Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Ballad of Tara (چریکه تارا)

The Ballad of Tara is made by the Iranian Master, Bahram Beyzai. It was made in the year of the revolution, 1979, and banned as soon as the Islamic Republic took place!

The film features one of Iran's best female theater actors, Sousan Taslimi, who was forced off of screen and stage, after the revolution, because "her face and beauty transpired too much charisma and force"[see this interview with BBC Persian]. After memorable performances in several of Baizai's films (best known to the outsiders, Bashu the Little Stranger), under pressure from the censors, she migrated to Sweden in 1989 to become a leading artist in her new home.

The Ballad of Tara is a metaphoric depiction of women as the guardian of the goodness, the courage and the historical continuity. Tara doesn't know that only she can be the guardian of the historic sword. Unaware of the significance of the sword, Tara hands it in to one of her male neighbors. But, he returns it in fury and cries that the sword invited haunting ghosts to his house; ruining his calm and peace. Tara, 'instrumentalizes' the historical heritage, using the sword to harvest, to defend her children from a mad dog and fierce ghosts, and finally fighting the almighty waves of the sea to claim her historic lover, the ghost warrior, back.

Beyzai's films are almost invariably centered on a strong female lead, for he believes:
    It is in a patriarchal society that the lack of presence of a man in the leading role invokes critical attention ... the greatest disaster of patriarchy, where grownups decide for children and men for women and the government for the real people and the intellectual for the imaginary ones, is that it is the women and children who suffer the consequences of the men’s decisions. The victims of patriarchal self-centeredness are not only the women and children, but also many a man. These people are my subjects. Against a masculine tyranny, the children build up a hatred that will make them the martyrs or the tyrants of the future. The women, on the other hand, have their internal defense mechanism and a subtle wisdom that balances them against the violence of the world. [source: Iran Chamber Society]

Minimalist in conversation and rich in texture and cinematography, the film is recently made available on YouTube, with French subtitles.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Persian Translation of Avec Le Temps (Leo Ferre Lyrics & Patricia Kaas Performance)

با زمان
با زمان، همه چیز میگذرد
چهره را فراموش میکنیم و صدا را هم
قلبی که نطپد، زحمت رفتن نمیکشد
فراتر نمیجوید، رها میکند و اینچنین بهتر است

با زمان
با زمان همه چیز میگذرد

دیگری را که دوست میداشتیم، که زیر باران می جستیم
دیگری را که ازیک نگاه میخواندیم
در میان کلمات و خطوط و زیر نقاب
پیمانی آراسته که در خواب میشود
با زمان، همه چیز ناپدید میشود

با زمان،
با زمان همه چیز میگذرد
حتی دوست داشتنی ترین یادگارها از چشم می افتند
وقتی که زیر نوری مرده آنها را جستجو میکنیم
در شنبه شب هایی که مهربانی تنها میماند

با زمان همه چیز میگذرد
کسی که رویش حساب میکردیم، برای یک سرما خوردگی ساده، برای یک هیچ
کسی که به او از هوا میبخشیدیم تا جواهر
کسی که برایش روحمان را میفروختیم به یک سکه پول
کسی که به دنبالش پادو میزدیم مثل یک سگ
با زمان، میرود،
همه چیز درست می شود

با زمان
با زمان همه چیز میگذرد
گرمای محبت را فراموش میکنیم و آوای صدا را هم
که چون بیچارگان نجوا میکرد
'دیر نکن، سرما هم نخور'.

با زمان
با زمان همه چیز میگذرد
و احساس میکنیم چو اسبیم از پا افتاده
و احساس میکنیم که منجمدیم در بستر حادثه
و احساس میکنیم که بی کسیم هر چند بی خیال
و احساس میکنیم که فریب خورده ایم در همه سالهای رفته
اما در واقع
با زمان
دیگر عشق نمی ورزیم

ترجمه شده از متن فرانسه شاعر و خواننده لئو فره
مترجم: Naj of Neoresistance
لطفا اگر استفاده میکنید، منبع را ذکر کنید

Avec le temps...
Avec le temps, va, tout s'en va
On oublie le visage et l'on oublie la voix
Le coeur, quand ça bat plus, c'est pas la peine d'aller
Chercher plus loin, faut laisser faire et c'est très bien

Avec le temps...
Avec le temps, va, tout s'en va

L'autre qu'on adorait, qu'on cherchait sous la pluie
L'autre qu'on devinait au détour d'un regard
Entre les mots, entre les lignes et sous le fard
D'un serment maquillé qui s'en va faire sa nuit
Avec le temps tout s'évanouit

Avec le temps...
Avec le temps, va, tout s'en va
Mêm' les plus chouett's souv'nirs ça t'as un' de ces gueules
A la Gal'rie j'farfouille dans les rayons d'la mort
Le samedi soir quand la tendresse s'en va tout seule

Avec le temps...
Avec le temps, va, tout s'en va

L'autre à qui l'on croyait pour un rhume, pour un rien
L'autre à qui l'on donnait du vent et des bijoux
Pour qui l'on eût vendu son âme pour quelques sous
Devant quoi l'on s'traînait comme traînent les chiens
Avec le temps, va, tout va bien

Avec le temps...
Avec le temps, va, tout s'en va
On oublie les passions et l'on oublie les voix
Qui vous disaient tout bas les mots des pauvres gens
Ne rentre pas trop tard, surtout ne prends pas froid

Avec le temps...
Avec le temps, va, tout s'en va

Et l'on se sent blanchi comme un cheval fourbu
Et l'on se sent glacé dans un lit de hasard
Et l'on se sent tout seul peut-être mais peinard
Et l'on se sent floué par les années perdues
Alors vraiment
Avec le temps on n'aime plus.

Léo Ferré


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Golden Quince and its ruby Jam

How do you go from the yellow fruit to it red jam?
A pictorial instruction on the facebook page.

Summary: wash well, chop well, and simmer for 4 hours; and don't spill your sugar!

Who is the real terrorist?

Here, there is enough said about the rumors that Mossad and the terrorist opposition to Iranian regime, MEK, are congratulating themselves about successful sabotage of Iranian military base. I recommend this post by Richard Silverstein.

Because the Iranian officials are denying possibility of sabotage, I am not going to comment or speculate. We are in war-times and like a good citizen, I will stick by the military command of my country.
However, this song, The Seven Devils, by Florence + The machine, really resonates with me on this occasion:

Holy water cannot help you now
A thousand armies couldn't keep me out
I don't want your money
I don't want your crowd
See I have to burn
Your kingdom down

Holy water cannot help you now
See I've had to burn your kingdom down
And no rivers and no lakes, can put the fire out
I'm gonna raise the stakes; I'm gonna smoke you out

Seven devils all around you
Seven devils in my house
See they were there when I woke up this morning
I'll be dead before the day is done

Seven devils all around you
Seven devils in your house
See I was dead when I woke up this morning,
And I'll be dead before the day is done
Before the day is done
[ Lyrics from: ]
And now all your love will be exorcised
And we will find you saying it's to be harmonized.
And it's an even sum
It's a melody
It's a battle cry
It's a symphony

Seven devils all around you
Seven devils in my house
See, they were there when I woke up this morning
And I'll be dead before the day is done

Seven devils all around you
Seven devils in your house
See I was dead when I woke up this morning,
And I'll be dead before the day is done
Before the day is done
Before the day is done
Before the day is done

They can keep me alive
'Til I tear the walls
'Til I slave your hearts
And they take your souls
And what have we done?
Can it be undone?
In the evil's heart
In the evil's soul

Seven devils all around you
Seven devils in your house
See I was dead when I woke up this morning
I'll be dead before the day is done
Before the day is done

Monday, November 7, 2011

120 Iranian Writers and Professors warn against attacking Iran

The list speaks for itself.

