Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gaza Cartoon Contest

By Wahyu Kokkang, Indonesia

By Abdolzahra Salehi, Iran

Iran's Cartoon House is holding the International Gaza Cartoon Contest (by email) and displaying the cartoons on its web site in support of the people of Palestine. (source:payvand)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gaza ...

Has anyone noticed that whenever Palestinians give peace a chance, Israel feels compelled to assassinate some of them, then blockade them and cut food and water supplies, and masterfully force them BACK to violence, so that it can strike back in self-defense!!, and kill hundreds of people (285 so far) who have no fault other then self-defending? And of course, if Iran rolls up the sleeves to HELP the innocent caught in Gaza, it will have deserved a self-defensing-Israeli-attack??!!!

What kind of a 'culture', that thrives on self-pity for historical subjugation, can do the same to other people and look in the eye of the history with self-righteousness?! The Jews are proud of their 'culture' and heritage ... so why don't they speak up, collectively, against the crimes against humanity conducted in their name??! There are a few though ...

A philosophical question: If the "an eye for an eye" holds--which it does in Judaism, would it be okey if Palestinians killed 285 Israelis in rocket attacks?! Or is an Israeli or an American eye more expensive and proportionate to the price of weapons they possess?!!

9-11'ish smoke ... in Gaza ...
Merry Christmas;
and Happy Hannuka, the festival of light!

and Anne's list of when/whom/what to Protest/Lobby/Boycott

Uhmmm ... Santa in Iran!!

click on the photo to see more.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Education Jihad

These pictures taken in a village in the province of Fars (where Persepolis is).
These women (some younger, some old) are learning to read and write.

At the onset, Iran's revolutionary "Islamic Republic" prioritized three objectives (despite the Iran-Iraq imposed war)

Jihad-e Sazandegi (Development Jihad)
Jihad-e Keshavarzi ( Agriculture Jihad)
Jihad-e Amoozeshi (Educational Jihad)--which closed the university doors to 'cleanse' it ideologically, but also dispatched numerous literacy camps across the most rural areas in Iran !

These initiatives were in fact set in place by Shah's regime as facilitators of "modernization". Whereas the Shah has Sepahe Danesh (army of knowledge), Behdasht (health), Keshavarzi (agriculture) even Tarvije khane dari (house keeping), the Islamists replaced the word "Sepah" (army) with Jihad (which literally means 'trying hard', but connotes undeniable duty to God).

I wish to argue that Iran would not have reached the so called Shah-desired "Golden Gates of Modernization", unless under auspices of an "Islamic republic"! Iran is a traditional country which is not fanatic, but is deeply conservative.

I often ponder about my childhood memories of traveling with my mother to rural places where she would be setting up this or that "Sepah". My mother had studied Economics and she worked for the Department of Agriculture. Her job kept her away from home very often! She always boasted bout how she would be going to places where men didn't dare to go. And she took me along some times. I cannot say I am fond of memories of those uncomfortable Land Rover rides that would take me with mother to these dry and 'ugly' villages where I could not play with kids. Even if they were 'groomed' (precondition for me to be allowed to play--out of fear of contracting an illness), I didn't understand their language often! (Not everyone in Iran speaks Persian).

At that time, young men and women had to do a compulsory service in these various "Sepahs". Naturally girls would join these armies. I don't know the details of recruitment but if mother wasn't asleep now I would have asked her (i will add as I learn more from her or Father). From what I recall, there was a large number of 'city' girls, who were often disgruntled about having to "serve". I don't know why but my parents had a habit of taking me to work with them! It wasn't because they didn't have baby sitters as my Grandmother lived with us and she always had two workers in the house (young women from villages who would not eat with us, who would not know how to read and write, and whom my sweet little Papa drove to their houses on the weekends--and now i am refreshing my memories of how YOUNG I was when i learned what poverty looked like ...).

For me it was fun to go to Mother's office; as I got a lot of attention from these young colorful women whom I wished to grow up to look like. But, even at that young age I always wondered why there were SO MANY of them cluttering the corridors and roaming aimlessly ... whatever kind of a job was that?! I would fantasize that they were orphans and that my mother was housing them! (But it was Aunt who ran the orphanage and not Mother, and I knew that these women had to do with the "economy" which was mother's specialty!)

