Soldier to Offer First Ratha Yatra in Iraq

Partha-sarathi dasa, a Sergeant First Class in the active duty US Army and is currently on hiscurrently on his fourth tour in Iraq.  He has received permission from his Commanding Officer to have 2 Ratha Yatra’s, on US Bases, one being Mosul then other being Talafar.  He passes along this word:

Last time I was deployed I was given facility to have Bhagavat Gita classes, and do book distribution to the soldiers. I am requesting the devotees to adopt a brahmacari and help facilitate my preaching. Our Ratha Yatra is scheduled for August 15th, I am expecting 200 – 900 soldiers to participate. Any help would be very much appreciated. Also devotees who would like to sponsor a soldier, please let me know. 15 months is along time in war, together we can make it the best experience the soldiers ever had.

your servant Partha-sarathi dasa

چهار رویش / Four Springs, a poem of womanhood.

 چهار رویش

پرتو نوری علا

۱ –  بلوغ

بال وُ پَرِ پَروانگان وُ
پیله های زرد ابریشم۰
آشفته موی وُ برهنه پا، دخترک،
سر در پی نسیم می گذارد؛
بال وُ پَرِِ کودکان وُ
بازی های گمشده در غبار نور۰
کجاست دوازده سالگی
با عروسک ها وُ طنابِ بازی وُ
خانه ی مقوّایی ام
و یک لکّه خون؛
حجابِ کودکی وُ آفتابِ بلوغ۰

-۲ عشق

خو کرده به کودکی اش با شرم،
پستان های نورسیده اش را
در شبنم می شوید۰
بهاری شکفته را مانَد
در باغ نو ظهور
نگاه را از خواسته اش می دُزدد،
اما کوبشِِ قلب
حتی در توفان، شنیدنی است۰
شکوفه ی بادام
شانزده سالگی را نوازش کرده است
و بوسه ی بیدار عشق
زُلالِ پوستم را۰

-۳ زایمان

چه سوزشی دارد درد؛
تیزی گَزلیک وُ خار خارِِ پوست۰
بر استخوان ها می کوبند
هزار مُشت؛
نیمه ی جان وُ بند بندِ شکافته ی تن۰
فشار، فشار، فشار۰۰۰
ملافه ها را چنگ می زَنَد
 پرده ی نقره ای ابر تکان می خورَد؛
وهمِ سپیدِِ آب وُ زبانِ خشک
که به سَق می چسبد۰
فشار، درد، هلاکت۰۰۰
کودکی عجول
از تنگنای زُهدان می گریزد؛
هیجده سالگی ام را فریادم خط می اندازد۰
در دَمی نا غافل
مخلوقم دَردش را به جانم ریخته است۰

-۴ یائسگی

چهل وُ نُه سالگی را
پروای پچپچه ی پیر آدمیانِِِِِِِِِِِِِ
ترسخورده نیست۰
زمان سر گیجه می گیرد
از شیدایی افشانِِ گرته ها،
و پرتوِ نوری که می تابد از آینه ی روح
رهایم می کند
از فَربهی خرافه و خشم۰
با شوقِ سبزِ شکفتن
تا دانشِ زلال محبّت
 یائسگی، تلاش بی ٹمری دارد
 زیرا که بوته ی قدیمی قلبم
هرگز این چنین سرخ نروییده است

Four Springs

Partow Nooriala


Yellow silk cocoon,
Butterfly flaps fluttering
Disheveled hair bare feet
The little girl
Sets out in the breeze.
Children flittering
And lost games linger in afternoon haze.
Where is that twelve-year-old girl?
With my dolls and jump ropes
And cardboard house.
And a drop of blood
A veil between childhood and puberty’s dawn.


Bashful, clinging to childhood,
She bathes her breast-buds In morning dew.
She is a budding spring
A sudden pageantry of green.
She averts her eyes from her beloved
But the thumping of her heart Is audible even through a storm.
The almond blossom
Brushes the sixteen-year-old girl
As does the here and now of love
My lustrous skin.


