Friday, November 13, 2009

High in notes and words

This high.
And it's been a while that I am blog-shy. But my senses are so awakened tonight that i can't put my head to rest before i have expressed them. I went to Jalal Zolfonoon's concert of traditional Iranian music. To my non-educated ears the music of the old classical Iranian instruments sound are like conversation, like people speaking, like the burst of anger, like the rush of joy, the heavy sigh of sorrow, and yet the dim light of hope. This music speaks to my heart. And then add to this the beauty of the Persian poetry, and singing. The beautiful old words, the rhymes, the combination, the harmony of meanings and metaphors, the rhythm. The perfect dance of words with notes. This combination awakens all that feels inside me. I feel my flesh shivers with the vibration of the stings in Tar, my heart beats with the beats of Daf, my brain vessels widen and I can literally feel the rush of blood through my brain's vessels. I feel light and dizzy, floating in the air. "I was dead, and now i'm living; I was tears and now I'm laughter; Love touched me, and now I am infinite." My translation doesn't do justice to the beautifully harmonized and powerful words in these verses, but you can get an idea what I'm talking about. I doubt any narcotic can give a person this degree of out-of-the-earth pleasure; this vaz-tarab-akandeh-shodan; this high.

از نگاه یاران به یاران ندا می‌رسد
مرده بدم زنده شدم گریه بدم خنده شدم
ای دل شکایت‌ها مکن تا نشنود دلدار من
تا کی به تمنــــای وصـــــال تو یگـــــانه
بگرديد، بگرديد در اين خانه بگرديد
ای ساربان… ای کاروان…. لیلای من کجا می بری

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Ay Yarum Biya

Video clip: MOSTAFA HERAVI 2009", The Colour of Pomegranates (1968, Sergei Parajanov).
"In this videoclip Mostafa Heravi used and adjusted images of the beautiful film The Color of Pomegranates by Sergei Parajanov (Soviet Union, 1968). Mostafa was inspired by this film and the fact that the song " ey Yarom Bia " ( Ayy Yorum Biyo ) originally comes from the Tajikistan (Badakhshan) singer Muboraksho . Heravi's intention was to create an artistic videoclip that merges the content of the song and film."

More on the video:
Apparently the film, Color of Pomegranates, is a classic. It is a conceptual visual biography of the Armenian ashug and poet Sayat Nova. Read more about it here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Remembering Esmaeil Fasih

Esmael Fasih has passed away yesterday in Iran. He was a part of my adolescent years. I read most of his books and saw America, Abadan, the old Tehran, the revolution, the war, ... through his eyes and through the characters in his stories. The characters that in many occasions were caught up in the brutality and unfairness of the world we live in today, but kept their faith in the serenity of the humanity, in kindness and courtesy. He was a kindred spirit. May his soul rest in peace.

-Find an interview with him here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Statement by a group of Iranian bloggers about the Presidential elections and the subsequent events

1) We, a group of Iranian bloggers, strongly condemn the violent and repressive confrontation of Iranian government against Iranian people's legitimate and peaceful demonstrations and ask government officials to comply with Article 27 of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Constitution which emphasizes "Public gatherings and marches may be freely held, provided arms are not carried and that they are not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam."

2) We consider the violations in the presidential elections, and their sad consequences a big blow to the democratic principles of the Islamic Republic regime, and observing the mounting evidence of fraud presented by the candidates and others, we believe that election fraud is obvious and we ask for a new election.

3) Actions such as deporting foreign reporters, arresting local journalists, censorship of the news and misrepresenting the facts, cutting off the SMS network and filtering of the internet cannot silence the voices of Iranian people as no darkness and suffocation can go on forever. We invite the Iranian government to honest and friendly interaction with its people and we hope to witness the narrowing of the huge gap between people and the government.

A part of the large community of Iranian bloggers
June 26, 2009


Dear reader,
If you are a blogger, please post this in your blog too. We might have differences in our views towards this crisis, but we can stay united on condemning the violence and valuing the lives of our people. Let's have our voices heard. (The complete bilingual version)
Thank you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


"My dear Mademoiselle, perhaps you have already observed that in Casablanca, human life is cheap. Good night, Mademoiselle."

7 killed in Tehran clashes today(AP) .

