Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Morgenland Festival | Bimhuis | Amsterdam | July 2015 :: Photo Gallery


This year (2015) the German-based Morgenland Festival presented its programs in Amsterdam as well. The concerts took place at Bimhuis for three nights (16-17-18 July) and specially first and third night's events were warmly received by the audience.
But I missed Middle Eastern music in this festival which is going to be focused on Middle Eastern music! I will explay more later.


KAYHAN KALHOR's performance was the most authenic part of the festival. This legendary maestro of Persian music and kamancheh recently has performed a lot of concerts in the Netherlands; one of the latest ones was the project "BACH IN PERSIA" with Dutch Wind Ensemble (NBE).


Cemil Qoçgiri played tanbur at the festival. I think not enough time was given to him to present his work. He was born in Germany and becauase of his name I think he has Turkish background. I could hear from the sound of his instrument that he is grown up outside the Middle East.


In the second night of the festival, the jazz pianist from Azerbaijan Salman Gambarov and his German colleague Florian Weber performed an entertaining program. The begining was quite long and then at the end they tried to turn their pianistic dialogue to a kind of commedy show which was intresting for the audience.
I was so eager to hear some melodies from the beautiful music of Azerbaijan by Gambarov but did not perform anything related to his homeland. Actually in my opinion at least 80% of the festival content was in the framework of improvised jazz music, not to the music of the Middle East and it was a bit disappointing for me because the title of the festival is Morgenland.
It seems most of the musicians at the festical were just interested to do strange things instead of transfering the real essence of music to the people.


KINAN AZMEH, a briliant musician from Syria. He was really the star of the festival. The skilful clarinestist was playing with lots of emotion. On Youtube I also find a piece that Kinan is performing with Morgenland Chamber Orchestra in Germany. Unfortunately the name of the composer is not mentioned there but anyway it's magical piece and performance. You may watch it HERE.


A huge part of the festival had been given to AYNUR. I really did not like her voice. She was screaming a lot and even once I had to use my hands to cover my ears! Anyway it seems she is the festival organizers' favorite!


IBRAHIM KEIVO was the most energic part of the festival. The Syrian singer had a powerful charecter and also sense of humor. He was singing and dancing with lots of emotions and created a fantastic communication with the audience. I heard from Syrian friends that Ibrahim Keivo is very popular in Syria.
A few minuets of his performance at Bimhuis can be seen in the below video:


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Once Again: NIAC advertisement on New York Times


Once again the so-called "National Iranian American Council" (NIAC) has promoted itself in a full-page advertisement on New York Times.

Today they have also sent a newsletter to their list proudly about that.


I am really wondering what is financial source of this organization. NIAC claims it is independent, it supports the rights of Americans with Persian origin and the members donate this organization.


Hopefully they are right! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Our Persian Cat - Before and After Shaving !


Kali is our Persian cat. She is 7 now. We adopted her when we used to live in Romania.
Few days ago Kali was shaved and now looks totally different, like a little lion!
Below you may see her before shaving:

Kali feels much better now! 
UPDATE ! Kali, 3 months after shaving :

chat persan -قط فارسي - Perserkatten  - Perserkatze  - Gato persa - گربه ایرانی - Persialainen -  gatto persiano - חתול פרסי - ペルシャ (ネコ) - Kot perski - 페르시안 - perserkatt - 波斯貓 İran Fars kedisi 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Reza Daneshvar Passes Away in Exile



Reza Daneshvar, the celebrated Persian writer, passed away in Paris on Wednesday, 27 May 2015 due to cancer. He was 68.

Reza Daneshvar used to live in France after 1979 Islamic revolution in his homeland. He is the author of various famous Persian screen plays and novels such as "Khosro-e Khooban" [King of the Blessed] and "Namaz-e Meyyet" [Funeral Ritual].

The literary critic Behrouz Sheyda, in an interview with BBC Persian Service has described "Khosro-e Khouban" as one of the greatest Persian novels which have been written in exile. The story is based on the deadly Iran-Iraq war which lasted for eight years in 1980s.


Reza Daneshvar was born in 1947 in Mashhad and started his serious literary work in early 1970s.


I met Reza Daneshvar once in 2008 in a Persian art exhibition in Europe. I told him "for those who have visited Iran's museums this exhibition has not much to offer..." and he bitterly responded: "but it's 3 decades that I have not been in Iran...". He was a kind and modest person. His voice was warm for story telling and he used that in a great way for his radio program "Prague, Spring 1968". 


Reza Daneshvar's death added another sad chapter to the life story of Persians in exile.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

VOA stops radio broadcast service in Persian

Today started with a sad news for Persian media followers:
Voice of America switches-off radio broadcast service in Persian. The TV and online sections will remain active. 

Voice of America's Persian Radio started its activities in 1979 and specially in 1980s and 1990s was among the most popular Persian-language news sources.


In a short press release which has been published by VOA, they have mentioned "taste change" and "age change" of their audience as the main reasons of this decision.


The Persian Service of this US-funded media in the past few years has been full of tensions. They have fired many famous producers and presenters such as Bijan Farhoudi and Siamak Dehghanpour for unclear reasons. It caused a lot of criticism in the social media but no one from the station gave a comment.


But are we really reaching the age of radio death? I just read that Radio Norway is also going to stop its radio broadcast in 2017...


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

SAE Institute; a Terrible Education Experience in Rotterdam

While ago I was advised by one of my friends in Rotterdam that if I am interested to attend a short video production course in English, SAE Institute, (a kind of creative media education) is a choice.

I registered online eagerly to attend the weekly classes but the content of the course was quite disappointing...

The teachers used to just show samples and talk about them. They never asked us to film something, show it in the class and talk about the technical issues and problems there!
It was quite surprising to me because SAE is mostly famous for its practical side.

On that time they announced for this short video production course they will offer 50% discount. So it could be seen what is the reason behind this low level course!

I started to talk with college mates. They were quite confused as well and had no idea what is going on in this course!
From the other side, the teachers were regularly rescheduling the classes and did not pay any attention that many students are coming from other cities, far from Rotterdam, and they need to plan for their trips earlier.

The final examination was the last joke of the course. When I complained about the whole story with SAE headquarter in London, they just passed me to each other and finally wrote me they have investigated the issue and there has not been any problem!

My feeling is this so-called short "video production course" was a way for them to receive money from expat community in the Netherlands who wish to study such a course in English.

I just wanted to share my experiences with others who see the advertisements of SAE in the Netherlands and specially their Rotterdam branch.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Queen Farah Diba and the members of a Persian Tribe

A rare photo of Farah Diba (Pahlavi), the last queen of Persia, with young girls of a tribe.
The photo has been originally published in the Persian-language monthly Ferdowsi in Tehran in 1967.
Based on a short text which has been published below the photo, the meeting had been organized by Shiraz Art Festival.
The queen since 1979 revolution in Persia (Iran) lives in exile and spends her time mostly in Paris and Maryland.