Twenty Years of Silence

The 1988 prisoner massacre

22-Jul-2008 (68 comments)
This summer, thousands of bereaved families will defy the Iranian government and gather at the mass graves in Tehran’s Khavaran cemetery to mark the twentieth anniversary of the 1988 massacre of Iranian political prisoners. If you have forgotten this grim anniversary, then you are not alone. In fact, you are not alone if you did not even know that such a massacre ever occurred. In scale and brutality, the 1988 massacre is unparalleled in contemporary Iranian history. It is the darkest irony of this very dark episode, that of all its human rights violations the Iranian government has been most successful at keeping the 1988 killings a secret from the international community and from many Iranians>>>


Inspiring & Empowering

PAAIA aspiring to live up to our full potential

21-Jul-2008 (4 comments)
On July 17, 2008, posted an item entitled “Hopes and Concerns,” signed by Soudabeh Bashirrad (which may be a pseudonym). The article generally welcomes the formation of Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), admires it for having brought together Iranian Americans of diverse views, and praises PAAIA for taking steps to serve the community. We applaud the author for acknowledging PAAIA’s significant accomplishments during its short history. Unfortunately, the article also contains statements that, at best, reflect serious misperceptions and factual inaccuracies. The “questions” asked about PAAIA may essentially be divided into three categories>>>


Islam, Nationalism and Democracy

V. S. Naipaul's excursion among the non-Arab Moslems

21-Jul-2008 (2 comments)
Islam, like any other religion, has to wear the national dress of the people in order to enter a new land. The strict fundamentalists see only the religious dogmas and try to suppress the expression of any cultural nuances within the religious form. But life gradually removes their illusions and covers the religious dogmas with local colors. It seems that V. S. Naipaul, in his trip, was mostly surrounded by Islamic fundamentalists, especially the Wahhabi type. He takes the Wahhabi's approach toward Islam and extends it to all islamic factions. In Afghanistan, the Taleban destroyed the twin Buddha on Bamian rocks, but the Zoroastrian fire temples in Iran, and the holy Buddhist sites in Indonesia, still stand and resist religious conformity. >>>


Hopes & concerns

Several questions and concerns must be put to rest for PAAIA to live up to its full potential

17-Jul-2008 (19 comments)
The founding of PAAIA, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian-Americans, is in many ways a milestone for the Iranian-American community. Seldom have Iranian-Americans of such diverse backgrounds come together and invested in an organization. For that alone, the organization should be applauded. Yet, in many ways, PAAIA has also been a major disappointment. Its less than open nature, its unwillingness to clarify its positions and reluctance to shed light on its decision making processes have left many potential Iranian-American supporters like myself skeptical. >>>


Zinn in Jail

A short story about scuffle between famed peace activist and reactionary media

14-Jul-2008 (3 comments)
I first learned of Howard Zinn’s arrest by noticing his photo in Boston Globe’s front page, next to the headline: famed historian, activist jailed for punching a man -- and knowing Howard’s life-time credential as a non-violent civil rights leader, I was naturally curious, to say the least, actually down right skeptical, and then, when I read the news story and discovered that the “victim” was a "distinguished" member of right-wing Fox TV, I allowed my suspicion a couple of notches down yet sufficiently in gear to warrant a healthy doubt about the veracity of the story – that Zinn had “attacked” him after a heated, accidental, exchange over wars in the Middle East. >>>



ایرن ملکه برفهای ذهن من است. سرد است ولی گاهی هم با همان سرما مهربان می شود. به قول حافظ "عشق سرد"ی دارد

تا چشمم به او می افتد عقب عقب می روم و در جستجوی راه نجاتی هستم ولی فایده ای ندارد امروز با هم در یک طبقه و در یک محل هستیم و بایست کنار هم کار کنیم. یعنی خبر ندارد؟ خبر دارد؟ مگر می شود بی خبر باشد؟ ایرن مثل همیشه، مثل ملکه دانمارک پشت صندلی نشسته و مثل هر روز که روزنامه لوموند را از صفحه اول تا صفحه آخر می خواند، الان دارد کتابی را می خواند. یعنی او هنوز خبر ندارد که متعصبان مذهبی به خاطر چند تا کاریکاتور سفارت دانمارک در تهران را اشغال کرده اند؟ حالا من چکار کنم؟ بالاخره دل به دریا می زنم و بی خیال -انگار نه انگار - یک سلام می گویم و فوری پشت آن یکی میز می نشینم. همانطور که دارد کتاب می‌خواند با سر جوابم را می دهد. >>>


Not funny

McCain’s insensitive Iran remark

10-Jul-2008 (47 comments)
Presidential candidate Senator John McCain, in response to a question about a survey showing increased U.S. exports to Iran -- mostly of cigarettes -- replied by saying, "Maybe that's a way of killing them." Despite his initial backpedaling by saying "I meant that as a joke," Senator McCain's comment is unacceptable and very troubling for the Iranian-American community. As one of the most well-educated and affluent immigrant populations in the United States, the Iranian-American community is proud of its contributions to American culture. Unfortunately, Senator McCain overlooked this attribute when he made this statement, and NIAC has expressed its concerns through a letter sent to the McCain campaign Wednesday>>>


Going down the tube

"I fear we will lose our country” to policies implemented by a group of self-conscious imperialists

