Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Iran

Iran Worried U.S. Might Be Building 8,500th Nuclear Weapon

NewsiranNewsISSUE 48•06Feb 9, 2012
Ironic The Onion posted: 

TEHRAN—Amidst mounting geopolitical tensions, Iranian officials said Wednesday they were increasingly concerned about the United States of America’s uranium-enrichment program, fearing the Western nation may soon be capable of producing its 8,500th nuclear weapon.

“Our intelligence estimates indicate that, if it is allowed to progress with its aggressive nuclear program, the United States may soon possess its 8,500th atomic weapon capable of reaching Iran,” said Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

Adding that Americans have the fuel, the facilities, and “everything they need” to manufacture even more weapons-grade fissile material.

“Obviously, the prospect of this happening is very distressing to Iran and all countries like Iran. After all, the United States is a volatile nation that’s proven it needs little provocation to attack anyone anywhere in the world whom it perceives to be a threat.”

Iranian intelligence experts also warned of the very real, and very frightening, possibility of the U.S. providing weapons and resources to a rogue third-party state such as Israel.

Note: France provided Israel with the means and facilities to produce its atomic bombs in the mid 1960’s and testing Israel bombs that were detonated in the Algerian desert. Scores of Algerian workers and French soldiers died from the blast: The French military deemed it a patriotic decision for its soldiers to be kept in the dark of the lethal consequences of the radiation

 

First Woman in Space,  Anousheh Ansari: In visit to Lebanon

Passionate about space and stars, Anousheh Ansari tells her extraordinary story on how she made it to space.

I had the chance to meet her today in Berytech where she impressed everyone with her experience and vision about space and future ideas she’s working on.

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Anousheh Ansari at Beirut Digital District

Born in Iran, Ansari showed a passion for space. She used to watch stars when unable to sleep at night and asked herself many times on what’s hidden in space. She moved to US during the Iranian war, she was 16 years old back then.

“When i went to US, I thought this is my chance to change my life and apply to space, but it was too difficult, I wanted to study astrophysics. Mom said what do you wanna be? A teacher?“ Said Ansari

Her mom wanted her to take a different path and work as a lawyer, doctor or engineer.

Engineering became her career after she studied it at George Mason University, and continued her masters in Washington DC.

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Ansari to the left, sharing her space experience – Maroun Chammas to the right, CEO of Berytech

She still wanted to go to space, with no idea on how to do that, just kept her passion and awaited the opportunity.
She began working at MCI, where she met her husband, Hamid Ansari. They married in 1991. Few years later, they co-founded their own company which they called Telecom Technologies Inc

“I Worked a little on VoIP even before skype, but no one believed in its power back then, now everyone knows about it”

In 2000, she sold TTI, a company she started years before.

That’s when she focused more about getting to space.
With her friend Peter, she established X PRIZE foundation which is a non-profit organization that designs and manages public competitions intended to encourage technological development that could benefit mankind.

They did a 10 million dollars competition where you have to demonstrate that you can fly to space twice in 2 weeks.

She became partner with Peter and in 2004 a team won. They spent 25 million to win the 10 million competition but gave a brilliant idea. They sold it for Sir Richard Branson. It was a success, a whole industry was launched from it.

This idea is what is called now Virgin galactic, a British commercial spaceflight company within the Virgin Group which hopes to develop commercial spacecraft and provide suborbital spaceflights to space tourists, suborbital launches for space science missions, and orbital launches of small satellites.

In 2006, Anousheh got to the russian space program, she was pursuing her love for space and training in their station. She spent about 8 months full time in Stars City – Russia as preparations, where she underwent physical trainings along with astronauts.
I had to learn Russian, basically Space Russian” she said.

3 weeks before the mission, one Japanese astronaut developed kidney stone problems. So miraculously, they offered her the mission instead.  “It was a miracle”

“It’s a life changing experience, especially for someone who loves space and earth pictures.
It’s a completely different experience when you see it live, It changed everything in me” said Ansari.

The commercial vehicles, similar to the one I used are the ones that travels, comes back but are only usable for 1 time only. The capsule had enough space for 3 people. But it is too tight.

“I sat in the scientist seat, the 2 other seats are for a engineer and pilot”

The launch happened from Kazakhstan after 2 weeks of heavy training. “During that time i was very happy and afraid of being scared of the launch day. I kept trying to lower my pulse down and told my examination doctors, If my blood pressure is high please don’t stop the mission please”

The day of the launch Anousheh was surprised she wasn’t scared, she sat for an hour before taking off reviewing her life.

“It was a strange feeling, I connected the dots of the people i met to achieve the dream I’m going to live in about an hour”

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Anousheh Ansari in her spacesuit

Arriving to the space, Ansari felt a sense of freedom she never felt before.

