Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Four Years Ago

Bilawal has been elected as the new PPP leader with his father as a co-chairman. Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto's husband, says, BB wanted him to lead the party.

In his first press appearance Bilawal, 19, said: "As my mother said, democracy is the best revenge". However, democracy could have been observed better by choosing a more capable leader democratically, rather than following the family lineage of Bhuttos.

Another sad fact: Bilawal did not utter a word in Urdu. His father insisted to answer all questions on his behalf. Perhaps the newly-crowned leader will have to go through tough express Urdu language courses, while carrying on his education at Oxford.

The following report was published in 2004, when Bilawal was just 16:

Family victim of delayed justice, says Bilawal

By Shamim-ur-Rahman

KARACHI, Aug 26: Bilawal, the elder son of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari, says that he and the family have been hounded by "cooked up cases" and believes that most of Pakistan's problems can be solved if there is justice and democracy in the country.

Bilawal, who will be 16 next month, was talking to this reporter at his seaside residence after visiting his father in detention at the nearby Ziauddin Hospital. Sitting besides a painting of his grandfather and mother, Bilawal, who is doing his "O" levels in Dubai and is a black belt in Taekwondo, was bitter about his father's imprisonment.

"About the justice system, I don't know how well it is working over here, but my father has been in prison for eight years and has not been charged with anything, nor has anything been proved.

He is the only politician in Pakistan who has been kept behind bars for eight years. It is not only a crime against him, it is a crime against me and my family, who have been robbed of our father's company and guidance when we needed him.

"I meet him everyday in the hospital. We talk about school and life and things we missed out when I was a child. I just recently came to see my father after a four-year gap. What can we do in the circumstances? But I must tell you, my father is a strong-nerved person," said Bilawal.

"I have gone through lots of things and he wasn't there. At the time when we needed him he was taken away. We were denied of normal life," said the elder child of Benazir and Asif.

When asked whether he would like his father to be free through a deal with the government or would you like him to be exonerated by the courts, Bilawal's response was: " He should come out with honour. If there is a deal going on, then why a deal after all the fake cases?"

When asked if he had immediate plans to take a plunge into politics, following in his parents' footsteps, Bilawal sounded skeptical as he said: "We will see, I don't know. I would like to help the people of Pakistan, so i will decide when I finish my studies."

When probed as to what the young man understood by serving the people, his reply was: "I can either enter politics, or I can enter another career that would benefit the people."

"I think there wouldn't be such a problem if a dictator doesn't come and take over after every couple of years. That contributes to backwardness and poverty. Democracy is the only way out. The founder of Pakistan believed in democracy. He did not believe in dictatorship, and Pakistan was not founded for that. So there shouldn't be a dictator," he said.

Asked if there was any change in Ms Benazir Bhutto's behaviour since her exile and how she took care of the family despite other commitments, Bilawal said: "She tries to find time for us whenever she can. I think she is doing a good job as a mother, even though being very busy."

Asked if he and his sisters discussed problems, Asif Ali Zardari's son said: "My middle sister doesn't talk about it a lot but my younger sister asks me and I tell her that we have to be strong and one day he (Asif) will be free and will be with us."

When asked what he had been told about the legacy of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Bilawal said: "We have been told everything about him. My impression is that he was a very courageous man and I consider myself very lucky because I have three powerful role models that will obviously influence my career choices when I am older."

Bilawal, who likes target shooting, swimming, horse riding and squash, regrets that he could not play cricket because of the circumstances in which his family has been put.

Feel Your Pain

People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that's bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they're afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they're wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It's all in how you carry it. That's what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you're letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.

Jim Morrison

Monday, December 24, 2007

How Independent Is the BBC?

آيا بی بی سی بی‌طرف است؟

هفتاد و پنج سال پیش دولت بریتانیا بخش جهانی بنگاه سخن‌پراکنی این کشور را با نام بی‌بی‌سی پایه ریزی کرد که هم اکنون با 33 بخش زبانی و 250 خبرنگار در نقاط مختلف جهان فعالیت می‌کند. برای مرور کارنامه بخش جهانی بی‌بی‌سی، با شهریار رادپور از پرسابقه‌ترین کارمندان بخش فارسی بی‌بی‌سی در لندن و عمده‌ترین مجری برنامه‌های فارسی که سرآغاز برنامه‌های آن با صدای اوست، گفتگویی انجام دادم.
گفته می‌شود که بخش جهانی بی‌بی‌سی بیش از 150 میلیون شنونده دارد و ماهانه بیش از 75 میلیون بار به تارنمای آن مراجعه می‌شود.

از آقای رادپور پرسیدم که بی‌بی‌سی چگونه موفق شده که به این ارتفاع برسد.

بخش عمده‌ی آن در حقیقت نام و شهرت بی‌بی‌سی است برای اینکه همه‌ ما می دانیم با وجود گسترش بی‌سابقه اینترنت در دنیا و بصورت یک رسانه کاملا مستقل و معتبر درآمده و اینکه این تعداد افراد بر اساس آمار به سایتهای بی‌بی‌سی مراجعه می‌کنند، طبعا مقدار زیادی از آن نام و شهرت سابقش از رادیو و تلویزیون و بخشی هم بر اثر مطالعه و خواندن مطالبش و اینکه مردم آن را یک منبع معتبر و قابل اطمینانی شناختند که به آن مراجعه می کنند.

این نام وشهرت بی‌بی‌سی چگونه حاصل شده است؟ خیلی از افرادی که در گذشته با بی‌بی‌سی سر و کار داشتند، می‌گویند که این رسانه مکتب راستین ژورنالیسم است. چه اصول روزنامه‌نگاری باعث شده که این گونه ارزیابی صورت بگیرد؟

دلیل اصلی آن این است که در سال 1945 که جنگ دوم پایان یافت، سرویس جهانی بی‌بی‌سی که تا آن زمان یک دستگاه تبلیغاتی جنگ در دست دولت بود، تشکیلاتش منحل شد. وزارت تبلیغات جنگ هم منحل شد و تصمیم گرفته شد که اگر سرویس جهانی قرار است ادامه پیدا کند، باید برای آن منشوری نوشت و این منشور نوین سرویس جهانی است که ضامن و نگهدار این بیطرفی است. البته، این دلیل نمی‌شود که در طی سالهای بعد از جنگ، سرویس جهانی بی‌بی‌سی دچار لغزش و یا کوتاهی نشده باشد. نمونه‌های انقلاب ایران و دکتر مصدق را داریم و نمونه جمال‌عبدالناصر و مصر را داریم، ولی روی همرفته باید گفت که کارنامه بعد از سال 1945 تا به امروز، کارنامه یک دستگاه مستقل بوده و اعتبارش هم مرهون همان است.

اتفاقا در مورد این اشاره‌ای که کردید، می خواستم کمی مفصل‌تر صحبت کنید. روز 29 دسامبر امسال، بخش فارسی بی‌بی‌سی هم 67 ساله می‌شود، یعنی تفاوت سنی اش از بخش جهانی چندان زیاد نیست و همانطور که اشاره کردید، این روزها صحبتهایی می‌شود راجع به اینکه در دهه 1330، بخش جهانی مستقیما از وزارت خارجه بریتانیا دستورهایی را دریافت می‌کرده و مثلا در مورد چگونگی ترسیم چهره محمد مصدق، نخست وزیر وقت، به مشورت‌های مقامات بریتانیایی تن می‌داده و همان مطالب را به فارسی ترجمه و پخش می کرده است. بعضی ها هم معتقدند در دوره انقلاب اسلامی، بخش فارسی بی‌بی‌سی نقش کلیدی داشته و به زعم آنها، اگر بی‌بی‌سی نبود، انقلاب به آن شکلی که صورت گرفت، اتفاق افتاد. اکنون اوضاع در بی‌بی‌سی چگونه است؟

من پاسخ به سوال شما را که چند جنبه داشت، از نقطه پایانی (انقلاب ایران) شروع می کنم. ببینید در اینکه خیلی‌ها چه قبل و چه بعد از انقلاب، شکایات و انتقاداتی مطرح کردند، به خاطر اینکه لحن و محتوا بی‌طرفانه نبوده، تا آنجا که من به یاد دارم، دو بار، یک بار داخلی و یک بار مستقل . خارج از تشکیلات بی‌بی‌سی ، مطالب و نوارها شنیده و بررسی شد و رای بر این بود که با وجود تمام مشکلات، بی‌طرفی بی‌بی‌سی در آنجا حفظ شد، ولی اگر به عقب‌تر برگردیم، شما به مصدق اشاره کردید. در آن زمان و بعد از آن همه پذیرفتند که لغزشی بوده و تصور من این است که بعد از ماجرای بحران سوئز بریتانیا و بی‌بی‌سی از این موضوع درسی گرفتند که به این منجر شد که تا حد امکان، البته نمی شود گفت هیچکس؛ لغزشی از کسی سر نزند. در حد امکان سیستمی به وجود آمد که مطمئن شوند هیچ نوع جانبداری از هیچ جهتی نباید باشد و سیستمی که نظارت دارد و سردبیران برنامه‌ها در این مدتی که من به یاد دارم که انقلابی را هم شامل می‌شود، ما شاهد لغزشی که قابل ایراد گرفتن باشد یا اینکه بگویند تعمدی بوده، نبوده است، ولی این دلیل نمی‌شود که بگویم دراین سالها کوتاهی و لغزشی نبوده است.

آیا می توان بی‌بی‌سی را امروز یک رسانه مستقل قلمداد کرد یا شما که خودتان در زمره پر سابقه‌ترین کارکنان بخش فارسی بی‌بی‌سی هستید، آیا می‌توانید بگوید که در مقايسه با دوره گذشته بی‌بی‌سی مستقل است یا هنوز مواردی هست که مقامات دخالت کنند یا دستوری دریافت شود و بی‌بی‌سی مجبور به اجرای دستورها باشد.

