A Persian Amsterdammer Blogs.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

We've got our own daily internet comic

This is a curious little thing, a daily internet comic about the struggle for Iran. It started about 2 weeks ago:


Thursday, 18 February 2010

Back again

So, did we win or did we lose? Even a week after Bahman 22 it's too soon to tell. The protesters are at home licking their wounds, the bullies are sharpening their knives and going over tactics.

What's definately brewing is discontent among workers. Though a public statement by the Tehran bus-drivers in support of the green movement turned out to be false, there is a definite sense that the economic mismanagement of this regime will push workers in the arms of supporters.

Here's just a few of recent items to be found on the subject:

Iranian power industry on the verge of collapse: http://www.zamaaneh.com/enzam/2010/02/iran-power-industry-on-th.html
Ahmadinejad upset with oil minister for disclosing grim numbers: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2010/02/iran-ahmadinejad-gunning-for-his-own-oil-minister-for-disclosing-grim-numbers.html
Hormozgan residents suffer from poverty: http://persian2english.com/?p=7073

Not that we should be happy that the country is suffering from economic woes, but it should be obvioius that the opposition has a much stronger case when it not only protests human rights abuses that are a somewhat abstract claim for many of Iran's residents, but it appeals also to the empty pockets and bellies that are legion.

This government is made out of thieves dressed up as pious protectors of the faith. And to support them is to support the misery caused by inflation, joblessness and hunger.

And now for some music, here's a little rap Evin and Tapesh 2012:

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Bahman 22 - What a sad day, what a glorious day!

First of, being Persian, distressing times make me write poetry:


Why I Have Hope - 2

The outcome of today's turmoil be damned
tomorrow a boy and a girl, who have just met
will make love in the empty house of a friend


But what a turmoil to wake-up to! If you want the up-to-datest, here's some good bloggers to check out:


Caller to ePersian radio: Their celebration ceremony went to sh**! I saw security forces take a foreign journalist away. They took his notebook and everything and drove him away. The police is patrolling the streets and stopping anyone they can get their hands on. Ahmadinejad was giving his speech and just a few hundred meters away, the people were fighting security forces.


In the Netherlands we're getting ready to protest 17.00 - 19.00 local time in the Hague, Amsterdam and Groningen. I'll post some pictures later tonight.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Getting ready for tomorrow

It's such a strange feeling knowing that due to the time difference, by the time I wake up tomorrow, already a protester has been beaten up by a baseej member. That is, if I even manage to sleep. Is there a poem in this? Maybe, albeit a short one.


Why I Have Hope

Because even the wood of the baton is made
of a tree that used to dream of spring


Now, if you want to join some protests, don't be shy. Especially if you're outside of Iran, far away from the baton tree. Here's a nice list of some events: http://united4iran.com/

For my one loyal reader in Sidney, Australia. Here's another show of support from down under:

And finally, what are you doing reading my updates, head on over to Sidewalk lyrics. That's what I want my blog to be when it grows up: http://www.sidewalklyrics.com/

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Green Timeline

The opening of the Green Timeline exhibition was a great succes. I've you've missed it, no worries, you can still attend in the following weeks.



In the meantime unrest continues in Iran while everyone wonders what Bahman 22 (Februari 11th) will bring. One of the biggest uncertainties about this situation is that not only the Green Movement is not really a movement at all (it lacks a proper leadership, or even an ideological motor other than "change"), which gives its spontaneous strength, but that there's a few paralel battles being fought.

There's local fights in regions unhappy with the government:
50 detained in Lar: http://persian2english.com/?p=6112 / http://persian2english.com/?p=5969
Kurds are being arrested and even executed: http://persian2english.com/?p=6028
And rest assured that unrest is brewing in the Baluchestan and Ahwaz provinces.

Not only have an immense number of Human rights activists been detained but also regular students. The plan is to scare them from participating in actions and demonstrations, but ironically, students thrown out of school and forbidden to travel have nothing else to do but organise actions. http://persian2english.com/?p=6091

Many clerics are fed up with the ruling class and keep critisizing the government. Amongst them is one of Khomeini's grandsons: http://www.zamaaneh.com/enzam/2010/02/reformist-cleric-condemns-1.html / http://www.zamaaneh.com/enzam/2010/02/ayatollah-khomeinis-protr.html

There's also still a reformist faction in parliament (though it gets smaller with each election): http://www.zamaaneh.com/enzam/2010/02/call-for-prosecution-of-f.html

But maybe most important of all is the regular person in the street who's not a cleric or a student, doesn't belong to an oppressed minority, but is simply fed up with his low wage (or maybe isn't paid for months), is unhappy that the banks are not allowing him to withdraw funds, and is worried about the cut in food and gasoline subsidies. They are also increasingly stirring and demanding their rights:

Interview with union leader: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2010/01/irans-new-labor.html
Massive lay-offs with months of pay yet to be paid:
End of subsidies:

Monday, 8 February 2010

Next protests planned

Here's another list of protests for the 11th of Bahman.

