtedly, all Iranians including me want victory for Iranian football team. But some people over exaggerate Iran's situation in World Cup 2006. Many of us even in our personal lives are so confident and optimistic about the success in future that we forget to consider our knowledge and capabilities from an realistic point of view. Iranian team is a great football team  but like many other aspects of Iranian lifestyle, despite individual successes and achievements for its members, it is suffering from lack of coordination and cooperation. Simply we do not believe in each other. we do not want to accept that the Boss is Boss and every body assumes himself as his own boss! >>>

Team Melli VIP treatment

Siamack Baniameri

Every year, hundreds of European female collage students embark on a trip to Germany to participate in lucrative business of legal prostitution. A female collage student can earn up to 40,000 Euro in three months working in a brothel in any number of cities in Germany. With world Cup starting on Friday and the prospect of hundreds of horny hooligans roaming the streets, prostitution will be the number three money producer after lodging and food services... As a social experiment and for the sake of science, I would like to propose that we Iranians treat our national team to a night of VIP treatment in one of the finest German brothels just to validate my friend's theory. The worst that can happen is our boys will enter the stadium with a smile from ear to ear. What's wrong with that? >>>

We've had enough
Jethro Heiko

I am writing to share www.EnoughFear.org with you. This is a campaign to bring the voices of Iranians and Americans into a discussion that is being dominated by extremists on both sides and bringing us closer to the unthinkable: nuclear war. We've had enough. Enough posturing. Enough threats. Enough fear. Our campaign begins with individuals willing to stand up and say no. This website collects and displays photos of people from the US and Iran (and other countries) holding up a hand in the universal symbol for "stop!" These photos are the first step in what we hope will become an international campaign in which people from both sides will work together to prevent any attack. These are the people who will suffer if war breaks out. There is no time to lose. We look forward to a peaceful future.

Sex, love & football

I would rather watch the Iran-Mexico match with my man rather than David Beckham in the nude

My love of football and boys grew together.  I was a tomboy-- the kind mom starts getting worried about until the daughter in question begins developing boobs that declare her gender more loudly and brutally than any amount of socialization imposed by a life-time of frilly skirts and Barbie dolls. We all know that the World Cup comes around every four years.  Iran has only made it to the World Cup twice or maybe trice until now (I think the first time was under the Pahlavis so it will make it trice with this one included).  So this World Cup, especially the matches that Iran will play against Mexico, Portugal and Angola in Germany, is important to me both as an Iranian football fan and as the pleasure seeker who does not like to miss any occasion for merry making.  Napoleon, my increasingly beloved lover, is also a football fan >>>


Maanifeste Sevvom

The Third Manifesto
Akbar Ganji


Tendency to show the world that we make no mistakes and we work hard to be the best in what we do
Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani

Our great cultural heritage may be what we’re all about, but despite its many good qualities, there are also aspects that diminish our ability to function in a more democratic society. One such weakness is our fear of criticism, which in some cases is not far from a full-fledged phobia. I know someone who never tried any sports for fear he wouldn’t be good enough. What he really means to say is that he didn’t want any coach yelling at him when and if he fumbled. Indeed, as the saying goes, you can’t say to an Iranian, “There are eyebrows above your eyes!” While to the rest of mankind this may be an anatomical fact, to an Iranian it comes across as a clear insult, insinuating that we are not so perfect. This over-reaction to direct criticism is called anything from “pride” to arrogance to bruised ego, but the truth is we grew up thinking that mistakes are shameful. Many of us still believe this because as children, if we made mistakes we paid a heavy price >>>


Behbahani in New Jersey

Photo essay: Honoring dissident poet Simin Behbahani
Alireza Tarighian


Bruce Bahmani

Last Thursday the 2006 Scripps National Spelling Bee, the preeminent demonstration of juvenile intelligence in the US, concluded it's month long elimination of innocently obsessive children from all over the country. 13 year old Katherine Close won with her nervously correct spelling of "ursprache", which has somehow become an English word, along with "wehrmacht" and "lebensraum" and a few other uncomfortably reminiscent Nazi-era terms. This year also, there were several words of "Persian" origin in the competition. One that caught my ear immediately came up in the 8th round, the word "Nauruz". Or as I like to spell it NoRouz >>>

