- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Scattered Thoughts of Tuesday
San Francisco Bay From Ghirardelli Square, Saturday, September 8, 2007, having lunch with Mersedeh & Shabnam