Democracy by Other Means

The fact that the US did not attack Iran militarily does not change the equation

01-Apr-2011 (17 comments)
The President of Carnegie Corporation, Vartan Gregorian (an Iranian-American), suggested in 2009 that President Obama should send a letter of friendship to Tehran. About the American response to the 1979–1980 hostage crisis he proposed that President Obama should write that “[n]o country, certainly no country in posses­sion of the vast power of the United States, would have failed to act under such circumstances. But we restrained our response, because the powerful have the option not to exercise their power…out of a sense of responsibility.” >>>


A Book to Devour

Shabnam Piryaei's "Ode to Fragile"

02-Mar-2011 (one comment)
In late 2010, at the end of the first decade of the millennium, Shabnam Piryaei – a poet-teacher-filmmaker-born in Iran just after the revolution and raised in California – published her first book, Ode to Fragile. This book is a collection of her poetry and writings that meet at the intersection of prose, poetry, and plays – three of which have been produced as films. Through her voice as a writer and the voices and images espoused by the diverse, magical, realistic, abused, and abusive characters is a powerful reflection of power dynamics in our collective, glittering and scarred, human experience>>>


کهن ترین تعصب جهان

ریشه ها و دلایل زن ستیزی چیستند؟

19-Feb-2011 (2 comments)
زن ستیزی نشئات گرفته از فرهنگهایی ست كه در آنها زن جنس درجه دوم محسوب شده است. جوامعی كه به زن ستیزی مجال بروز میدهند زن را فرو دست و مرد را فرا دست می انگارند. تقریبا همیشه این نگرش فراتر از یك دسته بندی فرهنگی رفته است تا جایی قوانین آن جوامع، با پیش زمینه های ذهنی، طوری تدوین می شوند كه فرودستی موقعیت زن تضمین شود. جامعه ایران پس از انقلاب مثال بارز و عملی این ادعا است>>>


Broken Hearted Prosecutor

Former member of the Shah's court argues a strong case

17-Feb-2011 (5 comments)
Dr. Hooshang Nahavandi, author of "Khomeini in France", is an Iranian writing about contemporary Iran, so his book accusing foreign powers of bringing Khomeini to power carries a tone of anger, sorrow and regret. When a writer says “J’accuse” it is no longer proper to ask whether he is an objective historian, but whether as aggrieved party and prosecutor he has brought sufficient evidence and argued eloquently enough to convince the jury. My verdict: guilty!>>>


The Good Writer

Jasmin Darznik's "The Good Daughter"

08-Feb-2011 (11 comments)
Darznik's book is an elegant and memorable way that the author has chosen to show her love and devotion to her mother, and also for her country of birth. It is clear that Jasmin Darznik has conducted an impressive amount of research to create a believable image of Iran during the past century, and she is very successful in the depiction of an Iran that many don’t know. This book, I am sure, will be a great success, especially among the non-Iranians, as it creates a believable universe, and as an Iranian reader I feel this urge to clean up my own acts>>>


Memoirs of Kin and Nation

An interview with author Jasmin Darznik

04-Feb-2011 (8 comments)
As you know, we Iranians are awfully masterful in keeping family secrets. There are just so many taboos, so much worry about saving face or maintaining our aberoo. We’re not supposed to speak ill or intimately about relatives, even the ones long-since deceased! It’s not a part of our culture that I especially love, but The Good Daughter is a particular kind of memoir, a family memoir, and I could never have written it without my mother. I don’t mean that just in terms of having her blessing, but in terms of the richness of her memories and the generosity with which she shared her life story with me>>>


The Good Daughter

A memoir of my mother's hidden life

18-Jan-2011 (13 comments)
SOME years ago, when I was in my early 20s, I found a photograph of my mother as a bride. That the man beside her was not my father, that she’d kept this marriage a secret from me, that she had been disturbingly young — none of this unsettled me as much as her expression. Eyes downcast and lips pouted, she looked as if the next shot would have shown her crying. In that moment I thought: That is not my mother. My family left Iran during the 1979 Islamic Revolution. My parents bought a roadside motel in California and set out to make new lives for us>>>


The King and Us

Why a biography of the Shah now?

12-Jan-2011 (25 comments)
There have been at least a dozen books on his life. Most have been “commissioned,” written to lionize or demonize him. Even those that were dedicated to finding and reporting the truths of his life were stymied by the fact that much remained hidden in still-classified documents, mired in adulating or acrimonious whispers, or marred by conspiracy theories concocted by his friends and his foes, or by himself. He was one of the pivotal figures of the second half of the twentieth century, and certainly one of the most tragic>>>



Excerpt from "Azadi: protest in the streets of Tehran"

12-Jan-2011 (one comment)
I know Pari has great connections but I still can’t believe it when we hear from her the very next day after our visit, with the time and place of our appointment with Karroubi. Pari tells us she will pick us up herself, not one to pass up a chance of establishing a connection with Karroubi as one never knows which way the tide may turn. Also, our dear relative always has to be center stage and as highly visible as possible. When she shows up, I see that out of deference to the high-ranking mullah we’re going to visit, she’s dressed in demure black—though in the expensive designer clothes she fills her suitcases with during the trips she takes every year to Europe>>>


Cemetery of Dreams

Excerpt from a novel

For months she had lived in agony with her mother in an old cottage close to Saveh. In that desert climate, they had waited patiently for news about her father. Senator Zandi had been yanked from his home the day before they were to fly to the States. That had been eight months ago, and they had not had news from him until a few days ago. Her mother had insisted they move to their old farmland in case the pasdars came after them as well - their passports were confiscated and they were not allowed to leave the country>>>


The Blue Flower of Forgetfulness

Excerpt from novel

21-Nov-2010 (6 comments)
The way I remember it, when we returned from our studies, the nation had not been ready for us. And when the revolution happened, we were not ready for it. We were industrialists, entrepreneurs, doctors and architects, statisticians, adjustors, and comptrollers. We were idealists who had clothed a nation with Barak clothes and Bella shoes, washed a nation with Darugar soap and a nation’s laundry with Snow and with Sea detergents. We had never been politicians, that particular avenue had been closed to us>>>


Journey Without a Camel

Roya Movafegh's "The People With No Camel"

19-Nov-2010 (5 comments)
I paused when I saw the title of Roya Movafegh’s first book, The People With No Camel. The grammar, the possible meaning, and her choice of imagery made me wonder – and want more. This is the reader’s first clue that The People With No Camel is not just another Iranian woman’s post-Revolution memoir. Upon opening the book she explains: “According to the laws of Sharia in Iran, if a Muslim man is murdered, his family may be compensated according to the price of one hundred camels>>>


افسون یك نگاه

ادغام قدری حقیقت، دنیایی فانتزی و همراه با چاشنی ابهام ها

با پاهای لرزان به دیوار سفید هال خانه‌مان تکیه کردم و نفسی عمیق که از سر ترس، شرم و خوشنودی گویا ساعت ها در سینه ام حبس کرده بودم با رضایت بیرون دادم، گویا نتوانستم به درستی همه هوای جمع شده داخل ریه ام را به بیرون بدهم. نفس عمیق دیگری کشیدم و این بار با هیجان بیشتر نفس حبس شده ام را اندک اندک بیرون فرستادم و هر بار احساس سبکی بیشتری کردم>>>



Media, Power, and Politics in the Digital Age

Media experts, foreign policy experts, commentators, and academicians have often outlined the benefits of new media technology for consumers and confidently predict that the global information revolution will result in political, economic, and social democratization in the developing and underdeveloped countries around the world. This hopeful outlook, however, requires certain pre-requisites, including education, infrastructures, cultural basis, access to technology, and adherence to the time-tested and successful political, economic, social structures, and diverse media outlets, as evidenced in the developed nations>>>


وادی غریبی است این گذشته

نقدی بر کتاب "ما بچّه های کوچه" نوشتۀ فرشتۀ کوثر

01-Sep-2010 (4 comments)
خواندن این کتاب در حقیقت تأییدی بود بر نظرقبلیم مبنی بر شیوائی داستان سرائی و مهارت نگارنده در نثر فارسی. جذبۀ داستانها، شیرینی و طنز شیوای این کتاب آن چنان دلنشین بود که حیفم آمد دیگر دوستان را از وجود چنین کتابی بی اطّلاع بگذارم و آنها را با آن آشنا نکنم. قصد دارم که این کتاب را از سه جنبه به نقد بکشم: شیوۀ نثر، طنز و سرانجام جنبه های تاریخی و اجتماعی کتاب>>>