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Posts Tagged ‘Savushun’

Dear All,

Greetings from Washington University in St. Louis. It looks like we are in for a nice warm early spring in many parts of the country. I hope you are all well and your spring is arriving in a timely fashion wherever you are.

There is another celebration we have just left behind – the wonderful and festive March 8. So, a belated Happy Women’s Day to you all! The Iranian women sociologists celebrated the day with a speaking event in Tehran, here. Iranian Azari women activists celebrated the women’s day with a day of hiking, among other things! Here.

Iranian Azari Women celebrated women's day by organizing a hiking which included discussion of women's rights in the broader political context

Here, in the U.S., my totally amazing friend Safoura Nourbakhsh and a team of writers, translators and scholars just celebrated the Women’s Day with the publication of the second issue of their online publication Zannegar Journal. The journal is a great resource for academics and activists specializing in women’s studies who read Persian and work with that language. Congratulations to Safoura and friends. We look forward to future editions. In the mean time, do check out the first two issues here and don’t forget to share  the link with your Persian speaking friends.

Simin Daneshvar Dies on Women’s Day

In a rare coincidence, Simin Daneshvar, one of the greatest fiction writers of modern Iran, and one of the most articulate defenders of women’s rights, died at her home in Tehran in late hours on March 8th. Born on April 28, 1921 in the historic city of Shiraz (my own hometown), Daneshvar studied Persian literature with Dr. Sayyah (a woman Professor) and the great Iranian Rumi scholar Badi’uzzaman Forouzanfar and received her PhD in 1948 from Tehran University with a thesis focused on the treatment of beauty in Persian literature. Even though Daneshvar had started writing her own prose years earlier, her marriage in 1950 to Jalal Al-e Ahmad , the highly acclaimed and somewhat controversial, Iranian short story writer and social critic, at first appeared as a possibility of keeping her in the shadow of her well-known husband.

Daneshvar's marriage in 1950 to the acclaimed writer and social critic Jalal Al-e Ahmad could have kept her in the shadow of his accomplishments

In 1952, Daneshvar traveled to Stanford as a Fulbright fellow and studied creative writing with the American novelist and Pulitzer prize winner, Wallace Stegner. Later, Stegner who visited Daneshvar and Al-e Ahmad in Tehran, spoke of her in most moving terms. Below, I post a short video that Iranian students made in 2004 about Daneshvar’s visit in 1952 to Stanford. If you don’t speak Persian fast-forward to minute 4:55 where Stegner’s letter about Daneshvar is read in English:

Indeed the tragic death of Al-e Ahmad in 1969 (the same year in which Daneshvar published her major novel Savushun) could have overshadowed her literary achievement completely. In reality, with Savushun, which sold about half a million copies, Daneshvar established herself as one of the most articulate literary voices of the 20th century Iran.

In Savushun, which has been translated into 16 languages,Daneshvar tells the story of Iran during the second world war and Zari, a young woman who over comes her fears and finds her voice

For the English translations of Savushun and her other works, visit Payvand News, here. Daneshvar’s funeral was held in Tehran this afternoon. She was laid to rest in the segment of Behesht-e Zahra cemetery where many other Iranian writers, and artists are buried. For more pictures and a full report on the event, go here.

Hundreds of people walked to the Behesht-e Zahra cemetery where Daneshvar's body was laid to rest next to other Iranian writers and artists

To honor Simin Daneshvar and her legacy of freedom and dignity for all human beings, and to celebrate the recently passed Women’s Day, I would like to introduce to you a woman who is very much alive though sentenced to 11 years in jail for being an advocate for reform, women’s rights and human’s rights: Narges Mohammadi. A graduate in the field of physics and engineering, and an advocate for reform and human rights in Iran, Mohammadi was sentenced to eleven years in jail last September. Over forty women activists like her are in jail in Iran, as we celebrate Women’s Day this year. All highly educated and intelligent, none convicted of any crime other than their dedication to human dignity and freedom which is viewed as a security risk, and equated with spying for the enemy, at present. Read more about Narges Mohammadi, here.

Mohammadi's position as Deputy Chairperson for the Defenders of the Human Rights Center (DHRC) and her dedication to reform have been counted as ‘security crimes’ against her

A Brief Touch on Iran/Israel War Politic

I would really like to keep war politics out of this window. Somehow it should be dedicated totally to women. But I have come across a piece of exciting news which I would like to share with you. It is the kind that our media seem to always miss: nations’ reluctance to go to war.  In a poll conducted this month by Professor Shibley Telhami of the University of Maryland and Israel’s Dahaf Institute, only 19 percent of Israelis said they would support an Israeli unilateral military action against Iran. The poll would have likely made headlines if it were 60 or 70 percent in favor of such a military action. Let us hope the two nations leaders learn from their respective people. Read more about the poll here.

Visual Delight

Time for our visual delight before closing this window. I leave you with two beautiful painting of an Iranian woman artist Jamileh Vafakish. Have a great week,

Fatemeh

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Metro in Tehran.

