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.