When revolution came, those 'pretty girls' disappeared. Their green shirts, curled hair, 70's Jeans turned into vague memories of Mother and Aunt talking about how X who would not be wearing but a mini skirt, had now turned into a vigilante, reminding my mother to cover her hair--which of course she (and Aunt) refused to do, as they refused to do a lot of other things to CONFORM into what they weren't--thus mother was fired and forced to retire at the age of 43 (but with only a fraction of her pension, as a PUNISHMENT for her non-Islamicism)! Aunt tried hard to get herself fired too, but she didn't succeed. So she just quit--having the luxury of being married to a surgeon ...

With urbanites like mother gone (or 'cleansed', as was the word for getting rid of non-revolutionaries), these modernizing functions fell in the hands of those whom at the beginning "we" (i.e. the non-revolutionary Taghooties) considered incompetent villagers! These villagers, however, were there for a cause ... were there to educate their own people, with whom they shared a far greater affinity. As sensitive as my 'royal' mother was to the 'cause' for her peasants (or someone else's), she would not have been authentic enough to be effective. Feudal arrogance is one of those personality traits that oozes out; it alienates. That arrogance is not replaced with the arrogance of the clergy--which is even more pompous than the feudal one--but because it operated under the umbrella of "godliness" it is not as alienating. (Keep in mind that in Iran there is often a large overlap between the Clergy and the Feudal!)

This is why when I see pictures like these, my heart fills with hope for a future that will not need another bloody revolution to 'set things right'. Way to go ...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wedding: Iranian Style

I am not much of a "wedding" person!

Like many Iranian girls, my parents were in rush to get me married when I was 21! I married an exceptional man; whom I barely knew; but on whom I had a crush since I was a kid. A man of charisma, courage and great intelligence; and 'proper heritage', which was the only condition set by my family.

But I had a condition of my own:

That I shall not have a wedding; and that I should remain 'free'.

Many years have passed; and I am still married, the man is getting more charismatic, more courageous and his intelligence and good name are always there, and I am almost unimaginably free!

To me the whole wedding ceremony is appalling; the dress, the rituals, the gifts, the kisses, the dissatisfactions, the gossip, the so called "romance on display". I could not go through with THAT. To my mother's disbelief, that her first child would be married off like a homeless, through her tears, and with nothing in my marriage contract but an "apple", to be given to me by my to-be husband, should the marriage not work, I left my Papa's house! Almost two decades later; I am still proud of what I did!

I invite you to share with me your opinions and your stories. We are all anonymous here, so I am curious to hear what people really think about the significance of marriage and particularly the 'wedding' ceremony in their lives, in the society, in the aesthetics of culture, in folk tradition and etc ...

I like to hear your stories!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Iran, a pictorial map.


Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State? No Way!!!

Remember when Hillary promised to OBLITERATE IRAN? Well her's a memory refresher:

LA Times:

The statement triggered alarm bells in the Persian Gulf, which would likely suffer the consequences of any war between Iran and the U.S. In a harshly worded editorial, the Saudi-based daily Arab News trashed Clinton's comment today as insane:

This is the foreign politics of the madhouse. It demonstrates the same doltish ignorance that has distinguished Bush’s foreign relations. It offers only violence where there should be negotiations and war where there could be peace. At a stroke, Clinton demonstrated to everyone in this region that if she were the next occupant of the White House, Iraq-like death and destruction would be the order of the day.

The paper generally stays true to the line of the Saudi government, which is a key U.S. ally. But criticism of the remark also came from even friendlier quarters.

In the United Kingdom, which has been a steadfast U.S. ally in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as on the issue of Iran, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, a ranking British diplomat, criticized Clinton's remark as gratuitous:

While it is reasonable to warn Iran of the consequence of it continuing to develop nuclear weapons and what those real consequences bring to its security, it is not probably prudent ... in today's world to threaten to obliterate any other country and in many cases civilians resident in such a country.

Watch a video of how she "evolved" into being an obliterating hothead on The Nation
And also read The intemperate candidate
Seizing upon a question as to how she would respond to a nuclear attack by Iran--which doesn't have nuclear weapons--on Israel, which does, Hillary mocked reasoned discourse by promising to "totally obliterate them," in an apparent reference to the population of Iran. That is not a word gaffe; it is an assertion of the right of our nation to commit genocide on an unprecedented scale.