نه. من معتقدم که سیستم فعلی، یعنی سیستمی که 30-20 سال است جاری است، کاملا در حدی که می شود گفت قابل اطمینان است. من یک نمونه از جنگ فاکلند می‌آورم. سال 1982 دولت خانم تاچر، یکی از انتقادات و ایرادات تندش از بی‌بی‌سی بود. هم بی‌بی‌سی داخلی و هم بین‌المللی یا سرویس جهانی که چرا کاملا بیطرفانه بین ارتش بریتانیا و ارتش آرژانتین صحبت می کند و مدیران بی‌بی‌سی ایستادند که منشور ما بیطرفی ما را تایدد می کند و از آن نگهداری می کند و نهایتا دولت خانم تاچر بود که مجبور شد بپذیرد که بی‌بی‌سی غیر قابل نفوذ است و این نمونه بسیار خوبی برای ماست. اینکه استقلال اول بی‌بی‌سی حفظ شود.

شما در مقاله‌تان که به مناسبت 75 سالگی بخش جهانی بی‌بی‌سی در تارنمای فارسی بی‌بی‌سی منتشر کردید، اشاره‌ای دارید به این که فعالیت‌های رادیویی محدودتر شده و بی‌بی‌سی بیشتر به اینترنت و تلويزیون رو آورده است. آیا این به معنای کمرنگ‌تر شدن رادیو خواهد بود؟

امیدوارم نباشد. هنوز طرح و برنامه دقیق و مشترکی اعلام نشده و هیچ بعید نیست که اگر بودجه کل برنامه‌های فارسی اضافه نشود، از بودجه موجود باید به هدفهای بیشتری رسید. اما اهمیت رادیوی بین‌المللی سر جای خودش هست. حالا اینکه ماهیت پخش برنامه‌ها یا مدت زمان سرعت برنامه‌ها شاید تغییر کند، ولی در عین حال نمی‌شود که از نظر دور داشت که پیشرفت تکنولوژی ارتباطات آن قدر سریع است که بی‌اعتنایی به آن غیر قابل بخشش خواهد بود. اگر بودجه برای پذیرفتن تکنولوژی ارتباطات بخار نشود، بی‌بی‌سی ناچار خواهد بود که پول موجودش را در یک سینی بزرگتری پخش کند.

شاید يکی ديگر از دلایل کمتر شدن تعداد مخاطبان رادیو بی‌بی‌سی، نکته‌ای باشد که در بریتانیا هم راجع به آن صحبت می‌شود و می‌گویند، برنامه‌های بی‌بی‌سی با زمانه گام به گام جلو نمی‌رود، نحوه بیان و اجرایشان باب روز نيست. و معتقدند که باید برنامه ریزی و اجرای برنامه‌ها باید کمی امروزی‌تر شود. آیا فکر می‌کنید که این هم می تواند دليل کاهش تعداد مخاطبان شده باشد؟

اگر منظور شما سرویس جهانی است، من تا حدی موافقم. اما سرويس داخلی خیلی با زمان و روز پیش می‌رود.

منظور سرويس جهانی است.

سرویس جهانی با برنامه‌های انگلیسی هم خیلی پیشرفته‌تر و مدرن‌تر و امروزی‌تر شده است. اما در زبان‌های خارجی که تعدادشان هرروز کمتر می‌شود، این مقاومت هست و شاید هم بخشی از آن عدم آشنایی کارمندان با سیستم نحوه‌ تهیه و اجرای برنامه است. اما این نکته هم است که هر وقت سرویس جهانی خواست با شیوه‌ مدرن تر لحن گفتار را امروزی کند، خیلی از شنوندگان انگلیسی شکایت کردند که ما ترجیح می‌دهیم بی بی سی را با همان صدا و لحن سنتی بشنویم . در نتیجه مقاومت از هردو طرف بوده است و تصور من این است که دیر یا زود رادیو و تلویزیون و اینترنت بی بی سی اگر بخواهد در دنیای پر رقیب امروزی جای خودش راحفظ کند، ناچار به تغییر و پذیرش روش‌های نوین است.

به زودی تلویزیون فارسی بی بی سی هم راه اندازی خواهد شد. می‌شود این گونه تلقی کرد که رادیو فارسی بی بی سی از آن به بعد بیش از پیش تحت الشعاع قرار خواهد گرفت و باز هم تعداد بیشتری از مخاطبانش را از دست خواهد داد؟

متاسفانه، بله. برای این که تصور من این است که تلویزیون چیز بسیار خوبی است. اما برای کشورهایی حتی مثل ایران که برق و امکانات خیلی بیشتر از کشورهایی است که مردم آن در سراسر کشور گیرنده‌ تلویزیون داشته باشند و از این قبیل، ولی در آن سطح کامل نیست که بتواند رادیو به مردم صدای بی بی سی را برساند. در نتیجه اگر امکانات رساندن صدا، یعنی فرستنده‌های موج کوتاه و متوسط نوسازی نشوند و سیستم تکنولوژی امروزی در آن ها پیاده نشوند، وقتی مردم نتوانند صدای رادیو لندن را بدون پارازیت و راحت بشنوند، طبعا اگر گزینه‌ای مثل تلویزیون داشته باشند به سراغ آن خواهند رفت، حتی اگر نتوانند در خانه‌شان مستقلا این دستگاه را داشته باشند.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wishing an Apple-fall

Life is too short to be wasted in the swirl of a bottomless pool of plans and hopes. Why don’t we start our tomorrow today? After all, the fall of an apple that hit Newton's bright head was not pre-planned, was it? I want apples to fall down on our heads too (at least a couple of them (heads, not apples) would turn out to be bright too), but it is too much to ask from a freezing wintry London.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Марги равшанфикрӣ дар Тоҷикистон

Чӣ бояд кард?


Вақте дар хона нур надорем, чи кор мекунем? Пурсишест, ки посух ба он дар кишварҳои мухталиф метавонад мутафовит бошад. Дар Амрико давлати Буш сарнагун хоҳад шуд, дар Бритониё саранҷом низоми салтанатӣ ба торих хоҳад пайваст, дар Русия дастикам коргарон эътисоб хоҳанд кард, аммо дар Тоҷикистон мунтазир хоҳанд монд ва дар дили торикӣ ба “сарвари кишварамон” сано хоҳанд гуфт, ки “ба ҷанги бародаркуш поён ниҳодааст”.

Дар Амрикову Бритониёву Русия нур ба хонаҳо бармегардад, аммо дар Тоҷикистон ба кумур рӯ меоранду вожаи “барқ”-ро ба фаромӯшӣ месупоранд, вале ҳамду саноро на.

Ахтагии миллӣ

Тарс аз ҷанги таҳмилӣ равони моро ахта кардааст. Мо, бидуни ин ки худамон фаҳмида бошем, ба як қавми нозову буздил табдил шудаем. Мо дигар қодир ба зодани фикри тоза нестем ва ҳатто агар саду наваду се кишвари дигари ҷаҳон ба монанди Русия мардуми моро хор кунанду дар “васф”-и мо сериёлҳои “Наша Раша” бисозанд ҳам, бори нангро таҳаммул хоҳем кард ва номардона ба “сарвари кишварамон” сано хоҳем фиристод. Чаро?

Чунки нури мо рафтааст. Мо нур надорем ва бенур таҳи чоҳеро мепалмосем ва бадтар аз ҳама, мафҳуми “нур”-ро фаромӯш кардаем. Моро ба наҳве манкурт кардаанд, ки намедонем хуршед чи рангӣ буд ва аз кадом тараф тулӯъ мекард. Мо аҳли зиёро, интеллигентсияро, равшанфикронро бохтаем ва ин бузургтарин баҳое буд, ки мардуми мо дар баробари “ҷанги дохилӣ” пардохт, вайронгартарин таконе, ки бар пайкари мардуми мо ворид шуд, андӯҳбортарин трожедие, ки торих то кунун барои мо ва дар бораи мо навиштааст.

“Интеллигентсия”, “зиёӣ” ва “равшанфикр”

“Интеллигентсия”, “зиёӣ” ва “равшанфикр” – се истилоҳ барои як мафҳум, ки ҳамагӣ ҳокӣ аз нуру равшаноист. Аммо аз ин сето дар ҷомеъаи мо танҳо ном ҳасту нишон нест. Вопасин фарёди нур шояд “Фарёди бефарёдрас” буд, ки ношунида монд.

Дигар ҳарчи буду ҳаст, зулмати намрудии “Исмоъили Сонӣ”-ст ва торикии абрӯҳои анбӯҳи ӯ ва сукути махуфи миёни ҷумлаҳои ӯ ва такбири ҳамоқату виқори бедалели ӯ ва печишу курнишу таъзими косалесони ӯ, ки бешармона унвони “равшанфикр”-ро ғасб кардаанд. Зӯзаҳои гургҳои гурусна ёдамон наравад, ки дар ҳасрати як луқма ноне, ки гоҳ аз даҳони “Исмоъили Сонӣ”-ву бачаҳояш меуфтад, гӯши замонаро ба сутӯҳ овардаанд ва мадҳияҳое сурудаанд, ки Унсуриро дар баробари чашмони мо Рӯдакӣ кардааст.

Дар таърифи истилоҳи русии “интеллигентсия” мехонем: “як қишри иҷтимоъии мардум, ки даргири халлоқияти печидаи маънавӣ ва фикрӣ ҳастанд ва манзур аз ин халлоқият пешбурд ва интишори фарҳанг аст.” Ба иборате дигар, равшанфикрон машъалдори ҷомеъа ҳастанд, ки роҳу чоҳро барои мову шумо нишон медиҳанд. Магар намебинед, ки бо ҳидояти ғосибони номи ин қишр таҳи чи чоҳе уфтодаем?.. Ман ҳам шуморо намебинам, аз бас ин ҷо ба таври боварнакарданӣ торик аст.

