Monday, March 29, 2010

Quiet Revolution

This is how one picture speaks a thousand words! With this series of photos, Karoubi puts yet another nail on the coffin of the so-assumed patriarchy in Iran.

If you have grown up in Iran, and if you have ever been in the vicinity of robed clerics, you would know that in any gathering they have a little kingly status: they sit at the best seat of the party; are given the best of food and are the center of everyone's service.

If you have grown up in Iran, you would know that by tradition, old men, especially those sporting a cotton beard as Karoubi's are not expected to serve to younger ones; even if the young ones are guests. If you have grown up in Iran, you would know that girls, by traditional training, will automatically get up and take over the serving services from the older hosts.

None of what I said above is a sign of female subjugation, or female exploitation or any of that feminist crap. It is just part of our cultural choreography. I have taken the tea tray from the hands of my father or uncles a hundred times, feeling proud of my good manners. (And I have had my old uncle refuse my help saying: "go away, I am not old!")

This is why this picture is so significant. Karoubi is serving to young girls who are his guest. He is robed, and yet he is (almost) bowing to his guests. In his posture, you can sense his unease, he is stiff. If he wanted to crank the pose a bit up, he would have to had bent a little more, smiling into the eyes of his guests. I am happy he is not doing that because it would have been inauthentic. Nevertheless, with the simple act of offering sweets to his Norooz guests, he IS bringing down the cleric king.

I don't rule out that this is a media campaign. But every media campaign reflects the forces that necessitate taboo-breaking.

This picture shall live in our memories. May it multiply!


Pedestrian said...

There's one more picture, which shows him bending just a little more - but I think because the female guest he is serving is sitting on the ground. He still looks stiff, but it's a pleasure to watch him. Tajzadeh is looking over at them ever so curiously ;)

I know we already had this conversation, but I can't say enough about how much I enjoy these Norouz visits. It gives me a boost of energy: if the likes of Tajzadeh, who is only home for a short leave, who has lost 10 shirt sizes, who probably has a mountain of both personal and political worries, can take the time to visit and comfort friends and show that he hasn't backed down ... I shouldn't be complaining!

Anonymous said...

on the same thread ( quiet revolution ignited by social change) , here are 5 series of videos that you may find interesting - if you haven't seen them already. It seems a very honest and well thought analysis of the popular movement in Iran which can not be labeled or restrained by any specific colour , group or currents of thoughts . It is translated in to French but unfortunately not in to English .


goatman said...

Could he be just one of the hired help? Kidding!!

As the world opens up to travel, internet, and other cultures we should expect, I guess, a moderating of the rather extreme habits.

And the wise would realize that change is inevitable . . . . .

GeneralOreo said...

I just checked your profile and found that stop the second holocaust blog, likening an attack on iran with the genocide of a people.

It's amazing how much Iranians deserve what's happening to them. You are all ignorant, irrational, extremist. Just different types. Your country promotes the vilest anti-semitic propoganda and funds terroriss that seek to finish hitler's job, and yet stopping this project to you would be a second holocaust. It's a shame that if there's an attack it would only target nuclear facilities and not be a real secodn holocaust and finish the iranian problem once and for all.

You have the nerve to call the world a 'war mongering' one while you people know nothing but to shout death to other countries (and then beg for visas to enter them, and enjoy the good life and shout death to them on the internet).

Such a shame the US is only a war mongering nazi empire in the deluded minds of leftists and islamists, otherwise it would use its power to its full extent without self-imposed rules of war and 'honor' and the world wouldn't have to put up with you rotten people.

GeneralOreo said...

Another thing, you say in a previous blog post that you wanted to vote for ahamdinejad until you saw the debates. If 4 years of ahamdinjad, including his despicable comments, wasn't enough for you, then I'm glad to say that your country deserves another 4 and it's a shame you're not there to enjoy them.

It's hilarious seeing people critizs republican americans for re-electing bush for 'not flinching' and holding steady, even though he's an idiot of a leader, and here we have the same phenomena. Simply the optical illusion of tough leadership deludes the mentally retarded population into thinking this translate into real capability, and the opposition not engaging in chest thumping and irresponsible rhetoric labels them as weak.

Bush, of course, despite being an idiot, is infinitely more honorable than ahamdinejad or mousavi or any other bearded monkey iran can offer.

GeneralOreo said...

I still can't get over how stupid this is, hitler calling for the annihilation of jews is the same as people calling to stop iran from getting nuclear weapons.

What a wonderful place the world would be if someone really did call for and then annihilate all iranians.

GeneralOreo said...

Reading that paragraph under 'stop the holocaust title' of that/your blog, you add 'communists' next to jews as if they were the same. In case you don't know your history, they were a lot more than just a threat to world peace, they nearly brought civilization to an end and killing them all was and still is more than justified. I'm guessing your a communists yourself. I have to say the only good thing about the mullahs is how they dealt with leftists after the revolution.