The irony is that our former president tried to remedy the clash between civilizations, and the current one sets grounds for a domestic kind. It's a bitter time, dear.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A note to my friends who still don't want to vote

My friend,

I understand that voting is a right, not a duty.
I understand that in this election, and in almost any election in our dear homeland, there are barriers to entry for the type of candidates that you and I approve of.
I understand that you, have put thoughts on your decision of not participating.
And I understand and agree that your decision is personal and others should respect it.

I want to make one last point and I ask you to listen to my argument.
I assume that you and I both agree that our current president is an unsuitable person for the job. But I don't even plea to you to vote in order
to overthrow him.

My argument is this:
Voting is a right, but it is also a civic responsibility. You don't need to be poor yourself to vote for a candidate who want to support the poor. You could have good health and still support facilitation for the disabled. You don't need to be a woman to support women's right. You could be all done with your own academic education, but still stand behind somebody who promotes education. This is my point. You might have come to this decision that YOU don't want to vote under this circumstances. I want to plea to you, that you incorporate others in your decision as well. You and I have a civic responsibility towards them. Here you have a right that many don't. Our underage children don't have a say in politics and our vote will significantly affect them and their future. Some of you have kids, some of you like to have kids in future. You decision to not to vote will influence the future of your own kid. And you know it will.
We have found our ways to live in a place other than Iran, so we are immune from many of the hardships that a bad president could impose. But you most probably still have some people in Iran who you care for and whose everyday lives will be influenced by your voting now.
Voting is a Civic responsibility. Let's be altruistic in our decision, even if it imposes a hardship on our personal judgment. Please vote.

Live proud.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A chocolate post

Tonight i crave chocolate. It's like all my brain cells are on a rebel against sleep and a mission to remember all their good chocolate memories. i do have chocolate at home, but i want something exotic. Like a German dark chocolate filled with marzipan. Or a Mon Cheri.

And here's a blog for all chocolate lovers out there:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oh oh, suppose you'll never know

Credits: Grey's Anatomy Theme Song, Cosy In The Rocket, by Psapp

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gloden fashion proportions

This ones for the ladies!:) Look 20 pounds thinner by just choosing the correct outfit, and applying the golden proportions into your outfit. It was all on Rachael Ray show today, where she interviewed two sister designers. I found the interview very interesting. Look for yourself, here.

And here's the Levy sisters website:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Three friends

One: An email. My previous post had made a friend wonder.
Two: A kind phone call. I'm fine.
Three: A warm smile awaiting me at a window. Winter is melting aways.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Why we cry

I lost three grandparents when i was a kid. In the wakes and other memorials, i always asked myself how could people who were not that close to my grandparents feel our pain so much to cry real tears... Now I am a grown up, and I spent the whole day watching Grey's Anatomy with a box of tissue papers. Those people were shedding tears on their own pains.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Private life gone public

The rapid growth of online social networks like facebook, has brought something with is which is quite interesting. That is the degree that the personal life is gone public in these networks. This is something I have thought about before. I have very many contacts in my facebook for example. I have people that i haven't even met, and was inclined to accept in because they were friends of my friends. And this makes me concerned sometimes. recently three incidents happened that brought the thought back to me. One was a correspondent between 2 friedns in a rather big mailing list, one asking about the romantic life of the other one. Another was in Facebook, when a girl replied to her boyfriend's mass norouz greeting, probably assuming that she is replying only to him but we all got the reply, and the last one a Wall conversation in Facebook again when a friend asks another about the result of a test. In my judgment all three incidents were the kind that the two parties involved would probably wouldn't be comfortable having in loud voice in say a party full of people. But thees happened easily among the virtual crowd.

Now what is interesting here, is the degree of comfort people (including myself) feel when they share dialogs, post pictures, reply to messages, and etc in these mediums. I don't know how it is for you, but to me, it's like i forget that other non-close people are present there and can see these info. Another example is the mailing lists. I am actively involved in two mailing lists. One is my highschool friends, and the other is the alumni of the university i graduated from. In both lists, i have people that i know closely, and they happen to be the ones that are more pronounced in the list and post often. But there are again many other silent members that i don't know who receive these correspondents. Again, i tend to forget that they are ever there. Same thing goes with this blog too. Although i am not using my name here, but most of the people that read here know my identity, and i would definately won't say some of the things i write here, where strangers who know me, or not, are physically present.

So, just observing the comfort people feel in sharing their private life in virtual world, makes me wonder why we are careless about all this?