These individuals have a strong record of opposing the draconian ways of the Iranian regime: they are philosophers, historians, political activists, women right activists, journalists and etc .

However, they have all signed a petition to oppose not only the dictatorship of Iran, but dictating the 'New Middle East" project.

"Humanitarian help doesn't come through the tanks"!
Some of the signatories are (I will complete the list the moment I have some time):
  • Ervand Abrahamian; professor and teh author of "Khomeinism"
  • Shoja Azari
  • Sirus Aryanpour
  • Dariush Ashuri professor, historian, translator
  • Hamid Ahmadi
  • Reza Afshari, professor, historian, human rights
  • Mehran Adib
  • Abolfazl Ordukhani
  • Zinat Esmailzadeh
  • Reza Aghnami
  • Babak Amir Khosravi
  • Noushabeh Amiri: journalist, Roozonline.
  • Ebrahim Khalife
  • Fariba Amini
  • Mehdi Amini
  • Mohammad Amini
  • Abdolali Bazargan, son of the first post-revolution prime minister; writer and activst
  • Manijeh Baradaran
  • Mohamad Borghei
  • Nasrin Basiri
  • Reza Bourghani
  • Behrouz Bayat
  • Hamid Beheshti
  • Farzaneh Bazrpour
  • Golbarg BashiWomen rights activist academic
  • Kourosh Parsa
  • Siyavash Parsanejad
  • Shahrnoush Parsipour Writer, feminist, one of the earliest writers to suffer IRI prisons
  • Akram Pedramniya
  • Ali Porsan
  • Amir Pishdad
  • Shahram Tehrani
  • Asadollah Tyurchi
  • Ramin Jahanbeglu Philosopher, arrested on charges of espionage and put in jail in 2006-7 in Iran.
  • Bahram Chubineh
  • Reza Haji
  • Houshang Hasanyari Professor, Royal Military college, Canada
  • Fatemeh Haghighatju Reformist member of parliament (in exile)
  • Hamid Hamidi
  • Mohsen Heydarian
  • Mehdi Khanbaba Tehrani (Old communist)
  • Parviz Dastmalchi
  • Hamid Dabashi ("A leading cultural observer")
  • Mehran Rad
  • Mostafa Rokhsefat
  • Mohsen Rezvani
  • Ali rezayee
  • Saeed Rahnema
  • Mohammad Rahbar
  • Mina Zand
  • Mandana Zandian
  • Hamid Zangeneh
  • Hamid Salek
  • Hamid Salek
  • Behrooz Setoodeh
  • Faraj Sarkouhi (Writer who fled chain murder of Iranian writer/intellectuals)
  • Mohammad Sahimi (regular contributer to PBS frontline Tehran Bureau)
  • Jalal Sar afraz
  • Ali Shakeri
  • Ahmad Shakeri
  • Masoumeh Shafii
  • Parviz Shokat
  • Mohammad Saber
  • Shahla Salehpour
  • Farhad Soufi
  • Ashkbous Talebi
  • Reza Alijani
  • Noreddin Gheravu
  • Reza Fani Yazdi
  • Hossein Foruzin
  • Parastu Forouhar (artist and the daughter of Parvaneh and Dariuch Forouhar, leaders of a nationalist political party, who were murdered in their home by the IRI)
  • Puyan Fakhrayy
  • Mansour Farhang professor of foreign relations
  • Kambiz Ghaem-magham
  • Mohsen Ghaem Magham
  • Hossein Ghazian
  • Frous Ghoreishi
  • Mostafa Ghahremani
  • Sam Ghandchi
  • Morteza Kazemian (Journalist in exile)
  • Abdee Kalantari (author and editor of Nilgoon)
  • Mehrangiz Kar Lawyer, women/human rights activist, whose journalist husband committed suicide since the IRI did not allow him to leave Iran for treatment and visit with his family.
  • Aziz Kramlu
  • Ali Keshtgar
  • Hossein Kamali
  • Hamid Kosari
  • Azadeh Kiyan Political scientist, Paris U.
  • Taghi Kimiyai
  • Mehdi Gerami
  • Iraj Gorgin Journalist
  • Akbar Ganji Journalist who survived an 80 day hunger strike due to being illegally detained by the IRI judiciary.
  • Reza Goharzad
  • Abdolkarim Lahiji Human rights lawyer
  • Bahman Mobasheri
  • Malihe Mohamadi
  • Morteza Mohit
  • Farkhondeh Modaresi
  • Abas Ma'roufi Novelist who is sent on exile and has turned into publisher
  • Reza Moini
  • Hassan Makaremi
  • Aliakbar Mahdi
  • Hayedeh Mogheysi
  • MohammadAli Mehrasa
  • Homayun mehmanesh
  • Ziba Mir Hosseini
  • Yaser Mirdamadi
  • Reza Nafe'i
  • Shirin Neshat Photographer and director of Women without Men
  • Asghar Nosrati
  • Mehdi nourbakhsh
  • Mohammadreza Nikfar, Philosopher and contributer to opposition Radio Zamaneh
  • Bahman Niroomand
  • Soheyla Vahdati
  • Parvin Vafayee
  • Nader Hashemi
  • Ata Hodashtina
  • Hossein houshmand
  • Yusef Yazdi