“I started crying the first time i saw earth from the capsule, you feel that it is something alive with lots of energy and live coming from it”. Anousheh orbited 220 miles from earth, where she stayed for 11 days.
She conducted 4 experiments. 2 of them had to do with the physical changes in the body.
You are 2 inches taller in space because there’s no gravity. But it put strains on your back.
It puts pressure on your sinuses and face because of your body fluids moving up.

3rd  experiment was the Bacteria test. How they develop and live in space. And finally, she tested the amount of radiations one can be exposed too up there.

7 people have gone to space on commercial flights, Anousheh is the 4th and first woman.

Virgin galactic are going to fly next year with a capsule able to fit 7 passengers.

Dubai is investing in it where they intend to send space flights from UAE.

Also Space X will be flying alone in 2016 and will start commercial trips in 2018

On the future of space expeditions Anousheh said, “I believe space is full of hidden resources and capabilities that we will use soon, because we are consuming a lot here in earth and our resources are limited”

“We need to reduce the cost of flying to space by creating competitions, technology will evolve and cost will be lowered.

Nothing was annoying in her trip, but there’s no privacy in space as the capsule is too small.

“I believe there’s 100% intelligence life in space, I don’t know the chances if we can reach it but I’m afraid we continue our life like this on earth, because we are destroying it”

Going back to earth took her 2 days only to match the orbit exactly. She said that now they do it in half a day.

Going back to earth is much more intense because the gravity force is doubled
“You see flaming sparkles coming out of the window, I thought the capsule was disintegrating”

She landed on the ground with 4 parachutes slowing the capsule down

Anousheh is now working on Prodea, a gigantic project to transform the way people see technology and make it accessible to everyone.

She said that next year she’s hopefully planning to visit Iran for the first time after the war.

Ansari’s story is an amazing example on pursuing your dream.

She finally said:

“If you have a dream, Talk about it, don’t be shy. Everyone knew about my love for space. A sequel of events helped me later to get to space. I always looked for doors and my dream came true, because of my willingness to go there. Chances arise but i was close to people who loved everything I’m passionate about.”

Mhّmd Dankar

Is Iran Nuclear issue close to resolution? What is the price for the Middle-East?

Better, in what ways will the Middle-East enjoy a reprieve from this global onslaught to destabilize the region?

The news are that an accord has been reached and negotiation will resume the next year, 9 months from now.

In the mean time, Iran will get back $700 million a month from its frozen money in the US and European Sates.

Actually the embargo will be maintained, simply because the US refuses to restart another process in the UN given that Russia and China will veto any new resolution.

The Iranian people are suffering from this embargo since they are unable to purchase original spare parts for their cars and vehicles, and are doomed to buy parts from China and experience higher car accidents and fatalities on the roads.

The US expect from Iran to play its responsibilities as the police power in that region. Like what?

Fight ISIS? But it is already efficiently fighting ISIS by coming to the rescue of the Kurds in Irbil before the US got engaged in the air, and Iran is the main supporter of the Iraqi people and government, and the main supporter of the Syrian government, and the main power checking Al Qaeda in Yemen and preventing Al Qaeda to have a foothold in Oman, and keeping Dubai floating economically by importing almost everything from Dubai…

And preventing Israel from another foolish preemptive war on Lebanon by supporting Hezbollah

And Iran is the main power that’s doing its best to maintain the territorial integrity of the States in the Middle-East while Israel and the US are intent on subdividing them even further

 Jamil Berry posted on FB

L’Iran connaitra ce soir si feu vert y aura ou pas pour son nucléaire.

Des émissaires décideurs du monde entier seront présents . L’Iran est en passe de regagner de l’Amérique ses responsabilités de gendarme du proche orient.

Israel voit ceci d’un mauvais oeil ( le nucléaire iranien est un prétexte insuffisant ) car Israel risque de perdre l’exclusivité de sa relation du ” premier de la classe ” avec les USA .

De l’argent Européen initialement destiné au Fatah ( corrompu , d’éfroqué et sans programme , ira à Gaza , remis à l’honneur depuis l’opération de Tsahal dite ” tout ça pour ça ” de juillet dernier .

Au Suède il y a eu un vote parlementaire pour un État Palestinien souverain ,

En Angleterre aussi .

L’Assemblée Nationale en France les suivra très vraisemblablement le 2 Décembre .

Les choses bougent . La carte des partitions résultant de Sykes Picot est déjà rendue caduque par Daech qui a aboli les frontières entre l’Irak et la Syrie et veut aller de l’avant pour fonder un Sunnistan où il compte tuer tous les Chiites .

Ceci n’empêche pas une guerre Sunno- Sunnite en Libye entre les deux principales formations rivales, de même qu’en Palestine entre le Fatah soutenu par les Saoudiens et Hamas soutenu par le Qatar.

