Monday, August 31, 2009

Weeping in Tehran

Read this article in Harper's: Weeping in Tehran: Scenes from the Uprising.
And The Iran show in The New Yorker:
"In the grotesque pageant of Iran’s show trials, former high officials—hollow-eyed, dressed in prison pajamas, and flanked by guards in uniform—sit in rows, listening to one another’s self-denunciations. Since the disputed Presidential."
Thanks Joel for sending these articles!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Tribute to Marc J. Bloch

In August 2005, Thanatos, the god of death carried you away ! Marc J. Bloch, the solitary French thinker, poet and writer. A profound mystic of fractured life…a tenderhearted artist...and the nephew of Marc Bloch the prominent French historian.

If you’ve died in a secluded room, serene enough to cherish your distinctive honorable silence, then your prolific silence will be recognized by those who believe silence speaks when everyone tries to cover up his/her vulnerability for the fear of void.

(You and I in Mississippi near Mark Twain's house in 1987)

In our time, the time of gladiatorial competitive race for fame, you conducted and embraced a secluded life, like a pearl molded in the deepest part of an ocean.

Relatively I know you somehow, but I don’t know you at the same time. I’m assuming you were astonishingly questioning the discontinuity of life, its fragmented and scattered quality when one yearns for continuity and completion…and you somehow found this notion in Fractal theory.

" Ma vie s'est écoulée, laminaire et turbulente, sans que je comprenne comment pouvaient coexister ce flux paisible et ces tourbillons, écrit Nicolas Germain-Lacave dans le " Journal d'un décalé ". Elle s'est écoulée, avec ses embranchements et ses discontinuités, sans que je comprenne comment des choix à peine formulés pouvaient entraîner de telles fractures. Pourtant dans ces tourbillons se trouvait le cap, dans ces fractures la continuité. "

That's how Nicolas Germain-Lacave, the main character in your novel felt. Isolated, misfit and devastated for connection, he felt a total estrangement...a stranger among strangers.

(You, in Iowa City in 1987)
In the early 70s, Marc J. Bloch, then teacher and journalist, fell in love with Asia, especially Laos. This small rural kingdom in Indochina which was peaceful once turned bloody and was torn by the U.S. war.

In 2006, the house of Indochina paid a tribute to Marc Bloch’s photographic work. At the heart of this photographic exhibition, with modesty and sympathy, Marc brought to life, the reality of faces of the victims and the disadvantaged, villagers, refugees and the displaced women and children. Marc had many other pictures about (Indonesia, Papua, United States, India and Africa) in his house that reflect his passion for traveling, meeting and discovering other cultures. He published three novels by Gallimard publication: "L'émotion l'émeute", "La bande de Moebius", "La vie fractale", and several travel guides and translations. After teaching in Indonesia and the United States, from 2000 to 2003, he worked with "Autour du Centre Albert Camus" à la Cité du Livre d'Aix-en-Provence.

A Persian translation of editorial note on Marc's book "La vie fractale" by my brother.
معرفی نويسنده توسط ناشر
"زندگيم، لايه لايه و آشفته سپری شده است، بدون آن که بفهمم چگونه اين موج آرام و اين گرداب ها توانسته اند در کنار هم باشند." اين مطلبی است که نيکولا ژرمن-لاکاو در "دفتر خاطرات يک ناهمخوان"(1) نوشته است. "زندگی سپری شده است، با شاخه هايش و مسيرهای منقطعش، بدون آن که بفهمم چگونه گزينه هايی که تازه شکل می گرفتند، می توانستند چنين گسل هايی را پديد آورند. بااين حال، جهت حرکت در همين گرداب ها نهفته بود، پيوستگی نيز در همين گسل ها."
آيا تحقيق در ميان نزديکان نيکولا ژرمن- لاکاو، شناخت او را ميسر می سازد؟ در نهايت، چون هر کس فقط از خودش سخن می گويد، همه چيز دربارة خانوادة او آشکار می شود، و نيز دربارة "زندگی غيرمحتمل" پرون، يار سابقش، و دربارة ويولت، معشوقه اش، در حالی که خود او تنها به واسطة غيابش ظاهر می شود.
"دفتر خاطرات يک ناهمخوان"، گوهر يک زندگی است از لابلای متن هايی بسيار کوتاه، متن هايی که دقت کنايه (2) را دارد. اين "تحقيق"، اين زندگی را دنبال می کند، اما در مقياسی ديگر، انبوه و پرشاخ و برگ. از طريق نزديکان نيکولا ژرمن-لاکاو، ما اکنون اجداد و خويشان او را درمی يابيم، و شجرة بی انتهای علت ها و معلول ها را.
زندگی پرگسل، رمانی است قوياً ساختاری که جريان اصلی آن که به ظاهر از هم گسسته است، سرانجام نظم می گيرد، به مانند شير آبی که اندک اندک باز می کنيم، به گونه ای که چکة قطره ها، بی نظم، در آغاز، بی درنگ به جريان ممتد مبدل می شود.

