Sunday, June 12, 2011

June12, 2009

Two years.  The beginning of the end for tyrants in our homeland.  Two more years?  Five more years maybe?  Or more?  The end is near.  It's only a matter of time.  Long live Iran.    

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Female Iranian athletes continue to face obstacles from their own government and...

"On Friday, a Bahraini FIFA official banned the Iranian women's national soccer team from playing against Jordan in the second round of the qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympic Games in the Jordanian capital city, Amman."

They forfeited their games and were eliminated without even the touching the ball.  How fair is that?


Here's the link to this informative piece discussing the situation.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Nasser Hejazi (1949-2011)

 
What a way to start the week.  Nasser Hejazi was not only the best goalkeeper in the history of Iranian football, he was a true gentleman.  Always well mannered, yet determined and serious.  My first memory of Hejazi was at the 78 World Cup when he was furious after an own goal in the Scotland game and how he finished the Peru game despite being visibly injured.  Our goal was conquered eight times during the WC, but to Hejazi's credit four goals were penalty kicks and one was an own goal.  Here's a video of Mr. Majid Varess' interview with Nasser Hejazi at the 1980 Asian Nations Cup in Kuwait.  Rest in peace Ghahreman.  Roohet shad.



 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Guess who stands steadfast behind the Syrian regime?

Iran's Foreign Ministry! (click here for the news story)

" Iran's Foreign Ministry said the wave of unrest that swept across Syria in recent weeks is a plot by the U.S. to drive a wedge between the Syrian people and their government, the English language satellite Press TV reported on Friday. "



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Native Americans' objection to "Geronimo" as code name for Bin Laden raid

He was a Native American military leader.  Sure, he was a warrior and probably killed many American soldiers.  But he was fighting Mexico and America's expansion to the West, his ancestral lands.  Code Name for Bin Laden?!  Not Cool. 

Here's the Washington Post article.

“I was celebrating that we had gotten this guy and feeling so much a part of America,” Tom Holm, a former Marine, a member of the Creek/Cherokee Nations and a retired professor of American Indian studies at the University of Arizona, said by phone Tuesday. “And then this ‘Geronimo EKIA’ thing comes up. I just said, ‘Why pick on us?’ Robert E. Lee killed more Americans than Geronimo ever did, and Hitler would seem to be evil personified, but the code name for bin Laden is Geronimo?”

“It’s how deeply embedded the ‘Indian as enemy’ is in the collective mind of America,” she said. “To this day, when soldiers are going into enemy territory, it’s common for it to be called ‘Indian country.’ ”



Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden's burial @ sea does not follow Islamic tradition or law!

This is from CNN:

"Osama bin Laden's body was buried at sea according to Islamic law because no country was willing or able to take his body for burial on land, senior Defense officials said.  "When there is no land alternative, Islamic law dictates that the body be buried within 24 hours, and that was the basis," one official said."  A second senior Defense official said there was no country willing or able to accept the body for burial, and U.S. forces "took pains to observe Muslim law.""
 
What?  How about an unmarked grave somewhere?  How about after proper preparation for burial, taking his body in the middle of the night and bury it anywhere in Pakistan?  No land alternative?  Come on.  There is no land alternative when the deceased dies on a ship and land is more than 24 hours away.  That's not what happened here.  What the administration is saying regarding Islamic tradition and law is not accurate.  They just did not want to bury him on land, preventing any chance of the site being identified.  That's all and that's if they really killed him!         

Osama Bin Laden buried @ sea?!

What?! And according to the Islamic tradition, a U.S. official has said. Islam only allows sea burial if there is no access to land, which means death on sea. And that is not where Bin Laden was killed. He died on land, presumably. It would have been nice to release photos of the body. It has been done in the past. Not sure why not this time. Conspiracy theorists will have a field day.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

LIBERATION NOW!!!

Libya, Iran, Bahrain, Bahrain, Palestine, Syria, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tunisia, Yemen, Morocco, Kuwait... Domino Theory, Middle Eastern style!



Monday, February 14, 2011

The Green Movement (موج سبز) is alive and kicking!

Okay so today's demonstrations were not as huge as June or December 2009, but the Iranian nation showed the government and the world that the movement is not dead.  It has been sustained for almost two years and will not die down.  The youth won't let it die down.  The women won't let it die down.  I am in awe of their courage.  They're all my heroes.  Here are the latest videos from today.  Remember foreign press is virtually nonexistent in Iran.  These videos are shot by ordinary (for the lack of a better word -- nothing ordinary about their courage) Iranians while facing danger and precautions.  Long live Iran.  Long live freedom.   

