Friday, May 28, 2010

Words of Wisdom

Encountering rude people reminds me of a Persian proverb I learned when I was five years old. "Once someone asked Loghman Hakim,the learned man, "From whom did you learn politeness?" He responded, " From the rude! I refused to do what they did. "
It's like living in a dark, somber prison when you have to work with a few rude individuals who have not much interest in learning. Their delusional cocoon contains of babbles, laziness and contempt. Their resistance to expand their world, their cling into shallow culture, their refusal to grasp knowledge, brought to my mind the definition of Lumpenproletariats.
The Etymology online Dictionary describes them as "unenlightened". I think to my self: In their entire life they've faced ruthless experiences of being mocked, ridiculed and despised. Now, unconsciously, they get a bizarre satisfaction to despise and being despised! It's a complex circle!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wild Life Suffers as Oil Spill Spreads

AP Photographer Gerald Herbert, a New Orleans native, has been documenting the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.
Look at the pictures inPBS Newshour website

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unity and opposition

When all in the world understand beauty to be beautiful, then ugliness exists.
Lao Tzu

Monday, May 24, 2010


What's sadness?

Emasculation of the Unicorn

The gentle and pensive maiden has the power to tame the unicorn, fresco, probably by Domenico Zampieri, c. 1602 (Palazzo Farnese, Rome)
Dr. Harris in his book Emasculation of the Unicorn says: "The unicorn represented male vitality, the rampant masculine and penetrating force of the masculine spirit. The virgin represented his passive feminine aspect. Though the virgin's deception, the unicorn was delivered into the hands of human hunters who killed it and allowed its red blood to flow."
I'm looking forward to hear the reflection of this book in my class tomorrow.

Second Spring!

A few days ago my sister quoted one the greatest quotes by Albert Camus the French existentialist author & philosopher (1913 – 1960):

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Be My Friend!

“Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
Albert Camus


“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”
Albert Camus

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Who drinks water?

you give water, it's a wolf who drinks it.
Bertolt brecht

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On Kaveh Adel's Book "The Boy and The Red Balloon"

An article on Kaveh Adel's book, The Boy and the Red Balloon.
Susan Dibble writes:
"Adel's probably not about to give up the dental practice he enjoys to write books. But "The Boy and the Red Balloon," which he both wrote and illustrated, does bring together the other interests in his life - his love of family and the arts.

The son of a playwright mother, Adel took refuge as a kid in the works of writers such as Jules Verne, Jack London and Mark Twain. He also drew pictures to help cope with life-changing experiences that included the Islamic revolution in Iran, war, his parents' divorce and immigration.

Born to a family that included both doctors and artists, Adel decided dentistry best combined his two passions.

"I was always interested in helping people," he said. "Dentistry seemed to be almost the perfect match because you get to use your art in your handiwork and artistry."

Some of the new materials used in dentistry mold like ceramics and clay, he said."
Kaveh is my son and I'm very proud of him.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Women Without Men

Watch an excerpt of Women Without Men A film by Shirin Neshat.
Today I watched it and I enjoyed it immensely. I'll write about it soon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Silence of the Shore

A nostalgic song from 60s Silence of the Shore poem by Forugh Farrokhzad, sung by Mohammad Nouri.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The dreams of a child are peace

Farzad Kamangar had published several letters during his imprisonment term. He began his last letter with a poetry of Yannis Ritsos:

No to violence
No to execution

The dreams of a child are peace
The dreams of a mother are peace
The words of love under the trees are peace
When an automobile stopping in the street does not mean fear
When a knock on the door means a friend

the start of a sweet dream
as it blossoms with life

Dr. Cornel West, civil Right Movement and Green Movement

On May 7th, 2010, The Week in Green with Hamid Dabashi, a weekly broadcast covering the civil rights movement in Iran, released an exclusive interview with acclaimed scholar and activist Dr. Cornel West.

In the inspirational episode, both Dr. West and host Hamid Dabashi drew parallels between the American Civil Rights Movement and Iran's Green Movement. Dr. West argued that both the US Civil Rights Movement and the Green Movement, which he called, "the most significant and exemplary movement for justice in the world today," were born out of the same love for humanity. "When you really love people..." Dr. West claimed, "you loathe the fact that they're being treated unfairly, and you must do something..."

Dr. West also drew on the history of the struggle for civil rights in the USA to offer strategic suggestions for the leaders of the Green Movement. He highlighted three important fronts on which the movement should focus: keeping its supporters motivated, making connections with those inside the government, and maintaining international focus on the struggle. "The Green Movement is a fundamental source of inspiration," Dr. West concluded, "and any support that we can provide, we are willing to do so."

Cornel West is the Class of 1943 Professor at Princeton University. The author of over twenty books, he is one of America's leading public intellectuals. Dr. West has served in many roles throughout his accomplished career, including philosopher, teacher, writer, orator, civil rights advocate, and even actor, appearing in The Matrix Trilogy.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Léo Ferré - L'affiche rouge - L'armée du crime

Listen to L'Affiche rouge sung by Léo Ferré, Poem by Louis Aragon.

