Friday, June 30, 2006

Israel Burns Palestine

Today in Turkey, crowds of demonstrators took to the streets, many holding plackards reading "Israel Burns Palestine", to protest Israel's attempts to topple the democratically elected Palestinian government by collectively punishing Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Turkey's President Ahmet Necdet Sezer visits the Holocaust Museum in Israel; here you can see him solemnly looking at the names of Nazi Holocaust victims.

When, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, will Ankara dedicate a memorial to the Armenian victims killed in the first holocaust of the 20th century?

(credits for Reuter's photo above can be found here)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Come on Out!

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area:
Mitra and Pedram of The Eyeranian will be coming up for the long weekend. They have suggested a get together with other bloggers/blog readers/vivacious folks who are in the area, and yours truly has agreed to coordinate the whole thing. We are thinking of Saturday afternoon somewhere in the East Bay. If you are interested, send me an email, and I'll get back to you with details.

If you are in London:
There is a vigil tomorrow evening in parliament square to protest Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

Bombing bridges and electric plants are acts of collective punishment and are clear cases of war crimes, even if one if gullible enough to believe that Israel is carrying out these acts over one kidnapped soldier.

If you are near Northern Virginia
Tomorrow night (June 30) at 7:30 pm there will be a free concert of Iranian music in the Mason District Park at 6621 Columbia Pike, Annandale, Va. 22003. Noorsaz ensemble will be performing at the outdoor amphitheatre, and you can hear their entire concert here. (I've been told that the first song is the not the best of their ensemble, so be patient!)

1. First they steal the relics of ancient Iran, now they want to sell them off to the highest bidding looter to compensate the victims of terrorism! This is so appalling on so many levels which I cannot get into at this point, but this should infuriate even the most right-wing nutso Iranians who at the very least shoud act to prevent the continuing theft of their "Aryan Heritage".

2. Richard Perle thinks that the Bush administration is too soft on iran. Guess which self-proclaimed "Iranian dissident student leader" he cited in pushing through his assertions?

3. Amir Taheri, who got caught red-handed last month making up a lie about Iran requiring religious minorities to wear distinctive clothing, apparently has a long history of fabricating stories. Larry Cohler-Esses outlines the most brazen of his lies, which include an entire book that scholar Shaul Bakhash ripped apart back in 1989. Taheri also claimed that Iran's ambassador to the U.N. was part of the take-over of the U.S. embassy in Iran, when in fact Javad Zarif was at the time a student at San Francisco State University.

Why does this man still get his crap published? It's due in no small part to Benador Associates, who lists not only Taheri but also chief warmonger richard perle.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

1. Despite the fact that chalabi's Iraqi National Congress spoonfed the American administration a bunch of lies, Laura Rozen of the Washington Post seems to lament the fact that there is "no iranian equivalent to the Iraqi national congress". In this piece published in Yesterday's Post she includes a list of d.c. area "dissidents" who are lobbying the U.S. congress for regime change in Iran. I don't know why Trita Parsi is on this list, he seems to be a relatively decent and dedicated activist. But the rest of the people named in the article are a bunch of crooks and liars. Just have a look and see for yourself.

2. I have world cup fever, yes its true. Mexico v. Argentina was a tough one, I was supporting both sides, but in the end I wish Mexico had won. Portugal v. Netherlands was an embarassment. I knew from the Iran v. Portugal match that the portuguese were a bit thuggish on the field, but today both netherlands and portugal played like jerks. i lost count of the red and yellow cards issued for both sides, but given all the shoving and kicking they were well deserved. Anyway, portugal was clearly the better team, and I hope they beat the English.

3. Pamela Pekerman loves handbags, these fellows think that "Pamela Perkman is Wrong as Hell!". For some reason, I think the whole thing is really hilarious.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

1. Sima has put it aptly when she titled the outcome of today's demonstrations in tehran as "Protestor: Woman oppressor: Woman". You can just glance at these pictures to see what she means.

2. It seems that none of the places where i have lived and with which I have some sense of belonging have much luck with soccer teams. The U.S. team's embarrassing 3-0 loss to the Czech Republic made Iran's 3-1 loss to Mexico look like a victory. Oh well, I guess it is to be expected when you always root for the underdog.

3. For weeks and weeks I've been drumming the heads of my students with warnings against speaking in broad generalizations about U.S culture and society. I've tried to make it clear that it is not acceptable to say things like "American society is such and such" or "American people are such and such" because there are many kinds of americans and many americas. So instead of elaborating and clarifying statements about "american society" or "american identity", one of my students has come up with the ingenious solution of just putting quotation marks around the word "American" wherever it appears! In other words, he makes the same generalizations, but now instead of saying: "Americans are a conservative people", he says: " "Americans" are a conservative people".

Monday, June 12, 2006

1. Yesterday on CNN:

2. Tomorrow in Tehran:

3. Today in Nuremberg:

I heard that the ABC commentary on the Iran game was horrid, and that the U.S. sportscaster fancied themselves political commentators. I wonder if the same sports anchors will be offering political commentary on the Haditha massacre or Bush's fundamentalist religious agenda during the U.S. game tomorrow?