GeneralOreo said...

the only second holocaust would be one by iranians murdering millions of israelis should you get access to nuclear bombs. And you have the nerve to consider a defensive action by israel or the US at a limited number of nuclear facilites as a second holocaust. Unbelievable. Un-fucking-believable. Perhaps if iranians and their culture had the humanity to build a society contributing useful things to the world instead of terror, you wouldn't have to worry about the US bombing it. The only truly war mongering country in the middle east and the world is iran.

GeneralOreo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Naj said...

General Oreo:

I am not dignifying your pathological stalking with a response; but it seems to me that your zionist ass is on fire, since American brows are lifting and curling at Israeli illegal occupation.

Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

Wonderful, Naj! May it multiply indeed!

RickB said...

GeneralOreo can I just say how glad I am someone has had the courage to speak the truth, indeed what an intellectually and morally consistent position it is to approve one genocide while decrying others, just as your denigration of Iran and any 'bearded monkey' is rooted in peer reviewed anthropological fact and is not at all racist. Furthermore you are so right how 'civilisation' was threatened by a tide of communism (which as we all know is intrinsically evil, the profit motive of capital is a moral pursuit) so clearly the Nazis were right to exterminate them, well done for supporting them there and your continued wish to exterminate communists. And your wish that the US would exercise it's power likewise is at last the call to sanity we have all been waiting for. So allow me to summarise your bold agenda-

1. The US should commit Genocide proudly, starting with Iranians and domestic leftists.

See it would have been so much easier and saved your poor typing fingers all that strain if you had just said- Hello I am a genocidal fascist, exterminate those I deem subhumans!

Yes, Stop The Second Holocaust really misidentified the issue didn't it.

Gracewanderer said...

Hi, I am a member of the American military, I found your blog on accident while looking for Gen. Petraeus' thesis. Do you mind if I follow what you write here?

Naj said...



i think, if oreo is an American, he is just missing his schizophrenia medication. This level of incoherence and paradox is kind of fun to laugh at! I hope America's healthcare reforms may help these people get mental health care!

but maybe oreo is not american and is a zionist cyborg; who is missioned with blowing up American genocidality to conceal the Israeli one :)

Oh wait he removed one of his comments:

"Oh and I think you'd be glad to know that I forwarded your information to homeland security.

Do us all a favor and return to your country, rotten leech. "

Anonymous said...

What do you think of this interview/article on the subject of what would help the Greens in Iran and the relationship between Iran and the US and between Iran and Islam?

The interview is with a former member of the Iranian RG who has fled to the U.S.

Naj said...

He sounds like a whore!

Selling what may bring him cash. Too much bulshit to pay attention. This asshole is wearing the label of "revolutionary guard" to appear authoritative and internally informed; yet what he says are just as common and as baseless as yoru average fox pundit!

Nauseating bastard!

Naj said...

addendum: i have respect for sex workers; but a whore is different thing in my mind!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Naj, but could you be more specific? It is very hard for us in the U.S. to get a decent sense of what people in the Arab and Muslim world are really thinking as most of us don't speak Arabic (or Farsi) and your Press isn't really free. These kinds of interviews, and State-sponsored propaganda are what we get (and blogs like yours, of which I read many).
For example the interviewee makes the point that the revolution in 79 was originally led by a coalition of Islamists, democrats and socialists, but that the Islamists took over and got rid of everyone else. I have read that in several places, including some history books, Perseopolis and a a memoir by a jewish refugee from Persia (something with "wedding in the title"). Do you disagree? Do you remember something different?
Also, the interviewee says that Persians resent the Islamic conquest and Arabization of Iran. That is not something I have read anywhere else, at least not in those terms. Is that idea something that seems crazy to you?

I tend to agree with you that all the war-gaming in the interview is nonsense, but mostly because all war-gaming tends to be nonsense. We rarely know what will happen.

Thanks so much for responding and blogging

Naj said...

anonymous, would you be so kind to pick a name please so i can keep a threat of which anonymous i am interacting with (i do that rarely, by the way :) )

these two specific points you refer to, as i said, are part of the "street knowledge" that basically any Iranian will repeat, parrot-ly.

In fact, this is how i have seen things happen around me, so they are nto baseless. but for these kind of matters i would advise the American curious ones to consult scholarly works of which there is plenty.

Blogs like mine are by no means professional or historical or sociological sources. The best they can be desribed is "narratives of suffering", "personal diaries", and little news outlets, that need to be verified and questioned. (including my posts).

I recommend you stay away from "best sellers"! Best sellers are satisfy-all kind of entities.

If you have specific questions, i will be happy to answer them from MY point of view/knowledge. This is to tell that you cannot LUMP the whole of the middle eat, the arab countries,Iran and Islam in one pot and assume you can understand it. Layers and layers of history and myth and folk is condensed in that part of the world. It is not reducible!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Naj.
All I can ever ask is for one person's analysis, and you are right to caution against assuming anyone speaks for everyone.