یرواند آبراهامیان، شجاع آذری، سیروس آرین پور، داریوش آشوری، حمید احمدی،رضا افشاری، مهران ادیب، ابوالفضل اردوخانی، زینت اسماعیل زاده ، رضا اغنمی، محمد جواد اکبرین، بابک امیر خسروی، نوشابه امیری، ابراهیم خلیفه سلطانی، فریبا امینی ، محمد امینی، مهدی امینی ، عبدالعلی بازرگان، گلبرگ باشی، منیره برادران، محمد برقعی ، نسرین بصیری، رضا بورقانی، بهروز بیات، فرزانه بذرپور،حمید بهشتی،کورش پارسا، سیاوش پارسانژاد، شهرنوش پارسی پور، اکرم پدرام نیا،علی پرسان، امیر پیشداد، شهرام تهرانی، اسدالله تیورچی، محمد جلالی، رامین جهانبگلو، بهرام چوبینه، رضا حاجی، هوشنگ حسن یاری، فاطمه حقیقت‌جو، حمید حمیدی، محسن حیدریان، مهدی خانبابا تهرانی، حمید دباشی، پرویز دستمالچی،مهران راد، مصطفی رخ صفت، محسن رضوانی،علی رضایی، سعید رهنما، محمد رهبر، مینا زند ، ماندانا زندیان، حمید زنگنه،حمید سالک، بهروز ستوده، فرج سرکوهی، محمد سهیمی، جلال سرفراز،علی شاکری، احمد شاکری، معصومه شفیعی، پرویز شوکت،محمد صابر،شهلا صالح پور، احمد صدری، محمود صدری، فرهاد صوفی، اشکبوس طالبی، رضا علیجانی، نورالدین غروی، رضا فانی یزدی، حسین فروزین، پرستو فروهر، منصور فرهنگ ، پویان فخرایی، کامبیز قائم مقام، محسن قائم مقام، حسین قاضیان، فیروز قریشی، مصطفی قهرمانی، سام قندچی، مرتضی کاظمیان، عبدی کلانتری، مهرانگیز کار، عزیز کراملو، علی کشتگر، علی کشگر، حسین کمالی، حمید کوثری، آزاده کیان، تقی کیمیایی اسدی، مهدی گرامی، ایرج گرگین، اکبر گنجی، رضا گوهرزاد، عبدالکریم لاهیجی، بهمن مبشری، ملیحه محمدی، مرتضی محیط ، فرخنده مدرسی، عباس معروفی، رضا معینی، حسن مکارمی، علی اکبر مهدی،هایده مغیثی، محمد علی مهرآسا، همایون مهمنش، زیبا میر حسینی، یاسر میردامادی،رضا نافعی، شیرین نشاط، اصغر نصرتی، مهدی نوربخش، محمد رضا نیکفر، بهمن نیرومند، سهیلا وحدتی، پروین وفایی،نادر هاشمی، عطا هودشتیان، حسین هوشمند و یوسف یزدی

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Akbar Ganji: Another look at Israel's bombing of Iran

Akbar Ganji is known to all who know about Iranian politics. He was an insider; a member of the IRGC; who published a damning book about the system of terror and assassination of the Iranian intellectuals, that was guided from the supreme leader's office. For this, he suffered jail and torture; and went to the brink of death with an 80-day hunger strike.

He is now a political refugee; in the US of A.

He has published the following outline of WHY an Israeli bombing of Iran should outrage the citizens of the 'free' world.

These days, the possibility of Israel's attack on Iranian nuclear facilities has again become the news headline. According to these reports, Israel's Right wing prime minister and the minister of defense are seriously campaigning to get the support of the rest of the cabinet to attack Iran. However, the heads of the Israeli army and Mossad are against it. Israel has tested a long-range missile aimed for Iran, and according to a poll, 41% of Israelis want a military attack against Iran's nuclear facilities. What is the problem?

The Israeli government claims dangers of a nuclear Iran. Two points must be noted:

First: Iran has been a member of the International atomic energy agency (IAEA), since its establishment in 1956. In 1970, Iran became a signatory to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In 1972, Iran has been under IAEA's inspections. However, Israel is neither a member of IAEA, nor a signatory to NPT, and no international organization ever inspects Israel's nuclear facilities.

Secondly, it is said that Israel does own about 200 nuclear warheads; while the American and Israeli authorities say that Iran "might" reach nuclear capacity in the future. If, despite all sanctions, Iran can acheive such deed, it will at most have one 80-Kg bomb with which it cannot go against Israel's 200.

Then, so far, it is Israel who doesn't recognize the international community and bullies all. How?

Israel says that all Middle Eastern countries have to be a member of and under strict surveillance of IAEA; but that they are an exception. Israel says that they have the right to owning hundreds of nuclear bombs, but other regional governments are not entitled to even enriching uranium, Where has this "discrimination" and "special right" come from? Is it not because the USA is behing Israeli's bullying of the hundreds of millions of the people in the region?

Israel and its fanatic supporters create this special right with a claim. The claim is that it is only Israel that faces threat, and not other regional governments; therefore, Israel should have access to deterrents. However a few points must be noted with regards to this claim:

One: Military Aggression and Occupation
In the 20th century, Iran has not launched any military attack against any nations; rather it has itself been the victim of military attacks by the regional countries which has led to more than a million death and more than 1000 billion dollars of damages.

However, Israel has come to exist after occupying the palestinian territory in 1948. The Israeli government has dislocated the Palestinians out of their homes and has denied them their basic rights.

Israel claims that it is a government. A modern government is defined by national borders. Question is, where are Israeli borders? Israel does not accept any international borders.

According to the UN resolution 181, official recognition of Israeli government, 45% of Palestine belongs to Palestinians, 54% to Israel and 1% is the international zone. Israel does not accept this resolution. To deny this resolution is to deny the existence of Israel; for it was with this resolution that Israel would be internationally recognized.

The Israeli government has shrunk the Palestinian territory to 22% (from 45) after the 1967 war. That is, so far, it has occupied 78% of the palestinian territory. In later steps, in other occupied territories it has begun settlement construction for Jewish citizens. On the other hand, 2-3 million palestinians who live in the occupied territories are not considered citizens, i.e. they have no passport and no other citizen rights.

According to an agreement between the US, Russia, EU and the UN, an independent Palestinian government must be formed. However, Israel does not concede and is buying time so that the problem of the occupied territories would be forgotten with the passing of the first generation.

The Israeli government has bombed the nuclear facilities of Irag and Syria. In fact, it is Israel who attacks other countries on a whim, with various excuses.

If owning nuclear facilities is illegal, Israel owns uncontrolled ones. If seeking nuclear weapons is illegal, Israel owns hundreds.

Of course, the governments of the US, Israel and Iran have formed military groups in other countries and use them against this or that. Iran does such actions in Lebanon (Hizbollah), Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. But here too, all governments should be condemned for such violation of international law.

Two: Committing War Crime
The Iranian government has not yet been accused or convicted of "war crime" or "crime against humanity". However, the UN has condemned Israel for "war crime" in Gaza.

Three: The Problem of Terrorism
The Iranian government has killed hundreds of the Iranian opposition, assassinating them inside or outside Iran. The Israeli government too has assassinated many Palestinians inside or outside Palestine and around the globe. One example is the injection of poison to Khaled Mash'al in 1997; that according to Paul McGeough [Kill Khalid], called for Bill Clinton's intervention pressuring Israel to provide the antidote.

Another example is the terror in Qatar on EU passport, which angered the Europeans about counterfeiting their passports. The British Foreign Minister expelled an Israeli diplomat for counterfeiting 12 passports to kill a Hamas leader.

As such, Israel is a government that is formed by occupation and has carried on with "terror" and "war crime"; that doesn't accept the EU/US/UN/Russia agreements to allow the owners of the land have a small share of their territory; and is seeking a war with Iran on false excuses.

Four: National Security and Interests
The "nuclear grandiosity" project of Ayatollah Khamenei is not supported by all Iranians. At least we know that many political parties are opposed to it. Basically, Khamenei is not seeking people's approval for this.

But, do other countries, even the Western democracies, hold or have held a referendum when attempting it? Moreover, which one of the Wester democracies that already owns nuclear bombs has sought the "satisfaction" of the people?