Thankfully, I was spared the propaganda because I was watching the Iranian broadcast. When Golmohammadi made Iran's first and only goal (pictured above), sumi said: "i knew he would make a goal because he has a gol in his name". Hahaha!

Iran played super in the first half, tying the game 1-1, and then deteriorated into a big mess in the second half, while mexico scored twice in the last twenty minutes. It was a well-deserved win for them, and for their goalie Sanchez, who has just lost his dad.

Oh well, mexico may have soccer, but iran is enriching uranium! (i'm kidding)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

1. I got an email today about this interesting project called Enough Fear. Their site is bilingual in Persian and English and reflects the cooperation of Iranians and Americans saying No to War. They are collecting photographs of individuals making the gesture for "Stop" as a way of saying "no" to fear-mongering, propaganda, and the march to war.

2. I've mentioned before that the search term "Fereydoun Foroughi" brings consistent readers to this site. So as not to disappoint those readers when they arrive here, i'm providing a link to the Wikpedia Persian page on Foroughi, and here is a song and lyrics too:

Qariyeh (Village):

رویاهای من قریه ایست قدیمی
تو مشتی سایه اما صمیمی
قریه من به جای فولاد
چشمه رو می پرستید چشمه رو می پرستید
قریه من خوب و صمیمی
دلچسب و زیبا شعری قدیمی
اما دستی زرد آمد ز دوزخ
آتش زد بر این قریه من
با مشتی فولاد چشمه رو دزدید
بردش به سایه دادش به خورشید
قریه من رویای من بود
اون چشمه خوب دنیای من بود

3. I'm sorry that I don't have time to translate the above lyrics, but those of you who can read Persian will obviously get the connection between the song's lament about the destruction of a beloved village by a "hand from Hell" and the following: Christian Peacemaker Teams photo documentation of Israeli occupation forces demolishing the homes of Palestinians; photos 9 through 11 have close-up shots, and they show children standing near the rubble of what used to be their toilet.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Football Fever- Seven Days to Go

1. I think the above picture of Branko Ivankovic kissing the holy Quran is really sweet. The croatian Ivankovic--who I assume is not Muslim--has been coaching Iran's soccer team since 2002, and is here participating in a common Iranian goodbye/goodluck ritual of kissing the Holy Quran. The photo was taken on the occassion of the Iranian team's departure for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. (original photo is from ISNA)

2. An Iranian blogger has designed a set of Iran 2006 Cup merchandise. The designs featuring individual players are kind of cute, but I totally don't dig the main logo. It's too bad, because I would have liked to be an over-enthusiastic dorky soccer fan with a cool shirt. A dorky fan with a dorky shirt, well, that is too much even for me.

3. The kick-off time for Iran's first game at the Cup is June 11th at 18:00 local time (9:00 a.m. California Time). I'm nervous because Mexico is a very strong team (current FIFA ranking of 4). But I like them, so in the event of a loss, it wont be as a bitter as say, losing to France or the U.K. (my all time least-favorite teams).

Therefore: Viva Mexico and Zende bad Iran!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

1. one of my favorite bloggers, who unfortunately closed her persian blog but who ocassionally writes on her english one, noted in an email some days ago that English language Iranian blogs seem to have fallen victim to a readership of neo-con types, who just stop by to harass the bloggers.

My experience has reflected this to be the case as well, though I admit to taking great pleasure in knowing how consistently I infuriate the reactionaries.

On the other hand, it can get tiresome, knowing that no matter how much you try to explain and put things in context, there are a certain (large) group of people who simply will not listen.

2. Therefore, one day soon, I may just give up on the whole thing and devote my free time to learning the guitar and singing the songs of woodie guthrie and Farhad.

Towards this goal, this great site containing lyrics and links to farhad's music is a good start. At least I can begin memorizing the words to his songs.

As for woodie guthrie, well naturally i will start with "This land is my land" and dedicate it to the impotent plans of those who want to "sue" the U.S. government officials who approvingly stamped passports like mine.

3. I can't stop thinking about Werner Herzog's grizzly man, which covers the story of bear activist timothy treadwell, who spent 13 summers among the animals and was ultimately killed by them. I was transfixed as much by the footage of the bears as I was by the looney behavior of Treadwell. And there is one sort of creepy scene, where they are interviewing his parents, and his mom sits there, wearing bright blue eye-shadow, clutching a teddybear.

Raed's take on that interview was that the parents seemed somewhat detached, which raed took as yet another indication of how disconnected treadwell was from what he saw as the "human world". At first I disagreed, claiming that the mother at least, seemed to betray some emotion.

me: "but the poor mom looked tense and upset, dont you remember how she was picking at that teddy bear?"

raed: "yea she looked upset, but not a-bear-ate-my-son-upset".

Nope, I had to agree, she definitely didn't look a-bear-ate-my-son upset.

I think this should be a new category: upset and a-bear-ate-my-son upset.