WORLD CITIZEN شهروند نصف جهاني

Friday, December 31, 2004

Tsunami and the British Guy

I have been so preoccupied with this whole Tsunami disaster which I don't know why it starts with "T", I had a plan to write about BAM in the anniversary of the earthquake but the timing of Tsunami which was almost the same hours on Dec 26 that Bam earthquake happened was too much of a coincidence. The scale of it which has effected so many countries and the unbelievable number of casualties which is already over 130,000 people, has got so many people involved to help, my British friend Bruce has turned his professional work web site to a place for links and pictures to encourage all his friends to donate.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

When Hoder gets angry

When I was down in LA, I went to visit my friends in Irvine, south of Los Angeles. Hossein Derakshan was there to attend a gathering with some of the persian bloggers in that area, so we showed up too, while I was there I toke a picture that I sent to Hossein yesterday, okey and I am a complete idiot when it comes photo editing, so I just attached the pic I got in Irvine for Hossein the way I had downloaded it from my Camera, and here is Hoder replying that I should go and basically die since I dont know how to edit photos. Now should I go and die?
oh and last might that I slept on my own bed after 18 days, I had this dream that some body is breaking up with me over the phone. I hate dreams like that and I hate when people break up over the phone, so I am not gana call that somebody till I receive a call, I usually cant keep resolutions like that, Just a feeling..

Monday, December 27, 2004

Christmas and polls

I got some very cool stuff for Christmas, I know I know, I am not religious nor is the one who gave me the gifts and has the tree, but we both just like the lights and the idea of exchanging gifts. That is why I tend to say happy holidays to others. Back to the what I got as gifts, first was the book “America; A citizen’s guide to democracy inaction” by the famous comedian John Stewart. Then was the CD and DVD of Josh Groban way favorite singer and finally a cool iPod with $40 subscription to iTunes for as long as I am a good boy!! So I could download music into the iPod. So it was a very good Christmas and I am happy I came back from LA on time!!!
Oh since I always have to make a comment about politics as well, I saw this poll on Gooya News, asking people to vote for who they think is the most popular politician in today Iran, in and out of country. Although they had a line of names of some known people inside and out side of Iran, some that I my self know in person and like a lot, I still voted “neither”, because I don’t like this way of polling, the question is so vague, the most popular politician might not be the best to be elected to office, especially in a dictatorship like Iran, so many politicians are famous simply because they are outspoken oppositions, that does NOT make them the best to become the head of state. So all that makes these questions meaning less.. let alone the flaws that these on line polls have.. But if u really wanted to vote, I think Ezat ollah Sahabi is a great man who thinks of Iran and its interest at all times..

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Farsi or Persian

We have had this discussion in so many occasions and in our weekly meeting in Agora in university of Toronto and other places. And as long as I remember all the experts in this field including one of our members who is finishing his Ph.D in linguistics, have said that Persian is the English word for Farsi or Parsi. So you can NOT use the word Farsi in an English text. It is like saying: "I speak Franc'e or I speak Espaniol" , it makes no sense, you have to say I speak French or I speak Spanish. So why is there a growing trend of people including some Iranians, using the word Farsi in English texts? Some people believe in some conspiracy theories, which I wont get into. Today there was another case in Guardian News Paper in UK. Please please try to leave comments for these people or send e-mails to any one who makes this mistake else where and remind them of the correct word, Persian.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Amoo behrang, Nazli, Shabe Yalda and LA

It has been a very nice 5 days in LA so far, although there was a few not so much good news today, one was my Grade from my 3 credit course which was disappointing, I spent so much time on the research essay and yet she-I never liked my women professors- gave me an unexpected low mark, and then there was my credit card which I had here with me and was denied yesterday when I was trying to pay in a restaurant and when I called them I was told that some one with a new method-Which I had heard before- used my credit card number and created a duplicate one, now I don't have a credit card till I go back to Toronto. Shabe Yalda , I had watermelon and read Hafez with my Aunt and Uncle and 2 cute cousins, At the same time one of my best friend, Amoo Behrang's 30th birthday was last night as well, he was born in shabe Yalda, I missed the late night gathering of my friends in their house since I am not in Toronto. Same Amoo Behrang and my dear friend Nazli have also activated their webloges, I should congratulate them here. And on top of all that I miss my Pishy so much. Cant wait to hug my pishy on Friday..

