Category Archives: Iran

I Can’t Think of a Better Reason to Write

You never know how people are going to find your work, and you never know how it’s going to touch them or why. Earlier this month, a man contacted me asking for a copy of the uncorrected proof of my … Continue reading

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In Them Alone My Spirit Will Endure

Towards the end of his preface to Golestan, Sa’di—that’s a picture of me at his tomb in Shiraz–says: Long after we have crumbled into dust, and the grains of who we were are far-flung atoms, these words, well chosen and arranged, will live, … Continue reading

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The Calligraphic Art of Azra Aghighi Bakhshayeshi – The Tehran Times

The Tehran Times has a beautiful gallery up of calligraphic art, which I know next to nothing about, except that I think it’s beautiful. Here are a couple: You should check out the rest for yourself.

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My Companion’s Scent Seeped into Me

This week’s “Sa’di Says” is a brief poem from one of the introductory sections of Golestan: I held in my bath a perfumed piece of clay that came to me from a beloved’s hand. I asked it, “Are you musk … Continue reading

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I Have a Tumblr…

It’s called Sa’di Says and I will posting to it excerpts from my translations of Sa’di, the 13th century Persian poet, which were originally published by Global Scholarly Publications in two separate volumes, Selections from Saadi’s Gulistan andSelections from Saadi’s Bustan. Both books have been out … Continue reading

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Javad Zarif’s Video Message: “There Is a Way Forward”

I met Mr. Zarif some years ago, when he was Iran’s representative to the United Nations, though I am sure he would not remember me. He gave a presentation with a former and well-respected American diplomat, whose name now escapes … Continue reading

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Thank You, Veterans

I wrote this on November 11, and then before I could get a thumbs-up from certain people to post it, life intervened. So, it’s a little late, but still worth saying. As GB Stern said, silent gratitude isn’t much use … Continue reading

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Trying To Be an Ally: Thinking About Hejab, Muslim Invisibility, and the Casual Hatred that is Cultural Appropriation (1)

In 2008, when my family and I traveled to Iran for my brother-in-law’s wedding, the day after we left Tehran to visit my sister-in-law and her family in Isfahan, the Iranian morality police drove a paddy wagon into Tajrish, a … Continue reading

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Farid al-Din Attar: A Reading Journal 6

Here’s another quote from The Conference of the Birds: But think of some new pilgrim, some young boy, Whose boldness comes from mere excess of joy; He has no certain knowledge of the Way, And what seems rudeness is but … Continue reading

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One of My Favorite Poems by Saadi of Shiraz

I’ve been thinking about this poem a lot lately, because what it says could easily have been labeled heresy by the authorities of Saadi’s time, which was 13th century Iran, and an accusation of heresy could, conceivably, have gotten him … Continue reading

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