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Forming the Green Chain of Democracy (quote and translation via NIAC Blog, original from Mousavis Facebook page): “Iranians from the cities and rural area of Iran and even those in Europe, United States and Australia or whereever else unite and form a green chain against the anti-democratic government of Iran. Our green chain of democracy is very similar to the national congress of Africa that stood up to apartheid. Under this umbrella everyone is a leader and every leader is a warrior and a member of this chain. Our aim is to oppose the liars and thieves who stole the elections, and whoever holds this government as illegitimate is part of our chain.”

Forming the Green Chain of Democracy (quote and translation via NIAC Blog, original from Mousavi's Facebook page): “Iranians from the cities and rural area of Iran and even those in Europe, United States and Australia or whereever else unite and form a green chain against the anti-democratic government of Iran...”

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Dear All,

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This is likely to be an eventful week in Iran. Strikes, boycotts, rallies and more. It is now clear that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s troubles are far from over. However, the nature of the struggle is now changing to a slower and more carefully planned series of steps to challenge the election. Please note that I might reduce the frequency of these updates to twice a week if daily reporting seems unnecessary.

As the government speaks of “violence” on the part of the protesters, it is important to document instances where sympathizers of the Green Movement help each other and even the injured riot police. Look below to see one such image.

A "green" support of Mousavi helps one of the injured riot police out of the crowd.

A "green" support of Mousavi helps one of the injured riot police out of the crowd.

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Ayatollah Rafsanjani Comes Down the Fence

* This is the biggest news of the recent weeks. After weeks of speculation, the influential Iranian cleric and ex-president Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani seems to have made his position clear today. Calling the election fraudulent, and the “Guardian Council” partial toward Mr. Ahmadinejad, Rafsanjani’s party sided decisively with Mr. Mousavi’s side. This is excellent news for the reformists: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran-security7-2009jul07,0,2303204.story.

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Mr. Mousavi’s Public Appearance

* For the first time after almost three weeks, Mr. Mousavi spoke in public announcing that the protests have not ended. The government, blamed the signs of the general three day strike which have begun today on air pollution! http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=99943&sectionid=3510212.

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Protest rallies are being planned for July 9. It is far from over: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-07-06/iran-goes-on-strike/.

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Power Outage before Allaho Akbar

* Last night, in a well co-ordinated move people plugged in electric appliances all at once and forced the city into power outage before reciting their Allaho Akbar chants to express opposition to the government.

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Trying to Identify Protesters

* Revolutionary Guard’s “Organized Crime Division” is using images of individuals and asking people to identify and trace them. “This is another fear tactic” write e-mailers from Iran. Here is one example: http://www.gerdab.ir/fa/pages/?cid=422 (see the picture below). Again, according to article 27 of the Iranian constitution civil disobedience and peaceful protest are people’s right.

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Picture of the webpage set up by the government to identify protesters. Notice the red circles around the faces of the various protesters in the pictures on the website. Click the link above to see the site for yourself.

This is a picture of the webpage set up by the Iranian government to identify protesters. Notice the red circles around the faces of the various protesters in the pictures on the website. Click the link above to see the site for yourself.

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Ex-political Prisoners Write to U.N.

* 116 Iranian ex-political prisoners wrote to the United Nation, Human Rights Watch, and similar international organizations expressing deep concern about the people who have been kept in detention since the June 12 election. Their main concern is tortured confession, and even possible execution of some of detainees. Their request is that the U.N. and/or Human Rights Watch send inspectors to examine the condition of the detainees in

prison.

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Mousavi Campaign Coordinator in Mashhad Died

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* Hamid Maddah Shurcheh, a key member of Mousavi headquarters in Mashhad, died yesterday after release from detention. Severe head injury during his detention is said to be the cause of death.

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Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini joins Mousavi Supporters

* Out of all the major clerical figures in Iran, only two (Mesbah Yazdi, and Nouri Hamadani) have congratulated Mr. Ahmadinejad. The rest have either been vocal against the election or remained silent. On Sunday, Ayatollah Amini broke his silence and joined the supporters of Mousavi and Karrubi. This is a particularly important decision since Ahmadinejad and his supporters have been working hard to present a case for the arrest of Mr. Mousavi.