10-Jul-2008 (8 comments)
Chalmers Johnson writes: “Most Americans do not recognize-or do not want to recognize-that the United States dominates the world through its military power. Due to government secrecy, they are often ignorant of the fact that their government garrisons the globe. They do not realize that a vast network of American military bases on every continent constitutes a new form of empire... Our country deploys well over half a million soldiers, spies, technicians, teachers, … in other nations… . Whole sectors of the American economy have come to rely on the military for sales.” >>>


در باب نشئه پرانی

هی شاخ و شانه بکشید تا بیایند بزنند کونتان را پاره کنند و آنوقت دوباره عزاداری راه بیاندازید

09-Jul-2008 (29 comments)
در عالم هپروت بودم که شبکه خبری سی-ان-ان اعلام کرد و نشان داد که ایران مجدداً چند تا از آن موشکهای دونبش را هوا کرده و یک دسته خر به این گنده گی از زمین بلند میشه و مثل علی ورجه دور خودش میچرخه و چه بسا صد متر آنطرف ترتلپی میافته روی زمین و بادش در میره! اونا که بقیه ویدیورو نشون نمیدن که آخه این موشک آخرش کجا میافته و ما باید هی مجسم کنیم که این موشک حالا حالا ها داره میره، خوب همین هم خودش یک تفریحی است ودر افکارمان از روی لرستان پرواز میکنیم، سفری هم از بالا روی نجف اشرف میکنیم وزیارت اهل قبور و بطرف اسرائیل میرویم وسواحل مدیترانه را مفتی میبینیم، تا حدودی هم مسکن و خواب آورست و حالا اگر عَرَق نکنیم و تبمان نبرد، لااقل عِرق ملی مان بجریان میافتد و کم کم بخواب شیرینی فرو میرویم. >>>


 ای بخارا، شادزی!

آفتابه ی طلا در خدمت امیر، باعث "بسط" و گشایش در کارها می شود

08-Jul-2008 (2 comments)
حضرت امیر نصربن سامانی در "زایشگاه" نشسته و دارد زور می زند تا "تولید مثل" کند. در همین لحظه چشمش به آفتابه ی طلای پیش رویش می افتد. متوجه شعری حک شده روی آفتابه می شود. ناگهان خم می شود تا نوشته را بخواند، همین خم شدن باعث فشار روی عضلات شکم امیر می شود و حضرت در لحظه، "فارغ" می شود. همین امر باعث مسرت خاطر امیر می شود. دنبال اسم شاعر می گردد، اما این بی ذوقان "دستمالچی"، نام شاعر را روی آفتابه ننوشته اند. امیر از همانجا یکی از خدمه را صدا می زند و امر می کند تا برود و نام شاعر را بپرسد. آن بنده ی خدا هم سراسیمه به خدمت وزیر و وکیل می رود تا بالاخره نام شاعر "شعر آفتابه ی طلا" را پیدا می کند و فوری به خدمت امیر می رسد و نام را به سمع مبارک می رساند.>>>


Holyland divided

Holyland divided

Photo essay: Old Jerusalem and beyond

by Mahin Bahrami
07-Jul-2008 (50 comments)



Old Jerusalem and beyond

It was difficult to ignore the deafening silence of an eerie quiet civil war

07-Jul-2008 (5 comments)
When I first entered through one of the city gates into Old Jerusalem I found myself squeezed amongst hundreds of people each holding an unlit candle, politely pushing and shoving each other to get to a particular spot in The City. With great difficulty I managed to squeeze my way through the narrow walkways and escaped through an opening where I encountered hundreds more waiting eagerly for something spectacular to happen. With a big question mark dangling over my head I surveyed the crowd looking for clues. After a few queries my ignorance of the reason for the public congregation was quickly abolished. The upcoming event was related to the day of the week>>>


Drums of peace

Drums of peace

Photo essay: Iranian and Israeli musicians in Prague bridge their countries

by Nima Tamaddon
06-Jul-2008 (7 comments)



Making music, not war

Iranian and Israeli musicians in Prague bridge their countries

06-Jul-2008 (one comment)
On Saturday, June 28, when the fear of looming war against Iran was on the rise, here, in Prague, Iranian and Israeli musicians came together to perform in a warm and memorable concert in a prestigious and the oldest Czech world music festival, Respect, in a Woodstockesque flavor and atmosphere. Saeed Shanbehzadeh, a maestro of Ney-Anban (or as we call it in southern Iran: Ney-Anbooneh), after an hour of playing Bushehri ethnic music together with his 15 year old son Nagheeb, a very skilled drummer and percussionist, invited two Israeli percussionists participating in the festival to join them and let the people listen to an improvisation>>>


The place to be

Discussing essential needs of Iranian women today

02-Jul-2008 (8 comments)

“Dad, would you rather I were a boy?” The first time my daughter asked me that she was in her teens, arguing for easier curfews and a more liberal attitude towards boyfriends. What she was really asking was, “Why is my worth as a human being disproportionately tied up in my chastity?” As I browse the program for the 19th international conference of the Iranian Women’s Studies Foundation, I see that some of the lectures and panels pose same question from different angles. For example, Sharareh Shahrokhi’s lecture topic will be, "The right to choose what to wear: an essential need for an Iranian woman or a superfluous one?"