By Massud Alemi
A flabby, middle-aged neighborhood matron by the name of Batul Khanoum
was having a great time preparing to barbecue a pile of skewered kebabs
for dinner. Her facial hair suggested a certain masculinity that could
not be ignored. We had circled about her, dying to hear the nitty-gritty
details of Zarry's big secret.
"It all began when she was in the twelfth grade, you see,"
Batul Khanoum said, while fanning the embers. "Their next door neighbor,
Bijan, fell in love with her, you know. It may have started even before
that. Perhaps they had had something going for some time already. Who knows?
Anyway, he used to send her love-letters."
Batul Khanoum looked to her right and left to make sure there were no
spies, and continued conspiratorially, "He wrapped them around a rock
and threw them in her room by way of a window she left open. This is fifteen,
sixteen years ago, now."
A collective gasp went up around her, and she went on: "One night
when the Mokris were visiting, there was an enormous thunderstorm. Blackout.
Jafar insisted that his guests stay overnight and go home in the morning.
Mokri and his wife slept in Zarry's bedroom, while the children slept on
the first floor. But this time the window in Zarry's bedroom was closed."...
GO TO FEATURE
Revealing an Iran Where the Chadors Are Most Chic
By GODFREY CHESHIRE
November 8, 1998
The New York Times
IN the sweepstakes for the title Most Interesting and Accomplished Filmmaker
the United States Has Never Heard Of, Dariush Mehrjui has certain obvious
advantages. While still in his 20's, the Iranian director made "The
Cow" (1969), a film so powerful that it not only was credited with
launching Iran's modern cinema but also, a decade later, made a fan of
the Ayatollah Khomeini and thus helped assure that country's cinema of
having a post-Revolutionary phase. Cosmopolitan and ever-controversial,
Mr. Mehrjui has had films banned by the Shah's regime and the Islamic Republic,
and almost surely is the only filmmaker reared a devout Muslim who counts
the novelists J. D. Salinger and Saul Bellow as major influences on his
work. He's even made a film of Mr. Salinger's "Franny and Zooey,"
called "Pari," set in contemporary Iran.
That film, and a retrospective of eight other movies by Dariush Mehrjui,
will be shown starting on Friday, when the Film Society of Lincoln Center
begins a three-week series on Iranian film.
While the extent of Mr. Mehrjui's career may come as news to American
cinephiles, his importance is universally recognized in Iran. In 1997,
when the respected Iranian journal Film Monthly polled its readers and
critics, the results showed that the readers regarded Mr. Mehrjui's "Hamoon,"
a dark satire of modern Iran, as the best Iranian film in history, ahead
of such internationally acclaimed works as Abbas Kiarostami's "Through
the Olive Trees" and Mohsen Makhmalbaf's "Gabbeh." The critics,
meanwhile, ranked Mr. Mehrjui higher in importance than Mr. Kiarostami
and Mr. Makhmalbaf, and cited "Hamoon" as more significant than
any of their films... FULL TEXT
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* Deep Dish
Ali Naderzad writes: Did you know that one of two of the biggest producers
of electronic music are Iranian? The Maryland-based "Deep Dish"
is the creation of Ali Shiraznia and Shahram Tayebi. Together they have
been producing their own brand of house music (dark, at times trancey)
for over five years, and have quickly grown to become the most sought-after
producers in the world, cutting up remixes for the likes of "Everything
But the Girl" and Janet Jackson. As DJs they circle the globe and
are literally worshipped like heroes in the UK, by far their biggest fan
base, and by now their home away from home... FULL
* Dance: "Moving concepts"
Shahrzad Dance Academy Presents:
M o v i n g C o n c e p t s
Expression through dance and music Shahrzad Dance Academy (SDA) is a
non-profit organization dedicated to bringing exposure to various cultures
through dance and music, with a focus on Classical Persian dance. The company
has been experimenting with "fusion" and "conceptual dancing"
for the last 3 years. SDA is proud to present its first experimental dance
concert involving Persian fusion and expressive, conceptual choreography,
with a touch of classical Persian style of movement and music.
