Friday, December 15, 2006

Card Palace by Wanceslas Square

What is obvious these days is the utter decadence of the Tajik RFE/RL. Great thinkers like Taher Abdoljabbar & Emamnazar Khalnazar are out, youngsters on the path of journalism are out and now a good journalist in Dushanbe has left it voluntarily. Rahmatkarim Dawlat, my friend and double-ex-colleague (since we used to work together in Tajik TV too), has spat on the face of Prague by sending the following message:

Az hamkoiri va hamrohii har yaki shumo minnatpaziram. Vale man zindagii mushkil dar sharoiti Tojikistonro bar kor va fa'oliyat zeri bori farmon va fishori ravoni va ruhi tarjeh dodam. Kor dar Ozodi bo vujudi mafod baroi man, mutaasifona mushkil va dushvor niz anjom shuda. Khususan, munosibati akhiri Kh. Baqozoda baroi man dardovar bud. Man, in vaz'ro, ki yak mudir meoyad, zeri bori yak guruh va mudiri digar, ki
meoyad zeri bopri guruhi digar boyad qaror girifa bosham, digar tahammul
nadoram. Binobar in az ta'rikhi 11. 12. 2006 man az hamkori bo ozodii tojiki sarfi nazar kardam. Bo vujude guftam az kase niz ba surati judogona gila nadoram.
Bo salom, RD"

I know Djavadi is going to get him back on his return from Baku and I know RD presumably will re-join them. However, I feel really sorry for RFE/RL Tajik Svc. It seems it's falling apart with a blow of the wind of change.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thinking in The Dark

Cork popped out and rocked me back and forth.


Silence got back to me to say that I was all alone on all three floors…

I had asked him too if he was comfortable with the way I address him. “Setareh” is his surname, but we have three Hosseins among our colleagues and contributors. He was OK with it, perhaps because his surname sounds more poetic, hence more Persian. He’s one of the whales of the station and our technical credibility lays on his shoulders almost entirely. A modest intelligent guy in his late thirties endowed with long brown hair that he likes caressing while speaking to you before laying them down on his right shoulder bunched as a pony tail and forgetting them for a short while. Yeah, he is my neighbor who I happen to see once a day and that’s in the office, drawn in his work that he enjoys so vividly. But his speech adds to your general knowledge a lot. For instance, before I talked to him I didn’t know why lanes and streets in London were so curved and winding and buildings were so sharp-edged with half of them jumping out of the designated space. His explanation was simple but wise: just in order to break the wind, otherwise they couldn’t withstand the Genghis strength of the London winds. Winding roads to break the winds!

Tonight it’s windy out there too. Just got back from work while my birds must be in bed by now in London. The rain was washing my eyeglasses and turning me into a blind-walker in still-strange alleys of a soulless city of Amsterdam. Before picking up one more Marlboro I felt the annoying weight of Niquitin patches in my right jacket pocket. Suddenly recalled Mehdi’s saying: Some people prefer to live long and tasteless, while some others choose to live short but joyful… And lit one more fag. With the image of G.W.B. in front of my eyes jerking around the entire world, the significance of my smoking problem diminished momentarily. We got more serious things to care about.

Now I’m sitting in my huge kitchen attached to the lounge with a huge mirror on the wall and a big “Loewe” TV set beside it. (I guess “Loewe” is Lion in Dutch. Haven’t started taking Dutch courses yet). A bottle of Santa Ana Argentine Chardonnay begging for my attention on the dining table.

Nostalgic sound of the rain squeezing into my ears from the top-opened window of the kitchen and the seeking wind that calms down as soon as touches me. Whispering leaves behind the window, invisible to my un-armed eyes (I wet my glasses with the rain, remember?) That’s my entire company for tonight.

My first impressions from Amsterdam are as follows: gigantic spinning windmills stealing your gaze everywhere, numerous bridges over unnumbered canals, streams of bicycles that would love to run you over, dangerous cycle lanes (fietspaden) that could turn into a place of accident for you, dedicated road signs and traffic lights for bicycles (!), plus special bike (!)-routes linking the city, plentiful of gay faces and places & an easy city scheme. And of course, close to fluent English of its inhabitants with no English signs and writings in the entire capital.

Torn away from my beloved ones sometimes I feel lost. Even my Mum doesn’t know yet that my birds are not with me. At times I wished to be forgotten by everyone and now I feel it indeed. Thrown away by a weak bunch of Tajiks in Prague, wandering somewhere on Earth and trying to establish myself anew. My future was seductive before and now it is illusive. There was a thud behind the door of my heart: You will serve your nation, because you have to! Now I’m losing my ability to hear it, as if the people I want to serve and who really need me do not want my service anymore.

01:00 AM

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Javadi's Further Commandments

I have received them ages ago, but publishing just now.

By the way, Abbas Javadi has introduced a new transcription in the RFE/RL Tajik Service borrowed from Turkish alphabet. I wonder how Tajiks accept it within the section. Anyway, you can see further signs of destruction in the service by the Turk:

1) Barnomai Sadoi Toza (Xiromon) laghv meshavad. Ba joi on Mezi Mudavvari
Javononro takror mekunem.

2) Tahiyyai barnomahoi haftagii Farhangu Andesha (to hol Shafkat va Saidkosim)
va Bargi Sabz (to hol Xolida va Iskandar) bu Dushanbe kuchonide meshavad. Az
hamin haftai oyanda Farhangu Andesharo Barot Yusifi va Bargi Sabzro Safargul
bonu tahiyya mekunad. Az in hamkoron xohish mekunam: 1-2 ruz kabl az tahiyyai
haftanomahoi xud mavzuhoi xudro bu Mirzonabi maslihat kunand, tarhu peshnihodi
xudro bo email ba MK va Praqa firistand. Tasmim va tahriri nihoiro MK mekunad va
agar lozim boshad man (va yo Mirzo va yo Nurmuhammad) ham maslihat medihem.
Xohishi digar in ast ki ba'd az tahiyyai barnomaho ruyxati guzorishhoi doxili in
barnomaho ba Praqa firistoda shavand to melum shavad kiho dar in barnomaho sahm
doshtand. (In baroi pardoxti haqqi kalam muhim ast).

Tashakkur, Abbosi Javodi


1) Barnomai navi xabari bomdodii mo (dushanbe to jum'a) oghoz meshavad.
Tafsilotro allakai muzokira kardaem. Soat ve soxtori barnomai subh (CLOCK) ba in
email ilova shudaast. Dar Praqa barnomai bomdodiro ba navbat yak hafta Xiromon
va yak hafta Tohirjon icro mekunand. Dar Dushanbe boz ba navbat Rahmatkarim va
Shahlo bonu mujrii barnoma xohand bud va baroi tahiyyai xabar va meqola ba
navbat Nosirjon va Barot ba onho kumak xohand kard.

2) Haftai oyanda soat va soxtori barnomai xabarii begohiro ham omoda karda ba
ittiloe hama merasonam.

Maksadu manzur az in soxtorho onast ki barnomaho nazmu tarteb doshta boshand va
tasodufi naboshand va ham mo hamcun tahiyyakunanda va ham shunavanda bidonad ki
kay, dakikai chandum chi paxsh xohad shud (albatta ba'ze holathoi favuloddaro
nametavon istisno kard). In dar ayni hol (maxsusan dar barnomahoi begohi) ba mo
kumak mekunad ki, guzorishhoro bo me'yori balandtar intixob kunem, guzorishhoi
beahamiyyat va yo kamahamiyyotro paxsh nakunem (intixobi guzorishho va tartibi
onho ba dushi moderator, sipas editor, sipas manast).

Tashakur, Abbos Javodi


Baroi on ki Bargi Sabz va Farhangu Andesha (ki az haftai oyanda dar Dushanbe
tahiyya meshavand) va vakte dastu poi hamkoroni Praqa boztar shud mo kushish
xohem kard har hafta baroi har du barnoma materiali xurde tahiyya karda firistem
to in du barnoma mahz va tojiki va "lokal" sado nadihand, balki perspektivi
baynalimilali ham doshta boshand....


A Puzzled Puzzle

The atmosphere around me has changed entirely and I like all personages of my new chapter. Of course, I can see an utmost confusion on their questioning faces: Is he really from Tajikistan? Is he trying to hijack this purely Iranian cause and turn in into something Tajik? Is he going to weaken our positions? Is he… Even I am puzzled with the puzzle I have become.

But there is a huge difference between my last two chapters. In RFE/RL some of them were ready to strangle me if they could, take my heart out of my chest savagely and cook a shish-kebab to celebrate the victory of stupidity. But now I am facing pretty beings with a little dose of suspicion and a huge question mark on their faces: is he going to make our lives easier or is he trying to push us down to hell? I’m trying to assure them that the latter is nonsensical; that we are going to have a lovely peaceful life and I’m not willing to challenge our co-existence. Why? Just because I like all of them with no exception, since I can see humanity in their eyes. Maybe I am exhausted for the time being after my long trip to hell or perhaps just because I like them indeed: an extraordinary hybrid mass of human characters ranging from Hassan Shakiba to Hossein Derakhshan. Actually the latter amazed me the other day with his tolerance: two of my colleagues were grilling him at the pub down-stairs, but he managed to keep a broad smile on his happy face with thrilled wild eyes. Kamelia said she could see number 666 on his forehead; his reaction was just a broad smile again before turning to me to say: “Oh, I wish to visit Tajikistan, just because I like Tajiks & Tajiks who I know like me in return.” I encouraged the "Father of the Persian Weblog" to keep his pledge to visit my homeland to discover something fresh deep inside himself. He remembered my dearest friend Salim as “a really good person” (Hossein’s words) & had nothing more to add to his Tajikistani sayings. But that was enough to generate a true respect to him within me. A friend who likes my friend is more than a simple friend to me.

Derakhshan added one more thing: “Your today’s presentation was absolutely different from what we used to hear from Zamaneh before. It was really cool.” Kamelia said: “You gotta believe him. Because it’s Hossein Derakhshan saying that, a person who’s keen to criticize only; the one who’s really stingy in praising.”

We'll see soon if he was right or not.

Zaterdag, 22 November 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

The City and Mum

Oh yeah, the city! Amsterdam is a comparatively small city with approximately 750000 people (Mehdi’s figure). I have not seen much of it yet. From where I am standing now (The Royal Institute of Tropical Studies!) I can see an astonishing huge Dutch windmill transformed into a factory (Mehdi’s information), a couple of sporadically erected skyscrapers and rows of small tin-roofed houses separated by wide and narrow roads and streets… The widest road is just underneath us; the one that crosses our street. Now it’s wet with the rain and shiny with the lights of rare cars cautiously moving in different directions.

…Mum was shocked that I had changed my job again. She sounded really worried, but I did my best to convince her that everything was going to be OK. That’s what we all hope, anyway.

Embraced by The Time

That’s it! I am in Amsterdam now with a heavy burden of thoughts in my mind and two physical bags on my shoulders. Zamaneh seems to embrace a dozen of very friendly smiling faces in a very amicable atmosphere. Perhaps after what I witnessed and endured at RFE/RL my perception of the Third Reich’s radio station would have been something similar too. But, no. Actually, my first impression from RFE/RL was something similar to my last impression and this fact gives me a greater hope that the black line of my destiny has been cut off by my departure from Prague.