Shouldn't the potential leader of a nation that used nuclear bombs to obliterate hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese employ extreme caution before making such a threat? Neither the Japanese then nor the Iranian people now were in a position to hold their leaders accountable, and to approve such collective punishment of innocents is to endorse terrorism.

Already re-soled last year

(c) Times Magazine.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bill Maher: If you wanna make Religulous, then stop being a fanatic yourself!

I went to see Religulous last night. I like it when people poke fun at religion or at any other kind of Dogma. When you live in Canada, you develop a deep appreciation for political satire. Let's face it; it was two little comedians from Canada's little France that delivered the final shot to the miserably losing campaign of Sarah Palin who thought she was being congratulated by France's Sarkozy.

Now, returning to Religulous. What particularly pissed me off was the vulgar, self-righteous, and almost "religious" attitude of Bill Maher. Without offering any solid scientific evidence of his own, he poked fun at the pseudoscientoreligious illusions of others--whom he flatly called "crazies".

What was of particular interest to me was how like a fanatic IDIOT, he walked out on the Rabbi who was disputing the media-blown mistranslation of Ahmadinejad's "Israel Wiping". He did not even allow the orthodox rabbi finish his explanation of what the meaning of "wipe Israel off the map" was ... Bill Maher just got up in anger, saying "that's enough, I am out of here" walked off ... Interestingly, NONE of the 'religious' figures he interviewed behaved in such an utterly intolerant manner ... NONE of them walked off the set, DESPITE being cut off in mid sentence, being called "crazy" by Maher!

Well Mr Maher; you yourself seem to be subscribing to some zealot ideology!

You made fun of Jews, Muslims and Christians. I laughed occasionally.

You edited scenes of explosions and Palestinians chantings to make a case about how religion is the cause of destruction on earth. But, your documentary is SERIOUSLY ill-informed. You did not let the British Arabs or the Israeli Jews explain to you the difference between "political protest" and religious Disney theme show!

The fact that you treated the Jesus of Columbia (who fills his pockets) and the Peace-bearing Rabbi (who thinks Zionism is WRONG) as the same kind of lunatics, that you treated the innovations of the Jews who were trying to invent their ways around sabbat with the same disdain that you treated the Floridan Dancing Jesus company (whatever that zoo was); that you reduced the Palestinian/Iraqi plight to Islamist fanaticism; that you did not even make an intelligent argument in defense of evolution, in defense of homosexuality, in defense of freedom of speech, in defense of culture, in defense of diversity, in defense of respect, in defense of peace, and instead resorted to vulgar arrogance of cutting people off and beating your own boring nonsensical drum, is just a minor reflection on your shallow Hollywoodian brain!

I think, if you have that individual who had looked at the patterns of religious-brain activations take a look at yours; he will find the SAME kind of neural activity in your head. I am sure all that sex and drug you kept bragging about has not spared your brain cells.

Wanna bet?

The fanaticism of the so-called liberals disgusts me even more than that of Rush Limbaugh!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fabrication of Nuclear Weapons Evidence Against Iran

Gareth Porter reports :
Documents linking Iran to nuclear weapons push may have been fabricated!

Well that is not a surprise is it? I mean, weren't the evidence about Saddam's WMD fabricated?

Here's the Borpter's story: I reproduce it entirely with my own emphasis.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has obtained evidence suggesting that documents which have been described as technical studies for a secret Iranian nuclear weapons-related research program may have been fabricated.

The documents in question were acquired by U.S. intelligence in 2004 from a still unknown source -- most of them in the form of electronic files allegedly stolen from a laptop computer belonging to an Iranian researcher. The US has based much of its push for sanctions against Iran on these documents.

The new evidence of possible fraud has increased pressure within the IAEA secretariat to distance the agency from the laptop documents, according to a Vienna-based diplomatic source close to the IAEA, who spoke to RAW STORY on condition of anonymity.

The laptop documents include what the IAEA has described in a published report as technical drawings of efforts to redesign the nosecone of the Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missile “to accommodate a nuclear warhead.” The documents are also said to include studies on the use of a high explosive detonation system, drawings of a shaft apparently to be used for nuclear tests, and studies on a bench-scale uranium conversion facility.

These technical papers, along with some correspondence related to the alleged secret Iranian program -- referred to by the IAEA as “alleged studies” -- have been the primary basis during 2008 for the insistence by the US-led international coalition pushing for sanctions against Iran
that the Iranian case must be kept going in the United Nations Security Council.