How it burns
Dagger gouging, skin pins and needles
A thousand
Blows on the bones
Half-conscious and torn asunder.
Push, push, push
She claws at the sheets,
Those mercurial clouds shift.
Bright wet hallucinations and dry
Tongue stuck to palate.
Pressure, pain, perishing…
An impatient child
Escapes the uterine strait.
My howls drown my nineteenth year.
In one instant
My creation assigns its pain to me.


Forty nine-year-old
Is not wary of phobic
Fuddy-duddy chitter-chatter.
Time spins In a frenzy of repollination
And the ray of light
Emanating from my soul
Releases me from
Decadent superstition
And wrath.
Ecstatic in yet-springing-anew
Finally wise to seasoned love
Menopause*, this Change of Life
Fights an uphill battle
For this old shrub of a heart
Has never before blossomed so red.

* In Persian, the word for Menopause also means annulment and/or despair.

From The Translation Project

the politics of bicycles 2

from  londonrihla

“On the basis of a fatwa issued by the supreme religious guide [Ayatollah Khamenei], women cycling in public is prohibited. Disobeying such a fatwa within the Islamic Republic of Iran could lead to penalties such as imprisonment and flogging.”

New Shahnameh Translation.

from NPR 

Just in time for [Nowruz], there’s a new English translation of the Shahnameh, the “Persian Book of Kings.” The epic was written over the course of 35 years, begun in the 10th century and finished in the 11th century by the poet Abolqasem Ferdowsi when the Persian Empire was a memory and Arabs dominated what is now the nation of Iran.

The story told in the Shahnameh begins with the origins of the world, recounts myths and legends of ancient times, then traces centuries of royal lineage, ending with the Arab invasion of Persia.

Translator Dick Davis is currently professor of Persian at Ohio State University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He takes an unorthodox approach to the epic, transforming Ferdowsi’s verse into a combination of poetry and prose.

The Shahnameh’s 60,000 couplets of Farsi roughly translate to 100,000 lines of English verse. It evolved from earlier oral epics and a Persian history commissioned by the royal family.

Davis says his translation is an effort to more closely mimic the cadence and feel of how storytellers have recited the Shahnameh for 1,000 years.

Get it here. and here.

Reb Shlomo on Itunes

Itunes finally has albums by the Reb available to download. Get them here, also with Neshama.  I picked up Ha Neshama shel Shlomo and Days are Coming.

The Art of Ebru

A lovely, wonderully calming, beautifully done video on the Turkish art of marbling ebru.

Persian Music

I listen to  They have three streams: 1. Persian Pop 2. Dance Party and 3. Traditional (Sonati).

 .من دوست دارم که یک روز ایران رو ببینم 

فارسی من بد است ,من باید فارسی رو بیشتر تمرین کنم

Hafez Online

A number of Hafez’s poems are online in english, with the original persian – as well as the transliteration.  They are beautifully illuminated and available in persian/english mp3 format.

My Jalaali Birthday

The Jalaali or Persian Calendar is a solar calendar currently used in Iran and Afghanistan. It is observation-based, rather than rule-based, beginning each year on the vernal equinox as precisely determined by astronomical observations from Tehran.

My birthday was Panjshanbeh, 22 Khordad 1359.

Today is Yekshanbeh, 19 Fervardin  1386.

Keep me in mind this year: Seshhanbeh, 22 Khordad 1386.

Spring Break ’07!!!!?

Iran to Create Women-Only Island

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran is seeking to create a paradise for female tourists by turning an island on a northwestern lake into male-free zone, the press reported on Wednesday.

All public transport, restaurants and facilities on the island — on the gigantic Oroumiyeh lake close to the Turkish border — will be staffed only by women, officials said.

“The island of Arezou (Wish), one of the 102 islands in the Oroumiyeh Lake, will be equipped especially for women,” a municipal official in the West Azerbaijan province, identified only as Aghai, was quoted as saying by the Tehran Emrouz newspaper.

“There will be no men on the island,” he said. “It will also boost tourism in the area.”

“The construction of hotels, small restaurants and medical centres under the management of women is one of the specifications for this island, which is the first such in the country,” Aghai said.

The initiative has even been cleared by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s provincial representative, who declared that a women-only island is not against Islamic sharia law, the official said.

Iran’s Islamic codes strictly prohibit exposure of unveiled women to men.

Iran has already partitioned parts of its southern and northern beaches as women-only zones where women can legally remove their headscarves and overcoats in freedom.