The Iranian dilemma

Why should anyone trust the USA?
Brian Appleton

Reza Pahlavi wonders why no foreign powers have given any serious support to democrats and dissidents within Iran for the past 27 years when so many people within Iran are not content. I think that the answer lies in the fact that too many trading partners like Japan, Italy, other EU countries, Russia and China are benefiting from the status quo and have too much at stake to want a regime change. That is also why I think, that as admirable and correct a notion, as Reza Pahlavi’s position is that Iranians must change their own regime and by non-violent means; I do not believe they will ever be left alone to do so... not until the day they have no more oil or the world economy becomes fueled by hydrogen >>>

My mom and dad

If I had to guess which one of them has influenced the other more over the years, I'd say, 'hands-down' my maman has influenced my dad more
Lance Raheem

My parents are very different from one another in a number of ways. My maman is pretty serious most of the time; she's sensitive about what others think of her; she has a hot temper when she's angry; she's the queen of making daily 'to-do' lists and she is a very proud and classy Iranian lady. From my earliest memory, she has always done her best to instill in me, and my sister before me, a deep respect, love and reverence for Iranian customs and traditions and for the Persian language. Unlike my maman, my dad has a laid-back personality and a quirky sense of humor. He doesn't anger easily and doesn't worry about what others think of him with the result that  few people have ever been able to hurt his feelings He sees himself as a "big picture" type of guy and it drives him crazy sometimes that my maman is so detail-oriented. Perhaps, the biggest difference between him and my maman is that he grew up about as far as a person can be from Iran -- a farm in small-town Texas >>>

Tehran 2006
Nasrin Sasanpour

I recently saw Iran after a twenty seven and half years hiatus. It was an exquisite trip and a beautiful experience. After all these years, I felt like I had never left... I saw Iran the first morning after my arrival when I came face to face with the magnificent Alborz mountains and its awe inspiring beautiful snow covered peaks. I saw Iran and its heritage through the handsome faces of old men; its culture through the wondrous monuments here and there. I witnessed Iran and its beauty through the eyes of its children; its momentum through the faces of its youth filled with energy and vibrancy. I saw Iran and its culture through the minute interactions between ordinary citizens. During my stay in Iran, I visited Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz. The following link is for Tehran 2006; there'll be links to the other two cities soon >>>


Blasts from the past

Photo essay: Unearthing half a century of underground revolutionary material
Jahanshah Javid

Rhetoric partly off, partly correct

On Daniel M. Pourkesali’s "Nothing but a PR ploy": It was very interesting to read Mr. Pourkesali’s, Nothing but a PR ploy.  This individual’s rhetoric is reminiscent of the hostage takers who seized the United States embassy in 1979.  I especially loved how he refers to the United States as a nation that has “arrogated itself outside the boundaries of international law”.  Perhaps Condoleezza Rice took lessons on international law from the Office of Strengthening Unity or President Ahmadinejad?  Perhaps we should not offer a fig leaf to Iran to attempt to work a diplomatic solution to the current situation >>> More letters


President A-Jad


Most Americans, from President Bush, to TV news anchors to the average Joe on the street, cannot pronounce Ahmadinejad. So, in the same tradition of calling Jennifer Lopez "J-Lo" or Alex Rodriguez "A-Rod", I recommend calling our beloved President "A-Jad". One of the in-vogue fashion icons can probably come up with a new cologne/scent for men called A-Jad, like "A-Jad... the smell of 4-day-old socks and dayold-sweat for the discriminating uber male".

