Green Ribbons and Turbans

French-Iranian journalist's book inspired by his experience in the Islamic Republic

10-Nov-2011 (3 comments)
“Welcome to the Islamic Republic,” he laughs. “Paradise on Earth, as long as you can afford it.” Omid forces a smile, for he himself—a student from Tehran—was far from born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He owes his invitation to this dream party to Morteza, a rich friend. Luckily for him his real identity remains a secret, or he would never have had the slightest chance of hooking up with the beautiful Helya; even the evening’s delights, however, cannot cover up his deep depression>>>


Avenue Moniriyeh

New excerpt from "The Good Daughter"

31-Oct-2011 (one comment)
Twenty years after she left Iran and knew she would never return, my mother sat alone in her house in California and talked the story of her life into a cassette recorder for me. The first tape arrived in springtime, a few weeks after No Rooz, the Iranian New Year. Eventually there would ten of them. The tapes always came marked up in Persian, and I couldn’t make out much more than my name when I opened the envelope and found the first one. I’d left home for graduate school on the East Coast the year before>>>


The Gaze of the Gazelle

Arash Hejazi's memoir and autobiography

22-Oct-2011 (2 comments)
‘Who is this Ayatollah Khomeini?’ I asked Madar, my paternal grandmother. I had heard his name over and over without knowing who he really was. Every night people went to the rooftops to see his face in the full moon and I really wanted to know what he was doing there. ‘He is the vicar of the hidden Imam,’ Madar explained, trying to fit her cigarette into the cigarette holder. ‘While the Hidden Imam is in occultation, the vicar is in charge of the Muslims’ faith,’ she continued, finishing her remark before lighting her cigarette. ‘He is our saviour.’>>>


If Ferdowsi Lived Today

How can anyone doubt the competency of Persian?

14-Oct-2011 (24 comments)
More and more research is done to revive the pure Persian vocabulary so that once again they can take their rightful place which for centuries has been occupied by Arabic. This is admirable, but I am sadly reminded of a building tented to fight old termites while there’s a flood on the way! The grave damage done by the Arab influence has left its scars and we are so wrapped up in passionate resentment that it has blinded us to the new blows. I can’t help but ask myself, is there a difference?>>>


The Jeweller of Isfahan

Danielle Digne's epic novel on Jean Chardin’s travels in Safavid Persia

01-Oct-2011 (4 comments)
I discovered Jean Chardin’s name by coincidence in a dictionary of biographies. I learned that just like Tavernier in 1665, but barely at twenty one years of age, Chardin also went as far as India in search of rare diamonds. I was immediately intrigued all the more that this young ambitious man had written many books on Persia with great detail and accuracy. After reading one of his books I was puzzled. I needed to know how a young French Protestant Jeweller was able to become an expert on Persia and publish a first book in 1670>>>


Driving the Shah

How oil changed the balance of power in the Middle East

27-Sep-2011 (38 comments)
Anyone who’s ever driven down an American highway, idled in America’s city streets surrounded by gas-guzzling SUVs, or shivered in the Arctic-cold air conditioning of a US office building, knows the truth: the United States has an insatiable thirst for oil. Certainly Iran’s shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, understood that need, and for eight years, 1969 to 1977, exploited it, negotiating a series of secret oil-for-arms deals with America’s best and brightest>>>


Shaping Modernity

Excerpt from "A Social History of Iranian Cinema"

20-Sep-2011 (one comment)
Hamid Naficy, Professor of Radio, Television, Film and Communication at Northwestern University, is one of the world’s leading authorities on Iranian film, and A Social History of Iranian Cinema is his magnum opus. Covering the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first and addressing documentaries, popular genres, and art films, it explains Iran’s peculiar cinematic production modes, as well as the role of cinema and media in shaping modernity and a modern national identity in Iran>>>


Shariati did not want this

Political Islam in Iran

08-Sep-2011 (22 comments)
By combining his views, shaped at Sorbonne, with Islamic concepts and terminology, Shari’ati bridged the social divide between the traditional and modern segments of Iran’s youth, appealing to a broader spectrum of the society than anyone else. The fact that Shari’ati’s thoughts were influenced by Western thinkers was held against him by various opponents. “Subsequent claims by Shari’ati’s adherents of his familiarity with people like Frantz Fanon and Jean-Paul Sartre seem more to be exaggerations of casual acquaintances than facts, but...>>>