In some cities, there are also special “women parks”.

An Exerpt from a letter from the President of Iran to the American People

Noble Americans,

While Divine providence has placed Iran and the United States geographically far apart, we should be cognizant that human values and our common human spirit, which proclaim the dignity and exalted worth of all human beings, have brought our two great nations of Iran and the United States closer together.

Both our nations are God-fearing, truth-loving and justice-seeking, and both seek dignity, respect and perfection.

Both greatly value and readily embrace the promotion of human ideals such as compassion, empathy, respect for the rights of human beings, securing justice and equity, and defending the innocent and the weak against oppressors and bullies.

We are all inclined towards the good, and towards extending a helping hand to one another, particularly to those in need.

We all deplore injustice, the trampling of peoples’ rights and the intimidation and humiliation of human beings.

We all detest darkness, deceit, lies and distortion, and seek and admire salvation, enlightenment, sincerity and honesty.

The pure human essence of the two great nations of Iran and the United States testify to the veracity of these statements.

Noble Americans,

Our nation has always extended its hand of friendship to all other nations of the world. 

Hundreds of thousands of my Iranian compatriots are living amongst you in friendship and peace, and are contributing positively to your society.  Our people have been in contact with you over the past many years and have maintained these contacts despite the unnecessary restrictions of US authorities.

As mentioned, we have common concerns, face similar challenges, and are pained by the sufferings and afflictions in the world.

It is possible to govern based on an approach that is distinctly different from one of coercion, force and injustice.

It is possible to sincerely serve and promote common human values, and honesty and compassion.

It is possible to provide welfare and prosperity without tension, threats, imposition or war.

I pray to the Almighty to bless the Iranian and American nations and indeed all nations of the world with dignity and success. 

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

29 November 2006  

Burnt Bread and Chutney

A nice memoir of a terrific young woman and her life as a Jewish Indian-American.  Not something you see or read about very often.  Most ppl prob dont even realize that there are Jews in India (the Bene Yisrael), but there most certainly is, though most have made aliyah, and the culture is in more trouble due to assimilation and intermarriage.

Ms Delman writes very well, conjering up such images that even I have yet to think about, as one doesnt normally think of kosher indian food. yum.  A delightful mixed childhood of bene israel and ashkanzi, roti and gelfilte.  Time telling of her youth as a temp kubutznik and universal trouble of trying to find onesself – as if it wasnt hard enough to deal with already, one has to tackle not being indian/jewish/american/israeli “enough”.

A pleasant read, I do recommend.

Currently reading :
Burnt Bread and Chutney : Growing Up Between Cultures-A Memoir of an Indian Jewish Girl
By Carmit Delman
Release date: By 27 August, 2002

Lipstick Jihad

Wonderful book on the problems faced by children of new immigrants to the US, whether they come as young children or as first generation Americans.  Am I Iranian or American; and how does one define exactly what is an Iranian-American? Moaveni Khanoum’s experience takes it a bit further when she moves to Iran and becomes an American-Iranina (w/e), she is Iran, but most label her as American. How to be an Iranina-American in Iran?  Very nice read.

The] sense of being an outsider in two worlds may have made daily life difficult for Ms. Moaveni, but it also makes her a wonderfully acute observer, someone keenly attuned not only to the differences between American and Iranian cultures, but also to the ironies and contradictions of life today in Tehran

–Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Azadeh Moaveni illuminates one of the broadest political truths: Falseness in sexual life leads to falseness everywhere, the denial of truths of the individual body leads to corruption of the body politic.

LA Weekly

I wanted to quote that last paragraph, but I didnt have time to get it in here, maybe another time.

Be sure to check out:

Currently reading :
Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran
By Azadeh Moaveni
Release date: By 01 March, 2005

The Almond

 A nice little novel about the (sex) life of a single Moroccan woman.  A bit hot at some places, a bit slow at others.

Currently reading :
The Almond: The Sexual Awakening of a Muslim Woman
By Nedjma
Release date: By 10 May, 2005

Happy Nowruz!

Difference Between Judaism and Christianity

Posted from 

Yair Nitzani explains to a number of guest workers in Israel the difference between Christianity and Judaism:

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