Sans oublier les graves dissensions entre Saoudiens et Qataris. Ce qui donnera comme je le pense son nucléaire ce soir à l’Iran ,c’est cette apparition de coalition perverse Salafo-Sioniste d’un côté ,et l’absence de guerres Chiito-Chiites de l’autre . P

uis il y a la naissance de ces égorgeurs venus de l’aube de la sauvagerie qui n’ont en tête que de couper des têtes chiites , pour par la suite faire la peau à Israel .

J’espère que la sagesse mondiale s’exprimera ce soir pour le bénéfice de tous les peuples de la région .
( Jamil BERRY )

UN Declaration: “The people has the rights to Resist Occupation”?

The US occupation of Iraq for 8 years doesn’t make it less Illegal if the US enlisted 2 dozens States to “share” in the occupation.

The US occupation of Afghanistan for longer than the Soviet Union doesn’t make it less illegal if the US pressured 2 dozens States to commit illegal activities.

Is that an old story?

Israel occupation of “All of Palestine”, parts of south Lebanon, and the Syrian Golan Heights  has been going on for over 65 years.

Is that an old story?

This is not directly the subject of this article.

I need to tell you of an insanity.

The current “State” of Lebanon managed to form a government after an entire year of waiting in limbo, while 1.5 Syrian refugees flocked to this tiny country of barely 4 million, and dozen of terrorist car explosions plagued the safety and security of the civilians, the economy totally grounded, and no projects and programs voted in a Parliament that extended its tenure for 2 more years and never met since then.

I need to tell you of a worst insanity.

For an entire month, the new government was discussing this “letter of intent” to be submitted to parliament in order to be voted in.

The main critical point was: “Has the Lebanese people the rights to resist Israel occupation“?

Apparently, Israel, the US, and Saudi Arabia are loath of including Israel as a “potential enemy”, even though Israel occupies several towns in Lebanon, had waged over 8 preemptive wars on Lebanon  and destroyed its infrastructure, and has never stopped “infiltrating” and invading Lebanon airspace, water and land since 2008.

Apparently, the new minister of the interior Mashnouk (The hanged) consider Iran to be the main nemesis to Lebanon security, the same thesis consistently expounded by Israel.

Many of you are chuckling of the insane conditions that the Lebanese society are to submit to “peacefully”.

It is not funny for the Lebanese who have been feeling down on their luck for over 2 decades and who have been “humoring” the lame successive governments that claimed “Lebanon force is in his weakness” (meaning that Lebanon is better off with a weak army not endowed with proper weapons to resist occupations, invasions and terrorist attacks)

Another insanity is that this government was primarily formed in order to fill the gap in “legitimacy” if the Parliament fails to elect a new President to the Republic in May, which is highly probable since a President is meant to be also of the weak kind with no popular or political support base, like the current Michel Suleiman.

And this Parliament has no legitimacy in electing a president since it failed to be voted in by the citizens for a new term. Why? The people views and opinions have changed in the last 4 years and they demand more representative deputies.

Note 1: After the Syrian troops vacated Lebanon  in 2005, and following the assassination of late and former PM Rafic Hariri, the only political movement that steadfastly confronted this occupation was the followers of General Michel Aoun who was in exile in France.

The Lebanese who longed to the withdrawal of the Syrian troops formed a human flag in Downtown Beirut on March 14, 2005.
This event was organized and called for by the Free Patriots of the Tayyar movement of General Michel Aoun.
نحن 14 آذار. وهذا العلم الذي تبناه البعض هو فكرة وتنظيم لجنة الشباب والشؤون الطالبية في التيار الوطني الحر في 12 آذار 2005.
Since then, all the political forces that supported the Syrian occupations hoarded this event as their own such as the Moustakbal of the Hariri clan, Geaja3, Kataeb…
Hezbollah had called for a demonstration on March 8 to “thank Syria“, although Hezbollah was the main party that feared most the presence of the Syrian troops in Lebanon and lived in constant anxiety for any tacit deal between Bashar Assad and the US to satisfy Israel demands for a “permanent and lasting peace” in the region at the expense of the Palestinian rights and Hezbollah to resist occupation.
Note 2: The rebel Syrian town of Yabroud has been liberate by the Syrian army. Yabroud was the main source of introducing suicide car bombers into Lebanon.  Thousands of terrorist rebels have been flocking into the eastern mountain range that borders Lebanon and Syria.
If Lebanon and Syria fail to coordinate their security programs, it is likely that these mountains will become another kind of Tora Bora Land, as the Beluchistan separating Afghanistan and Pakistan. Any weakness in either State will witness a counter offensive by the massed “Wahhabi terrorists” once money and weapons flow in in order to wage waves of terrorist attacks that satisfy the interest of countries that want this region totally destabilized.

The Iranian nuclear deal is done. Here’s what it says. Full text.

CNN reported: “A historic deal was struck early Sunday between Iran and 6 world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program that slows the country’s nuclear development program in exchange for lifting some sanctions while a more formal agreement is worked out.

