Iran, a reflection


Nazy Kaviani
by Nazy Kaviani

Dear fellow writers and contributors, A while back, an writer and I briefly discussed having a writing contest on this site, whereby people would be invited to submit a short piece in the form of a blog. Our idea didn’t get very far and then all hell broke loose in Iran and we abandoned the idea in light of all the tragedies that were happening in Iran. These days, worse than my usual schizophrenic self, I feel so pushed and pulled with varying emotions. The diasporic Iranian in me alternates between feeling outraged and worried, the mother in me feels sad and bereft, and the human-rights supporter in me feels insomniac and charged to know, to tell, and to share. As usual, I find the best solace in dealing with these overwhelming emotions is to write, write, and write. Most of what I write, though, gets filed or deleted, for the emotions and thoughts seem to be too raw and too wild, without the requisite focus and patience to see them through completion. I now sketch and abandon a flood of emotions and thoughts on a daily basis, without a viable outcome. I wonder if any of you out there share this feeling with me. If so, please consider the following invitation. Let’s all start writing short pieces which are indicative of our feelings and reflections these days. Please consider joining me and other interested individuals in forming a group of writers to compile a series of essays for that mark these important days in Iran’s history, and in our personal lives. Here are some simple guidelines for joining the effort:

  1. To mark the group effort, everyone’s piece should start with the following words “Everyone knows[1],” borrowed from Forough Farrokhzad’s poem, fath’e bagh (فتح باغ), or Inaugurating the Garden, as translated by Sholeh Wolpe.
  2. Your pieces should be between 500 and 750 words.
  3. Please choose the following title for your blog so everyone knows it is a part of the solidarity series: “Iran, a reflection”.
  4. Your piece can be in Farsi. In that case please start your blog with the words “hameh midaanand”.
  5. You can also write a poem, if you so choose.

This is not a writing contest and none of the pieces will be judged, so I urge all community members to consider joining the group’s effort. ---------------------------------

[1] First few verses of Forough Farrokhzad’s poem, Inaugurating the Garden, from Sholeh Wolpe’s book Sin, The University of Arkansas Press, 2007, pp 67-69

The crow that soared

Above our heads and plunged

Into a vagrant cloud’s restless thoughts,

Its voice a short spear traveling horizon’s length,

Will carry the new of us to town

Everyone knows.

Everyone knows you and I

Have seen the garden through that cold,

Grim window and have plucked the apple

From that far, flirtatious branch.

Everyone fears.

Everyone fears, but you and I

Merged into one

Before the water, the mirror, and the lamp,

And were not afraid.


Post Script, August 4, 2009, and August 22, 2009:

The following pieces were submitted in response to this invitation.  I am grateful to all and I list the collection here to keep it for posterity.  Thank you beautiful and thoughtful friends.  This was a great exercise.  We will do it again soon.

“Iran, a reflection”: Olympiad of images in our minds , and Iran, a reflection: "it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness" , and "Iran, a reflection: یاد آر ز شمع مرده، یاد آر"  by Anahid Hojjati

Iran, a reflection: fear , and Iran, a reflection: Will they come?, and Iran, a reflection: I confess by Multiple Personality Disorder

Iran, a reflection: Superman by Melika

Iran, a reflection:  امید by Ari Siletz

Iran, a reflection: آزادی by  Javad Yassari

این همان پس-کوچه است by persian westender

IRAN, A REFLECTION: The war inside me by Assal_B

Iran, a reflection: همه میدانند by Orang Gholikhani

Iran, a reflection: Names by Niki Tehranchi

Cartoon, Everyone knows rahbar is a caveman by Omid Hast

"Iran, A Reflection". How Are We Coping?" by minadadvar

Iran, A Reflection: Shot in the heart by Iranian Reader

Iran, a reflection: آواز سوزناک by Moorche

Iran, a reflection: سهراب by Azarin Sadegh

Iran: A Reflection -- Action Confessional by sima

Iran, a reflection: Constriction by Monda

Iran a reflection; Vanity by Anonymouse

We're Not Gonna Take It by Robert

Devastating! by Azadeh Azad

Iran, a reflection: “boro baba!” , and Iran, a reflection: Last seen wearing a green ribbon by Nazy Kaviani

The future is bright by Jahanshah Javid

Iran, a reflection: نگاه by Literary Critic

Iran, A Reflection: Beyond Polished Nails and Gender Divide by desideratum.anthropomorph...