Mehdi chaired a long meeting to introduce me to my new colleagues and to talk about his latest adventures in Tehran. My introduction embarrassed me a bit or perhaps I just did not know what to do while Mehdi was generously lavishing me with praises and giving some details of my journalistic past. It was really very kind of him and made me fonder to start working as soon as possible. My only job today was filling the chair of today’s “Guest of the Day” in the program and revealing some facts of my life that somehow happened to sound to me like I was bragging about myself, and I felt embarrassed again.

But today’s meeting demonstrated Mehdi as the real head of the station with an ample amount of self-confidence and authority who cares about each member of the team while anticipating a proper job from each of them. The team was listening to his words carefully, analyzing his statements, asking questions, reacting to his answers and listening to him again. All is done in a mutually amicable style.

As you can see, the start is ostensibly optimistic. Let me unfold the future or rather let the future unfold the events further on.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Javadi's First Commandment

If anybody had a doubt in the truth of my words about the Tajik RFE/RL happenings, must be having a clear image in front of his/her eyes by now. Abbas Javadi, the new acting head of the Tajik section (with very strong Turkic affiliations who had written books to praise Pan-Turkism) has sent his first message to the section where he appoints his aids (Mirzo and Nurmuhammad) as "the editors of everything". The letter is in "Tajik" and it shows the depth of Javadi's hatred to Tajiks, if you take a deeper look:

"Hamkoroni aziz, salom:

1) Az dushanbei oyanda jalasa (telekonfransi) Praqa-Dushanbe soati 9:30 (Praqa) ye'ni 13:30 ba vakti Dushanbe barguzor meshavad. Shurui ruzi kori dar Praqa: 09:00. To 9:30 dar Praqa buroi Dushanbe barnomai korii Dushanbe va shahrhoi Tojikistonro ba hama mefiristad. XOHISH AZ DIGER XABARNIGORON (MASKAV, BISHKEK, ALMATI, KOBUL): To haddi imkon subhi har ruz peshnihodhoi xudro ba hamai bakhsh firisted to dar barnomarizii ruz doxil karda shavad.

2) Mirzo Salimpur (va agar on kas ba har dalel, masalan ruxsati, barnomai subh dar ofis naboshad va yo bor kori digar mashgul boshad) Nurmuhammad Xolzoda sardabir va hamohangsozi tamomi barnomahoi radioii mo hastand (Xabar, Chashmandoz va barnomahoi vezha). Yani Mirzo (ve ya Nurmuhammad)

n barnomai ruzonaro tarhrezi mkunad va baroi barnomahoi oyanda naksha va peshnihod medihand
n dar jalasahoi ruzona (soati 9:30 Praqa) ba tavri faol shirkat mekonand (va dar nabudani direktor in jalasahoro rahbari mekunand)
n edit/tahriri guzorishho: guzorishhoi Dushanbero Mirzonabi edit/tahrir mekunad, sipas moderatori Xabar va yo Chashmandoz. Sardabir ham kabl az paxsh onhoro meshunavad va agar lozim shud taghirot medihad. Agar lozim va maslahat shud man ham mebinam ve mudoxile mekunam. Dar Praqa guzorishhoi xabarnigoroni digar (Maskav va ghayra) ro moderatorho (Xabar ve Chashmandoz) bo kumaki texniki Sam megirand, edit mekunand. Sardabir inhoro ham mebinad, rohnamoi mekunad, maslahat medihad va agar lozim boshad, bo kumaki moderator dar guzorishho, tarzi guzoshtani mas'ala va suolho teghirot midihad Guzorishhoi Praqaro ham sardabir (va agar lozim boshad man) edit/tahrir mekunad. Sardabir dar zimn dar hamkori bo moderator va man tartibi guzorishhoro muayyan mekunad (navbati paxshi guzorishho).
n sardabir dar zimn barnomai subhro dar nazar dorad, dar borai guizorishho va xabarhori subh ba moderatori subh peshnihod va maslahat medihad.

(DAR HAMIN ROBITA HAFTAI OYANDA MIRZO DAR XABARI SUBH AST. NURMUHAMMAD SARDABIRI BARNOMAHOST. BA IN XOTIR ruzi seshanbe 14.11. az Xolida xohish mekunam Chashmandoz-ro icro kunad. Ruzi Chorshanbe boshad (15.11) Iskandar dar Xabar xohad bud (HE-i in haftaro takror xohem kard).

3) Dar barnomahoi subh taghyirot cori xohem kard. Maqsad onast ki fe'lan in barnoma ba tavri mushtarak az Praqa va Dushanbe icro shavad. Barnomarezi baroi in taghyirot hanuz idoma dorad.

4) Az haftai oyanda Xoliq Sangov hamcun web editor ba Abdufattoh mepayvandad. Abdufattoh va Xoliq fakat kori veb-ro xohand kard. Ya'ni

Dar Praqa har kas maqola/guzorishi xudro xud dar veb xohad guzosht.
Dar Praqa digar kase tamomi ruz fakat mashguli veb (OL) naxohad bud.
Dar Praqa moderatori Xabar va Chashmandoz (CHI SUBH VA CHI SHAB) ba'd az icroi barnomai xud matni moderasiyai xudro ba Xoliq va Abdufattoh xohad firistod to onho xabar va matolibi xabarii digari in matnhoro dar veb biguzorand.
Dar Dushanbe va digar shahrhoi digar (Tojikistan va ghayra, Maskav, Bishkek va s.) xabarnigoron MATNI NIHOII GUZORISHHOI xudro ba Abdufattoh va Xoliq xohand firistod to dar veb guzoshta shavad.
Sardabiri nihoi veb va mas'uli Forum Salimjon Ayubzod ast. Salimjon har ruz nigohe ba veb mekunad va tashehot/taghiroti lozimro medihad.

Tashakkur baroi hamkori.

Abbos Javodi"

Monday, November 06, 2006

Just Before I'm Gone

In few minutes Said Qasem will arrive to take us to the airport and that will be the real end of my Praha Saga. I will take with me some images: Taher - my dearest friend in Prague is still in front of my eyes. He flied away today as well, but to a different direction. He flied to Geneva and I'm really happy for him, since he really deserves it. The other day Massi called him "the sweetest member of the team" and everybody knew who she was talking about. So, that sweetest image is my dearest friend in Prague and he will remain among my dearest amigos for good. And of course, Said Qasem, who has been earmarked as "the most Tajik guy of the team" by Massi. Perfectly said. His kindness is enormous. OK, gotta go now, Said Qasem must be downstairs by now. Talk to you soon amigas e amigos. Bedrud for now.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Nashledanou, Zlata Praha!

It was on January 13, when I forsaw my future adventures in the Liberty, but still my heart was filled with warming hope and a ton of confidence. I was almost certain about developing similar qualities with them and said:

And I believe that we can extend those ties even up to the new world of mine and we’ll finally find a common language and will develop the same sort of nasal and pharyngeal textures to comprehend and love each other. Only if Ahura will remain just beside me. Eydun bad (Amen).”

Today I was reading my pre-Liberty blogs and laughing as a madman; I could not believe how similar feelings could be at different times and different places. I remember meu amiga warning me about possible bitter consequences of my crucial decision to leave the BBC. And now here in Prague my new amigos e amigas are trying to re-convince me to stay a bit longer: “perhaps the future is bright.” Actually I feel it too; I feel the brightness of the future too, since there’s no other option rather than remaining hopeful. But lack of patience and the feeling of beeing extremely odd among this lot are probably my biggest motivations that are forcing me out of Prague again in the search of new adventures in a new place. It’s good that I had no enough time to fall in love with Prague yet and it would not bee too painful to leave this small and quiet town. I will just miss my really good friends in here and will cherish the memories of our shared time together.

This is the last time I am sitting behind my brand new wide olive desk in this old building that used to belong to the Czechoslovakian parliament in Soviet times. My PC was emptied yesterday, my ID will be handed in the reception for good today, my papers are in pieces in a trash bin, my rota still hanging on the edge of a blue board beside a paper that contains “15 Things You Probably Never Knew Or Thought About”. One of its points say: “The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.” But the first point of it is much more beautiful: “At least 5 people in this world love you so much they would die for you.” That makes you feel someone, even if it’s not true at all.

A beautiful green flower in a pot on the right corner of the desk has spread its two branches so wide as if trying to give me a good-bye hug. And just above it Ella Wheeler Wilcox’ terrific lines sent by T and printed out by me:

“There’s one sad truth in life I’ve found,
While journeying east and west.
The only folks we really wound,
Are those we love the best…”

Beside it a plain charcoal painting depicting presumably a street of Prague with its crucifixes, churches and domes… and empty alleys deriving from it.

Thus, another city lived by me and lived in me, while I was living in it, must be left behind tomorrow. Nashledanou, Zlata Praha!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The End of Samosa Saga

Michele sent the following message today to everyone in the Radios:

"I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Sojida Djakhfarova as Director of the Uzbek Service. Since July of last year, Sojida has led a very committed team through a dangerous and difficult time. The team has continued to produce excellent and hard-hitting news despite the harassment and intimidation of our correspondents in Uzbekistan and the forced closure of our Tashkent bureau. Sojida joined the Radios in 1996 as a freelancer for the Tajik Service in Moscow. She's been the bureau chief in Dushanbe, the Acting Director of the Tajik Service, and the Coordinator of RFE/RL's Youth Programs. Please join me in congratulating Sojida on her well-deserved appointment.

And congratulations to all the member of the Uzbek Service for their exceptional performance during these past 16 months."

That means their plan has failed. I congratulated Sojida by saying:

"Sojidai giromi,
That's terrific news. Before leaving RFE let me congratulate you with your new solid and certain position and wish you all the best. I wish you prosperous and fruitful years in Uzbek Section.
With regards,

She thanked me afterwards and invited me for a cup of coffee. I kindly declined the invitation, since Tajik samosas had not been mentioned in the message.

Thus Spake Salim

A letter by a dear colleague:

Dear All,

I have received latest news from the Tajik service being away from you. Looking from outside I should say that these news are regrettable.

Two members of the team are leaving us in a very climax of our progress and successes.

Massoumeh has changed the Tajik service very much in all dimensions, from the programming to our working space design. Maybe she was wrong giving us to much freedom and democracy in doing our job, speaking openly, stepping out of the «borders». She is a Westener, but we are Easterners with certain oddities. She was the rare type of bosses who clearly separate professional and personal relations. Sometimes I was not behave as a good person to her (Sorry, Massoumeh), but it had never been affected our relations as the team members, the same was with others. She taught us not to gain a credit by playing the role of a close aide-de-camp, giving equal chances to everyone and cementing our team. I will miss her daily post-broadcast notes that were giving me an example of good and energizing judgment. We all see her as a pattern of Friendly Soft Power.

Shafkat is surely a noble representative of the young Tajik generation with his own singularities and a large portion of «fresh blood» poured into the body of our team. However, sometimes the fresh blood causes allergic overreaction. He shocked us by his energy, knowledge, open mind and dress fashion. Unlike me he was not afraid of the microphone flying as a free bird on air. He has attracted many Tajik youth, who are trying to write as he in their e-mail messages as we all witnessed. Tajik papers have been reprinting his stories, causing discussions in Tajikistan. However, he was made us uncomfortable by his independent mind and stubborn resistance not to be like everyone, when he do believe he is right. I have been feeling myself much younger talking to him and I will miss this feeling too.

Let us to wish both of them all the best in their journey, if Shafkat did not changed his mind to stay in the team for sake of his listeners. Sorry.

Nuclear Test At RFE/RL Tajik Svc

Дуруде чу буи хуши ошной ба так-таки дустон.

