Author Archives: Sterik

A wondering rambling Persian sparrow! At times a tornado, other times a dusty cloud and a music junkie!

Smoking is bad.

They say smoking cigarette is harmful to my self and my surrounding.

They say smoking hurts the people around me even more than it hurts me.

They say it hurts my lungs, kidneys, throat, mouth, tongue, … and the fetus in me if I was a pregnant woman.

They say smoking results in thousands of chemicals entering my body, which will facilitate my death.

They pass laws to ban smoking in public and private. In and out of buildings.

They pass laws to make you feel ashamed when you smoke, or even think about smoking it.





Passion,Life with a Passion, My Passion.

So, this person twice asked questions about my passion in life, and twice I said I have no passion in life, which was not completely false.

First time she asked was about 6-7 weeks back. Second time was about 2 weeks ago.

Since more than a month ago, I have been asking myself questions about passion,i.e, what life’s like if one has a passion, and so on. And very recently, I guess found my passion.  I think my passion is to bridge the gap of misunderstanding between Iran, its cociety & culture to the international community. And by international community I do not mean solely the Western culture.

There is a huge misunderstanding and alienation between Iranians, Afghans, Arbas, and Turks — people who are neighbors since History can remember.


I will talk about what I mean more soon. 🙂

Iranian Society, Its Neighbors & Enemies

This Blog Post was originally posted on Iran Watching. It is posted here with permission from the Translator.
Iranian Society, Its Neighbors & Enemies by Ardeshir Zahedi, Iran’s Foreign Minister (1966-1973) in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Amir-Abbas Hoveida published 7 July, 2012 on BBC Persian website in Farsi

جامعه ایرانی‌، همسایگان و دشمنانش

اردشیر زاهدی

وزیر امور خارجه ایران در کابینه امیرعباس هویدا 

(بی‌ بی‌ سی‌ فارسی)

[Translator’s Note] I have translated this article from Farsi to English — I hope BBC Persian would not object to my humble translation. If there is any objection please comment, and I will correct it.

An important op-ed published in the website of BBC Persian by one of the most powerful figures of Pahlavi era, who among many things, served as Iran’s Foreign Minister, Ambassador to Britain, and USA. His lavish parties in Washington were legendary, and many American politicians did try to be his friend. Henry Kissinger is still among his friends. For all I know, he lives in U.S.A. Ardeshir Zahedi was Iran’s Ambassador to United States from 1973 till the victory of Islamic Revolution in 1979.

This commentary is inspiring, and thoughtful. It basically expresses the worries and anxieties of an eighty-three-year-old man,a Middle Easterner who is too familiar with the ways of West, and is too anxious that the fate of Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan befalls his beloved Iran.I sense that this article is specially impressive for Farsi-speaking readers who are  familiar with the narrative of the post-Islamic Revolution in reference with the powerful figures of the Pahlavi era: “Corrupt Humans” “Lackeys of the Great Satan” “Traitors of Iran” “Alcohol-Drinking Infidels”. However, it is important to observe and recognize how increasing threats toward Iran has united almost all considerable factions of Opposition to Ayatollah to express their strong opposition to any military action against Iran by West, specially USA.   

All the hyper-links, all the brackets, [ ], and anything included in them, are all my doing, except when  [Ayatollah] is before Khomeini’s name, that’s when BBC Persian adds [Ayatollah], in Farsi of course. BBC Persian is very sensitive about calling Khomeini by his theological credentials.The bold texts are my doing as well. 

Read the English Translation:

Many times in recent decades, Iran and Iranians have demonstrated their desire for peace to the international community, and have toiled to maintain peace.

We proceeded to help our brother nations. When there were clashes between India and Pakistan, Iran worked very hard to solve it. Times and times again, Iran tried to end the contentions between Pakistan and Afghanistan or during the clashes between Pakistan and Malaysia, Iran intervened between prime ministers Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Tunku Abdul Rahman. We allowed people of Bahrain which was part of Iran [to declare] independence. 

Bahrain has now become an American Military base and Bahraini police fired shots at its own people because of friendship with US. The Fifth Fleet of the United States Navy is situated in the waters of this very small country, a country which brutally oppresses any democratic movement. A Sunni family rules the country, while majority of the population is Shi’ite. 

