Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Open: Biography of Andrea Agassi

Perhaps this is one of the best and most compelling books I have read in years. The fact of the matter is that Mr. Agassi honestly, even if people may say it is not enough, seems quite interesting and compelling to the reader.
Andre struggled to understand his mission in his life, it is really everyone's struggle, isn't it? even those with clear cut picture of what they would like to be and do in life.
His weakness and strength in his character along with love and hate for tennis is something that we all Iranians experience well when first we are pulled between what we love to do, what our parents force us to do. We have this tendency to follow our parents portrayed destiny, despite hating it from root. It is even ironic that we got everything ready and planned for the next generation! So, things continue!
I see him despite being born and raise in USA an unsteady character that starve for understanding and finding his way and this is what I have found in many Iranians and I suppose in non-Iranians as well.



I hate tennis but I still play tennis, and finally I become number one in the world, do I feel happy? telling the truth, I told reporters, it feels great, I finally achieved my goal!
but then wait, this was not my goal, it was everyone else's goal around me, then I realized I should set my own goal...

another paragraph reads after his fall from number 1 to number 144 in the world:
 
...and yet our best intentions are often thwarted by external forces- forces that we ourselves set in motion long ago. Decisions, especially bad ones, create their own kind of momentum, and momentum can be a bitch to stop, as every athlete knows. Even when we vow to change, even when we sorrow and atone for our mistakes, momentum of out past keeps carrying us down the wrong road. Momentum rules the world. Momentum says: hold on, not so fast, I am still running things here. As a friend likes to say, quoting an old Greek poem: the minds of the everlasting gods are not changed suddenly. 

I have this far read 65% of his book and quite impressed with his course of life.
to be Continued....

Monday, February 02, 2015

What is Most Important Factor in a Relationship?

It has been ages since I wrote here! I am now trying to focus on my work and get things done better than ever! Telling the truth, I enjoy the job I currently have and the environment is not bad either.
Having said that, I have focused on technical writing than writing my blog in the past year!
Enough of introduction, I have been thinking what is most important factor in any relationship. I am sure, whomever reads this may say, there is no single factor, but I personally came to a conclusion if the couple enjoy each other company, may be there is only one factor that may make a difference in couplehood.
I am going to list couple of the factors and in my next blog, I shall give my argument!
Listing the factors:
1. Pertinacity
2. Compromise
3. Flexibility
4. Passion
5. Dedication
 May be those who read this weblog and are married can give their expert opinions :)


 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Everything must change...!



Things keep changing, that is word we hear from many and all. Today, I came across the songs from my teenage years. A~ha, the band I spent listening to, when I was only 13 and living in Germany.
Time went by and I came to Koeln, Germany to write the entrance language exam in German. I was living in a dormitory belonged to the University and the door to my room was not getting locked, so I asked maintenance crew to come in and fix it. I was listening then to BBC radio broadcasted from Wiesbaden. When the technician finished his work, I asked, now it is fixed, isn't it? Yes, but not as good as English doors! he replied, I recall that vividly, because I was listening to Simply Red song, Stars, at that exact time!
Ages has been passed since then...and life continues!
The following youtube video is even more interesting because they talk about changes and everything must change in the Montreux, Switzerland, I was lucky to attend the jazz festival there, it is over 5 years passed from then. Of course, I was not lucky to see such a performance, but then I saw some acceptable performance by some interesting groups.

 
  

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Adam Vaughan and reinventing in a simple way!

1. It is World Cup 2014 in Brazil and I have seen so many wonderful games. Iran was also one of the contenders who got eliminated in the first round. Looking forward to see Germany plays against Brazil.