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European Broadcasting Union Removed Islamic Republic Broadcasting from its Guest List

* The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has removed the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) from the list of attendees at its annual gathering “in response to Iran’s policies regarding foreign journalists during the recent events.”

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New Video by Iran’s Best Female Rapper

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* The underground metal and hip-hop scene in Iran is quite interesting. I hope you enjoy this new video “from Iranian rapper Kalameh (pseudonym) expressing frustration of Iranians with the recent crackdown:

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Don’t forget to share our blog: windowsoniran.wordpress.com.

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Good Night,

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Fatemeh

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

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“10 years ago, on the 9th of July, Iranian students mobilized to demand an end to oppression. They poured into the streets, sparking a number of massive protests against a government...The day they set out to take back their country, now infamously known by its date in the Persian calendar – the 18th of Tir, has become a symbol of the Iranian movement for freedom. In commemoration of the 18th of Tir, or 9th of July, we ask that you join us for a peaceful protest. Now, more than ever, the people of Iran need to SEE and HEAR our support.” Visit the website of the protest here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=111954599184&ref=mf.

“10 years ago, on the 9th of July, Iranian students mobilized to demand an end to oppression. They poured into the streets, sparking a number of massive protests against a government...The day they set out to take back their country, now infamously known by its date in the Persian calendar – the 18th of Tir, has become a symbol of the Iranian movement for freedom. In commemoration of the 18th of Tir, or 9th of July, we ask that you join us for a peaceful protest. Now, more than ever, the people of Iran need to SEE and HEAR our support.” Visit the website of the protest here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=111954599184&ref=mf.

Dear All,

As we took a day off to celebrate 4th of July, came another blow to the authority of the Iranian Supreme Leader.  A statement released yesterday by the Society of the Religious Scholars and Professors at Qom questioned the legitimacy of “The Guardian Council” after its misconduct of the election, lack of attention to the justified complaints, militarization of the environment of the country, and its support for the brutal attacks on protesters. The friends I spoke to in Iran, did not attach the same level of significance to it as did the BBC (article here) and the New York Times (article here).

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Three Days of General Strike followed by Gatherings planned for Tehran and other Cities

* Despite heavy control over the flow of information, Iranian supporters of Mr. Mousavi and the are connecting to start a three-day “I’tikaf” (a voluntary refusal to work) or general strike starting July 6. Also, plans have been announced, on Mr. Mousavi’s Facebook page by his supporters, for staying outside the house and demonstrating in numerous small groups which will be harder to target by  riot police. I should be able to post the locations soon.
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The Longest Scroll

* 4th of July might become a day to remember in the life of Iranians as well. On that day, this year, thousands of Iranians demonstrated outside the European Parliament and started a green scroll which they hope will become the longest scroll in the world. On this scroll, which will say “Ahmadinejad is not my president” at the top, Iranians from all over the world will sign their name. It will hang from the Eiffel Tower and the Toronto Tower and be taken to the U.N. Museum in the end. Please see the picture below to get a glimpse of it.

"Ahmadinejad is not my President!"

"Ahmadinejad is not my President!"

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New Internet Tool to Allow Iranians visit websites (with their identities protected)

* This is another amazing piece of news, a tremendous gift to Iranians who have been unable to make use of internet due to heavy filtering by the government. Tech guru Austin Heap, whose work on Iran was profiled early on by the San Francisco Chronicle <http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/06/17/MN75188C6K.DTL>, is set to release a new tool to help Iranians get online. Here’s Austin’s blog post about the program, called Haystack:

“In the upcoming days, Daniel Colascione and I will release a new
program to provide unfiltered internet access to the people of Iran.
A software package for Windows, Mac and Unix systems, called
Haystack, will specifically target the Iranian government’s web
filtering mechanisms.

Similar to Freegate, the program directed against China’s ‘great
firewall,’ once installed Haystack will provide completely
uncensored access to the internet in Iran while simultaneously
protecting the user’s identity. No more Facebook blocks, no more
government warning pages when you try to load Twitter, just
unfiltered Internet.

The network will be supported by donated high-quality servers
outside of Iran. They will be able to provide an individual user
with unfettered internet access that costs the donor $0.015 to
$0.0375 per month.”

See the full post here: http://blog.austinheap.com/2009/07/04/haystack-good-luck-finding-that-needle/.

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July 3 Nightly protests

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Light a Candle!