Ин нома ба маҳзи изҳори сипос ба азизоне чун Маъсумаи Турфа - аз беҳтарин журнолистони форсизабон, Салими Аюбзод – аз ситораҳои дурахшони журнолисми точик, Мирзонабии Холиқзод, Абдулқайюми Қайюмзод, Тоҳири Сафар, Расули Шодон, Ҳумоюни Шаҳриёр, Назруллоҳи Латиф ва тамомии бачаҳои “Озодй” дар Точикистон, Саидқосими Қиёмпур, Фарангиси Начибуллоҳ, Искандари Хоча Мирзода, Маъсуми Муҳаммадрачаб, Носирчони Маъмурзода, Насибчони Амонй, Мирасрори Фарғонй, Муҳаммадраҳими Сайдар, Латифи Латифй ва дусти нодидаву умедбахшам Каюмарси Ато навишта шудааст. Агар номи азизе аз қалам уфтод, бо бузургвории худ бибахшед. Ин ҳама афроде ҳастанд, ки ба гунае хотироти хушеро дар зеҳни ман ба чо гузоштаанд. Аммо он чи дар поин меояд, аз ин хотирот то андозае мутафовит аст.

Туфони дасисаҳое, ки бо вуруди ман ба родю Озодй бапо шуда буд, интизор меравад бо рафтанам фуру бинишинад. Аз ҳамин ҳоло нишонаҳояш ошкор аст ва қобили дилгармй. Ҳадафи ман ҳам мондагорй набуд. Озодй ба унвони танҳо родюи хоричй, ки барои Точикистон ин ҳама соъат дар руз барнома пахш мекунад, ҳамеша бароям чолиби таваччуҳ буд, аммо ҳаргиз то пои Маъсума ба ин чо нарасид, орзуи пайвастан ба онро надоштам. То кунун он чи лозим буд, барои барномаҳо анҷом додам ва “Озодй”-ро ба ҳадде, ки лозим буд (шояд ҳам беш аз ҳад), шинохтам. Бо ин ки мудирияти созмон хостори боқй мондани ман буд ва дустони азизе талош карданд маро ба мондан мутақоъид кунанд, тарҷеҳ додам биравам ва афродеро, ки аз ман эҳсоси хатар мекарданду мекунанд, осуда бигзорам, то пораи ноне, ки шояд манзури ниҳоишон аст, аз даҳонашон науфтад.

Шояд ин суханон барои бархе густохона ба назар бирасад ва мумкин аст тасмими ман барои иддае кудакона чилва кунад, аммо ин воқеъиятест, ки бо ду чашми дил метавон диду эҳсос кард. Дар як чунин ҳолате наметавон зист ва боз ҳам руноманигор боқй монд. Рузноманигорй ва ҳуввияти миллй ба сароб мепайвандад ва орзуҳои дунёии беарзише чои онро мегирад. Суҳбатҳо аз моварои пулу ғайбат фаротар намеравад ва равон ба гандоба мерезад. Ва дар ниҳоят, вучуди инсон ба як аломати суол табдил мешавад: Барои чй? Будан барои чист? Ва пучгарой имрузу охирататро метанад.

Ин тасвири раъшаовар, ки гуфтам, воқеъист, албатта, шомили ҳоли ҳамаи азизон дар Прог намешавад, аммо ҳама ин ҳолатҳоро аз наздик мушоҳида мекунем, медонем, бар сари он баҳс мекунем ва роҳи ҳалле ҳам намеёбем. Сурату сирати шуморе аз дустони қадимиам, ки ин чо зиндагй дубора моро ба ҳам овард, боваркарданй набуд. Эй кош дубора надида будам ва ҳамон тасвири нопухта дар зеҳни кудаконаам монда буд. Ҳамин чеҳраҳо маро аз ояндаам дар “Озодй” бим доданд. Ҳаминҳо маро ба кунчи риққат нишонданд, то ба андозае бинишинаму ба ҳолашон дилам бисузад, ки бидуни ин ки кафшамро пеши поям гузошта бошанд, бисотамро чамъ кунаму биравам.

Ман дар ин бора боз ҳам хоҳам гуфт ва хоҳам навишт. То замоне хоҳам гуфт, ки диди ҳамагон ба Точикистон иваз шавад. То замоне ки Точикистонро танҳо мухтассу вижаи худ надонем. Он ба афроде мисли ман ҳам таъаллуқ дорад ва ифтихори точик будан ҳамвора бо ман будаасту хоҳад монд. Ҳиссе, ки дар чашмони баъзеҳо ба чизе дигар табдил шуда. Чизе, ки бештар ба ҳақорату худкеҳтарбинй мемонад ва намедонам чаро ранги сабз дорад… Ва нуктаи талхтар ин ки ин афрод он чи мехостанд, нашуд. Оё бояд мутаассиф буд? Худ донед.

Ва аммо ҳамон гуна ки дар боло зикр шуд, як хирвор хотироти хуше ҳам бо ман ин сохтмонро тарк мекунад ва тушаи роҳам хоҳад буд. Ин тушаҳо бар пушт ва таъми самбусаи точикй дар ком шуморо ба Парвардигори якто месупорам. Чашми равонатон ҳамеша равшан ва қалбатон кошонаи нур бод.


PS: Тамос бо ман аз тариқи пайки электруники мумкин хоҳад буд.

Sent to RFE/RL Tajik team on 02 November 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

She's Leaving Now Indeed

در حاشيه پيام استعفای معصومه طرفه

بدون تو سراب ما سراب گونه تر شود
جهنمی بتر شود، ز آب گونه تر شود

دو سه سفير اهرمن به هم پيام می دهند:
"خوشا سعادت فراق! زبون ما زبر شود!"

خيال خام و کثر نام مجالشان نمی دهد
و تير جسته شرور روانه سپر شود

سر بلند رفتنت دل حسود را شکست
سر به ته فتاده اش کنون فکنده تر شود

در اين سرای تاجيکی تو را حبيب بيشتر است
رقيب نا ستوده ات نهايتا هدر شود

25 اکتبر 2006

Дар хошияи паёми истеъфои Маъсумаи Турфа

Бидуни ту сароби мо саробгунатар шавад,
Чаханнаме батар шавад, зи об гуна тар шавад.

Ду-се сафири Ахриман ба хам паём медиханд:
Хушо саъодати фирок! Забуни мо забар шавад!

Хаёли хому касри ном мачолашон намедихад,
Ва тири частаи шарур равонаи сипар шавад.

Сари баланди рафтанат дили хасудро шикаст,
Сари ба тах фитодааш кунун фикандатар шавад.

Дар ин сарои точики туро хабиб бештар аст,
Ракиби носутудаат нихоятан хадар шавад.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Is It Over Again?

I’m hearing tearful voices over the phone and seeing happy faces at times these days. But the shock is overwhelming indeed. They cannot believe what’s happening now. Tens of thousands of dollars are being neglected by a proud guy and that guy is me.

Behaviors have changed in order to sweeten the bitterness of our short co-existance. I’m receiving plentiful of messages of friendship from my “regretful” foes: “please re-visit your decision and be patient a bit more… Everything is going to change”.

The management is keen to see me and is offering me new job opportunities, paving my way to climb up the dig they’d dug for me before.

How can I translate my present feeling of annoyance to them? Tajik Service and a service to Tajik people were only causes I joined them in Prague. I saw something I could never imagine before and I’m happy I did it.

Now it’s time to pick up my stuff and sing a farewell song: “Vaqteshe, vaqteshe, raftan vaqteshe, Vaqteshe, az to gozashtan vaqteshe.” They have never witnessed a similar scene of having enough of their crap and leaving, just leaving without being kicked out. Just leaving, because they seem too miserable and intolerable. Just because the meaning of their lives have turned green as on dollar banknotes. Just because human nature has encountered a real catastrophe among this bunch of beings. Just because you want to have some fresh air in your lungs you’ve been waiting for ages… By the way, my lungs are cleaner now, free of fag pollution deep inside.

Yeah, I quit smoking just now, when I really need some pollution deep inside to make me feel dirty and momentarily joyful for a while… But I got some faces to bear in my mind and heart: Massi the Just, Taher the Sufferer, Rasul the Beginner, Salim the Doubtful, Saidqasem the Worried. I love all of them and will remain with them as long as my lungs are still functioning. I started spitting blood lately though and don’t think I possess a couple of healthy lungs anymore.

Anyway, another chapter is over. Another fight is fought. Another laughter is laughed. Another tear is dropped. Another page is turned and it’s me again with my beloved ones heading to a new destination. At the end of the day, that planet in the picture belongs to us. Let's explore it!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Incumbent President's Legitimacy Under Question

Few days ago I got back from my boring night shift early in the morning and obviously could not go to bed straight away; sunrays were too beautiful to ignore. Opened my lap-top and started chatting with Esfandiar in Dushanbe who was trying to begin his working day, but found himself under numerous annoying questions of a sleepless buddy far away in Prague.

Apparently he had talked to a couple of Social Democrats about the 2003 Constitutional Amendments and their impact on the incumbent president. He opened my eyes to a terrific fact that visibly demonstrates illegitimacy of Emamali Rahmanov’s candidacy in the forth-coming election.

We had talked about it with Rahmatollah Zaerov (the leader of Social Democrats) so many times before at the BBC, but his answers were too vague to clarify what was happening indeed. But I knew that Zaerov’s position had shaken up the government on those days. It was a couple of years ago. Zaerov was widely ignored by the local media and the government; he himself finished up at a hospital bed with a stroke. However, after I started studying the case with Esfandiar’s help, a horrible picture started unfolding:

Following a national referendum in Tajikistan in 2003, where we were supposed to approve or disapprove 56 constitutional changes at once, it was announced that Emamali Rahmanov had been allowed to run for another two terms – in 2006 and 2013. But there is a chapter called “Transitional regulations” at the bottom of the very Constitutional Amendments and one of its paragraphs reads (word by word):

“3. Presidential elections for two successive terms, stipulated by fourth part of Principle 65, begin upon termination of powers of the operating President.”

That means Rahmanov is not allowed to run for another term until his presidential powers are in force. Question: When do they terminate actually, these “presidential powers”? Principle 67 of the Tajik Constitution sheds some light:

“Powers of the President terminate after the swearing-in of the new president-elect.”

That means the amendments do not have the force of law until Rahmanov is in power. And he has to step down only after a new president swears into office. Inevitably a new president has to be chosen first, before Rahmanov leaves. He’s served two presidential terms already and has no right to run for president again.

Today Rahmatollah Zaerov stipulated his allegations for me again. Before him Shakerjan Hakimov was telling me the same. However, OSCE’s first interim report on Tajik presidential election (12 October 2006) tells us something else:

“As a result of this referendum (2003), the current president – first elected president in 1994 and re-elected in 1999 – is allowed to run for another two terms in 2006 and 2013.”

I gave a call to Urdur Gunnarsdottir, OSCE/ODIHR’s spokesperson in Warsaw and shared with her Tajik opposition’s concern over the legitimacy of Rahmanov’s candidacy. She had to look for some appropriate words to answer and finally she said: “OSCE is not a court and will not be issuing legal verdicts; if there is a legal problem in different interpretations of the law, the question must be considered by a court.”

While Zaerov and Hakimov say, there is no independent court in Tajikistan and the issue could be put on UN’s desk only. Zaerov intends to do it after the election, if his shaky health condition would allow him.