 تاجگذاری رضا خان

از کتاب"مسافری به تهران"

01-Sep-2011 (17 comments)
می‌گویند رضا هیچ علاقه‌ای به تاج شاهنشاهی ایران نداشته و جمهوری را به شاهنشاهی ترجیح می‌داده ولی مذهب آن را به او تحمیل کرده است. برخلاف مردی که به دنبال جاه و جلال است او در خانۀ شخصیش باقی مانده و فقط به هنگام جلسه و اموری نظیر آن به کاخ سلطنتی میرفته است. کاخ مورد نظر نمونۀ مضحکی از تضاد بین جلال و شکوه و درهم برهمی و ژولیدگی بود. اولین حیاط قصر که تخت معروف مرمر در یک طرف آن قرار داشت، از طرف دیگر به یک ردیف خانه نظیر کلبه‌ای باغبانی ختم میشد >>>


تعهد زناشویی در عصر ما

رابطه ثابت جنسی با یک نفر دیگر بر اساس طبیعت انسانی نیست

30-Aug-2011 (2 comments)
یک‌سال از انتشار کتاب «ریشه‌های سکس در ماقبل تاریخ»[۱] نوشته زوج محقق کریستوفر رایان و سیسیلدا جِتا می‌گذرد. آن‌ها درباره زندگی زناشویی ادعاهای جسورانه‌ای را مطرح کرده‌اند و مدارک و مستنداتی ارائه داده‌اند که ثابت می‌کند انسان، این حیوان اجتماعی، با قابلیت‌های بسیار نسبت به سایر جانوران، موجودی نیست که تعهدات مربوط به زندگی زناشویی و پایبندی به یک شریک جنسی ریشه در طبیعت‌اش داشته باشد>>>


They Shake the Desert Sands

A Novel

The reed played its final notes of lingering peace. The turquoise twilight turned to deep purple, and a silvery white moon looked as though it was coming down from the sky to the earth. The twinkling lights, the stars, were set inside the dark sky like rich glitter on the chalice of a king. The desert sands glinted under the faint wind that had wings. Desert roses closed their blossoms, and the tales of the Zagros Mountains took me back to my roots, to the changing times of history, to the epic desert>>>


چرا بشر تصمیم گرفت زنان را تحقیر و کنترل‌ کند؟

ضعف ما در مشروط بودن هویت و جنسیت ما است

31-Jul-2011 (10 comments)
من هم معتقدم که صد‌ها هزار و شاید اگر اغراق نباشد میلیون‌ها ایرانی به‌طور عمومی می‌دانند و بی‌شک در حین زندگی در ایران متوجه شده‌اند که بی‌حرمتی، اجحاف و حتی خشونت نسبت به زنان وطن‌شان وجودی عمیق دارد ولی شاید کاملاً نمی‌دانند این پدیده مختص ایران و شرایط اقلیمی و فرهنگی آن نیست و در حقیقت یک پدیده قدیمی جهانی است>>>


Nooshe Jaan!

Nooshe Jaan!

Cooking by the non-Persian bride

by Reyna Simnegar
29-Jul-2011 (9 comments)



Defining Iran

Some Islamists do appeal to Iranianism, but their notion of Iranianism is nothing but Islamism

24-Jul-2011 (8 comments)
Iranianism does not have a single interpretation. Pahlavi’s version was based on the ancient Achaemenid era, with its grand civilization, often symbolized by Cyrus and Darius and given the geographic moniker “Persia.” Competing with the interpretation above is the Sassanid era “Iranshar” or “Iranzamin” (empire/land of the Aryans, roots of the modern name “Iran”), just prior to the Arab invasion. The latter interpretation represents a less grandiose, and more historically accessible, picture of an era when Iranians were already monotheistic under Zoroastrianism>>>


Assassins of the Turquoise Palace

Excerpt from upcoming book

15-Jul-2011 (one comment)
After two rounds—twenty-six bullets—the barrage ceased. The air was thick with the smell of gunpowder. Of the eight guests, everyone had stooped or fallen, except one. The eldest guest was still in his chair, head slumped, blood tinting his white shirt, blending with the busy pattern of his tie. Another victim was doubled over, breathing noisily, gasping for air. His face was smashed into a mug of beer. The golden liquid was slowly darkening>>>