Friday, December 17, 2004

LA and SUVs

It is a very nice and warm weather here, I went to my cousin's school choir, she had a piece that she sang solo, and it was beautiful, in age of 16 she has such strong voice, then we came out of school and what catch my attention was the number of people and parents who had huge ugly SUV cars. It really is a bit disgusting, they just don't care down here in Los Angeles. People seem to be disconnected from realities of this world, otherwise they would know that it is so irresponsible to drive these pick up trucks and burn all this fuel in the era of global warming. When I went shopping, I could see that 90% of people who drive these trucks are driving it alone. I guess it is just fashion here and it is perhaps a lot worse in Texas..

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Tests and LA

Finally 3 finals are over and I felt good about all 3 when I came out of the I have half a day to clean, pack, take some x-mas gifts for wrapping and then go down town for a talk by the deputy minister of post secondary education of Iran and then go to sleep and go to air port at 6AM, 3 hours earlier because of the long process in US customs and the great experience of bring discriminated against,..Can't wait to run away from winter..

Monday, December 13, 2004

8 former foreign ministers of US and EU on IRAN..

This is one important development to have the ministers of these countries publish such detailed and articulate policy suggestion. I think a few things have prompted them to take such stand. First of all, it is the situation in Iraq. Many of the centrist and less ideological western officials do realize how disastrous could the consequence of another attack in any scale be. At the same time the prospect of Iranian clerics having their hand over nuclear weapons is scary and dangerous both for out side world and Iranian people themselves. So there has to be a third way to bring such process to a halt and at the same time avoid another conflict. This third way has to engage Iran in deeper relations and also has to convince the clerics that there is no long or short term "regime change" plan on the table. If you are not a member of Washington Post, you can register for free and see the letter, if you are so lazy that you don't feel like registering any where, I copy pasted the article on here for a day or two:

How to Approach Iran
Monday, December 13, 2004; Page A21
The following article was signed by Madeleine Albright, secretary of state in the Clinton administration, and by seven former foreign ministers: Robin Cook of Britain, Hubert Vedrine of France, Lamberto Dini of Italy, Lloyd Axworthy of Canada, Niels Helveg Petersen of Denmark, Ana Palacio of Spain and Jozias van Aartsen of the Netherlands.
Foreign ministers from France, Germany and Britain meet with Iran's top nuclear negotiator this week at a moment of enormous consequence. The United States will not be there, but the subtle signals it will send from a distance will have a tremendous impact on the outcome. There are some who believe that Washington expects, and perhaps hopes, that the talks will collapse altogether. But if the United States and Europe are to be successful in preventing a radical regime from gaining nuclear weapons, there will have to be much greater coordination and new approaches on both sides of the Atlantic.

We are a group of former foreign ministers from Europe, Canada and the United States who are very concerned about the current state of transatlantic relations and the effect it is having on our ability to join together to address a number of global challenges. Halting Iran's nuclear ambitions is a case in point. We have met a number of times under the auspices of the Aspen Institute to consider why habits of cooperation are yielding to a psychology of competition and strain. We believe that genuine transatlantic cooperation is the only path to viable solutions.
As a result of the work of the British, French and German foreign ministers, the Iranians agreed last month to suspend their nuclear programs while negotiations for economic and technical cooperation take place. This agreement represents progress, but it will not be successful until Iran permanently suspends any attempt to create a nuclear weapons capacity. As people who have experienced firsthand the challenge of balancing carrots and sticks in these sorts of delicate and serious negotiations, we offer the following ideas on obtaining full cooperation from the Iranians.
First, the United States and Europe must be clear about their collective purpose. The Iranians have made splitting the Atlantic partnership their modus operandi, hoping that disagreements between the United States and Europe will buy them the time to progress down the nuclear path to the point of irreversibility. In order to counteract this strategy, European and U.S. policymakers must repeatedly and jointly articulate that they seek to hold Iran to the obligations it has accepted under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to refrain from building nuclear arms. In the same breath, American and European heads of state must emphasize that the West does not seek to deny Iran the right to a peaceful civilian nuclear energy program under the necessary safeguards.
Second, the major nuclear suppliers (Russia, the United States and Europe) should provide a firm guarantee to supply fresh reactor fuel for civilian nuclear power and to retrieve and dispose of spent fuel in exchange for Iran's agreement to permanently forswear its own nuclear fuel-cycle capabilities, including enrichment, reprocessing, uranium conversion and heavy-water production.
Third, the Bush administration should support the recent agreement the three European countries negotiated with the Iranians as an important first step. While it is unclear whether this deal will ultimately halt Iran's nuclear ambitions, only a unified approach will enable Europe and the United States to find out. Washington should put its full support behind this diplomatic effort and consider launching commercial and diplomatic engagement with Iran. That country's political leadership and culture have changed dramatically over the past two decades and are much more complex than many realize. Understanding the various political operatives inside Iran and their motivations requires the United States to instigate face-to-face interaction. Doing so could bring direct benefits to the United States as disagreements over the nuclear question need not, for example, disrupt efforts to achieve cooperation on such matters as narcotics enforcement, Iraq, the fight against terrorism and peace in the Middle East.
If the Americans need to increase their support for diplomatic efforts, Europeans must prove to the Iranians that severe political and economic consequences will result if Iran does not renounce the nuclear weapons option. In the event that diplomacy fails and Iran decides not to abandon its efforts to develop nuclear weapons, Europeans should be ready for alternative courses of action, including going to the U.N. Security Council, and they should repeatedly stress their willingness to act. The transatlantic community should not be trying to force a confrontation with Iran, but we must not fear one if that's what is necessary to prevent the introduction of another nuclear weapons program into the combustible Middle East.
The interests of every nation will be served by an arrangement that gives Iran the civilian nuclear program it says it wants and the international community the insurance it needs. Together, with sufficient patience and resolve, Europe and America must push as hard as possible to achieve that outcome and stand together, as well, in the event the effort does not succeed.