When Arab nations imposed an Oil Embargo [in 1973 to protest support of Israel by USA and Europe in the Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur War], with just a phone call from the American President, Iran aided USA and supplied the needed oil for 7 U.S. Bases without demanding any special favor.

When South Yemen was a close ally of USSR, and threatened Saudi Arabia with a military attack at any moment, for two days and nights Iran sent various military equipment using C-130 planes [military transport aircraft] to prevent the fall of [the Kingdom of ] Saudi Arabia.

Iran has never sought to take revenge. Wasn’t it France which claimed to be a friend of Iran, but hosted [Ayatollah] Khomeini and gave him refuge on French soil? During the reign of Napoléon [Bonaparte], Iran had friendly relations with France. But, France betrayed Iran after [Napoléon’s] meeting with Tsar of Russia in 1807 in Tilsit. A story [of betrayal] that resulted in the 10-year war of Iran with Russia, and Iran lost Georgia and The Caucasus to Russia.

Don’t forget that Iran included Tajikistan during the reign of Nader Shah [1736–1747], and lost huge portions of its lands gradually due to domestic weakness. 

But, Iran’s misfortunes were not ended. After Iran’s attack to Herat [in Afghanistan which was part of Iran] to establish law and order, British Navy violated  our southern borders, and France’s meddling resulted in Naser al-Din Shah’s giving up parts of Afghanistan by signing the Treaty of Paris[1857]. Many similar incidents has been repeated in the history.During the reign of Tsars in Russia, France which claimed to be Iran’s ally, did not accept Iran’s ambassador until after Fat′h-Ali Shah [king of Iran, 1797- 1834] was defeated by Russian army. A result of this betrayal, was Russia imposing [the infamous] Turkamanchai Treaty[1828] on Iran.

In 1881, another agreement resulted in Iran losing some other land in Middle Asia, and Britain could gain control of important parts of Baluchistan in the same year.The reason was another agreement in 1907 [Anglo-Russian Entente] was imposed on Iran– this agreement was all brokered by France and its Foreign Minister at the time, The Oil Kings [1852-1923].

I repeat these [facts], so our youth know of [the extent of] the foreign intrusions in Iran affairs and the consequences of these [foreign] interferences for us.These [intrusions] do not date back to the time of Darius [the Great, 522-486 BCE], Anushirvan [Khusrau I, the most celebrated Emperor of Sasanid Dynasty, ruled 531-579 CE], Shah Abbas [the greatest ruler of the Safavid dynasty, ruled 1571–1629] and Nader [Shah]; these events happened in the nineteenth century and less than 150 years has past.

 Iranians must preserve their patriotic feelings. Any regime rules Iran, Iran is our mihan[homeland].  Iranians must decide their fate without any foreign intrusion and solve their current problems.

Some say Iran must be prevented from gaining nuclear energy. In a region where nuclear arms are part of the nations’ arsenals, countries such as Israel and India have not even signed Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

There is an old enmity between Iran and Saudi Arabia that is either intensified because of the good relations between Saudi Arabia and U.S., or is escalated due to religious differences of Shia Iran and Sunni Arabia.To see roots of some of these disputes, I suggest reading “The Oil Kings” written by Andrew Scott Cooper, because answers to many question about the issues between Iran and Saudi Arabia can be found in this book. Since Iran has been accused of a plot to endanger the life of Saudi Ambassador in Washington, these enmities have intensified.

According to an agreement between US and Saudi Arabia, 84 F-15SA fighting jets are to be sold to Saudi Arabia and 70 existing F-15 fighting jets of Saudi Arabia get modernized and a cache of munitions, and spare parts be provided to Saudi Arabia. 

Reports imply that this Arms Sales Agreement will lessen tensions between US and Saudi Arabia, tensions which were heightened due to supporting role of United States in the recent unrests in Arab countries. Although United States has withdrawn its army from Iraq, this agreement shows US is still determined to continue its presence in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East.

Should we still be waiting to learn what motivations US has in selling arms to Saudi Arabia? Are these arms to be used for defending Saudi Arabia or attacking one of the region’s countries?
According to an American knowledgeable source, it is very likely that the arms sales will decrease the high employment rate in US, and will help Obama appeal to voters in the coming presidential election. 