The memory of World Cup '78

Kianosh Saadati

Twenty-eight years ago on days like these, almost all Iranians were extremely anxious about the first attendance of Iranian soccer (football) team in World Cup 1978 in Argentina. Although I was a grade-4 student on those days but I remember the excitement and soccer mania all over the country. A few months ahead of the revolution nothing was in the air except football. There was live broadcast of all matches on TV with professional commentators: Atta Behmanehs and Manook Khoda-Bakshian... Now after 28 years , we are not the same nation as we used to be, although Iran is in the tournament again and world cup fever is everywhere, but Iranians are not the same nation as they used to be. I have no doubt that many people including me are missing those happy days! Days which will never come back again because they have left us with devastation, uncertainty and concern about the future of Iran .But still a soccer mania nation manages to survive! A nation lost in time with an elusive memory! The memory of World Cup 1978 on its mind >>>

Bush is the next Reagan

Slater Bakhtavar

The same people who heavily criticized former President Reagan for his tough stance against Communism and for his aggressive push for democracy in Eastern Europe are now attacking President Bush for his tough stance against fundamentalism and his aggressive push for democracy in the Middle East: They argued then that Communism would never fall - it did. They argue now that Islamic Fundamentalism will never fall - it will >>>


Signed, sealed & delivered

Photo essay: Shirin Ebadi in London
Mehrdad Aref-Adib

Rhetoric partly off, partly correct

On Daniel M. Pourkesali’s "Nothing but a PR ploy": It was very interesting to read Mr. Pourkesali’s, Nothing but a PR ploy.  This individual’s rhetoric is reminiscent of the hostage takers who seized the United States embassy in 1979.  I especially loved how he refers to the United States as a nation that has “arrogated itself outside the boundaries of international law”.  Perhaps Condoleezza Rice took lessons on international law from the Office of Strengthening Unity or President Ahmadinejad?  Perhaps we should not offer a fig leaf to Iran to attempt to work a diplomatic solution to the current situation >>> More letters


Is this anything?

Iran’s response to the nuclear deal
Guive Mirfendereski

The nocturnal fare called Late Night with David Letterman often features a shtick called “Is this anything?” The curtain rises and a person or two perform an act or display something and then the curtain descends a few moments later. The host, Mr. Letterman, and his musical director, Paul Shafer, then engage in light banter in order to decide if what they just witnessed in actuality was “anything.” The choice is either “something” or “nothing.” The parody that the sketch embodies is typical of the theatre of the absurd and that is why I think the question that it poses is the most apt form of a query regarding the recent mis en scene in London, where the cast of La Comedie americaine mounted yet another farcical performance of the piece entitled The Iranian Follies >>>

Stopping the plague

Rejecting political Islam
Jahanshah Rashidian

Shortly after establishing their Islamists regimes, the IRI and late Taliban have used respectively Iran and Afghanistan to international bases of Islamist terrorism. Jihadist centers of recruitment and training have set up dreadful colons of killers. These are to consolidate the local dictatorship of Political Islam and to spread Islamist terrorism worldwide. The West still underestimated threats of political Islam. Today, the IRI remains as the main base of international terrorism. Political Islam has resulted worldwide in violence and acts of terrorism. Although some Western countries, under their public pressure, consider Political Islam a threat to their status as secular society, the irony is that they have not yet taken adequate measures to even prevent its growth in the Western societies. More and more various Islamist persons and groups are active in many Western societies, creating more problems for the international community >>>

Nothing but a PR ploy

Daniel M Pourkesali

Throughout history there are numerous examples where unrestrained power, whether held by a single individual or a state has led to belligerent and irresponsible behavior. Today the global community witnesses in the United States a nation that has arrogated itself into a position well outside the boundaries of international law where it does not recognize the rules, organizations, or norms that limit its interests or freedom of action - whether it is the Kyoto agreement, the International Criminal Court, the Geneva Convention, or the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty >>>

Earning the right to be free

Lack of cooperation
Payam Shahfari

The reason for our sufferings in the hands of imperialists and fundamentalists, and our endless struggles for democracy and human rights is the simple fact that we as a people lack the sense of cooperation and for that reason we have adopted the destructive sense of competition as the means to success and progress. Our thirst for jingoistic, religious, and patriotic ideologies and our simplest dissensions regarding these issues has deprived us from quenching the real thirst of truth and recognition of all of its necessary components for achieving a united and organized struggle towards freedom >>>


