White Balloon

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

Monday, May 28, 2007

The last piece of revolutionary idealism

US and Iran have started the first round of official face to face meetings. Of course like any taboo breaking move, things are quite controlled and down played. The meeting is at the ambasador level, only around the subject of Iraq, etc. But these are practically air filling BS of both sides. The clear message for me who grew up in revolutionary Iran is: This is the last piece of the revolution that is being replaced. Iran finally sat down with its arch enemy.
This is happening while the adversaries between the two sides is at its height. It's so ironic and interesting that yesterday Iran's foreign ministry officialy protested to US for organizing an spionage network in Iran, just one day before the official talks. The flow of this two event is a huge U-Turn in the idealist diplomacy of Islamic Republic. That's "You can talk with an enemy who is trying to overthrow you". That's something that China learned 30 years ago, North Korea learned a decade ago. And even the moderates of Iranian regime didn't believe in this until 15 years ago.

Even though I am strongly opposed to the current Iranian adminstration, but I strongly welcome this new chapter in Iranian diplomacy.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Notes of a Friday afternoon

Reyhan is coming to me for the long weekend! I feel very strange about it. Excited, scared, happy, hopeful?!!

The change is rapid in us. Our communication is changing a lot. Considering what we have gone and are going through, life won't be same for us. But is it for good? Can we rebuild it? Can I come to a conclusion that what I want of her and what can I give her? Can we understand what love is and what we want of love?

I was reading notes of alpr (in Farsi) about his wedding. I read his posts once in a while. We live in some how different world of beliefs. But something about his simple look at such an important matter (marriage and love) stroked me. A simple, sincere and some how religious look that is so different than the trends that we are bombarded with. In a world filled with "love market", it's an art to have a simple vision like that.

But my question is, where do I stand on these matters?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Summer is the spending time in the Middle East

The Iranian regime is once again back to its maximum schizophrenic state. Random arrests of individuals who have been linked to NGO and American non-profit orgs are going on. To me scholars like Haleh Esfandiari or Kian Tajbakhsh with whatever financial connection that they might have, never seem to be a real threat to any government. At most what they do is some sort of intellectual analysis of the situation in Iran. I usually read the Kayhan daily (in Farsi) that is the spokesman for the most Stalinist circles of the Iranian regime. The paper generally has a bold tone and is filled with random attacks towards progressive and intellectual circles. In the past few days I have seen a new trend of blunt attacks that is indicative of a new trend of intelligence war. The paper has been filled with non-sense stories about anti-regime paranoia about groups that have no connection to each other. For example while attacking Ms. Esfandiari's profile the paper connected whole a bunch of activists ranging from feminists, bloggers to philosophers and artists that have no connection with each other and even in some cases have serious issues with each other. These randomly attacking editorials which seem to be generated by people with intelligence knowledge of a kid, are only used to divert the attention of the public from the mismanagement of the current government.
Today Kayhan went as far as calling the film director Abbas Kiarostami and the organizers of the Cannes Films Festival Zionists! Why? Because Kiarostami has a short movie at Cannes this year that has a feminist theme and these days the regime is quite frustrated about the whole women movement! They actually went ahead with calling Kiarostami's films parts of a long term soft plan to seriously harm the regime!

Yesterday they announced that George Soros foundation has been funding a soft overthrow plan of the regime! Just imagine at a time that all progressive voices including Soros are getting united to stop the neo-cons adventurist policies in the Middle East, Ahmadinejad's government is saying that Soros is funding an overthrow plan!!

It seems to me that the regime or at least the current government is under a serious intelligence pressure these days and this type of schizophrenic propaganda is the side effect of those pressure.

I hear a difficult summer in the region. I guess it's another showdown time.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Complement from a colleague

Seeing me after 4 years, she told me:

- You look quite wise. You were too innocent then!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

New life in Berkeley

After about 2 weeks in Berkeley, I am slowly finding myself in this new life. The change was rapid: Reyhan and I decided to split for the summer. Our peaceful nature couldn't bear even a light but long period of arguments and we had to make a decision. Reasons behind our arguments were clear and ambiguous. So much of ambiguity in our feelings towards each other and our definition of partnership had to be reviewed in peace and silence. The few months before this split were tough. Certainly the toughest period in my life time.
We both had collected enough intellectual capital and credit that we were able to find nice working/research opportunities and escape out of our town. Me in Berkeley, She in Boston.

The past week has been up and down. Struggling hard to define this period. I'm not looking for a formal definition here, but at least I need to clarify my priorities. Today I decided not be obsessed with this defining, and let the time decide many things. It was about 4:50 in the afternoon that I just made a momentarily decision care only about this evening. And in a city like Berkeley I can usually find something that suites my taste. I ended up with a very interesting play in a local theater: Blue Door which was about the racial and identity issues facing the African Americans in this country.

I feel alive and fresh. I am proud of myself and Reyhan to be able to make this split happen. At least we have started a change. It's going to be difficult. Very very difficult, but it's certainly better than living in a state of emotional fuziness for a life time.
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