Governments that own the bomb justify it under pretense of "National Security" of "National Interest". So does Israel. Now the question is" Shouldn't "national security" or "national interest" compel Iran and other regional governments to seek nuclear weapons too?"

Five: Democratization of the Middle East
If the Arab Spring leads to democratization, it will harm Israel, because the authoritarian and corrupt regimes that do not have popular support inside their countries, and are under support of the Us or other European countries, obey the dictated policies of the West.

If these countries start having political and democratic structures, they have to answer to their people. The public opinion of the people of the region will no longer stand for discrimination and injustice. The people of the region will demand their governments to consider their "national security" and "national interest".

If Israel owns nuclear weapons, the "democratic governments" of the region will have to seek them to guarantee their national "security and interest". Therefore, and for other reasons, Israel is against democratization of the Middle East. Israel was the only government defending Husni Mubarak to the last day. This support cost Mubarak dearly.

Six: Israeli and Iranian governments, true friends
The Right-Windgers of Israel want that Ali Khamenei and Mahmud Ahmadinejad to hold the wheel of power in Iran so that they can justify their invasive policies in the Western world.

The Islamic Republic is also using the threat of Israel to justify many of its oppressive acts, especially the ruthless crackdown on the opposition.

These two governments strongly need eachother.

However, Iranians are fighting for a peaceful transition from the "despotic supreme leadership" to a "democratic system based on freedom and human rights", which won't be anti-Western either.

Israel knows that such a system is not to their advantage; for if there is a democratic government in Iran, it will certainly seek the "national security and interest" of Iranians, without opposition to the West; and thus Israel will no longer have a boogieman to scare the Western powers with.

Seven: All or None
In supporting democracy and human rights, you can't have a two tear system. You can't say that the national security and interests of Israel are important, but those of Iran are not. If Israel, and Pakistan and India and Kazakhstan and ... own nuclear weapons, the future democratic government of Iran will also seek them. This means throwing the region in a nuclear proliferation race.

The best policy is to destroy all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. This is an all or none policy. Either no country should have them, or if one does, the rest will seek them too.

Instead of unequivocal support of the unilateral and aggressive policies of Israel, the United States should work with all governments and the UN towards nuclear disarmament. In his 2009 4th of June speech in Cairo's Al-Zahra University, Obama said:

I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation – including Iran – should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
It is possible, and a must, that with a collective security agreement, guarantee the security of all including Israel. But, defending discrimination and special rights is against the values of democracy and human rights. The middle east has a young population. This generation that doesn't withstand the local despots, will not stand for the foreign ones either.

It is true that true independence comes from a national government with the actual votes of each citizen. However, the foreign aggressors cannot beat on the head of a nation with the excuse that the local despot is beating them.

P.S. Sorry I have not read this and it is perhaps full of typos and etc; but judging from the mushroom explosion of the text in the facebook, I thought it is important to provide the world with "another look". I now have to eat breakfast and earn a living, so please forgive errors and point them out to me for correction. (Naj)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Image of a dream: translated lyrics of Dariush's song "تصویر رویا"

Dariush is our king of pop! His songs and his voice made me cry throughout my teen years. I stopped listening to him when I "grew up" and became a 'tough' girl who needed to kill Iran in her in order to succeed "abroad". I heard a version of this song on the facebook; and it made me cry. I just share it with a translation of the lyrics. Let me know if you like the music. I am curious.

Moonlight floods the night شب از مهتاب سر میره
The moon full in water تمام ماه تو ابه
like the image of a dream شبیه عکس یک رویاست

When you sleep, the world sleeps تو خوابیدی جهان خوابه
Earth goes around you زمین دور تو میگرده
Time is in your hands زمان دست تو افتاده

Look تماشا کن
Your silence has deepened the night سکوت تو عجب عمقی به شب داده
In sleep, you are like a sketch تو خواب انگار طرحی از
of a flower, the moon and a smile گل و مهتاب و لبخندی

The night begins from شب از جای شروع میشه
where you close your eyes که تو چشماتو میبندی
I hold you تورا اغوش میگیرم
my body fills with dream تنم سریز رویا شه
the world, the size of a lullaby جهان قد یه لالایی
that fits in my arms توی اغوش من جاشه

I hold you تورا اغوش میگیرم
It becomes darker هوا تاریک تر میشه
God comes closer than your hands خدا از دست های تو به من نزدیکتر میشه

The earth goes around you زمین دور تو میگرده
The time is in your hand زمان دست تو افتاده
Look تماشا کن
how your silence has deepened the night سکوت تو عجب عمقی به شب داده

The house fills تمام خونه پر میشه
of this dreamy image از این تصویر رویایی
look تماشا کن
look تماشا کن
how cruelly beautiful you are چه بی رحمانه زیبایی

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Digging photos

I am homesick ... my family has all left my end of the world, they are all in Iran; and I am digging photos. And putting them on the facebook page of my blog.

Something about facebook is soothing to my short temper of these days and my short attention span.

I want to go home ... to go to Iran; and smell something familiar ... my mother.

What have I to say any more ... what have I to say about Iran? ...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Neoresistance is joining facebook.

I am in a stage of my life that I think many matters do not deserve more than a line to say about. I am making a facebook page for Neo Resistance to do that--occasionaly.

And I keep this blog for writing in detail about what inspires me.

Here's the page:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Circumstance (2011, Maryam Keshavarz): Daring and Interesting but failing

Circumstance will be getting plenty of attention.

Circumstance will be loved by people who take pleasure from watching its gorgeous Iranian girls dance, flirt, perform erotics on eachother, half naked, half dreaming, half asleep, half awake.

Circumstance will be talked about as the first Iranian film about 'Lesbians'.

Circumstance will likely offend the sensitivities of some fundamentalist here or there for desecrating Qoran recitations and breaking Iranian-Screen taboos.

Circumstance will be known as one of the first (the increasingly emerging) "autobiographical" tales of "underground" Iran; one of those that reinforce the illusion of those who see and know Iran through such autobiographical "documentaries" by the upper/middle class westerner-than-Westerners Iranians (often second generation immigrants like Keshavarz).

One film buff would give the film credit for cinematography and edit; describe its extreme close ups of red lips and red satin sheets and 1001-night mise-en-scenes; perhaps paying hommage to Bergman's Sonata, Woody Allen's Bourgeois swank, Kar Wai's oriental moods and Fassbinder's (homo-)sensualism.

A critic would criticize it for crude performance and the poorly written and performed dialogues, many of which do not make any sense nor suggest anything sensible. Another would praise it for the abundance of political 'points' it makes about corruption, repression, depression and etc.

As a first it deserves applause: it is an interesting film, it is courageous and uncompromising. It is also beautifully shot, coloured, lit, and framed. As such, Circumstance succeeds in being a general-pleaser, a departure from the Iranian new wave cinema; thus winning Sundance's audience-choice award.

Circumstance entertained me; reminded me of how it was to be young and naughty under the surveillance of the "Big Sisters" in school; it made me chuckle a couple of times over the accent of the American-Iranian boy who wanted to change Iran by dubbing Milk, and immitating Sean Penn's "gay" voice!

