Scattered Thoughts of Tuesday

San Francisco Bay From Ghirardelli Square, Saturday, September 8, 2007, having lunch with Mersedeh & Shabnam
  1. I went to wish Dr. Zari Taheri a safe trip back to Japan tonight. Too bad she won't be back for another year or so. Her students in Japan are so lucky. I got home so late, I missed my chance to talk to a dear friend, as I had promised. Life overwhelms me sometimes.
  2. Reese Erlich will be the Berkeley Lecture Series' guest speaker this Sunday, September 30th at 4 p.m. His lecture is entitled "Will the US attack Iran?" An experienced and reputable journalist, Erlich has reported from Iran (with Sean Penn) and Iraq five times. Erlich's book The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of US Policy and the Middle East Crisis, has just been published. The lecture will be at UC Berkeley, 110 Barrows Hall. Erlich is a very interesting man and an excellent speaker whose lectures I have attended before. It will be my older sister's birthday on Sunday, so I will attend if I can.
  3. I am really upset with Columbia President, Lee Bollinger, for embarrassing the academic community worldwide. Regardless of what everyone thinks of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it was so shocking to see a fine higher education institution invite the President of a country to their campus, and its highest official deliver such a rude political statement, driven not by academic intent, but with hostile words meant to appease Columbia donors and political lobbyists. If Columbia really believed in freedom of speech, one of the most valuable and revered pillars of American Constitution, after receiving their guest with respect, an academic dialogue should have ensued, encouraging their guest to answer questions in a civilized environment, something that could have taught Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a thing or two. How did ridiculing and insulting him enrich Columbia? It only served to feed the media frenzy started by warmongers on CNN and FoxNews, while adding nothing to the dialogue, failing humanity's expectations of a good university. I am embarrassed on so many levels for all that has been dear and meaningful to me, to be ridiculed and brokered for greed. Everything and everybody in Columbia embarrassed me yesterday. I would like to believe that such a blatent "sell-out" of American ideals and academic values would have never happened at Berkeley, had the meeting taken place here. If US attacks Iran, Columbia will forever have to bear the responsibility of stooping as low as FoxNews in facilitating an unwarranted war on innocent people of Iran. I am so upset.
  4. On a happier note, I forgot to mention that my little car, Shabdiz, has been repaired and returned to me after that last accident my son had with it. Shabdiz is a member of our family who takes me to work and around, needing little, and giving me the only breaks during the day where I can be alone with my thoughts, my music, and my writing (while taking shape in my head). My daily trips into and around Berkeley were very sad without him. I'm glad Shabdiz is home. I am not loaning him to anyone again.


jeerjeerak said...

Personally i dislike and disapprove of Ahmadinejad very much, but I too found this guy's introduction to his speech unconventional and insulting. That's not the way to introduce any speaker, let alone the elected president of a country.

خانم شین said...

سلام ... تو اون لینک عکسها من که جایی اسم ندیدم. یا اینکه دقت نکردم؟ نمی دونم. خسته ام یه خورده چشمم داره آلبالو گیلاس می چینه... بهرحال اگه اون خانوم خوشگل با موی بور که لوا رو بغل کرده تویی هم واقعا قشنگی و هم اینکه اصلا اصلا پیر نیستی... نمی دونم درست حدس زدم یا نه

Nazy said...

Jeer Jan. You and I are in agreement over the issue. It appears that there is overwhelming objection to Bollinger for his treatment of his guest.

One of my readers, Alef Shin, wrote a post about scientists who put their knowledge in service of greed, designating them the name "doj-agah." I suggest you read those posts and tell me if you think the existing scenario fits his apt description.

This is the first post he wrote: http://dialogos.blogfa.com/post-84.aspx, and the second one: http://dialogos.blogfa.com/post-87.aspx.

Be good Jeer Jan and come back soon.

Nazy said...

Salam Bar Shin-e-Konjkav! Hee hee hee! I think you may have found me, though I still believe it doesn't matter what we look like. I love those "hide-and-seek" pictures of Sina's and would like your permission to use them sometime soon. He is adorable, and you are wonderful. Thanks for coming to visit.

Ehsan said...

He was indeed inappropriate, and his rudeness gave A'nejad a chance to appear as the better and wiser person in the room. A chance that he fully used to his advantage, and to impress the audience.
What made it worse is that Bollinger wasn't even right in some things he said. He called A'nejad a dictator, when as the president of IR Iran he does not even have much power compared to many heads of governments in other countries. Neither in the constitution, nor in practice does he has any power to make major policy decisions, especially when it gets to foreign policy. The real power lays elsewhere, and Bollinger either ignored this fact or lacked the knowledge. And this becomes especially funny considering that he accused A'nejad of lacking knowledge, which would be fair if the accuser himself had straightened his facts first.

Mina said...

I second and third and fourth your comments about Bollinger. He's a coward. I posted about this on my own blog, which includes the full version of the Columbia talk plus the so-called introduction.

Nazy said...

Salam Ehsan Jan:

Bollinger has made a mistake, which I should hope would cost him his job. You are right, he sounded ignorant, arrogant, and only marginally-informed about Iran.

But nothing can make "our man in Saadabad," as Mina has called him in the past, look better and wiser, I'm afraid. He has worked himself into a corner where he has compromised his credibility seriously. He was elected by people who wanted him to help improve their economic conditions, and instead, his agenda has become questioning the Holocaust, and nuclear energy, forgetting the economy, and isolating the decent and good people of Iran to the point where more and more sanctions and hardships are awaiting them. He then insists on having the spotlight, without seeking advice from knowledgeable advisors, taking trips abroad during which his remarks further isolate and humiliate Iran, permitting animals masquerading as businessmen, politicians, and journalists, to beat the war drum, threatening the very nation he took an oath to protect and safeguard. Ehsan jan, while I defend his right to be respected as a guest, and to be given a chance to say his piece without insults, I cannot forget how he denied the same rights to our students, journalists, and activists. The situation is so sad all around, it is hard to find any hope to carry on. As Nima said:
به کجای این شب تیره بیاویزم قبای ژنده’ خود را

Read Mina’s post about the event.

Be good Ehsan Jan.

Nazy said...

Minaye Azizam. I'm honored you came back and I thank you for your supportive comment. I have read your post and as usual, you do a very good job of analyzing the situation.

It is a sad business being an Iranian these days. A part of us has always wished for a better life for the people of Iran, scrambling to find hope, and another part of us feels so indignant and concerned about things we hear and see around here. I do believe that people of Iran are rather isolated in terms of their access to news, and the average Iranian might have no idea of the looming threats of military action against that defenseless nation. Knowing and seeing both sides, drives anyone who loves Iran insane at times. I thank you for being vigillant and fair in your assessment of current affairs. Be good azizam and come again. It is always a pleasure hearing from you.