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Whenever any of my ex boyfriends would tell me they loved me, I wouldn’t believe them and would tell them that they are lying. That rejection/denial has been usually interpreted as my lack of self-confidence or low self-esteem. But that wasn’t really the case. I know I’m lovable. But the problem is that the word “love” has certain denotations in my mind. To me, love is unconditional. There’s no buts and ifs in it. It’s like the way a mother loves her child. No matter what the child does, the mother doesn’t stop loving her. There will be moments of anger, disappointment, frustration, or even mistrust. But the state of the love for the child never cease to exist. It’s not dependent on the child’s ever-changing being. Unfortunately, that’s the only way I see love. And I know it’s almost impossible to love someone – that you haven’t given birth to – that way. That’s why its so hard for me to believe someone actually loves me after being with me for just a few months. It’s really difficult to love somebody unconditionally, unless you conceive something special in the relationship with that person. I don’t know how to put it into words. There are moments that you create something, a feeling, an environment, a memory, with a person, as if you have given birth to something new, something as special as your own child, that would make you fall in love with your partner I guess. This has happened to me three times in my whole life (two of them were not even through relationships). I have given birth to a new me through three different encounters, the me that I love so dearly, a me that was not preexisting. The existence of those new me-s was related to the existence of the men whom I had encountered with. They were part of this new-born child. That was why I loved them, and I still love them, unconditionally. My love for them is not diminished by the fact that one of them betrayed me, another one never found out (or cared) about my feelings, and the other one left me alone at the most difficult moment of my life. I still love them and will love them forever, because they had a big role in the most surreal moments of my life, the most unique moments of passion and ecstasy, in my unique experiences of being invincible and alive.

And of course I still get amazed at myself whenever I believe someone loves me, while I know how hard it is to love someone by my standards. I still make the mistake to sometimes believe when someone says he loves me. I still sometimes believe that someone loves me “unconditionally” and I count on it foolishly. I make the mistake of assuming that he loves me unconditionally and act based on that, or let’s say based on the quasi-feeling of security that the love of that person gives me. I still should remind myself that people can hardly love each other “unconditionally,” so that I won’t make mistakes, don’t count too much on them, and don’t get disappointed when they aren’t there for me when I expect them to me.

(I read what I wrote here once, and I think what I wrote hardly makes sense! It’s 5:30 am here and I’m dead tired, frustrated, and disappointed. I just wrote them to empty myself and organize my thoughts. I appreciate your understandings if you made it up to here!)

*Remember the Turkish “Love is” chewing gums that each had a note about what love is?  I always wished there would be one that read “Love is unconditional.”

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I’m angry at her. She who I can always trust and who loves me unconditionally, she whom I trust to cry for, after hearing my crying, told me senselessly that I should remember that after my divorce, I should remain celibate for three months. Yes, that’s the fucking law in Islam, that a woman who divorces should remain celibate and single for about three months, then she’s legally allowed to get married again. (The justification is to make sure that the woman is not pregnant from her ex-husband. But the fucking law does not consider that the woman might have not had sex with her husband to begin with, might have had sex with someone other than her husband (oh! no way, adultery?!!), or might be on menopause. Yes, even a woman on menopause should follow the rule!) She simply told me that I should consider this law, or the bad omen will hit me.

I know she’s religious and superstitious. I know she said that with good intentions, fearing that the bad omen will add to my pain. But I’m still angry at her. That was the last thing I wanted to hear from her while I was crying. She should know how detached I am right now from sexual desires and from the thought of another marriage. She should know that the fucking law can’t reach me here in the US. Above all that, she should know that I don’t give a damn about the fucking Islamic law. She should have known better.

How could she talk about the silly law while I was crying for her? How could she choose to say that instead of holding me with her kind words? A kind woman who is the only person right now who cares for me and understands what I’m going true told me to ask my friends and family to hold me. But none of them is holding me. Everybody has her own interpretations and her own strategies. I don’t expect anything from anyone anymore. I’ll just keep reading the kind woman’s emails and continue writing here. I also had an over the counter sleeping pill last night, which helped me sleep very well. I think that’s a good thing to do for a short while. If I sleep well, instead of thinking sadly at nights, I’ll get some energy back. I’ll keep on walking and writing. I’m sure I can pass this stage. I’ve survived my horrible childhood, I’ve survived the first year in the US, I’ve survived many bad days, so I can survive this too.