United States has many times interfered in domestic affairs of other countries and each time for a single reason: to appeal to voters. In the past we witnessed such affairs in countries like Pakistan or Iraq. US attacked Iraq and invaded this country for ten years on the pretext that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction, nuclear and chemicals. But, no nuclear weapon was found in Iraq. US interfering in domestic affairs of Afghanistan and Pakistan has happened due to similar reasons. 

I highly oppose that the fate of Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan befalls my country. 

Wars have no victors. The victor of a war, and the loser of a war, are both losers. Fortunately, as I mentioned earlier, Iran has not attacked any country in the recent years. The eight-year war between Iran and Iraq only occurred after Iraq had gained permission from United States to attack Iran. 

It is reported my friend Henry Kissinger has said Iran and Iraq must war till one of them or both of them are totally destroyed. If Iraq had not attacked Iran, neither millions lost their lives, nor [Ayatollah] Khomeini could hold on [to power]. 

Sale of thirty billion dollars’ worth of military equipment to Saudi Arabia to create jobs in the US is one matter, inciting enmity between two countries is a totally different matter. Don’t forget, Iran is not Libya. Iran has thousands of years of history. Each time that this country has been assaulted, its peace-loving and courageous people have defended the borders and never forgot their identity [and heritage]. 

According to a book by Lieutenant General Abdullah Azarbarzin, one of the  commanders of Iran Air Force [deputy commander in chief of operations for the Imperial Iranian Air Force in 1976], many Iranian pilots who were jailed as per [Ayatollah] Khomeini’s orders, [did not hesitate and] participated in that war to defend their country against the [foreign] occupiers. 

When Iraq attacked our country, all of us did put aside our political disagreements,united and defended our country for eight years. 

There was a time that all of us in the Middle East lived like sisters and brothers, which in my opinion was very rational. Religious disagreements did exist, but at no time were they as deep [and polarizing] as today. 

At these times, and with the religious conflicts and foreign intrusions, it is not clear what will happen in the future. 

Iran possesses 3 thousand years of history, and history testifies that Iran has been attacked many times in years, and has lost parts of its soil. Forms of these threats change in each era, but their nature has never changed in the course of history.

The no-longer-unusual Consequence of a Chat on Yahoo! Messenger with an Iranian Friend

Today I chatted with an old friend on Yahoo! messenger. After the typical greeting, she said,  “I am getting engaged today!”  It made me very happy.  I asked her who the lucky guy was, though I had a very good guess who it might be. And it turned out, I had guessed correctly. The lucky guy is an old, good friend I know since I was 14. We were best friends when I was in Iran.

Great news I received today. Beautiful news actually. Really wonderful. But, well, I am not in Tehran to participate in their festivities, and that is not good. I mean I can stay in USA for 100 year, and can never have a friend “who I know since I was 14.”

All such friends are back in Iran, and Iran is under sanctions, and I am under a mounting pile of shit. It seems the more I think about this great news, the more my jolly mood is shifting to misery remembering my inability to be at their party, and the Wedding in Summer–I think that’s a sign I need to stop thinking about this great news.

To Hell Will Diplomacy: Israel TV Reveals Plan To Bomb Iran Soon

To Hell Will Diplomacy: Israel TV Reveals Plan To Bomb Iran Soon.


The good news last night was that although Netanyahu ridiculed Obama’s silly efforts to avoid war with Iran, the President hit back. 

Clcick on the above link!!

1st day of the ultimate South roadtrip

[I am doing a 7-day road trip that will cover Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia these days in honor of Nowruz!Today, I drove about 8 hours from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Birmingham, Alabama. The following is what I will tell people about my 1st day of this trip later on in my life, in cocktail parties, and so on.]

Listening to NPR while driving my rental white Chevrolet truck to Alabama was really fun. I named my 2-cabin truck Tengo. It’s a Japanese name, and the name of one of the main characters of 1Q84–the novel I am reading currently. Tengo is a good ride!

Around 2-3 PM, “All things Considered” was on the radio.Different people, all Americans, called the program and talked about race. All of a sudden …Robert Siegel said, “let’s talk to Mohammad who is calling us from Qom, Iran.” So, Mohammad talked about how Iranians are racist toward Afghans, which is a sad truth.

Anyways, Mohammad said he listens to NPR all the time, and has learned so many things from it.He also said this was the first time he had called NPR, and Mr.Siegel was so kind and told him, “Don’t wait too long to call us!”
I ♥ NPR!