* Iranians light candles to commemorate the loss of a loved-one. At this site, you can light a candle for the Iranians who lost their lives to protest the rigging of the 2009 general election in Iran: http://www.iranian-heroes.org/.
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Iranian Blogger Maryam Namazi on Recent Protests

Quote from Maryam Namazi comments on the recent protests:

“Tonight and nights before in various parts of Tehran there have been huge groups of people out in their neighborhoods shouting slogans ‘Down with Dictator,’ and ‘Free Political Prisoners,’ amongst others. Last night in Ekbatan, we received reports that the regime’s security agents attacked the protestors but the protestors stood their ground and the security forces had to back down. In Tajrish too last night on Mojdeh Street, hundreds had gathered. We have been told that these night protests are increasing and in the deprived areas of Tehran too. It has been reported that there are such night protests in so many neighborhoods that you can hear slogans practically all the time whilst driving around Tehran.”
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I hope you have had great holiday weekend.

Good Night,

Fatemeh

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

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Windows on Iran 53

A beautiful picture from the recent water and light art show in Tehran's Parke Mellat. Please see the end of this 'Window' for more photos from this event.

A beautiful picture from the recent water and light art show in Tehran's Parke Mellat. Please see the end of this 'Window' for more photos from this event. Also be sure to check out Brian Appleton's photo essay from his recent trip to Iran, entitled "Five Days in Tehran" (link below).

Dear All,

I hope you have had a great summer. Here at Washington University in St. Louis, we are gearing up for another lively academic year. I have a wonderful piece of news for those of you who have enjoyed these windows, shared them with friends, or taken them to your classroom, during the past two years. My stellar student Matthew Miller has started blogging the windows. He has devoted a considerable amount of time, thought, and taste to the project. Check it out for yourself: https://windowsoniran.wordpress.com/. In not so distant a future, all of the Windows on Iran will be available on line. Thank you Matt! You have done a super job.

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Tehran is a World Class City

* Thanks to my friend Brian Appleton, who has just returned form a trip to Iran, I can open this window with a wonderfully detailed pictorial essay called “Five Days in Tehran.” In this essay, Brian captures what some reporters allow to get buried under layers of political conflict. That is, he brings out the vibrancy and the complexity of Iranian urban life. The subtitle to his piece reads: It is important to understand that Tehran is a world class city. Not only does he speak about events, people, and buildings but he remembers other important details: “Since the revolution, 30,000 trees have been planted in Tehran and it is one of the greenest cities you will ever see anywhere on the planet.” Before I give you that address to Brian’s great piece, I would like to add that of course not every corner of Iran is Tehran. Neither would Brian Appleton claim that. Urban life is more affluent and complex everywhere. Here is a rare opportunity for you to read about the beauty and complexity (and of course traffic jams, etc.) of city life in Iran. Thank you Brian! http://www.iranian.com/main/2008/five-days-tehran.

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Iranian Olympic basketball player Hamed Ehadadi and the head coach of the Russian team, Israeli David Blatt, embrace in a show of friendship at the recent Olympic games.

Iranian Olympic basketball player Hamed Ehadadi and the head coach of the Russian team, Israeli David Blatt, embrace in a show of friendship at the recent Olympic games.

The Israeli/Iranian Embrace

* It is generally believed that sports and art are the best way to bring people together. During the current Olympic games, there were such rare moments when Israeli and Iranian athletes transcended the political conflicts and exhibited kindness and support for each other. The first attachment to this window is a Kodak moment during which an Iranian 7-foot-2 basketball player, Hamed Ehadadi and the Israeli coach of the Russian team David Blatt have posed for the camera. Earlier, another Iranian player and Blatt embraced. This simple gesture of friendship should not be so rare as to make it to the headlines. However, with the current political tensions, it is good to see any such exchanges. Thank you Omid Jan for forwarding this message.