Now I need an international lawyer who could give me an unbiased expert view to scrutinize this ostensibly appalling breach of law on higher levels.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Something Different, but Familiar

I can feel the tide approaching my way to turn my world upside down again. Don’t worry, that’s what I wanted. When you are sitting on your head and somebody chooses to put you back on your feet - that’s a good feeling. I’m dying to announce my next crazy decision and get rid of my today.

I never could be settled into a routine existence and why now should be an exception?

Tahmine who got used to my abrupt surprise announcements didn’t even bother herself to open her falling eyelids a bit wider at least to pretend that she was slightly astonished. She tried though, but in a second yawned at me and left to bed muttering upon her nose: “Let me think in the morning about your next crazy decision.”

I sat down in front of my lap-top, moved my shoulders under Radio Zamaneh music and thought I was really right: enough of loafing around! It’s time to get back to my own self and do something adventurous again. I will be loaded with a burden of problems, of course. But tell me, who hasn’t them?

Another cheering happening was my nephew Payman’s successful 12.5-hour-operation on his heart. A long-awaited operation followed by 10 days of Payman’s comatose situation in Moscow. The day before yesterday he answered his phone himself with a feeble but joyful voice and made me gasp for some air and sound emotional like a kid.

I can feel the breeze of the tidal wave,

but still waiting to see itself like in the picture.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mockery of Democery... oops, soz, Democracy

Today I watched Tajik TV, the first TV channel of a country just 20 days away from presidential elections. No, I’m not going to lash them due to the lack of relevant pieces. Actually some election tapes were rolling, but believe me, they were incredibly laughable: a long-haired lady in pink was looking straight into the camera and asking an unimaginable question: “Who doesn’t know Olim Boboev? I believe almost everyone in the country knows this noble man and my vote will go for him!” And I felt hopelessly stupid… A crusty man was assuring his interviewer that the Communist candidate (Ismail Talbakov) was the most suitable person to run the country: “Just because… hmm… just because I like him.” Cool reasoning!

But the main tape (a very long one) was played just before these bites: the glorious incumbent president marching with his huge team of supporters across Qumsangir and shocking people all around him with his scary self-important smile surgeries. An old lady was trembling in front of the camera: “Can you imagine? Our esteemed President Rahmanov asked me about my life! Of course, I’m gonna vote for him!” I hope she’ll live up to the vote on October 6.

That means Tajikistan has learnt how to mock at democracy too just like the US.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Even Humans Are Rechargeable

I know what I lack these days and what is casting such a gloomy shade over my blog: I miss my friends. Perhaps everybody has got this kind of desperate need to have a friend beside. And I had them always and everywhere except for here. Here, miraculous change in peoples’ natures astonishes you.

My happiness bubbled over when I stupidly imagined that I could turn them into my friends too, since cannot see any use in hatred. It was too late when I realized they are competing with each other for playing off the rest of the team against me. I wonder if I’m sacrificing my precious years for my childish persistence to keep the ball rolling in our direction with no imagination that one day I might keel over and break my neck.

I’m just sitting there and doing my job, but my body senses enormous pressure of the room bristling with loathe. As soon as I turn my face and look at them to say something I start melting from the heat of their dazzling Julia-Roberts-smiles. Then I childishly feel happy again: cool, all the hatred is out of their hearts now!.. Before I finish my happy thought… boom! Another blow to take that obliges me to give another blow back.

I don’t know why they should see a fearful scarecrow in me. The other day Sajede told me: “They don’t like newcomers to show off”. Perhaps she was trying to give me a hint to curb myself and behave like others and follow their suit. But this one is over my power indeed, since I have never evened myself with others and this is the last place worthwhile to do so.

I know I’m loosing my hair down too much lately, but this is because I want to stamp out all my pathetic feelings here and go back to work with my head held high capable to lavish my smile around to make them bite their nails with greater effort. Before a shiny sincere smile of a friend could do this job. Now I gotta groan to soothe the pain and face them again.

But still, I’m happy to know that this world is a place for some beautiful beings I am craving for.

PS. I promise not to moan again and cheer up this moody blog with more optimism for my friends' sake.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Tongue-rubbing My Palate

I caught myself again
Tongue-rubbing my palate
Digesting my entire being in its disgusting taste

Taste of a fallen wing
That used to clap and swing
The taste that I detest
A couple of hopeful eyes’ sour mucilage
Cutting my bitter tongue…
Such a disgusting taste.

The image of mirage
Stretching from east to west
So colourful and long
The one I used to long for, but never did belong
Looks pale and shady now
Disparaging my vow.

02:29 am
16 Oct 06

Saturday, September 30, 2006


خدايا، روز شد آخر
سياهی رفت و آبی شد
پری پيروز شد آخر
و ديو غصه خوابی شد

Худоё, руз шуд охир
Сиёхй рафту обй шуд
Парй пируз шуд охир
Ва деви гусса хобй шуд

Thursday, September 21, 2006

To Whom It May Concern

Эй сачдагарони зулму ичхоф,
Ночида гуле зи боги инсоф.
Як рузу ду рузи умри фонй
Арзад, ки диле ба гам нишонй?
Эй нолаи ту зи бахр афзун
В-эй синаи дахр аз ту пурхун.
Эй пайрави кеши пунду дуллор,
Бегона зи таквожаи “бисёр”.
Чашмат зи талаб бурун часта,
Калбат ба тамаъ фузун часта.
Рагхои шумо – касидаи пул,
Анбони ба лабрасидаи пул.
Дар чашми шумо – аломати сабз,
Пойиз гирифта комати сабз.
Пойизи хароси бенавой
Афганда туро ба беливой.
Аз миллату ормони пираш
Аз Рустаму Орашу зи тираш
Шаггодсифат канор рафтй,
То киблагахи дулор рафтй.
“Акнун ба тамаъ пушт дутойи,
Хамсони кадом зани саройи”, (илхом аз Носири Хусрав)
Дар сояи хочагони гаддор,
Хай мешумарй баргаи дуллор.
Аз ному забони кавм мункир,
Аз суду зиёни кавм мункир.
Мухре ба лабу ба даст теша,
Уфтода ба чони кавму реша.
Дардо, ки канори ту нишастам,
Паймони мушорикат бибастам.
Гофил зи низории дарунат,
Бегона зи хуйу чанду чунат.
Гуфтам, ба ту хадяе биёрам,
Пайгоми хакикате супорам.
Аз ростиам басе рамидй,
Аз оби начот н-ошамидй.
Дарбанди хакорати махаллй,
Курбонии дарди бетасаллй.
Бечора касе, ки кард бовар,
Зухди сухани туро саросар.
Аз мардуми ринду кавми озод,
Аз рохи накуву хоки обод.
Аз рохи ба орзу расидан,
Аз шеваи болу пар кашидан.
Аз “Киссаи бедорй”-и миллат,
Аз кавми рахо зи чохи зиллат.
Пайгоми умеди як гирифтор,
Дар банди танида тори дуллор.
Фарёди миёнтихиву бечон,
Дини тихй аз лаззати имон.
“Озодй кудому зиндагй чист?
Аз пул бисаро, ки зиндагонист!..”
Аз рашки фузун – заъфаронй,
Аз шиддати хун – аргувонй.
Аз илми баён – бенасибй,
Аз ёру рафик – бехабибй.
Бо чаъли табассуми хакорат,
Такрими хасу хори садорат…
Аз зикри сифоти беназират,
Тафсири даруни безамират,
Шармобаи хомаам таровид,
Сурхй ба рухи китоб тобид.
Аммо зи хичолатат хабар нест,
Аз гуфтани ман ба ту самар нест.
Бо ту нафасам харом бодо,
Умрам кафаси мудом бодо.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Eternal Feeling Coming Back

Yes, it is a fun to live within a museum enjoying its beauty and historic traces. You can see a lot and love it so much that you’d think you don’t want to leave it anymore. But, of course, they are just your feelings and nothing more. Just after a while you feel exhausted and step out of the premises maybe to come back again, but not soon. That’s the way I feel about Prague right now. Furthermore, I feel like a horse dragging a carriage along with a lot of lazy donkeys and we have begun biting each other already. God save us!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Dripping Sorrow

Хуршед пир шуд
Аз бас дамиду тофт
Дар чинси одамй
Одамгарй наёфт


Хингони худо мархамати Ёр бидиданд
Аз хостанихо талабиданду бичиданд

Сарбози хакикат ба тахи чох бипусад
Деву дади мо бин ки охе накашиданд

Аз додварй киссаи бисёр шунидем
Ин «додварон» киссаи моро нашуниданд

Дерест саропо газали хасрату яъсам
Ин куррахарон аз азал аммо нарамиданд

Садхо чу мани зор ба уммеди хакикат
Аз гулшани уммед шамиме нашамиданд


Фардо расиду нур бирафту ситора шуд
Мохи мунир боз шикасту дупора шуд

Чашмам даруни халкаи дуди сигор монд
Сонияхо даруни вучудам шумора шуд

Зехни мушаввашам ба лавандй ба хоб рафт
Осуда аз фазилату бе фикри чора шуд

Афсуни Готхо бишикасту зи ёд рафт
Калби рахим хам бичиголиду хора шуд

То нури рафта боз ба руям русуб кард
Пайгоми Зартухишт мароми дубора шуд

26 August 2006
03:17 am

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sedayam kon! (Persian)

صدايم کن اگر افسردگی ها رفت
اگر شرم غنوده باز ظاهر شد
اگر معنی هستی از تنفس هم فراتر رفت
اگر قلب کثيف ما به غسل نور طاهر شد
صدايم کن

صدايم کن اگر گوش تو هم وا شد
به فريادی که از عمق اميد مرده می آيد
اگر آن انفجار دور دل آرام مارا هم تکانی داد
اگر گفتی که آن بيچاره را مردن نمی شايد
صدايم کن

صدايم کن اگر از ترس بيزاری
اگر از مهر لب جز زهر نوشی نيست
اگر سلول های سينه ات آشفته است اکنون
و سلول خموشی نيست
صدايم کن

چرا طاقت روان تو بيازارد؟
و قصاب قناعت آرزو ها را به زير تيغ بگذارد؟
چرا افسانه پنداريم سعادت را؟
رفاه و بهزيستی را؟
فضيلت را؟

صدايم کن اگر روحت هوای تازه می خواهد
اگر تصوير دنيا در نگاهت زشت و بی رنگ است
اگر مشت گره در پنجه خوابيده می بينی
اگر در گوشه ذهنت صدای ضجه ننگ است
!صدايم کن

Садоям кун агар афсурдагихо рафт
Агар шарми гунуда боз зохир шуд
Агар маънии хастй аз танаффус хам фаротар рафт
Агар калби касифи мо ба гусли нур тохир шуд
Садоям кун

Садоям кун агар гуши ту хам во шуд
Ба фарёде ки аз умки умеди мурда меояд
Агар он инфичори дур дили ороми моро хам таконе дод
Агар гуфтй ки он бечораро мурдан намешояд
Садоям кун

Садоям кун агар аз тарс безорй
Агар аз мухри лаб чуз захр нуше нест
Агар силлулхои синаат ошуфта аст акнун
Ва силлули хамуше нест
Садоям кун

Чаро токат равони ту биозорад
Ва кассоби каноъат орзухоро ба зери тег бигзорад
Чаро афсона пиндорем саъодатро
Рифоху бехзистиро

Садоям кун агар рухат хавои тоза мехохад
Агар тасвири дунё дар нигохат зишту беранг аст
Агар мушти гирех дар панчаи хобида мебинй
Агар дар гушаи зехнат садои заччаи нанг аст
Садоям кун!


