Sunday, April 29, 2012

Teddy, a Cat Who Didn't Want to Die

A bullet in his face, two withered legs and a body covered with infection. Death might be so close.

But Teddy loved life.

When an animal lover in Tehran found him, he was in that situation. The cat was weak, couldn't walk but his eyes were full of love and attention. This kind person with other group of animal lovers brought Teddy to the vet. There they understood there was a bullet in his face,  near the nose. Somebody for just having fun had shoot at beautiful Teddy and probably the leg injuries were because of abuse too. Medications for him quickly started. Unfortunately one of the legs had to be amputated, but there was a small hope for the other leg to get back to its earlier state.

They wrote about Teddy on their facebook page and lots of people got concerned for Teddy and donated to help his medication. During that time a kind mother and daughter accepted to keep him with them till he finds a permanent loving home.

Teddy was so lucky. Someone asked to take him to the US for the physiotherapy and a loving person to keep him and give him the love he didn't get before in his life. Now Teddy has one leg, but purrs like a motor and loves to play and move around to appease his curiosity! He is giving practices for his other leg.

There might be one heartless person wanting to hurt you Teddy, but there are also more people who care for beautiful animals like you, rescue you, and give you love and hope.

Here are Teddy's pictures before and after.

Teddy is now famous! He is on the US news:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Arash, Melody, and Two Little Ds

This is Arash, the Iranian singer in Sweden. He has got a famous song called Melody (but in my opinion not better than his song Dasa Bala, feat Aylar, et al). There is a blond baby at the end of the song in Arash' arms. Many people said Melody, the little girl at the end of the video is Arash' daughter.

My question at that time was if she's his daughter, why so blond? Had Arash married a Swedish girl? Then by little searches I understood, firstly Arash married just some months before the video and it's not possible to have a kid so soon (unless the bride was expecting a baby before the wedding which I'm sure wasn't the case!); secondly Arash married an Iranian girl and it's not possible for an Iranian couple to have such a white blond baby (if they had, ask some genealogists what had happened), thirdly Melody is his colleague's daughter, a Swedish man.

A few moments ago Arash updated on his facebook page he became a father, has twins called Donya and Darian. Donya is a Persian name, meaning "the world" (I think in Arabic they also call the world donya). But Darian isn't (It means the upholder of the good, originally an English name, source: here).

He has uploaded a photo of himself on the bed with the two new-born babies in his arms. The picture is a bit awkward, for a second might give the funny idea that maybe he gave birth to the babies himself. I'm not the only one thinking like that, thousands of congratulations comments were written under the picture as well as some Iranians asking why he is bed posing like that as if he himself gave birth to the babies instead of the wife!!!

Here is the objectionable photo, but anyway, let's congratulate him (I'm still reading some comments by Iranians and laughing. Iranians, anywhere, any time, keeping their wild humour and showing it in any situation).

This is Arash' facebook page.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tell Me


Tell me what to do
With the pepper that tastes of separation
With the pain that doesn't know the season
With the blood that doesn't stop flowing

Tell me what to do
When the happiness is attached to the tail of a kite
And the sadness follows me in the steep of a valley
like a stone

My heart is like a branch of red mulberries
that the wind
has splashed their blood to the walls and windows

~ Gholamreza Borousan

Friday, April 20, 2012

Ghosts of the Past's Late Night Visit

I was a bit sad last night, and was sitting on my bed trying to find a way to entertain myself in my semi-messy room among the clutter of things being put here and there. Believe me no matter how many times in a day I clean this room later at night mysteriously turn into a mess. As if an invisible bomb has been exploded in it. The Internet at home was cut off and I felt there's no more reason to live and breathe. A vague white light from the florescent lamp from the ceiling made the scene more sombre. I didn't like to open that file on my desktop called music. There is a funny mixture of tracks in it, with Queen sitting beside Shahin Najafi, and Rana Farhan holding hands with each other, and some tracks of John Mayer sitting there alone. I have listened to all of them many times and needed something new. I aimlessly opened a file called "ebooks". And opened a PDF called The Mad House.

It was a long story by Mohmmad Ali Jamalzadeh, father of modern short stories in Iran. I started reading. The pages were poorly scanned from an old book which was actually published 58 years ago in Tehran, by publication I'm sure now doesn't exist. I started to read and quickly scrolled down the pages to see what's the whole story about. I was thrown in Iran 100 years ago. Big houses, Iranian gardens in large yards, fountains and basins, people moving from here to there with carriage, and women wearing chador at home in front of men out of their family. That era when Iran started to open its cultural borders to the West. I was absorbed by the story. It was the story of a young man who had studied medicine and was working in a madhouse.

