Mittwoch, Mai 30, 2007

Pressedienst der „Frauen gegen Fundamentalismus“

Pressedienst der „Frauen gegen Fundamentalismus“

Frauen- Fußballspiel am 01.06.07 ab 17:00 Uhr

im Kreuzberger Katzbachstadion Berlin
ranische Frauen Nationalmannschaft gegen Fußball-Verein BSV AL-Dersimsport

Auch wenn die iranischen Frauen die Freiheit erhalten sollten im Ausland Fußball zu spielen, auch wenn iranische Freuen Filme in der Berlinale anbieten dürfen,
der Schein trügt!
Seit Beginn der islamischen Republik im Iran, sind Frauen gesetzlich der Rechtlosigkeit und Zwangsverschleierung ausgesetzt.

Es existiert das patriarchale System der Unterdrückung. Jegliche Widerstand der StudentenInnen-, ArbeiterInnen- und LehrerInnenbewegung, wird im Keim erstickt.

Zwangsverschleierung ist nur eines dieser Unterdrückungsmechanismen. Die Verfassung des Staates minimiert jegliche Rechte der Frauen, sei es in der Ehe, in der Arbeitswelt, in der Freizeit und sonst in der gesamten Lebensplanung. Es ist in der iranischen Verfassung verankert, dass die Frau halb so viel Wert ist, wie der Mann (Gesetz gegen Vergeltung, Artikel 6).

Mit Hilfe des Islams werden gesellschaftlich Rollenbilder gefestigt, die das System der Unterdrückung immer wieder reproduzieren. Sämtliche Randgruppen unterliegen den staatlichen Repressionen, z. B. Hinrichtungen der Homosexuellen, Steinigung bei Ehebruch etc.

Nach Außen schien es eine Zeitlang, dass sich die Situation der Frauen im Iran verbessert. Seit 20.04.07 wurde diese Entwicklung ein jähes Ende gesetzt. Urteile wurden gegen Feministinnen ausgesprochen. Frauen die BAD HEDJAB, schlecht verschleiert das Haus verließen wurden wieder gejagt und festgenommen.

Wir freuen uns sehr die iranischen Fußballerinnen in Berlin begrüßen zu dürfen und sagen dennoch:

Schluss mit der Zwangsverschleierung im Iran!
Schluss mit den Repressionen gegen Frauen im Iran!
Schluss mit der Steinigung und Hinrichtungen im Iran!
Schluss mit dem Kampf gegen jegliche oppositionelle Bewegungen im Iran!


Samstag, Mai 26, 2007


Freitag, Mai 18, 2007

Engaging with a ruthless regime

Engaging with a ruthless regime

Sheema Kalbasi

The difference between some one like Haleh Esfandiari and I, Sheema Kalbasi, is that I see the Iranian regime as a group of people who have committed and continue to commit horrendous crimes against humanity. People like Dr. Esfandiari -- who I hope will return to the U.S. safe and sound especially since Keyhan has accused her of apostasy-- do support a dialogue with the Iranian regime. I like to know why Ms. Esfandiari's husband is devastated over his wife's arrest and why he doesn't try to engage in a dialogue with the Iranian regime? Why Shaul Bakhash goes on BBC to confirm that Esfandiari is still a Muslim? After all Ms. Esfandiari and people like her insist on engaging in a dialogue with the Iranian regime.

So what if she is accused of apostasy! So what if women and men are stoned to death in Iran! So what if political activists and Bahaies are arrested and executed and the Bahai graveyards are destroyed, and they are not even allowed to bury their dead in adherence to their religious tradition. So what if Kurds are murdered and their dead body are shown throughout the town to teach a lesson! So what if Iranian women have no right to their children after divorce! So what if Iranian women don't have equal opportunities, and so what if women activists, workers, and teachers are arrested! So what if intellectuals have been murdered and bloggers are arrested! So what if minors are hanged or are on death row in Iran. So what if homosexuals and bisexuals are arrested and sometimes executed. Iranian regime is a regime that one can engage in a dialogue with.

I am sure once Dr. Esfandiari is back in the U.S. she will continue to work with her boss and this time her words and work will have more legitimacy since she will be that victim of the Iranian regime her self!! For people who have lost nothing and/or their countrymen and women's arrests and executions has not influenced and effected their lives the Iranian regime is surly legitimize enough to engage in a talk with. They tend to show Ahmadinejad is the worst case Iran has ever had during the years Iran has been occupied by the regime.

Let us not forget the Iranian regime is not a product of president Ahmadinejad. The Iranian regime has been in power for almost thirty years and Ahmadinejad is the product of this regime. I may be buying a lot of junk and a lot of junk may sit on my figure but this junk regarding Ahmadinejad just doesn't fit and sit right with me!! And let us thank the Democratic presidential candidate Ms. Clinton for bringing attention to Haleh's case! I hope she will not forget the Iranian regime's problem with Dr. Esfandiari is not her duel citizenship! Comment


Dienstag, Mai 01, 2007

The Seven Valleys of Love

The Seven Valleys of Love

The Bilingual Anthology of Women Poets

from the Middle Ages Persia to the Present Time Iran

Translations and Editing by

Sheema Kalbasi

The title of this anthology of Iranian women's poetry, collected and translated into English by Iranian-born American-based poet and woman of letters Sheema Kalbasi, refers to the narrative of the medieval Persian allegory Mantegh ot-Tayr (Conference of the Birds) written by Farid od-Din Attar.