2. I have to take this opportunity and wish Mr. Adam Vaughan who elected as a Liberal Party of Canada Member of Parliament in the Trinity—Spadina federal by-election held on June 30, 2014 following New Democratic Party MP Olivia Chow's resignation.
I wish to note Adam's interesting career who I very vividly recall, when his late father Colin Vaughan working in CityTV and later he he proceed the job that his father was doing. I witness a few different career changes in his life and this is last one as public figure who serves his community in Ottawa. From being Journalist in a tabloid type TV to a calm city councilor and now from vivid opponent of Rob Ford to being part of Liberal party in Ottawa.  

I have seen him in person a few times in Toronto, for related municipality issues in Trinity-Spadina.
Overall, I found him, passionate about the community and and a good listener. I felt he is little too soft-spoken, but should quickly get to the speed in Ottawa during Q &A session.

Wish him the best, miss Toronto :-)
  

Friday, April 25, 2014

A shock of nightmare!

1. If I have not mentioned, I have this colleague of mine who is from Egypt and we work together towards the project we work together.
As many muslims around here in Leeds, UK, he attends every Friday to the Friday prayers. This occasion happens around the noon for an hour to 2 hours. He has a few friends who usually come and pick him up and go together.

Today, the guy who came into our office to pick him up brought me nightmare. He walked in rudely and did not even say hi. The guy looks identical to one of the Iranian moral police/basiji who arrested people in Iran one who tell you why are you here and it has happened to me when I was 17. By seeing him, all those memories revived. The guy looks describes as medium beard, kind of medium built with his shirt havering on top of his pants and a jacket that is Ahamadi-Nedjadi's jacket! Something identical to this guy below with similar color in case you wonder!!


The question I ask, why I can;t avoid seeing such guys even in Western countries!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Long time no write for me!



Life has been busy at work! Here, in Leeds, I have 1-2 meeting per day, I have to teach, conduct the research as well as students to guide! pretty much, everything keeps me busy.
I saw little of Australian Open and realized that the Swiss player Stainislas Wawrinka has won the title. Apparently, he has a tattoo on his hands quotes the Irish writer Samuel Beckett in English:
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter.
Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

I think it is pretty well said quote.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The art of persuasion!

1. People are bombarded by all kind of advertisement throughout the day. No matter what ads have one way or another some may influence us.
The way we present any matter make a big difference in how we conceive ourselves in the eyes of others. So, I think that is why you see there is tons of advertisement about a product in the market and how happy we shall become if we purchase it.
Now, it is story of Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif, IR of Iran foreign mister. He has recently presented a beautiful youtube speech telling his audience that a win-win treaty is possible between both Iran and 5+1 group.
His well synched movie and his soft and persuasive voice gives the well advertise clip that has made of a politician in IRI.
I have to say why I said beautiful, as the movie starts, the shots are showing assuming foreign ministry palace which is quite fascinating.



Now the question that arises is who is he targeting in this video clip and soft spoken message, Iranians or the non-Iranians?

The first group perhaps cannot be part of the audience as they have little or no access to youtube.  So, my assumption is that he is trying to convince his non-Iranians audience that it is in their benefits that if they put pressure on their politicians to make an agreement with Iranian officials who are rightfully defending simple Iranian right to nuclear proliferation!
Technically talking with respect to politicians, the fact is he is aware that Iranians have no right to express themselves in this issue, so, he plea to his non-Iranian citizens who have rights to demand from their elected individuals to do what they think will prevent another unwanted war in Middle East.

2.  The IR of Iran team of the negotiators have quite interesting background, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araghchi and Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi accompany Zarif.







All three have PhD from foreign Universities, to be exact Zarif, Colorado, USA, Abbas Araghchi, University of Kent, UK and Majid Takhat Ravanchi from Bern University, Switzerland. 
The latter person surprisingly has received his bachelor and masters from University of Kansas and Fordham University. According to his resume in Wiki  in Persian based on his time of study, he has very little spent in Iran. He looks like a people from 1960 during John F. Kennedy! (Above with glasses) 
What is surprising that in less than 3 years after arriving in Iran (considering he has returned right after his masters in Iran) he becomes secretary (vice president) of International affairs in I.R. of Iran foreign ministry! 
In my opinion with such a background these people have, and hardly lived in Iran, how could they represent Iranian people and understand the suffering of ordinary Iranians in Iran! or perhaps they have a better understanding of the status quote!
Time will show! 



