Monday, January 30, 2006

Hossein Derakhshan: Three Cheers!

Also known as Hoder, Hossein Derakhshan is one of the blogworld's superstars. His archives go back nearly six years. He is from Iran but seems to be all over the place. Today he points with pride to another Iranian blogger, posting in Farsi, based in Israel!

Farhad, a very nice and sharp man from Arak, a central city in Iran, came to Israel in 1978, a year before the revolution in Iran. Unlike his Jewish or Muslim friends who chose the US to continue thei education, Farhad came to Israel. Simply because, contrary to what many think that all Iranian Jews are wealthy, he could not afford paying the expensive American higher education, even though he was admitted in very good universities.

But he doesn't regret it. He is one of those Iranians who value culture over money and what he found in the States was upsetting enough to convince him Israel is the best place for him and his family.

However, he can't stop listening to traditional Iranian music, reading Persian poetry-- and of course thinking about going back home, which now seems more like a dream for him and almost every Iranian who lives in Israel. They would be potential targets for the Iran's recent aggressive policy towards the West and Israel.

Hoder himself is not anyone to sneeze at. He had a guest column in yesterday's New York Times. (If the United States is serious about promoting democratic change in Iran, it needs to try the same approach that brought Iraqis to the polls despite mortal danger. Mr. Bush and his supporters should encourage the people of Iran to participate in the next election. And they should urge Iranians to vote for someone who will make their country more open and democratic, rather than more threatening, as Iran under President Ahmadinejad has become.)
Check it out.

Followup Monday, Jan. 30
This is just too good to pass. There is also a picture of Hoder.
While I was waiting for Hossein at the airport I ran into Asher Tsarfati, an Israeli actor who lives in my neighbourhood; he had come to pick his daughter up after a class trip to California and shushed away my concerns that Hossein might not make it through security. Asher is currently acting in a Hebrew version of Shakespeare's
The Tempest at the
Hebrew-Arab Theatre of Jaffa; until he went off to Hollywood last week Ali Suliman, who played one of the protagonists in Paradise Now, also acted in the play - which I saw and loved. When we ran into Asher at the cafe this
morning, I introduced him to Hossein as "the guy I was waiting for at the airport"; they shook hands and Asher said jokingly, "Wow, we touched. Can we make world peace happen now?" He then offered to set up a meeting with the Arab and Jewish actors at the theatre. More on that when it happens.
At a glance, Lisa Goldman's blog is a delight.

So, too, is An Unsealed Room where I am finding the links. She seems to be well-placed enough to have a valid viewpoint on anything that is happening in Israel.

My better half is dining with a U.S. Supreme Court Justice in Jerusalem tonight as part of a conference he participated in organizing. [Descriptive snip]
The symposium started tonight in Jerusalem and continues tommorow at
IDC, which is when hubby is speaking. He just called to say good night to the kids and reported that Scalia's speech was "brilliant" (we're talking about his legal mind, folks, not
his political orientation) and that there was a lot of media there, both foreign and domestic -- the attraction for the domestic media being that Gavison and Barak were together on the same stage (
Barak recently shot down Gavison's planned nomination to the Court)

In my not so humble opinion, I should be there shmoozing with Scalia and Dershowitz too. Think of the great blogging that could have resulted. But nooo.....the Fulbright foundation decided that the dinner would be spouse-free. Grumble, grumble, boo, hiss.

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