As a side note, i have this theory to answer my own concern. But it is not a very satisfying answer, anyway. I call it "Too much info = No info". The amount of information online has gone so crazily up that your information is a tiny insignificant portion of this vast pool and people have no time or will to digg into your personal information, while there is tons of other more interesting things for them to explore. But who knows, someone might.

Anyways, long post, and i generally dislike long posts. It will not happen anytime soon:)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The last spin of the old year

It's past midnight.
The last day of the old year has begun.
My small apartment is filled with the loud noise of the dishwasher.
As i listen the the spins of iron and steal and the sound of water waves in the machine,
my mind drifts back to revisit the moment that passed in the past year.
Here's a smiley day; there's a teary one.
Here's a crisp rainy September day bellow a tree in a park, there's a shivering winter night of no sleep.

The machine spins, and so does my mind.
It mixes all the black and white days of the past year.
A gray spinoff in my head. I like the color gray. It goes nicely with magenta, with pink too.
I can decorate gray.
The echos of storm in my dishwasher,
The blood beats in my brain.
The machine stops, my head is still spinning!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Six Norooz dresses

2004: The memory is kinda faded. It was my first months in US and i was still lost. I wore a organza black top with bids hand sewed on it. I had bought the top in Dubai the past summer when i went for visa interview. I think my roommate lent me her black short skirt to wear with it.

2005: A black and red organza top. It has sleeves but the sleeves were open on top and had stings to tie up in 3 places. It also had shiny bids on it. I wore it with the skirt i had bought in a Frank and Taylor closse out sale, a layered black miniskirt. I liked the outfit, but neither of them fit me now. I've shed a few pounds since then.

2006: The purple velvet long dress. It had pink and purple shinny sequins on its chest. I wore this dress to a friend's wedding later.

2007: A prom dress! With the big puffy skirt and corset top. It was in lilac color, with shinny bids in form of flower stems hand sewed on it. I found the dress in a clearance in DC's Macy's with my parents.

2008: I spent a big deal of time picking a dress for this year. I went to almost all stores in town, and couldn't find anything that would fall for. At the very last minute, in an unprecedented store i found this simple but pretty black and white short dress. It was white on the breasts, then black down. It had a big square shape colar, and i found a big square silver necklace to go with it.

2009: a long brown velvet pattern on organza dress. A gift from my cousin in Texas. I wore it with a black velvet coat on top, and paired it with brown patten fabric shoes my aunt sent me from iran. My mom's big jade earrings complemented the outfit beautifully.

Six Norooz parties in US, and six outfits. May all of you spend the Norooz and the New year in the nice outfits that bring out your beauty, inner and outer :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Norooz on the way

One of the hits that my blog gets pretty often, is on my old post of "how to grow sabzeh" for the Haftseen. This year i'm going to be home for Saal-tahvil. So i enthusiastically grew 2 plates of Sabze, one lentil and one wheat, as it is the tradition in our family. I will post a photo of them later on.

For now look at this video. Steven Colbert talks about his picture used in an store ad in Iran, and commercialism of Norooz. Very funny.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The rule of Law

There was a vast power outage in our town today. i was driving, and the traffic lights were off too. However there was no huge mess, no accident, no tied up traffic in the middle of the intersections. The traffic law here states: in the case of a non-functioning traffic light, you give the right of the way to all the cars that are already stopped at the line before you did. This simple. No need for a policeman to be there, drivers follow the rule and stop at the line and cross when its their trun. Now most of you can imagine what a huge mess such incident is going to cause in an intersection in Tehran.

Why is it so? Is it because the drivers there don't know the rule? Is there a rule there to guide poeple in such incidents, at all? Is it because drivers in Iran forget the traffic laws and regulations? Why is there this big difference between here and there? Why?

P.S. "There’s a continuum of disorder. Obviously
murder and graffiti are two vastly different crimes. But
they are part of the same continuum, and a climate that
tolerates one is more likely to tolerate the other.”
-Rudy Guiliani

Friday, February 27, 2009

The princess who asked for fire

Armineh said, "Poor willow tree."
Arsineh said, "Poor butterflies."

-I'll turn off the lights, Zoya Pirzad

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Joshua Radin- Brand New Day

Some kind of magic, happens late at night
When the moon smiles down at me, and bathes me in it's light
I fell asleep beneath you, in the tall blades of grass
When I woke the world was new, I never had to ask

It's a brand new day; The sun is shining...