November 13 & 14; 8 PM; Darvag Theater, Best Printing 3280 Adeline
St @ Alcatraz in Berkeley. Tickets $15 Adult/ $12 kids 12 & under.
Book of the Week
A Persian Requiem
By Simin Daneshvar
Translated by Roxane Zand
The first published novel by an Iranian woman and one of
the most widely read novels in Iran.
Click here to read about this book
New! Books on Rumi
Internship: Christine Mirzayan Memorial
The National Academy of Sciences has established the Christine
Mirzayan Memorial Fund to celebrate Christine's love of life, enthusiasm
for science, intelligence and high aspirations for contributing to human
welfare. Mirzayan, a highly regarded 28-year-old biologist was raped and
murdered in a Washington DC's Georgetown last August 1... FULL TEXT
Cash-starved Iran asks West for $3 bln
TEHRAN, Nov 11 (Reuters) - The Iranian government,
beset by doggedly low oil prices and mounting debt, is negotiating with
creditors in Japan, Germany and Italy for $3 billion in bridge loans to
stave off a default on debt payments. ``They need to get that $3 billion
as soon as possible,'' said an analyst close to the debt talks. ``If these
three countries cannot help them, then they may have to declare bankruptcy.''
... FULL TEXT
Iran official wants black forex market
TEHRAN, Nov 11 (Reuters) - A senior Iranian
official called on Wednesday for a clampdown on Iran's black money market
to stop a plunge in the value of the rial which has fallen to record lows
this week, state media reported. ``To prevent all instability in foreign
exchange rates, the contraband exchange market must be eliminated from the
country's economy,'' said Deputy Economy and Finance Minister Morteza Qarabaqian,
quoted by Iranian television... FULL TEXT
Taleban ask Iran to stop returning Afghan
ISLAMABAD, Nov 11 (Reuters) - The Taleban
militia asked Iran on Wednesday to stop sending Afghan refugees back and
urged the United Nations to provide food and shelter for those who had arrived
in Afghanistan, an Afghan news service reported. The Pakistan-based Afghan
Islamic Press quoted Taleban spokesman Wakil Ahmed as saying that thousands
of Afghan refugees in neighbouring Iran were being sent back... FULL TEXT
Islamic militants to be allowed greater
say in Iran universities
Nov 11 (AFP) -Iran's conservative-dominated parliament approved a controversial
law on Wednesday allowing Islamic militia and militant activists to play
a more active role in universities. The law in principle allows the militia,
a voluntary force of Islamic loyalists, to "reinforce their presence"
in universities and regulate cultural activities... FULL TEXT
Lack of exercise threatens Iranian girls'
Nov 11 (AFP) -The health of Iranian schoolgirls is under threat from a lack
of physical exercise, an education ministry official warned Wenesday. Muhammad
Reza Pahlevan, head of the ministry's physical education department, said
the country's approximately 9.5 million schoolgirls are suffering from an
increase in "physical lethargy" because of a paucity of sporting
activities in schools ... FULL TEXT
Mahdavi-Kia exempted from military duty
Nov 11 (AFP) -An Iranian footballer, Mehdi Mahdavi-Kia, has been exempted
from military service for scoring a goal in a World Cup match against the
United States, a newspaper reported Wednesday ... FULL TEXT
Women chess players
Tehran, (HAMSHAHRI) - After recent world championships,
Iranian women chess players have improved their world ranking (from 59th
to 56th) ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN
dollar now offered at up to 705-710 tomans
Source: Sehaty Exchange (U.S.) Tel: 602-595-0777
& Economic Ettela'at
Ettela'at newspaper's monthly magazine. In Persian, PDF
Floyd: The early years
Stories written by one of their original fans
Baraaye yek dastmaal, qeysariyeh raa aatash nemeezanand.
(Burn not the house to turn the mouse away.)
From Simin Habibian's "1001 Persian-English Proverbs"
Photo of the Day
Musician of the Week
Six more classic hits