U.S. President Barack Obama said in a nationally televised address: “The agreement — described as an ‘initial, six-month’ deal — includes ‘substantial limitations that will help prevent Iran from creating a nuclear weapon”

The deal, which capped days of marathon talks, addresses Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, what to do about its existing enriched uranium stockpiles, the number and potential of its centrifuges and Tehran’s ‘ability to produce weapons-grade plutonium using the Arak reactor,’ according to a statement released by the White House.”

irandeal-infographic

Joel C. Rosenberg posted on his this November 26, 2013

The Iranian nuclear deal is done. Here’s what it says. Full text.

The following is the full text of the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, as transmitted by CNN:

Joint Plan of Action

Preamble

The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iranˈs nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful.

Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons. This comprehensive solution would build on these initial measures and result in a final step for a period to be agreed upon and the resolution of concerns.

This comprehensive solution would enable Iran to fully enjoy its right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the relevant articles of the NPT in conformity with its obligations therein.

This comprehensive solution would involve a mutually defined enrichment program with practical limits and transparency measures to ensure the peaceful nature of the program.

This comprehensive solution would constitute an integrated whole where nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. This comprehensive solution would involve a reciprocal, step-by step process, and would produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions, as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iranˈs nuclear program.

There would be additional steps in between the initial measures and the final step, including, among other things, addressing the UN Security Council resolutions, with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the UN Security Councilˈs consideration of this matter.

The E3+3 and Iran will be responsible for conclusion and implementation of mutual near-term measures and the comprehensive solution in good faith.

A Joint Commission of E3/EU+3 and Iran will be established to monitor the implementation of the near-term measures and address issues that may arise, with the IAEA responsible for verification of nuclear-related measures.

The Joint Commission will work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present issues of concern.

Elements of a first step

The first step would be time-bound, with a duration of 6 months, and renewable by mutual consent, during which all parties will work to maintain a constructive atmosphere for negotiations in good faith.

Iran would undertake the following voluntary measures:

* From the existing uranium enriched to 20%, retain half as working stock of 20% oxide for fabrication of fuel for the TRR. Dilute the remaining 20% UF6 to no more than 5%. No reconversion line.

* Iran announces that it will not enrich uranium over 5% for the duration of the 6 months.

* Iran announces that it will not make any further advances of its activities at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (1), Fordow (2), or the Arak reactor (3), designated by the IAEA as IR-40.

* Beginning when the line for conversion of UF6 enriched up to 5% to UO2 is ready, Iran has decided to convert to oxide UF6 newly enriched up to 5% during the 6 month period, as provided in the operational schedule of the conversion plant declared to the IAEA.

* No new locations for the enrichment.

* Iran will continue its safeguarded R&D practices, including its current enrichment R&D practices, which are not designed for accumulation of the enriched uranium.

* No reprocessing or construction of a facility capable of reprocessing.

* Enhanced monitoring:

– Provision of specified information to the IAEA, including information on Iranˈs plans for nuclear facilities, a description of each building on each nuclear site, a description of the scale of operations for each location engaged in specified nuclear activities, information on uranium mines and mills, and information on source material. This information would be provided within three months of the adoption of these measures.

– Submission of an updated DIQ for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40, to the IAEA.

– Steps to agree with the IAEA on conclusion of the Safeguards Approach for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40.

– Daily IAEA inspector access when inspectors are not present for the purpose of Design Information Verification, Interim Inventory Verification, Physical Inventory Verification, and unannounced inspections, for the purpose of access to offline surveillance records, at Fordow and Natanz.

– IAEA inspector managed access to:

. centrifuge assembly workshops4;

. centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities; and,

. uranium mines and mills.

In return, the E3/EU+3 would undertake the following voluntary measures:

– Pause efforts to further reduce Iranˈs crude oil sales, enabling Iranˈs current customers to purchase their current average amounts of crude oil. Enable the repatriation of an agreed amount of revenue held abroad. For such oil sales, suspend the EU and U.S. sanctions on associated insurance and transportation services.

– Suspend U.S. and EU sanctions on:

. Iranˈs petrochemical exports, as well as sanctions on associated services. (5)

. Gold and precious metals, as well as sanctions on associated services.

• Suspend U.S. sanctions on Iranˈs auto industry, as well as sanctions on associated services.

• License the supply and installation in Iran of spare parts for safety of flight for Iranian civil aviation and associated services. License safety related inspections and repairs in Iran as well as associated services. (6)

• No new nuclear-related UN Security Council sanctions.

• No new EU nuclear-related sanctions.

• The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Congress, will refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions.

• Establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade for Iranˈs domestic needs using Iranian oil revenues held abroad. Humanitarian trade would be defined as transactions involving food and agricultural products, medicine, medical devices, and medical expenses incurred abroad. This channel would involve specified foreign banks and non-designated Iranian banks to be defined when establishing the channel.

