A Persian Amsterdammer Blogs.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Foto's LiteSide Performance

The show "Har(d/t)slag" that we made for the Lite Side Festival was a big succes. We, 7 musicians from 6 different countries and 1 dancer made a semi-improvised piece, drifting between different melodies and emotions. Our guest of honour was one of Amsterdam's great storytellers: my father Ali-Reza Sahebdivani.

If you don't want to miss out on future events, please send me a mail so I can add you to my mailinglist: cafemezrab@gmail.com

Pictures were taken by Alborz Sahebdivani

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Art installation

Beautiful art installation of pictures and sound recorded in Iran:

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Women Soldiers

There's really very little I can say about these pictures, other then that they move me.

Israeli Women Soldiers:


Friday, 22 August 2008


Oscar winning documentary filmmaker James Longley just finished a one hour documentary on the Mojahedin-e Khalq and posted it on his website:


Heavy stuff.

Monday, 18 August 2008


My mother is one of the strongest women I know. She's had a harder life than most people I know, and has been luckier than a few, and despite all the negative experiences in her life she only sees one thing: how much she has, and how much of that she can share with other people.

Some of the people she sets out to help are people I wouldn't have the patience to deal with. People who are so far gone only someone like my mother sees a way of helping. Some of these people don't particularly like my mother. They don't trust a woman who doesn't live like a traditional Iranian woman. They'd rather sit at home and be bullied by their husbands, children and traditions then to open up to the example of my mother. My dad and I laugh about them, but my mother, while frustrated, perseveres.

Then there's all the young kids my age who come from Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, Italy and dozens of other counties. Having left their mothers at home to study or live in Amsterdam, they've found a mother in mine, and a home in the Mezrab. A place which my mother views as her own home and fills with her warmth.

My mother, Parwin, is currently visiting her family in Iran for the second time in 25 years. For a few short weeks my mother will be a daughter and a sister again.

Here's a clip of her singing in the Mezrab

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Mutant Portugese Guitar Art

A little Portugese bird send me these, Mutant Portugese Guitar Art.

There's much truth in them.

Agony of an insect:


Monday, 11 August 2008

The Mighty Tree Has Fallen

A great artist has moved on. Thanks for the heartbreaking songs Šaban! Watch over the wandering tribes from your new home above the clouds.

Šaban Bajramović / 1936 - 2008

Thursday, 7 August 2008

I miss these guys

I havn't played with Caspian Hat Dance for a while. I miss them a lot! They're currently playing in Spain, or at least, that's where the last e-mail came from. At least there's a nice clip on YouTube to watch. It features me with long(ish) hair.

The song in the clip is a (Southern Italian) Pizzica, performed by Caspian. In the paradiso over 50-60 people joined in to perform this song with us. Your speakers should be loud to compensate for the not so excellent sound quality.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

God Hates the Gays prt. 2

My cousin told me he didn't understand my last post. It was wrong of me to assume everyone knows about gay-pride and canal parades. So if you're from Iran or a similar country, shielded off from all this sinful depravity, here's a quick update:

Amsterdam and the Netherlands have a long history of openness towards alternative (sexual) lifestyles and preferences. In the past many people who faced harrasment because they were gay started a new life in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities. In 2001 the Netherlands was the first country to allow same gender marriages.

Prides are events that celebrate an open attitude towards different sexual preferences. It's a vehicle to protest social injustice but in an open party atmosphere with lots of colour and happines. The last parade (the 13th) so far was a huge event in which boys and girls and everything inbetween turned the Amsterdam canals into one big floating party.

If you've missed it, here's a clock that counts down to the next one:



In other news, this is something I'm worried about:

More info on Global Voices Online

Sunday, 3 August 2008

God Hates the Gays

It's true, otherwise he wouldn't "Rain on our Parade". Despite the so-so weather Canal Pride was an overwhelming succes with about 500.000 visitor. I still don't know how to operate a camera, so here's a picture off the net:

God also showed his anger through his faithful servant Eimert van Middelkoop, the Dutch minister of defence. van Middelkoop was upset by the presence of no less than 5 Dutch Labour Party ministers and Secretaries of State at Canal Pride. Even though this year's theme was "Hope, Faith and Love" no ministers of the 2 Christian coalition parties joined the fun.
Still all this doesn't compare to the story of the Pride organisers in Jerusalem and their treatment by the leaders of the 3 big faiths. Please find the outstanding documentary that was made about it and give it a watch. It was shown this week in the Jewish Museum in Amsterdam, as well as on Dutch national TV.
Have fun and play safe!

Friday, 1 August 2008


James Longley is a renowned documentary-filmmaker. His two films on Iraq have both been nominated for an oscar. At the moment he's working on film in Iran. I have no idea what it will be about, but I can't wait to see it.

James is also a great photographer. Have a look on his site for pictures of Iraq and Iran: http://www.daylightfactory.com/


And now? Madness....

"Met the ghost of Stephen Foster at the Hotel Paradise,
and this is what I told him as I gazed into his eyes:
Whiskey's made for drinking,
ships are made for sinking,
if we were made of celophane, we'd all get stinking drunk much faster! Mwahaha"