A Persian Amsterdammer Blogs.
Thursday, 31 December 2009
Dear fellow citizens,
By the end of this year I just would like you to know that I find it difficult to celebrate freely, knowing the burden of all these Iranians in search of freedom and justice.
For 7 times already I have had the joy to spend time in Iran and got to know Iran in many ways. Right now the paradox is that it's almost better to follow Iran from a distance. I'm constantly following all the news I can get my hand on and will be writing some articles about it as well. For this I need the help of you, the Iranians.
I will be focussing my reports on storytelling. This because most of the articles are about numbers, figures, shocking images, and wild speculations about the moves of the government and the opposition. What is lacking, in my opinion., are the stories of Iranians and the analysis and expectations of those who are in the middle of it all.
- What do you see/hear in terms of Iranian media (state and opposition-based)?
- Where do you see the next phase in this evolving story heading to ?
- What are people's motives for participating in rallies (either pro- or anti-govt.)?
- Do you see a trend towards a 'broader' opposition, in terms of normal people seeing the crackdown on protesters and the arrest of dissidents, starting to back the dissidents?
- What can you see about the internal structure of the Opposition? Is the 'Green' Generation working alongside the older, more divided generations? How much unity is there between religious and non-religious dissidents?
- Who - next to Moussavi and Kharroubi - are currently leading the opposition?
- What is the atmosphere among people on parties, meetings, etc.? Is the political drama the main element or is regular daily life asking attention as well, nowadays?
- Do you feel the amount of people moving out of Iran is growing?
- What do you know about the fate of prisoners and prisoner's families?
- What did you see in terms of police, basij, army clashing with protesters?
- What is that you want to share with the world concerning the fate of your country?
- Do people in Iran hear about the international support for protesters (including Obama's remarks)
In order to safely tell stories we have set up a new e-mailadress: email@example.com .
It's very safe, especially if you make a Hushmail-adress yourself and encrypt the e-mail messages you send. Please be assured I intend nothing but the best for Iran and will guarantee to you that nothing against your will with happen with the inside knowledge you share with me.
You can be sure I use the provided information as coming from an anonymous source, unless you wish it differently. If you can, please spread around this message in circles of trusted people and sources. I trust you will know best who to contact.Again, if you reply: please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you guys can help him out
Wednesday, 30 December 2009
So here it is. I'm back. 2 days before I promised to. And to start off, please read this link about the violence in the air:
Monday, 10 August 2009
I plan to return to this blog on 01-01-2010. So watch this space!
For excellent English language news on Iran, keep visiting: http://www.tehranbureau.com
So long, and thanks for all the fish!
Monday, 3 August 2009
To keep updated about what's going on please visit the indispensible Tehran Bureau:
Life Goes on in Tehran has another (depressing) update:
And I put another entry in my Dutch Groene Amsterdammer blog:
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Monday, 27 July 2009
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Saturday, 18 July 2009
If you want to keep track of the effort to free renowned documentary filmmaker Maziar Bahari, here's the place to go:
My own Dutch blog at the Groene Amsterdammer has been updated as well:
Monday, 13 July 2009
To read up on what's happening in Iran, go to this article that addresses leftist conspiracy thinking: http://www.truthout.org/070109J?n
Another good source on what's happening is the "Greenbrief", a site which periodically collcets news from various Twitter feeds: http://greenbrief.newsvine.com/
Here's a nice clip that spreads awareness about the the blogger who died in prison in Iran:
Friday, 3 July 2009
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Same-sex attraction is found to be commonplace in the animal kingdom:
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
I myself have another post up on my Dutch Groene Amsterdammer weblog:
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Human beings were making music as early as 35.000 years ago. Furthermore, music might have been why we outlived the stronger Neanderthals, through music we socialized much more. That's my answer from now on to any religious nutter who thinks music comes from the devil:
Here's some intense flute playing that really goes nuts (especially in the middle part)
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
They have opened a blog for me to contribute to their site with articles about Iran. It will go live tomorrow, but here's a sneak preview:
Sadly only in Dutch, but I might translate some of the posts later. Spread the word!