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The Israelis Against an Attack on Iran

* While we are on the subject of Iran and Israel, I should bring a very important declaration to your attention. I have, in the past, quoted Israeli politicians who have called for a military attack on Iran. It is only fair that the voices of Peace Seeking Israelis be included in these windows as well. Earlier this month, a group of Israeli academics and peace activists who call themselves “Ad Hoc Group Against Israeli Attack on Iran” issued a very important press release to publicize their declaration. Its main message: “There is no military, political or moral justification to initiate war with Iran.” This is a courageous move that will be appreciated by all peace-loving readers of these windows, most especially the Iranian segment. However, the group made no secret of the fact that the Israeli well-being is of great concern to them. “After serious consideration,” the press release went on to say “we reiterate our position that all the arguments for such an attack are without any security, political or moral justification. Israel might get caught up in an act of adventurism that could endanger our very existence, and this without any serious effort to exhaust the political and diplomatic alternatives to armed conflict.” To read the entire declaration, please visit: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO0808/S00077.htm.

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Open Letter to Senator Obama

* Here in the U.S.. many are concerned with the same issue. Here is an open letter sent to Senator Obama on August 14 concerning the dangers of U.S./Iran confrontation: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21735.

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Iranian “Star Students” in Newsweek

* I have often talked about the negative light in which the Iranian culture is presented to the American public. This, unfortunately, has impacted the general language used to speak about Iran. The result is that even positive matters are often articulated in a pessimistic manner that counters its positive nature. Let me give you an example.

* There is a piece in the August 18-25 ’08 issue of the Newsweek describing the success of the Iranian students which is a very interesting piece to analyze with the above point in mind. The core news is that, in the field of science, some of the best undergraduates in the world are being trained in Iranian universities. This should be cause for celebration. Not quite. First, we are given the feeling that all of that is on the brink of disappearing. I have no problems with pointing to economic (and other) problems that Iran faces. I am not even talking about exaggerations like “University professors barely make ends meet—the pay is so bad some must even take second jobs as taxi drivers or petty traders.” Yes, Iranian economy is not doing particularly well, but relatively speaking, Iranian professors are good wage earners.

My real problem with the piece is that it views the Iranian students’ success as an anomaly which requires an extraordinary explanation. And here it is: “When you live in Iran and you see all the frustrations of daily life, you dream of leaving the country, and your books and studies become a ticket to a better life,” says one who asked not to be identified. “It becomes more than just studying,” he says. “It becomes an obsession, where you wake up at 4 a.m. just to get in a few more hours before class.” In other words, when other cultures make educational success, they are bright. When Iranians do that, they are frustrated and obsessive.

And finally the piece adds: “Iran’s success, in other words, is also the country’s tragedy: students want nothing more than to get away the moment they graduate.”

I don’t want to discourage you from reading the piece. In fact here is the link: http://www.newsweek.com/id/151684. But it is truly amazing, how the American media has developed a talent for casting the most positive matters related to Iran in a negative light.

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The Smallest School in the World

The young Iranian students diligently at work in the smallest school in the world.

Young Iranian students diligently at work in the "smallest school in the world." Please click on the picture to visit the teacher's blog and check out all the great pictures of the students and their school.

* Now that you know about the star students in Iran, I would like you to see why I think the cynicism in the Newsweek article is unwarranted. In other words, Iranians are not promoting learning in their communities so that good students can leave the country. Like many other people in the world, they care deeply about education. In a small and remote village in the southern province of Boushehr, a young man has established a school for 4 students to make sure they get their primary education properly (see the pictures above and below). And please bear in mind, this is not a propaganda tool of the Islamic Republic. The resourceful young teacher Abdolmohammad Sha’rani who runs the school has a personal blog in which he writes about the village, the people, and of course the school. Remember I told you a while back Iranians are number four bloggers in the world. Do visit Sha’rani’s blog, even if you don’t read Persian and enjoy the pictures he has taken of this tiny fishing village on the Persian Gulf: http://www.dayyertashbad.blogfa.com/ Thank you Bahar for forwarding this information.

Two young Iranian students who look quite pleased with their new school supplies! Please visit his blog for many more great pictures of the students and their school.

Two young Iranian students who look quite pleased with their new school supplies! Please click on the picture to visit the teacher's blog and check out all the great pictures of the students and their school.

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Iranian Zahra Karimi has won the womens gold medal at the 2008 Wushu World Championships.

Iranian Zahra Karimi won the women's gold medal at the recent 2008 Wushu World Championships.

Iranian Zahra Karimi Wins Gold in Wushu

* An Iranian woman by the name of Zahra Karimi has won the women’s gold medal at the 2008 Wushu World Championships, held in Beijing along side the Olympic Games: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=67454&sectionid=3510211.