I will probably attend the Amsterdam one. I hope to see you there!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Art and Executions

If you're an Amsterdam reader of my blog, you might be interested to know that today between 16.00 and 20.00 we'll have the opening of the exhibition "Green Timeline". The exhibition is the visual diary of an anonymous demonstrator, a thorn in the side of this regime. She has walked the streets of Tehran in many demonstrations. She has shouted "Allah-o Akbar" till her voice became hoarse, she has spraypainted slogans and "V" signs on walls in the middle of the night. And all this she has recorded in her own unique way to show the people of Amsterdam.

If you cannot make the exhibition today, send me a mail so I can put you on my mailinglist and let you know what days the Mezrab / Art Cage exhibition space is open. Mails go here: sahand@sahebdivani.net


In other news: today might be the day 9 political prisoners are executed on Enghelab (revolution) square. http://persian2english.com/?p=5849

Yesterday, in a gut reaction the the first to hangings last week I wrote the following poem. It's still quite raw and unedited:


What Hangs there?

Imagine a kite tangled
up in a tree

rudely awakened from the dream
of flying

what hangs there?

when that, which was the beloved,
seeps out through numerous pores

looks back and thinks

"it is a strong rope that
carries all that shame and does not


Friday, 5 February 2010

The Hulk's Gonna Get You.

Beautiful image of a local bodybuilding contest:

A bodybuilder protests the Iranian regime by appearing painted green. The look on the face of the guy in the middle is priceless.
But who are these Greens? A good first read is this article by my friend Tori:
And if you're tired of all the politics, just relax with the pictures of "Life Goes On In Tehran"

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Fear Prophets

A curious little quote from "In the Name of the Rose" I stumbled upon reads:

Fear prophets, Adso, and those prepared to die for the truth for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them...

Now, how do you translate that to Baseej, or whatever language they speak?

A real hero these days, is one who writes something like this on a wall in Iran. If you think it's trivial, take note that only a few days ago a young man was shot after being caught spraying slogans and trying to run.
More wall-art to be found here: http://persian2english.com/?p=5679

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Hey Ayatollah, Leave Those Kids Alone!!

Again we have an exciting week:
- Iran launches space missile with potential war capabilities.
- A Dutch judge overrules a previous decision to ban Iranian students from various studies in the Netherlands.
- Ahmadinejad agrees to enrich Uranium outside of Iran.

However, as far as I am concerned the scariest news is a few lines that appear Tehran Bureau's press round-up: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2010/02/ali-reza-beheshti-rejects-all-charges.html

Senior cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati praised the executions during last Friday's prayer sermon saying that if the state "shows weakness, we will suffer more. There is no room for Islamic mercy."


According to Fars News Agency, Mesbah-Yazdi described Islam as "the religion of compassion, forgiveness, amnesty and peace." "But along with these [attributes]," he went on, "there are penalties in Islam too. Next to peace, we have jihad, which involves weapons."
"Presently we must see how to react to recent developments. Are we to withdraw swords or show Islamic compassion? These are issues that have not been mentioned in Qoranic verses or in hadith."

So now we've got a Jihad on our hands? Frickin Hell.

Hey Ayatollahs: Leave those kids alone!

Monday, 1 February 2010

The many fronts of the battle

There's so many places where the battle against the Iranian regime is being fought. It's a hard war, a soft war, an intelligence war, a street war. A war over hearts and minds...

There's a war rid the people of the evil state by establishing an independant Kurdistan: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8482802.stm

There's a war at the Iranian embassies all over the world, and the places where they organise events. A) Iranians disrupt concert organised by IRI embassy in Rotterdam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRiOv3KC6Pw B) Iranians dirupt event commemorating Khomeini's departure from France 31 years ago. They provoke the ambassador to go towards the crowd and be smacked to the ground by French police: http://persian2english.com/?p=5527

There's a war to remove even the colour green from the Iranian flag. http://enduringamerica.com/2010/01/29/iran-patriotism-special-wiping-the-green-from-the-flag/ and http://iranhrnews.com/?p=3712

There's a war over Iranian traditions to fight the government's efforts to destroy the culture of Iran: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/feb/01/zoroastrians-gaining-acceptance-in-iran/

So many wars and battles raging at the same time...