Шарифов ҳам як равшанфикр буд

Намедонам, худи Суҳроб Шарифов ёд дорад ё на, аммо дар поёни ҷанг, қабл аз он ки лутфи “Исмоъили Сонӣ” шомили ҳоли ӯ шавад ва ӯро ҳам фурӯ бибарад, вай ба унвони як коршинос вазъияти “равшанфикрон”-и Тоҷикистонро ба хубӣ тафсир карда буд:

“Равшанфикрон, ба унвони лояи ҳаллоқи ҷомеъа, дар буҳрони амиқе ба сар мебаранд. Пайроҳа ба сӯи озодии халлоқият (эҷодкорӣ) бисёр печида аст ва ба кумаки ҳамаи қишрҳои ҷомеъа ниёз дорад. Вақте ки як бахши бузурги ҷомеъа (дар ин маврид, равшанфикрон) дар баробари масъулиятҳои худ бархурде манфӣ дорад ё он масъулиятҳоро бо бемайлӣ анҷом медиҳад, ҷомеъа дучори камхунӣ мешавад. Бадеҳист, ки вопасмондагии иқтисодӣ, маънавӣ ва фарҳангии миллат танҳо дар сурате бартараф хоҳад шуд, ки пеш аз ҳама бегонагии равшанфикрон аз сиёсат рафъ шавад. Миллат бояд аз имкони озодии интихоб миёни алтернативҳои мухталиф барои ҳалли мушкилоти иҷтимоъии муҳимтар бархурдор бошад, то дар сиёсат дахил шавад ва саҳм бигирад. Ба баёне равшантар, равшанфикрон бояд аз арзишҳои демократик ҳимоят кунанд.”

Эй кош ҳофизаи Суҳроб Шарифов қавитар буду ӯ дар мақоми раёсати маркази мутолеъоти стротежик ҳам аз арзишхои демократик ҳимоят мекард.

Парвози бозҳо

Эй миллат! Мо гӯл хурдем. Магар фаромӯш кардаед, ки замоне Халифабобо Ҳомидов бо суханҳои шаккаринаш ба мо чи умеде медод? Ҳоло тарозуи додгарӣ дар дасти ин оқост, аммо кафаҳои ин тарозу ҳаргиз баробар намешавад. Шамсиддин Имомов ҳам зоҳиран як равшанфикр буд ва ҳар ду ба монанди ду боли шоҳини равшанфикрон Тоҳири Абдулҷаббор ҷилва мекарданд. Мо - ғофил аз он ки суханони нӯшини ин ду “равшанфикр” чизе ба ҷуз “ҷилва дар минбар” нест - ба онҳо содиқона имон оварда будем.

Акнун Тоҳири Абдулҷаббор, ки замоне қудрати каломаш сохтмони порлумонро ба ларза меафканд, аз қофила парт шуда (ҳарчанд бо номи нек ба торих пайвастааст) ва ду муъовини пешинаш дар Растохез ду бози рӯи шонаҳои “Исмоъили Сонӣ” шудаанд. (Ташбеҳи нобаҷое буд, ки ба маҳзи қиёс овардам, вагарна эшон рӯи шонаҳои “Исмоъили Сонӣ” ҳам мақоме надоранд).

Агар Тоҷикистони мо бад-ин андоза торик набуд, мо ҳамон 18 сол пеш ба “Андешаи нек, гуфтори нек, кирдори нек”-и Тоҳир гӯши ҷон месупурдем ва аз пайроҳаи миллӣ пеш мерафтем. Доктор Шаҳроми Акбарзода – равшанфикре, ки дар Австралия нишаставу мусибати моро назора мекунад, соли 1996 навишта буд:

«Ислоҳоти Горбачёв ба равшанфикрони тоҷик иҷоза дод, ки гилояҳои худро баён кунанд ва дарёбанд, ки дар тақозои адолат танҳо нестанд. Дар тамоми гӯшаҳои Иттиҳоди Шӯравӣ миллигароӣ мавҷ мезад ва тоҷикҳо худро дар таркиби ин раванд диданд. Аммо раҳбарии Тоҷикистон сиришти рӯйдодҳо дар паҳнаи Шӯравиро ба хубӣ нафаҳмид. Ин нокомӣ дар дарки аҳамияти миллигароӣ ва намодҳои он нухбагон (элита)-и Тоҷикистонро аз нухбагони дигар кишварҳои Осиёи Миёна мутафовит мекард. Зоҳиран тақозоҳои миллигароёнаи мухолифон раҳбарии ҷумҳурихоҳи Тоҷикистонро дар муқобили он қарор медод ва давлат ба ҷои он ки бештар аз мухолифон дар изҳори назарҳои миллигароёна бикӯшад, ба иборатпардозиҳои шӯравӣ баргашт ва бар таъаҳҳудаш ба “интернасионализм”-и шӯравӣ таъкид кард. Ин таъкид ҳатто пас аз фурӯпошии Иттиҳоди Шӯравӣ идома дошт. Дар натиҷаи набуди биниши сиёсии давлат буҳрон печидатар шуд.”

Дар натиҷаи он кӯтоҳбинии нобихрадона равони равшанфикрӣ аз Тоҷикистон рахт барбаст ва торикандешон соҳибхона шуданд ва равшанфикрон ё кишварро ба мақсади равшаноии гумшуда тарк карданд ё ба торикандешон пайвастанд ё дар ҷомеъа таҳлил рафтанду ба издиҳом мулҳақ шуданд. Пас мо акнун равшанфикр надорем.

Чӣ бояд кард?

Бо дарки ин ҳақиқати талх ба нохудогоҳ пурсише дари зеҳни моро мекӯбад: Пас чӣ бояд кард? Ин пурсиш метавонад ба андозаи “Чӣ бояд кард?”-и Ленин инқилобофарин бошад ё дар ҳадди “Пас чӣ бояд кард, эй ақвоми Шарқ?”-и Турсунзода ношунида бимонад ва фақат барои “масрафи дохилӣ” ё ирзоъи рӯҳи озурдаамон худнамоӣ кунад.

Чизе, ки сарнавишти ин пурсишро рақам мезанад, самимияти мо дар дарки ин мушкил аст. Оё самимона эътироф мекунед, ки дар чоҳ гирифтор мондаед? Оё аз замири қалб қабул доред, ки дар зери ин чоҳ ба ламъае нур ниёз доред ё шояд фаротар аз инро ҳам қабул доред, ки берун аз чоҳ офтоб фаровон аст ва бояд даст ба дасти ҳам доду аз ин тангно ба фарохно хазид? Оё дигар намехоҳед тоҷикҳо дар бозорҳои Русия либоси зарди борбариро ба тан кунанду зери по шаванд? Оё аз дидани ваҳшати тоҷикситезӣ дар дарун ва берун аз Тоҷикистон ва тамошои кумедии фаҷеъи “Наша Раша”, ки тоҷикҳоро андаке бартар аз хар тасвир мекунад, самимона хаста нашудаед? Оё дилатон барои ҷалолу шукӯҳи аздастрафтаи Исмоъили Сомонии ростин танг нашудааст? Оё аз назораи шиками ҳамвора-дамандаи “Исмоъили Сонӣ” эҳсоси таҳаввуъ (дилбеҳузурӣ) намекунед? Оё гарданатон дард намекунад, ки ин ҳама сол саратонро хам нигаҳ доштаед?

Ба ҳурмати ҳафт ситораи рӯи парчами серанги меҳан, агар посухи шумо ба ин ҳафт пурсиш мусбат аст (ки 49 пурсиш камтар аз суолҳое буд, ки дар “ҳамапурсӣ”-и соли 2003 аз мо фақат як посух мехост), пас биёед дастбакор шавем. Мо агар қатраем, ба таъбири Иқбол, боз ҳам тавони онро дорем, ки хуршедро тасхир кунем. Ту фақат дастатро ба ман бидеҳ, то ман дастамро ба ӯ бидиҳам ва бо ҳам занҷире бисозему аз чоҳ фаро биравем. Чи гуна?

Роҳнамои равшанфикрӣ

Равшанфикрони пӯшолӣ ва дурӯғинро бояд раҳо кард. Бидуни мо ҳам гирифториҳои рӯзгори онҳо андак нест. Онҳоеро, ки нонрезаҳои суфраи “Исмоъили Сонӣ”-ро “чида мемоланд ба чашм” ва гоҳ мерезанд ба ком, раҳо кунем ва машъали равшангариро худамон ба даст бигирем.

Гоми нахуст барои наздикӣ ба ин машъал дарки фосилаи мо аз он аст. Фосилаи мо аз машъал ба андозаи дарки мо аз мушкилотамон аст. Ҳар андоза бештар аз вусъати мушкилотамон огоҳ бошем, ба ҳамон андоза ба машъал наздиктарем. Аз баёни мушкилот набояд ибо варзид. Агар бо лаб фурӯ бастан мушкиле ҳал шуда буд, моҳиҳо бояд шаҳриёри гетӣ мешуданд, на инсонҳо. Дуруст баръакс, суҳбат аз мушкилот ба монанди замзамаи афсунгарона аст, ки маъмулан роҳи ҳалро пеши поят мегузорад. Пас қаноъатро бояд канор гузошт ва аз набуди нур гилоя кард. Куҷои ин талаб шармовар аст: “Ман нур мехоҳам!”? Баръакс, аз надоштани нур бояд хиҷолат кашид. Бенурӣ шармовар аст.

Қарор нест мо теғ ба даст бигирем, чун аҳди ин корҳо гузаштааст ва фикр намекунам, ки ту ё ман бихоҳем садсолаҳо ақиб биравем. Роҳ дар ҷаҳон якест ва он роҳ ба пеш аст.

Ба қудрати калом имон биёварем, ки ларза бар пайкари истибдодҳо афкандаву меафканад. Ба вижа каломе, ки ба иттифоқ ба забон оварем. Фарзан, агар ман бигӯям “нур!” ва ту бигӯӣ “Нур!”, мешавад “НУР!!!”-е, ки гӯши карро ҳам шунаво хоҳад кард. Ва ҳеч шамшере қудрати буридани он нидоро надорад. Шамшерҳо аз садои баланд метарсанд.

Рӯдвор бошем, кӯлвор на. Ҳамеша бояд дар паи роҳи бурунрафт буд. Кӯлҳо замоне мурдоб мешаванд, чун обашон исто ва рокид аст. Ё мисли Арал мехушканд. Истибдоди сангу харсангро набояд қабул кард. Дар ҷунбуҷӯш бошем ва ҳамвора аз зеру рӯи сангу харсанг ба фазои боз раҳо шавем.