Handwritten Notes

At the center of the internal IAEA struggle is an Iranian firm named Kimia Maadan, which is portrayed in the documents as responsible for studies on a uranium conversion facility, called the “green salt” project, as part of the alleged nuclear weapons program under the Iranian Ministry of Defense.

According to a February 2006 Washington Post article, the United States and its allies believe that Kimia Maadan is a front for the Iranian military.

One of the communications included in the laptop documents – a letter allegedly sent to Kimia Maadan from an unnamed Iranian engineering firm in May 2003 – is at the center of the authenticity argument.

This letter is described in the May 26, 2008 IAEA report as “a one page annotated letter of May 2003 in Farsi.” According to a US source who has been briefed on the matter, the letter has handwritten notes on it which refer to studies on the redesign of a missile reentry vehicle.

Last January, however, Iran turned over to the IAEA a copy of the same May 2003 letter with no handwritten notes on it. This was confirmed by the director of the IAEA Safeguards Department, Olli Heinonen, during a February briefing for member states. Heinonen referred to “correspondence” related to Kimia Maadan that is “identical to that provided by Iran, with the addition of handwritten notes.”

Notes on the Heinonen briefing, compiled by unnamed diplomats who attended it, were posted on the website of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security.

The copy of the letter without the handwritten notes was part of a larger collection of documentation concerning Kimia Maadan provided to IAEA by Iran in response to a request for an explanation of that firm’s role in the management of the Iranian Gchine uranium mine.

After the IAEA received the copy of the letter without notes from Iran, some officials began pushing for an acknowledgment by the Agency that there were serious questions about the whether the laptop documents were fabricated, according to the Vienna-based source close to the IAEA.

“There was an effort to point out that the Agency isn’t in a position to authenticate the documents,” said the source.

Heinonen and other IAEA Safeguards Department officials have continued, however, to defend the credibility of the document in question.

According to an American source briefed on the dispute,
the defenders of the authenticity of the version of the letter with the handwritten notes say that the appearance of the clean copy can be attributed to Kimia Maadan making multiple copies of the original which have been circulated to various staff members.

Only an Ore-processing Plant
Further evidence damaging to the credibility of the letter and the handwritten notes was provided to the atomic energy watchdog last January by the Iranian government. According to Iran, Kimia Maadan was not working for the Defense Ministry but for the civilian Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).

The new Iranian documentation, described in the February 22, 2008 IAEA report, proved to IAEA’s satisfaction that the Kimia Maadan Company had been created in May 2000 solely to carry out a project to design, procure and install equipment for an ore processing plant.

The documents also showed that the core staff of Kimia Maadan was able to undertake the work on ore processing only because the nuclear agency had provided it with the technical drawings and reports as the basis for the contract.

“Information and explanations provided by Iran were supported by the documentation, the content of which is consistent with the information already available to the agency,” the IAEA concluded.

Marie Harff, a spokesperson for the CIA, declined to comment.

Additional Doubts About the Letter
Other questions surround the letter with the handwritten notes. The subject of the letter was Kimia Maadan's inquiry to the engineering firm about procurement of a programmable logic control (PLC) system, according to the IAEA's May 26 report.

A PLC system is one of many types of technology that the United States has long sought to deny to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Iran had informed the IAEA even before 2006 that Kimia Maadan had assisted the AEOI in getting around that denial strategy by procuring various technologies for the planned uranium conversion facility at Esfahan.

Given that Kimia Maadan’s role in procurement for the conversion facility was both unrelated to its technical work for the AEOI and part of a covert effort to get around U.S. restrictions, it seems unlikely that they would have made multiple copies of the letter. Even if multiple copies were made, the firm would certainly have taken normal security precautions for a document of that type, marking each copy with a number or name.

A security procedure of that kind would have identified any missing copies. However, this was not the case with the 2003 letter. The United States, as its reason for refusing to provide a copy of the document to Iran, has argued that it would allow Iranian security personnel to identify the person who wrote the notes from their handwriting, according to the US source who has been briefed on the matter.

Another problem with the handwritten letter is the absence of any logical link between the subject of the letter and the alleged work on redesign of the missile. PLC systems, which are used for automation of industrial processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines, would have been irrelevant to the technical studies on redesigning the Shahab-3 missile.

