Ala Hazrat Haj Agha
Deutsche Welle Radio (Radio Sedaye Alman) has interviewed Ala Hazrat Haj Agha. You can read the interview and listent to it here.
This might be a good post to talk about another related topic. I know some of you have been curious about my unlikely friendship with a group of young Iranian bloggers in this area. Here's the simple story of the way that friendship began. I went to a panel discussion about Iranian bloggers at Stanford University last February. In transition from another life into a new one, I had created my weblog in December 2006, and had been writing in it, but I hadn't given its address to anyone. I went there to find some answers to my questions, but was too shy to ask my questions! The panel consisted of Mehran, Leva, Omid, and Mehdi. Omid was already my friend, but I had never met or known about the other panelists or their blogs. Unbeknownst to me, there were others in that room whom I also did not know, but who would become my friends a little later, such as this fine gentleman. I left the gathering that day, having briefly chatted with the panelists (enough for them to remember me later, I guess!). Anyhow, our friendship started on that day, and I started sending Mehran my writings. He was full of kindness and support for me and eventually, with his and Leva's cajoling and encouragement, I gave them my blog address on their birthday in March (the two of them share the same birthday, would you believe?), they publicized it, and I went from a "blogger makhfi" to a public blogger. Mehran left me my very first comment on this blog. His blogger personality, Ala Hazrat Haj Agha, "A king without a throne and a Haji without a prayer," is a wonderful character, a funny, joyful and happy soul, and a man full of hope, optimism, and love for others. His real character, Mehran of Kerman and Tehran and Kermanshah and Rome and Fresno and San Francisco, I'll have you know, is even better than His Majesty. This one's throne and crown and prayer is his heart of gold.