Андеша замоне рушд кардаву ба суъуд расида, ки озод будааст. Пас андешаи худ ва атрофиёнро ҳам бо завлонаи тарсу надомату хурофот маҳор накунем, балки раҳо созем, то шояд аз боғе нав сар дароварад ва чизе тоза ба армуғон оварад.

Чароғи виждонамонро ҳамвора равшан нигаҳ дорем ва агар фикр мекунем ба Равшанфикрӣ расидаем, равшанфикрона рафтор кунем ва ба мафҳум ва таърифи равшанфикрӣ хиёнат накунем.

Чароғи нангу номуси равшанфикриро ҳам фурӯзон нигаҳ дорем ва бо сари баланд бо сарафкандагиҳои миллат биситезем.

Ҳамин ки мо дар айни беравшанфикрӣ умедамонро аз даст надодаем, нишонаи пойдории умеди расидан ба фардои равшан ва ба хуршед аст. Ҳамеша пур аз умеду равшаноӣ бош.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Is America right to demonise Ahmadinejad?

By Anne Penketh, the Independent Diplomatic Editor
Published: 26 September 2007

Why are we asking this question now?

Because of the furore surrounding the visit of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to New York for the UN general assembly session. He was greeted by headlines in the New York tabloids which screamed "The Evil has Landed" and "Madman Iran Prez". He gave his third address as president to the UN General Assembly last night, but only after a controversial meeting at Columbia Uuniversity, whose authorities came under strong pressure to deny him a platform.

How did he do?

He set out the policy of Iran's "peaceful" nuclear programme, and responded to questions about his troubling statements concerning his denial of the Holocaust and on seeking the destruction of Israel. But he destroyed his own credibility by asserting, in response to a question, that "in Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country". That comment earned him the most laughter – and boos – of the event.

So was the US right to try to silence him?

Of course not. The president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, undermined his own case for freedom of speech in his insulting introduction in which he described the university's guest as exhibiting "all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator" and expressed the hope that Mr Ahmadinejad would not remain in office.

There are several problems with America's demonisation of Mr Ahmadinejad. Firstly, it confers on him a prominence in the Iranian power structure that he does not have in reality. It is not the Iranian president who wields the most power in Tehran: the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calls the shots and decides nuclear policy. Secondly, scare-mongering has proved counter-productive by enabling him to portray nuclear power as a priority and a matter of national pride.

The personal insults aimed at the Iranian president during his New York visit could also end up increasing his popularity at home, rather than the reverse. But there is also the grim reminder of Saddam Hussein, who was the last foreign leader demonized by the American administration and US television networks. With a figure like President Ahmadinejad held up as the representative of the "axis of evil" by the Bush administration, it can only comfort the position of the US and Israeli hawks who believe that Iran should be stopped from obtaining a nuclear weapon, by military force if necessary.


Friday, August 03, 2007



Шишаи холии атр
Бӯи андӯҳи ғуруб
Қаламҳои рангӣ
Гӯшимоҳии Бройтун(1) таҳи як қуллаки санг
Мани сангӣ аз ҳузури сахту дардноки ҳама хотираҳо
Даври гардан ҳалқаҳои дуд меандозам.
Сурфа – таъйиди ҳузури гӯшу овози абус
Сути(2) парвози садову зарбаи муҳри сукут
Бар лаби ин ҳама девори пушаймону хамӯш,
Ки туро меҷӯяд.

Савсани коғази Меҳрнӯшу гули дасти Анӯш
Аспу шеру ғӯли мурдобии филм(3)
Рӯи девори утоқча
Рӯи шиша, гӯшаи ойинаи пурхотира
Зери болиш, рӯи тоқча
Лои(4) як дафтари куҳна, ки пур аз зарбу тарҳу тақсим аст
Ҳама ҳайрону парешон
Ёди Гулҳои маро мебӯяд.

Тораи мӯи гирифтор васати шонаи чӯбӣ
Тараки(5) дастаи финҷон – ёдгори шаби пойкӯбию шодӣ
Лаккаву чарбии бозмонда ба умқи моҳитоба(6)
Нисфи бутрӣ(7) Шордуней(8)
Аз шаби охири дидор...
Ҳавлаи(9) сурхи кашида рӯи девори вурудӣ
Кифи фарсудаи мишкӣ(10), ки нахостишу набурдӣ
Копшани ҷир(11) – ёдгори шабе боронӣ дар Ландан,
Ки ҳар ду ларзидем…

Сиккаҳои(12) зарду сурбӣ
Дираму круну пенсу сенту купейк –
Солшумори ғурбату дарбадарӣ -
Тиккаҳои зиндагимон, ки ба ҳам дӯхта нашуд
Рӯи миз парту парешон бӯи ғурбат медиҳад.

Дар дили ман
Печаки зарди ҷудоӣ аз шумо мерӯяд
Қалами ман
Аз ҳадиси ғурбати талхи шумо мегӯяд
Мушкили ман
Уқдаи(13) найлабаки кӯлии(14) бемақсуд аст
Қадами ман
Роҳи паймудаи мо бори дигар мепӯяд.

1 Brighton, шаҳре дар ҷануби шарқи Инглис
2 “свист”, ҳушток
3 Shrek
4 байни..., миёни...
5 таркидагӣ, порагии шиша
6 лайлоға
7 "бутылка"
8 Chardonnay, як навъ шароби фаронсавӣ
9 Дастмол, “сачоқ”
10 Сиёҳ
11 "Замшевая куртка"
12 Танга
13 Гиреҳ
14 Ҷӯгӣ, лӯлӣ

شيشه خالی عطر
بوی اندوه غروب
قلمهای رنگی
گوش ماهی "برايتون" ته يک قلک سنگ
من سنگی
از حضور سخت و دردناک همه خاطره ها
دور گردن حلقه های دود می اندازم
سرفه، تاييد حضور گوش و آواز عبوس
سوت پرواز صدا و ضربه مهر سکوت
بر لب اين همه ديوار پشيمان و خموش
که تو را می جويد.

سوسن کاغذ مهرنوش و گل دست انوش
اسب و شير و غول مردابی فيلم
روی ديوار اتاقچه
روی شيشه، گوشه آيينه پرخاطره
زير بالش، روی طاقچه
لای يک دفتر کهنه که پر از ضرب و طرح و تقسيم است
همه حيران و پريشان
ياد گلهای مرا می بويد.

تاره موی گرفتار وسط شانه چوبی
ترک دسته فنجان – يادگار شب پايکوبی و شادی
لکه و چربی بازمانده به عمق ماهی تابه
نصف بطری، شاردونی
از شب آخر ديدار...
حوله سرخ کشيده روی ديوار ورودی
کيف فرسوده مشکی که نخواستيش و نبردی
تلويزيون خسته از خاموشی
پيچ راديوی خفه در انتظار لمس انگشت های تو
کفش مشکی دوشنبه ای خزيده روی هم
کاپشن جير – يادگار شبی بارانی در لندن
که هر دو لرزيديم...
سکه های زرد و سربی
درم و کرون و پنس و سنت و کوپيک -
سالشمار غربت و دربدری -
تکه های زندگی مان که به هم دوخته نشد
روی ميز، پرت و پريشان بوی غربت می دهد.

در دل من
پيچک زرد جدايی از شما می رويد
قلم من
از حديث غربت تلخ شما می گويد
مشکل من
عقده نی لبک کولی بی مقصود است
قدم من
راه پيموده ما بار دگر می پويد.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Way From Your Mouth To Our Ears

The increasing camp of Radio Zamaneh listeners now can listen to their own audio messages followed by RZ answers.

I'm not going to turn my weblog into a Zamaneh promotion platform, but these days new things are coming up in the station and I'm being involved in them somehow.

Here you go! Another brand new program from Zamaneh in London:


Saturday, July 07, 2007

¡Bienvenidos a Discoteca Zamaneh!

Disco Zamaneh is a new-born baby of the station. It gives you everything but tranquility. You ought to turn into the pulse of its music and hop with it. Otherwise, the program is not for you.

It is downloadable in the following page:

Disco Zamaneh

If the link doesn't work, just copy and paste the line below in your browser:

Have fun!

Friday, June 29, 2007

His Stone Is Diamond

I found the following piece of translation few weeks ago. It dates back to 20 February 2004. One of my ostaads had asked me to translate it from Persian into English in my leisure time. But it remained unfinished. "Sange Man - Almas" is one of the most representative pieces by Askar Hakim, a kind of poetic autobiography, worthwhile to be read.

The translation has not been edited and/or corrected, hence, not immune to lapses:

Askar Hakim

My stone is diamond

Who am I?
A tree-like human
My roots are entrenched
in the heart of the village’s water,
My branches are green
on the trunk of the city.
Rooted up of myself,
How to be engrafted into another?

I am not able to take
The golden paw of my roots with me
To make it green in the new land.
My branches and leaves are a heavy burden
For these thin roots in the sand.
Oh, I feel a fear of hurricane.

Let us leave the talk on the storm for a while,
Although every moment of my life
is full of squalls.

I became civilized,
I am a burgess, I mean.

All my friends from childhood
Left behind in the village.

But I visit the village
Once a year though, with swallows
Just to walk in the vineyards
Seeking Mother’s embrace,
Just to talk to the spring as I used to my sister
And to say: “Hello, brother!” to the tallest white poplar,
To embrace as my granny
The old trunk of mulberry
And to lay on a pillow of a hard stone,
As hard as my childhood,
Just to sleep…

Then to find myself surrounded
By a carpet of apricot flowers
And to see a nimble swallow
Building a nest on the ceiling.

Once our roof hosted pigeons
Flying and babbling with them,
Filling the house with a song
And the song was a subject of the law of the morning.

There was a piece of green land
Right behind the roof of the doves
Full of bats swooping on moths.
When the sky was dark above,
We as children used to run
Throwing our caps above
In the hope to catch a bat…

Once I hurled my cap to the sky,
Strengthened by a strong desire.
The cap caught on Pleiades’ ear.
Thereafter I lost my fear.

Now I still can walk on Earth,
But my head is beyond the Moon.