زندگی نامة نويسنده
مارک ژ. بلوک که اکنون در لوکرسی (3) زندگی می کند، در ايالات متحده و جنوب شرقی آسيا تدريس کرده است. چند کتاب راهنمای سفر و نيز دو رمان منتشر کرده است : "هيجان، شورش" و "باند موبيوس" که هر دو را انتشارات گاليمار منتشر کرده است.
(1) منظور از "ناهمحوان"، فردی است که در زمان و مکان، با اطرافيانش سازگار نيست، در فاز ديگری سير می کند.
(2) منظور از "کنايه" در اين جا، گفته ای بسيار کوتاه است که مطلب مفصلی را بيان می کند. "تو خود حديث مفصل بخوان از اين مجمل".
(3) Le Quercy، جنوب غربی فرانسه.

(I, in Iowa City 1987)
This music (Fractale)with images helped me to nourish your memories.

A Poem

A Poem by Fernando Pessoa

I don’t believe in god because I have never seen him
If he wanted me to believe in him
Undoubtedly he would come to speak to me
And he would come to speak to me
And he would come through my door
Saying to me: Here I am!

Alberto Caeiro (Fernando Pessoa) From “The Keeper of Sheep”

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Moment of Happiness at 6: PM!

Sometimes we can find happiness in smallest moments.

Today as I was in my friend’s car, riding on Ridge Ave in Evanston, I was captured by an enormous beauty of my surrounding. Green trees, the illuminating sun in the afternoon…the shadow of branches on the road and the feeling of serenity and tranquility in the air...

-“What time is it?” I asked.
-“6: PM!” My friend answered.
-“I’d like to freeze the time….at 6: PM…”

I bought watermelon, fruits, cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers, yellow peppers… and plums…and suddenly the voice of that mad-wise old woman in Harlem, New York City back in 1992 resonated in me. She had repeatedly said: “You all kill each other, I’m eating melon…”
Three bodies were lying dead on the street, covered with blood. A woman was licking an ice cream cone behind the yellow ribbons.
The mad-wise woman from Harlem ate the whole melon with an enormous pleasure. And I remembered the first coffee and cookie Eka bought for me after a year living in the U.S.! I wept and laughed at the same time when I drank that coffee. I had gone through a long journey since 1979 revolution…yet I was at the beginning of a new one. I had lost everything in War…and I knew what physical and emotional torture meant. Now I had a harder journey ahead of me!

It was still 6 PM. My friend was silent. We both listened to a classical music by Chopin, broadcasting from the radio. Then I remembered Marc in a tender moment of traveling back to October 1987. Marc swept away the sadness from my heart and whispered in my ear: “You’re precious!”
-“What does this word mean?” I asked him with curiosity.
-“Tomorrow,” He kissed my lips “Find its meaning in the dictionary!”

The car stopped at the door of my apartment. I laughed out loud with my whole being. I wanted to be silly, act silly at 6 PM. A time like today rarely happens!

-“Life is EXTREMELY beautiful!” I sang humorously with an operatic tone.
-“Sometimes…sometimes!” My friend murmured as he looked at me with astonishment.
-“Let’s have watermelon!”

Song and Torture

In Islamic Republic of Iran they use religious songs and recitation of Quran, in Abu Ghraib songs like Babylon... that's how certain songs will become torturous!

