Been lost in these books the last few weeks:
Hitch 22 by Christopher Hitchens
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
My Iran-related/professional resolutions:
- Pursue more challenging stories, ones that require a wider and deeper set of contacts within the country. I already have two or three story ideas that I think will stretch and expand my reporting skills.
- Write a different mix of stories, especially more profiles
- Become more familiar with Persian poetry
- Learn how to properly cook rice (or just give in and buy a rice cooker!)
Credit: Reuters/Thaier al-Sudani
What’s going on with the Iranian rial? My colleagues and I have been following the issue closely. Here are a selection of stories that explain the rial’s huge falls in the last few weeks.
Iran launches forex centre to support sagging rial - Reuters.com, September 24, 2012
Iran rial hits record low despite new effort to stabilise it - Reuters.com, September 25, 2012
Iran rial plunges as Western sanctions bite - Reuters.com, October 1, 2012
Iranian police clash with protesters over currency plunge - Reuters.com, October 3, 2012
Tehran’s Grand Bazaar reopens, currency trade still frozen - Reuters.com, October 6, 2012
Many have asked, pointing incredulously toward a sweep of tract homes and billboards, why picture that? The question sounds simple, but it implies a difficult issue—why open our eyes anywhere but in undamaged places like national parks?
One reason is, of course, that we do not live in parks, that we need to improve things at home, and that to do it we have to see the facts without blinking … Paradoxically, however, we also need to see the whole geography, natural and man-made, to experience a peace; all land, no matter what has happened to it, has over it a grace, an absolutely persistent beauty.” —Robert Adams, 1974. He was speaking about photography but I think it applies pretty well to all forms of bearing witness.
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi: No, we Iranians aren’t all that different from you Europeans. If our women wear the veil, so do yours. The veil of the Catholic Church. If our men have more than one wife, so do yours. The wives you call mistresses. And if we believe in visions, you believe in dogmas. If you think yourselves superior, we have no complexes. Don’t ever forget that whatever we have, we taught you three thousand years ago.
Orianna Fallaci:Three thousand years ago…I see now you’re smiling too, Majesty. You don’t look so sad any more. Ah, it’s too bad we can’t agree on the business of the blacklists.
MRP:But can you really be on the blacklist?
OF: Majesty! As if you didn’t know, you the King of Kings and who knows everything! But I told you, it may well be. I’m on everybody’s blacklist.
MRP:What a pity. Or rather, it doesn’t matter. Even if you’re on the blacklist of my authorities, I’ll put you on the white list of my heart.
OF: You frighten me, Majesty. Thank you, Majesty.
expediency, or interest or benefit, often used in contexts of political national interest: maslehat مصلحت
lest, or an interjection meaning essentially “God forbid”: mabada مبادا
whirlwind, chaos: gholghole غلغله
story: daastaan داستان
report: gozaaresh گزارش
throughout, all over: saraasar سراسر
dialogue: goftogoo گفت و گو
curious: konjkaav کنجکاو (literally, “one who looks around corners”)
[Note: This word and ones like it are the reason I love Persian so much. So much meaning and literalism packed into two short syllables.]
exile: eghterab اغتراب
shocked: masdoom مصدوم
to chat: dardash دردش
isolation: ‘azleh عزله
hesitant: motaradida متردده
opportunist: intihazi انتهازي
liquidation, purge: tasfiyeh تصفيه