Sunday, 21 June 2009
Here's a Time photo essay of the people who are struggling. It's a painful detail that the man who took these pictures is now missing:
Saturday, 20 June 2009
I am sure we will need many to cover everything that's happening in Iran right now. Mousavi has said he is ready for martyrdom. Today is a very very sad day.
Friday, 19 June 2009
remember the old black logo with the skull and bones? look at their logo now:
Now, for some comic distraction. This is great if you speak Persian. Otherwise, here's it's just a rap with a nice flow:
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Here is a picture of the Pro Ahmadinejad rally. Notice how it was photoshopped to make it seem more people actually showed up:
(you have to copy-paste the link, not sure why this workstation doesn't turn it into a link)
Here's some reasons why election might have been fraudulent:
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
A) there is a general strike. Large parts of the Bazars have been closed.
B) there will be another march, though Mousavi will not attend today.
C) A Baseej center in Tabriz has been attacked (yesterday one in Tehran was molotovd).
The Baseej are the people's militia (though everyone knows they have ties to the government) who fought in the Iran Iraq war and now attack people who defy the Islamic laws. After 30 years of abuse it seems they are starting to become a target for the people who at the moment are still too afraid to attack government officials.
Next demonstration in the Netherlands will be Thursday in the Hague.
Here's a song by Waldemar Bastos, who laments the pain and suffering in Angola (during and after the heinous civil war). It's to remind us we are not alone in suffering:
Monday, 15 June 2009
Also check out developments on:
Read about documentary filmmaker James Longley's detention here:
Sunday, 14 June 2009
Articles about what's happening:
Good resources for English language news:
Thursday, 11 June 2009
In the meantime read the official Caspian travel report of their last tour in the UK:
(Just so you know, most likely they don't know anyone named Fiona or Mabel)
Our trip to England was smashing indeed.
After we arrived in Dover we encountered MABEL having a chat and a visit
with FIONA at the latter's house, where we joined them for some CUSTARD PIE
and VINEGAR CRISPS.
We went on to Oxford where we played a show with the bloke and bird from
EXPERIMENTAL DENTAL SCHOOL. Later on we went home and did a smash-up job
making some badges with a rangle-tangle new BADGE MACHINE.
SILVI remained in Amsterdam, waiting for her wee lad to swim out of her
belly and into his life.*
MISTER JOSEPH perfected a new form of rhyming slang so complicated that we
couldn't communicate with him any more.
FISH wanted to head to Scotland Yard for a cup of tea with the INSPECTOR and
discuss clues in the ORIENT EXPRESS murder case. We had to remind him that
Scotland Yard was closed on Sunday, that the Orient Express case was solved
long ago and was in any case NOT REAL, and that if he kept staying stupid
things we would put him straight in the BADGE MACHINE for a nice mash-up and
In Brighton we were quite busy playing and dandying about. There was no time
even for the old in-out, as we spent most of our free time taking turns
standing in a patch of sunshine.
Cowbell said, "Have we enjoyed ourselves, lads?"
"We most certainly have, luv!", said Valentine.
"See crash willy crystal not on the ROCKS, eh?", said Mister Joseph.
"Bugger me sideways, he's gone off again", added Goblin. "Perhaps we should
have a dip in the pond".
And despite water cold enough to freeze the bollocks off a Boer, we managed
to have a refreshing drip drip and splash-about.
* Olín Guillermo, born last week, healthy & rosy.
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Monday, 8 June 2009
If you live in Amsterdam drop in at the Mezrab on the first Friday of the month for some Dutch storytelling or the third Friday of the month for English storytelling. In October you can visit the storytelling festival: http://www.storytellingfestival.nl/
In Zwolle storytelling takes place in a boat: http://www.deverhalenboot.nl/
In Rotterdam the Storyfountain organises not one but two storynights: http://www.verhalenfontein.com/
I'll keep you guys updated about events in other cities!