The Red Poster

You demanded neither glory nor tears
Nor organ music, nor last rites
Eleven years already, how quickly eleven years go by
You made use simply of your weapons
Death does not dazzle the eyes of partisans.

You had your pictures on the walls of our cities
Black with beard and night, hirsute, threatening
The poster, that seemed like a bloodstain,
Using your names that are hard to pronounce,
Sought to sow fear in the passers-by.

No one seemed to see you French by choice
People went by all day without seeing you,
But at curfew wandering fingers
Wrote under your photos "Fallen for France"
And it made the dismal mornings different.

Everything had the unvarying colour of frost
In late February for your last moments
And that's when one of you said calmly:
"Happiness to all, happiness to those who survive,
I die with no hate in me for the German people.

"Goodbye to pain, goodbye to pleasure. Farewell the roses,
Farewell life, the light and the wind.
Marry, be happy and think of me often
You who will remain in the beauty of things
When it's all over one day in Erevan.

"A broad winter sun lights up the hill
How nature is beautiful and how my heart breaks
Justice will come on our triumphant footsteps,
My Mélinée, o my love, my orphan girl,
And I tell you to live and to have a child."

There were twenty-three of them when the guns flowered
Twenty-three who gave their hearts before it was time,
Twenty-three foreigners and yet our brothers
Twenty-three in love with life to the point of losing it
Twenty-three who cried "France!" as they fell.

Ballad of a Hanged Man

Excerpts of "Ballad of a Hanged Man"
By: George Elliot Clarke
I swear to the truths I know.
I wanted to uphold my wife and child.
Hang me and I'll not hold them again.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

At Five in the Morning!

Five Iranian political prisoners were executed this morning.

The Goring and the Death
By Federico Garcia Lorca

In the afternoon at five.
It was afternoon, exactly at five.
A boy brought in the white sheet
in the afternoon at five.
A basket of lime was standing ready
in the afternoon at five.
The rest was death and only death
in the afternoon at five.


"Mother's Day" Arise all women who have hearts

Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation of 1870
The first North American Mother’s Day was conceptualized with Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870. Despite having penned The Battle Hymn of the Republic 12 years earlier, Howe had become so distraught by the death and carnage of the Civil War that she called on Mother’s to come together and protest what she saw as the futility of their Sons killing the Sons of other Mothers. With the following, she called for an international Mother's Day celebrating peace and motherhood:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears
Say firmly:

"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of
charity, mercy and patience.

"We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!"
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice!
Blood does not wipe out dishonor
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have of ten forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war.

Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions.
The great and general interests of peace.

The Rise & Fall of Howe's Mother's Day
At one point Howe even proposed converting July 4th into Mother’s Day, in order to dedicate the nation’s anniversary to peace. Eventually, however, June 2nd was designated for the celebration. In 1873 women’s groups in 18 North American cities observed this new Mother’s holiday. Howe initially funded many of these celebrations, but most of them died out once she stopped footing the bill. The city of Boston, however, would continue celebrating Howe’s holiday for 10 more years.
Despite the decided failure of her holiday, Howe had nevertheless planted the seed that would blossom into what we know as Mother’s Day today. A West Virginia women’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis began to celebrate an adaptation of Howe’s holiday. In order to re-unite families and neighbors that had been divided between the Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War, the group held a Mother’s Friendship Day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Reading of Boy and Red Balloon

Kaveh Adel - Author & Illustrator of the Children's Book "Boy and Red Balloon" had his first reading at the Prairie Children's preSchool class "Grasshoppers". He says: "I was honored and amazed at the level of engagement but more so by the enthusiasm, the SPARKS I saw in their eyes and how they were finishing the sentences in the book with me. I am always humbled by the honesty and innocence of these young minds."

“Island Beneath the Sea”

Renowned Chilean novelist Isabel Allende speaks about her new book, “Island Beneath the Sea”–her first novel in four years. The story takes readers back 200 years in time to the slave uprising that led to the creation of the world’s first independent Black republic–Haiti. Allende also discusses the new Arizona immigration law, the new Chilean president Sebastian Pinera, the earthquake in Chile and the rise of leftists leaders in Latin America.
Read or watch the interview in Democracy Now

Monday, May 3, 2010

Shadow Tag

Louise Erdrich has created landscapes from her experience and imagination that become as real to her readers as their own hometowns. For her, it's Argus, North Dakota, a town like the place where she grew up, on the endless Dakota plains. Like many of her characters she was raised Catholic and deeply influenced by a mix of cultures—her mother was French Ojibwe, her father, German-American, and both taught at a school run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Louise went on to become one of the first women to graduate from Dartmouth College. After earning a master's at Johns Hopkins she wrote poetry, while eking out a living as a waitress, lifeguard, and other odd jobs, including teaching poetry in a prison, until she was 30. That's when her first novel "Love Medicine" was published to critical and popular success. She introduced us to several generations of three Native-American clans. And since then she's produced thirteen novels in all, and volumes of poetry and children's books.

But when she's not in her writer's attic, this is where she likes to hang out.
Read and Watch more...