In one of the pages of the author mentions a man who was so sad that he went to the herbal shop, bought a big roll of opium, ate it all at night and next morning they found him dead. Suddenly I remembered one of my father's friends. He lost his family, including his wife and his son in an earthquake in North of Iran in Roodbar. After that loss he felt he couldn't deal with that life anymore, so one night he ate opium and ended his life. His death was unexpectedly. I saw one of his photos in my father's album, with him sitting on a rooftop of their house, with my father and their other friends, and pigeons pecking the floor beside their feet.

Then I remembered another person... my father's uncle. Many many many years ago he moved from his city and went to the north. There he bought a big land in the north west of Iran. His field was near the Torkman's field. Many times Torkaman horses went to his field and ate his crops and ruined the grass. He noted this and told it to those people to take care and don't leave the horses, but they didn't listen. One day he got angry and went to talk to them seriously. They replied to him by a shovel. They hit the shovel on his head. Due to that injury my father's uncle lost his speech ability. He couldn't talk very well and couldn't remember things. One day his family took him again to his house, to his land to make him remember everything. He remembered, but got home, and later at night ended his life like my father's friend. By eating opium. Went to an eternal sleep and never woke up.

Someone else came to my mind... one of my relatives first and last husband, first and last love. Someone who made and destroyed that girl's life. He was an educated man, full of emotions, had read many books, knew many poems, was kind, caring and good-looking. But he had a weak point: addiction. When he was young he was sent to Zahedan, a city in South East Iran in Baluchestan province for his military service. There he got the addiction to opium. To cut a long story short, when the girl realises his addiction, with all that love she saw no other choice but to get a divorce. Getting a divorce in Iran 43 years ago was a daring act. Not as common as it is nowadays. She never got married and to this lives the memories of that love. He got married short after the divorce, had 2 children, but finally drugs took his life.

Among the memories of all these people, Sadegh Hedayat came to my mind either. His sad lonely life. His books and stories full of sadness. Actually he didn't ended his life by eating opium, but by gas. Opened the gas faucet and lay in his bed till the Death knocks at his door. There eventually a photo of him moments after they found his dead body. In the book I was reading in some lines there were references to his book The Blind Owl. One of the darkest books I ever read. Just the first page is enough to make me feel things around are turning grey and cold.

Before I start remembering anyone else I fell asleep.
I think I shouldn't get sad too often.

Here a picture of a bookshop in Tehran. One of the paper on the display says:
"Based on your income there are books in here. If you don't have enough money, you can borrow books"
This interesting bookshop is in Navvab Highway, passed Jomhoori Square.

Try It

When you start thinking the whole people on this planet are so annoying, think of one or two friends you have who are always there for you.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Drunk with Rana's Voice

Rumi's poems with Jazz and Blues?! Hard to believe. It's like singing Shakespeare's poems with Rock.

Yet, so possible.

When Rana Farhan sings it, anything is possible.

This lady has got such a magical voice- her voice is so strong, so soulful. If you still haven't listened to her, you should definitely do.

If you have watched the movie "No One Knows about Persian Cats" you know very well the part where a song by a woman is being sung and different scenes of Tehran are being shown. It's hard to get that song out of your head. I started asking my friends if they knew who the singer was and what the song was, but nobody knew.

Can't remember how finally I found out, but when I found the songs, I listened to them 200 times, with my headphones in my ears even when I was in bed sleeping!

Here's that beautiful song, It's called "Drunk with Love" (All rights belong to PMC channel).

Listen and enjoy:

Meanwhile in Tehran...

Photo taken by: Azin Haghighi

15 April 2012, a rainy day in Tehran. A girl has taken off her high-heels so she wouldn't slip walking fast.

To be honest if the girl wasn't wearing a manteau and a scarf and I haven't checked the photographer's facebook I'd definitely thought this picture has been taken somewhere out of Iran. This is what's called Tehran and its girls!

For seeing the other pictures of rainy Tehran today visit the photographer's facebook.

By the way, an Iranian poet* once said:

Should close the umbrellas,
Should walk in the rain,
Should take the thought, the memory under the rain,
With all the people of the town,
Should go in the rain.
The friend,
Should see in the rain.
Should seek in the rain.