Sunday, July 30, 2006

From Now On Defending Israel Is Banned Throughout the World!

"I've just seen my cousin's dead body being carried out... I'm heart-broken... I can't take it anymore". This is the way presumably another "terrorist" was born in Qana today. More Israeli and American flags were burnt throughout the world today. More messages of "apology" and condemnation were issued today. But the ugly face of the world stays unchanged. Olmert tried to justify his Qana massacre by stating that "hundreds of rockets were fired" from their. Condy was "deeply sad" and got a bloody nose by Lebanese doors. Emile Lahud told her carelessly that she was not welcome in Lebanon this time. Thus, a friend of the States is slowly joining the huge camp of American adversaries. Neither Rice's "deep sadness" nor Chirak's condemnation deterred Israel from carrying on its bloody massacre in Lebanon. Israeli authorities equipped with enormous shameless impudence blamed the Qana civilian deaths on Hassan Nasrullah, Hizbullah's leader and vowed to continue their "military operation".

Israel remains grateful to the US. Haaretz says, "Rice is the figure leading the strategy of changing the situation in Lebanon, not Prime Minister Ehud Olmert or Defence Minister Amir Peretz. She has so far managed to withstand international pressure in favor of a cease-fire..." The international pressure they are talking about doesn't exist for Israel until America's order on cease-fire is not issued. Perhaps by "international pressure" Haaretz means Israel's astonishing obvious opposition with internationally recognized human principles; thus, Israel admits its increasingly inhumane nature.

19 days of Israeli horror in the Middle East has given some "fruits". First of all, Hizbullah has never been as popular as it is now. You can feel it in CNN & BBC's Talking Point programs. Secondly, anti-israelism (not anti-semitism, since Arabs are Semite too) is growing faster than ever before. Thirdly, America is losing its allies. Lebanon used to be pro-American at least due to a sort of American support for Beirut against Syria. But now all current allies of America are aware of the disproportionate strength of its vested interests. Another "fruit" cited by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan: "Turkey said on 19 July that Israel's action in Lebanon to stop Hezbollah attacks meant it should be allowed to take similar steps against Kurdish guerrilas operating from northern Iraq against its forces" Can you see now how mad the world has gone? How can Bush and Blair keep their faces if tomorrow they'd have to ask Putin to stop its savage massacre in Chechnya?

I'm against all sorts of ban, but we live in a different world. If denying Holocaust is banned in the "civilized" world, defending a rising Nazi regime in the Middle East should be prohibitted too. Just in order to live up to the standards of our "civilized" logic.

By no means I support Hizbollah's actions unconditionally. I support its resistance and its struggle to get back a little Lebanese strip occupied by Israel. They are fighting for their Motherland and that's the duty of any honest person in the world. However, I'm against them if they target Israeli civilians deliberately. As simple as that. Now let's compare Hezbollah with Israel and see who's more successful in the field of terrorism. During last 19 days of madness in the Middle East Hizbollah has succeeded to kill over 50 Israelis, 18 of them civilians killed under missile attacks. While Lebanese casualties reach almost 700 and most of them are civilian and minors. Just in Qana 54 killed, 37 of them are children. Their heart-breaking pictures are still running on TV screens. That's the simplest way to prove that Israel is an uncivilized terrorist government based on racial and religious principles. Any country based on those principles is savage and outcast, illogical and sick. Another example of that sort of states is Pakistan - the tumour in the South East Asia.

History Repeats After 10 Years in Qana

The Qana shelling took place on April 18, 1996 in Qana, a village located southeast of Tyre, Lebanon. Amid heavy fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hezbollah during "Operation Grapes of Wrath", a Fijian UNIFIL compound in the village was shelled by Israeli artillery. Around 800 Lebanese civilians had taken refuge there to escape the fighting, of whom 106 were killed and around 116 others injured. Four UNIFIL soldiers were also seriously injured. [1][2] The event has sometimes been referred to as the Qana massacre, for example by Human Rights Watch[3] and the BBC.[4]

Monday, July 24, 2006

Interview with the Hero of Uzbekistan. Part 1

Finally I found Craig Murray and he kindly gave me a very lengthy but amazing interview. The following is just the first part of it:

D: As far as I know, the book was supposed to be in bookstores on 1 June, but it was released a bit later. Do you know why?

CM: Yes. Unfortunately, the British Government kept issuing legal threats against the publisher and demanding the book not be published. That resulted in a very lengthy and expensive process of legal consultations before it could actually be released.

D: I see. And could they explain why it shouldn’t be published?

CM: The British Government claims the right to approve memoirs by former government employees and says, without that government approval they are not allowed to publish them. And in my case they refused to give approval. In fact, we believe they don’t actually have any legal authority to back the government’s claim. Because this is a country where at least until recently we were supposed to have freedom of speech. So. We’ve gone ahead and we are waiting to see if the government attempts to take legal actions against the…

D: Actually in many parts of your book you note that the British Government has censored a fact. Why and how were they censored, and by whom?

CM: During the process of attempting to get clearance from the British Government to publish the book, the government asked me to make certain changes to the book. I made those changes on the understanding that if I made the changes they would give me a clearance to publish. However, even after I made the changes, they still wouldn’t give a clearance to publish. I have, therefore, taken the step of putting the information that was censored onto the web. Initially, on my web site, but now on many other web sites. There are links given in the book by which you can get the information that was censored out of the book.

D: Now, let’s talk about your mission in Uzbekistan. Before putting your step on the Uzbek soil, did you really know where you were going to and what sort of challenges you’d face?

CM: I didn’t really know a great deal. I only had six months between leaving my job in Ghana and arriving in Uzbekistan. In that time I had to learn Russian. I started then not knowing any Russian at all. You’ll understand to get the not speaking Russian at all to be able to work in the language in six months was quite a task. So, I was concentrating enormously on language training. I had also a week of briefing on Uzbekistan in which I was told essentially that it hadn’t changed much since Soviet times. And I was told about Uzbekistan’s potentials in oil and gas reserves and about possible routes for gas pipelines in Central Asia. And also, of course, about Uzbekistan’s position as a United States’ ally and part of the coalition in the so called War on Terror… but it didn’t actually prepare me at all for the real conditions in the country.

D: Afterwards you faced lots of human rights issues in Uzbekistan, but hadn’t you encountered similar problems in your previous designations in Nigeria, Poland or Ghana?

CM: Ghana is a very free country. It’s a democracy with a good human rights record. Nigeria had a certain amount of problems, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as Uzbekistan. But, you know, Uzbekistan is possibly… Well, in fact, Uzbekistan is certainly one of the five worst regimes in the world. One of the five most totalitarian regimes in the world. So, the chances of encountering anything like it anywhere else are quite unlikely.

D: In a private talk with a former British Ambassador whose name is mentioned actually in your book, he had criticized your way of approach towards human rights issues in Uzbekistan. Indicating difficult diplomacy during the Cold War he had said: “For instance, in Stalin’s Soviet Union British Ambassadors knew that millions of people were vanishing under his oppression, but they didn’t want to risk British-Soviet relationship by raising their concerns and questions publicly. But you didn’t do that in Uzbekistan. Do you think it was a mistake?

CM: I think it was a big mistake not to raise human rights concerns in the Stalin’s Soviet Union. Those were different times. Foreign Office doesn’t move with the time. A lot of old British Ambassadors are very old-fashioned crusty people. The truth is that maybe in 1930s people didn’t care too much about human rights. This is the year 2006, and fortunately, we do care now about human rights.

D: The book is called “Murder in Samarkand” referring to the tragic death of a grandson of Professor Jalal Mirsaidov, who’s a Tajik dissident in Samarkand. His grandson’s dead body was found on the day after you met a group of Tajik dissidents in Samarkand. Did you finally find it out if the 18-year-old guy lost his life because of your visit or was the official version of the incident true? They had said he died of an overdose.

CM: Well, the official version of event definitely wasn’t true, because the guy’s arms and legs had been broken, one hand had been badly burnt and he’d been killed by a blow to the back of the head which smashed his skull. So, plainly the official version that he died of an overdose was a simple lie. I believe in my investigations that he was killed. Although the body was found early the next morning, he was actually killed the same evening that I was meeting with the dissidents. I believe that he was killed because of that. I was told by the Russian Ambassador that he had obtained information from his contacts with the Uzbek security services that that was the case and he had been killed as a warning to dissidents not to meet with foreign embassies. And this was the time when the Uzbek government and the-then-Hakim (Ruslan) Mirzayev were cracking down especially hard on the Tajik community of Samarkand in an attempt to enforce further a kind of Uzbekization of Samarkand.

D: While reading your book I felt that you sound quite sympathetic to ethnic Tajiks in Uzbekistan. Why is that?

CM: Well, I think, everyone in Uzbekistan suffers terribly from the regime. But ethnic Tajiks have particular problems, because they are suffering from an abuse of their minority rights, they are increasingly suffering from linguistic discrimination, closure of Tajik-speaking schools. And so a kind of Uzbek nationalist policy is being pursued by the government.

D: Had you given any particular advice to Tajik dissidents to fight for their rights in a more effective way? Since, as you claim in your book, pressure upon them is increasing and for example, from 80 Tajik schools in Samarkand just 12 have left.

CM: Yes, I think, they have to do everything they can to keep their culture alive. Plainly, at the moment it’s so hard for them to organize any open resistance, because we’ve seen at Andijan and elsewhere, what this Uzbek regime will do to anybody who openly tries to organize any resistance. For the moment, they have to try to keep their culture alive by continuing to speak their language at home, teaching their children, holding cultural events and those things. And then, waiting for better time… One of the things I found very sad is the fact that other communities from the same linguistic group don’t pay any attention. I think Iran should have a responsibility to pay some attention to the plight of Tajik-speaking people. But Iran pays no attention whatsoever. Tajikistan, of course, is a very small, a very weak state and not able to do much, but it would be helpful if Tajikistan would openly express concern at what's happening to the Tajik minority in Uzbekistan.

D: But did you give any particular advice to Tajik dissidents when you met them?

CM: No, I was there really for the purpose of documenting their difficulties and things with their individual cases, in which we could make representations or… But I didn’t expect that individual case to turn out to be the murder of my host’s grandson, of course.

D: As it’s mentioned in your book, Nadira speaks Persian too and she’s from Samarkand’s suburbs. Is she an ethnic Tajik as well?

CM: She’s part-Tajik part-Uzbek.

D: In your book you recall your only direct encounter with Gulnara, Karimov’s daughter. Seemingly, you were pleasantly impressed by her down-to-earth behavior and you notice: “There didn’t seem to be obvious darkness behind her laughing eyes” and you ask yourself: “Was she really behind the corrupt acquisition of all those businesses, the closing down of rival companies, the massive bribes from huge energy deals?” So, did you find an answer to that question finally?

CM: Yes, I think, there is overwhelming evidence that she’s very actively engaged in the acquisition of a huge amount of wealth in the Uzbek state through privatization, monopolies and acquisition of companies. And she’s involved in much shadier activities as well, including involvement in sending young women to the Gulf who end up as prostitutes. So, I think, it’s a paradox. When you meet Karimov, he seems like a dangerous, potentially violent, very strong man. You have no difficulty in believing he has done everything he’s done. Because he comes across as a powerful, potentially vicious person. His daughter doesn’t come across that way at all. She comes across as extremely nice when you meet her.
(to be continued)

Swift Switch or Lesson of Hypocrisy

Before 1979, when the Shah (of Iran) was in power, Washington strongly supported these (nuclear) programmes. Today the standard claim is that Iran has no need for nuclear power, and therefore must be pursuing a secret weapons programme. "For a major oil producer such as Iran, nuclear energy is a wasteful use of resources," Henry Kissinger wrote in the Washington Post last year.

