Saturday, June 28, 2014

Watching World Cup As a Coping Mechanism.

If you ask me to name a football match which I really tried to find the time to watch during the 24 years I lived in Iran, I can only name one game: Iran vs Australia matches to qualify for the 1998 France World Cup.   

I never cared about football in my life. However, my father was a big fan of football. He would watch anything. From third-rate European club games to Serie A of Italy and Iran's Azadegan League. In other words, whatever football match the Iranian State TV deemed ok to broadcast, my father would have liked to watch. Seriously. 

Many times, when I was a kid, I wanted my dad to play with me or hang out and such, but, many times he chose watching football over me. I actually used to think of football as my rival. So, many times, when a football match was on one of the few TV channels, I would not inform my dad that a football match was happening even if no other interesting program was on. Imagine this: my dad and I were in the living room, and of the then-four channels, three of them had clerics talking about Islam and such, except for one channel showing a football match. And, I knew it was happening. But, I'd rather have the TV show a cleric babble than my dad's watching another football match.

Every minute he would watch football was a minute he was away from my mother, and siblings and me. 

My dad usually left home at 7:00 AM for work and returned about 5-6 PM nearly everyday. He and my mother were never on friendly terms (whenever they talked, it ended up in arguments and shit) as far as I remember. I also blamed this on football. "Football is the reason my dad never bothers to take the time to talk to my mom and hash things out." "Football distracts my dad from everything including his family." I was a kid, you know. 

(I think the other reason I did not like football was I was queer and I did not know it. But, whatever.)

Now, months after my father's death (last year about these days), I am finding out that I love, love to watch every single game of World Cup. This can mean either of the followings: (1) I am getting old and boring. (2) I am looking for the entertainment my dad was so addicted to. 

If (1) is true, well, any conclusion will be as boring as fuck, so, I skip it. But , if (2) be the case, then it is my unconscious mind finding ever weird ways to cope with the unfading pain of loss.

And, I am grateful for it. When I am watching matches of this World Cup, I am remembering my dad: his excited, and funny half-jumps from his chair when a goal was in the making, his shouts, his Ahhhhhs, his triumphant grin when his favorite team was scoring, his frowned look when the "damned referee" was ignoring fouls, and his cheerful demeanor when Iran's National Football Team was recognized as the winner at the end of any match. He would stand up, and slowly, excitedly spin around with a smile and kiss anyone who was close on their cheeks. Even my mom did not object to those kisses. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

PhD in assholery.

So, finally, after wasting years in the grad school, I defended my thesis "successfully."

It feels good. Very good, actually.

Here is me trying to jot down stuff I do not want to forget a year from now:

Thursday, April 3, 2013:

I was driving home when I started crying waiting behind a red light.  Thoughts of my father, his smile, his voice -- his warm, and kind voice, his eyes when he heard some good news, and such came to me all at once. Knowing he is in the ground, his cancer-stricken corpse decaying away, becoming one with the fucking nature, was too overwhelming that only tears could be uttered in response. What is there to do?

Friday, April 4, 2013:

Defense commenced at 1 PM. It ended at 3 PM. I passed.

Went to Chimes and started calling people to come in and drink! It was fun, fun, fun.

Most of the people I called were not my friends, but I was friendly with. I have very few friends in this town. Another reason to celebrate the successful defense. 

Sunday, April 6, 2013:

Talked to my mom in Tehran. I had called her on Saturday but nobody answered the phone. Anyways, I talked to her for more than an hour at least -- probably two hours. I asked her if she had visited Dad's grave in Behesht-e Zahra graveyard, or not. Of course, I knew she had visited the grave. It's the tradition for Iranians to visit the grave of the deceased dears and commemorate their memories on the joyous occasion of a new Persian year (Nowruz). She said she had visited the grave. And, I asked her how she commuted to the grave and back. I do not remember in all my life seeing my mom in person driving. There are pics of her driving some Citroën my parents had before the revolution, but they are just pics. She said she hires a cab. My family's house in Tehran is near Seyyed Khandan bridge, which is one of the hubs of transportation in Tehran. So, I know there is always some cabs waiting for customers there. My mom further added my father is known among the drivers for the many trips he and my mom took the chemotherapy clinic. My mom said some of the drivers even get out of their cars when they give a ride to my mom to Behesht-e Zahra and wash my dad's tombstone. Washing the tombstone by some water (or, rose water) is another tradition of Iranians. Hearing my mom telling me of cab drivers paying respect to my dad, visiting his grave, and washing the tombstone, I could not do anything but burst into crying. This is the first time I cried on the phone with my mother on the other end since my dad died in the Summer of 2013.

