Politics

Mommad Reza Asrar

Asrar’s “Amoo Zanjeer Baaf”

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I vaguely recall a popular social game that children used to play in Iran, Amoo Zanjeer baaf (literally “uncle chain-knitter”). The game has lyrics that kids would sing:

عمو زنجیرباف، زنجیرم بافتی؟ – بله پشته کوه انداختی؟ – بله …

I don’t exactly remember how the game was played; and I wouldn’t be writing this piece had it not been for a beautiful song by the same name, Amoo Zanjeer Baaf, written, composed and performed by a young Iranian musician, Mohammad Reza Asrar, that I recently came across.

Amoo Zaneer Baaf in Asrar’s song is not a friend to the children. Quite the contrary, he’s an More >

Cyrus the Great

Cyrus the Great, a conqueror or a human rights advocate?

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Recently an LA local news crossed the wire that I came across: the LA City Council has approved the installation of a bronze statue of Cyrus the Great in LA downtown! Apparently a wealthy Iranian born investor, Ezatollah Delijani, whose family owns several Broadway theaters, will be financing the project. The proposal still has to go through further approvals and the timeline is not set yet. But the idea of this statue in LA should be pleasing to most Iranians. And I think it is a wonderful idea as a tribute to one of the greatest leaders in the history of world civilizations — for more More >

Golshifteh Farahani

Golshifteh Farahani & her song Sokoot

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The beautiful and capable Iranian actress, Golshifteh Farahani, has appeared in movies such as

Golshifteh Farahani

Santoori (2007, in Persian) and “Body of Lies” (2008, co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio), following which the cleric-run Iranian government banned her from travel outside of Iran. Once she got out, she never returned and currently lives in Paris. Her more recent film is “About Elly” (2009) by the Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, which won several awards.

Golshifteh has also done some music work. She plays piano quite well and in fact played the piano in movie Santouri. She also did More >

An old Pink Floyd song covered green for Iran

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Last week I heard of an interesting new video music that emerged from Canada. The famous Pink Floyd song, Another Brick in the Wall, written by the great Roger Waters in 1979, is now reworked and covered by Blurred Vision, a band of two young Iranian brothers, Sepp and Solh in Toronto. The famous line in the original song, “Hey. teacher, leave us kids alone” is replaced with “Hey, ayatollah, leave those kids alone”. The cover is put to quite a telling video that shows a mullah and the security forces chasing after and beating the young protesters in Iran. The video is directed by the Iranian More >

US strikes gold in Afghanistan — literally!

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Image via Wikipedia

As you might’ve heard, back in June US authorities announced that they had identified vast deposits of precious metals and minerals such as iron, copper, cobalt and gold, worth about a $1 trillion in Afghanistan!

Since this didn’t directly relate to Iran, I covered it in an article on my personal blog at UnMind.net under the same title. However, it hits close to home and should sound familiar. Though there was little mention of it in the media (except the New York Times article that broke the news) the Daily Show and Colbert Report did an awesome job covering it, More >

Shajarian with Shahnaz Ensemble, LA, May 2010

Shajarian, with new sounds & a touch of green

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Shajarian & Persian traditional music

The legendary Iranian vocalist and composer, ostad (maestro) Mohammad Reza Shajarian has been a prominent name in the Persian traditional music scene since early 1960s. He is widely acknowledged as one of the best and most popular among Iranians. He has also received international awards and recognition, including UNESCO Golden Picasso Medal (1999) and Mozart medal (2006), and two Grammy Best World Music nominations (2004 and 2006).

As a child I remember my mom listening to him and watching his performances in TV. But not having any musical training nor More >

Mossadegh, circa 1965

Mohammad Mossadegh and the 1953 Coup in Iran

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Mossadegh, circa 1965

In light of the screening of Shirin Neshat’s new film, “Women Without Men” that deals with the 1953 US staged coup in Iran and the lives of a few women at the time, I thought it is appropriate to write this note in memory of our great past national hero, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, the Prime Minister of Iran in 1951-1952.

It is a shame that as a kid in school in Iran I never even heard of him. Past lots of math and hard sciences such as physics and chemistry, in the primary and secondary schools we were mostly being fed Shah’s “White Revolution” and we had to often More >

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