* This channel could also enable:

a- transactions required to pay Iranˈs UN obligations; and,

b- direct tuition payments to universities and colleges for Iranian students studying abroad, up to an agreed amount for the six month period.

• Increase the EU authorisation thresholds for transactions for non-sanctioned trade to an agreed amount.

Elements of the final step of a comprehensive solution*

The final step of a comprehensive solution, which the parties aim to conclude negotiating and commence implementing no more than one year after the adoption of this document, would:

• Have a specified long-term duration to be agreed upon.

• Reflect the rights and obligations of parties to the NPT and IAEA Safeguards Agreements.

• Comprehensively lift UN Security Council, multilateral and national nuclear-related sanctions, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance, and energy, on a schedule to be agreed upon.

• Involve a mutually defined enrichment program with mutually agreed parameters consistent with practical needs, with agreed limits on scope and level of enrichment activities, capacity, where it is carried out, and stocks of enriched uranium, for a period to be agreed upon.

• Fully resolve concerns related to the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40. No reprocessing or construction of a facility capable of reprocessing.

• Fully implement the agreed transparency measures and enhanced monitoring. Ratify and implement the Additional Protocol, consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Majlis (Iranian parliament).

• Include international civil nuclear cooperation, including among others, on acquiring modern light water power and research reactors and associated equipment, and the supply of modern nuclear fuel as well as agreed R&D practices.

Following successful implementation of the final step of the comprehensive solution for its full duration, the Iranian nuclear program will be treated in the same manner as that of any non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT.

—————————————————————————————

(Footnotes)

(1) Namely, during the 6 months, Iran will not feed UF6 into the centrifuges installed but not enriching uranium. Not install additional centrifuges. Iran announces that during the first 6 months, it will replace existing centrifuges with centrifuges of the same type.

(2) At Fordow, no further enrichment over 5% at 4 cascades now enriching uranium, and not increase enrichment capacity. Not feed UF6 into the other 12 cascades, which would remain in a non-operative state. No interconnections between cascades. Iran announces that during the first 6 months, it will replace existing centrifuges with centrifuges of the same type.

(3) Iran announces on concerns related to the construction of the reactor at Arak that for 6 months it will not commission the reactor or transfer fuel or heavy water to the reactor site and will not test additional fuel or produce more fuel for the reactor or install remaining components.

(4) Consistent with its plans, Iranˈs centrifuge production during the 6 months will be dedicated to replace damaged machines.

(5) ˈSanctions on associated servicesˈ means any service, such as insurance, transportation, or financial, subject to the underlying U.S. or EU sanctions applicable, insofar as each service is related to the underlying sanction and required to facilitate the desired transactions. These services could involve any non-designated Iranian entities.

(6) Sanctions relief could involve any non-designated Iranian airlines as well as Iran Air.

* With respect to the final step and any steps in between, the standard principle that ˈnothing is agreed until everything is agreedˈ applies.ˈ

I’m lost: 8 characters described and presented in the first chapter…

The most interesting purpose in great novels is the complex description of the interactions among characters.

If even only 4 of the main characters are presented and thoroughly described in the first chapter, I am lost if they are not mentioned and refreshed in the successive chapters.

Just think of the number of interactions among only 4 characters: 6 interactions between 2 characters, 4 among three characters and one among all four characters…

Human brain is not able to keep all these interactions alive and refreshed at any moment: You need to keep written notes and refer to them every time a new interaction is happening… And this not fun and defeats the purpose of enjoying a fiction novel.

Unless a third of the interactions are “refreshed” in every single chapter, it is very difficult to keep track of the story and assimilate what the author is putting forth as controversial ideas, or tacit conspiratorial attitudes

Unless the novel is read in one setting…

Unless each chapter grabs you from the first sentence…

What if 8 characters are set forward in the first chapter? What can you do?

“Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi is not a novel.  It is a diary and memories of a period in this Islamic Republic of Iran.

Azar decided to set up weekly sessions for 8 of her former students in literature and discuss and keep diaries of the novels they read… The purpose was for the girls in this restrictive and theocratic regime to be affected by the independent minds of characters, particularly the female gender, their outlook to life, how it gelled perception about themselves, independently of external realities of the living…

I discovered the girls in the following chapters, as if their description in first chapter were redundant, since I forgot most of the description…

What saves this highly interesting book:

1. Chapters are self-contained

2. My good background knowledge and interest in Iran makes this book highly important

3. I read with Azar many novels that I didn’t read before, and enjoyed the in-depth characerizations of the heros and heroines

4. Azar studied in the same university in the USA: The univ. of Oklahoma at Norman…

5. I got to be acquainted with literature departments…

Now, you say that my rational premise of 4 main characters are one too many is just a hypothesis. It may be so. For the case of my simple mind, this is a fact.