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I just had to share this! - What's the big whoop about Egypt's uprising?

Okay this is satirical, but mostly true.  Click here for the hot link.  When you read it, try to go beneath the humor and comprehend what he is trying to say.  I am not one to compare Egypt and Iran.  But come on.  It's hard not to.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The only constant is change!

Change is brewing in the Middle East.  First Tunisia and now Egypt.  Algeria is being the good neighbor following up on what's happening in the neighborhood.  Jordan's king Abdullah II dismissed the government and appointed a new prime minister.  Yemen's President Saleh announced that he will not run again after mass protests.  It begs the question: what regime is next in the region?  Hmmm...


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Something fishy is going on in Egypt!

The Egyptians were duped.  Army's apparent siding with the masses may have just saved Mubarak, at least for the near future.  This maneuver gave him just enough time to regroup and strategize.  Let's see.  The army praises Egyptians and respects their rights to assemble, and almost immediately after Mubarak's speech the army asks people to stop protesting  so life and business would resume in Egypt.  Hmmm…  The Egyptians were not only duped, they were snubbed.  The army used its relationship of trust with the people to come to Mubarak’s aide. 

Okay.  I'm hinting at a conspiracy theory.  But I can't help it.  I'm Iranian.  I'm middle-eastern.  It's in my DNA.  Part of me wants to encourage Egyptians to finish Mubarak while he is down.  Go for the kill.  But then what?  What's next?  Could the Egyptians reorganize and start their journey to so called democracy after such an abrupt end.  On the other hand, Mubarak will have until September to complete the transition.  In a perfect world it's a win/win situation.  But is it in Egypt?  A lot could happen in nine months.   

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why so much praise for Tunisians!?

So what began as an act of self-immolation mobilized a whole nation in days, resulting in the President of Tunisia fleeing.  All of the sudden North Africa seems to be gripped in chaos.  There have been demonstrations in Algeria and Egypt so far.  Moreover, many scholars of Iranian studies and pundits alike have already begun comparing Tunisia with the Green Movement of Iran.  Some have even gone to praise the Tunisian people for so called toppling their government so swiftly. 

But wait a minute.  There are more differences between the two countries than similarities.  Actually, Tunisia and Iran are both developing countries with authoritarian regimes with populations that are mostly Muslim.  And that is where the similarities end.  To use Tunisia as point of analysis does not make much sense. 

First, nothing has changed in Tunisia so far other than the President fleeing.  The people in power pretty much remain the same.  Tunisia still has the same Prime Minister and the acting President is the President of the Legislature.  The impact of President Ben Ali’s departure remains to be seen.  The Tunisians are at the beginning of the road.  They didn’t even topple their government.  They just forced the President to quit and flee.  So praising them for toppling a crumbling administration should be done with caution.  I applaud them for what they achieved and wish them the best, but the hardest part is yet to come.  The difficult task of reorganizing their government and political system will not be without setbacks.   
 
Second, there have been some suggestions that Tunisians are more politically advanced than Iranians and the leaders of the Green Movement.  I beg to differ.  Up until independence from French rule in 1957, Tunisia had a long history of foreign rule dating back to Romans.  More recently, they were conquered by Arabs, who changed their language to Arabic and brought Islam.  Since Independence, they have only had TWO presidents including Ben Ali.  They show no signs of political maturity.     

In contrast, Iran has a history of home rule that dates back to more than 2500 years.  While we were invaded and occupied by the Macedonians, Arabs, Moguls, and Afghans, we retained much of our identity including our language.  Our foreign rulers adopted aspects of our culture that they believed to be superior to theirs.  Macedonians adopted our system of appointing local rulers as satraps (governors) in order to better rule their subjects.  Arabs brought Islam to Iran.  I am not here to discuss the dynamics of the Arab conquest, but the Arab dynasties flourished culturally and scientifically because of Persian ingenuity and culture.  Moguls became Muslims after remaining Iran’s rulers for centuries and embraced our culture and literature.   
 
Additionally, over a century ago our forefathers drafted a constitution despite the difficulties.  We have had a functioning parliament -- more or less -- ever since.  Our despotic ruler modernized Iran and built a nation around a strong central government at a time when Iran was torn in bits and pieces.  We were the first country that nationalized its oil industry.  The Islamic revolution of 1979 became the greatest revolution of the last century.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am not here to defend it.  It has been a bitter experience and our people are still paying a heavy price for it.  But we have been forerunners of progress in our region.  Because of the Iranian experience with an Islamic government, intellectuals in the Islamic world are staying away from advocating such a system of government.  After 31 years, we have arrived at the Green Movement.  With all of our imperfections in the last 100 years or so, we have made progress through experimentation.  But we have done it in a very chaotic way, paying dearly and heavily every step of the way.  We have taken one step forward, two back, one forward again.  At times, we have moved sideways or have just madly spun until exhausted.  But to say that somehow we failed because we could not achieve what the Tunisian did recently is not only foolish.  It is flat out WRONG.  Think about it!
 
