I am a Spartan and Proud, Mostly!

I feel closest to and consider myself a follower of Sparta

22-May-2008 (5 comments)
I came to the Netherlands with my wife, Kirsten, in 2000. Even before I came here, I was looking forward to going to football matches and watching a lot of football. Here in Rotterdam where I have settled, there are three professional football teams that play in the Dutch first division (Eredivisie). The most well-known of these is Feyenoord which is one of the three top clubs along with Ajax of Amsterdam and PSV from Eindhoven. Then there is Sparta and Excelsior. Since I have been here, I have on many occasions seen all three Rotterdam teams play in their home stadiums. I have also had season cards and followed closely Sparta for three years and Excelsior for a year>>>


The Summer Squeeze

I’m going to focus on light and refreshing meals and snacks

21-May-2008 (14 comments)
In a vain attempt to get in shape for summer…(and not just summer, I may add) I have shocked my loved ones and done what I promised I would never do. I have gone on a diet. I always believed that if you eat sensibly and make small sacrifices (swapping butter for olive spread, swapping white rice and bread for brown and white potatoes for sweet potatoes etc…) you would manage to strike a balance between ying and yang and create equilibrium in your diet. Indeed this is still true… But for example how do you deal with break-ups or job stress and the like? Well a lot of us are emotional eaters and I would also fall into this category…>>>


Uncle Scrooge & Iran's crown Jewels

Uncle Scrooge & Iran's crown Jewels

Classic 1961 Comic Book

by Darius Kadivar



I Witnessed Two Murders

I saw it with my own eyes a man being killed

19-May-2008 (6 comments)
It was two in the morning and I was the last customer left in the bar. I decided it was time to leave and head home. Since my car was parked in the rear of the building, I decided to exit from the back door and use the alleyway as a shortcut. It was very dark out there except for the full moon that gave a silvery hue to everything it touched. As I walked toward the main road, I heard a faint cry coming from somewhere to my left. I was afraid to get involved but my inborn curiosity was too strong to overcome. Very quietly I headed toward the sound>>>


Reaching out to the neglected

Reaching out to the neglected

Photo essay: Children of Persia event for street and working children in Iran

by Negar Assari-Samimi



My Very First Bus Ride

I was so excited that I was jumping up and down like a monkey

14-May-2008 (2 comments)
Among the students in my elementary school, there were many whose family could not afford to have an automobile. Therefore, they did not have the privilege of riding in one. Unluckily, I was one of them. For the kids like me, riding in a car was a luxury that existed only in our dreams, waiting to become a reality. A very few kids whose families had an automobile often made us envious by telling us stories about the pleasure of their joyrides. In those days, of course, there was no sign of Paykan, Peugeot, Patrol, or Pride, especially in smaller cities. Only horse-driven carriages served as the primary means of public transportation. The ones powered by two horses were equivalent to the deluxe models>>>


Dream of becoming

Should I wake from this nostalgic dream into the nightmare of living?

10-May-2008 (14 comments)
It is dark. Lying under my bed, touching the thick harsh wooden board that holds the mattress, touching the cold metallic bed frame, listening to the drum-like sound of artilleries aimed at invisible enemies. The darkness of night blankets the absurdity of the situation, and still knowing that does not help me to calm down. I lower my hands to the ground, pressing the floor, hard, as if I am trying to dissolve into it, to transform into cold grey vapor--smoke and ashes. My body, my fingers, my back, feel numb, but still not as numb I dream of becoming>>>


Do you feel it?