I was surprised that you agreed with the second point-that Iranians resent the Arabizing effect of Islam. It is not that I thought otherwise, in fact I did know that Persians and Arabs were not especially brotherly, but I simply hadn't seen the issue expressed that way and was a little surprised that others do see it that way.

me-again (my new name)

Naj said...

you again :)

This is my personal theory; i have done NO research on it, but here I shoot it in the form of an observation, question: consider belly dancing! Persians do not belly-dance! Oh no!

There is something tangiblly visceral, pulsative and passionate in the arab culture that is entirely missing in ours. They are more fun-loving life-loving perhaps. Our culture, by contrast, demands us to be stoic. Proper upbringing demands a persian to not laugh loudly; to not eat much, to not have sex, to not have hate, to mot love things that are material. :)

Iranians LOATH mullahs (symbol of arabization of the culture) for spending too much of their religious books on abdominal matters!

Arabs, from what they tell me, hate us for being wheasly and skewed and unfigurable! Right now; they like Ahmadinejad because he is giving an international voice to their hatred (both for Israelis and for the stuckup persians!) They say (many many taxi conversations with drivers in different parts of the worls) they like him because he is COURAGEOUS. Iranians hate Ahmadinejad because they think he is just plain unreasonable and impractical. They cannot admire a courage that doesn't bring tangible results. Perhaps this is why Persians do not hold any grudge against the history; grudges "distract". This is why they are so strategicaly quiet now; not giving power to the wild dogs of the state, but growing their greens at home! This is the myth of our survival.

Naj said...

(how do persians dance? with their hands, faces and the tip of their toes! boob and butt shaking comes from the south, where IRan's Arab population lives.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I like your Belly Dancing theory.
It sounds like your Persians are like our WASPs and your Arabs are like our Italians/Jews


BTW, I thought the bulk of the Arab dislike of the Persians stems from the Shia/Sunni split (even if Iraqis are mostly Shia). Shows how much I know.

Naj said...

speaking of protestant; actually shiism was some form of protestanism --but one that didn't like the "democratic" Sunni tradition of picking khalif's and preferred to keep the "blue blood" of the prophet's lineage at the helm of power.

Afterall, before arab invasion, Sassanid royals of Persia married their sisters to keep the blood in the family! :) Also, it was in the Sassanid courts that the priest had (the superstitious) power, not in the trade-tribes of Arabia! This is perhaps (again my theory) why the POWER OF CLERGY as we know it stemmed from Iran, in the form of Ruhollah Khomeini! The rabs had to make a construction businessman the leader of their religious cause ;)

Publicola said...

It's very difficult to understand why GeneralOreo gets worked up that much.

I have found and I still find your report on your changing political view(s) rather intriguing, sincere and somehow courageous:

Who dares to admit that she/he made a wrong decision politically ?

Who finds it easy to criticize a political tendency or party she/he formerly adhered to ?

Life and reality means change and alteration.

[[As Heraclitus emphasized:
ποταμῷ γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμϐῆναι δὶς τῷ αὐτῷ = Noone can step twice into the same river.

The water-particles are flowing and will continually be different ones, the person stepping into the river is changing and will continue to change.]]

Anonymous said...



Naj said...

thanks publicola

for the record, be it said that i did not "adhere" to any politics. To me, the only thing that matters is that wars be prevented and in my view the big war monger in this world is the military industry complex (of russia, china, America, Israel, France, UK)

As long as anyone or anything prevents the wheels of fortunes of these war mongers, who hold the throats of our economy, thus government, by throat, from turning, i support them. In the past, as i have repeatedly said, Ahmadinejad was successful by putting Iran in the eye of the storm, and taking the same bully approach that was practiced by the likes of Bushy.

I still belive his nuclear stance is a correct one: i adamantly oppose any sanctions placed on iran on account of its nuclear program.

And if the western countries continue behaving the way they are, and pressure iran on nuclear issue, then i will be FORCED to put my support behind Ahmadinejad again.

So, Obama better disarm Ahmadinejad of his strength, and quit his imperialist nag!

Publicola said...

Thanks for your answer.

I appreciate your differentiating stance.

Life and reality is multifaceted and multifarious;
accordingly connected problems and answers are bound to be complex.

Take care

Naj said...

yikes; I had written such an unedited response; but that happens when one post a comment in the middle of the night with an iphone !

I should get back to blogging soon; I think my injured arm is now willing to take a back seat to some important upcoming issues re Obama's nuclear threats on Iran.

Anonymous said...

Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.That act, and these photos are intended to be instruction.No words are needed.

Tori said...

@Naj, I just want to respond to your post and not to the odd comments. Just wanted to say ditto to Pedestrian. What a remarkable picture. When I was in IRan, I knew so little about politics. I actually thought that Karoubi was a bit delusional to think that he would not be subjected to the same type of censorship that the regime had been imposing on others. Since then, I've actually spent time learning more about him and am impressed with his bravery and his principled stand on the rights of others. Nice to see a demonstration. Thanks

Publicola said...

Bushtheliberator's comments:
as always - exactly to the point