Sean Penn's Last Frontier

Hollywood's Angry Man signs a desperate tribute to a real life quest for freedom and happiness

03-Feb-2008 (2 comments)
The very first film I ever saw with Hollywood's angry man Sean Penn goes back to some 20 years ago in unusual circumstances. I had to reluctantly do my military service in France and during a three day long selection process during which I had to pass several I.Q. and medical exams to judge if I was apt for a year long stay in Army barracks and for all sorts of maneuvers in the cold snow covered hills of Eastern France. Now some 20 years later I get to meet the real guy at the screening of a film Into the Wild in which he did not act but directed >>>


The quiet side of Pop

The music of Barzin (Part 1)

30-Jan-2008 (7 comments)
I discovered Barzin a few months ago when I was browsing the Internet. Barzin was supposed to open for Kiosk in Toronto and yet, I had never heard of him. I quickly Googled his name and found his web site. Lucky me, I found a few full-length mp3 files from his music there to listern to. I think the first few notes did it for me. I was rather surprised at the fact that an Iranian act would create music in the same style as bands such as Wilco, Mazzy Star, or even Radiohead. The next thing that surprised me was his smooth Canadian/American/English accent, to the point that I first had doubts about him being Iranian>>>


iHelp iPhones

iHelp iPhones

Saeid Ghaffari's "It's About Time to learn iPhone"

by Jahanshah Javid
29-Jan-2008 (2 comments)



Brightest star

We all knew and loved Heath Ledger

25-Jan-2008 (8 comments)
I mourn his loss. There are some people who believe an actor's death should not be front-page news when there are soldiers and civilians who are dying in faraway lands for greater causes. I don't know a single soldier or a single dead civilian. I do know a lot about war. I've read about it. I've written twenty page papers on the roots and causes of international conflict, the reasons for genocide and ethnic violence, the clash of civilizations. Reading and writing about something isn't as real as mourning the loss of something you know>>>


Effortless energy

Interview with Arash Sobhani of KIOSK

25-Jan-2008 (8 comments)
The truth is I was a bit nervous at first. After all, it is not often that I have the chance to meet a total stranger whose voice has become a part of my every day routine. Odd as it may seem, this one dimensional nature of fame is an inevitable reality for all successful artists including the one I was about to interview. Adapting to increased recognition and celebrity is an adjustment that Arash Sobhani will most likely have to make in the upcoming years because both he and his band Kiosk have gained significant popularity and recognition recently across the US, Europe and Iran and show no signs of slowing down>>>


Ice sculptures in Rasht

Ice sculptures in Rasht

Photo essay

by PT
21-Jan-2008 (7 comments)



Freedom to explore

Interview with Mamak Khadem on her new album "Jostojoo"

"I ended up discovering how many things we all share - especially in music. I first thought about doing these beautiful songs in their original languages but I soon realized that I can express myself more openly and effectively in my native language, Farsi. So I married the work of some Persian master poets such as Rumi and Shamloo to the melodies. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to use musicians from Iran as well as non-Iranian musicians and I am so thrilled with the combination of players on this album from folk traditions, contemporary world music and from the jazz scene">>>


For your next president

Making sure a candidate wins who supports our positions

15-Jan-2008 (19 comments)
As the California primary comes closer, it is incumbent that our Iranian-American community come show up at the election polls and vote for a candidate which takes a stance against military confrontation with Iran. Unfortunately, many of the Republican and some Democratic candidates have not taken this position and continue to leave the military option on the table. It is important for us as Iranian-Americans to vote in the California Primary, given that it is the state with the largest number of delegates and the state most likely to determine the next US President>>>


The Return

Music video featuring Mamak Khadem

13-Jan-2008 (3 comments)


Welcome President Bush

Welcome President Bush

Photo essay: Protests against Bush's visit

by qb
10-Jan-2008 (9 comments)



To Mr. Plasterk
10-Jan-2008 (11 comments)

Iranian students are banned
to learn technology
that can
give them the knowledge
of nuclear science.
"Noooo..." they say!
"It's just precaution"



Right time, right strategy

Interview with women's rights activist Soheila Vahdati

06-Jan-2008 (19 comments)
Vahdati: My contact with Iranian women activists goes back to 2003, when I started writing for Women in Iran. The website was founded by Shadi Sadr and a group of women journalists and activists (womeniniran.net). Although it started mainly as a women’s news site it had other sections such as “Tajrobeh haye zananeh” (Womanly Experiences) which was my favorite section and I started writing for it. At the time Faezeh Tabatabaei was in charge of the column and encouraged me to continue writing. Soon, I started writing articles for the site as well>>>


Common humanity

Interview with the director of new documentary on Bam earthquake

05-Jan-2008 (8 comments)
Bam 6.6, a documentary about the Bam earthquake of 2003 in Iran, is finally readied for release on DVD. Here's an interview with the producer/director, Jahangir Golestanparast. The production chronicles the ordeal of American tourists Tobb Dell'Oro and his Jewish fiancée, Adele Freedman, after they are buried under the rubble. It highlights how grief-stricken Iranians make a special effort to treat the couple's injuries and comfort Adele afterwards. Mr. Golestanparast is scheduled to show and discuss his film at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC at 7 pm on January 9 >>>


Wanting more out of life

A conversation with Massud Alemi, author of "Interruptions"

The novel takes place in revolutionary times, in fact about a couple of years after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. It was the time that major aspects of the society underwent pretty drastic transformations. Attacks on basic freedoms of the people had already started and the mere audacity of the regime to go places that no other dictatorship had gone before (to borrow from Star Trek) had created a funny and ironic situation. People couldn't believe that not only were they not getting the things for which they had fought so hard, but they were losing some of the things that they had pretty much taken for granted for such a long time. That gave people sort of that deer caught in the headlights look. It was the time of major interruptions in the people's lives>>>


100,000 good reasons

PARSA Foundation grants $100,000 to community groups

17-Dec-2007 (2 comments)
With countless examples of the heart and soul invested in building these nonprofits and the variety of proposals we received, you can imagine how difficult it was to decide which applications to select. This was compounded by the fact that the amount requested totaled over $1.4 million while our total grant-making budget was $100,000. PARSA CF staff reviewed all applications and divided them into two groups. To ensure broad participation and an objective evaluation process, we formed an independent Grant Advisory Committee comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences with community building>>>