Almost 100 signs of getting older

09-May-2008 (6 comments)
When I look intently at my black and white picture on my high school diploma, I realize how the passage of time has taken its toll on me. I remember when I was a kid, any time I did something nice for older people; they wished me to get old, elahi peer beshi. Now, that prayer has been almost answered and I am getting older. But believe me it is not much fun to get old. An aged man is like an old car, out of warranty with not much horse power, going up the hill and breathing rapidly but hardly. The pace of life becomes slower and slower with age. The only thing that is easier to do when you are older is waiting>>>


The heart of the matter

Dalia Sofer’s "The Septembers of Shiraz"

01-May-2008 (2 comments)
In a publishing world where a majority of manuscripts are printed exclusively for the benefit of marketplace, it is uncommon to find the work of a new author in print simply on its own merit and because it was too good to reject. The Septembers of Shiraz is such a book. Not only is it written from the heart, but also the soft touch in Dalia Sofer’s style is a rare gift to readers who crave good literary work. True as it may be that the title could have been more relevant – as noted by several critics – by the time I realized this I was pulled so deeply into the story that I no longer cared. Ironically, the misleading title works to the book’s advantage because I doubt I would have picked it off the shelf if the title were Septembers at Evin, or any other that might have revealed its plot >>>


Based on an Old Persian anecdote

01-May-2008 (2 comments)
“Have you met our new neighbors?” Bob asked his wife.
“Not yet. They just moved in a couple of days ago. After they settle in we should go and meet them.” She responded.
“Where are they from?” He asked.
“They look Middle Eastern to me. But their two girls were probably born here. They speak perfect English. They were talking to April the other day. They got along well.” She commented. >>>


Shooting for fun

Shooting for fun

Photo essay: Iranian photographers

by Safa Daneshvar
28-Apr-2008 (3 comments)



Joy vs. suffering

The two dominant cultures in the Middle East

25-Apr-2008 (5 comments)
I wish to start this article by first making sure readers fully understand what culture is and can fully distinguish nations, races, tribes, ethnicities, etc….. from cultures. Culture is generally defined as the “Pattern of Human Activity” or as they say here in America the “Way of Life”. It is important to know that several cultures can co-exist within the same country or amongst the same race or ethnical group, even if those cultures are in conflict in many aspects, as long as all follow the same established civil rules>>>



آنچه در زیر می‌‌‌‌‌آید "شعر" نیست

24-Apr-2008 (10 comments)
"من شعر نمی‌نویسم: واقعیت‌ها را می‌نویسم". روژه‌ویچ می گفت. روژه‌ویچ آزرده و عاصی. ۱۹۶۹. تقریبن چهل سال گذشته است و این حرف او هنوز طنین سنگینی دارد. در جهان مصنوع ما، جایی که هر چیزی بر صحنه‌‌ای آراسته می‌شود تا "واقعی" جلوه کند، مردم به ناظران بی‌تفاوت و ناتوان واقعیت فروکاسته‌اند. بمباران اطلاعاتی و تسلط تکنولوژی بر بیشترعرصه‌های زندگی اجتماعی (ماشین مَجاز‌سازی) کمتر رمقی برای درگیری رگی و خونی با واقعیت باقی گذاشته است. در این جهان بازگشت به واقعیت شرط اساسی بازگشت به خویشتن و در نهایت کشف دوباره‌ی شعر است. >>>



Short story

“Would you like another one?” The man sitting at the bar offered the woman next to him.
“Are you trying to get me drunk?” Uma replied in a seductive tone while playing with the empty glass in her hand.
“I enjoy your company. I like to prolong our exciting conversation.” He responded.
“I have every reason to be skeptical of your intentions.” She sneered.
“That’s because you’re cynical. I like that in a woman.” >>>


 Saving the Death

In her half sleep Mary sees the earth open and a hand grabs her

18-Apr-2008 (3 comments)
Mary secretly moves her air mattress and blanket to the Red Cross tent, where the corpses are laid out in plastic bags. Since there is no running water to give them a proper Islamic wash, someone will come tomorrow to give them ablution by earth before they are buried in a mass grave. She sets her cot by the opening of the tent and lies with her back to the dead; It is better to breathe the freezing air of the desert winter, than the odour of decaying bodies. Two corpses—a young woman and a young man partly wrapped in white cotton sheets—share a plastic bag as if asleep side by side. Mary feels a pang in her breast and gasps.>>>