Thirty years ago, however, when Kissinger was secretary of state for President Gerald Ford, he held that "introduction of nuclear power will both provide for the growing needs of Iran’s economy and free remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to petrochemicals". Last year Dafna Linzer of the Washington Post asked Kissinger about his reversal of opinion. Kissinger responded with his usual engaging frankness: "They were an allied country."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Blair Asks For Directives & I Give Them

Now, Mr Blair, stoop down as you did a couple of days ago for Bush so that you could hear what I’m saying. As a marginalized Annan put it today, ‘as we are speaking now 60 000 people are displaced in the Middle East’ and dozens are dying from both sides and most of “collateral damage” belongs to the oppressed side, read Lebanon. Don’t worry, stoop down and I’m not going to use “s” words as Bush did to you and I’m not going to boss you around as he did in response to your pathetic plea: “Can I go to the region too?” He just waved you away by saying: “Yo! Tony, you keep your ass attached to London. Condy is going there!” To make it worse, it was suddenly broadcast for the entire world and everybody had a good opportunity to empty their lungs with a deepest laughter and refill them with fresh air. We knew how and when you fell in with him, but we had no clue about your Master & Slave role plays. Now we have, and now we know what part you prefer and act so vividly. Let me tell you dude: you have achieved your pink dream to become a historic Prime Minister, since no Premier has abased and defamed the Great Britain as obviously as you did. And you still carry on down the entire humiliation of your own nation. Are you waiting for my directives as well? Huh, it seems that's the way you like to be addressed. I got just one directive for you: get your bony ass away from here. Bye!

Today the world witnessed a very wide range of political forces and ordinary people in different countries coming out to protest against Bush’s policy in the Middle East. Al-Jazeera was the only channel which could give you a deep insight in the demonstrations around the world. I was astonished by a demonstration in Tel-Aviv; Jewish people were chanting slogans like “We love you Lebanon!” and “We don’t want invasion!” I could only praise them for the redemption of their spirits. But Condy’s frowns changed my mood rapidly. She was muttering something like: ‘Ceasefire is a false promise’. Have you ever seen such an impudent spinster before? You, the embodiment of cruelty! Perhaps your brain is too impotent to find necessary gears to make out what’s going on. But try to put your own barbarian self in their places. They can’t take it anymore, therefore they don’t see any other way out of their misery rather than suicide. Are Israeli tanks moving into S. Lebanon to kill hundreds and turn thousands more into suicide bombers? You’ll surely become a lame duck pretty soon, un-pretty lady, with your fatal brain failures…

Monday, July 17, 2006

Laughing With Murray

I knew he was a hero, but I didn't know that he was so perfect a writer! Especially when he depicts the Butcher of Samarkand discouraged and disillusioned by the EBRD criticism in Tashkent, can't help cease laughing:

"Karimov first went ashen faced. Then he ostentatiously removed his earphone and tossed it away. Then he placed his head in his hands, covering his ears before slowly moving his hands round to cover his eyes, then allowing his head to slump forward until it almost rested on the table. He remained in this extraordinary posture for ten minutes. At one stage Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, put a consolatory arm around him".

Hahahaha... I wish he'd stay in that extraordinary posture for the rest of his life with the consolatory arm of Nazarbayev resting on his bloody shoulder.

Or another witty sally: At one point Clare Short (who I admire for her heroics too) gets tired of stupid sham statistics and rhetoric of the Uzbek Economy Minister and waves him away quite bluntly by saying "Thank you, Minister. That's all very interesting. But it's 2:30 in the morning, we're very tired, and we're going to bed." Then in the car she asks Craig:

"Is he always like that?"
"No, usually he's worse".
"Bloody hell! Was any of it true?"
"No, this year there has been a growth in fake economic statistics of 182.7 per cent."

And one of the most shocking facts of the book to me was the timing of Clare Short's resignation from the post of DFID minister. After all the horror she witnessed in Uzbekistan she returns to London and the next day she resigns from the government. Perhaps Uzbekistan was the last proof of her being associated with a bunch of miserable thugs and she didn't want to be among them.

And there are lots of facts concerning Tajiks and Tajikistan in the book too worthwhile to be translated.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Is It Just Me Or Is the World Going Slightly Mad?

At least 17 civilians die under Israeli missile attack in Southern Lebanon, Israel is expanding its strikes on Lebanon and has taken the war to neighbouring countries and merely less than a dozen of its bombarded targets in Lebanon were somehow related with Hizbullah. Lebanese villagers fleeing away from the area. Hizbullah keeps trying to hit areas inside Israel deeper than Tiberias. 80 Lebanese killed so far. None of the Israeli hostages have been freed yet. It’s actually a real war that has been unleashed mainly by Israel. But did you see the way he reacted to all these appalling news? G.W.B. was leaning over a St-Petersburg tribune beside his Russian adversary and claiming: Hizbullah captured 2 Israeli soldiers and caused a war. So now Hizbullah has to free them and lay down its guns and the war will be over. It sounds sick and sickening at the same time. It seems the world has gone mad and doesn’t recognize who’s who anymore; who’s the oppressor and who’s the oppressed, who’s the attacker and who’s the victim… We are talking about dozens of civilian innocent people dying for something that’s happened beyond their country’s borders and the mightiest beings of the world are sipping their coffees in St-Petersburg in a “friendly” chitter-chatter show. But something is approaching, because something has to happen…

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Murder in Samarkand (Persian)

by Craig Murray
برگردان داريوش

فصل نخست

کريس مات و مبهوت به نظر می رسيد.
"خيلی خوب، برويم".

ظاهرا اين واکنش معمولی يک سفير بريتانيا به خبر برگزاری جلسه محاکمه يک ناراضی نبود. ماشين لند روور دم در سفارتخانه متوقف شد و من بيرون آمدم. هنوز از اين که خدمه سفارت تا مرا می ديدند، صحبتشان را قطع می کردند، و با "سر" خطاب کردن من در را برايم باز و بسته می کردند، حس ناگواری داشتم.

ما در بيرون دادگاه پياده شديم. دروازه کوچک و حقيری از طريق ديوار گلی حقيرتر به سمت محوطه کثيفی باز می شد که چند ساختمان پست و پهن سفيدی را در بر داشت. به مانند بسياری ديگر از ساختمان های بازمانده از شوروی، اين بناها هم ناتمام و تقريبا غير قابل استفاده به نظر می رسيد. برای ورود به محوطه دادگاه ما جزئيات شناسنامه هايمان را به دو مامور پليس دم در داديم که پشت ميزی نشسته بودند. خيلی طول کشيد تا موفق شدند جزئيات ما را با يک مداد سرجويده، روی دفتر پهن کهنه شان پياده کنند. من داشتم در می يافتم که نهفتن واقعيت های زشت و سهمگين به پشت ظاهری صميمانه در ازبکستان يک امر معمولی بوده است.

حدود صد نفر در محوطه دادگاه منتظر آغاز اين يا آن جلسه محاکمه بودند. من به طيف وسيعی از آدمانی با ظاهر ژوليده معرفی شدم که از سازمان های مختلف مدافع حقوق بشر نمايندگی می کردند. عجيب بود که هفت يا هشت نفری که در آن ميان بودند، ظاهرا به گروههای واحدی تعلق داشتند، اما بسياری از آنها با همديگر حرف نمی زدند.

يک مرد قدکوتاه اما متشاخصی با موجی از موی سپيد و عينکی بزرگ به اندازه ای پر از خودش بود که با کسی صحبت نمی کرد. کريس که شديدا مشغول معرفی افراد بود، به او اشاره کرد و گفت: "ميخائيل آردزينف، وی می گويد که شما بايد برای آشنايی با او پيش دستی کنيد. من شگفت زده شدم، چون هر کدام از ما اگر می خواستيم در معرفی پيشدستی کنيم، بايد سراسر عرض و طول محوطه دادگاه را می پيمود. کريس اين موضوع را توضيح داد و گفت که آردزينف خيلی از خودش راضی است، چون گروه وی تنها گروهی است که ثبت نام شده و مشروع محسوب می شود. و همه گروههای ديگر نامشروع بوده اند. جالب اين جاست که عنوان گروه ثبت نام شده آردزينف، "سازمان مستقل دفاع از حقوق بشر ازبکستان" بوده است. آن زمان هيچ کدام از اين جزئيات برای من حاوی معنی خاصی نبود و من هم سابقه طولانی تکيه بر کرسی سفارت را نداشتم که از پيمودن فاصله ای دراز بين من و او پرهيز کنم. در نتيجه رفتم و دستش را فشردم. تلاش من با نگاه سرد و دراز طرف ارج گزاری شد.

(دنباله دارد)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Hero or An Embarrassment?

He is a man called "a hero" by Mohammad Salih, an Uzbek opposition leader, and "an embarrassment" - by Jack Straw. Straw was outraged by his un-diplomatic courage and wailed: "Craig Murray has been a deep embarrassment to the entire Foreign Office". While John Pilger gives an opposite assessment of Muray's bravery: "I thought that diplomats like Craig Murray were an extinct breed. A man of the highest principle". So, whom to believe? The one who deceived his own nation in order to get his teeth deep into Iraqi land (Jack Straw) or the one who predicted the Andijan tragedy and paid with his own blooming diplomatic career for the word of truth (Craig Murray)? I don't know about you, but I prefer the latter one. And no doubt, I would have acted exactly like him if I were Her Majesty's Ambassador in such an appalling land like Uzbekistan. And it will be better understood if you get his long-awaited book "Murder in Samarkand". The Government tried to obstruct its way to our hands and postponed its realease several times. Finally, they agreed to play another act of "democracy" and agreed with its release after trimming Murray's writing with their sharp and dispassionate pen of censorship. Nevertheless, there are still lots of facts they wanted to hide away from our sights that could be found in the book. Some of them are really funny and entertaining, like this one: before flying to Tashkent Murray visits Jack Straw to get his directives for his mission. The talk was short and empty. "As I was walking out, he called after me, 'Oh and, Craig, whenever you get to... wherever it is you're going... tell them I'm thinking about them.' That was the extent of my instructions". Who cared a damn in Uzbekistan if Jackie was thinking of them? They knew it would never change anything in their lives. But their eyes were directed to his Ambassador and he did what he could do for them: he revealed thrilling facts of Karimov regime's savage nature and most importantly, his own governments association in some of the creepiest crimes of the Butcher of Samarqand. I'm thinking about translating it into Persian. Pity, cannot translate it into Karimov's native language.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Some More Pain to Swallow

سکوت پراگ
و لحظه های شمردنی
ستاره های بی رمق
درون شيشه های مات
و انتظار جاودان و آرزوی مردنی

به صبج می رسيم باز
به رسته های بی ته معامله
تجارت درودها
تولد دروغ ها
و خنده های بردنی

به جرح خنده، روی لب
به نور کاذب شعف
...درون ديده های سرد
به دردهای خوردنی

Сукути Прог
Ва лахзахои шумурдани
Ситорахои берамак
Даруни шишахои мот
Ва интизори човидону орзуи мурдани

Ба субх мерасем боз
Ба растахои бетахи муъомила
Тичорати дурудхо
Таваллуди дуругхо
Ва хандахои бурдани

Ба jarhi ханда руи лаб
Ба нури козиби шаъаф
Даруни дидахои сард
Ба дардхои хурдани

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Lesson of Fidelity

You can bump into all breeds of dog-kind in Prague and it doesn’t leave me astonished anymore. Nevertheless, yesterday one of them had a jaw-dropping effect on me again and this time it left me with watery eyes. A little short disfigured woman was trying to make her way down the street with two long sticks attached to her pits and a dog’s extending lead attached to her stick. She was moving very slowly and the little dog was leading her, barking around and making people give her a way in a busy Prague street. It was barking around and looking back at her maimed owner, gazing precisely at her feeble legs as if making sure she’d be able to take one more step. Then running a couple of steps farther and barking again. Then stopping and looking back at the little lady again. The lady stopped to take a rest and the dog ran back to her legs, stopped tightly attached to her legs too and now it was looking only at her as if asking her whether she was OK. The lady tried to move again and the dog made a move too, but this time it was walking step by step with its lady and after each step it was looking back at her face to read it. Reading with no noise and walking with her step by step...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Why Is That?