I am not here to offer a solution.  The matters of politics in Iran are very complicated.  The Green Movement has not been perfect.  However, contrary to most preceding movements in Iran it has decided to take the higher road and be nonviolent.  That's good enough for me -- for now.  While we could learn from the experiences of other movements, our solution relies within our own country and our own history.  And definitely not with Tunisia and Tunisians!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Going all the way

So Team Melli seemingly cruises to the quarter-final round of the 2011 Asian Nations Cup. After conceding an early goal to Iraq, our boys have not allowed a goal and have won all of their round robin matches – the only team to have achieved either feat. The next game against South Korea will be a classic, as it is considered by many to be the continent’s biggest rivalry dating back to 1970’s. This will be the fifth consecutive quarter-final game between the two giants in Asian Nations Cup with each winning two games – Iran in 1996 and 2004, South Korea in 2000 and 2007. Team Melli lost a heartbreaker in penalty kicks in 2007.

So in short not only this game is going to be a nail biter, it is perhaps the toughest hurdle in Team Melli’s quest to capture the continental cup. Other than South Korea, of the seven remaining teams only Japan and Australia pose a worrisome threat, both of which have been cited as the preferable choice for a quarter-final match by our Team Melli players. Our boys rather play the South Koreans in the final. I agree, but that is not to be. As it stands, it is Team Melli against South Korea 19:25 local time this Saturday.

But for now imagine this: Team Melli not only beats South Korea, but wins the next two games and becomes the continental champ for the first time since 1976! This is very probable, as we are quickly becoming one of the favorites by football pundits. Most Iranians today (at least 75% of them) were not even born in 1976 or are too young to remember. They are at least two generations removed. This is the continent’s biggest prize that has eluded us for 35 years.

What will happen if we win? Will the Iranians flood the streets in masses to celebrate? Will the government be able to claim the championship as its own? Will it want to do that? What will the security forces do? Will they crack down hard or join the celebrating crowds? We may find out around 9 P.M. on Saturday, January 29.
So I say to the Iranian nation that our players are individuals first and then the soul of our nation. They never have or will belong to any government. They are part of each and every single of us. So go out to the streets and celebrate. What will happen if we all go out like we did in 1997 after qualifying for World Cup 98? DON’T CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. But for now don’t forget to cheer for Team Melli this Saturday.

Disclaimer: I am in no position to advocate for mass celebrations. My main concern is the safety of the people. With this note, I am just pondering.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mousavi, Karroubi, and the Opposition in the Diaspora

This is an excellent article by Muhammad Sahimi on a close look at the criticisms voiced in the diaspora and the motivations behind them.  This article provides the most unbiased view of Mousavi.  A must read!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nike: Just do it.

Ahmadinejad and Morales warming up before a footsal game



Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pomegranate

I came across this video describing the wrong way to open a pomegranate. My grandmothers would be turning in their graves if they saw this. She destroys the poor fruit making it bleed, then puts it in the water to get the arils. I was horrified. What are you doing to our national fruit woman? You're killing it. After I posted it online, a friend posted this. Now this is the correct way to do this. Watch and enjoy. This guy needs to be given an award for this.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Today is the big game!

Okay so we've lost our first two games at the basketball world championships in Turkey, and we still have the U.S. to play. OUCH!!! But later today, we may just win our first game ever at our first world championship tourney ever. Tunisia is ranked much lower than us and recently placed third in Africa's continental championship tourney.

Come on boys. Let's do it. Beat Tunisia. GO IRAN!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Iran - USA Game Shirt

Get the Iran-USA game shirt here. Iran national basketball team will play USA, September 1, 2010. Any predictions? This t-shirt may help.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The buzzing continues...

...at least for me. A month ago today, a new World Cup champ was crowned -- Spain. For a month, South Africa shined. So did Africa. All five South American teams made it to round of 16. Three made it to 1/4 finals and one became a semifinalist. But it wasn't one of the usual suspects. It was Uruguay. It would have been Ghana in the semis, but... Europe won its first WC away from its home continent. And we had a brand new champion. Did I mention SPAIN already?!