*Sohrab Sepehri
The Sound of the Water footsteps

A Cloth for Your Legs

Courtsey of Van Beek Images

I don't care about Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Fendi or anyother designer brand labels. I have the most comfortable pajamas in the world now and I don't change them with any other thing. Last night when I went to bed with them they were so comfty I thought I didn't have them on. Haven't felt this good for ages.
One of my English teachers told us pajamas is an Indian word, it consists of two parts: pa + jama = a "jama" for you "pa", it means a cloth for your legs. Interesting enough we have the both words jame and pa in Persian language too. Whatever, all I want to say is long live pajamas, long live comfortable cotton clothes.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Water Will Take Us All

I have to finish something for tomorrow and I still haven't finished it and have no idea what I'm doing. Just scrambling things and weaving nonsense to have something to give for tomorrow. My eyes are drooling and can't keep them open any longer.
First in the morning there was a bad storm. The wind was blowing and howling through closed windows. Later in the noon I felt the flat is shaking but I couldn't believe it and told myself I became so weak my body is shaking. Then in the afternoon I searched in Google if there have been an earthquake and saw not only there was a huge earthquake, but also there is tsunami alert. I was like what? Tsunami? They said it might even hit Iran coasts near Indian ocean.
At the moment I'd rather tsunami comes and takes me than having to hand in my due-work tomorrow.

* The title comes from a Persian literary title "The Wind Will Take Us All". I don't know where this title comes from, from a movie, book, a poem or what, but I heard it many times. Sounds like a nice title.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Conversation of the Day: The Cardboard Leader's Ideology

Gabi: Could you please tell me is "The Big Satan" correct? As you see I'm in the middle of Khomeini's ideology.

Me: Yes the Big Satan is correct, they call the US that. Khomeini didn't have any ideology; he had s**tology. He filled Iran with enough s**t to last even after 33 years.

This is Gabi. For seeing her completely you should go to Poland, Gdansk. She's doing her MA thesis on Iran :)

Wish her good luck!

Monday, April 9, 2012


From 1:10, then 1:46, then 2:07 (!!!!) till the end of the video... the END of the video!!! My question is... Ellen?!

One of the top comments under the video:
"Dear Ellen,
we perfectly know that you're in love with Chris, don't be shy!
I guess later that day when she got home Portia was waiting for her behind the door with a pan in hands or something.

That video is a bit old, for 5 months ago. However, on her newest video about Titanic 3D, Ellen is totally behaving correctly:

Ellen is one of the people who never fails to make me smile.

My two fav videos of her are:

       1. Ellen meets Kermit (The scene where Ellen kisses Kermit and he asks if he's turning into a princess with she replying "No, I don't think I'm the one to do it for you" is just epic).

        2. Sophia Grace and Rosie are back (Two really funny guests. Watched it about 10 times).
If I ever want to dig youtube for more videos and never get annoyed or tired, it's just for Ellen's show.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Many Times...

I have wept many times,
For the neighbour's simpleness,
For my own foolhardy.
But I don't know,
Which weeping would take me to the world's dream.

~Sara Anvari

Saturday, April 7, 2012

You Naughty Gal

If you're interested in Persian music and would like to watch the latest music videos, you can often visit PMC website. There they upload the newest Persina songs. PMC stands for Persian Media Corporation. Here's a music video I discovered yesterday. Camerion Cartio, the Iranian-born singer in Sweden feat a Swedish girl called Maria Manson. Since the song is in English, no translation needed. Except the word "Sheytoonak" means naughty.

The lyrics are shallow? Doesn't matter. The male and female singer are both extremely good-looking!

I wish I could make them a couple! They would be way too cute together. Don't you agree?

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Mystery of the World

You, the mystery of all the world has been poured into your black eyes,
Me, all drowned in your eyes.

~ Fereydoon Moshiri

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April Fool, Iranian Version

If you saw this anywhere on facebook don't share it, it's just an April Fool joke. I see some of my friends fell for the joke and seriously believed it and started sharing it. However, if you had followed the TIME magazine closely you know the person of the year was "a protester" and not the Iranian director. The protester isn't a especial person, he represents all people who made an uprising last year all over the world, specially in Arabic countries. The year before Mark Zuckerberg was chosen as the TIME person of the year.

And here's another April Fool joke for Iranians, this time on CNN: Roger Waters concert, live in Iran, in Kish Island!!! Seriously, can you think for moment the singer who sang for Iranians' freedom and showed the pictures of the people who were killed during the Green Movement in his concert The Wall, is allowed by authorities to sing in Iran?!

I took this picture from the CNN website, as you see 8,379 people on facebook and 11,000 people on Twitter fell for the joke.

Well I don't want to play smart Alec, I myself thought for a second this might be true then remembered his support for Iranians then quickly understood it's false news.