      

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Finally in Leeds!

1. It has been a little beyond two weeks that I am in Leeds working on a new job related to prosthetic design. I had to have lots of meeting in the past few weeks and running around.
I had very hectic few weeks looking for a new place and putting things together to be able to work as soon as possible.

2. Energy prices in UK is quite expensive compare to North America. There is talk that to force energy providing companies to reduce prices.
In general there are two type of approaches in such a problems, short term and long term.
The short term is to control the prices and create competitive market for energy providing companies, keeping taxes low.
What I always wonder is with so much revolution in energy saving material and ways of make houses more energy efficient, why not investing on that rather than telling to a companies in the free market to control prices. The long term solution is to make house or refurbish the houses to the well above average saving energy condition.

The same is for Iran, in Iran energy is lot cheaper compared to Europe and provided in very low price in Iran. Therefore, not many consider energy efficiency approaches in their houses. Not to mention that  due to lack of renew in infrastructure the prices are rapidly increasing and people not investing in long term solution, efficiency! Surprisingly, this is the same in Leeds.

3. Is this Mr. Mohammad Javad Zarif (Iranian foreign minster) making fun of many, perhaps not, I am guessing! who knows.
He has stated, he has got back-pain! but has gone to a specialist and he has assured him that the pain is nothing more than a muscle spasm, if that is so bad that he has to go to Geneva, Switzerland laying down and using wheelchair to go around, why not getting a shot of steroid + Cortisone! I have seen many get that in such condition. He has medical-doctors monitoring him, it is simple and makes his nervous breakdown back-pain to go away! Simple, so what is all the fuss about his back-pain!   


Monday, August 19, 2013

Effect of a welcoming sentence!

I am a big time traveler and have been traveling for many years. Every time I am had gone to the country I was born, I am not so happy when I pass the passport control lane. The boarder police in Iran is not that enthusiastic for someone who returns in Iran for a visit. They were not friendly. 
In Canada, however usually they are simple and do their job by asking routine question, but very few I have seen so called friendly. However, last time I was returning from Europe to Toronto, the officer asked me about where I have been and what I do for living, the question always I have been asked. When I answered, he returned my passport and simply said "welcome back home"! I was thrilled with this  sentence since I have spend my young-hood years in Toronto went to school there and I truly consider my city. This sentence made me to be more proud of being Canadian.

I am finally back from Italy to Canada!

It is good to be back where you have grown up! Perhaps, two places I feel at home, Toronto and Shemroon! In both places I have vivid memories and great friends and every time, I am back to any of these places, the word home reverberates.
I think I have to admit that I am happy to leave Bologna! The city of medieval time with very narrow streets inside the city, and most important of all, I call city of shit and piss!
You may wonder why?
The reason is simple, every corner of the city was always filled with small of dogs's shit and pisses. Also, even human feces, can be found on the streets of Bologna!
The problem is since most inside of the city streets are paved with portici (the dom like ceiling on every side walk), the remain of feces cannot be washed and cleaned, so the smell is really annoying and bothersome.
two photos I took two weeks ago in the Bologna's city from remain of dog's poops.



2. I am in a coffee shop in Toronto, an Iranian man in his late 20s discusses his future with (I assume father in law). He tells him (I summarize many things he said) that he is very much not happy with where he is, now however, he has a great idea to return to his proper position in the society. After more than 20 min. intro. The guy says, the girl (I assume he is in love with), should either have a vision towards what I see out future, or perhaps we should change our path! The guy seems young in mid 20s.