Other Documents Also Under Suspicion
Other documents from the laptop collection, allegedly showing that Kimia Maadan was working closely with the team trying to redesigning the Shahab-3 missile, have also come under suspicion of fraud.

The IAEA’s May 2008 report describes a flowsheet under Kimia Maadan’s name, showing a “process for bench scale conversion of uranium oxide” to UF4 (uranium tetraflouride), also known as “green salt.”
The project number shown in the disputed documents for the “green salt” subproject is 5.13.

However, Heinonen stated that the number given to the Gchine subproject was 5.15. According to the documents obtained by the IAEA from Iran last January, this was the number of the uranium ore processing project that was assigned in 1999 by the civilian AEOI, not by the Iranian Defense Ministry. This would mean that the author of the document used the project number 5.13 for the “green salt” subproject based on their knowledge of the AEOI numbering system and not on a military designation.

In his February 25 briefing, Heinonen additionally referred to an alleged letter sent by Kimia Maadan – as manager of three subprojects – to the “missile re-entry vehicle” project, asking for a “technical opinion” on the plans for equipment for a proposed “green salt” conversion facility.

However, it is difficult to understand why the team working on redesigning the missile would be asked for a “technical opinion” on equipment for a uranium conversion facility.

A spokesperson for the State Department’s Office of Arms Control and International Security, which is responsible for IAEA affairs, said in an e-mail that specialists in the office “aren’t able to comment” on the subject of the intelligence documents now being considered by the IAEA.

The IAEA also declined to comment.

Toward a Showdown on the Contradictions

As the contradictions between the new Iranian evidence and the laptop documents relating to Kimia Maadan became apparent, some IAEA officials argued that the Agency should distance itself from what they now suspect are forgeries.
Despite that argument, the May 2008 report contained no reference to the issue.

The next IAEA report, due out in mid-November, will include the first response by the Agency to a confidential 117-page Iranian critique of the laptop documents, according to the Vienna-based source.

In the past, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has shown an ability to face off with the United States when evidence has been called into doubt.
The infamous “Niger forgeries” – documents that purported to show an agreement between Niger and Iraq for the purchase of uranium oxide – were used by the White House as part of its case for war against Iraq.

In response, ElBaradei sent a letter to the White House and the National Security Council in December 2002, over three months before the US launched the Iraq War, warning that he believed the documents were forgeries and should not be cited as evidence of Iraqi intention to obtain nuclear weapons.

When ElBaradei received no response from the Bush administration, he went public to debunk the Niger forgeries. In a speech at the United Nations in March 2003, he declared that the IAEA, after “thorough analysis,” had concluded that the documents alleging the purchase of uranium by Iraqi from Niger “are in fact not authentic.”

The anomalies that have been revealed by the Iranian documents obtained from Iran last January may not be as obvious as the ones that made it clear the Niger documents were fabrications. Nevertheless, they appear to be red flags for IAEA analysts concerned with the issue.

Suspicion has surrounded the “alleged studies” documents from the beginning, because the United States has refused to say who brought the collection to US intelligence four years ago.

Gareth Porter is an investigative journalist and historian who has authored numerous foreign policy analyses and is the author of the book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam. In a 2006 article in the American Prospect, he revealed Iran's spurned diplomatic outreach to the Bush Administration in 2003.

Is Obama Just Window Dressing Zionism?

Kam Zarrabi raises alarm about the selection of Rahm Emanuel and Dennis Ross in Obama's administration:

Ever since his selection as Obama's Chief of Staff, dissident and anti-war web sites have been flushing out Emanuel's family background, personal history and political record, alarmed that he is among the most hawkish pro Israel activists in the US Congress, has Israeli citizenship and has served in the Israeli army. The Arab world, meantime, is now dismayed that hopes for a more compassionate or at least a more balanced new American administration under Barack Hussein Obama have been quite premature. Some observers and critics go as far as claiming that an Obama administration will prove to be more pro Israel than the Zionist-Neocon run Bush administration.

What has been equally alarming is the great likelihood that another zealot Zionist and pro Israel activist, Dennis Ross, will be Obama's advisor and front man in dealing with the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian issues.