Iran, A Reflection: Days of War and Heat by Baroness Dudevant

Iran, a reflection - Absolute Power by Mehrban






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Nazy Kaviani

Iran, a reflection update

by Nazy Kaviani on

I have updated this blog to reflect a list of all those who contributed with their contributed pieces. In all, 25 contributors wrote 29 pieces in response to this call. I am grateful beyond words. Thank you all, the beautiful community of!


Thank you Nazy jan!

by Jaleho on

And sorry about the off-topic. Marked it this time ;-)

Nazy Kaviani


by Nazy Kaviani on

Dear MPD: I'm glad you didn't wait for a reply and I am grateful for your participation. You are absolutely wonderful!

Dear Azarin: Thank you for your kind reply. I hope you do write us something in Farsi or in English, prose or poetry, for I know you have an important and heartfelt message to share with the rest of us. I can't wait to read it.

Dear Maryam: I hope you will participate in the call-to-write yourself! I look forward to hearing your reflections.

Dear Anahid: Thank you for obliging the invitation. I am sure whatever you write will be a delight to read as your poetry is always the poetry of the heart.

Nazy Kaviani

Jaleh Jan:

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for your kind words. I am not the best authority on composition of large bodies of text in Farsi. As I once mentioned to you on a moshaereh blog, for the longest time I used to type my Farsi text in the comments section of a blogfa blog and copy/paste it in the moshaereh blogs--a painful process, but not as bad as using Behnevis. But my life changed tremendously the day Laleh Gillani wrote this blog, telling us how to change our keyboard language from English to Farsi:


I followed the instructions and now I can switch back and forth between English and Farsi. To take full advantage of this, you will need Farsi character stickers on your keyboard. You can buy those online. Here's one source:


I'm sure you can also write directly to site contributors such as Manouchehr Avaznia who routinely write in Farsi for more tips.

Thank you doost-e man. I hope this is helpful.


Nazy nazanin, "off topic request"

by Jaleho on

First, this idea like your other ideas is a great one. It can switch "lajan parakani" to actually a collection of frank ideas, emotions, and opinions of a sensitive slice of Iranian history, something that can have some historical value.

Since I have already written more than my share on this, let me ask you an off-topic question, now that I am sure you will read it ;-) Sorry to interfere in this blog, I just need to use your expertise. I am going to write some massive amount in Farsi and I know you have a good experience with the best way of doing so, regarding the software and keyboards. Could you please help me out? Maybe you can send me an email, or maybe others can also use a detailed info on this?

Thank you very much.

Anahid Hojjati

Nazy jan, what a great idea

by Anahid Hojjati on

I just submitted my poem to be part of this series.  However, my poem is not between 500 and 700 words.  I thought I am still OK since for poems, even a poem that has 200-300 words, is not such a short poem. Again thanks for all your efforts.

Maryam Hojjat


by Maryam Hojjat on

Write what ever your Del e tangat wants.


Down with IRI & ITS supporters

Azarin Sadegh

Dear Nazy,

by Azarin Sadegh on

Thank you Nazy jan for sharing your struggle and dilemmas with us! I love your suggestion and I think that it is a great initiative.

I totally understand what you mean. For me, these last insomniac nights and sleepy days have been the most difficult times, even worst than the period of my father’s death.  Since all the killings have started in Iran, I've totally lost my concentration on what I should do and instead I spend my time watching heartbreaking videos I don't want to see, and to read bad news that I don't want to know. I can't even write what I'd like to say...mostly it sounds like a madwoman's rumbling! I'm restless, like you... And so helplessly angry. 

Actually, I’m tempted by the idea of writing a poem in Farsi. But it's hard for me to make a decision for the inspiration (especially for poetry)! It has the mind of its own and never listens to my requests and wishes...

Thanks again, Azarin

Multiple Personality Disorder

I have a question

by Multiple Personality Disorder on

Everyone knows my favorite style of writing is satire.  Would it be alright if I wrote something satirical?