This is a picture of Roger Waters' concert, on 15 September 2010 in Toronto Canada. You can see the picture of Neda who was killed innocently in street rallies in Tehran in June 2009 on the wall of the concert:

I found this article very interesting: April Fools' Day in Iran

Doctor "How"

A girl told me one of her friends; an Iranian 32-year-old girl studying in Sweden, got girlish problems and went to a gynecologist.

There after a few questions the doctor finds out she hasn't had any physical relationship in her life. The Swedish doctor becomes so astonished and wants to know how. The girl explains to her that's because of our culture blah blah blah, but the doctor doesn't get convinced and sends her to a psychologist!!!

The moral of the story is when you get a feminine problem, get a ticket to Iran and see a doctor there.  She politely asks patients if they're married or not and when they say no, she doesn't ask more.

Reaching 30s and not having physical relationship yet is abnormal over there? Well over here we don't have issues like teenage pregnancy or single mums then.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Memorable Dialogue

- I feel she's hiding something from me.
- She does? So you hide something from her too.

Sa'adat Abad

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Poppy Field in Mt Damavand

Until the poppy exists, you should live.
                                                               Sohrab Sepehri (1928-1980)

Poets have poems about short lives of flowers, usually roses; but the least transient of them are poppies. If you pick a poppy the petals will wither in less than an hour, so better watch it on stem in soil than making its short life shorter. It's the only flower you can't see in the florist shop, it should live wild and free. Watching the blood-red petals under the sun is so mesmerising.

In Persian literature a poppy is the symbol of a lover's burnt heart. The black dot in the middle of the flower resembles a mark on a lover's heart, as his/her heart has been burnt and marked with love. In the last three decades it became the symbol of a martyr, the dark red petals are the symbol of the martyr's blood. Means when a martyr dies and their blood covers the ground, poppies will grow there. This symbolism became popular in Iran Sacred-Defence literature, i.e. during and after Iran-Iraq war to value martyrdom and defending the country by the government and pro-government poets and writers.

In the UK, on Remembrance Day (11 November) poppies are also used as the symbol of those who lost their lives in WWI. So Iran is not the only country using this symbolism for war and martyrhood. Though the "martyrhood" concept is mainly emphasised by Iran's government to encourage the youth to take part in the Iran-Iraq war to go to the warfront and defend the borders. Untill now, when they want to refer to this war on the state television or national newspapers they refer to it as "Sacred Defence" or "The Imposed War" instead of Iran-Iraq war. There's also a religious belief behind being a martyr: If you defend your land against enemies attacking it and you die, God will forgive all your sins and you would go to Heaven. If you show something like this to any Iranian they have seen it at least 100 times on Iran state TV or some other national media!

In Iran, each year the outskirts of Mount Damavand during late spring are covered with these beautiful flowers. The poppies don't bloom till June, as the weather is colder there than Tehran. I've been in many places near Tehran, but the weather near Damavand Mountain is the best. Fill your lungs with as much oxygen as you can, you need it when you get back to Tehran! And enjoy picking some herbs there, like thyme. I saw many locals picking herbs, probably to use it in their food or sell in on the local market. Once my mother picked a plastic bag full of thymes. Back in Tehran we dried them and it was better than any other thyme we bought from herb shops ever. The pleasant smell filled the cabinet for some weeks. (Thyme powder is used to be added to yoghurt, on the salad or on the pizza, it makes food tastes so good).

For going there all you need is a flask of tea, something to eat, a camera and a sweater to keep you warm as a cold wind blows there even during the hottest summer days. Wait till June comes and then... what are you waiting for?

One of my dearest friends sent me a postal card of poppies from her country. It's so refreshing to look at them each time I open the envelope. So on here I'd give her these poppies in return. I painted them four years ago, not a piece of art but I still like them, hope you like them too:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

This Transient Incurable Heart

With all this, if there had been days remaining for me,
I'd pass by life in a way
That not the knee of the mate-less doe shivers,
And not this transient incurable heart.

~ Seyyed Ali Salehi

Cliché Map of Iran

This is a jokeful map of Iran, according to the first thing Iranians think of when they hear the name of a special place in Iran. The original picture was in Persian and said "Iran according to the belief of the people of Tehran" but I changed the title and expanded it from the people of Tehran's viewpoint to all Iranians, because I'm sure people of other cities think the same. I erased the Persian words on the map and replaced them with English so everyone can read them.