As for the Islamic laws, I’m happy that I have broken as many of them as possible.  I’m an atheist. I believe in no god and no religion. I respect all of them because I believe in human rights. But I consider all religions man-made and stupid; and many of them oppressive. Next time she mentions anything about Islamic law, I can’t guarantee that I won’t break her heart by saying that fuck with Islamic laws.

Well, I finally moved from Movable Type to Word Press. It’s been a while that I wanted to make this move, because I wanted to be part of the Open Source community and to be able to change the appearance of my blog myself. It was too complicated for me to change the theme of my blog at MT. Also, my English blog had been filtered in Iran for almost three years.

So, from now on, please follow my writings in English here:
ladysun.wordpress.com

I would really appreciate if you change the URL of my blog in your bookmarks. The move is permanent, so soon ladysun.net will disappear and I’ll redirect its domain to ladysun.wordpress.com

p.s. I have also made a new Persian blog in Word Press. However, that one is just a mirror of my original Persian blog which has been filtered as well. I will keep khorshidkhanoom.com .

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Free Women's Rights Defenders in Iran

* Campaign of Freedom for Women’s Rights Defenders in Iran

** Extensive Arrests of Women Activist in Tehran

*** Amnesty International appeal for more than 30 women detained following demonstration

**** Amnesty Int’l: Arrests of women may be an attempt to prevent International Women’s Day calls for equality

*****Evin Prison Authorities Declared: Evin is not in charge of section 209

******Petition Demanding Immediate and Unconditional Release of Women’s Rights Defenders Arrested in Tehran on March 4, 2007

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Now all my friends are arrested. Shadi, Asieh, Parastoo, Nasrin, Mahboubeh…
I can’t help crying……………………..

50 of the women’s rights movement activists were arrested in front of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

The security police forces attacked a peaceful gathering of women’s rights activists that had taken place at 8:30 am in front of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran in objection to the recent governmental oppressions and the summoning of some of these activists. The police forces who used violence to scatter the crowd, arrested at least 21 of the protesters.

According to the report published by Zanestan and Advar News, the list of the arrested is as follows:

Shadi Sadr, Asieh Amini, Jila Bani Yaghoub, Mahboubeb Abbasgholizadeh, Mahboubeh Hosseinzadeh, Sara Loghmani, Zara Amjadian, Mariam Hossein Khah, Jelveh Javaheri, Niloofar Golkar, Parastoo Dokoohaki, Zeinab Peyghambarzadeh, Maryam Mirza, Saghar Laghayee, Khadijeh Moghaddam, Saghie Laghayee, Nahid Keshavarz, Mahnaz Mohammadi, Nasrin Afzali, Tal’at Taghinia, Fakhri Shadfar, Maryam Shadfar, Elnaz Ansari, Fatemeh Govarayee, Azadeh Forghani, Sommayeh Farid, Minoo Mortezayee, Sara Imanian.

Nooshin Amhadi Khorasani, Parvin Ardalan, Shahla Entesari and Susan Tahmasebi—five prominent members of the women’s rights movement—who had to attend their court hearing left the court session in support of their fellow activists. They, too, got arrested upon their departure from the court.

The police officers hit Nahid Jafari’s head to the police van and as a result of such violent actions, her teeth broke and the officers are currently refusing to take her to the emergency room.

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Herland: “Three Iranian women’s movement activists have been arrested at Imam Khomeini’s airport Saturday morning. Talat Taghinia, Mansoureh Shojaei, and Farnaz Seifi, journalists, women’s movement activists, and members of Women’s Cultural Center, have been arrested Saturday morning while leaving Tehran to participate in a journalism training workshop in Delhi. After being arrested at the airport, the security officers escorted them to their homes, inspected their houses, and collected their personal belongings such as their computers, books, and manuscripts, and took them to division 209 in Evin prison.”

Talat Taghinia, Mansoureh Shojaei, Farnaz Seifi arrested Saturday

photo from Herland

Talat, Mansoureh, and Farnaz were among the organizers of June 12 demonstrations. They are also part of One-Million Signatures Campaign. Farnaz also runs an active feminist blog in Persian. I hope they’ll be released as soon as possible. It’s amazing how this government is afraid of feminist activists. Evin prison is where high profile political prisoners are being kept. While it’s a relief that at least it’s known where they are being held, still it is worrying that why they are being treated as political prisoners.