I like to deal with words and pen,
And I love to plough an autumn land,
But now deprived of a land and a plough,
I scribble this leaf
As ploughing a land
To see on it a sudden green plant,
Wheat or a barley stalk,
At least for an ant
From this pen-ploughed land.

I love the eruption of peach flowers
And bee’s affection to apple-flower – his bride,
That impregnates her just with a sweetest kiss
And I water the bride with my pen on the leaf.

I like the honey-moon kiss of a bee
Taken from the lips of a flower,
With a honey ending of it.

There is a lesson to learn
From this sweet-bearing small creature:
To sting just for joy
And to die from the sin of innocence,
If there is another purpose.

In my book sometimes I have nothing –
Neither honey, nor bee and nor apple.
Just few pale withered leaves, alas.

I would like to see limpid drops of dew
- thirsty to join the Sun’s spring –
not to be beholden to a leaf for its favour.

I wish every drop of a sea to perceive
That a sea is dependent on drops,
That the drops have created the seas.

I was born in the year of the Dog,
And the month of the Scales.
My affection and faith is from the year,
From the month I’ve received sense of justice.

My stone is diamond.

Nothing common between a diamond and a glass,
My stone is consisted of the smoke of smouldered hearts.
From blue to green, from white to red it changes though sometimes,
However, it is limpid and sparkles with crystal shines.

The sparkle of its blaze is derived from my heart-light.

My heart is my temple,
The Islamic “al-Hamd” on my tongue everyday
I pray
With the breathes of Christ
And the faith of Judah
With the lenience borrowed from Buddha
I pray to every creature with a belief in its heart.

I pray to keep green
The root of my faith
By God, who keeps you green.
I pray to the clouds in the sea of the heavens
To convey my benediction to the Sun.

If we say that the heavens have the water of blessing,
We should add that it covers not only the flowers,
And it pours not only on cypresses and basils,
And it waters not only raspberries…

We should know that the water of blessing is for thorns too,
And it pours on camel nettles and mote thistles as well.

Thorn is despised in a lawn,
If beside it a rose has been shown.

If you see a thorn-bundle on a short wall,
Touch wood.

Touch wood,
If you see a raven singing songs
Or a bat’s eyes acquainted with the Sun
Or a trap breaking itself to free a prey

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Rainy Thought

Rain is being sucked out of deeply dark-hearted fortified clouds by Earth’s gravity.

That’s the way a greedy child lactates generous breasts of its mother.

Walking on Amsterdam’s sidewalks in such weather does not appeal almost anyone.

Streets are gloomy and void. Sky is rattling at times just like a tiger roaring and crying from pain. Nobody wants to feel the burden of the pang so tangible and loud and incomparable with our own teeny trivial pains.

However, if not for my endless cold and coughing I wish to take a celestial bath right now to sense a link with the skies deep under my skin precisely for letting away whatever nonsense that keeps me puzzled these days.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Whirling Back To Windmill Land

A dragging affection of my Dutch colleagues’ embraces filled with warmth of sincere kindness was open to welcome me in the City of Windmills. Only then I felt it acutely how much I had missed them in past five months. No matter how far-stretching our modern communication means have become and how fast they are growing; nothing can replace a real proper physical contact. You can talk to them over the phone, invite them to a broadband video chat, and keep them posted via e-mails and texts, but still, you need to see them in person to understand how much you’ve missed them and how happy you are to see them again.

Amsterdam, itself, doesn’t contain any enigmas for me anymore. While still on board, approaching the city outskirts you can see a gigantic yellow “M” for McDonalds and a massive DHL store, and even if you are from the States (or maybe exactly because of that), you would not notice anything particular and distinguishable from other parts of the Americanized world. Apart from whirling wheels of its windmills, of course.

Who knows, there still could be enigmatic elements hidden in deeper layers of the society. I arrived in the city just few minutes ago and got a couple of weeks to explore it thoroughly. Bebinim o ta’rif bokonim!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Defeat Is A Reason

I keep posting my replies to Anon 2 as separate articles to keep the discussion running and attracting as many participants as possible. That's the latest one:

Dear Anon2,

Sorry for the delay longer than before. Some hassle with my broadband connection and British Telecom’s misconduct kept me deeply engaged with local bureaucracy and now I’m sitting here satisfied and triumphant, enjoying my broadband after almost 3 months of struggle.

As for our debate, seemingly we are getting each other’s points more easily. Whatever you said about difficulties and hardship back at home were the point of my concern in my initial postings.

Even if you want to get more distraught you can pick up any other sphere of life in Tajikistan and you'll sink into a real depression. Corruption is webbing the entire country faster than ever, mother tongue is vanishing and the link between the language and thought is disappearing leaving a tribe in pain of explaining a simplest thing with hundreds of “kim-chi xel”s and “vay-vay”s, nothing new is coming out of our thoughts as the result of our linguistic difficulty, xenophobia is flourishing as a means of self-defence of a weaker against a stronger, books are rarely published and even more rarely read, the art of verbal debate has joined history years ago, a top official swearing at a bunch of journalists does not raise our eye-brows anymore, the most elementary ethics downgraded to its minimum as well as the nation’s world view…

The list could be continued forever, but… There is a big BUT. There is a way out, because a little sparkle of hope is still twinkling, and on no account our depression could lead us to embrace that sparkle. There are still people not afraid to face the truth in its bare and ugly shape and speak about it. One of them is you. The very fact of thinking about our problems is that much promising sparkle. As the first step we have to talk about our discontent as long as to see it wide spread in the entire country. No room for bla bla, sheer lies and comic pride.

One of the oldest reasons of our misfortune could be our historic defeat. We could not rise and hold our heads high after Samanids were broken by Ghaznevids into tatters. Central Asian part of the Persian world succumbed to a pit of stagnation after that with a huge historic blister on its leg. The old nation still kept moving, but the blister of defeat would not allow it move as fast as before and show the previous agility and creativity. A bleeding nation was easier a prey for fresh predators who crawled into our backyard and stabbed us again and again until we stopped moving at all. That’s the moment we are living now with you.

Defeat of a nation is a significant topic of social psychology. There were years after World War II that German parents had to beg their offspring not to shout national mottos in football matches and not to display their national pride at all. Of course, Germany is still a top nation of the world, however, it was reduced from the world’s superpower to a satellite nation to accommodate over 60 000 soldiers of a rising superpower, namely the USA. That American contingent in Germany is still the largest American troop abroad. Germany is still doing well and the collapse of the Soviet Union served it well to recover faster than they imagined. However, it lost its second-ranking power to Japan in the field of industry. Such is the price of just one defeat. Can we now imagine the price of our endless defeats?

In order not to lose what has left in our possession we need to enhance our world view and get closer to realities.

PS. Your recollection of OINA was breath-taking and moving. I thought it was well-forgotten by anyone who used to watch it.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

No Embarrassment For The Past

This is another phase of our lovely discussion with Anon 2. It began here and will go on forever.

Dear Anon 2,

Welcome back again. Let me go to the point straight away.

Whenever we talk of our shameful civil war, we must remember that it was not something rare in the world. On the contrary, discontents, wars and dramatic upheavals have been recognized as a linkage between two different phases of a nation’s development. You will not be thoroughly refined through the process of evolution without those upheavals. Perhaps, Europe would have never achieved political and social maturity without the French Revolution (1789-1799). Russia would have never risen to be a world superpower without getting involved in the World War II. Or as Emmanuel Todd, a French political thinker puts it in his “After the Empire”, “the 350-year-old English Revolution is a good example of the paradox of modernization. No one would deny the crucial role that England played in the political and economic development of Europe. It was also a country with high levels of literacy early on. But one of the first effects of the English move into modernity was an ideological crisis, expressed politically and religiously, that led to a civil war most Europeans would have a hard time understanding today.”

The Jewish French thinker who had predicted the fall of the Soviet Union in his “La Chute finale” (1976), believes that the way to modernity usually lies through fearsome upheavals and an explosion of ideological violence. If you remember, in the very famous English Revolution in 1649 King Charles I was decapitated. We are not here to argue about its level of morality or amorality. It is just the natural normal independent course of the history. Hence, there is no need to curb our socio-political activities just because 10 years ago we had a bloody fight. That fear will remain in our blood vessels, only if we do not succeed to realize the necessity to move on. The period of stagnation must be evolved to a period of brave prosperity-motivated movements. The very fact that you are speaking of ‘our trauma’ may lead you to the point that you’d resist the traumatic effects of the past and start looking to the future. I think there should be no embarrassment for the past as well as no extreme pride for it.

Moaning about our disadvantages ‘despite having brilliant individuals’ does not make the situation less frustrating. Whenever we look for an excuse, we are trying to mask our weakness. As I argued before, we don’t have to be ashamed to reveal all our weakness in its entirety. Before operating a heart a surgeon has to unhinge the breast to have a proper look at the heart which is causing a problem for the rest of the body.

I do not believe that “many of our failures are the result of our “99% of literate population”. Perhaps, overall literacy was one of few advantages we had had from the Soviet Empire. That means, the task of a social change could go on smoother; almost everyone would be able to grasp and absorb the purpose of the change. What is not working well in Tajikistan is inherited from the Soviet Empire too: mismanagement, lack of perspective, political vision and national self-determination.

Furthermore, dramatic increase of literacy at the beginning has got some negative side effects and that’s ‘the psychological disorientation of population.’ I suppose, that’s what we are experiencing right now.

By the way, English teachers would never teach my children how to die for their Motherland. That’s the task of their parents indeed.

I wish you all the best, dear Anon 2.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Join In!

A lovely discussion is going on between me and a reader of one of my postings. It derived from my remarks about the falling image of our nation.

Since the posting is going further down and not being noticed by many, I decided to bring it up here to continue and attract more participants to speak out on the issue.

The entire discussion could be found under this link.

My latest response was as follows:

"Hi Anon 2,

Actually I am not enjoying 24/7 Internet access either. At least not at the moment. I just like polemical discussions of this kind and so far I can see a good speaker and listener in you. Hence I prefer to get back as soon as possible. But your latest posting reached me a bit later, since my weblog had been forgotten by me for that inhospitable attitude towards its owner the other day.