No one could deny that Mr. Obama's appointees with regard to his foreign policy objectives in the Middle East have extreme pro Israel profiles and track record. At the same time, setting prejudice aside, neither Dennis Ross nor Rahm Emanuel could be classified as political ignoramuses bent on wreaking havoc for the sake of some blind passion for the Jewish state; they must know as much as the best of us, and perhaps more.

So, what is it that we critics know and Rahm Emanuel and Dennis Ross must also know?

  • The power and influence of the Israel lobby over any American administration, whether Democrat or Republican, cannot be denied, over exaggerated, ignored or neutralized anytime soon.
  • Sentiment for Israel is so deeply entrenched within the American consciousness that any open criticism of Israel or its policies is viewed with suspicions of bigotry and anti-Semitism.
  • Being a Moslem or showing any sympathy toward the Islamic world, especially by any politician seeking a position or attempting to implement national policies is tantamount to political suicide.
  • Israel can, if its leaders so choose, rationalize and ultimately legitimize any act of aggression, as it has numerous times, in the name of self-defense, all with impunity from international condemnations, as long as it can find sanctuary under the protection of the United States.
  • Any Israeli aggression in the Middle East will automatically implicate and involve the United States; the Israeli leadership is counting on that, and the American administration is fully aware of all the ramifications thereto.

read more ...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Jane Stillwater's Travel Report from Iran

My Friend, Coffee Messiah pointed me to a wonderful travel-log by Jane Stillwater who has just returned from Iran ... Look it up! (Jane, sorry for borrowing some of your pictures without your permission. Firstly, because I think you look fabulous against the Iranian background; and second because I wanted to give you a bit of advertisement, learning that the army didn't embed you in Iraq on account of your blog's low readership. You have a lovely blog!)

Here's what the Times of said about her last year:

April 11, 2007
With flak jacket and blog, a hippy grandmother seeks truth in Baghdad.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Anaar: Pomegranate

Anaar is considered a "heavenly fruit" in Iran and often symbolizes the autumn. Tehran is hosting an Anaar Festival, celebrating the season and focusing on the medical, mythical, poetic and artistic significance of Anaar in Persian culture.

For those in Iran: the festival is hosted at the "Nature Cultural center", second Tehran-Pars Sq., Phone: (Code: 011-98-21)77-35-4735.

When my husband heard about this post, he (whose memory leaves me in AWE) started reciting a beautiful poem about "Anaar" by Manuchehri Damghani, 11 century AD, who's known for painterly-poems about the nature. But my language abilities are not sophisticated enough to do justice to the poem. Instead, to share the festive spirit of the season, I have borrowed these pictures from internet.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

America: Congratulations!

"tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope."

This is your greatest contribution to the world: This nuclear attack on the core of your history!

You have redeemed yourself of the charge of racism; and in doing so, you have also broken the chains of self-hate for the children of the lesser god: the one who are not "white"!

This is the revolution of hope against cynicism.

I wish for you to make it work.

What I like most in your new president is his self-confidence together with his humility. His ego is as big as his ideals; which are inclusive of your nation and also of the world. Thus, while encompassing the ego of America they also divest it of the erosive American arrogance which has been plaguing the world for the past half century.

Because you are such a young, agile and flexible nation; and because you proved how sick of Bushism you are, and because Obama won I love you all this morning!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Milad Tower

Borj-e Milad (aka Milad Tower, Persian: برج میلاد ) (Persian: birth) is the tallest tower in Iran. Built in between the Shahrak-e Gharb and Gisha districts of Tehran, it stands 435 m (1,427 ft) high from base to tip of the antenna. The head consists of a large pod with 12 floors, the roof of which is at 315 m (1,033 ft). Below this is a staircase and elevators to reach the area. Milad tower is the fourth tallest tower in the world after the CN Tower in Toronto, Ostankino Tower in Moscow, and the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai. It is also currently 12th tallest freestanding structure in the world.

Milad tower is part of The Tehran International Trade and Convention Center. Scheduled for completion in late 2009, the project includes the Milad telecommunication tower offering restaurants at the top with spectacular views of Tehran, a five-star hotel, a convention center, a world trade center, and an IT park (to be completed by March 2007). The complex seeks to respond to the needs of business in the globalized world of the 21st century by offering facilities combining trade, information, communication, convention and accommodation all in one place.