He expresses, in his family, he has many problems, but surprisingly, I find out later in his conversation, his father is also very skillful denture maker! with a good life!
He is not happy with his level of acceptance in the society. He now wants to learn to make denture and tooth replacing process. He believes learning the skills will make his life upside down, someone has promised him on average $25/hr income in Canada, no degree needed, just the skill!
anyhow, it is interesting conversation, they have....
after that very serious conversation, guess what they talk about! getting fine and highway tickets!
now, he is back to his conversation, saying to the older man, if you put enough pressure on her, we can work out in the next few month, while I am away, she also study and attend gym!! many things will be fine in the next years to come!
I apologize for my overhearing process!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

When you feel down or bad luck, could it be worse? It could!

I was listening to CBC radio the DNTO. The host Sook-Yin Lee today was talking about pervasive down turn. I listen to the some of the stories that people narrowed during the program and realized one thing that many of them were related to being exposed to being suddenly diagnosed with some type of diseases.
People as me how are things, I always say it could have been worse! and I am guessing things can be worse.

I personally can most relate to those stories, in the past few weeks my right eye tear channel (lacrimal duct) is completely blocked due to over use of glaucoma and corticosteroid drops! 
The two headed sword is here: when I stop using glaucoma drops, I feel pressure in my eye turns to feel pressure in my head and dizziness. Simultaneously, stopping corticosteroid drop makes my eye quite read and of course internal inflammation occurs!
If I use them, I get eye feels warm with fever and I cough a lot as smallest bug enters my right nose makes my to cough and sneeze for over 20 minutes. and of course, since the tear drainage is blocked I cry from one eye, continuously!:-)
So, be happy if you are healthy and can function :-)

Saturday, May 04, 2013

nostalgia, group work and and lack of tolerance but the result is great!!

I have not written here for sometimes and I feel it is time to revive this weblog a little again.

There has been a program on Manoto TV channel broadcasted to Iran and around the world from London, UK, known as Academy of Googoosh (AOG).
The program is comparable to American got talent and many other reality shows across the globe who look for a talented person in movie and TV. This one particularly focuses on singing Iranian pop music. the contenders from around the world gather and the instructors pick 12 people for the final stage.
Every week, Iranians who watch they can vote for their favorite contender and who has the lowest will be eliminated.
Over a month ago, the most recent program of AOG just finished by announcing a women who wears Hejab (covered her head, photo below) be the final winner or the most voted for. Those who read Iranian news have seen many articles written about this issues for and against the fact that she was the most voted person in the program.

However, what I wish to discuss here is the fact that reading many Iranians comments on youtube and all other places on the web made me sad. You may wonder why?
Many, not all, attacked those young guys and gals because of the way they look or wear cloths.
If one member was loved by an audience, the rest of contenders were bad mouthed over or put down in some way or another.
Many audiences made fun of Googoosh, the Iranian legendary singer who has started a new career after 20 years of silent in Islamic Republic, and the rest of instructors and VJ.
Not many praised her for supporting such a program (perhaps even paying for the program) and creating it. A program that, so many young Iranians aboard could take the opportunity, learn and obtain skills.

I could go on and on complaining about lack of tolerance in Iranian society towards this show.

But one thing, however, was great and impressed me all along this program, I got impressed with young people who participated in the program. Those who never have been in Iran and have love of mother land. Those who could hardly speak Persian. They were great, respectful, fun and determined to do what they wish and that was quite hopeful for me to see.

I hope many more of these programs or reality shows continue to be released on Iranian TVs across the globe, so we start to learn, to tolerate different looks, opinion, and will of others as long as they are not disturbing anyone freedom. This is what we have to learn and practice.

Amir-Hossein one of contenders who got labeled to be gay!


Ermira who got the first place in 2013.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Operation Val-Fajer 8!