In any case, I suggest to set up series of experiment to research my hypothesis.

The objectives are:

1. to discover the optimal number of main characters for the retention and emotional effects on a reader.

2. what is the better structure of the novel in order to maximize the personal effect of each character in the fiction story.

Experiment One:

For Group 1,

1. Select three characters and physically describe them accurately before writing a short story for each character.

2. Administer a questionnaire for comprehension and recollection of the characteristics of the person (physically and psychologically)

For Group 2,

1. Tell the stories of three characters first, and end the story with a thorough detailed description of the characters that were not included in the initial story version

2. Administer a questionnaire for comprehension and recollection of the characteristics of the person (physically and psychologically)

Experiment Two:

A month later, administer the same questionnaire to the two groups of people and analyze how well the characters were retained and recollected.

Experiment Three:

Repeat this experiment with 5 characters and then 7 characters

Experiment Four:

Repeat all these experiment using only pictures of the characters, no word physical description.

The experiments are simple. However, the quality of the stories and how the questionnaire is designed and well articulated, and what kinds of “data” are measured and captured… are the main difficulties that need to be ironed out and a lot of time invested in…

These experiments can be altered to extract the kinds of author’ styles that infuse the best impact.

For example, the stories of each character can be taken from different novels of the same author. The results will compare authors styles and additional pieces of information.

Obviously, the subjects in the experiments must be familiar with the connotations and exact meaning of each described attribute

Note: You may read one of my 11 reviews of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” http://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/reading-lolita-in-tehran-by-azar-nafisi-part-1/

Do you have a past? What of generations who grew up without a past?

We take it for granted that every individual must have had a past, that he can recollect bits and pieces of his past, can make some sense of his past…

Many societies take it for granted that their generations had a past, it always had…

There are generations of people who had a past, good or bad memories, and then an “iron curtain” of a theocratic or totalitarian regime fell down and transformed lives. These generations with a past could feel the loss and the void in their current life-style.  They can compare, evaluate, analyze the past and the present situations, they may eventually master this lever to forecast how the future will unfold if no change and reforms are attempted, confronted and grabbed…

What of generations born and living within theocratic and totalitarian regimes?

These generations cannot have any memories and images of a different system and life-style, except if they had a few opportunities to watch foreign movies, documentaries, books, and listen to foreign music, poetry… of other alternative cultures and life-styles.

What if all “imaginary” alternative cultures are banned and you cannot construct different versions of possible existence and life-styles?

The generation with No Past to remember can only talk of stolen kisses, films they had never seen, lack of cool breeze on their bare skin…

The generations with No past long for the ordinary, the taken-for-granted aspect of a peaceful life… They loath mostly the absurd and arbitrary acts of transgression on their ordinary life, the trampling on their open spaces… like the desire of wearing pink socks, dropping the veil in public if they feel uncomfortable, using a comfortable swimming trunk, lounge freely on their balconies, read whatever books that strike their imagination, listen to varieties of music…

The generation with No Past keep dancing with their arbitrary jailers, and never feeling that they have the power to protest and confront the jailers…

How could you internalize your individuality and describe the image you have of yourself if society move, act, speak and dance identically, as delimited by strict regulations?

This section was inspired from a page in “Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi.

Talking of a society indoctrinated in a cult, the self-effaced individuality, and evaluated on the degree you match the “dominant normal people”, evolving within a closed circle of like individuals…

With the exception of the Catholic Church theocratic dominance for 10 centuries in Medieval Europe, most of the theocratic and totalitarian systems were established in the 20th century, increasing, and expanding eastward…  Iran Islamic Republic took power in 1979, and The Moslem Brotherhood cults are established in Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, and shortly will take control in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Communist regimes that flourished since 1917 in the Soviet Union, China…had their fascist counterparts in Nazism, Fascism, military dictatorship… with their cultist versions.

Theocratic and “civic” totalitarian systems share many components and diverge on a few:

1. There are all “radical”: They want to impose their value and moral structure on the society

2. They ban all reading and knowledge sources that diverge from their “world view”

3. They do their best to obliterate the past, (the Evil Past), in order to institute the future life-style and concepts…

4. Religious abstract notions, implicitly and explicitly, are the basis for their projects: They want the eternal and absolute and go the extra miles to force the citizens to pay the heavy price of their absurd and arbitrary outlook to commemorating their everlasting achievement

Theocratic regimes are straightforward: Here is the archaic Book, you behave according to the prescription of the Book, don’t hurt your brain interpreting the Words of God… Otherwise, you are a criminal element and only execution is your lot for disturbing the decency and homogeneity in the communities.  This radical leftist woman who proclaims that she is willing to wear the veil if it can secure the Independence of Iran is basically aware of the coming persecutions and want to be “covered” and isolated…