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Sharon was better than Assad or Khomeini, U know!" --- Meir Javedanfar The Fatuous

Ariel Sharon, the butcher of Sabra & Shatila finally died -- after 8 years of dying, you know. Sharon's death was naturally an occasion for all the Zionists and co. to express how sad they are that a certified murderer is dead. I am sure someone is keeping track of all such reactions, but, my focus here is Iran, so, unfortunately, the so-called expert of Iran-Israel, Meir Javedanfar, is usually on my radar. He who gallantly claims on his twitter bio:

Now, Meir Javednafar is not a stranger to this blog. We need to cover him because he, due to his knowledge of Farsi language, gets to be the face of the Israel and Zionism that the Persian Media deems fit to present to their oppressed Iranian audience -- who will watch anything that is not turban-oriented, mind you.
As expected, after Sharon's death, he was invited to go on BBC Persian to talk about it -- probably because he's an authority on murderous Israelis, I assume.
In a series of Tweets, Meir Javedanfar expressed how Shaoron is unfairly "abused" on twitter while Assad is The murderous one --- this specious, misleading, shallow reasoning is not just a staple of Javedanfar's commentary on all issues Iran and Arab World, but seems to be an integral part of the greater Hasbara campaign run by the Zionists. After all, it seems, Mr. Javedanfar can't believe an Israeli butcher killing non-Jews can be as bad as an Arab dictator killing Arab people. I guess only a racist can think like that: Life of humans is decided by the fact of what race they are from!
Anyways, see for yourself:

Now, genius of Javedanfar is to compare the butchery of Sharon to that of Iranian modern dictators, and citing an anonymous Iranian friend,who could be his ass or the infamous warmonger Sohrab Ahmari for all we know, he opines:
Furthermore, Javedanfar reveals what credential he expects of self-proclaimed Experts on Iran. His bar is so high, mind you: A trip to Iran and a quick chat with some friendly Bazaari people in the Grand Bazaar of Tehran.

As you notice above, Sharon knew Iran "firsthand" -- whatever that means. Going on a limb,I would say Sharon probably knew Iran more than Mr.Javedanfar.

Some more of the graceful and enlightening comments by Javedanfar follows:
As noted above, Javedanfar does not seem inclined to mention Sharon's butchery -- probably, for very good reasons.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why I am not giving a shit about Night of Yalda (Winter Solstice)

Well, the answer in short is, I can. Anyways, the following is a longer answer.

I have reached that point in my adult life (fucking hate this adult life) that I can no longer give a shit about any Persian holiday. I lied. I still give a shit about Ashura. And it is funny for if you ask me, I will tell you I am an Atheist. Let's talk about it some other time.

(Ashura is certainly not 100% Persian, but like any other thing Arab occupiers shoved down the throat of the Persians, it is now 120% Persionaized.)

Well, 7 years of being away from Iran, stranded in a backward corner of America, has made me forget having any excitement over any Persian Holiday: Norooz (Persian New Year), Shab-e Yalda, Chahar Shnabeh Soori (Last Wednesday of the Persian Year), 22 Bahman (commemoration of 1979 Revolution), etc.

And I am in that state. I do not experience any excitement over any holiday, therefore, I find it hypocritical, fake and outright pathetic of myself to pretend I am excited about it when talking to other Iranians be it on twitter or in real life. If they are excited, good for them.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Ever Wondered What Phony Iran Expert @MeirJa Says to an Israeli Audience?!

Meir Javedanfar has a long history of pretending to be a Moderate Zionist (whatever that means!) and to care about Iranian people, but his true thoughts are visible when he talks to his Israeli compatriots. He was quoted in a recent article in the New York Times by MARK LANDLER and JODI RUDOREN on September 20, 2013:
But Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-Israeli lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya who wrote a book on Iran's nuclear program, said Friday that Rouhani could be promising real change and that a meeting between him and Obama would be positive for Israel.
"As a result of the sanctions, the regime in Iran is under real pressure, and Rouhani comes to save the regime," Javedanfar told Israel Radio. "If Rouhani does the work, this is good for Israel. If the Iranians do the job, our pilots and soldiers don't have to."

This direct quote, which I have boldened, was later removed from the piece in the New York Times without any correction notice. But, thanks to Tikun Olam I received the original format.

It's obvious when Meir Javedanfar talks to an Israeli outlet he has less restrictions and can reveal his true thinking with no equivocation or hypocrisy -- methods that have become a centerpiece of his campaign to show a peaceful face of the Zionist regime to the Iranian people. He is regularly invited to Voice of America and BBC Persian, and issues sympathetic tweets in Farsi for his Iranian followers: congratulating the release of 11 political prisoners in Iran, a deadly bus accident, victories of Iranian football team, etc.