...During his first four days in Abu Ghraib, Haj Ali was deprived of food and water. He was beaten and sexually assaulted with a rifle. But he says the worse thing that happened was psychological torture:
"At the end of those four days, they took me into the cell and tied me up and brought a speaker as big as this table.It was about ten centimeter from me. The width of the cell door. Exactly this size. And you could hear it over the Arab Bank. The song: Babylon, Babylon, Babylon!"
"When they took the speaker away, I kept hearing it in my head for hours on end."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Empire, Obama and ...

John Pilger speaks about Empire, Obama and America's last taboo. He examines Obama's position as president of the US and puts it into perspective. Recorded in San Francisco on the 4th July 2009.

A few Simple Shot!

Watch this documentary on crimes against humanity committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. It revives 30 years of ferociously torturing Iranians who were opposed to the Government!

Iran finally admits that election demonstrators were tortured!

Billionaires for Wealthcare!

"If you want to stay healthy in America, don't get sick!"

Watch a clip by acclaimed filmmaker Michael Moore who investigates the American health care system in his documentary Sicko.

Watch also this video Billionaires for Wealthcare in response to Barney Frank who confronts a woman at Townhall comparing Obama To Hitler! She asks, "Why are you supporting this Nazi policy?" Frank responds: "On what planet do you spend most of your time?"

Fallujah: The Real Story

Fallujah after two years!
"Two months after the US launched its biggest ever assault on Fallujah, what exactly happened inside the city has, until now, remained a mystery. Now, for the first time, Guardian films reveals the true story.
Today Fallujans are too busy trying to stay alive in freezing refugee camps to worry about ballot papers that haven't arrived for an election they have no intention of voting in. As one resident comments, "We're not interested in this sort of democracy!!"

Watch this video and listen carefully to the humiliating language and imagine if a country invades yours and the invaders talk to you in such assaulting way!How would you react?

A Real Laughter!

If you've missed a real laughter watch Mr. Bean's Holiday.
Mr Bean is heading to the South of France for a simple holiday in the sun. His voyage from London to the Riviera soon transcends into one of mischief and mayhem as he inadvertently creates havoc wherever he goes culminating in an unscheduled and riotous screening of his own video diary at the Cannes Film Festival.

Behind the Veil

Watch a hilarious program in four episodes on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart: Behind the Veil

Jason Jones meets journalists, politicians, interviews people on the street, rap singers and visits an Iranian family to find out why Iran is so evil!

Lifting the Hood

Lifting the Hood reveals a haunting story of torture in Iraq.
As the 'hooded man' in the infamous Abu Ghraib pictures, Haj Ali became an icon of everything that was wrong with the US occupation. He tells his story and we hear from other prisoners.
"They stretched my hands in this position and attached the wires to them", states Haj Ali. "It felt like my eyes were popping out. I couldn't stand it." He spent three months being physically and psychologically tortured at Abu Ghraib.

"I had an ordinary life...wife, children, garden, planting..." Haj Ali says "I lost all of that. My experience made me forget everything that was beautiful!"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Laws against torture

Article 5 states: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."


What's torture?
What's the psychology of torture?
Why does Iranian government torture its own children? Why did U.S.A authorize brutal torturing?
We should not ignore these questions if we call ourselves humans!

Read this letter below by ACLU and watch the video:

Dear ACLU Supporter,
Oliver Stone, Rosie Perez, Philip Glass and a host of talented performers have come together to expose something our government tried to keep secret from the American people.
The Bush torture memos brought to light by the ACLU reveal a systematic program of torture so appalling that it would be a moral outrage to let those who authorized it escape a criminal investigation.
Watch the Tortured Logic video now and send it to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Reports in Newsweek and the LA Times indicate that Attorney General Holder is on the verge of appointing an independent prosecutor to investigate CIA abuses committed during the interrogation of detainees in U.S. custody.
Unfortunately, the reports indicate that the investigation may be limited to low-level CIA operatives who went beyond techniques authorized in the “torture memos,” letting high level government officials who commissioned and authorized “enhanced interrogation techniques” off the hook.

It is absolutely critical for Attorney General Holder to know that the American people support a full investigation -- wherever the facts may lead -- and that those who authorized these horrific violations of human rights must be held accountable.
Please watch the Tortured Logic video now. Then send it to Attorney General Eric Holder and ask that he appoint an independent prosecutor.
The dedicated and talented group of individuals in our video came together to draw dramatic attention to the tortured logic that allowed unconscionable and illegal acts to be carried out in our name. Please join them in calling for justice by watching the video and making sure Attorney General Holder hears the call for a thorough criminal investigation by sending him the video.