Totalitarian regimes are more subtle: Their ultimate goals are fundamentally of the religious-kinds in seeking the absolute and the eternal, but the mechanism is camouflaged under “scientific processes” for the progress of mankind, in peace, equality, comradeship…. The main brainwashing technique is to make alternative materials very scarce to obtain, and listening to alternative opinions even harder to hear. It is no longer natural and work an individual reflective opinion, and seeking an individual “open space” to regain your freedom

In “Democratic” States brainwashing is performed by the richest elite class who rules the institutions and the mass news media. One major difference is that the past is not obliterated “if you are willing to do your due diligence…” to extract alternative stories…

“Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi

Azar Nafisi resigned from her last academic post at the Tabatabai University in Tehran.  The administration refused for two years to accept the resignation. It is not polite to resign: It is the system that takes the initiative to fire people…

It is the fall of 1995. Azar decided to invite 8 of her best female students to visit her at her home every Thursday morning to discuss literature.  (Thursday and Friday are week-end in Moslem countries).

The theme of the meetings is “Relation between fiction and reality“. Nafisi repeated her warning:

“Do not, at any circumstances, belittle a work of fiction. Refrain from trying to turn a fiction story into a carbon copy of real life….We search in fiction the epiphany of truth…”

One male student insisted on his rights to be included, and he was allowed to read the assigned books and talk on special days.

The girls would shed their veils, scarves, loose black robes…as they entered this sanctuary of mind “open space”: Splashes of color separated the girls, their styles, clothes, length of hair, smiles, laughters…Even the two girls who insisted on keeping their head scarves didn’t look the same.

The girls gained individual outline, shape, inimitable self.

The window faced the Elburz Mountain Chains, covered with snow even in summer.

This reading sanctuary mocked the reality of the black scarves, timid faces in this sprawled city, confiscated and driven underground…

To Azar, the work of fiction that would most resonate with lives in this Islamic Republic of Iran are:

1. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

2. 1984 (George orwell)

3. Invitation to a beheading (Vladimir Nabokov)

4. Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov)…

For two years, rain or shine, the students arrived to discuss their reading assignments. Only one student defaulted early on.

This circle of girls read Persian classical literature, A thousand and One Night, Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austin), Madam Bovary (Flaubert), Daisy Miller, The Dean’s December, and Lolita

You have got to use your imagination, picturing girls defying the tyranny of time, politics, ideologies, constraints, the absurd and arbitrary decisions…Girls who didn’t dare imagine themselves other than how they were defined in the family and community…

Girls who transcended to other “open spaces“, of most private and secret moments, most extraordinary instances of life, listening to music, falling in love, walking down shady streets, reading Lolita in Tehran…

Girls giving a different color to Tehran, redefining Nabokov’s novel, and extending variations on Lolita…

Readers of the World Unite“: And how the Iranians are fairing?

Random House Reader’s Circle had a conversation with Azar Nafisi (Iranian by origin) who had published “Reading Lolita in Tehran“. This is an abridged version of a long conversation.

Azar Nafisi said that her deepest wish is to organize a march to Washington DC under the slogan “Readers of the World Unite”, and demand more funding for reading classes in educational systems.

She said: Home is where you feel this urge to keep questioning, criticising, wanting to change, and getting engaged in organizing citizens…Once you feel entirely complacent and very comfortable, it is time to contemplate moving away to another “Homeland” and getting immersed in community difficulties…

Must keep the motherland alive inside you, even in memories…

The German philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote that the highest form of morality is Not to feel at home in your own home…

Azar Nafisi said: All individual experienced stories are deemed subversive, anywhere you live, by particular classes of the power-to-be: The absolute and narrow mindset exist even in democratic systems.

As you tell your side of the story, your story takes control over the “ideological reality“, a pseudo reality imposed on society.

Books are the best ambassadors to the new world you are traveling to:

How people cope when they live under oppressive realities

How people create open spaces through their imagination in order to resist tyrannies of Time and political systems

How people manage to break down boundaries by reading books and connect with other open spaces they have never been to

How people learn to interpret the open spaces in a way that feels fresh

And what is the perception of Azar of the new generations in Iran under the “Islamic Republic”?

This generation in Iran is fighting for every right and bit of freedom that they have.

This generation suffered with the flesh and blood for individual rights. Many have been flogged, jailed, fined, and penalized for just wanting to dress the way they want to, to see the films they like to watch, to express their love freely

This generation is connected to the world: There is no East or West for the Iranian new generation: They want to know all, and they appreciate Hannah Arendt, and Karl Popper, they read Saul Bellow and Vladimir Nabokov…

The former revolutionaries and their children are questioning the system.

The women have been involved to bring to the attention of the system that they have a long history of engagement of their own, and the system cannot rob their acquired rights easily…

Andrew Bossone shared TRAP – The Real Art of Protest‘s photo.