The complex features a parking area of 27,000 square meters, a large computer and telecommunication unit, a cultural and scientific unit, a commercial transaction center, a temporary showroom for exhibiting products, a specialized library, an exhibition hall and an administrative unit. Milad Tower has an octagonal base, symbolizing traditional Persian architecture

Construction contractors
virtual tour

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ahmadinejad, against religious leaders?

Who thought Ahmadinejad would have been working to rid Iran's circle of power from clerics?
A look at Iran's presidential contenders

Do You Like Music?

Then visit Ostaad Hassan Kassai's almost magical performance on the Ney--a Persian wind instrument. It consists of a straw (ney) with finger-holes. Ney has a unique sound (hear for yourself by listening to Master Kassai play it), signifying solitude and melancholy.

If you like that, you can buy some CDs here, on Music Box.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Israel Gets Real on Iran

Tony Karon:
The distinction between the apocalyptic rhetoric Israeli leaders use publicly in relation to Iran, and the more pragmatic view they hold among themselves on how to deal with Tehran and its nuclear program, has long been clear to anyone paying very close attention. In short, it’s clear that many of Israel’s key leaders don’t believe Iran is a suicidal ideologically-crazed regime that would risk destroying itself in order to destroy Israel, and therefore that even a nuclear-armed Iran would not be an “existential threat” to Israel, although clearly it would present a major strategic challenge by fundamentally reordering the balance of military force in the region. And of late, some of them have begun a gingerly but very clear retreat from the idea that Israel will have to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities if no one else does — President Shimon Peres has said as much, publicly, and outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has echoed that position.
(Read more)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Eye Candy!

Okey she is not my favorite actor. In fact she acts quite miserably!
(sorry for not posting anything meaningful yet; I will soon!)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Another Award!

Update: I am sad to learn that Liquid Illuzion decided to end her life on Dec 24, 2008. I am not a social blogger; but every now an again I stumble upon some magnificently creative blessing that I cannot help falling in love with ... LiQuid Illuzion was one of those ...

From the poet, the medicine man (literally), the philosopher: No big Chief, Little Indian; I received the following award:

Little Indian's is one of those blogs where you go to hide out in order to find truth. I don't know how to describe it, but it has a poignant poetic quality to it, that i am unable to describe, but I thoroughly connect to and enjoy.

According to the rules of the game, I must nominate 7 bloggers.
I treat this as a cumulative business, so please make sure to check my previous nominees too.

The following are amongs some of the most creative bloggers I have ever e-met:

LiQuid Illuzions
Utah Savage
Anglo-Persian: ddmmyyyy
Coffee Messiah
Mystic Rose
ForEver Under Construction

Excuse my migraine and deadlines; explore and be dazed ...

Thank you Little Indian!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rasoul Sadr Ameli


The film is the story of Atiyeh, a young radio show host specializing on "relationships", who is suffering a terminal illness and will die in 4 months, unless she agrees to a risky surgery (which she refuses to have).
Her desperate husband brings her on a pilgrimage to Mashad. She is not a believer, but she becomes overwhelmed by the power of other's faith, and recognizes in her the love for ...

A Marvelous film, about belief, faith, pain, death, love, life ... shot against the rarely seen backdrop of Imam Reza's Shrine in Mashad.

By: Rasoul Sadrameli
Born in Isfahan, Iran in 1953, Rasoul Sadrameli studied sociology in France before returning to Iran to produce Ami Ghavidel's RAIN OF BLOOD (1981) and make his directorial debut with THE RELEASE (1982). He has since directed THE CHRYSANTHEMUMS (1983), PAIZAN (1987), THE VICTIM (1991), TEHRAN SYMPHONY (1993), THE GIRL IN THE SNEAKERS (1999), I'M TARANEH, 15 (2002) and DISHAB BABATO DIDAM, AIDA(2005).

Sadr Ameli is a post-revolutionary director, who opened the peri-war Iranian cinema to "love" stories: In "golhaye Davoodi" (THE CHRYSANTHEMUMS (1985)).

Leila Hatami is great in her role. (The great Iranian director, Ali Hatami first cast his daughter in Delshodegan, where she played the role of a blind Turk princess, wandering in a rose garden in search of her Persian singer. Ever since, Leila Hatami has played in numerous films, often type cast as an elegantly eccentric woman in 'search' of something lost ... and she plays her type WELL.)

I loved the poetry (Death of Swan By Hamidi, plus a lot of Hafiz).