Sunday, December 12, 2004


Finally yesterday, the issue of the "call for a referendum" was discussed in the meeting that was organized by IAUT and I was one of 6 panelists. One good thing that this meeting had for me was that it demonstrated the fact that those who advocate this idea at best have one argument: "this call for referendum will bring hope to the disappointed crowed of reformists who have lost their confidence in Khatami and his allies". I wrote an e-mail to a non Iranian friend who is going to interview Mr. Sazgara, one of the signatures of the call, and explained my reasoning for opposing this call. Here it goes:

This issue has raised so many questions and caused some serious disagreements and debates among Iranians. I along with a few other students who were active in Iran in the last 7-8 years, have been among those who opposed this call for referendum for a very basic reason. They are calling for a referendum to change the constitution, now historic evidence in Iranian politics from the first day the elected parliament wrote a constitution in 1906, has been that law is an irrelevant factor when it comes to political action, both for the rullers and the opposition in Iran. Non has ever stopped a political move or a decision that effects the nation because it was prohibited by the law. The good example of that was 57 years of Pahlavi dynasty from 1921 to 1979. In which the constitution, just like UK, gave the Shah(king) a symbolic role and the Parliament and PM, the real power,but in reality Shah always was the only power. His dictatorship resulted in a revolution which fundamentally changed the Constitution,but again in the last 26 years, the only thing that didn't matter was the law and the only thing that did matter was the fact that right wing clerics have the real power(money, intelligence services and military) and therefore they are the dominant force. Any time that the other side could bring an element of power -like people- to the equation, no matter what the law said, they could ease this dominance and the election of president Khatami in 1997 is a good example.

So a call for a referendum basically undermines the real problem and the fact that reformists and democracy movement in Iran has failed to rally people behind them the way Ukrainians did, We can argue that the reformist president and his allies have failed to use their already faded popularity in order to bring people in to the streets, but that failure in no way, justifies a call that is sending the wrong single and is telling people that: "it is the constitution and law which is the main obstacle".Another important issue here is that if the right wing power, in the words of the callers of this referendum themselves, hasn't left any hope for reform, then how in the world will they allow a referendum to take place under their watch?? Obviously they wont.

So consequently,this call for a referendum is indirectly suggesting that people, in order to ever have a real referendum, should first overthrow the current regime and that means another revolution. This is a recipe for disaster and I don't understand how they can still call themselves reformists and stay in the column of those who are against violence. The ultimate justification is that this call can at least bring hope back to the camp of disappointed reformists, this also is a bad justification, since even if this hope is created, it is an empty and unattainable goal that soon will lose its early support and once more people will feel powerless. Let me add at the end that I do believe there are other alternatives, like taking advantage of the upcoming presidential election and participate in masses and cast a white ballot in protests and turn that election to a referendum. But it all depends on how much Iranian middle class is prepared to organize it self and pay the small price of going to the polls.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

Khatami and Students..

