If I shall rise...

“... and if you would rise, everyone will.”

06-Jul-2011 (3 comments)
Hamid Mosaddegh’s poem points to the fact that change may begin with one, but it will only lasts when a group joins hands. And I am grateful for a life-changing experience that came about through the help of a community. What began as a gift to my best friend, and later became a legacy to my three first generation children, is now the quest of a people. I am referring to my debut novel, Sky of Red Poppies, and to its recent nomination for the next "One Book, One San Diego">>>


Beauty With Wisdom

Excerpt from "Saved by Beauty"

03-Jul-2011 (3 comments)
In Isfahan, Iran, blue against a blue sky, is the most beautiful building I have ever seen. Entering the Lotfollah Mosque, I made my way to a corner and sat on the floor beneath the soaring dome to take it all in. Then I lay down and gazed up. A melody of light played through the latticed arches. At the dome's center was an explosion of yellow, a sunburst from which a bewildering forest of tendrils and blossoms laced their way over the dome's surface. I began to see shapes within shapes, and to feel that I was being showered not only with beauty but with wisdom>>>


Poet Made in Space

Neda Ansari's collection of poetry

03-Jul-2011 (2 comments)
The neat part of the International Space Development Conference is meeting a lot of very smart people who share a passion for space exploration. Neda Ansari is in that third category. She is a poet. I expressed a wish to read some more of her poetry, as I only glimpsed a bit in one of the thousands of emails that zipped through my inbox, and she agreed. More than agreed, she sent a hand-bound, self-published compilation of poetry, translations, and other writings>>>


Pettiness & Paranoia

Chekhov's "The Man in a Case"

29-Jun-2011 (one comment)
Belikov is a small fellow who feels the morbid need to protect himself from the outside world, and to put order in everything. He creates for himself a carapace, a case based on his limited understanding of duty, conventions and hierarchy. Going out, he always wears his galoshes and carries his big overcoat and umbrella in summer and winter. He goes around only in covered carriages. He has a case for his watch, a case for his eyeglasses and one for his umbrella>>>



دو قسمت از اولین کتابم

17-Jun-2011 (one comment)
پاهایم بیحس شده بودند و قدرت تحمل وزنم را نداشتند. خواستم که در ماشین را باز کنم وخودم را روی صندلی پرت کنم ولی دستم میلرزید و قادر به جایگزین کردن سویچ ماشین در قفل نبود. به ناچار دقایقی روی کاپوت ماشین تکیه کردم. قلبم به شدت میتپید و دهانم کاملاً خشک شده بود. درونم آتشی بود زیر خاکستر که در آنی گُر گرفته بود، سوزش شعله اش را تا اعماق وجودم حس میکردم>>>


You’ll be fine

"Persian Girls: A Memoir"

The day began like any other day. I woke to the voice of the muezzin calling people to prayers, Allah o Akbar. After Maryam finished praying we had our usual breakfast-- sangag bread still warm from the stone oven it was baked in, jam that Maryam made herself with pears and plums, mint-scented tea. On the way to Tehrani Elementary School I stopped at my friend Batul’s house, at the mouth of the alley, to pick her up. We passed the public baths and the mosques, sights visible on practically every street in the Khanat Abad neighborhood>>>


Time for Truth

Sahabi, Rafsanjani and Melli Mazhabis

13-Jun-2011 (19 comments)
The passing of Ezatollah Sahabi and the tragic killing of his daughter Haleh sparked a new wave of bewilderment and anger among most Iranians. Ezatollah Sahabi died of old age after much suffering at the hands of the Shah’s regime and the Islamic Republic. Those who watched or heard of the killing of Haleh at the funeral of her father were shocked, heartbroken and angry at the circumstances that led to her death. There was no reason—as if any reason can justify this heinous act>>>


