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Posts Tagged ‘Marcia C. Inhorn’

The cropped (Left) and real (Right) picture from the front cover of Azar Nafisis Reading Lolita in Tehran.

The cropped (Left) and real (Right) picture from the front cover of Azar Nafisi's "Reading Lolita in Tehran" (see below for further explanation).

Dear Friends, Greetings,

First:
We have grown too large for a group email list! This is wonderful news
but has a practical implication: I must turn the “Window on Iran” into a
listserv. My colleagues at the university computing services will kindly
assist me in doing so. I am happy with the change because in a listserv
your names and addresses will be safer from possible spam users and you
can unsubscribe at will. I will soon send you the initial message of the
listserv. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE THAT MESSAGE NEXT WEEK, PLEASE E-MAIL ME
TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR ADDRESS HAS NOT BEEN DELETED IN THE TRANSITION.

Second:
Apparently, my link to Professor Inhorn’s excellent article on Iran in
which she observes:  “The Iran I encountered is far from the medieval
theocracy often portrayed in American media” did not work. If you did
not get my “correction” message, here is the link again:
http://www.sph.umich.edu/news_events/pdf/inhorn%20iran.pdf

And now to this week’s Window on Iran:

Current issues

* Iranian chief nuclear negotiator’s statement that Iran reserves
the right to continue its nuclear program “only under UN
inspection” was presented in American and British papers as
“Iran’s defiance of the UN resolution.”
* 15 day visas of about 40 American educated Iranian scientists
arriving in the U.S. last week to participate in a university
reunion in Northern California were revoked last minute without
explanation. Some were held overnight in what one described to a
friend in a brief phone call as “jail conditions” before being
sent  back to Iran.

Science

* Iranian scientists in a Tehran fertility clinic cloned a sheep
successfully. Although the sheep died soon after birth, this first
cloning in the Middle East was hailed by the world media as a
great breakthrough. Iranian scientists described with excitement
the history of their cloning experiments on mice and cow:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1874227.cms It may
come as a surprise to you that Iran’s cloning program, like its
work on embryonic stem cell research, has the blessing of the
country’s religious authorities.

Social/Cultural

* This week I would like to introduce you to one of the most
prominent poets of twentieth-century Iran: Simin Behbahani. Known
as the “Lioness of Iran,” Behbahani has remained an ardent
defender of human rights, free speech, and women’s rights. She
spoke against war and violence even as the Iran-Iraq war raged in
the 1980s. Currently President of The Iranian Writers’
Association, Behbahani has published 12 collections of poems and
has stayed in the public eye before, during, and after the 1979
revolution defying all forms of totalitarianism. Behbahani was
nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature in 1997. For a short
biography of Simin Behbahni, please click on the first link below.
And go to the second link to view the “Lioness” in action, and her
pronounced fashion statements!
o http://www.iranchamber.com/literature/sbehbahani/simin_behbahani.php
o http://www.payvand.com/news/05/aug/1105.html

* Most of you have read, or heard of, the book that vilified
most Iranian men and victimized the majority of Iranian women, the
bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran. The cover of the book depicts
two young Iranian girls with downcast eyes hinting at the
unlikelihood of an active intellectual life. The picture, above
this post, is actually of two girls active in the
Iranian general elections (notice Khatami’s poster in the
background) reading a newspaper.

Have a great weekend!
Fatemeh Keshavarz
========================
Fatemeh Keshavarz, Professor and Chair
Dept. of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatuares
Washington University in St. Louis
Tel: (314) 935-5156
Fax: (314) 935-4399
========================

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The City of Tehran

Dear Friends,

Thank you for you warm reception of my update on Iran. I started responding to you individually but soon realized that I have to quit my job to handle the volume of correspondence. After the first ten or so, I only answered messages with questions. If you sent a kind note, asked for your e-mail address to be changed with a different one, or provided
a friend’s address for the list, please forgive me for not writing back. You will notice that I have made the necessary adjustment.

A note before the updates: I do not wish to give an impression of a trouble free Iran. The civil society that is forming in the country has
a long way to go. Iranians continue to make sacrifices for that to
happen. What I would like to do is to correct misinformation, give a
taste of the social and cultural complexity of Iran, and supply the
parts of the picture that are missing.

* Speaking of pictures, I would like to begin with a slide show of
Tehran:  The city of Tehran (forgive some obvious captions, i.e. street!).

* I would like to introduce to you the First Family of Iranian
Cinema: the Makhmalbaf family. The family includes Mohsen
(father), Marzieh (mother), and their  children Samira, Maysam,
and Hana To visit the Makhmalbaf Film House, please click on:
http://www.makhmalbaf.com/ . While the bulk of the reviews and publications
about the work of these artists is in Persian, you will find photo
galleries and short descriptions for each of their films in
English. Please be sure to visit the personal photo gallery , and
the awards, for each artist.
* For this week, I also have an excellent recent article on Iran
by Marcia C. Inhorn, professor of public Health at the University
of Michigan. Professor Inhorn describes Iran as a country to watch
on many levels. She declares “The Iran I encountered is far from
the medieval theocracy often portrayed in American media.” The
article is called “A More Open Mind Toward Iran.” (The Chronicle
of Higher Education, June 06). You will find the article on google
or at:  www.sph.umich.edu/new_events/pdf/inhorm%20iran.pdf

Have a great weekend.

Fatemeh Keshavarz
========================
Fatemeh Keshavarz, Professor and Chair
Dept. of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatuares
Washington University in St. Louis
Tel: (314) 935-5156
Fax: (314) 935-4399
========================

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