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The Photographer Capturing Rural Life in Iran

* In these windows, I have usually brought you images from urban life in Iran. This is mostly because I have always found the complexity of Iranian urban life to be the aspect which is not as well known as it should be. However, today, courtesy of my cousin Abe Massoudi, I have the opportunity to introduce to you the great work of a contemporary Iranian photographer who has dedicated almost his entire career to taking photographs of Iranians living in rural parts of the country. Nasrullah Kasraian, who has had many exhibits and published over 30 collections of his photographs, is a national figure in Iran. Please click on the link to view some of his stunning images. Enjoy! http://www.jadidonline.com/images/stories/flash_multimedia/Kasraiian_test/kasraiian_eng_high.html.

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Another beautiful picture from the recent water and light art show in Tehran's Parke Mellat. Please see the link to the left for more photos from the event.

Another beautiful picture from the recent water and light art show in Tehran's Parke Mellat. Please see the link to the left for more photos from the event.

Water Show in the National Park

* I opened this window with a look at the city of Tehran. Here is a visual delight from the same city to close Window 53, a great Water and Light show from Tehran’s Parke Mellat courtesy of my friend Farimah. Please click here: Water and Light Show in Tehran’s Parke Mellat.

Till next Window, have a great end of the summer.

Best,
Fatemeh
===================================
Fatemeh Keshavarz, Professor and Chair
Dept. of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures
Washington University in St. Louis
Honorary Co-Chair, Iranians For Peace
Tel: (314) 935-5156
Fax: (314) 935-4399
==================================

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Windows on Iran 28

Jewish School in Shiraz, Iran (photo courtesy of www.iranian.com). Read below to learn about the strong and proud Iranian Jewish community.

A Jewish School in Shiraz, Iran. Please read below to learn about the strong and proud Iranian Jewish community. (photo courtesy of http://www.iranian.com).

Dear All,

Welcome to another Window on Iran. I am delighted to report that I
have just welcomed our first subscriber from Italy! Is this cool or
what? Thank you all for doing such a super job of promoting these
windows globally. Now practically anywhere I do public speaking, a
number of people in the audience are familiar with these windows. I am
also grateful to you all for forwarding to me the interesting stuff
you like to share with others.

On to our Window number 28!

Current Issues:
* I start this week’s current issues with an amazing piece of evidence
that came to light on April 29:

Barely a week has been passed since our speaker Professor
Ghamari-Tabrizi made his excellent presentation “A Manufactured
Crisis: Facts, Fiction, and the Politics of a Nuclear Iran” at
Washington University. Professor Ghamari spoke to a surprised audience
about numerous steps taken by Iran over the past few years to reduce
tension with the U.S. and to end the crisis. These steps were ignored
by the current U.S. administration. An op-ed piece in yesterday’s NY
Times by Nicholas Kristof reveals exactly that: a secret proposal that
the Iranian government sent to the current American administration in
the hope of making peace. Mr. Kristof, who still uses a demeaning
language to speak of Iranians, admits nevertheless that “The officials
from the repressive, duplicitous government of Iran pursued peace more
energetically and diplomatically than senior Bush administration
officials.” The Iranian proposal offered “full transparency”
concerning the Iranian nuclear technology, “active support for Iraqi
stabilization,” and “pressuring Hamas to stop violent actions against
civilians inside Israel” among other things. Obviously, Iran wanted
something in return. These demands described by Mr. Kristof as ‘a lot’
included “mutual respect,” abolition of sanctions, access to peaceful
nuclear technology and a U.S. statement that Iran did not belong in
the “axis of evil.” Sadly, the Iranian diplomats, (obviously
moderates) who had worked hard to make this proposal possible, were
ignored by the American administration and the opportunity that Mr.
Kristof calls “a real hope for peace” was lost. Here is the link:
http://www.nytimes.com/ontheground

More to the point is that another window of opportunity for engaging
Iran in a positive way seems to be around the corner provided we sing
songs different from the one proposed by Senator MacCain.

Suggested Reading:
* If it is hard for you to accept that Iran may have a diverse political
landscape in which there are moderates who oppose the view points of
the extremists and work hard to move Iran in the direction of positive
change, take a look at this excellent recently published book on the
subject: Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty by
Professors Ali Gheissari and Vali Nasr (Oxford University Press,
2006).