چگونه فمینیست شدم؟

انگیزه اصلی تلاش برای زندگی اجتماعی بهتر و برابر است

در فرهنگ غربی، تلاش برای درخواست برابری بین زنان و مردان، در طی مثلا ٥٠ سال گذشته، به سطح عمومی جامعه نیز رخنه کرده است. این واقعیت اجتماعی البته شاید چندان در ایران صدق نکند یا هنوز در سطح وسیعی به چشم نخورد. ما در ایران به طور ناگهانی و در حین مصادف شدن با یک حادثه مشخص، «فمینیست» نمی‌شویم. مجموعه‌ای از تجربه‌های شخصی، تجربه‌های اجتماعی و دریافت‌های مختلف حسی ما را به این نقطه می‌رسان>>>



بخشی از يك رمان

از ميدان لواسان تاعمامه جاده باريكي است در دامنه اي با شيب تند كه تا يال كوه هاي مشرف به هر دو منطقه. يك طرف لواسان و طرف ديگر فشم . جاده باريكي كه دوطرفش ديوار و درهاي بزرگ ويلاهاي پولدارهاي تهران گرفته است. با آويزه درختان مو و پيچك ها روي ديوار ها.... سيصد متر نرفته بايد بپيچيم. بالا برويم ، دوباره بپيچيم.. سعيد نيمه بطر شيواس ريگال ومارتيني را توي يخچال كنار دستش مي گذارد وتوي راه كه مي رويم از خودش مي گويد>>>


Defining Moment

New Insights Into the Islamic Republic of Iran

Arguably the most important reason for the international interest in Iran is its strategically pivotal geography. Like some of its Muslim neighbours, it has tremendous oil and gas reserves. For the United States, the revolution in Iran was nothing less than a geopolitical shock. Revolutionary dynamics in the Arab World have recently rekindled the debate in the West on “political Islam”. To get a good understanding of the phenomenon, however, it is necessary to define it properly – which, so far, has hardly been done>>>


Fighting Ignorance

Attacking Muslims seems to be the popular fashion

10-May-2011 (49 comments)
While reading War on Error by Melody Moezzi, I was overcome by awe for a young Iranian-American woman who is brave enough to take a chance and defend a topic that has caused much animosity. This may be the most difficult time for Muslims around the world to raise their voices, but it’s ten times more so for those in the US. In the words of one interviewee, “It has just become such a Pavlovian response in this country: if terrorism, then Islam.”>>>


Three Brothers

“If you cannot eliminate injustice, at least tell everyone about it.”

04-May-2011 (4 comments)
For a wandering mind like mine, sometimes concentration is the hardest thing to accomplish. However, when I started reading The Golden Cage, the latest book by Shirin Ebadi a 2005 Nobel Peace prize winner, I could not put it down until I had finished the last page. It was a positively captivating read. In this book, Dr. Ebadi tells a melodramatic story of a family that was very similar to her own family, a family that had to overcome constant challenges that ultimately caused its degeneration >>>


Fresh Classics

Persian recipes accessible to the everyday cook

New Persian Cooking offers an enticing introduction to traditional Persian cuisine through recipes that are accessible to the non-professional cook and are based on ingredients that are readily available in the West. Featuring beautiful photographs by award-winning food photographer Jason Lowe, this book will be essential for anyone interested in sampling Persian cuisine and expanding their cultural horizons>>>


Let Us Water the Flowers

The Memoir of a Political Prisoner in Iran

17-Apr-2011 (one comment)
It was late afternoon when a guard took me out of the cell and put me in a small line of prisoners. It was terrifying not to know what might happen next. In my heart and mind, I said good-bye to my loved ones. I truly thought it was the end of the road for us right then and there, given that after a long session of questioning we were lined up toward the amphitheater. The guards ordered everyone to grab the shirt of the person in front of him, then led the line forward>>>


Which Road to Iran?

Before democracy can be ushered in, a culture of democracy must be developed

08-Apr-2011 (8 comments)
As revolutionary spirit is gaining momentum in the Middle East, it is only a matter of time before we see millions of Iranians take to the street demanding democratic change. The question is whether the US should seize the opportunity, at a time when Iran’s central government becomes vulnerable, to effect regime change militarily, through a coup, or other coercive methods? The Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution drafted in 2009 nine different policy options for deal­ing with Iran>>>