 

 

A few questions for discussion are proposed:

1. What should fiction accomplish?

2. Why should anyone read at all?

3. Can a woman observe wearing the veil and object to its political enforcement?

4. How can a person who “lose his place in the world” do survive physically and creatively?

5. Have you realized the true meaning of exile, as you set foot back to your home country?

6. Are novels sensual expressions of another world?

7. Do novels appeal to the reader’s capacity for compassion and empathizing with people of different cultures?

8. Do you think that the experience of censorship, fundamentalism, human rights, enjoyment of work of the imagination, and the desire for individual freedom…are similar in totalitarian societies and in democracies as well?

9. Don’t you believe that if you let every character in the novel speak his minds and opinions, you are in fact disseminating a kind of “Democratic Imagination”? The kind that obfuscate the narrow-minded people?

10, Do you think that humor and irony are the worst subversive writing styles for the absolutist and autocratic mindset, a style that render them as mad as wasp?

Note: You may connect with http://www.azarnafisi.com 

US disengagement process from the Middle-East region

I was writing the second part of the pragmatic discussions on Syria when I realized that a most important trend is unfolding and needs to be factored in the discussion equation: The US disengagement process from the Middle-East region.

The US is starting the disengagement process from the Middle-East region. I am convinced that all the Israeli aggressive fuss about Iran nuclear program is the realization that the US no longer envision a return on the cost for getting heavily involved in the Middle-East.

The ME is becoming a very troubled and uncontrollable region, and will keep in such turmoil for at least a decade. The ME is but headaches and the sinking of too much energy and financial expenses, for just negative return.

The Far-East Asian region is the strategic new “containment” policies for the US administrations.

The US decided to focus its energy and resources on the Far-East Asian markets, where the future of economic growth and development is being taking place…

And also on the new oil and gas resources in the six Central Asia States. For example the 6+2 (Russia and the US) new economic group for investing in pipelines

Israel thinks that only the US deep involvement in this region will keep US yearly financial and economic support, updated weapons, subsidies, free grants, lavish donations…flowing into Israel to sustain the apartheid system. Otherwise, Israel will have no choice but to consider policies as part of this region, within its means, and deal with its goyim people

Since 1967, the Zionist lobby in the US has been practicing and oiling its political pressure machine on side issues that didn’t obstruct the US strategy of dismantling any State with potentials to be a dominant force in the region. And the Zionist lobby worked hard on not to concede any minor defeats on these side issues…

The current problem in Israel and with its lobby in the US is that this time around the stake is huge: The strategy of the US in the ME has shifted to oppose Israel wishes for continued US active involvement. The only involvement the US envision is just to secure Israel “military safety”…

Consequently, Israel and its lobby in the US have been showing signs of disarray and confusion, due to the quick pace of events that are unfolding, and behaving too impatiently, and alienating the US administration with undiplomatic terms and extreme and radical positions that are no longer tenable in the world community.

Israel wants to resume its apartheid policies, as an extension to western colonial powers, and to be allowed to remain the sole dominant military power in the region.

For decades, Israel has been biting on large chunks not commensurate to its status as a little State, with minor resources to chew on, thanks to the unconditional backing of the US and western European States…

Things are changing, and Israel has to start dealing seriously with the surrounding realities, a region the US has decided to get out and let the people remove the thorns on their own…

The US is trying to secure a minimum containment of Russia incursion in the warmer seas in the Mediterranean basin, kind of “don’t go beyond Syria seas shores”, and dealing with China for minimal economic investment in the Middle-East.

Mind you that oil and gas are commodities to be sold in the global market, and military occupation of oil fields in Iraq turned out to be a total fiasco…and not worth contemplating in the near future…

The total involvement in Iraq for 8 years has opened the eyes of the US administrations that “What is good to Israel does not necessarily match what is good to the US interests in the Middle-East“. And the US is not about to forget these fresh and bleeding lessons of the terrible consequences in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya…and the melting of Wall Street…

US imperialist expansions were historically conducted in period of affluence: Wealth seeks to generates more wealth. As the internal market in the US expanded and generated wealth, the Federal government looked beyond its frontiers for expansion.

The preemptive wars against colonial Spain for Cuba and the Philippines were done consequent to Spain failing to pay its sovereign debt to the US.  The capturing of Panama and the digging of the Panama Canal was done when the US was the dominant economic power, followed by Germany.

The US decided to get involved in WWI after competitor Germany was exhausted and wanted to have a say during the Peace Treaty.

The US resolved to engaged in WWII when it was certified that Japan was frantically going after all the oil resources in the Pacific and conquering every island and country.

The US took over from France in Viet Nam because it was flush with money and developing like crazy

The latest preemptive war in Iraq was encouraged because the US had experienced a stable economic and financial situation after the Clinton administration…

Time is bad for any new preemptive war, particularly against a giant country such as Iran.

Note: This article is a follow up to https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/is-the-us-starting-the-inevitable-retreat-from-the-middle-east-and-israel-reaction/


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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