Friday, 5 June 2009
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Saturday, 23 May 2009
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Monday, 18 May 2009
Saturday, 16 May 2009
Friday, 15 May 2009
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Does this mean that you don't need to accept Jesus anymore as your personal lord and savior to get eternal life in heaven? Or does it mean that all people have to accept Jesus accept for Jews, who can continue believing what they want and will be let into heaven anyway? Or does it mean that the Catholic church now officially stopped caring about the immortal soul of Jewish people?
Friday, 8 May 2009
More info on the project can be found here:
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Monday, 4 May 2009
Some time ago I asked for your help in seeking the release of filmmaker Andrew Berend. Luckily he was released not long after. Here is the mail he sent out:
Wow, I’ve been home from Nigeria for half a year, and feel an update to you all is overdue. My translator Samuel George, my host Joe Bussio, and I are all OK.
Joe has actually left Nigeria, and returned to South Africa. Nigeria can be a stressful place. He’d been there a few years and felt it was time to go home. While not the only factor, I’m sure getting dragged into this mess with the SSS contributed to his decision to leave. I’ll always be grateful for Joe’s kindness and hospitality.
Samuel had to pay a couple more visits to the SSS, but the matter seems to have faded away. Some SSS agents did visit his home not to long ago. They asked him to come in once again, hoping he could provide information about the militants. Samuel has absolutely no connection with the militants, so he had nothing to offer them. Unfortunately, there was never any official resolution to the case. I hope and believe that Samuel won’t face any additional harassment, but there will always be a lingering uncertainty. I’ll always be grateful for Samuel’s integrity.
Meanwhile, I am making steady progress with the film, and will send further updates as I get closer to completion.I’d just like to thank you all again for your support and the actions you took to assist me last September.
There are many others who still are not free. Take for instance Kareem Amer, an Egyptian blogger in prison. A recent write up has appeared on the site dedicated to his release:
Sunday, 3 May 2009
Friday, 1 May 2009
Have some cool pictures in the latest installment of:
Saturday, 25 April 2009
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
I was not quite sober when this was played. And also my Tar was broken.
Saturday, 18 April 2009
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Here's a quote from the article: "In Washington's day, it may have been reasonable for the elite to worry that only fear of hellfire kept the masses from running amok, but in the 21st century it is clear that democracy as a form of government does not require citizens who believe in supernatural religion. Most of the world's stable democracies are in Europe, where the population is largely post-Christian and secular, and in East Asian countries like Japan where the "Judeo-Christian tradition" has never been part of the majority culture."
Saturday, 11 April 2009
I write now, again, to focus your attention to Arash Kamangir's blog, and particularly his
article about Bluehost (a blog hosting service) scrapping the blogs of Iranians as it fears it's illegal for an American company to deal with Iran and Iranians.
You should definately read his articles, but the gist of it is: Iran is under economic sanctions to pressure the government into reforming the country. In the current political climate the only vehicle of free speech Iranians have are their blogs. To shut down blogs because of the sanctions is helping the Iranian regime rather than hurting it.
- Arash's blog:
- His article on Bluehost: http://www.gozaar.org/template1.php?id=1222&language=english
Mid East Youth has an excellent article on keeping attention for imprisoned bloggers:
(apologies if my links don't work, you have to copy paste them to your browser window. this is because of a problem with the computer I'm using to blog on currently)
Monday, 30 March 2009
Friday, 27 March 2009
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Friday, 20 March 2009
Here's Obama's Nowruz speech:
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
In the Haha category here's Stephen Colbert talking about Nowruz:
The Iranian Film Festival will have a Best Of edition in de Balie in Amsterdam. Have a look in their website:
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
A quick update on why this is an interesting country to follow: Lebanon is a small country neighbouring Israel, with 4 million inhabitants. The people in Libanon are a mixture of Sunni, Shia, and various Christian sects. The Shia are by far the largest minority and could very well be the majority in a few years time. Many of the Shia muslims in Libanon follow the rulings of the Iranian Hezbollah.