Overall, I liked the film, it wasn't a waste of my time--although I did look at my watch a few times, impatient to get to my supper instead of suffering political/romantic cliche.

I am used to watching slow films, without dialogue or stories, without a blink. And I am familiar with all the pedantic film-school elements that were packed in the film to make it gorgeous. Clearly, this film was made by a brilliant NYU film-student.

But as a whole, the film failed.

It failed to impress because it aimed too high. Simply, there was too much in the film; too much of the many little things that would have been good on their own, but too cluttered and confused to enjoy in one film. Had she been advised that "less is more", this would have become an art-film.

What distracted me from the "goodness" of the film was its politically judgmental edge. From the get-go, it set the stage for the brother to be a "loser": a musician turned addict turned fundamentalist muslim, turned extortionist until his Islamist opportunism made him fortunes and got him fake love!

The film would have been just as good had it avoided cliches such as making the parents of the gorgeous Lesbian Shireen into politically-killed university professors, whose death haunted their daughter into marrying the loser/opportunist/fundamentalist brother!

The film would have been better without the dialogue of Atefeh and her father on the mountain. The ill-executed conversation about how she was suffering the revolutionary sins of the father! These cliches are too cheap and too common to be effective any more.

This film was about Circumstance (شرایط) that defined people of the film into becoming something else to survive or thrive. To weigh the responsibility of all that people become on "Politics" made the film light on developing characters and persona who carried the weight of their choices.

It took Keshavarz 5 years and 40 edits to finalize this film. I hope in her next film she lets go of the "protest banner", for when it comes to lasting political films "less is more".

P.S. I wrote this post first, and then decided to see what other people have been saying. I added the links, where they corresponded to what I had guessed would be said about the film.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Iranian Judiciary Lashing the Head-Bald Actresses?

These days, the incredible sentence given to the theater actress Marziyeh Vafamehr, one year of imprisonment and 90 lashes for appearing without head dress in an Iranian-Australian PhD-dissertation film by the Iranian Poet, and recently film scholar, Granaz Mousavi, has shocked the theater and cinema community into action.

How can it be? After all, appearing without a scarf and with a shaved head in post-revolutionary Iranian films is not new. Here's a list of precedents:

The fist (controversial) bald appearance on screen was by Farimah Farjami، in Masoud Kimiaii's thriller Lead in 1988 (سرب، مسعود کیمیایی). The film was about a couple of Iranian jews who wished to migrate to Israel in the 1940s, but witnessing the assassination of their Anti-Zionist uncle by a paramilitary group HAGANAH (that later became Israel's defense ministry), makes them a target and forces them into hide and seek exile. [*]

The second notable instance of a bald actress was in Abbas Kiarostami's critically acclaimed 2002 film Ten; where a heart-broken girl who rides with the main protagonist, encounters her for the second time with a shaved head; losing her hair to deal with the loss of her lover.

The third, is Women's Prison (2002), a unique film in the history of Iranian cinema, by Manijeh Hekmat, depicting the lives of three generations of women prisoners: convicted killers, political prisoners and delinquent teenagers. Here, Mitra (Roya No-Nahali) appears with a shaved head, a punishment for her disobedience in the Prison.

The credit for the following list goes to a "fundamentalist" blogger whose post was WARNING the "prostitution" in Iranian cinema (yes, if you do not have complete Hijab, in their view you are a prostitute) manifesting itself in the form of bald actresses!

Quarantine, 2008, (قرنطینه): By Manouchehr Hadi, a love story that begins with a car accident, when the rich boy falls in love with the poor girl, but cannot marry due to class difference. The woman suffers Cancer and begins chemotherapy --hence the shaven head. However, this film also arose complaints from the clergy (the pro-green ones, actually) for allowing a woman onscreen without headdress!

Bad Kids, 2001 (بچه های بد)، A film by Alireza Davoodnejad, about a chance encounter of a couple of Iranian guys with a runaway girl who survives suicide, and confesses to murder. The film did not receive enough box office attention to alert the moral-police; however according to a couple of reviews, it was an artistically successful film (I have not seen it myself.)

The Four-Finger, 2006 (چهار انگشتی), film by Said Soheili, and action film--presumably government funded and moralistic, with good guys and bad guys and a femme fatale; and from what I gather, full of cinematic "excess" but a box office flop. I could only find one picture of the "bald" actress from the fundamentalist's site.

Scent of Paradise, 2001; (بوی بهشت), by Hamid Reza Mohseni, about a broke pop star heads to a getaway in the North, and falls in love with a runaway girl who pretends to be a 'deaf and dumb' boy--hence the shaved head.

I don't understand Vafamehr's sentence! I don't understand why this film My Tehran for Sale, that according to the director was filmed with a permit, would be a candidate for such harsh treatment. If anything, the film is in line with the moral judgment of the IRI: "that the pro-western youth are a disillusioned bunch."

In a sequence of the film, a group of young men and women arrested in a mix party are sitting in prison, awaiting their turn, as they listen to the dreadful sound of lashes and screams of their friends breaking the silence of the cold room.

Has the IRI theater become so macabre, to make a fiction film come to reality, by lashing its delicate actress, before the eyes of the world? I hope to be proven wrong.

* حکایت جلال معیریان

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Iranian terrorists being the headline news?!?

Seriously; uncle Sam, what is behind all this?!

Need excuse for Saudi-pimped war-mongering?!

A couple of Iranians subcontracting a Mexican drug ring to do their dirty jobs?! I always thought they are master-terrorists, according to your allegations of their bombing in Argentina and Saudi Arabia and etc.!!! So now, the master-terrorists have become so STUPID to subcontract their dirty jobs?!! This looks more like an MKO- or Mossad-inspired conspiracy to put the political and military screws on Iran.

Juan Cole counts a few much-repeated-by-MSM "facts" about one of these big bad terrorists.
And here's another account by Tehran Bureau's Mohammad Sahimi, an ardent opponent of the IRI, who finds these charges unbelievable.


Monday, September 26, 2011

The Cypress Tree: Flexing between England, Oil and Iran..

I picked up The Cypress Tree on Amazon, shortly after it was published by the London publisher Bloomsbury. I didn't know the British-Iranian woman that had written the book and nor did the Iranian community--as far as googling and poking a couple of friends suggested. Lately, I am interested in how the second generation Iranians (well educated and articulate) revisit our country.

When I received the book, holding the perfectly designed turquoise hardcover with fabric texture, and golden pressed cypress trees against a white floral miniature lining on the lower third of the book cover, I suspected such aesthetics demanded that the book be written beautifully.

It was.

In her first book, Kamin Mohammadi, the 42 year old contributor to the Lonely Planet's Iran guide, bends the words skillfully and yet simply, to deliver her story of growing up in the heart of the Iranian Oil industry, and the (inevitable) politics of the Revolution and the War that ensued and forced her family into exile in London, England.

Culturally shocked in London, embarrassed by the exoticism and the formalness of her inassimilable parents(although luxe and devout British-lovers, since the father was among the first flock of students to be educated in oil-industry in the UK) she denounced her Iranianness, and immersed herself in the British culture of the Thatcher era, until she grew old enough to dare the journey back home to reconcile who she had become with who she used to be.

