California Literary Review

Iran

Iran’s Cultural Heritage Under Threat

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March 22nd, 2010

In addition to depriving Iranians of their cultural property, a decision to turn over the artifacts to the Rubin plaintiffs would have grave effects for the museums involved and cultural institutions in general. Four American institutions could be divested of objects currently in their collections and unable to use them for research purposes.

My Prison, My Home: One Woman’s Story of Captivity in Iran by Haleh Esfandiari

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November 12th, 2009

Her jail term of one hundred and five days was the culmination of an eight-month ordeal. In December of 2006, she returned to Tehran to visit her ailing mother. On her way to the airport for her trip back, a staged robbery, perpetrated by state secret police, detained her passage. She was not allowed to leave Iran. In the subsequent months, repeated interrogations by a secret policeman did not produce the information that he was seeking, so ultimately she was sent to prison.

Engaging, Not Confronting, Russia

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September 15th, 2008

The West would exacerbate rather than ease this problem if it brought Georgia into NATO. Nor should we try to bring Ukraine into NATO. Ukraine is now independent and recognized by the world as such, but for most of its history its relationship with Russia has been, to say the least, very close; Kiev was the capital of the first Russian state. One assumes the Europeans will continue to prevent either Georgia or Ukraine from joining NATO; but this has not stopped George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, and John McCain from continuing to push the idea.

In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs: A Memoir of Iran – by Christopher de Bellaigue

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April 24th, 2007

Americans would be well advised to learn about Iran’s culture and tragic recent history before our nations resort to a regional war. If you read one book about Iran to fill in your lack of knowledge, make sure it is this one.

Mullahs, Mini Skirts and Carson Daly

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April 3rd, 2007

“Part of the richness of the home culture I come from and what makes it fascinating to work in Iran as a journalist is that I wasn’t an observer. I am culturally of Iran. At the end of the day I’m not going back to a hotel room. I’m going to my aunt’s house or best friend’s house. I’m waking up in the morning to my aunt cooking pancakes.”

Roses & Bulbul Birds

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March 25th, 2007

What’s intriguing about the dreadful psychology of Muslim, particularly Shiite [read Hizbollah] fundamentalism, is that aspect of terrible fixity, that manifests itself as a kind of violent sleepwalking in its adherents.

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