Graphic pictures from Iraq’s anti-Emo killing campaign

Graphic pictures from Iraq’s anti-Emo killing campaign.

Two Iraqi friends have sent me graphic photos from Iraqi media of children (at least, they look likely to have been under 18) murdered in the campaign against Emos.

One who wrote me, a young man in Baghdad, writes:

Now they’re using blocks or rocks or hammers in the killing of young people and all kinds of bad people are to be killed on the pretext that we are servants of Satan or Massachin [Christians] —  blood militias run free every day and kill the flower of youth, all of whom are innocent of the charges that tarnish their image. I don’t know what to say because I am afraid and scared and now I am mentally ill because of the fear, and they even control mobile devices now, and external and internal checkpoints [on the surrounding roads and city streets ] are collaborating with the militias for fear of the flight of young people from Iraq or from Baghdad. I appeal to the humanity in you…

Lebanese LGBT Blogs On The Rise

Lebanese LGBT Blogs On The Rise.

Two years ago, I stumbled upon a gay Lebanese blog, Gay in Beirut, which inspired me to create my own blog.

So it excites me when I see Lebanese LGBT bloggers and activists who are putting their experiences out there for the world to see (or in this case, read). I know that will only encourage other Lebanese gay readers to be brave and make their voices heard.

Here are some (of many) Lebanese LGBT bloggers that I’m proud of. Thank you for blogging, for making a difference, and for giving hope to confused 14 year olds who are sitting in their room wondering if there are other people “like them”.


Click on the above link to read the whole post!

On TV shows, bullying, and frogs

On TV shows, bullying, and frogs.

Some background info on this post: A “comedy” TV show in Lebanon has recently been airing skits that ridicule a number of minorities, be they domestic workers, Palestinians, or gay people. In last night’s episode, they featured a stereotypically gay man singing a love song to another man in a mocking way. A number of people voiced outrage about this on social media outlets today. Another group voiced outrage at the outrage.

Growing up, I had my fair share of bullying.

I was teased constantly, called a fag (or its French or Arabic equivalent), made fun of, etc.

I was once beaten up, not that badly, but it scared the shit out of me.

I spent one night in jail for some LGBT work I was doing.


Click on the link above to read the whole post please.

Consequences of the Open-Letter of Mousavi and Karroubi’ families to the World

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Two days after the open-letter of families of the three jailed leader of the Iranian Green Movement–Mr.Mir-Hossein Mousavi,Mr.Mehdi Karroubi, and Mrs.Zahra Rahnavard- was published by Sahamnews, and Kaleme, which are affiliated with, repectively, Karroubi, and Mousavi, new pressures on the families have been reported by Kaleme news site.

The English version of the Mousavi & Karroubi families is posted on this blog, but I would like to draw your attention to the following excerpts of the aforementioned letter:

We demand the rulers of lives, property, and dignity of [Iranian] people to return to the rational path of law, common sense, and [choose] the benefit of the people and the country, instead of choosing anti-religious, unpatriotic, and inhuman ways to oppress all the critics, and opposition [, a practice] that has taken [our] country to the edge of destruction and war.


“Free our abused and renitent prisoners, all the political prisoners, and all the prisoner of conscience who are all over Iran. A nation and a country with such dignity and pride does not deserve to suffer from all these political and economical hurdles, and, God forbid, a war.”

As expected, such harsh criticism of the Islamic government by the families of the most prominent political prisoners in Iran will not go unpunished.Today, according to Kaleme, security agents threatened to arrest daughters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Zahra Rahnavard, and banned one of the daughters from work. She is an art lecturer  in Alzahra University,Tehran.Her mother, Zahra Rahnavard, was the president of Alzahra University before being fired in the first term of the Mahmoud Ahmadineajd’s presidency in 2004.

According to Kaleme, no reason has been presented as to why daughter of Mousavi & Rahnavard is banned from teaching.

Kaleme reports agents threatened the daughters that they will be arrested and will be taken to a place where nobody will know their whereabouts.

According to the Farsi WIKIPEDIA page of Zahra Rahnavard, she and Mir-Hossein Mousavi have three daughters:  Kowkab, Zahra, and Narges.

This is not the first time that security forces of Iran have threatened, arrested, or tortured the families of the political prisoners.

%d bloggers like this: