Thursday, April 28, 2005

A380 Photos

This is the text which I wanted to write for the photos I put here, but something was wrong ans so everything I put in here was published in my persian blog. So please in order to see my photos either go to this address or visit my persian blog:

These photos were taken in "Place de Capitole" of Toulouse, the hometown for Airbus and its A380. It was an impressive moment when it took off, and the feeling...

It feels so good when you know you are witnessing something, potentially historical.

First Flight

I was there when it took off. It was so good sharing the same feeling with so many people there. I will write about it tommorow and also I'll put the photos. Finally I got the digital camera! From a small country called Andorra in Pirinee mountains. And a country is added to the list of countries I have already seen, still a lot to go!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Mille et une nuit

This may not be my exact story in these days, but somehow it is part of it:

"Woman- Jimmy please say you'll wait for me
I'll grow up someday you'll see
Saving all my kisses just for you
Signed with love
forever true

Man - Joni was the girl who lived next door
I've known her I guess 10 years or more
Joni wrote me a note one day
And this is what she had to say

Woman-Jimmy please say you'll wait for me
I'll grow up someday you'll see
Saving all my kisses just for you
Signed with love
forever true

Man- Slowly I read her note once more
Then I went over to the house next door
Her tear drops fell like rain that day
When I told Joni what I had to say

Man- Joni, Joni please don't cry
You'll forget me by and by
You're just fifteen
I'm twenty two
And Joni I just cant wait for you

Man - Soon I left our little home town
Got me a job and tried to settle down
But these words kept haunting my memory
The words that Joni said to me

Woman- Jimmy please say you'll wait for me
I'll grow up some day you'll see
Saving all my kisses just for you
Signed with love
forever true

Man - I packed my clothes
And I caught a plane
I had to see Joni
I had to explain
How my heart was filled
With her memory
And ask my Joni if she'd marry me

I ran all the way
To the house next door
But things weren't like they were before
My tear drops fell like rain that day
When I heard what Joni had to say

Woman- Jimmy, Jimmy please don't cry
You'll forget me by and by
It's been five years since you've been gone
Jimmy I married your best friend John"

Conway Twitty

Oh, I can hardly bear it. So many memories from the previous six years are rushing to me. So many dreams at night wake me up these days. I wish I can forget everything very soon.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Two days ago I was cooking in the kitchen along with a French girl who has been born in India but has been in France since she was 5. She has a Tamil origin. As we were cooking our talks came to a point where we were discussing the spicy nature of Indian food as we were adding different spices to the food. At that moment she said something about a fact which I had also thought about it previously.

The fact is, although India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have a huge population but they are never successful in sports. In Olympics or any other games we don't see them gaining the top rankings. She was telling me that this might be because of the food. They eat a lot of spicy food which is not so good for health. This might be partly true but not the whole truth. I like spicy food and Indian food, so I prefer finding another explanation. While playing cricket I found out that this sport is extremely slow and every time only two people are really involved in the game and even then those two are not giving themselves too much trouble to run as fast as they can. At the other hand, I've noticed that Indian people are very peaceful people. They hate to get themselves into any fight or trouble. No wonder that the philosophy of Non-violence (ahimsa) was first began in India and was demonstrated by Gandhi. I have come to realize that Indians and all people living in subcontinent are generally peaceful people. So blaming all this over spicy food might not be a good excuse. I like to see it the other way: They are so calm and tranquil that in order to make themselves more active and challenging they tend to eat very spicy foods!

This idea might be completely wrong but I still like to search for a good explanation for this.

In my last post about Azeri culture of having the girls run away, there were some questions. Some things are so obviously traditionalized that we in Iran most of the time don't notice them. For example in the time of marriage, permission of father is necessary for the girl but the boys can marry without needing permission. This is not just a law but also part of Iranian and Islamic tradition. Recently there have been women who are fighting to change these kinds of laws but even among the women not everyone agrees with the change of law. There is still a lot of time needed to change these traditions. To be honest, it still works in Iran but everything might change in the future. Like the fact that until some time ago having a girl friend or boyfriend among boys and girls was not totally accepted but today a high percentage of boys and girls in urban areas freely have these kinds of relations.

Monday, April 11, 2005


Yesterday I played my first ever cricket game in a beautiful part sunny part rainy weather. But I must admit I found it very boring! After the dinner I was discussing this fact with my friends whom I played with. Although they were admitting this is a weakness and the only weakness but they were very enthusiastic defending cricket. Finally I told them I will play again however I couldn't find a real advantage over other games which could pursue me to prefer this over other sports.

Saturday, April 09, 2005


Well, everything is going very naturally in Iran-Israel relations and everything is being as supposed to be.
Khatami denied any conversation between himself and president of Israel during the funeral in Vatican after coming back to Iran. I wasn't expecting him to confirm this news because this would have caused him a big trouble from hardliners in Iran.
Sorry! nothing has changed and everything is the way it was before. When we can't even confirm a simple handshake how can we expect anything to improve?

Friday, April 08, 2005

It Happened

I knew I could count on this man. Despite all the criticism I still believe in Khatami and I think he did his best and he did what he had to do.

Yesterday as I had mentioned here, he shook hands with the president of Israel in funeral of Pope John Paul II and every thing went very well. Actually much better than what I would have expected. They have sit just one chair away and at the end they have shaken hands and spoke in Persian about their birth city, Yazd. It is interesting that these two countries are the only countries in the world which their presidents are both from the same city. Yazd, an ancient city between Isfahan and Kerman and a symbol for special Iranian architecture is the hometown for many cultures and religions. It has the greatest number of Jew and Zarathustrian people in Iran. It is also very interesting that how a lot of high ranking officials of a country which is not considered official by the Iranian regime are born in Iran.


Today, the funeral of Pope John Paul II will be held. President Khatami, after visiting France and Austria is going to attend the ceremony.

Now that I think, I can't think of any thoughts about pope. He has always meant a very old man with a different religion to me and of course a Polish which has been interesting to me. But in recent years whenever I have seen him on TV I have felt that how could this old man make decisions in difficult situations? I have always felt that he is under the influence of mysterious Vatican figures which are now going to select the new pope. And Vatican, the smallest country in the world has always fascinated me. I surely will visit Italy soon and Vatican will be one of the places that I certainly want to see.

And about Khatami and his attendance to the funeral, I can imagine him saying "Fatiha"* under his lips in Vatican for the late pope. It is an irony that how these differences in religions and traditions seem meaningless in these situations. However before that, he will have to deal with the fact that he might be sitting next to the president of Israel in Vatican because of the first letter of their names and he has also to avoid coming face to face with Bush. Stupid politics really! For once, for God sake, leave politics out of this!

*Fatiha is a special name for two particular "sura"s of Koran which are usually whispered by those who attend a funeral for blessing of the one who has passed away.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Run-off Girls

So, for the start, let me tell you about a completely strange thing in Azerbaijan. I haven't heard about such a thing in other regions or countries so I assume it is a unique phenomenon.

It is called "qiz qachirtmaq" and it means "to take or steal a girl". Of course this is done with the girl's own agreement. Well, how can anyone take a girl from her father's house without the agreement of girl or someone else in the house? Usually this is done when the father or other members of the family don't give permission for their girl to be wed with someone she likes or for any other reasons. In this kind of situation the boy, with probably some help, makes some arrangements with the girl to take her and hide her for some days. After this, as the girl hasn't returned home for several days, if the father doesn’t let this marriage happen that girl would be dishonored, so the father would prefer to let this happen. Other people of the family might come to get the father's permission. Then, maybe for some time the father won't want to see his son-in-law and his daughter but things get better as the time passes. This tradition (if I can call it a tradition, because I don't know any other word for it) is now very rarely seen. Maybe in villages or traditional families but right now the way of marriages are changing very fast as most of the boys and girls have girlfriends and boyfriends right now. And this might seem strange for a country known for its strictly Islamic laws and traditions.

And for "qiz qachitmaq", in my family I know two of the girls which have done the same thing in recent years and I also know some old women in the family who have got wed in the same way. From those two girls, one of them is my cousin and the other is my cousin's cousin. The second one fell in love with a boy when she was in high school and one day she ran off with the boy after school time. Her father was an old army man and he was hospitalized because of this but after, when things got a little cooler they married and now they have a 7 year old son. On the other hand, the first case was my own cousin. She had a sister older than her but nobody came to their house to ask her father's permission for his older daughter but at the same time the younger sister had several boys wanting to marry her. Her father didn't want to give permission to his younger daughter when the older girl was still in the house. He could not be blamed because that would have caused his older daughter to stay at home for the rest of her life. So my cousin and her mother went to a village near my hometown, Urmia to her uncle's house and the next day we heard that she has run off with her cousin. Her father, my uncle, didn't want to see her for several weeks but now they have a happy life together and they have a four year old son.

And for the arranged wedding and the relation of boys and girls today in Iran I must write another post. For now I think this might be interesting enough to have a whole post for itself!


I've noticed an interesting thing about us, Iranians in abroad. Maybe it is not correct, maybe it is just me but I've seen other examples so I decided to write about it and see how much it might be correct. It has been a little more than six months since I came here and in these six months I have made some friends among Iranians. Three of them have become my closest friends in here. They are among my closest friends either in Iran or in here. At the same time I have seen other students in my school from other countries and it seems none of them have any close relationships with their countrymen in France and in Toulouse. They might have found some French friends but these western people hardly get so close to another person and make a close friendship. They are completely in a different phase compared to easterners like us. I always criticize the weakness of Iranians to work in a group and have respect for the opinion of others but on the other hand they easily make friends and they easily trust each other. Of course this kind of manners has some price to pay but in a foreign country it is really comforting to have such nice people and feel their kindness when away from family.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


13 of Farvardin was passed very well. Much better than I thought and I was expecting. We were supposed to go somewhere outside the city but from early in the morning the weather was very windy and I was pretty sure that our plan is doomed to be canceled. Then my friend called me and told me that we are invited to one of our Iranian friends' house for lunch. We were five guests and the family. All the afternoon we had fun. Then we watched an Iraninan movie and we stayed even for dinner. We joked about this long stay and told them that we can't go back to our homes because as the "13 be dar" tradition we must stay out all day! They are such a nice family that despite my third time with them I felt completely fine and relaxed.
Soon I might make some comparisons between here, Iran and Azeri traditions. Yesterday I was thinking about Azeri marriage traditions. I remembered some interesting ones which I don't think such things exist even in other parts of Iran! And also I am thinking of gathering all the things I have seen in here and has shokecd me as a foreigner. I might put some of them in here from time to time.