Flowers around the block

Photo essay: Neighborhood gardens
Jahanshah Javid

A bug invite... please bite

Larry Evans

This Invitation comes to you from the Mount Lebanon Lady Bugs Soccer Club of Pittsburgh, PA, USA. The Bugs have learned that they can do-it-all on the even playing field of sport and this healthy physical confidence has given rise to their maturing into the belief that they can strive to know-it-all on the somewhat uneven playing field of life. That is why on this Make-a-Difference Day, the Mount Lebanon Lady Bugs invite you to help them make some sense of this world by joining them in friendly sport and fundraising for a cause they became aware of during this year's World Cup -- Iranian women and girls NOT having the right to attend men's soccer games. The Bugs were surprised to learn about the female ban by Iran and they would like to peacefully confront that decision by playing a symbolic soccer game with an Iranian girls team without any restrictions on who can attend and with any charitable proceeds going to help promote girls soccer in Iran >>>


Iranian rock band in Germany
Tracks from "Bonbaste Andisheh"

Khak (XAK) is not a person or property. Khak (XAK) is a movement! Shahriar was born in Ahvaz (Iran's south province) in 1964. What does Khak mean? Khak is a Persian word and has a number of meanings such as: dirt, dust, earth, ground, soil, territory. When we chose the name, we had "soil" in mind but also a number of properties associated with the Persian word Khak such as purity and generosity >>>

Iranian anguish
par excellence

Fereydoun Foroughi passed away a while ago from heart break (degh marg). Present at his funeral were 10,000+ mourners, mostly younger than 25. Foroughi had not sung or been seen in public for 27. Foroughi was a piece of Iranian consciousness that is timeless and boundless. Few felt and expressed the Iranian anguish better than he did, and looks like another generation has discovered him.

Make fun of akhunds instead

On Elmira C's, "Che konim sag-haa haaremaan nakonand?": I have to thank Elmira C. It has been a long time that I am preaching the idea that our Iranian jokes are not jokes but insults. Jokes need to mature to reflect social dilemma of the Iranians. similar to many stand up comics in the U.S. Our jokes are disgusting and puts the Iranian citizens down rather than giving hope for unity. At this period, I think Iranians need to make more jokes about the religion, Iranian regime, and akhunds rather than put down their fellow country men. Elmira C has shown the true nature of jokes in Iran to the Persians that are too blind to see >>>


Looking at them

Afshin Nikravesh

Righting wrongs

Iranians need to heal the wounds of past religious and ethnic discrimination and offer to the discriminated groups greater rights
Ben Madadi

So, the Mohammad cartoon was not the only cartoon offending Muslim masses. Now there is also a cartoon offending Azeris. To complete the menu we need more cartoons, about a range of other sensitive issues that might upset Middle-Eastern peoples. Of course, this is just a joke! God forbid, anything that might cause violence is unwelcome. Look at the US where nowadays African-Americans have "discriminatory" treatment, which is called positive discrimination! In universities and many many other places, in the US and some other civilised countries previously discriminated ethnic or religious groups have privilege toward the Christian white. This is a sign of public maturity and national integrity. Because those ethnic and religious groups that have been discriminated before have, not equal, but even greater rights than the previously privileged groups. I salute this courageous act and I believe that any nation must do the same to right the previous wrongs >>>

Talking with the object of hate

There are strong reasons to believe that the change of heart on both Iran and the U.S. is tactical rather than strategic
Hossein Bagher Zadeh

The mere fact that the announcement by Secretary of State Rice, that the US government is willing to talk to the Iranian regime, was received around the world as great news is indicative of the enormity of the crisis between the two countries. Talking with enemies has always been the norm, rather than the exception, in international relations. In modern times the US has done it with most of its adversaries. Negotiation was almost a constant feature of US-North Vietnamese relations even at the height of their hostilities. Talk between the American government and Saddam’s regime in Iraq was going on and off for most of the time before both “Gulf Wars”. North Korea too, another fellow of Iranian regime in the President Bush’s trio of “axis of evil” is in long conversation with the US for many years. Fighting means that you oppose each other. But not talking – it amounts to hate >>>