* You have heard me complain about the misinformation on Iran. Starting
last summer, the popular media allowed incredibly slanted reporting.
There were times that I felt I was reading about another country not
the one I had just visited. At first, I searched for critical
responses and discussions that would subject such slanted reporting to
scrutiny. Little by little, I lost hope. Finally, I felt so concerned
about the intensity of the misinformation that I decided to start
these windows. Last week, a journalist gave me new respect for our
media. In a special edition of his journal “Buying the War: How did
the Mainstream Press get it so Wrong?” Mr. Bill Moyers asked why the
press did not scrutinize the ‘information’ that led to the war in
Iraq. I pray from the bottom of my heart that we scrutinize the
information given to us which suggests that Iran is a threat to the
world, before it is too late. Please watch this program and compare
the rhetoric to the one used against Iran:
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/btw/watch.html

Time to Laugh!

* Let’s get a bit light-hearted with all this political talk. Some
members of CodePink have had a little fun with Senator MacCain’s idea
of using a Beach Boy song to “joke” about bombing a country:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTEBjPCNBbc

Abadan, Iran.

Abadan, Iran.

* While we are on fun themes, Americans who lived in Iran in the 60s and 70s think about Iran nostalgically. Joy Martin, a subscriber to these windows, has sent me this beautiful photo-essay of the city of Abadan by Paul Scheroeder. Thank you Joy!
http://www.iranian.com/Abadan/2007/April/1958/index.html

Science

* Apparently, last year the American Chemical Society suddenly decided to expel its Iranian scientist members (no explanation given). The ACS simply decided not to renew the membership of its Iranian scientist members starting January 2007 without disclosing it to the public. Members heard of this decision when it was reported in the March issue of the Science Magazine. A number of prominent Iranian American scientist have written an open letter to the ACS trying to reverse this decision which they consider to be politically motivated, unfair, and damaging to Iranian scientists:
http://www.payvand.com/news/07/apr/1351.html

Social

Iranian Jews in a synagogue in Tehran (photo courtesy of AP, Hasan Sarbakhshian).

Iranian Jews in a synagogue in Tehran (photo courtesy of AP, Hasan Sarbakhshian).

* There is a recent story in the Christian Science Monitor about Iranian
Jewry. No one should pretend that Iranian society would not benefit
from social reform. Neither do minorities in any society enjoy
identical privileges as the main stream. But Iranian Jews are proud
people. They feel offended by being portrayed as victims, or a
minority whose way of life is disrespected in present day Iran. What
affects them most is the political tension between the Iranian and
Israeli governments. But as you read in the interview, they focus
mostly on positive aspects of their peaceful coexistence with Muslims
and the fact that they are Iranian. Currently there are about 100
functioning synagogues in Iran. I’d like to thank Behrooz Ghamari for
sending me the link to share with you:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0427/p01s03-wome.html
Visual Delight

A beautiful painting by Iranian artist Sholeh Reshad (click the link below for more).

A beautiful painting by Iranian artist Sholeh Reshad (click on the link below for more of her work).

We have to end in our time honored tradition of visiting a painting
gallery. By now, I have sent you slide shows of the paintings of close
to 20 contemporary Iranian women painters, their ages ranging from 20
to 50, and their works technically impressive, artistically
imaginative and colorful (thematically as well as visually). Here is
one to add to the collection: Sholeh Reshad, a 52 year old painter
with long experience and a style of her own. I hope these artistic
works show something of the sophistication of contemporary Iranian
women and the fact that they are not passive fantasy objects locked up
in harems. Click here: Sholeh Reshad Art. Enjoy.

Till Window 29, have a great week!

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

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Iranian American Dr. Lily Afshar is considered to be one of the worlds best female guitar players. She has also recently began playing the setar.

Iranian-American Dr. Lily Afshar is considered to be one of the worlds best female guitar players. More recently, she has also began playing the Persian instrument setar (see below for more information).

Greetings everyone,

I hope you have all had a great weekend. Many thanks for all your kind notes and for joining the listserv. I received enthusiastic comments about the calligraphy exhibit that I sent in window number 9. I am glad you enjoyed them and will keep an eye open from more calligraphic works I can send.

As usual, please give me about two weeks to get back to you if you have any questions. If you send me a kind note of support or ideas for future windows, I might not be able to respond simply because of the volume of correspondence. Please forgive me. I do read all your e-mails with great interest. If you signed on during the past two days, you will get this window (and the previous windows, if you asked for them) with a day or two delay. Again, that is because it usually takes JoAnn and I a couple of days to process new requests.

Current Issues:

* I did not find Iran in the headlines (itself amazing news).
Instead, I attach an informative interview with Dr. Trita Parsi
the US-based scholar on Iran (and the current President of NIAC).
He talks about the position of Iranian politicians, the executive
powers of the Iranian President, and possibilities of diplomatic
solutions to the nuclear standoff, among other things:
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1543504,00.html

Iranian Americans:

* The prominent Iranian American I would like to introduce to you
this week is again a musician. This is, in fact, one of the top
female classical guitar players in the world, Dr. Lily Afshar.
Born and raised in Iran, Lily Afshar completed her graduate work
in music at the Boston Conservatory. She has been teaching in
University of Memphis since 1989 and, at the same time, has been
performing internationally. More recently, she has started the
Persian instrument setar. To see a picture of Lily Afshar and read
about her achievements, click on:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lily_Afshar
Isfahan Slide Show:

* As you can see I have not forgotten the slide show I promised last
week on the historic city of Isfahan. After I sent my slide show
on Shiraz, a friend wrote that he included the topic of Shiraz in
one of his lectures so he could share the slides with his
students. I hope you find the slides of Isfahan equally beautiful
and usable in the classroom. Just click here: Beautiful and Historic City of Isfahan, Iran.

Naqshe Jahan Square in the historic city of Isfahan.

Naqsh-e Jahan Square in the historic city of Isfahan.

A Major Contemporary Persian Ghazal Writer:

*Reference to Persian poetry usually evokes thought of classical figures such as Omar Khayyam, Hafez and Rumi. From time to time, the modern verse of Forough Farrokhzad, Ahmad Shamlu and others of their generation becomes available in English. Twentieth century Iranian poets are known almost exclusively for their reformist tendencies that transformed classical genres into what Iranians now call ‘shi’re now,’ literally “new poetry.” In this poetry, figures such as Farrokhzad introduced wonderfully fresh ideas which were not considered fit for poetry before. In the poem “From darkness,” for example, Farrokhzad wrote:
I  called you
my whole being held in my hands
like a bowl of milk
the moon glanced blue on the panes

The fact that is almost entirely unknown outside Iran — because
very little translation has been done — is that twentieth century
Iran has great ghazal writers some comparable to Sa’di and Hafiz
only writing their ghazals in a new poetic language. Houshang
Ebtehaj with pen name Sayeh (b. 1927) is one such master poet. For
a recent photo of Ebtehaj during a poetry reading click on
http://saamhouse.co.uk/gallery/archives/000029.php#000029 . Despite
the imposing look, and his reputation as a poet with political and
social comittment, Ebtehaj has a vast quantity of gentle lyric
poetry in ghazal form (as well as many in modern poetry). To my
knowledge, there are no English translations of these ghazals. If
you read Persian click on
http://www.easypersian.com/houshang_ebtehaj/sineh_sardan.htm to
see a couple of the ghazals in Persian (and a short and basic
biography in English).

* On the topic of classical persian poetry, if you are interested in
reading stories from Firdowsi’s classical epic Shahnameh/The Book
of Kings
as comic books, click on:
http://www.hyperwerks.com/series/rostam_chara1.html (courtesy of
Ladan Foroughi).

Iranian Cinema:

* Iranian women’s most recent international achievements have
included the movie “Friday Evening,” Mona Zandi’s directional
debut, which won the special jury prize in Cologne film Festival
last week: http://www.payvand.com/news/06/oct/1170.html.  In fact,
the festival dedicated an entire section to Iranian women film
makers. On the topic of cinema, another Iranian (this time male)
director Azizollah Hamidnejad won the Tegernsee Award for his film
“Tears of Cold” in the Mountain Film Festival held in Germany,
Oct. 18-22.

Visual Delight:

* I leave you with two oil paintings by the young painter Adel
Younesi. The theme of both is street side peddlers. I find them
both delightful: http://www.elahe.net/photo.php?picid=3474 and
another one on the same theme
http://www.elahe.net/photo.php?picid=3473

Have a great week.
Fatemeh
========================
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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