I'll explain each part for you:

Azeris: It refers to the provinces West Azerbaijan and East Azerbaijan in north west Iran. The residents of this part of Iran are Azeris. They speak Azeri but they know Persian as well. Common name for them is Turks but the more correct term is Azeri. Not to be mistaken with Turks in Turkey. Tabriz, in West Azerbaijan has really delicious food. The all restaurants I ate in this city never disappointed me. The other souvenirs are refreshments, carpet and leather. The leather bags and shoes I saw in an exhibition when I was there, made me realised why Tabriz leather is so famous.

Kurds and Lors: The two other Iranian ethnicities i.e. the Kurds and the Lors live in the West of Iran in two separate provinces called Kurdistan and Lorestan. The Kurds speak Kurdish language and The Lors speak Lori language. Like Azeris they know Persian language as well. Lorestan was invaded and settled by the Iranian Medes in the 2nd millennium BC. Lori language is very close to Persian. Kurdistan is one of the most mountainous regions in Iran and has a generally mild and quite pleasant climate throughout the spring and summer. Winters are long and can be very cold with heavy snowfalls.

Oil: Refers to the Southern provinces which have oil wells. Provinces like Bushehr and Khuzestan.
 Bushehr is one of the important ports in Persian Gulf which has an international airport, and highways connect the city to Ahvaz to the northwest and Shiraz to the northeast. A secondary coastal road links Bushehr to Bandar-e Abbas to the southeast. The old section of central Bushehr has many examples of traditional Persian Gulf architecture from the period 1870 to 1920.

Persian Gulf: Well there is a gulf and a sea in the south of Iran, but when Iranians think of southern waters mostly the first thing coming to their mind is Persian Gulf. The other sea in the east however is not Persian Gulf and it's called Omman Sea. And Iranians know it! Persian Gulf is renowned for its blue crystal water, and coral reefs. There's a beautiful island in there called Kish, and is a nice tourist attraction.

Danger: OK, this province is called Sistan and Baluchestan. The Baluch ethnicity live here. There have been some bombings and kidnapping over there unfortuantely, that's why people of other areas feel it's not a very safe area. Though it has its own beauty and history and culture. People over there have a tribal system, so each person belongs to a tribe and is known by his/her last name from which tribe they come. The area has borders with Pakistan, and the clothes of people over there fairly resembles the clothes of Pakistani people. The main product of Sistan is dates. The crafts include straw crafts, silk patterns, and pottery.
Imam Reza: The Khorasan province, the city of Mashad is the place fomous for the Imam Reza's Shrine, the eighth Imam for Shiite Muslims. Not only each years thousands of pilgrims from different cities in Iran come over there, but there are pilgrims from neighbouring countries as well. If you didn't know, the dome of this shrine has been made of gold. Khorasan is also the place where the famous Iranian poet Ferdowsi has been born. He contributed greatly to Persian language single-handedly with his book Shahname (Book of the Kings).

The North: The two provinces Gilan and Mazandaran near the Caspian Sea is simply called the North by Iranians, and are good places for holidays, especially the Mazandaran province which has the seaside. There are so many villas in this area, welcoming every Iranian new year holiday many travellers from all over Iran, especially the people of Tehran, because Tehran is very close to the North, by car it's about only 3-4 hours drive.

Iran (!!!): Tehran the metropolitan giant capital, is famous for life facilities, job opportunities, hospitals, recreation centres, shopping places, etc. So it's like the whole Iran is summarised in this mega city. Tehran's air is very polluted, and with about 12 million population you can say it's over crowded. Traffic can be a real murderer in this city. No matter what, at nights it is beautiful. Tehran's nights are actually famous. Neighbouring Alburz mountains, the people of Tehran enjoy going to darband there.

Clerics: Cleric in Persian is called Rowhani, and informally Akhoond. Clerics in Iran look like this. By oclerics on the map it means Qom province, famous for its seminary school called Hozeh Elmyie Qom (Hawza), for Islamic studies, especially Shiite studies, and educate young clerics. Those who complete their education in a very higher degree are called Ayatollah, a high rank among clerics. Qom is a highly religious city, and nearly all women wear chador. Qom is also famous for Hazrat Masoome's Shrine, she was Imam Reza's sister.

Desert: The two provinces Yazd and Kerman, have two of the greatest deserts of the world in themselves: Loot Desert and Markazi Desert, with great landscapes. These two provinces have beautiful oases, tasty pastries and very hospitable people (like people in other places).

Art, history, poetry: Refers to Isfahan and Shiraz, cities of famous Persian poems like Hafez and Sa'di, magnaimous archtechture and rich historical places.

This was a cliché map of Iran, but by now you know more about Iran by it.

Twitter Is Starting to Really Bug Me