We don't need old farts

We need young, charismatic and reckless leaders who can breathe fire into our hearts and strengthen our will
Arash Sayedi

Iranians have much respect for the older generations. A trait that is both a blessing and a curse. Blessing because a sea of knowledge and experience is given the value it deserves, and a curse because those experiences of yesterday are not always looked upon with an objective eye, and so distort our visions of tomorrow. Better to be done with it all I say and set foot boldly into the light of future than to remain haunted by visions of the past. Better to forgive and forget and start with a clean slate than hold onto age old prejudices and remain bitter and defeated as our fathers. For the task that remains ahead of us is a colossal one that cannot bare a moment's distraction >>>

Here we are

Capturing a new literature by Iranian women of the diaspora
Jasmin Darznik

A quarter century in the making, Iranian-American literature has reached its most vibrant and exciting phase ever. And at last we’ve got the book to prove it. Edited by Persis Karim, Let Me Tell You Where I Have Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora is the first anthology of writing by women of the Iranian diaspora. It contains over a hundred selections of poetry and prose by more than fifty writers. With humor, rage, eloquence, and compassion, its contributors give voice to what it means for Iranian women to live -- and write--in the West today >>>


Che konim sag-haa haaremaan nakonand?

In response to cartoon which sparked protests among Azaris
Elmira C

A bouquet of music

Farhad Bahrami

Last Saturday night, May 20th 2006, we were witness to a wonderful evening of classical guitar music from around the world, performed by Lily Afshar. As maestro Andre Segovia had predicted, Lily Afshar is one of the top players in the world today. Not even considering her doctorate in guitar performance, Dr. Afshar’s credentials are seriously impressive: perfect technique and execution, beautiful tone, depth of feeling, and a genuinely graceful stage presentation. Her choice of material was exquisite, with familiar and exotic pieces - like flowers - creating a lovely bouquet of music >>>

Behazin e maa ham raft

Prominent author Mahmoud Etemazdzadeh, better known as "Behazin", has died
Soheil Asefi

Give them all a Mercedes

Iranian Football needs a little helping hand
Anahita Mansoori

I have just finished watching the impressive comeback of Iran from a 0-2 start to a 5-2 win in Tehran's Azadi Stadium against Bosnia and after this and the pretty okay start against Croatia in the friendlies I think I and many other Iranians worldwide are really looking forward to the real matches. This is the stuff of dreams, and echoes those brilliant teams which historically have come back from defeat like the legendary Phoenix from the flames. Here I come with a suggestion. And I hope that someone can action it somehow. As you may be aware most of Team Melli's players are based in Iranian teams and the more talented few that have been spotted (and arguably the better players) have been whisked off to European teams and (hopefully) enjoy the lifestyles and luxuries afforded by playing in high level football leagues that goes with it. I guess this could be seen as an incentive for all the players to show their skills as best they can as it's the perfect stage for self promotion in reality >>>

Change NOW

We need to dismantle sexual apartheid in Iran
Azar Majedi

I am not talking about Muslims. I really want to emphasize and clarify this point. I am not talking about Muslims. I am not disrespecting Muslims for believing in whatever they want to believe. And I do not believe that the mere force of believing in an ideology or religion make you commit such murders no matter how violent those values you believe in are. There has to be another organisation that takes these values, religion, and ideas and puts them into force and creates a sophisticated machinery of suppression. That is why I am saying it is a political fight. We have to look more deeply and question the arguments that try to portray these serial killings as results of mere religious belief. In fact there is a political force that transforms these religious beliefs into such a force of suppression, terror, maiming, discrimination, and torture at the end of the 20th century, a force capable of intimidating the whole world >>>

Sholehaaye ghiyaam

Ethnic protests underline demands for democracy
Ali Salari


Walking on a beautiful life

Photo essay: Sidewalk chalk art
Jahanshah Javid

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