Mr. Hossein Alayei, one of the Islamic Republic of Iran commander in Sepah during Iran and Iraq war has written a short article stating how operation Val-fajer 8 has been started and was maintained throughout 2 years as a successful and well thought operation in which the entire Arvand Rood (Arvand river) and Fav islands were taken in the hands of Iranian army and Sepah.
The article describes in some details how Sepah soldiers crossed Arvand rood (Arvand river) with support of Iran army in the night to take over of Iraqi bankers and army centers across Arvand rood. Simultaneously, they attack Fav and took over the Island which remained at the hands of Iran for almost two years, according to him.
The article is Memoriam and perhaps does not need to get to the details of how the successful or unsuccessful it was.

However, in my opinion few important theme Mr. Alayei fails to remind the readers. Firsly, why the operation Val-fajr 8 has ever started? Had we not taken Iranian land completely back in those days? Was it necessary to start this operation at all? Doesn't that explain that Iran became the aggressive party in the war? Was it worth to put so many soldiers life in jeopardy in an operation that 2 years later was considered total loss? 

I think it is important we learn how brave those Iranians defended Iranian land, but it is even more important the actions and decisions made during those years being criticized. It is important we learn from the past knowing what went wrong and how things could have been better!
You can read about the operations Val-fajer 8 here.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Politics in Iran vs politics in Canada!

Today, I read that Mr. Hassan Habibi a prominent leading politician has died in Iran due to heart and diabetic complications.
There is nothing striking about this fact except what I read in Persian and worth writing about.
The short column about his past summarizes that  he was the first Justice minster in Mr. Mehdi Bazargan government, later he became, vice president in Mr. Rafsanjani and Khatami givernment.
The part seemed interesting was this:

حبیبی، در برابر خواسته های مکرر برای گفت و گو و تاریخ نویسی درباره انقلاب که بارها توسط خواهر زاده اش «پروانه وحیدمنش» صورت گرفت، در نهایت گفته بود:‌« یا باید مثل هاشمی رفسنجانی خاطره نویسی کنم و جاهایی را یا حذف کنم یا غیر واقع جلوه دهم یا باید به طور رسمی بیایم و بگویم که ما اشتباه کردیم و به بیراهه رفتیم. من آدم هیچ کدامش نیستم دختر. نه این روزها می توانم بگویم اشتباه کردیم نه می توانم دروغ بنویسم. شاید روزی تاریخ ما را قضاوت کند.»

Mr. Habibi, in the face of repeated calls for expressing his historical views about the revolution by his nephew "Parvaneh vahidmanesh"he replied, "I should like Rafsanjani Memoir censor on many occasions what I have to say or write or just say things there were untruthful. Or I formally or actually come to state that we were wrong and we stepped on the wrong path. I'm not any of these type of people. I can say we did wrong and can't write lies. Maybe one day history will judge us. "

My own comment:
Interesting enough, that no politician in Iran can simply say, I made mistakes. I always wonder where did we learn this, in our family! Iranians learn to be stubborn. As expression goes, chicken has only one leg!  
We should never reveal anything that is internal (in our family circle). Everything on the surface should look perfect. We should never criticize our past, because they were great people and decision makers!
and try to show everything is fine in our inner circle!

compare that to the transparency that I see in Canada. 
Mr. Bob Rae, a liberal member of federal parliament in Canada, who has simply admitted he has smoked pot in the past.
Many come and allowed to criticize the past and learn from it.

I always wonder until we act like this in Iran (refraining from any criticism), can we become democratic in real sense?

maybe? may be not!

  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Why are Swedish women healthier than the British?

Lovely report, why women in Sweden are healthier compare to other counties across Europe. My own 2-cent: This time around that being active is important and necessary for everyone including women and translated as being healthy and may reduce health costs; in Iran government suppresses young women to wear hejab, not leave home and not being active! That is why, if I am not mistaken, the rate of osteoporosis among the Iranian women has increased from 30 years ago! I read that somewhere while ago. Lack of exposure to the sun (cheap vitamin D)
read the rest here