Metro in Tehran.

Greetings everyone,

I know, I promised to send you Window number 9 with a short delay. An
out of  town talk, and a canceled flight are the shortest explanation
for why it took longer than I promised. I have already had a number of
queries about the delayed window which is absolutely wonderful. It tells
me that you look through these windows with interest and this alone
makes the work worthwhile. So, I decided to keep the slide show of
Isfahan — which I am working on — for the next window to makesure that
this window goes out tonight. Please continue to forward to friends and
let me know if you are missing any of the windows.

Without further ado, here comes window number 9 on Iran.

Current Issues:

* According to the New Jersey online news source Star-ledger, an
interview with 400 Iranian citizens residing in Shiraz and Tehran
shows that Iranians distinguish between American foreign policy
and American people, and are fond of Americans:
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/index.ssf?/base/news-9/115872801684860.xml&coll=1
* Emphasizing the above point in a congressional briefing on October
11, President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) Dr.
Trita Parsi described Iran as an asset rather than a threat to the
United States: http://www.niacouncil.org/pressreleases/press472.asp
* On Thursday September 28th, 2006, City and County of San
Francisco’s Human Rights Commission (HRC) conducted a hearing on
the visa revocation and mistreatment of visiting  Iranians. The
hearing was an inquiry into the treatment of the Iranian Citizens
who after arriving in the US found their visas revoked, and were
sent to immigration detention centers. Representatives of the
Department of Homeland Security, Border Control and Protection
(BCP) were invited to respond to the inquiry. Commissioners
expressed their dismay of what had happened to the detainees. A
large number of Iranian Americans attended.

Iranian Americans

* I promised to keep you updated on the Iranian American community.
It turns out we are more numerous than previous records showed. To
read the most recent study done at MIT, click here: MIT Study on Iranians in the U.S.

* This week, I want to introduce you to a Los Angeles based group of
Iranian American musicians, the Lian Ensemble. Described by top
critics as “virtuoso,” “world class” musicians, and “absolutely
soulful,” the members of the ensemble are firmly rooted in the
authentic music tradition of Iran. At the same time, they work
with master musicians from around the world (including great
American musicians) using their art to bridge cultures and promote
the ideal of peace. I have personally had the pleasure of reading
poetry with the ensemble and hosting them here at the Missouri
Historical Society and at Washington University in St. Louis. We
called our poetry and music performance The Axis of Love. Do visit
their web site at www.lianrecords.com to read about Persian
mystical music, the individual artists, and to listen to excerpts
from their work.

Social / Political

* In Tehran two new metro stations opened last week:
http://www.payvand.com/news/06/oct/1125.html
*  From March to September 2006, Iran exported over 18 million
dollars of saffron to neighboring countries:
http://www.payvand.com/news/06/oct/1110.html

* An Iranian court ordered the closure of the reformist newspaper
Sharq. While I usually focus on the positive news because the
negative gets enough publicity here in the US, this is an
important event. Any outside pressure on Iran (sanction, or talk
of regime change) provides the hard-liners with the pretext to
present the Iranian reformists as a threat in time of crisis.

Culture / Art / Sports

* Let me introduce you another great Iranian writer from Shiraz.
This is Simin Danishvar, the author of Savushun, the first Persian
novel that sold close to half a million copies. Born in Shiraz in
1921, Danishvar moved to Tehran where she was one of the first
Iranian women to receive a Ph.D. from Tehran University in 1949.
Her best-selling novel Savushun has two English translations. For
the translation by Mohammad Ghanoonparvar, see:
http://www.amazon.com/Savushun-Novel-Modern-Persian-Classics/dp/0934211310
For a collection of Danishvar’s short stories see Danishvar’s
Playhouse: a Collection of Stories available through Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Daneshvar-s-Playhouse-Collection-Stories/dp/0934211191

* Iranian cinema made a big splash with several prizes at the
Italian film festival (Oct. 11-14) in Trento, Italy:
http://www.payvand.com/news/06/oct/1171.html
* Iranian women volleyball players are pleased with the World
Volleyball Federation approving their playing in Islamic outfit:
http://www.payvand.com/news/06/oct/1018.html

Visual Delight

* Take a look at examples from the paintings of the young Iranian
artist Asal Khosravi, clicking on each painting to see the larger
version: http://www.elahe.net/thumb.php?gallery=290 And visit the
drawings of Mohsen Daeinabi inspired by art of calligraphy at:
http://www.elahe.net/thumb.php?gallery=244
And before I say good-bye, I would like to invite you to listen to a
beautiful song by the young and upcoming Iranian percussion artist and
vocalist, Homayun Shajarian The song is about five minutes, clik on the
link to listen :
http://tamashagaheraz.org/specific/noroz85/001homayon-naghshe%20kheyal-03tobeshekan.wma

Have great week,
Fatemeh
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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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