Attar, one of the seminal figures of early Persian literature, was also one of the most committed advocates of the doctrines of the incipient Islamic mystical movement, Sufism. Attar's literary concepts, such as the motif of 'the Seven Valleys of Love', had a profound effect on not only future Persian-speaking poets (most notably Rumi and Hafez); but also introduced, or at least for the first time articulated unambiguously, a number of tenets of one of the medieval world's most significant and enduring theosophical schools.

Among these notions was Eshgh (literally 'Love'), which, in a Greco-Western episteme, seems closer to agape than either philia or eros. This ideal was most vividly illustrated in Attar's abovementioned narrative verse, in which a group of thirty birds embarks on a journey to meet the majestic Si-morgh – a mythological giant bird symbolizing wisdom. Instead of finding the Si-morgh as such, however, the birds experience something ostensibly more poignant: they undergo the Sufi concept of Fana (Annihilation). At the end of the tale, as a consequence of enduring the arduous journey and traversing the Seven Valleys of Love, the birds have somewhat unwittingly effaced their selves (or egos); and have, as a result, unified to constitute an assembly of thirty birds, that is – in Persian – si (thirty) morgh (bird/s). The ordinary birds have, in other words, become the legendary Si-morgh in and of themselves.

It is of great interest and pertinence that Ms Kalbasi has named her anthology after the above mystical idiom. Many of the poets presented in this volume have experienced journeys similar to those of the parabolic birds; and it can be said that these authors, by the virtue of being women in an intransigently and institutionally patriarchal society such as Iran, have too had their egos threatened (although by no means 'annihilated'), and that they too have succeeded in not only surviving the travails and brutalities of sexism but have also found a Sufi-esque kind of love, solidarity and inspiration that has resulted in passionate and provocative poetry.

This is not to say, however, that this collection presents a 'journey of self-discovery' in a positivist, New Ageist sense; and neither can all the authors collected in The Seven Valleys of Love be classified as classic survivors. The mid 19th century poet Tahereh Ghoratolein, for example, was brutally murdered by the then Shah of Iran because she repudiated the hejab veil in public and proselytized for the banned Baha'i faith. The poem of hers included in this book, a close-formed ode or ghazal, can be seen as a poem of intense, almost agonistic, yearning for an unattainable beloved. It is by no means a generic 'feel good' love poem; but a profoundly devotional and theological exploration of melancholy or, as Keats may have it, 'the wakeful anguish of the soul.'

The lyrics of the above martyred feminist sit alongside those of other articulate and committed Iranian women poets in Ms Kalbasi's unique anthology. One of the other great strengths of Ms Kalbasi's work is her decision to present lesser-known poets in place of such well-known figures as Forugh Farrokhzad, Simin Behbahani and Parvin Etesami. This editorial decision is visionary and courageous. By bringing new and/or marginalized poets to an international readership, Ms Kalbasi has broken one of the most stifling taboos of poetry anthologies – that of presenting only the famous/classic 'public' poets – and has, as a result, opened a new front in giving voice to female artists usually denied exposure by unapologetically sexist and/or elitist culture industries in Iran as well as the Anglophone world.

Another important and immensely valuable dimension of this anthology can be found not only in the shared identity of the authors presented – their being Iranian and/or Persian-speaking women – but in the poems themselves, and in the range and diversity of periods, voices, discourses and poetic genres included in the book. The Seven Valleys of Love comprises poems from medieval Arabic/Turkish ruled Persia; as well as poems from the independent unitary Iranian kingdoms of the Safavid and Ghajar monarchs; as well as works by modernists and post-modernists of the Pahlavi Dynasty and the Islamic Republic. Included are also poems written in Persian by members of the considerable Iranian diaspora communities. Therefore Ms Kalbasi's selection cuts across not only chronological divides but also aesthetical and ideological chasms. Some of the poems here are versified, others are free-formed/prosaic; some are romantic/erotic in a broad sense, others speak to the specific socio-political contexts in which they were articulated.

My final evaluation of this exciting new anthology concerns what – at least for today's mainstream Western readers – may constitute the book's most noticeable characteristic: its representation of work by poets from Iran, that terminally demonized/dehumanized 'axis of Evil' nation that has seemingly been at war with the West since the Battle of Marathon between ancient Greeks and Persians in 490 BCE. It is my belief that by exposing the journey of Iran's women poets through 'the Seven Valleys of Love' Ms Kalbasi has depicted and emphasized the humanity and dignity of one of world's most misunderstood peoples, and has made a significant contribution to facilitating a cross-cultural dialogue in place of a nefarious 'Clash of Civilizations.'

Dr. Ali Alizadeh, PhD Deakin

An outstanding and honest voice from the Middle East, Sheema Kalbasi (born November 20, 1972, in Tehran, Iran) is a human right activist, an award winning poet, and literary translator. She is the director of Dialogue of Nations through Poetry in Translation, director of Poetry of Iranian Women Project, the poetry editor of The Muse Apprentice Guild and the co- director of the Other Voices International. She has authored two collections of poems, Echoes in Exile in English, and Sangsar (Stoning) in Persian. Kalbasi's work has appeared in numerous magazines, literary reviews, anthologies, and has been translated into several languages. She is one of the few literary figures to promote poets of Iranian heritage as well as international poets to an English speaking audience. Furthermore she has created the horizontal and vertical, a new style in poetry. Kalbasi's work is distinguished by her passionate defense of the ethnic and religious minorities' rights. She has worked for the United Nations and the Center for non Afghan Refugees in Pakistan, and in Denmark. Today she lives with her husband and daughter in the United States.