I noticed a couple of striking moments in today's Mexico vs Iran match in Nuremberg.

The first one was to see Mexican players standing firm and confident at the beginning of the match, holding their right palms close to their hearts and singing their national anthem loud and proudly. Each of them was clearly singing the anthem while holding their heads high and looking at an invisible point somewhere in the sky.

Now it was Iran's turn. They were standing firm as well, but not confident at all. As if funny notes of Iran's "national anthem" were cutting their ears and none of them, believe me, none of them was really singing the song. They were just muttering something upon their noses and staring at the camera as a lost child forced to join a choir. And I noticed, some of them didn't know the words at all, since I do; and I was trying to read their reluctuntly moving lips and they were murmuring something else. As a non-believer caught in the middle of pious praying people. Why is that?

Second point: In the wide sea of Mexican flags, of course, you could see some Iranian flags too. But I'm sure some people were confused: how many nations are playing in the match today? There was no problem with the Mexican flag: the same familiar tri-color. But what about this one with a funny Arabic writing? Oh, is it "Allah"? OK then, it belongs to Iran. How about the other one then? The one with a lion and a sward under a huge Sun? Iran's again? So, how about the third one then? The plain green-white-red one? I can't believe that! Iran again?

Thus, we had three flags for a single country on the same day, in the same city, at the same match. Why is that? Can you bring another example of a similar identity crisis elsewhere in the world?

Despite the defeat, I'm happy for my fellow Iranians. The game was one of the tough ones with a tough side: Mexico! And the first half just amazed me with the dazzling performance of Iran. The second half seemed to be a mistake of the coach, who thought concentrating on defence would keep the score intact. Alas, it didn't happen. Nevertheless, it was a great try against a giant like Mexico.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Partying with Mowlana

by Mowlana
Persian (Tajik) God of misticism

Man gholaame qamaram, gheyre qamar hich magu,
Pishe man joz soxane sham’ o shekar hich magu.
Dush divaane shodam, eshq maraa did o beguft:
Aamadam, na’re mazan, jaame madar, hich magu.
Goftam: ey eshq, man az chize degar mitarsam.
Goft: Aan chize degar nist, degar hich magu.
Man be gushe to soxanhaaye nehaan xaaham goft,
Sar bejonbaan, ke bali. Joz ke be sar hich magu.
Goftam: In ruy fereshtast, ajab, yaa bashar ast?
Goft: In gheyre fereshtast o bashar, hich magu.
Goftam: In chist? Begu, zir o zabar xaaham shod!
Goft: Mibaash chenin zir o zabar, hich magu.
Ey neshaste to dar in xaaneye por naqsh o xiyaal,
Xiz az in xaane, borow, raxt bebar, hich magu.

Ne man manam, ne to toi, ne to mani,
Ham man manam, ham to toi, ham to mani.
Man baa to chenanam, ey negaare xotani,
K-andar ghalatam ke man toam yaa to mani.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Another Year To Become History...

Home alone, watching myself to grow… Last seconds slipping away from my fingers. Another year, another story to write, another poem to recite… passing away for good. A biting feeling of getting older but not wiser. Hindi melody playing in my ears making me feel more romantic and emotional. But no tears, no laugh, as if I’ve had enough, of all of them so far and no worries about some pitiful beings conspiring behind my back and ratting on me. The feeling of compassion is surpassing my egoism as if I want to help those poor creatures to rat on me even more fiercely than before. Maybe it is the best thing to do: leaving them with themselves to rot in their obscurity and negligence as far as they get some masochistic pleasure out of it.

But indeed, I must admit, music is my language! And even little Gareth is able to make me speak and think and shout and cry and laugh and stay still with my index finger attached to my lips:

Oh, my love, my darling
I've hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time
And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?

I need your love,
I oh I need your love
God speed your love to me

Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea
To the open arms of the sea
Lonely rivers sigh, wait for me, wait for me
I'll be coming home, wait for me

And Ramesh wakes me up to realities:

Lahze lahzeye jodaiye
Ruze marge ashenaiye!

But I’m still as a stone, while the tide is rising deep inside. Especially when James Blunt makes me feel guilty:

Did I disappoint you or let you down?
Should I be feeling guilty or let the judges frown?
'Cause I saw the end before we'd begun,
Yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won.
So I took what's mine by eternal right.
Took your soul out into the night.
It may be over but it won't stop there,
I am here for you if you'd only care.
You touched my heart you touched my soul.
You changed my life and all my goals.
And love is blind and that I knew when,
My heart was blinded by you.
I've kissed your lips and held your head.
Shared your dreams and shared your bed.
I know you well, I know your smell.
I've been addicted to you.

Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.

But I’m still behind my shell with the looks of a happiest person of the world. Another step up, another wing to clap, another tale to tell, another man to come… to come and change everything to find the paradise.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Even Despair Inspires...

سرای غصه مرا سراب هست و آب نيست
دو چشم تيره مرا شهاب هست و خواب نيست
ندای جبرئيل ما همه دروغ بوده است
سروش مردمانه را کتاب هست و باب نيست
قناری های رستگی همه کباب می شوند
وجود عاصی مرا تناب هست و تاب نيست
:دو سه رقيب ناتوان به من پيام می دهند
زبان بی نزاکتم خراب هست و ناب نيست
به خنده ها سپرده ام من تباه گشته را
به گريه ها غنوده ام که
هست و
:به من دبير مدرسه چنين پيام داده بود
نهاد ياغی مرا قواره هست و قاب نيست

Сарои гуссаи маро сароб хасту об нест
Ду чашми тираи маро шахоб хасту хоб нест
Нидои Чабраили мо хама дуруг будааст
Суруши мардумонаро китоб хасту боб нест
Канорихои растаги хама кабоб мешаванд
Вучуди осии маро таноб хасту тоб нест
Ду-се ракиби нотавон ба ман паём медиханд:
Забони беназокатам хароб хасту ноб нест
Ба хандахо супурдаам мани табохгаштаро
Ба гиряхо гунудаам, ки lobby хасту job нест
Ба ман дабири мадраса чунин паём дода буд:
Ниходи ёгии маро кавора хасту коб нест

"Dorudi" Memories

اگر کنار من بودی... ای کاش
:و می سرودی
Jak se mash?
مرا شايد شکيب بيشتر می بود
با يک کلام تو:

ولی هر چه هست از "بود" و "می بود" است
...و خاطره های "درود" است

Агар канори ман буди... эй кош!
Ва месуруди:
Jak se mash?
Маро шояд шикеби бештар мебуд
Бо як каломи ту:

Вале хар чи хаст, аз «буд»-у «мебуд» аст
Ва хотирахои «дуруд»аст…

25.05.06 / 23:34

The Great Pretender

by Freddie Mercury

Oh yes I'm the great pretender
Pretending I'm doing well
My need is such, I pretend too much
I'm lonely but no-one can tell

Oh yes I'm the great pretender
Adrift in a world of my own
I play the game, but to my real shame
You've left me to dream all alone

Too real is this feeling of make believe
Too real when I feel what my heart can't conceal
Ooh oh yes I'm the great pretender
Just laughing and gay like a clown
I seem to be what I'm not (you see)
I'm wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you're still around, yeah oooh hoo

Too real when I feel
What my heart can't conceal
Oh yes I'm the great pretender
Just laughing and gay like a clown
I seem to be what I'm not you see
I'm wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you're, pretending that you're still around

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

London Leftovers

Hola there.

Back to the tiny world of misery and disgrace in a beautiful part of the world. Shiny Sun and drenching rain highlighting and cleaning the features of a tired city. A broken heart left apart from sweet peaches of the garden. I had a Week. A Week of joy and happiness beyond the appalling stance of my present being in Prague. London was still welcoming its lover with a huge open embrace. But the last thing I saw there re-convinced me that we all are inhabitants of a savage wacky world. I was puffing a fag by an annoying oversensitive automatic door that was interrupting our sweet-and-sour talk with a dear being.

A guy, ostensibly an Eastern European, was deeply into a bitter verbal fight with a couple of short and fat policemen. “You are not a man!”, he was shouting at one of them, trying to give the impression that the very saying presumably gives in his native language. That could be translated as “To naamardi!” in Persian that devastates the addressee. But the policeman just wobbled at his place, looked down and up again, straight at the foreigners face and muttered something upon his nose. The foreigner was not satisfied by the impression he gave him. He wanted to see a much bitter face in front of him, I assume, and he went on chopping some more broken English humiliating expressions out of his mouth. A police car arrived discreetly and pulled in. As soon as some chubby figures crept down the car two previously quiet cops started spitting out a threateningly loud “Get down!!!” and beating the foreigner on his knees to make him kneel. The foreigner was trembling under the increasing violent force upon him, but didn’t kneel at all. He was trying to keep his shaky legs steady and looking straight into my eyes as if begging for help. His vibrant voice could tell you about his shock and disbelief: “I’m OK. I’m fine… Why are you fighting?..”

“Get down!!!”, was the only thing the policemen could shout out. But he didn’t. Shaky policemen took him up to the car, put him in arresting pose, one of them was trying to reach the handcuffs stuck in his belt, but couldn’t. The other extended his own handcuffs to him to tie up the foreigner’s hands. They took him away with his rucksack. A typical English couple was watching the scene as well. The old lady smirked and mocked the foreigner and showed her disgust that “a Bulgarian!” had dared to oppose the British police. The old man smirked back and spat on the floor. A policeman explained to this supportive couple that the Bulgarian had been barred from his flight and advised to leave the premises. But he had chosen to argue for his right to fly. After pushing the unfortunate Bulgarian into the car policemen exchanged wide smiles on their satisfied faces and left the scene of crime. The crime of breaching their own code of conduct.