She had become a boarding schooled articulate English reporter barely capable of speaking her mother tongue, Persian. In Iran, she used to be a mischievous bookworm child, petting a sheep, and growing up in the foyer of a presumably upper middle class Iranian family. Her extended family was traditional but their fortunes came with the ascension of Reza Khan to the throne, and the opportunities that the second Pahlavi's dream of speedy modernization of Iran provided. Hence, their demise also came with the Revolution and the following war that sliced through the heart of their homeland: Khuzistan, the oil capital of Iran and Kurdistan, the capital of legendary honorable fighters.

In this comprehensive but concise account, like a good travel-guide, Kamin Mohammadi covers much political, social, cultural and historical ground as can fit a small book. Inevitably superficial, and occasionally bordering on cliché, and suffering a couple of minor errors that would have been caught if an Iranian editor had read the book, but capturing enough to read nonstop. She tells her stories well--although I am curious to know how much of it a non-Iranian, who has not grown up in those surreally intense circumstances we Iranians have lived, will grasp.

The Cypress Tree (درخت سرو, the staple of Iranian gardens, art and poetry) is not a particularly witty book that will make you laugh; and sometimes (more often towards the end) it suffers that typical translated-sentimentality that comes from the writer's reliance on the secondhand memory of the Iranian family members providing 'information' to a writer whose command of the native language is inferior to the language of the book.

Nonetheless, The Cypress Tree is a sympathetic book, a fair one; and although the writer stresses her bias, her hatred for the regime that forced her out of her comfortable childhood and thrust her into the cold of English private education system, she does not sound hateful, biased or propagandist. She delivers her story like a good journalist.

This is not a tedious book to read--although I skipped a couple of paragraphs when she had become a little too pedantic lecturing on some political causations irrelevant to her biography. I read it in less than 20 hours over 4 flights; and had it not been for being totally busy with family affairs and work, I would not have wanted to stop reading. Not only is it written clearly, but it also touches poignantly. More than a few times did I get goose bumps, like:

In Chapter 19, she goes back to the house in Abadan, which they abandoned in a hurry when the revolutionaries had called for her father's head--a high-office technocrat in the oil industry. She is bonding with her cousin Noosheen, 10 years her junior, a true child of the Revolution, and an independent college graduate who lives and works alone--something impossible a generation ago.)
"Noosheen and her ilk are my great hope for Iran's future, the women jumping forward through loopholes in the system. Only one thing can still set them back inexorably--another war.

Noosheen lives her independent life in Natanz, now notorious in the West as the site of one of Iran's nuclear reactors and likely candidate for Israeli and American bombing with nuclear tipped weapons. Should those bombs one day fall, they will wipe out not just the fabled domes of Esfahan and poison the land for thousands of years to come, they will also obliterate my sweet modest cousin and her quietly modern life."

I enjoyed this book (and am willing to overlook its clichés and minor errors), not just because it is well written, not just because it offers a primer, chronicling 100 years of Iranian history's ups and downs in only 270 pages, but because it is written by a part Kurdish, part Khuzestani, part Esfehani and part English Iranian woman, who gives us a glimpse into the lives and prospects of the numerous aunts and cousins whose lives, originally dependent on trade and agriculture, were reshaped around the Iranian oil industry. Her southern, and historical perspective is a refreshing departure from most other Tehran-based about-Iran books that are perhaps too trapped in hating the evils of the mullahcracy to be truly original. Kamin also writes about the crisis of freedom in Iran, but that is only a small slice of her cake. This book is not cooked by a chef, but it is a tasty buffet.

You can order the book form or slightly more expensive at the publisher's.
Here's another review of the book.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hamed Nikpay: The fusion-vocalist.

More on Iranian music ...

Today, I discovered a 34-year old vocalist, Hamed NikPay- حامد نیک پی-who experiments with translating world-wide vocal techniques to make a genre of (perhaps a Peter-Gabielesque or Dead-Can-Danceing ?) fusion music that is rich with traditional Persian poetry, traditional Persian string-instruments--which he effortlessly mixes with his vocal timber--and flamenco, jazz, cuban, Indian, Turkic and other harmonics to produce something that sounds like this below (see him in performance here; and the song can be purchased (Track 7, 99c)).

From his Biography (official website):

He was born in Iran in 1977, and learnt to sing at the age of seven, encouraged by his mother who loved Persian music and poetry. At nine, he studied Tar & Setar, under the tutorship of some of the masters of classical Persian music such as Hooshang Zareef, Zeydolah Tolouee, Attaolah Jangook, Farokh Mazharee, and Daryoush Pirniakan. By the time he was twenty he could play five instruments expertly, adding Tanboor, Oud and Daf to his existing repertoire. His interest in classical Persian music coupled with his passion to write his own music, motivated him to learn fundamentals of music composition from such music Masters as Vartan Sahakian and Farhad Fakhredeanee. He received top honors for improvisation for Setar and vocal in the All Iranian Students Music Festival held in Tehran in 2002.

Since his arrival in the U.S., Hamed has performed in numerous concerts before enthusiastic audiences throughout the U.S. His mesmerizing voice has earned him the reputation of being "One of Iran's Best Young Vocalists" among both the American and the Iranian audiences. He currently resides in Palo Alto, California, where he teaches, writes and records music."

In a recent interview with Radio Free Europe, he describes himself as a traditionalist, one who wishes to stay within the traditional frameworks of Iranian and Non-Iranian music, but to play with tonality and spectrum (he calls it colour) of the music adding little 'accents and flavors', fusing the genres into melo(w)dies that although light on the ear, but are heavily enriched by lyrics of the canonical poems accompanying them.

Here are the lyrics from the video I posted above (not the best of Persian poetry, but one by Fereydoon Moshiri, one of the leading figures of New-Poetry, famous for rhyming natural imagery into political commentary, with simple but memorable lyricism.)
دریا ، - صبور و سنگین –
می خواند و می نوشت :
« ... من خواب نیستم !
خاموش اگر نشستم ،
مرداب نیستم !
روزی که برخروشم و زنجیر بگسلم ؛
روشن شود که آتشم و آب نیستم !
The sea [of people]--patient and placid,
wrote and sang:
"I am not asleep ...
If I am quiet
I am not a swamp
The day that I rise and break the chain
it will become clear that I am fire, not water!"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Iranian Idol? "Not an Illusion"!

Little have I found inspiring to blog about, until providence put me in contact with Torang Abedian and reminded me of her documentary film that I never got a chance to watch: Not An Illusion.

In recent years, the Iranian Underground Music has got some overground attention, as at least four films shot in Iran have made it to the international ecran; very succesfully too:

  • Not an Illusion (2009), by Torang Abedian, the only true documentary of the four and important to neo-resistance for reasons I will shortly count. (You can watch the film on the Culture Unplugged website for free.)