He can tweet any and all corny messages he wants in Farsi to fool Iranians, but, his quote in the New York Times clearly indicates what he considers as the true solution for the Israeli government in regards to Iran's nuclear program: Bombing Iran.
In that regard, Meir Javedanfar is no different than any other  Israeli analyst (or, Hasbara tool) working for the government of Netanyahu. He is a paranoid hawk who never criticizes torturing Palestinians and stealing lands from anywhere possible in the Middle East by any means. Is he the best Israeli propaganda machine can give Iranians? 

What a nice Iranian Meir Javedanfar is!!! #Sarcasm

Friday, September 20, 2013

Would be nice if Karim Sadjadpour Answers Teymoor Nabili's simple question!

So, here is an interesting twitter exchange that happened yesterday between Karim Sadjadpour and Teymoor Nabili.

Mr.Sadjadpour is of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace -- he also happens to be the favorite Iran Expert of Blake Hounshell .They wrote that AWESOME War Porn Fan Fiction for WaPo exactly a year ago, remember?!
Mr.Nabili is a former senior anchor of Al Jazeera English, who is a brilliant interviewer in my opinion.

Here it is:

As far as I know, untill this moment, Mr.Sadjadpour has not responded to this simple question of Mr.Nabili. I highly doubt he will reply. But, if he does, I will be sure to include it in this post.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What I want re: Iran-USA negotiations? [Queer Edition]

Note: I decided instead of tweeting incessantly all my conflicting views and emotions re: the inevitable diplomatic negotiations of the governments of Iran and USA, I should write a brief post. Almost all I say in here are wishful thinking of a desperate mind, but, well, as an Iranian queer  (who is quite chatty), I need to express myself. Cheers. -- Queer Iranian  

Here is what I want to happen: 

I want Obama's administration to publicly, explicitly ask the Iranian government to stop and prevent harassment of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) community of Iran. 

Trans(s)exuality is not considered illegal in Iran, but, its religio-legal framework has not resulted in an informed society in Iran when it comes to Transgender people. While Iran is a global leader in sex re-assignment surgery (SRS) in the World*, there are still many transgender Iranians who flee to Turkey to seek asylum from the United Nations Refugee office in in Turkey on the basis that they have been mistreated by their family members and savagely harassed by the Iranian society at large. This is not acceptable. 

Most recently, Iranian government made the remarkable announcement* that the cost of the SRS procedure will be covered by the Iranian insurance companies in near future (Iran is way ahead of US government in terms of facilitating SRS), but the Iranian government has failed miserably in educating the masses and campaigning to de-stigmatize trans(s)exuality in Iran. Moreover, the Iranian government's definition of trans(s)exuality is extremely narrow and applies to heterosexual people.   

Furthermore, the Iranian government continues to mistreat and harass non-heterosexual Iranians by denying them rights to express themselves and preventing them the right to gather and organize without fear of persecution. The suffocating atmosphere the Iranian government has created for non-heterosexual Iranians is preventing health activists to inform the community of health risks than can be mental and physical. All branches of the government in Iran are extremely homophobic and have endorsed the inhumane, savage punishments of homosexuality in Iran. This is simply outrageous. The government of Islamic Republic must not be allowed to continue to maintain this atmosphere of fear to further oppress Iranians who identify as gay, lesbian or queer. 

In light of the significant progress made in recent months in the United States of America (End of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, The Heart-Warming Defeat of Defense of Marriage Act and The Joyous Renewal of Same-Sex Marriages in the State of California), and President.Obama's explicit endorsement of the universal human rights of Gay and Lesbian people, I humbly expect the government of the United States to pressure the Iranian government to protect the rights of LGBT Iranians.  

Specifically, I want the American diplomats to strongly voice the concerns of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human rights in Iran, Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, regarding the LGBT community of Iran. 

Ultimately, as a first step, President Rouhani could instruct the Health Minister of Iran to take urgent steps to stop considering homosexuality as a "curable illness." 

[I guess I should be reaching out to American LGBT right groups to ask them to ask the Obama's government to pressure the Iranian government re: LGBT rights in Iran. I may do so.]

 *: For references for the facts and claims I have made in this short post, comment here, and I'll provide you with references. However, most of the references related to facts about Iran are mentioned in this article.

Final Note: I am well-aware my wishes expressed above are not going to be realized, but, there is no law preventing queer people to wish. So.