Tonight I wanted to write about something else. Actually about loads of other stuff, like The Da Vinci Code movie that I watched on its first day of release in London and about Craig Murray’s astonishingly revealing book called “Murder in Samarqand” to be published on 1 June. Some fragments of the latter published in the Mail on Sunday made me gasp for some air. A breath-taking jaw-dropping writing. Perhaps I’ll get back to it later on. Now I have to get my beauty sleep to face my self-proclaimed “adversaries” in the office. Ciao for now.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


I loved this poem sent by Her today:

There’s one sad truth in life I’ve found
While journeying east and west
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Today I replied to a dearest friend of mine and I told her how I feel indeed. I haven’t been here for ages and I thought you’d love to know about it too. I told her I was out of a purple bubble; that I had wider eye cuts, not sure if physically, but definitely I have them mentally. That means I’ve been chewing down loads of pleasant stuff for ages and not looking at some crap which could happen to appear among that too. I didn’t know how deeply our problems go, dearest. And please read it again, we have to fight it. We have to be even more decisive to crack it down and devastate it. I can hear you asking: what d’you mean by “it”. That “it” is too dangerous to name even here. It is something ugly like a creepy worm fed by our ignorance and stupidity called “regionalism”. I reckon I’m in touch with the roots of all Tajik problems at the moment. It must be bombed as America’s bombed Afghanistan and Iraq. Even more fiercely. We have to get rid of this bug to move on. Otherwise…. see you tomorrow dear.

Did you know that they call this radio station “ZBC” just because most of their Prague-based workers are from “Z” valley? I’m less lucky to have my roots in that valley as well. It reduces my chances to take my voice up to tell them off by saying: “F… off!” That is something that I had not reckoned with before moving to Prague. Because I was inside a purple bubble shielded by my eternal friends in Dushanbe. I’ve woken up to realities and I don’t like them at all. I wanna get back to that bubble, but apparently it’s blown up and there’s no way back to my comparatively comfortable bubble to deceive myself that we live in a modern world. No dear. We are far behind the schedule of the time. We had to be at least a hundred years farther than we are now. But the History is giving us a rare chance to correct our shameful blunder: LET’S FIGHT REGIONALISM IN TAJIKISTAN!

Friday, March 03, 2006

First things ever

Bruce came downstairs to have a fag. Looked above and nodded with an obvious annoyance on his face. "Again", he said and introduced himself. I knew him via his numerous articles about Central Asia that appear now and then in different sites. By "again" he meant the whirling snowflakes that were making their way down to the little smoking square right in the heart of the building. While for me it wasn't "again". It was "wow! It's snowing!" The first ever Prague snow for me and I took it as a good sign for a new beginning.

Tried the tolerance of the organisation by writing my first Prague piece about Bush's South Asian tour and recorded it for the first time using their odd recording system. It seems to me odd now, but I'm sure, as soon as I get used to it, will not be able to see its present oddity anymore. I hope in the same way my new colleagues will overcome the oddity of my accent. They are trying too hard to ignore it for now and I can see it vividly. Let's wait and see.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Farewell, my city!


London is diminishing into a patchwork of residential areas and fields; uneven cuts and patches spread around the landscape. And even the patchwork is disappearing behind an endless flock of silver stranded clouds... Now it seems like a cotton field back in my country waiting for students to pick them with no anticipation of reward.

No, it's true and it did happen. I don't even try to pinch myself to wake up, because I am awake indeed. I left it behind. I closed a chapter of my life and am trying to open a new one. It was bitter to do that. "Bitter" is not that word to make you understand what I feel right now. I left a world behind. A whole world full of joy and sorrow. A real world that made me fall in love with it...

I left a voice down there. A voice that made me feel a traitor while I'm not. "Please come back. Miss your flight. At least for one more day... come back". And I was heading towards the boarding gate with a hope that something would turn wrong in my papers and I would remain here again. But then the jealous axeman (Lord Life itself) wanted me away. The sooner the better. And my papers took me through check-in points smoothly, as if I was sailing on a buttery surface up to my plane seat. It happens only when you don't wish it at all. "Murphy's law" they call it. In my dictionary it's got a different entry: Life's jealousy...

And now I'm here, in my new apartment in Prague. Filling the deafeningly silent room with puffs of curling smoke and watching them go up to the ceiling, fading and losing themselves, just like the human race. I cannot fathom why we have to follow a smoky path and lose ourselves somewhere along the maze of an illusionary cycle of movements.

Reading messages from there. Some of them cutting my heart into pieces and cooking them on the heat of my blazing mind. And the voice is still here, breaking the silence at times... Miss your flight, please...

It's too late to call Dushanbe either. She knows I need her now.

A while ago I got a call from the world I just lost. It was Behzad asking about my well-being. Well, what to say? Richard Templar's book "The Rules of Life" doesn't advise us to complain, because, he says, the only thing people want to hear is that you are fine. And that was what I said. But after a while I spat on the rules of the jealous axeman and told him how I truly felt and how much I missed my lost world already. He said, he would strive to give me back my lost world and that was what I wanted to hear. To make me believe in something unbelievable. He's still determined about his plans to launch a new TV channel and possibly that would be a way to get my lost world back. It seems I haven't lost the inhabitants of my lost world yet.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Before It Becomes Yesterday…

I never could really believe that this day will finally reach me and catch me in despair and torn me apart, but it did. And I do believe in it now, since the ugly mouth of my bag is wide open waiting for the last items to be dropped in. Just some more ticking of the clock, some more drops on my keyboard, some more melancholic songs playing on my laptop put on reverse and… that’s it. Meanwhile, James Blunt’s guitar is painfully weeping:

You touched my heart you touched my soul.
You changed my life and all my goals.
And love is blind and that I knew when,
My heart was blinded by you.
I've kissed your lips and held your head.
Shared your dreams and shared your bed.
I know you well, I know your smell.
I've been addicted to you.

Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me…

…followed by a Devdas song that inevitably brings up Aishwaria Rai’s image in front of my eyes: Hamesha tumko chaha or chaha or chaha… and the sound of her bangles that matches the sound of my hasty clock.

And Googoosh is hurrying me up by her brave acceptance: “Vaqteshe, vaqteshe, raftan vaqteshe. Vaqteshe, az to gozashtan vaqteshe…”

“Nepara” is painting a Russian reverie: «Они знакомы давно, Но только не суждено быть им вместе... Утром ничего не случится, Утром будет все как вчера. Грезы – перелетные птицы, Тают, улетают с утра...» Blood-oozing medley of my faves.

And how can I resist my strengthened crave for one more pain-and-time-killer Marlboro?

And how can I not love and hate February at the same time? The very month that gave me a refreshing breather and by leaving me behind (or by being left behind) is throwing me into March’s strange, uncomfortable embrace in a strange uncomfortable place. And throwing out me only, by cutting off my strong 5-year old London-grown branch adorned by plentiful dazzling leaves including the one I’ve admired most.

I would have never left this terribly lovely and lovingly terrible city of the world. I got too much to leave behind in here. But as usual, life is not my Mother. Life is an ugly Bush-like unfair blindfolded blind-hearted thing with a sharp axe in its hand to cut off the branches with ripe fruits of happiness; the ones that make it feel jealous. A little jealous bogey it is.

Seconds are whirling in my absent mind, falling down into my restless heart and sneaking out through my feeble fingers so expeditiously… Where have I heard that clumsy word before: ‘expeditiously’? Well, from an ally of the axeman who was waiting for my ‘expeditious’ decision; the very decision that is sending torrents of torment to me now and again.

Now I can hear Robby singing: “No regrets. They don’t work. No regrets. They only hurt…” Don’t worry Robby. I’m still far beyond regretting and I don’t know whether it’s good or bad. I just don’t feel it. That’s it. But this “no regret” habit of mine doesn’t shield me against pains & hurts at all, if that's what you mean.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Paradoxical Manchester

Packing problems in head, sour and bitter feelings in heart headed to Manchester, a city in the North West of England with an old Latin name: Mamucium + castra (ceaster). The first part is the name of a Roman fort that stood there from 79 AD onwards and “castra” (ceaster, originally castrum) in old Latin means fortification or castle and among Romans “castra” was “a rectangular military camp”. However, the contemporary Manchester with approximately 450 000 population neither looks like nor reminds a military camp; an ordinary peaceful town with more skyscrapers than in London (at least it seems so!) with no signs of the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 webbed by River Irwell, River Medlock and River Irk. A rainy city with annual rainfall of 809 mm. This characteristic of the city made me regret for leaving my “hoody” jacket behind in London, while holding an umbrella among the youth in Britain has ostensibly outdated. Thus, I had to find a bit of poetic sense (or nonsense) of raininess (or love to the rain) left somewhere deep inside to enjoy my clumsy trip of a stranger around the town under drizzling clouds.

Our first impression (with my friend) was not pleasant though. I suppose you agree with me that confronting beggars straight away after leaving the station in a strange place is not a good feeling, especially if they turn out to be very rude ones. That was our first encounter in Manchester immediately followed by a similar one. Young white guys (not minorities) with intact pairs of hands and legs (definitely a couple of healthy eyes too; for they recognized us as foreigners straight away) asking for cigarettes and annoyed by our reluctance scolding us: “Why are you lying?” I had to prove that we were not lying. Arming myself with the same sort of rudeness had I to say: “We do have cigarettes dude, but certainly not for you”. And believe me it works.

But the search for brighter parts of the Manchester life didn’t take too long. People (except for beggars) seemed friendly and polite with coquettish Manchester accent, streets were broad and clean with less traffic jams and different minorities co-existing (seemingly) peacefully. I noticed many Arab shops with Arabic names like “Safad” and “Aleef”. In the first one we had a delicious vegi pizza with a falafel wrap and in the second one I bought some poisonous stuff (namely, Marlboro) in order not to give away to healthy beggars. And while stunned by the Madonna-prices of hotel rooms in downtown I overheard a large guy fallen on an armchair speaking in Persian to someone over his phone. (Subject: he was leaving the hotel straight away to meet his friend - or whoever was speaking to him - in Piccadilly in 5 minutes, while enjoying his comfortable chair further on. Five minutes were rather needed for him to get himself up and head towards the exit. He-he. I know I’m too nosy).

But another unpleasant happening just before midnight made me rethink my idea about the peaceful co-existence of minorities and the majority: in an infamous American shop designated for fattening slim nations (namely, McDonalds) an unsteady English dude was angry about something with the sales assistant. Security guard had to ask him out, but he was justifying his behaviour by stating that the sales assistant was a Muslim. Surely, most of the English agree with me that scum of the society like him bring them disgrace only. (As for McDonalds, I have to shamelessly admit that I had a pack of their chips! Presumably I was unsteady too to visit it after such a long boycott!)

Manchester night clubs made me fall in love with the city again. Have you ever seen club security guards joining their customers on a dance floor? Their counterparts in London have forgotten how to smile long time ago and I bet they rehearse their voices at home to make them sound huskier and tougher (but they end up sounding rather funnier). No doubt, they are also busy auto-training themselves in front of a mirror to maintain the bulldog looks or of a person who’s survived a sexual assault by you. But now I’m talking about Manchester club guards that seem absolutely opposite, as if I’ve granted them my Mercedes recently. (If I got one indeed? No, just dreaming on).

Oops, it seems I’ve ranted enough for now, while haven’t said everything yet. Just briefly: on the way back home (it’s still in London; for a couple of more days) popped in Birmingham too. The second biggest city of Britain with a huge shopping centre just opposite the station. The crave of shopotherapy dragged me into the centre and that was all I could see in Birmingham: Debenhams, Gap, Topman, River Island and many more loud labels. And the area around the centre; nice and modern with a tall tower in the middle. Not as impressive as Manchester’s post-modern buildings though.

Tomorrow I’m receiving people from a relocation company. They will collect all my odds and sods to send to Prague. I will follow them shortly, Ahura willing. Excited? Not even for a bit. Why? Too long to explain now. Maybe another day.