Not an Illusion (نه یک توهم), is the story of the director's encounter with a (then) 21 year old vocalist, Sara Naini [persian interview], a gymnastics ex-champion who is today walking with sticks--the result of surviving a life threatening spinal injury that deprived the shining star from pursuing her sportive dreams. The single child of a gymnast couple, she picked music to 'stay active'. Her voice strong and versatile (try a sample of her singing pop in English and jazz in Persian), provides vocal background to Kaveh Ramezanzadeh, the lead singer of the rock band Piccolo-- one of the few bands featuring female vocalists, that after Ahmadinejad's reign was forced to change name to an Iranian name, Kook (tune) and eventually was forced out of stage.

The film portrays, on the one hand, Sarah's determination, positive attitude, realism, love for life and all that cool strength of the character that makes 'champions'; and on the other hand, the unjust and the suffocating restraining order in which she must operate; restrictions dictated from above but enforced by the very people with whom she collaborates:
  • Her voice was too strong, the sound engineers dampened it out in concerts and recordings ...
  • The lead singer would be happy to cut her part out, if that would help him get his album a permit from the Islamic culture and guidance ministry ...
  • Her drummer quit on her at the pivotal moment that she was given an international spotlight in Rotterdam ...
Sara runs, not only against a religious system that frowns upon music, let alone music for women (as Abedian nicely documented by interviewing a cleric), but against a masculine tyranny who owns and operates bands, concert halls, recording studios, sound engineering tables.

The only time that she could be free was when she sang at the Pakistani consulate party. (Isn't it ironic that the muslim Pakistani diplomats would hire an Iranian female singer to perform Western pop rock at their private parties, but she is banned to sing the Iranian traditional music in public--unless accompanied by 4 male and three other female vocalists?)

Even in London, she would learn that freedom was a mere illusion, for unless one is a street performer, the artistic production and distribution is a function of the market economy.

Besides the central character of the film, what distinguishes Not an Illusion, is the trajectory of the 'rise and fall' of pop-rock production in the course of 6 years, between the end of Khatami's presidency (2003) and the beginning of Ahmadinejad's second term (2009).

The 30 year old (at the time of starting the film) director, was drawn to the Iranian alternative music scene as upon return to Iran she was confronted with a new generation (e.g. Sarah's, born in the early 80s) with the 'choice' and eagerness to make and play music, in contrast to her generation (and mine) who grew up in those dark years of war and revolution, when music was totally forbidden. A music lover, the director goes to Iran to make the story of this transformation (2001-2003), but as time goes by, and the situation regresses back (with conservatives winning/stealing all political power), she finds herself increasingly incapable of continuing the project in a meaningful way (and thus returns to London). Therefore, the film chronicles, from a personal narrative, the gradual decline of the pop-rock stage in Tehran: from Sara's performance with Piccolo in Sa'd Abad palace before 2000 spectators, to her being cut out of the band and the band being prevented from playing in public all together. In the process, we also learn much about the reality of making and distributing music in Iran. For instance, we learn that the censorship office has no quarrel with love-songs; as long as they are not sexual; that there are concerts performed by women and strictly for women, so much so that all the behind-the-scene technical details are managed by female engineers; or how much it costs to rent a recording studio, and how more profitable it is to build and rent studios than to make and sell music, and a lot more information like that. (The director has spoken in detail about her impressions and research about the alternative music scene in Iran in a couple of interviews in English and in Persian (here, and here).

Overall, Not an Illusion does not belong to the Iranian cinema's 'victim-genre'. Every single musician has dreams, has hurdles to overcome, and has a realistic approach to his or her career. The pragmatism of the individuals who appear before the camera is refreshing. Unlike the dramatic Tehran-Tehran or No One Knows about Persian Cats (both ending in death of a protagonist), this documentary doesn't end on a desperate tune. The Iranian musicians pledge that they will keep playing: the restrictions may slow them down, but cannot turn back the clock, and will not prevent them from creativity. Yes, Iran has got idols too, and that is not an illusion.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

This I find offensive, viscerally!

That after filling an appointment form (e.g. MD Anderson) you read:

"Medical and financial eligibility need to be established prior to confirming an appointment."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The US embassy in Turkey (take 2)

The American Golden Gate doesn't open to Iranians unless in Ankara, or Abu Dhabi.

I wrote about my share of Turkish grief last time

Here's a new and even more distressing account:

We need to obtain emergency visas for family members who are in Iran. We need all of us together, united, pulled in one pool of faith and energy, to unwrap the whirlwather that is dragging our loved one to the under.

The US Department of State has provisions for family emergencies; they honor such requests and at least on the front page of their web site, have procedure to expedite such visa applications. However, the story in Turkey is different!

We have been on the phone, fax, fed-ex with the US embassy in Ankara contacting the "Emergency application" line. We are repeatedly told, not only by the embassy, but also by the congress representative who looks into such constituent affairs, that we should just make an appointment and then call them back with our appointment date, so they can expedite the application! (My siblings have money, plenty of it, and ties in Iran, plenty of them, and a genuine lack of interest to uproot themselves from Iran, to guarantee they won't become 'illegal immigrants', burdening the American system. Therefore, it is no skin off of anyone's back to support their visit to the US).

To make an appointment, Iranian applicants have "only" between 8:30-9:00 AM Ankara time (Local east coast 1:00-1:30 AM), on the first Monday of a month. It took over 20 minutes to make an appointment for a family of four. In the meanwhile, and after the first call, the line was not available for another appointment. The line became available only after 9:00 AM, but the operator adamantly refused to make another appointment despite our "emergency pleas".

We called the Emergency line again; and they insisted that we COULD make appointments between 8:30-16:00. However, the appointment line was refusing to, denying such possibility, and refusing to let us speak to a supervisor. After a few calling back and forth between the two units of the same embassy; we were told that we should fax our request.

However, the fax numbers did not receive anything through.

This experience has made me wonder about the kind of reputation representatives such as these Turkish staff beget America.

We are residing in one of the most conservative ridings of the USA, however we have seen nothing but compassion, care and cooperation from the local population and their representatives (R). Also, the department of State has provisions for cases like ours; so at the policy level, the US government is sympathetic and humanitarian too.

So why is it that an Iranian cannot benefit from what the US government has provisioned to help people in need? Why is the bottleneck in Turkey? Why is it that we are advised "get an American staff of the embassy on the line", but we are stuck behind the Turkish operator who contradicts their policies and offer no sympathy or accountability?

This has made me wonder HOW MUCH should Americans trust the "local" people representing their policies and their values? Isn't this perhaps why things in Afghanistan and Iraq have gone awry? Fundamentally, is it possible for people growing in oppressed cultures to exercise democracy and respect when it is imported to them in an American bureaucratic box?

Why go as far as Turkish staff of the American embassy in Ankara when we can talks about the RUDE and disrespectful treatment our families receive in the Canadian and European consulates in Iran when interacting with the IRANIAN staff of these consulates. It's as if once in the "power" house, all the inferiority complexes turn into tyranny, and everyone else becomes a suspect unworthy of human dignity. If they wish to travel to the "cradles of civilization", they must be beaten to humiliation.

Desperate, we have resorted to famous Iranians with a foot at the door of the US State department. None have been able to do anything about Turkey expediting appointment. But in these interactions I have made another interesting observation:

The Washington crocodiles who shed tears of liberation for the oppressed people of Iran have been far less sympathetic (and perhaps even scorning) to our plea for help. Next to their apathy, the NIAC (which is often chastised by the first group) has shone a touching ray of attention.