I stick to my opinion that the atmosphere and especially the traditional one must be altered profoundly for our children. We have to change our approach to our children. Every child is not considered a mere child by him/herself. They tend to acquire a distinguishable personality from the very dawn of their lives. In our society that innocent strife is still being oppressed and suffocated.

We (the society) like them to gaze vaguely like a sheep, with no hassle created by their activities, no questions to be asked. “Just-shut-up-and-sit-down” approach is not going to “bring more fruits for their children.” It will bring up dull stupid robotic type of people who would not care a damn about anything beyond their houses. That results in “Nasha Rossiya” style descriptions of Tajiks abroad. To be precise, you and I have different understandings of the topic. You want our children to be more inward-looking as they are today, but I want us to be more outward-looking, more involved in societal affairs, more concerned of the stance and image of our nation in the world, more aware of the very image in reality, more helpful to create a better image via facilitating our own lives in the country.

All of this depends on our awareness self-esteem. I don’t want my children to sit just by my side until I take in my last breath. They belong not only to me; first and foremost, they belong to my nation. Hence, they must take care of their Motherland as well as they take care of their mother and father. Our traditionalist lifestyle does not encourage it. It’s too narrow and simplistic. It does not tolerate questioning; otherwise one could be named “shakkok” or outcast. It’s too defensive for it is too feeble and uncertain. It’s afraid of other life-styles, just because it’s aware of its unattractive weak nature.

And you have complemented my allegation by putting forward more examples. The way Manija was treated, they way children are manipulated, and that people are more financially motivated with no proper knowledge how to achieve that fortune… indicates the necessity of a deep and far-stretching change in our culture. I am not suggesting that our traditions as a whole are an obstacle to our progress. However, I do insist that some parts of them are lethal and suicidal and must be put aside and forgotten for good.

And we have to stop bragging. We to boast about have created nothing lately. Modesty makes sense in this respect. “Hidden talents”, if they truly exist, must unhide and come out, since coming out needs some extent of talent as well. Even after that we have to restrain from reacting arrogantly and bluffing. Let others see and tell what they think of us: “Mushk on ast, ki xud bibuyad, Ne on ki attorash biguyad.”

Thus, we have almost nothing left of our past glory. But a healthy reaction to this bad news must be encouraging and creative. First, we have to acquaint ourselves with realities, before undertaking any adventure. Then good news might follow.

All the best,

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Kambiz Arman 5/02/07

Tajik President Imomali Rahmon’s grip on power seems tighter than ever. But that doesn’t mean some of his rivals in exile have abandoned dreams of regime change and the introduction of political reforms.

In recent weeks, Rahmon, who won a third presidential term last November, has taken steps to remake the country in his own image, prompting some observers to voice concern that he was laying the groundwork of a cult of personality. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. First, the president announced that he was Islamicizing his identity, dropping the Slavic "ov" from his last name. Then, he imposed new standards of behaviour on school children, including a ban on miniskirts and headscarves. He has also demanded that Tajiks lead more austere lives.

In his April 30 state of the nation address, he chided the bureaucracy, along with the general population, for not following his earlier order against holding "extravagant rituals."
"If we do not do this [curb ostentatious displays], I will issue another, more serious order," Rahmon cautioned. He added that as the duly elected leader of the nation, he "enjoyed the right to introduce certain orders for the sake of progress, prosperity and the prestige of the nation."

The recent moves appear to be an outgrowth of views embodied in books that Rahmon has authored. These volumes, the last of which was published in late 2006, conjure a romanticized notion of Tajikistan’s history, as well as its future. In a review of the most recent volume - titled, Tajikistan in the Mirror of History - Khovar, the national information agency of Tajikistan, had this to say: "In this book, Imomali Rahmon provides accurate and scientifically proven answers to questions on the origin of Aryan civilization, the Tajik nation and its place in global history."

The president’s website characterizes the book as "a spiritual present to the nation of Tajikistan from the head of state."

It’s also notable that the president’s historical works are now used as textbooks in Tajik schools. The subject matter and style of Rahmon’s tomes have prompted comparisons to the Rukhnama, the spiritual guide of the deceased despot of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

A decade ago, Rahmon’s control over the government was far more tenuous. Under a deal that brought a five-year civil war to an end in 1997, Rahmon had to share power with his main enemies, the leaders of the Islamic Renaissance Party. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Since then, however, the president has steadily expanded his influence and outmaneuvered his rivals. [For background see the Eurasia Insight]. It has reached the point today that no individual politician or political party can muster a viable challenge to his authority.

Despite the present appearance of the president’s political invincibility, opponents living outside Tajikistan have not abandoned hope for change in the Central Asian nation. This aspiration has propelled some to forge a new political movement called ?Vatandor’ (Patriot), complete with an idealistic motto: "A new path, new authority, new ideas, and a new life."

"We want Imomali Rahmon to leave his post voluntarily and enjoy the privileges of an ex-president for the rest of his life," Vatandor’s leader, Dodojon Atovulloyev, told EurasiaNet. "We intend to establish a government of national reconciliation followed by truly democratic elections with numerous contenders."

Atovulloyev, a dissident journalist who has lived abroad since 1992, is convinced that hundreds of thousands of Tajiks are prepared to support the new movement, given the fact that poverty in the country remains widespread and Rahmon’s government has yet to show itself capable of promoting economic growth.

Atovulloyev claims that Vatandor unites several ex-premiers, regional and religious leaders, various party representatives and, most importantly, some members of the government with close ties with Rahmon. But "over a million Tajik guest workers abroad constitute the cornerstone of the movement," he said. The remittances made by guest workers to relatives back home play a major role in propping up the Tajik economy.

Tajiks are tired of being migrant workers, Atovulloyev insisted. He has a simple message for these supposed legions of the disgruntled citizens yearning for a different life: Rahmon’s departure from power would solve a lot of problems.

For some opposition politicians still inside Tajikistan, Atovulloyev’s remedy for perceived problems is simplistic. Living in exile makes it difficult for Vatandor’s leadership to obtain an accurate reading of the popular mood, suggested Muhiddin Kabiri, the leader of the Tajik Islamic Renaissance Party. The population has grown politically apathetic and has long been conflict averse. "It is impossible to urge Tajiks to gather for an anti-government rally after the civil war," Kabiri explained. It’s unlikely that an outside party like Vatandor can have a tangible impact on the political process, Kabiri maintained.

But the deputy head of the Social Democratic Party, Shokirjon Hakimov, suggested that Vatandor might be able to make political inroads since it is not burdened with the same restrictions that domestically based opposition parties must contend with. The lack of such restraints could give Vatandor more leeway to attract support. Some observers add that if Vatandor succeeds in its goal of capturing the hearts and minds of migrant workers, it indeed could become a force that Rahmon would have to reckon with.

Dushanbe’s reaction to Vatandor’s appearance suggests that Rahmon’s administration is far from dismissive of the new movement. In an official statement distributed by Tajikistan’s Embassy in Moscow, Atovulloyev was vilified as "a provocateur, and traitor." It also called him "a terrorist associate and a self-obsessed maniac," and described Vatandor as a figment of Atovulloyev’s imagination.

Editor's Note: Kambiz Arman is the pseudonym for a Tajik journalist.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

RFE/RL, Farda & VOA Scrutinized

نگاهی به سياست تبليغاتی آمريکا و رسانه‌های فارسی خارج از ايران
موسسه مطالعات خاور ميانه در واشنگتن پژوهشی را زير عنوان "از خلال حجاب: نقش سخن پراکنی در سياست تبليغاتی آمريکا در قبال ايران" به قلم مهدی خلجی چاپ کرده است که ارزيابی فعاليت ايستگاههای راديويی و تلويزيونی ايرانی در بيرون از ايران است.*
خلجی در اين نوشته با تمرکز ويژه روی کار راديوهای "فردا" و "صدای آمريکا" به سياست تبليغاتی آمريکا و نحوه ارائه آن از طريق اين رسانه‌ها می‌پردازد.
"Through the Veil: The Role of Broadcasting in U.S. Public Diplomacy toward Iranians" by Mehdi Khalaji in English

Friday, April 20, 2007

Paul Bergne

Alexander Paul A'Court Bergne, intelligence officer, diplomat, writer and broadcaster: born London 9 January 1937; ambassador to Uzbekistan 1993-95, and to Tajikistan 1994-95; principal research officer, Research and Analysis Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office 1995-96; OBE 1985, CBE 2002; staff, London Information Network on Conflicts and State Building 1998-2002; Specialist Adviser, House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee 1999-2000; Prime Minister's personal representative for Afghan Affairs 2001; married 1963 Susanne Wittich (one son, one daughter); died Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire 5 April 2007.

His only book "The Birth of Tajikistan. National Identity and the Origins of the Republic" to be published in May 2007 in London. You can reserve a copy now.

For further information about the great man in Persian follow the links below:
in English:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Kambiz Arman 4/10/07

Tajik leader Imomali Rahmon, having safely consolidated his personal authority, is turning his attention to giving Tajikistan a cultural makeover that aims to strengthen the country’s national identity, as well as reduce social tension. Some experts, however, believe the moves could easily backfire.

The president created a sensation in late March with a televised announcement that he was changing his surname, dropping the "ov," and embracing a traditional Tajik spelling -- Rahmon. He also "ordered appropriate authorities to implement measures to introduce a Tajik pattern of naming newborn children," Tajik state television reported March 26.

Concurrent with the name-change initiative, Rahmon called for measures to enforce economic modesty in a nation that has an estimated per capita annual GDP of just $1,300. His prime target was the children of the well-to-do: he banned students from driving to and from school and from using cell phones at school. He also imposed strict limits on graduation ceremonies, prohibiting lavish parties. In early April, Rahmon also made a very public call for the return of gold and silver objects excavated in the 19th century near the Oxus River and now housed in the British Museum.

"We want to comprehensively support and revive our national traditions from the scientific and historical points of view," Rahmon told members of his administration, in comments broadcast April 5 by Tajik television.

We should refuse all those customs … that harm the development level of the state and [hinder] the improvement of people’s living standards and their welfare," Rahmon continued. "All these [new measures] are first of all aimed at raising the quality and level of the Tajik people’s living standards."