Shirin Ebadi, Leila Alikarami and Nasrin Sotoudeh have accepted to be their attorneys. I hope they will be released soon.

You can see their photos here.

*Update: They are released on bail. Their attorneys still don’t know what their accusation is.

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Gator Fans

No matter how down I am these days, still it feels great to be a Florida Gator! Gators rocked tonight. Yes, we are the champions!

Check out our photos from the crazy fun night at Gainesville’s University Avenue.

I found these videos (onetwothree) in Youtube. I’m sure there would be more soon.

And it was so much fun to watch the game with her! Go gator girl!

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It was a bad year, because it ended with Saddam’s execution. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of Saddam. In fact he was among he few people I hate in this world (and note that I believe you should not hate anybody, even your enemy, because hate it destructive and poison you from within, but still I can’t help hating some people such as Saddam and Iran’s government.) But still I got sad Saddam was executed and I think it was wrong, very wrong.

Why I hated Saddam?

I was seven or eight year old. Me and some of our neighbors’ kids had an English tutor. That day everything looked different and our tutor left early. I heard we are going to be bombed. I didn’t know what it meant. And then it started. Sirens, Red siren it was called… we had to run toward the corridors of our building where we were told is safer than other parts of the building. We heard bangs, explosions. Tehran was under fire. Sounds of bombs and anti-aircrafts were shaking our strong reinforced concrete building. We kids were playing and singing. But my mom was reading the Quran worriedly. Her heart ached. Some of our neighbors were really feeling bad. And I got familiar with the scene. We got used to the Red siren. I never forget the day the last round of attacks started. My mom was out having toys for orphans fixed . My dad told him not to go because there were going to be attacks. But my mom who is very stubborn went out. And the missile attacks started. We heard one of the missiles hit a street near the area my mom was supposed to go. And she didn’t go back home. We waited, it was 9 o’clock, then 10 o’clock, then 11 o’clock. I didn’t want to even think about anything. Finally my mom got back at midnight, telling us what a chaos it was and how she couldn’t find a taxi to go back home.

One afternoon I heard that my fourth grade teacher’s sun is killed in the war. Afshin Nazem was a Sharif University student and teacher. I never forget the night they brought his clothes home. His sister was smelling them and crying. I was hiding behind the columns of the building crying. And my brother-in-law’s brother’s body was found two months after my sister got married to my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law’s brother was disappeared for 12 years. He was 17 years old when he got disappeared in the war. He was a volunteer going to the front. He got killed in Shalamche and his family were hopeful that he was a prisoner of war in Iraq. But the remains of his body got back home after 12 years finally. I never forget my brother-in-law’s mom’s crying. I never forget their faces. What a great family. You can’t imagine how much I love them and how much I hate seeing their suffering.

And it was also the pain, the difficult economic situation, the massacre of Iran’s government’s opposing groups that Iran’s government committed and nobody could do anything because Iran was at war. And the girls in Soosangerd who got raped and buried massively. Thousands of civilians getting killed, loosing their houses, getting displaced, becoming refugees, living in shelters in Northern and Eastern cities. Hell I have all the reasons to hate Saddam who was responsible for attacking Iran. (And yes, I also hold Iran’s government responsible for continuing the war when there was a chance to stop it.)

Why Saddam shouldn’t have to be executed?

First of all, who are we to take someone else’s life, even a monster like Saddam? Violence grows violence. One day we should learn that. One day we should stop killing people for whatever reason. We don’t change anything with executing the criminals, nothing.

Second of all, Saddam had to be held accountable for hundreds of other crimes he committed as well. It was too soon to end everything. He had to be questioned for killing his own people with chemical bombs in Halapche. He had to be held responsible for attacking Iran and Kuwait, for killing millions of innocent people. His trial had to continue for the sake of history. And the U.S government and some European countries had to be also held accountable for supporting him for years. Germany had to be held accountable for selling Saddam chemical weapons, the US had to be held accountable for selling him arms. Of course these things had to be buried in the history! So, he got executed so fast so that these issues wouldn’t be revealed.

I’m sitting here drunk, after having my new year count down at the downtown of where I live. I danced tonight, I kissed my friends, drank a bottle of red wine, but still I can’t stop feeling angry with Saddam’s execution. Who really benefited from his quick execution? Which governments? Iran? US? Germany? Britain? Damn it…

It was a bad year. I hope 2007 will be a better one. I hope the stupid deadly war in Iraq will end this year. I hope the US government stops killing for the sake of its “liberating” project in the world and leave the whole world alone. I hope we get rid of Iran’s government this year (yeah, told ya’, I’m drunk!) I really hope this year will be the year of peace in the world. Imagine!