I must add, American friends who hear about this are absolutely outraged and some of them have even called Turkey! No avail yet.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I'm in America

We are hit by crisis again, a medical one, a deadly one. The Bin Laden of all diseases has aimed at the core of our family. The ugly spider has grabbed my little sister's lung; and we are geared for the battle of our life, like legendary amazons.

We are fighting the battle in America; in one of the top cancer treatment centers of the country (and perhaps the world.) When it comes to medicine, somehow I trust Americans the most. Somehow, I trust the simplicity of their "good guy versus bad guy" dichotomy the most; and their "we can do it" attitude.

I am in America, where strangers are not shy to hug me when they find me crying in a private corner; where the senator is prompt to guide us how to use his leverage to obtain visiting visas for the rest of our family who are still in the axis of evil; where the highwayphobic neurosurgeon professor does the unusual adventure of driving to the other neck of the woods to bring food, supplies, laughter and encouragement; where hope is researched and invented ...

These days, I drive the vast suburbs of the South, fashion-free in shorts and tops, and contemplate moving closer to my family, abandoning my old European home, abandoning urban landscapes to which I am existentially dependent, abandoning the social systems that would perhaps not have allowed the kind of preferential treatments we can seek in America. I fear I will go crazy; but family comes first; and at this moment I would do anything for my little sister's comfort, survival and well-being.

These days, I spend hours and hours examining and re-examining the meaning of life. Many of my convictions are thrown out of the door: my platonic naturalism and my pharmacynicism, first and foremost. In fact, for the first time, I am grateful for the kind of education I have received, and it gives me purpose in working. And I no longer believe in things like "I would never pay taxes to war nations."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Do Not Rejoice in Violence; you mirrors of Bin Laden!

Now pictures of Bin Laden, dead and alive are the front pages of social and press media! Bravo, Obama, you got Osama! This is good for your plunging ratings; and truly we do not want Donald Tramp run the show; you are still the eye candy and the gospel to the ear!

However, the "standard" speech you gave, out of the "God Bless America" handbook, failed to impress me. You talked about killing a man who had committed acts of crime against innocent men and women. Well, Frankly, so have you! The Wikileaks videos of your soldiers shooting at the van of reporters and innocent civilians haunts us for ever; the killings and mutilations in Afghanistan do too; let's not count the good-will god-willing American collateral crimes. You were fighting for your ideology, which is "democracy" and Bin Laden for his, which is "theocracy". In action, you both have killed innocent civilians, you both have violated the sovereignty of another nation to carry out your god-willing acts of violence.

What troubles me in the kill and capture of Bin Laden is that it followed from an act of terrorism: blowing off a mansion (then termed complex) in the heart of Pakistan! Haalelluja! And now parading his dead face on the media, and exchanging champagne and congratulations?! Someone, explain to me, how is this act different from when a couple of Palestinian kids celebrated the collapse of the twin towers?

And does Al Quaeda stop being a fanatic jihadist organization because Bin Laden is dead? Say, did America stop being a war-mongering nation, did they stop "accidentally" killing innocent people in Afghanistan and Libya just because Bushcorp was replaced with Obamacrats?

But what is worse is that America broke its tradition by engaging in assassination; which according to President Ford's Executive Order 11905 (later 12333), bans any employee of the United States Government to engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination. So what is next? American commandos going around killing people who threaten their interest and the interest of their allies? Is America jumping on the terror band wagon?

I loath EVERY act of celebration; every act of revenge. I loath JUSTICE that is brought in the form of "shooting the criminal in the head, because he resisted arrest"; and the phony stories don't stop there: the helicopter that had technical problems and was destroyed? the body buried in the sea to prevent a shrine?

In all this, despite all my anti-religious beliefs and sentiments, the only entity that I am going to respect is the vatican, that announced Christians do not rejoice in the killing of anyone!

Postscript: a commentator has criticized my usage of term "theocracy". While I agree that the primary cause of Bin Laden's followers is not restoring "god", but destroying the "infidel"; and while I agree that theological formation of the Al Quaeda is non-existent, it is undeniable that Jihadists kill and get killed in the name of god; it is god who commands their 'resistance' against the unholy invaders of their holy lands. To "wipe the world from evil" is a cause shared by them and by Americans; and they mutually consider each other evil.

Perhaps I should transcribe some of Mr Obama's address from Bin Laden's ghost, had he killed, say, Dick Cheney, in an "operation", to make my argumentation less passionate and more evenhanded. (only italic words replace Obama's words)

THE OSAMA: In The Name of God. Tonight, I can report to the fanatic muslims and to the Afghanis, Libyians, Iraqis, Sudanese, Serbs that Al Quaeda has conducted an operation that killed Dick Cheney, the leader Halliburton, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.


We were united in our faith to protect our holy lands and to bring those who committed these vicious attacks to hell. We quickly learned that the invasion of Iraq were pushed by dick Cheney and Rumsfeld -- an organizations, which had openly declared war on Islam and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe to access our wealth and oil. And so we went to war against America to protect our citizens, our religion, and our culture.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our Jihadists and our counterintelligence professionals, we've made great strides in that effort. We've disrupted military attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we killed the NATO forces, which had given Karzai and his corrupt lords safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allah to capture or kill scores of infidels, including several who were a part of the middle-east colonization plot.

Yet the infidel avoided defeat and spread across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after moving to Pakistan Bunker, I directed AlAbuAlKabu, the Imam of the alittelaat, to make the killing or capture of Cheney the top priority of our war against infidels, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat their countries.

Then, after years of painstaking work by our martyrs, I was briefed on a possible lead to Cheney. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my brothers as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located cheney hiding within a compound deep inside of Washington. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Cheney and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the al Quaeda fighters launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbytabby, Washington. A small team of Saudis carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No arabs were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Cheney and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, Cheney has been Halliburton's leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of Cheney marks the most significant achievement to date in our Ommat's effort to defeat Infidels.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our Jihad. There's no doubt that America will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will -- remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that Al Quaeda is not –- and never will be -– at war with Christians. I've made clear, just as Al Zawahiri did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against civilization. Cheney was not a Civilized leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, America has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I've repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Washington if we knew where Cheney was. That is what we've done. But it's important to note that our counterterintelligence cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to Cheney and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, Cheney had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my brothers have also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against America and its affiliates.

The Arab people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of Jihad, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to pay every family that has lost a martyr, or look into the eyes of a Mujahed who's been gravely wounded.

So Al Quaeda understand the costs of war. Yet as a movement, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our lands and religion. We will be true to the values of Allah. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones: Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless Jihadists who've worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The Arab people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the faith and unparalleled courage of those who serve allah. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones in Baghdad that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our sands.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of faith that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our religion and the determination of the Islamist people.

The cause of securing our holy lands is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that Allah can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people's faith, or the struggle for equality for all muslims; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a Islamic place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or fanaticism, but because of who we are: one Ommah, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the Muslims.