Many observers were at a loss to see how de-Russification measures, combined with a ban on ostentatious displays of wealth, can improve the lives of average Tajik citizens. Some believe the moves are motivated not by a desire to foster general prosperity, but to ensure the long-term health of his administration. Having won re-election in a landslide last November, Rahmon currently enjoys a pliant parliament and has no visible rivals for power. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. The only possible threat to his administration, then, can be found on the grass-roots level, where enduring poverty helps fuel the growth of Islamic radical groups, especially Hizb-ut-Tahrir. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

The move to curtail displays of wealth thus may be an attempt to cover up the widening gap between the living standards and privileges enjoyed by a select few Tajiks and those experienced by the bulk of the population, some analysts believe. Tajik authorities are clearly worried that the poverty experienced by most Tajiks is causing social tension to reach dangerous levels.

In late March, around the same time as Rahmon’s name-change announcement, the heads of leading Tajik media outlets appealed to the government, complaining about seemingly arbitrary power cuts made by the state electric company, Barq-i Tojik. The appeal accused the company of violating "consumers’ rights," adding that the state entity lacked "a mechanism for public communication." It went on to note that the power company routinely cut electricity to "printing houses … hospitals and schools … whereas certain businesses or private houses go unaffected."

"The failure to follow the schedule of power supply, and its complete absence on some occasions, causes social tension, undermining public trust in the government’s policy," said the appeal, which was signed by the heads of such prominent news outlets as the Asia-Plus and Avesta news agencies, along with the Tojikistan, Farazh, Kuryer Tajikistana and Millat newspapers.

In mid-March, Tajik Minister for Economic Development Ghuomjon Boboyev announced at a development conference that 57 percent of Tajiks live below the poverty line, the Asia-Plus news agency reported. The number would be far higher, Boboyev indicated, if not for the income generated by labor migrants. As many as 1 million Tajiks, or about 40 percent of the nation’s working-age population, find work abroad every year, mainly in Russia, and send a large portion of their earnings to relatives back home. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

Tajik dissident journalist Dodojon Atovulloev, who now lives in Moscow, reckons that Rahmon’s recent actions are motivated by a desire to cultivate a more populist image amid continuing economic hardships.

Other observers suggested the cultural initiatives are linked to tension in Tajikistan’s relations with Russia, which in recent years has reasserted its political and economic influence in the Central Asian nation. Rahmon is eager to improve the country’s electricity-generating and aluminium-production capacity, but progress has been negligible, in large part because the Russian aluminium conglomerate Rusal has not followed through on promised investment plans. The Russian company signed a deal in 2004 to invest up to $2 billion in Tajik infrastructure projects, but the deals remain stalled by "technical" disagreements. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

Some analysts believe the Russian company’s hesitation is connected with a geopolitical dilemma, rooted in the Kremlin’s efforts to maintain strong ties with both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Uzbek leader Islam Karimov is a vociferous opponent of Tajik efforts to develop an aluminium plant near the Tajik-Uzbek border. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

Rahmon’s name-change certainly captured the attention of Russian media outlets, with some expressing alarm at the move. "What to do with Petrovs, Ivanovs and Sidorovs?" read an article published by the Kommersant daily. A Tajik presidential spokesperson, Abdulfattoh Sharifov, sought to dampen concern, characterizing Rahmon’s decision as a "personal initiative," adding that the president was not demanding that all Tajiks change their names. However, a Justice Ministry official, quoted by the Asia-Plus news agency, contradicted Sharifov, saying that the "traditionalization" of names "will soon be compulsory in Tajikistan."

Atovulloev, the dissident Tajik journalist, suggested that Rahmon was playing a dangerous game with Russia. Any move that antagonizes Russia is sure to cause economic pain for Tajiks, he asserted. Russia, he added, can retaliate by potentially placing restrictions on Tajik guest workers, whose remittances are critical to the economic welfare of a large number of families in Tajikistan.

A few observers worry that Rahmon may be intent on building a cult of personality, akin to that created by Turkmenistan’s deceased former dictator, Saparmurat Niyazov. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. Kirill Nourzhanov, an expert at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University, said, "Rahmonov has been in power for 14 years now, and he’s an absolute ruler. So he has been at the apex of political power for so long that perhaps he now believes that he can do whatever he wants to do."

Editor’s Note: Kambiz Arman is the pseudonym for a Tajik journalist.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Flying Thoughts or Thinking Flights


Trying to adjust myself into a small and narrow Russian plane seat, revoltingly uncomfortable one, while a balding man in front of me starts pushing his seat backwards right on my knees straight away after getting aboard. I respond by pushing it back, but it doesn’t disturb his comfort a bit. Even the captain’s announcement about keeping the seats upright before taking off is not able to deserve his attention...

By now I must be flying over Kazakhstan or perhaps farther. The crew are not too keen to inform their passengers what’s going on out there.

I have lost the count of my flights back and forth. Usually seeing wet eyes of my beloved ones before leaving my lovely homeland makes me feel guilty as I feel right now. This morning Mum’s eyes saw me off as far as I disappeared behind a building. She’s the one who makes me truly re-think my prolonged stay in London: is there any point of living without her beside me, without her caring touch and loving pair of eyes?..

Until my last breath in Dushanbe before getting aboard I could smell corruption and dirty money: beggars in uniform have spread their web widely throughout the city, desperate taxi drivers mistaking me for a foreigner and trying their best to fool me around, common people speaking of additional (let them be illegal) ways of earning. Money is the main topic to talk about, to take a toast for, and to think thoroughly of. Liberties? Democracy? Oh please, we can survive without them, but not without money!

At Dushanbe airport my eyes caught a border guard aggressively following a man into a toilet. He closed the door behind himself, but I opened it after a while and saw him grabbing a bunch of banknotes taken out of the passenger’s inside pocket. He put them into his own pocket and left the toilet hastily, but happy…

Two guys sitting beside me are tilting towards my laptop and looking at each other with something close to horror in their eyes before saying: look at this weirdo who was reading a Tajik paper, before asking the stewardess for something in Russian, but now he’s typing something in a strange language.

An impolite rude Russian stewardess is distributing immigration cards among us. She is doing it in a way that makes me assume we killed her father or gang-banged her yesterday. The guys beside me need her help to fill in their forms that contain a couple of simplest questions. It takes them about half an hour to accomplish a ‘mission impossible’. Still, they cannot believe in their own incredible success and ask the stewardess to check the application forms for them. She looks at the papers arrogantly and throws them back on their dining tables and goes on checking everybody else’s immigration cards. It makes me drop my poor head in my hands in despair.

Before getting on board three guys were thrown out of the queue down to its tail by a Tajik border guard just in order to make a way for a Russian-looking man and whoever else did not look like a typical Tajik. The same happens when these miserable guys enter their own country. Border guards prefer to check in and out “dear guests” first and then poor owners of the country, before emptying their Russian-stricken pockets once more.

In Moscow the picture looks identical: first Russians and non-Tajiks, then Tajiks. It happens mechanically as if it’s the only way to get through airport doors. These Tajiks lack the feeling of being home. They are neither hosts nor guests at any airport of the world. Their pathetic guilty looks and obvious complex of inferiority make others feel superior, just the way the Russian behave in London.

Certainly, not everything was painted in black. Dushanbe embraced me with its beautiful rainy and sunny spring weather and Nowruzi festive mood. However, a dearest person’s demise ruined it up to the end of my stay. Seeing my adorable family and fantastic friends had been my pink dream for almost two years and I succeeded to do so. This trip re-connected me to the realities of my homeland, and as far as I can feel now, recharged my exhausted mind to strive for more changes, to believe in our power to build a brighter future, despite the fact that most of our hopes have been ruined so far.

By the way, Mr Rahman had mistaken when he’d said Islam Karimov looked like his gone father. When I saw him on the 21st of March waving to his people with a self-satisfied look I was amazed how strikingly similar to Brezhnev he looked. His stature, his smile, his brows and his waving hand painfully reminded me the old late man. And of course, the similarity does not except their mindsets.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I'm Coming Soon

And very soon
I will be there
To step on its burning horizon again…

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I don’t know what I waited for;
A miracle to fall on shoulders?
A bunch of angels in a choir?
A velvet rain to wash the borders?

I don’t know what I now expect;
A phoenix to sit on my lap?
A curve of rainbow to erect,
To bridge the real with my nap?

I don’t know what I find untrue;
A stricken tree in a typhoon?
A nation to embrace voodoo?
A prophecy in a balloon?

I don’t know what is to forget;
My search for heavenly a path?
Or bitter taste of the sunset?
Or sunrise of a godly wrath?

I don’t know why I am so lost;
Did I believe in a mirage?
Could I distinguish heat and frost?
Where is the coast in this voyage?

01:25 AM

Inspiring Winter Breeze

چه خوش گذشت نسيم شب زمستانی
که می وزيد به آسودگی مهمانی

دل گرفته غزل های خفته باز نهاد
قلم دويد و نوشتش به اوج آسانی

رهيده تر ز آرزوی قلب ديوانه
رسيده تر ز کلام وزين ديوانی

ولی خجالت ما پيش اوليا باقيست
ز رودکی زرفشانی و ز خاقانی

02:45 AM

Chi xush guzasht nasimi shabi zimistoni
Ki mevazid ba osudagii mehmone

Dili girifta ghazalhoi xufta boz nihod
Qalam davidu navishtash ba awji osoni

Rahidatar zi orzui qalbi devona
Rasidatar zi kalomi vazini devone

Vale xijolati mo peshi awliyo boqist
Zi Rudakii Zarafshonivu zi Xoqoni.


