White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy 2007

As 2006 is getting closed, it's fun to look back even for a short while and also think about what's coming up:

The most important change in my personal life was the start of a self assessment and getting a more active attitude about my personal destiny. Last spring, I went through a serious review of my personal relationships and my insecurities which was very helpful. With Reyhaan we had a bumpy ride this year. Probably this year had the most number of deep and friendly conversations, arguments and verbal fights, physical interactions, etc.
We both have felt the threats that have been coming to our relationship.
We're working hard to define many aspects of our married life and it's certainly takes whole a lot of effort and energy. My wish and optimism in 2007 is for bridging the gap and get to a better understanding and a happy feeling. What's clear that a strong love and care that exist in both of us never allows us to push too much and that's the reason for my optimism.

This past year, I was more active in my career and finally started a direction in my research and finally did the PhD comprehensive exam (the oral part is still left to be done in a few weeks). I was able to finally reach a conclusion about my relation with my adviser and people around me at work. This was one of those issues that bothered me big time and made me quite insecure about my personal capabilities. Now at least I have a better understanding and expectation about the whole situation.

What to say about the world in 2006: It's too early to be completely be optimist about the recent developments, but at least I'm less pessimist. We live in a world that is filled with lies and propaganda and humans are generally going through a fight of survival. Last week, I went to Las Vegas which is the capital of lie and shallow culture and is the best place to observe the confusion of my generation in dealing with
illusionary pictures of happiness and success. From one side the
globalized corporate world is bombarding us with a fast paced message of greed and commercialism. On the other side of the aisle are the liberals and leftist intellectuals who are still lost in analyzing this complicated globalized world and can't really come up with a well established agenda. The results: People with the lowest understanding about the world, culture, history and humanity are the most influential people of the world: Ahmadinejad, Bush, ...

Was it too dark? Maybe! But I see the bright side of things: The year has been filled with strong resistance of the humans against this trend of aggressive economic, religious and political domination: From students of Tehran to the voters in US and south America, from the individual blog messages to mainstream movies like Babel, I observe the displeasure and resistance is there and is building up.

I traveled a lot this year: Cairo, Dublin (Ireland), Tehran, Kurdistan of Iran, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Hawaii, Washington and Vegas. And probably these trips were the most helpful channel for me to broaden my vision towards life and our world. I still strongly believe that the best way to spend any saving for myself is traveling.

There were sweet and bitter memorable moments in this year both in my life and generally in the world:

- Retirement of my father and having my parents at my place for a month.
- Observing the interaction of the western pop and commercial culture and deep traditionalism and fundamentalism in a shopping mall in Cairo.
- A memorable morning in Dublin with Reyhan, breakfast at the pancake place. It was definitely start of a new chapter in our married life.
- Zidan's head-but at final game of world cup and his departure.
- Watching a powerfull Iranian anti-war movie in Tehran. The movie is named "table bozorg zire paye koochak". It shaked me.
- Visiting the Prague Castle and the area in front of it. It was one of the best sceneries that I have ever seen.
- Hearing about Morricone's concert in NYC (I'm going there in Feb.)
- Hearing Reyhaan's happiness when she heard about my surprise trip to Hawaii.
- Hearing that my brother got a full time position.
- The student protest against Ahmadinejad in Amirkabir University of Tehran.
- Execution of Saddam which was definitely an important point in modern history (I'm still digesting that).

A new year is arriving. Although a symbolic moment, but certainly an important change. Let's hope for a less bloody year. For less of poverty and more of peace and wisdom. For less of superficiality and more of spirituality. Happy New Year to all of you and your loved ones.
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