Thursday, September 30, 2004

today i saw a friendly link to my last post from a right-wing site, and i thought: "gee, maybe i wasn't explicit enough about my bewildered contempt for ahura and his damn-fool idea for liberating iran". i mean, i may be more bewildered than contemptuous, but i certainly am contemptuous.

believe me, i am always looking for innovative and imaginative forms of dissent. but far from fostering creativity and putting people's restlessness to productive use, megalomaniacal nut-jobs like ahura yazdi sap it out and put immovable boulders in front of anyone else who may have a viable plan for restructuring our lives and societies.

ahura yazdi will make those iranians who genuinely seek new forms of resistance look like lunatics in the same way that opportunistic and phony student movement sites make independent activist students in iran seem like they are mere stooges for the neo-conservative agenda to attack iran.

of course, if tomorrow (which is the birthday of Imam Mahdi, no less), iran is freed, well then, i will change my last name to its "parsi" equivalent (i mean, my first name is as "ahoorayee" as it gets, so i guess i'll keep it).

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

With only two days left until "the event" that is supposed to free iran, i guess i'll finally have to add my voice to the many that the brooding persian has described as making ahura the "object of wrath, scorn, derision and laughter".

i'm not in tehran, so i can't vouch for or deny the buzz that the brooder describes, but respecting him as i do, i am quite sure that he is correct in his perceptions of the general mood.

after the fall of baghdad and before the anniversary of the 1999 iranian student uprising, i remember a similar feeling in the air in the diaspora. and in iran, too, apparently, since thousands of students took to the streets, thousands were arrested, and sometime later, when the hope seemed to have died down as quickly as it had sprung up, the arrested (most of them, anyway) were spit back out, un-noticed for the most part.

is the excitement around ahura's victorious return at all on the same scale as the wave that seemed to have hit us a little over a year ago? thankfully this doesnt seem to be the case. but if it is true that two thousand people took to the streets in tehran in support of ahura, well i think that is two thousand people too many. and i am still a bit in shock/shame mode to even begin an analysis or thoughtful comment on the phenomena.


on an entirely different note:

for about 200 hundred reasons, one of which includes his performance in the infuriating "documentary" Forbidden Iran, i am not exactly fond of the student activist kianoosh sanjari. but i heard a rumour the other day that he had tried to take his own life, and i was wondering if anyone knows of the circumstances. Is he back in jail or what? is it a publicity stunt? (sorry to be cynical, but i had to ask) Where on earth is the rest of the "student movement" anyway?

Friday, September 24, 2004

Usually it is the american occupation forces that come up with these types of brilliant ideas, but this time the british seem to have taken the initiative. In a fool-proof plan to save the life of british hostage bigley, they have have distributed 50,000 flyers in iraq asking people if they would be so kind as to return the hostage unharmed.

before i came here, i used to romanticize the azan (call to prayer). you know, in that typical--and usually naive and annoying-- diaspora way of clinging on to vague and sometimes entirely constructed memories of the "motherland".

but now that i am in a place where the azan is an inescapable part of my daily life, i find that i dont particularly enjoy it.

now it is just a marker of hours and days gone by in vain. the morning call to prayer, if i should be up to hear it, signals that another sleepless night has passed. the noon azan usually means that i've wasted a morning, most likely sleeping. the afternoon call, i tend not to hear, i'm not so sure why, maybe the sounds of the city are at their peak then, and the echos of the call to prayer are drowned out by the white noise. and the evening call, well that one is obvious, it reminds me that the day is over for the most part, and i dont have too much to show for it, not even a blog entry.

so yea, i know, i am projecting, it is not the azan i dont like but my own listless unproductivity. but projection, after all, is a defense mechanism. and as long as you still have functioning defense mechanisms, you know that that there is still hope...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I wanna hold your hand...I wanna hold your hand...

Thursday, September 09, 2004

My favorite moments--in no particular order--from last night's game between Iran and Jordan, when R. and i stood as the only fans of the iranian team (and i as the only woman) in a section with thousands of hardcore Jordanian soccer fans:

**After the stadium recovered from the silence that hit it when Iran scored its first goal, people in our section (the first class section, mind you) started to taunt the Iranian team with chants of "USA! USA! USA! USA!".

**When Khodadad Azizi was taking his 2 corner kicks in a row, he was right by our section, so people started saying in English "F**K you! f**K you". (Azizi was the one player that the fans seemed truly to hate, by the way. While insults were hurled at other Iranian players, they usually had a playful ring about them. A guy next to me occassionally would yell out Mirzapour's name, almost in appreciation. But Azizi with Azizi it was different, like they really hated him or something).

**Soon after Iran scored, the mood in the stadium changed drastically, as was to be expected. But more than being furious at the Iranians, the fans turned their anger against their home team. The few fans still yelling "yalla yalla" whenever Jordan had the ball were drowned out by the people cursing the players and ridiculing their lack of skills. The teenager turned analyst next to us started to lament at length that what the iranians were doing was playing soccer, and the jordanian team was just screwing around.

**With Iran's second goal and the end of the game shortly thereafter, the stadium burst into loud chants insulting the head coach of the jordanian team, Al-Gohary. What they were saying is too vulgar to repeat verbatim, but here is a literal translation of the insult that was chanted over and over again: "your sister's private parts, Al-gohary! your sister's private parts, Al-gohary". (Among the other sisters whose private parts were mentioned throughout the game were Karimi, Azizi, and Ali Dai, along with just about every Jordanian player during the end of the game, when their fans were completely furious with them).

**Despite booing the Iranian players and yelling during the Iranian national anthem, the Jordanian fans clapped and cheered for the Iranian team when they left the stadium and yelled out with extra enthusiasm for the team captain, Ali Dai. They even started chanting, "Iran, Iran", "Iran, Iran"; R. tells me this last gesture of saying "Iran, Iran" was as much about teasing the Jordanian team as it was about lauding Iran. Regardless, it was nice to see that the Iranians left the field with the smiling cheers of the jordanian fans.

**It was exhausting to spend the whole game containing our emotions from fear that the thousands of over-testosteroned Jordanian fans might crack our heads if we cheered for Iran, but towards the end of the game, R. was starting to lose his composure. When Mirzapour made one of his many saves during the last minutes of the game, R. began to whistle extremely loudly. A guy behind asked him, "You are with the Iranians?". R. didn't answer the man directly, just gave a big smile and asked him "Why?" and that is where the converstation ended. But then R. started speaking Arabic loudly with a Jordanian accent, asking random questions from people around us, in case some particularly angry fans decided they might like to anonymously push us or throw something at us when our backs were turned.

And that sums up my memorable moments from last night, but i may add more later, since I am still remembering scenes from the night as if it were a dream that i am recalling bit by bit as the day wears on.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Today we bought our tickets for the game that will determine if Iran qualifies for the 2006 world cup. I am super excited, but being my pessimistic self, I have a feeling that Iran will lose to Jordan. I mean, if they lost to Jordan in Iran, in front of thousands of Iranian fans, I doubt they will have any chance in Amman, where most likely we will be the only two people who have sympathy for the Iranian team.

I like the tickets for the game very much. They picture the Jordanian team and the text in Arabic says something like the "qualifying game between the Jordanian national team and our friends the Iranian national team". It's very nice of them really to call us their "friends". It's a diplomatic gesture, I know, but a nice one nonetheless.

In fact, generally speaking, if I had to choose one word to describe Jordanians, it would be this: very nice. ok, so that was two words, but you get the point.

Who know if they'll let us take cameras into the stadium, but if they do, I'll try to take some nice pictures.