Che xosh gozasht nasime shabe zemestani
Ke mivazid be asudegiye mehmani

Dele gerefte ghazalhaye xofte baz nehad
Qalam david o neveshtesh be owje asani

Rahidetar ze arezuye qalbe divane
Rasidetar ze kalame vazine divani

Vali xejalate ma pishe owliya baqist
Ze Rudakiye Zarafshani vo ze Xaqani

Transoxonian Drop

در اين سرای دودر من دمی نياسودم
مسافه هر چه بدانی، عزيز، پيمودم

گناه، هر چه شناسی، قرين من بوده
ثواب، هر چه شماری، قرين آن بودم

شباب، در تن من هست و در وجودم نيست
خراب، هر چه که آباد بوده در بودم

طناب، هر چه فکندند، به بال من ننشست
کتاب، هر چه نوشتند، به خنده آلودم

اگر عزيز، تويی، يوسفی ز کنعانم
خطر سرشت من است و سزای نمرودم

مطاع پيرهنم رستگاری قوم است
ظريف و ناب ترين قطره ورارودم

02:15 AM

Dar in saroi dudar man dame nayosudam
Masofa har chi bidoni, aziz, paymudam

Gunoh har chi shinosi, qarini man buda
Savob har chi shumori, qarini on budam

Shabob dar tani man hastu dar vujudam nest
Xarob har chi ki obod buda dar budam

Tanob har chi fikandand, ba boli man nanishast
Kitob har chi navishtand, ba xanda oludam

Agar Aziz tui, Yusufe zi Kan'onam
Xatar sirishti man astu sazoi Namrudam

Mato'i pirahanam rastagorii qawm ast
Zarifu reztarin qatrai Varorudam


Dar in saraye dodar man dami nayasudam
Masafe har che bedani, aziz, peymudam

Gonah har che shenasi, qarine man bude
Savab har che shomari, qarine an budam

Shabab dar tane man hast o dar vojudam nist
Xarab har che ke abad bude dar budam

Tanab har che fekandand, be bale man naneshast
Ketab har che neveshtand, be xande aludam

Agar Aziz toi, Yusefi ze Kan'anam
Xatar sereshte man ast o sezaye Namrudam

Mata'e pirehanam rastegariye qowm ast
Zarif o riztarin qatreye Vararudam

Scattered Pieces

آخر نرمی، آخر سختی است
عمق بدبختی، اوج خوشبختی است.

Oxiri narmi oxiri saxtist,
Umqi badbaxti awji xushbaxtist.

َAxare narmi axare saxtist,
Omqe badbaxti owje xoshbastist.


حيفا که نفس از قفس سينه هدر رفت
هوش دل غافل به تمنای کمر رفت

خورشيد اهورايی بسی خسته ما شد
دردا که هوس از پی نوری به قمر رفت.

Haifo, ki nafas az qafasi sina hadar raft
Hush az dili ghofil ba tamannoi kamar raft
Xurshedi ahuroi base xastai mo shud
Dardo, ki havas az pai nure ba qamar raft

Heyfa ke nafas az qafase sine hadar raft
Hush az dele ghafel be tamannaye kamar raft
Xorshide ahurai basi xasteye ma shod
Darda ke havas az peye nuri be qamar raft


آيينه های دق
افسرده ترين لحظه بيچارگی من
پربارتر از چشم تماشای شما بود
افسون شما همسر افسانه های من
هرگز نبود و نيست

Oyinahoi daq
Afsurdatrin lahzai bechoragii man
Purbortar az chashmi tamoshoi shumo bud
Afsuni shumo hamsari afsonahoi man
Hargiz nabudu nest

Ayinehaye daq
Afsordetarin lahzeye bicharegiye man
Porbartar az cheshme tamashaye shoma bud
Afsune shoma hamsare afsanehaye man
Hargez nabud o nist.

Friday, February 02, 2007

A Yellow Memory

Little by little, bit by bit a crispy chocolate finger disappears between two solid rows of his teeth, and I notice I’ve started talking to myself again and to the walls around that would bear my bickering as much as it goes on. ‘The future is bright’, my sudden dull and gloomy optimism oozes out of my lips and makes him stop chewing the mouth-moistening chocolate and confirms with a nod repeating ‘The future is bright and green’, and ignores what I add to his saying: ‘…and yellow. The future is bright and yellow’. And he walks away preventing me to see how my half-an-hour breathless speech has put a heavy burden on his eyelids, while I’m still explaining to yellow walls how bright the future must be. But even yellow could be considered ‘bright’.

Suddenly I recall a yellow figure, long and clumsy with hands longer than his legs, warped lips borrowed from a shark, huge round eyes to capture as much as possible nailed down in a disproportional head, ears pricky enough to replace Putin’s locators and a tummy eager to enter any room before the skinny rest of its owner.

A decade ago he used to deserve my admiration, perhaps due to a considerable distance between our figures and worlds. The closer I went to discover his world and study his being the deeper went my disappointment. Questions started erupting in my mind if it was the same enthusiastic freedom fighter Mirza whose very first well-appraised journalistic work was a lengthy article based on an interview with a 15-year-old Darius (with a different name).

Our last face to face conversation took place in an elevator by Wenceslas Square in Prague straight after Massoumeh’s resignation was announced. It was his day-off, but he couldn’t afford to miss the meeting and was craving to hear the predictable news and clumsily joined the meeting at its last minutes. By then everything had been done: we had listened to Massi’s moving farewell speech when I was trying not to get too sentimental, and my announcement to follow Massi’s suit and quit my job had risen Michelle (the deputy director)’s eyebrows before turning them into a broken pair of crow wings. He missed the most essential part of the meeting, but Noor was there for him as a trust-worthy informer to whisper a couple of words into his joyful ears: “She’s leaving.” Although he did not know that the picture looks much prettier to his taste and I was leaving too. He discovered it later, but it was too late to retract his silly comments in the elevator: “She had to leave indeed. Just because she did not deserve this position. She was totally accidental.”

I am certain, Mirza still remembers how my outrage brought him to a standstill for a while before leaving the elevator hastily on the second floor while he had pushed the ‘G’ button. Good for him, saved an eye or a ball (I doubt though he got any). But my carelessly thrown words visibly struck his feeble guts: “If you consider her an accidental person what the fuck are you doing here with your walnut-size brain and nothing to deliver except for flattery? Now you are saying this… Mind your words before you utter them and know your tiny space, you little being.”

The only thing he could mutter upon his blocked nose was “You too. You are next to leave.” But when my agony took another revenge the only thing left to do for him was taking his pompous ass out of the elevator before reaching his destination.

After that he was just a tiny pitiful lifeless picture no matter how big his tummy was. A murky moving being entering the space, filling it with disgust as if he’d farted out whatever shit in his bowels was stuck and leaving the premises with no words leaving his curved lips. A fallen head attached to a broken neck on a diminishing figure sits behind a computer, jerks a keyboard and drags his tail between two legs out of the office. While I’m sending my farewell messages loudly over the phone and laughing as if Hadi Khorsandi’s presenting his best act for me.

And now, four months after, I try to fathom out what had caused this unhealthy atmosphere between two of us. The answer is: ‘dollar’. Just 20 or 30 more dollars to be added to his monthly salary by overworking on night shift. I was advocating for those who preferred a decent and civilized nightshift pattern of 4 nights a week. But he thought it was better to work one night more with a day and a half off and get few pennies more. Thus, he decided I was his bitter adversary and did what he did not have to do. His regrets will never work.

But do you think he cares what I’m talking about at all? Of course not. Firstly, this language is out of his reach as his ‘native’ proper Persian. Secondly, he’s serving Turkic rulers at the “Liberty” (what a farce!) at a higher position as a deputy director of Tajik Service with a couple of dollars more than in November. Two dollars! That’s a fortune for some beings. I wish I knew his bank details to transfer two more dollars that I give to beggars in London’s Brixton, to calm down his python appetite.

02.02.07 01:05am

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This is London. Radio Zamaneh!

Our new London “studio” is set up. We went on air straight away on the next day counting in 22-second-delay that means I had to start speaking 22 seconds before the program starts. And it worked as it worked yesterday and today. It makes you think: technology has lessened our hassle so vividly that you don’t know to laugh or to cry. The feeling that you have missed the bit where the impossible became possible depresses you. How come a radio station is run just by a laptop and a bunch of wires? This bunch of wires seemed just a useless bunch of wires yesterday. But now it does a miracle and connects you from your comfortable chair in your flat to the world. Just push a button and say: “Dorud! This is London! Radio Zamaneh!” what I’m doing these days. It’s been made possible by one of the whales of the radio station (I’ve told you about him earlier: Setareh). So, now I got a new routine in London: getting up earlier in the morning, tuning to different channels, gathering different information, writing them down in Persian, looking for a guest to attend our live program in our brand new studio… and of course, looking for a long term accommodation in the hope to stay here and work from London.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Unwelcome Warming

Global warming is more sensed than ever: the weather has gone mad and doing awesome tricks. Yesterday on the way to work the sight of a huge wind-stricken bush on the main road to Linneausstraat slackened my heartbeat. Ironically there was another cut and dropped bushy branch of an old tree just by the office building to frighten me on my way back home. Although there is no sign of snow yet, while the moaning Dutch say, it used to be much colder and snowy in past Decembers and Januaries. God save the Earth!

The European Union has ringed the bell again by unveiling a new plan to tackle the problem. But how much hope does it give you? Don’t you think they’ve waken up a bit too late? Maybe not. The European countries as the only sensible locomotive of the modern civilization have been warning the world about the deadly consequences of the global warming since the first signs of it became vivid. We still remember something called “the Kyoto Protocol” on global warming that unfortunately has been forgotten due to inhumane sabotage of powers like the US. While the Protocol was ratified by the EU in March 2002 and by Russia in 2004, the US and Australia did not like the idea and remained out of it. The Russian ratification brought the treaty into force commencing on 16 February 2005, however, some of its huge signatories, like India and China are not required to reduce their greenhouse emissions. America’s stance is somewhat ridiculous: it has signed the protocol, but doesn’t dare to ratify it or withdraw from it. Bush thinks the exemption granted to China is not fair and that’s why prefers to die in a global pan rather than signing under the treaty. And even today there was a report about “the US still in denial over global warming”. Even Katrina didn’t help them realize the seriousness of the situation. China considers it just a sign of heinous jealousy and says, Beijing is already contributing to the world environment by undertaking “population control measures”.

Alas, by the time these bogey arson mug states succeed to solve their differences, the world will turn into a boiling mug.