As the Tortured Logic video arrives in his in-box from every corner of our nation, the Attorney General will understand just how determined we are to make sure that those who authorized torture are held accountable.
Ask the Attorney General to see for himself -- forward the Tortured Logic video to Eric Holder.
We have an opportunity right now to show the world that the United States can and will live up to the standards written in our Constitution.
Through our decisive action in support of justice and the rule of law, we can prove again that we are a great nation.
So please, take a moment and share this with Eric Holder as he makes this important decision.

Thanks for all you do. We are proud to have you standing with us.

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director, ACLU

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Strange times, my dear!

Listen to a poem by Ahmad Shamlou
"Dead End" (in Persian)

Rape in prisons

Rape in Iran and the U.S. Prisons:

Rape Claims Emerge from Iran Prisons
Iranian cleric Mahdi Karroubi, An opposition leader said Sunday that detained protesters are alleging male and female prisoners were savagely raped by their jailers to the point of physical and mental damage.

Nina Aghdam (Azar Ale Kanan) a former prisoner in Iran in Sanandaj prison in 1981 speaks out about her experience as a rape victim when she was 18 years old while having a nine months old daughter.
The interrogator said: “You walked in the streets with pride, confidence and self-assurance,” he continued “I’m going to break you down in a way that you wouldn’t be able to raise your head again! And you’ll live with shame and disgrace for the rest of your life!”
"I was blindfolded and my hands were tied up to the heater. He came closer and stuffed my mouth with his silky scarf which was always around his neck. Then started to unbutton my blouse....I had only my legs to defend myself...then...."
Watch the video…
Another interview with Katayoun Azarly by Reza Alamehzadeh.
Read also Roozneveshtehaaye Babak Dad on male rape in Iran. (In Persian)

Rape in the U.S.
Author T.J. Parsell talks about his time spent as a youth in a Michigan prison. He reads from his book Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man's Prison. at UCLA Law School.

T.J.Parsell speaks out about shame and stigma of prisoner rape.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

In the Mood for Love!

My early morning started with an argument! Then someone called (not for me) and I heard something about "Moody's Mood for Love" by James Moody. The title reminded me of "In the Mood for Love" and I let the images of the film and the stunning music take me to the land of unforgetable artistic vision!
My mood changed!

we are heading north....GoodBye....

Friday, August 7, 2009

A prison called Kahrizak

I received this email a few days ago:

"As you may be aware during recent events, many persons who protested
to the results of election were arrested and sent into an infamous
prison called Kahrizak, located south of Tehran. It was in fact a
temporal prison made 2 years ago. Now it was closed two weeks ago by
the direct order of supreme leader because of "short of facilities".
Hereunder, you will find a report written in Persian by a released
detainee who spent few days there. Some of Iranian have translated
this which you will see. I beg you for the sake of justice and human
right publish it in your magazine and anywhere you think it is best
and send it to anyone you think it is suitable. we need your help."