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The fucking morons filtered my Persian blog in Iran today. My English blog got filtered two years ago, but I didn’t care, because my target audience was people outside Iran. But it hurts that my dear friends inside Iran can’t read my Persian blog anymore. I’m just amazed how stupid these people are who can’t stand a simple blog that is mostly about personal life of its author. I was careful not to write radical stuff in my Persian blog, because of the fear of filtering (yes, self-censorship!). If they keep blocking it, I will change the tone of my writings there. Why should I keep quiet when they want to shut me up?

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So, here’s some info about the campaign we’ve just started in Iran.

Petition to Stop Stoning Forever in Iran

A group of feminist activists and academics inside Iran and in Diaspora formed an international board to organize a campaign against stoning in Iran. It became urgent to initiate this campaign after a group of volunteer attorneys in Iran found in their investigations that two women have been killed through stoning this year, without being noticed by anybody. In fact, the media were banned from mentioning the word “stoning” in their news coverage of these women’s death, and they were reported as being executed. (In Iran execution only takes place by being hanged, and stoning is not considered execution legally. Also, a stoning sentence can’t be converted to execution, i.e. death by being hanged.) So, what does this mean? It means these two women were buried alive in a pit with their sheet-covered head exposed outside, smashed by marble-sized rocks thrown by the members of the community until they died gradually and painfully. What was their crime? They committed adultery. (Married people who have sex with someone other than their spouse will be sentenced to stoning in Iran.)

The same volunteer attorneys found 11 more people, two men and nine women, sentenced to stoning and awaiting their brutal death in Iran’s prisons.

After weeks of consulting through mailing lists and online groups, the campaign team prepared an online petition addressing the Judiciary Chief and the Parliament’s Speaker, asking them to abolish practice of stoning in Iran forever. Stoning is such a horrific act and it has had such a shame for Iranian government’s image, that the Judiciary Chief claimed that nobody would be stoned in Iran any more last year. However, after it was revealed that these two women were actually killed by stoning, it was clear that the Judiciary Chief’s word of mouth is not reliable. So, the campaign is now demanding an official and legal permanent ban to stoning.

What to do

Here’s the online petition (prepared by the campaign group) that you can sign.

Amnesty International has also prepared an action, through which you can send a letter to Iran’s supreme leader and president.

Along with these petitions, the campaign team is spreading the word in International media, giving interviews, and is preparing to hold a seminar about stoning. They might even later look for forming a truth committee, but that depends on political conditions in Iran. They are also looking for Islamic scholars who argue that stoning can be removed from the law.

International pressure on Iran’s government will certainly help to abolish this inhumane practice. As much as the petition can work, talking about it and sending the message to Iranian government, that the world is condemning this practice and Iran’s government for this practice, will help too.

Do you know a brave journalist who might challenge Iranian authorities in their foreign trips about stoning? Let them know about this campaign, ask them to question the Iranian authorities about stoning in Iran, and ask them to question the authorities about the campaign and what Iran’s government has to say about the campaign.

Do you know any influential European politician? Let them know about this campaign. Ask them to put pressure on Iran and enquire about this campaign. (I don’t think American politicians’ help would be a good idea, based on the screwed-up relations of the two states.)

Do you have a blog, a website, or a news resource? Write about the campaign, spread the word, and give links to the petition.

Here’s an English page we have exclusively made for this campaign and you can read news updates on the campaign:
http://www.meydaan.com/Stoning/default.aspx

Here’s the link to the petition:
http://www.meydaan.com/Stoning/petition.aspx?cid=46&pid=9

Here’s the info about the history, goals, and the members of the campaign.
http://www.meydaan.com/Stoning/aboutcamp.aspx?cid=46

Please help us abolish stoning in Iran forever.

Thanks,
Sanam Dolatshahi
Investigation and Advocacy Committee member,
International Campaign to Stop Stoning Forever in Iran

P.S. 1- Meydaan.com, our campaign website got filtered in Iran today. Read about it on Reporters without Borders.

P.S. 2 – Here are some info about a previous stoning case that was successfully stopped:

Iranian Woman Sentenced to Death by Stoning

Update on Stoning Sentence of Ashraf Kalhori

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