A lot has been made of Khatami- The so-called Reformist President of Iran – visiting the university and giving speech to his traditional supporters, maybe for the last time in his 8 years of presidency since it is all coming to an end in Spring 2005. The way students who are his old supporters that voted for him and his allies in Parliament and suffered more than any other social and political pro-democracy group, treated him (this was one long Persian sentence translated to English in my head) has made a lot of noise. I don’t think there was any surprise there, I mean we cant get our hands on Mr. Khamanei the supreme leader, so we might as well blame the guy who is more democrat and dares to give a speech to an unfiltered crowed of angry students. The question is what next? Again another hero has fallen in our history, another perfect guy of 6 years ago that we were all ready to follow him where ever he takes us and give an standing ovation to what ever he says, is no longer popular and we have to interrupt every sentence that he is trying to say by chanting “stop laying stop laying” or “Khatami we regret our vote for you” as he said him self, he will soon be gone for good, and we the legitimately angry new generation of Iran again have no idea what is going to happen next and have no plans to confront is simply a sad story of a nation and I am glad at least this powerless President is there to sit in front of u and take some of the blame, this will claim us down for a bit I am sure….

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

National Treasure and Referendum!!!

Just came back from this movie, national treasure, it was funny and nice, I like Nicolas Cage because he rarely disappoints me, the last movie I saw from him was “Matchstick Men” which he played a similar role to this one we saw tonight. If you have extra time in your hand and you don’t want to get stressed out by some horror movie or an extremely emotional one, then you should go and see National Treasure.

Oh by the way in one of the yahoo groups I am member of, and it belongs to Iranian students in University of Toronto, there was a serious discussion over the latest call for referendum by some student activists and a few reformist political figures, and I was and am against the whole idea, so IAUT decided to make the issue the topic for discussion in this coming Saturday. So I am going to talk as the NO side and some one else is going to argue in favore of the idea….I’ll write about it here later..

Sunday, December 05, 2004

After hours..

We went to that party last night and that is why I didn't get the chance to write about what happened, I'll keep it short, every thing is okay now, we kind of solved the problem and let me tell you that there always is a gray area in between the worse and the best scenario, and so was this one, There was no lovy dovy stuff going on but there were some unjustifiable behavior that I got an apology for. So back to normal...

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Difficult hours...

Let me tell you a story, you are in love, the person who you are in love with claims that has the same feeling for you, after 10 month of up and downs and getting to know each other and dealing with so many difficulties, suddenly unlike almost all other Saturday afternoons of the last ten month, your “love” decides to not see you and go shopping “since u have a lot to study” and you are both going to this party tonight, it is “sensible” to just see each other later at night. The night before all this, a former friend-who you don’t talk to any more, because u think that friend is jealous of your relationship- calls you around 1 AM and wakes you up to tell you that he has seen your love in some chat line and again tries to convince you that you are being cheated on. You have so much faith in your relationship that you don’t give a damn and you tell him to basically F.. Off. Then in the afternoon of this Saturday-which unlike any other you are home- you get board of studying and try to call your “love”, but incidentally, when your love tries to turn the cell phone off, the cell phone is turned on, and then it is left in the pocket of your love’s jacket. Now you can hear every thing that is being said and you hear this other man, who is being flirtatious and obviously they are just starting to know each other, because they talk about the city and other cities and etc…, Now you have this indescribable feeling of fear, anger, anxiety and curiosity. You listen for 12 mints. They end up in a restaurant and you get cut off. So what do u do now?.. you have all this studying to do and you cant concentrate, you don’t know if you should call back and ask who that other person is, you don’t know if this is all a simple mistake and they are just friends, one thing you do know is that u were deliberately kept out of this, u were not suppose to find out, so u cant stand it, so you call back, The cell phone is not picked up and is being turned off, you leave a message and say that it is urgent, U don’t get a call back and now one hour has passed. What do u do? This could all be nothing and you will know with in a few hours..but how are u gana say it or ask, so if it was a mistake, no one would get hurt? Well IF I WERE U ,I wouldn’t know what I would do, maybe just to make these difficult couple of hours pass more easily I would start writing about it in my web log, I am sure it would help me get through it……

Thursday, December 02, 2004

December! I hate u..

The December of the last year in School is perhaps one of the worse Decembers of student life, you cant wait to finish this year and run away from university and this last December is standing there like a huge is such a bad and busy time, so I am just gana take the time to thank my pretty cousin Negar for fixing some stuff on this Web Log and also some friends that found this web log via Orkut and congratulated me...I'll start writing soon on an orderly bases after these exams and maybe in between when I am really frustrated.