Friday, 13 March 2009
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Well, at least some people haven't forgotten. Here at http://www.closedzone.com/ you'll find the following animation by Yoni Goodman, the animation director of Waltz with Bashir.
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
(click on Bollywood Blues)
Friday, 6 March 2009
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
My other friend Marco of the Amsterdam based Godmother Film has made this short film for Milieudefensie, a Dutch environmental campaign.
There is a list of other short films made for this campaign. You can vote for your favorite short here:
Thursday, 26 February 2009
- My good friend Branko Galoic and his Skakavac Orkestar has finally released his new album. It will be available in places like the Mezrab soon. Already on his site you can have a small taste:
http://www.myspace.com/brankogaloic - Check out the new track with living guitar legend Vladko Stefanovski!
- Ibrahim Maalouf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibrahim_Maalouf (nephew of one of my favorite writers Amin Maalouf) is a great trumpet player. He's maybe the only trumpet player to use oriental quarter-notes, played with a special trumpet designed by his father. There's 2 very diverse tracks on his myspace site:
Ibrahim plays Jazz, World Music, but also Classical, check out the following clips:
We are trying to get this man to come and play with us in Amsterdam at the end of summer. You'll be the first to know when we succeed!
Monday, 23 February 2009
What is aired now and put on the website is in Persian. I'll let you know when the English site is up.
Friday, 20 February 2009
Well, here's some new and exciting things in the world of online comics. First a scetch of an experiment, on the nature of online comics. It pretty much explains itself:
about DIGITAL COMICS by ~Balak01 on deviantART
And now, a comic that mixes cutesy manga girls with superheroes, philosophy, quantum-physics and ancient religions. Yes indeed.
Here's some of my favorites:
(Thanks Shintaro for pointing me to this one!)
Thursday, 19 February 2009
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Here's an interested multi-espisode essay on Marxism:
Also, have a browse around the site of my friend Mostafa, a talented Amsterdam based filmmaker:
I will add him to my link bar later, but in the mean time, click on his films, go to 2003 and watch "commercial/indra"
Monday, 16 February 2009
The site is filled with links to like-minded blogs and has excellent resources.
In other news: the Dutch Volkskrant magazine will publish a short review tomorrow (Tuesday) of my current musical project. If the text appears online I will post a link to it on my blog.
Saturday, 14 February 2009
Thursday, 12 February 2009
One of the 2 dancers in this piece is the Brussels based Ehsan Hemat. When he invited me to come and see the show I didn't hesitate even for a moment. The show itself blew me away. All the movements were based on the going to sleep ritual, familiar to kids of all ages: reading a bedtime story, washing up, putting on your pyjamas, etc. The kids were in trance!
I definately recommend all my reathers in the NL and Belgium to check this company out:
This is a clip of the piece, but with another cast of dancers:
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Sunday, 8 February 2009
What is surprising is the line-up of musicians. Apart from the guest singer Salar Aghili they've added the following musicians to the mix:
Siddharth Kishna - Sitar
Reza Abaee - Qeizhak
Pouya Saraee - Santour
It's quite uncommon for guest musicians to appear on a Dastan album, I can't wait to hear the endresult.
If you are curious about the Dastan ensemble, have a listen to their songs on their myspace site:
Friday, 6 February 2009
Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Another man sprays on Teheran:
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
This site links the recent crackdown to uncertainty about the economy, impending Iranian elections and the new course of the U.S. under Obama:
Saturday, 31 January 2009
Here's a nice write up of the last two major scandals:
Glad to see they are participating in the sexual revolution as well!
Friday, 30 January 2009
This article is a review of Pardis Mahdavi's book Passionate Uprisings: Iran's Sexual Revolution, but also talks about the poetry of Hafiz and Khayyam as well as George Clooney's adventures in Iran in the film Syriana and what it shows about Iranian society an outsider would rarely see. Some of the last lines of the article are a line of dialogue by Clooney: They let a few young people march in the streets; the next day they close down 50 newspapers. They let a few satellite dishes go up on the roofs, but it doesn't meant the ayatollahs are surrendering one iota of control over that nation.