Beautiful music, even more beautiful lyrics. It's so in harmony with my vision of life: that Sun always shines even after the darkest and longest night. It doesn't matter if you messed up the day before, if life was harsh on you, if it didn't happen. Now it's a new day. All new and shining. A new gift of life.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

National Acrobats of China

I went to a performance of National Acrobats of China.Their performance was fascinating. You think watching gymnastics in olympics is fun? i suggest you once go to a Chinese acrobat performance to see what human body can do. One of the girls there, i swear, had no skeleton in her body! And the men too: from now on, i will totally believe whatever unbelievable move i see in an asian martial arts movie!It was a magnificent show of the beauty and perfection of human body and skill.

Tonight' performance reminded me of an old fainted memory. I was 7 or 8 years old, a Chinese acrobat team came to Tehran for a performance, and my mom took me and my brother to watch them. This was a huge thing to the kid that i was, in those gray days of war and rigidity. I remember their performance included a human pyramid, the cyclists, and the dragon dance. After the show, we were waiting alongside the street for my dad to come and take us home. It took a while, and the Chinese acrobat team members packed up and got into their charter bus that was waiting right there. I started to wave for them, and they waved back! I was happy that i can have a somewhat closer encounter with those magnificent men (no female performers of course, in the islamic revolutionary environment at that time!) Anyways, the exchange of wavings and smiles went on for a while and then one of the Chinese acrobats got out of the bus and came to me, and gave me a small medallion/pin of their team. It was a green and gold Dragon head. Oh God, i was on clouds! I kept that pin for long, it was among one of my most precious possessions that i kept in my small collectors box. It should still be somewhere in my stuff, back home.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Rape Aggression Defense Systems (R.A.D.)

Today i went to the first session of the R.A.D class offered in our school. R.A.D is a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques for women to defend themselves against sexual assaults. It involves both informational, and practical lessons. I found the class very interesting and informative. For instance did you know that when you are facing an offender you have to stand in a way that your left side (weaker side) is closer to him? This will let you have your right arm free and ready to punch if you have to. Or if someone asks you the time, don't look down on your wrist, pull your arm up and maintain the eye contact. Or another thing she mentioned to me when i was practicing one-to-one with her was not to pull back the punch (which is what you tend to do especially if you do turbo-kickboxing!), let your fist stay there for a millisecond to deliver the maximum power, don't pull it back too quickly.

Anyways, there are still 3 more session of this to go, but i highly recommend you make time to take this class. If you are in US or Canada (check their website here).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Three stories in a snowy birthday night

Act 1: Never turn back on yourself

In old old days, a teacher learned that one of his students has had a break down and has wandered off. He went to seek him, and found him in a terrible shape. The student said i didn't deserve your valued lessons, I have failed you as a student. The teacher said you are still my student and i have come this far to find you and give you your new lesson. The lesson is: Never turn back on yourself. Never let other people make you disappointed in yourself. Never let them make you blame yourself. Cause as soon as you start turning back on yourself, you will ignore the wellbeing of your body and soul, and you would accept any assault towards your body and soul. always be friend with yourself and always give yourself the chance to make up for your mistakes. I repeat again, be the last one in the world who turns back on yourself, and this is my lesson to you today.

Act 2: Layla... Layla... Layla

An intern went to visit a mental institution. In the first hall he visited he saw a very sad man, sitting by the wall, the tears rolling down his cheeks. Every often he would bang his head to the wall crying out "Layla... Layla... Layla...". The intern asked what is wrong with this man, the nurse said, he was in love with a girl named Layla, but his love was unfruitful.
In the next hall, the intern sees a man in rage, chained to the bed, but angrily struggling and shouting out in fury: "Layla.. Layla... Layla...". The intern asked what's wrong with this one? The nurse answered: He married that Layla!

Act 3: Gratitude

Why is birthday a special day in one's calendar? This year, my answer to the question is in the territory of human affections. Your birthday , among all other joys it might bring, is the one day in which you get to get wrapped in the personalized kindness and care of your family and friends. It's when your sometimes cynical mind, is reassured of the abundance of kindness and care in human interactions. I am thankful to all my dear friends, and to you my reader for the kindness of your hearts.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack and Michelle Obama's First Dance

They danced to Etta Jones's song, At Last, sung beautifully by Beyonce. The highlight of all the sparkles of the day to me.