The colours were vivid: the golden shrine, decorated with blue ceramics and glittering mirrors, marble mosaics, ruby red Persian rugs (source of pictures above!).

Of course the music by Mohammad-Reza Aligholi was another highlight of this wonderful two hours spent on passion, reflection and interospection.

AND ... this movie was made by assistance from a Mullah, which made me chuckle as i saw the titles, but then I came to realize that without the assistance of the "Hojat El-Eslam", no camera would have gained permission to go to the pilgrimage site. In fact the only other times I have seen the Imam-Reza Shrine on celluloid has been in Baraka, and in the last episode of Pasolini's, Trilogy of Life!

And this, to me, "is" velvet REVOLUTION
... Americans, Monarchists and the MKO:

Let our artists do their job: Persian Renaissance!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


This is Susa, one of the oldest-known settlements of the world, dating back to 8000 BC.

Susa is mentioned in the Ketuvim of the Hebrew Bible, mainly in Esther, but also once each in Nehemiah and Daniel. Both Daniel and Nehemiah lived in Susa during the Babylonian captivity of Judah of the 6th century BCE. Esther became queen there, and saved the Jews from genocide. A tomb presumed to be that of Daniel is located in the area, known as Shush-Daniel. The tomb is marked by an unusual white, stone cone, which is neither regular nor symmetric. Many scholars believe it was at one point a Star of David. (Picture on bottom right)

Susa is further mentioned in the Book of Jubilees (8:21 & 9:2) as one of the places within the inheritance of Shem and his eldest son Elam; and in 8:1, "Susan" is also named as the son (or daughter, in some translations) of Elam.

Shushtar's Historical Hydraulic System is a UNESCO world heritage site (picture on top).

The main components of the hydraulic systems are:

  • The canal called Ab-e Gargar (or the medieval Mashreqân) which is led from the left bank of the river about 500 m north of the town; it runs southwards along the east side of the cliffs of Shushtar and rejoins the Kârun at Band-e Qir;
  • The great barrage called Band-e Qaysar (the Dike of Caesar) also known as Band-e Mizân, which is thrown across the principal arm of the river (here called Shoteit) east of the town and is about 350 m long; this barrage supports a bridge that connected the town with the west bank, but now a considerable gap is broken in it;
  • The canal called Miyânâb which begins above the barrage in the form of a tunnel cut out of the rock on the western side of the town; the Miyânâb turns southwards and irrigates the land south of the town.

The waterworks in Susa were developed to deliver water to the city from the river Kârun, located 10 meters below. The main aim of these constructions was to meet the inhabitants' needs for protecting themselves from floods, while irrigating their agricultural lands and making possible passages across the river and canals. The construction of bridges, dams, bridge-Dams, mills, qanâts, reservoirs, tunnels, and canals for the water supply of the town were conducted in the Sâssanian period (224-650 A.D.), especially during the reign of Shapur I (r. 240-272 A.D.).

For a touristic view of the region: see this.
Encyclopedia Britanica:
Susa, ancient city, Iran also called Shushan, Greek Susiane, modern Shush.

Capital of Elam (Susiana) and administrative capital of the Achaemenian king Darius I and his successors from 522 bc. It was located at the foot of the Zagros Mountains near the bank of the Karkheh Kūr (Choaspes) River in the Khuzistan region of Iran.

The archaeological site, identified in 1850 by W.K. Loftus, consists of four mounds. One held the citadel and was excavated (1897–1908) by Jacques de Morgan, who uncovered, among other objects, the obelisk of the Akkadian king Manishtusu, the stele of his successor Naram-Sin, and the code of Hammurabi of Babylon. A second mound to the east was the location of the palace of Darius I and was excavated (c. 1881) by Marcel Dieulafoy. A third mound to the south contained the royal Elamite city, while the fourth mound consisted of the poorer houses.

The finest pottery was found in the lowest strata and belonged to two different civilizations, both Neolithic. Above the early strata were remains of Elamite and early Babylonian civilizations. In the upper portions of the mounds Achaemenian, Greek, Elamite, Parthian, and Sāsānian remains were found. Until sometime after the 14th century ad the city was a flourishing centre of a district known for silk, sugarcane, and oranges.


MLA Style:

"Susa." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 28 Aug. 2008 <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/575503/Susa>.