".... I do not know where to begin! Forgive me if the report I would
like to give of the Iranian Guantanamo, the Kahrizak Camp, will have any grammatical
and spelling errors, because I am in a hurry and must leave soon. It is
currently 8 in the morning, 6th of Mordad (26th of July) as I write this. This
morning I along a few others were able to escape certain death miraculously
and I just arrived home from the hospital and immediately came to the
computer to write this blog.
I was arrested on 18th of Tir (9th July) . I am 21 years old. Even as
I write this I am in disbelief about my release. In the Tir 18th protests my friend and I
were beaten by the plain clothed agents while we were on the motorcycle with
my friend filming with his cell phone. A woman came to save us from the
hands of these people but they even beat that poor person up as well. They
threw us in a mini-bus filled with people hurt and beaten just like us. The
mini-bus took us to a police station. We were beaten so much that we did not
know where we were. The put us next to a wall and my friend and I were
standing next to each other. Then a bulky plain clothed agent came
and selected every other one of us and forced us into the mini-bus. I have not heard
any news of my friend since that moment. They took I along with tens of
others to a camp at Kahrizak. You would not believe me but there were at least
200 of us in the room they took us to. Everybody was injured. The sound of
groaning from pain had took over the room. I wondered to myself what it was
they had planned to do to us. Maybe tomorrow they will take us to a court
or prison, which would at least be much better than where we are right now.
There was no place to sit. The doors and walls were covered with blood.
I was thinking about my friend, because he was not the type to have any
tolerance for such places. In the midst of this all those in the room began
to weep and cry, and said that 1 person had died. The voice was coming from
the end of the room but you might not believe that we were all stuck to one
another and could not move. Plain clothed guards entered the room,
shattered the light bulbs and began to beat everyone in complete
darkness. They hit anyone they saw in front of them. We were beaten for a good half an hour.
A few went into coma and may have even died from the intensity of the
They then shined flash lights in our faces and said “if you let out any
sound we will stick these batons….” I was in disbelief, it felt like a
Sadegh, who seemed to be of their higher rank took the dead body and laid
it against the wall, shined a flashlight in his face and said, “We have
warrant to kill you all. So you better wish for some luck and not end up like
this mother….dead.” “…Don’t let out the slightest sound. If you stay alive
until morning you stay alive…” He then continued, “you are all muharebe
[combatants], do you know what a muharebe is.” He grabbed someone from the
front who seemed to be a 16-17 year old boy by the neck and said, “tell them
what Muharebe means!” the boy said he did not know. The man then responded
“the hell you don’t!” and began to beat him ruthlessly while saying “
tell them, tell them!” He beat him to the point that the boy was unconscious.
He continued to say Muharebe means Satan, means wrong doer. He beat the boy
so hard that some begin to voice their anger, but were also beaten
In that room of ours at least 4 people were killed until the morning.
Sadegh said in a loud voice, “there is no such thing as a toilet and tooth
brush here, you do your business right here, are we clear?”
There was not a single uninjured person among us, they all either had
blood clotted on their faces or their eyes had been bruised like mine. And
many others had broken arms and legs. It was completely dark and I was not
able to see a lot of people. Our eyes would become extremely irritated from
the light every time they opened the door. The next days we spent the in the
worst conditions for which explaining would take a long time.
We could not tell night from day, and in order to prevent us from starving
to death they threw us a sack filled with leftovers every day which we ate
very enthusiastically. In this sack there was some left over break, greens,
and rice and was spread among us by an individual named Dr. Zare, who
claimed he was a doctor and responsible for distributing food. For
several days I could only hear the voices of him and numerous other prisoners and I
could recognize them from their voices until one day Sadegh came and brought
some light bulbs with. After several days we were allowed to go in the
outside area of the camp.
Oh what sense of freedom we found this to be. The blue sky and the sun
light were refreshing for us. (in addition I should mention that the reason
they brought us out was for us to clean out our filth and feces.) I apologize
for writing in such manner, but in a few more days when others are freed
especially those from the Kahrizak camp will be able to provide you with
better details, which I am certain has Guantanamo and Abu Gharib beat on
certain subjects these past few days.
Anyway according to a few of Sadegh’s thugs we were some of the first
people to be thrown out of the camp due to the camp being over crowded. And
they threatened us that they will kill us if we speak a word about what
happened anywhere. It was around midnight last night when I
immediately contacted my family with somebody’s cell phone and had them pick me up. Freedom
tastes sweet. But keep in mind that there are thousands of people going
through under the worst conditions at Kahrizak camp. In addition I have
memorized and will say the names of those who lost their lives just in
our camp while I was there. In addition if these animals had taken these people to the
hospital they might have stayed alive today.
Hassan Shamloo (Student)
Reza Fatahi (Student)
Milad with unknown last name (the 17 year old who was kicked and punched
by Sadegh on the first night and went into a coma, and was taken away.
Although our doctor prisoner said he bled from his ear and mouth and has died.)
Morteza Salahshoor
Morad Aghassi
Mohsen Entezami
In addition I also have the names of several of those arrested in our camp
which I will also list in this blog in the coming days.
Dear god please free us from the evil of these people
I cannot believe where I was 24 hours ago.
Dear god, save all Iranians and freedom seekers as quick as possible.
Also with the changes that have occurred in Kahrizak camp, the detention
center that our corrupt leader is supposed to shut down is probably
Kahrizak, because a lot of people were killed in it.
Reza Yavari (my alias)
Mordad 6th 1:10am

With the hope of freedom for those imprisoned in Kahrizak