All in all, a very interesting read: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24670520-7583,00.html
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
It's what most if not all young Iranians enjoy (at the very least to talk and think about). It's not a wonder organised religion fears it as much as it does. Also, it's an influence that's very hard to keep out of the country, as the need for it comes from our very genes. It's even harder to suppress if you think about all the Mullahs involved in scandals (which could be kept out of the papers, but pop up now in blogs).
I'm going to have so much fun writing about this issue in the next few months, watch this site!
Sunday, 25 January 2009
To understand who some of the players are in Israel and Palestine, and how losing the support they receive will affect the playingfield, read this article on Hamas: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123275572295011847.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
But also the profound article by Uri Averny: http://www.avnery-news.co.il/english/index.html
In this article he states that America is slowly but surely turning away from supporting Israel.
And now for something completely different, the Libyan dictator Qadaffi writes an article in the New York Times suggesting (yet again) the one state sollution for Israel and Palestine: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/opinion/22qaddafi.html?_r=2&ref=opinion
Ok, enough articles, listen to some music by Idan Reichel.
Friday, 23 January 2009
And here's a heartbreaking article of him and his return in the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/15/salam-pax-baghdad-blogger
And now to distract us from the foul stench of politics, some music that twangs the strings of our hearts. I present to you, Concha Buika. My new love in Flamenco.
Yes I know it's a Jazz bar she's singing in. And yes, I also know she's black. But this is the Flamenco of the 21st century. Happy listening.
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Want to go out yourself and record/shoot/write? I just found what could well be the definitive guide to multimedia journalism. Have a swagger to this site: http://advancingthestory.wordpress.com/
Monday, 19 January 2009
But to make up for my lateness, here's a triple whammy update for all you folks.
A) Let us celebrate the sisters who are rockin' it in the motherland. A bit over a week ago the one million signature campaign, a grassroots initiative that has rocked the establishment in Iran has been awarded the Simone de Beauvoir award for its tireless action. Many of this campaign's activists have been locked up and harrassed in other ways. Here's a write up about the award with links to the campaign:
B) Check out this wonderful Iranian/Swedish singer "Laleh"
See how she is a famous Iranian singer with black hair and wonderful features unmutilated by plastic surgery? Quite a rarity I've been told.
C) OnzeManInTeheran, a great blog by the Dutch journalist Thomas Erdbrink, has a great entry about why a Dutchman decided to open a hotel in the desert city of Yazd. Funny article in Dutch: http://onzemaninteheran.com/?p=572#comments
Monday, 12 January 2009
I'm Explaining a Few Things
And one morning all that was burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children's blood.
Jackals that the jackals would despise
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate.
Face to face with you I have seen the blood
of Spain tower like a tide
to drown you in one wave
of pride and knives.
see my dead house,
look at broken Spain:
from every house burning metal flows
instead of flowers
from every socket of Spain
and from every dead child a rifle with eyes
and from every crime bullets are born
which will one day find
the bull's eye of your hearts.
And you will ask: why doesn't his poetry
speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land.
Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see
the blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood
in the streets!
Thursday, 8 January 2009
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
that I chose for you
as are all my singing poems.
It has the trace of a veil,
a little balsam,
and a taste of the honeyof lies.
There is also
the coming end of summer
when heat scorches the meadow
and the quick waters
of the river
cease to flow.
Sunday, 4 January 2009
"To understand how frightening it is to be a Gazan this morning, you need to have stood in that small slab of concrete by the Mediterranean and smelled the claustrophobia. The Gaza Strip is smaller than the Isle of Wight but it is crammed with 1.5 million people who can never leave. They live out their lives on top of each other, jobless and hungry, in vast, sagging tower blocks. From the top floor, you can often see the borders of their world: the Mediterranean, and Israeli barbed wire. When bombs begin to fall – as they are doing now with more deadly force than at any time since 1967 – there is nowhere to hide."
Saturday, 3 January 2009
Interesting article about Jews against Israel and Zionism: