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">>>


Friendly invasion

Friendly invasion

Photo essay: Persian Gulf Environmental Art Festival

by Ahmad Nadalian
13-Jan-2008 (11 comments)



The Return

Music video featuring Mamak Khadem

13-Jan-2008 (3 comments)


Hollywood’s war on terror

Films: In the Valley of Elah, Rendition, The Kingdom, Lions for Lambs and Redacted

11-Jan-2008 (7 comments)
Wouldn’t it be funny if one day, when all our current political concerns have vanished into the mist of time, we are brought back to life and judged by disheveled archaeologists whose faces are layered with dust? How would we fare if they used our filmography to divine our collective mind the way we use cuneiform tablets to guess at the zeitgeist of the ancient Sumerians? The answer to that question would depend on which shelf of footage is exposed in the dig. We would do quite well if our judges relied on Hollywood’s critique of the American posture at the outset of the 21st century >>>


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 >>>


Love and the Revolution

I write to bring you back

03-Jan-2008 (25 comments)
Ezzat! January 7th is your anniversary. Fifteen years ago your heart stopped beating. I felt it in my heart and the earth stopped moving for me. It was late afternoon. Inside a booth I put some coins in the phone and heard your dad's voice, "She called us. First a man asked my name and then she talked." He did not remember what you had said. I took a deep breath full of trucks' exhaust in Darvazeh Qazvin Street and said, "I already know. She is gone forever. Her heart doesn't beat anymore." Where did I go? I don't know. 'Two days later, I met with your father in the park next to the railroad station. We walked together. The sidewalk was full of war refugees with their big bundles. He handed me your vasiet-nameh (will), and I cried. >>>


Two thousand five hundred years old

Undeniable value of Parviz Natel Khanlari’s services

03-Jan-2008 (13 comments)
The last time I saw Dr. Khanlari was in 1987 when he told me that studying literature belonged to another time. “It is a different world now,” he said. At the time I was a graduate student in literature and his advice to me was to start on a different path while I was still young. Parviz Natel Khanlari was a great man—so great, in fact, that a mere listing of his accomplishments does him no justice. People still argue whether his most important contribution was his journal Sokhan (unparalleled to this day in the talent and rigor it fostered), his country-wide literacy projects (leading to a considerable hike in literacy rates), his role in standardizing and producing text books (the accessibility and quality of which we all took for granted)...>>>


Who cares?

I am angry! At me, the girl who stares back at me in the mirror

03-Jan-2008 (6 comments)
“I AM ANGRY?” Is it even important how I feel? What I want? What I write about? Does my anger even matter when Britney Spears’ 16-year-old sister is pregnant? Could I possibly have something provoking to say when Paris Hilton just lost all of her inheritance to charity? Can I possibly have something more enraging to be angry about when so and so just got engaged and the other couple from last year's wedding filed for a divorce? I mean who cares what I have to say? Everyone has so much to worry about already. JC Penny's “16-hour post holiday sale” is ticking down and Macy's has that “two days only end of the year, new year special” going on right now so why would anyone in their right mind be reading this instead?>>>


Unfinished story

A different work from California's Persian Pop music scene

02-Jan-2008 (3 comments)
Some time ago I saw an advertisement for a new album, of a new singer, on one of the Persian television channels in Los Angeles. Strangely, this time, there was neither any mention of 6/8 rhythms, nor was there a pick-up truck full of dancing girls behind the singer! As the singer sang calmly on the video, images of Persia and its people followed one another beautifully. The title of the album was "Neverending Story", better said "Unfinished Story" (Ghesse-ye Naatamaam), sung by Amir. This is his first album with cooperation of two significant figures in Persian pop music: Andranik and Shahyar Ghanbari. I became curious to hear the rest of the album but just as I had guessed, there was no sign of the CD in the Persian stores of Amsterdam.>>>



They did not come

02-Jan-2008 (one comment)
- Like always you have forgotten to cook rice for dinner, no?
- Who cares? Don’t stress me out. I still have time.
It is nighttime. It is cold. All day I have wandered around the house. I counted all the pieces of furniture in the house: the brown coaches, our dining table, the Piano, our carpets, our phones, all those paintings and books, my desk, my bed, my parents’ bed, our lights…
- Are you crying?
- No, but I wish I could cry for hours. Have you ever been invaded by the flood of memories?>>>


نیاوران، فرمانیه و مادام ساعی

یادش بخیر روزهای پر از رنگ های نارنجی و آبی

02-Jan-2008 (5 comments)
عاشق رانندگی در اتوبانهای شلوغ تهران بودم .ساعت یازده ی هر روز صبح دوباره به مادام ساعی زنگ می زدم تا از تو خبر بگیرم و تو همیشه به پای تلفن می آمدی و با صدای معصومت می گفتی هنوز ساعت دو نشده که تو بیایی ؟ این عقربه های ساعت هر روز دیر تکان می خورد و من در تب و تاب آمدن برای در آغوش کشیدنت پر و بال می زدم . >>>


Az Khaaneh Taa Goor

Latest music from Erfan

29-Dec-2007 (3 comments)


تولدت مبارک

برای پدرم بهرام بیضایی بمناسبت شصت و نهمین سال تولدش

27-Dec-2007 (6 comments)
این چند خط را برای تو، پدر عزیزم، بهرام بیضایی و به پاس تلاشهای خستگی ناپذیرت در عرصه ی فرهنگ و هنر کشورم ایران می نویسم . می دانم که بسیار خسته ای و بسیار رنجدیده و می دانم که زخمهای بسیار بر روح و روان داری از سوی آنها که گمان می کنند آمده اند تا برای ابد بمانند، اما نمی دانند که ضدیت با جریان رونده و شونده ی فرهنگ ایران امری است گذرا و آنچه می ماند، فکر است و اندیشه و نیروی خلاقه ی انسانی که خود خالق است. نیز بسیاری در لباس دوست و دوستدار که پنهانی و از سر تنگ نظری زخم می زنند، گاه از سر بخل و گاه از سر خودشیرینی برای این و یا آن دستگاه قدرت.>>>


Short & sweet

Short & sweet

2007 collection

by Pegah Anvarian
26-Dec-2007 (6 comments)




The Russian prostitute

25-Dec-2007 (45 comments)
When you are writing a series it is fatal to stop. If it takes too long between episodes readers, even the most avid fans, tend to lose track of the story. When you take as long as I have this time they lose interest completely. So it is with a very humble amount of hope of recovering my readers’ interest that I am writing this piece. The only thing I have going for me is that I write in a genre in which the plot and coherence of a story matters little. What matters is how well the writing conveys sex. Basically if the reader is turned on by what I write I have succeeded. So I will give you a Christmas episode from a while back that I have wanted to share for a long time and now that I am free from the linear confines of diary writing I will indulge you.>>>