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16.11.08

Obamaran! Iran and Obama

Following Obamas election and all the Obamamania and the Obamanation and Barack the Vote and the Obamafuture...two recent blog entries from Ava in Tehran...(my own thoughts on all the recent crazy travels will follow soon)...
# 1

Last night I stayed up till late. I was following the news and after getting confused with the political mess in the country I started reading a book by a Dutch writer whom I met last week in Dubai: “Communication and Management”

Even though this new law that forbids smoking in public might have affected the nice mood of cafes, it could actually be the cause of such pleasant coincidences and offer unexpected chances to different people to meet and chat while standing next to an ashtray under the burning sun. Though this burning could be dangerous.

I wonder why I keep following the news. Does it make any difference if I know what’s going on in the country or how we manage our international relations and communications?

After all how authentic and reliable our news is? We must be happy with what we are supposed to know and more interesting is that most of the people prefer to be unaware of state of affairs. As long as the economy goes well, they feel happy in their own imaginary Island. And a few small groups have got the chance to be aware of the necessary news: “When to buy, what to buy and where to invest”. And these news cannot be found in the media or in our daily papers; where you just read how soon America is going to be demolished or follow the American presidential campaign instead of our own presidential so-called campaign.

So basically there is no need to follow the news; even our Minister of Culture has realized that and has warned BBC channel for launching a new Farsi satellite channel for Iranian audience. We all remember this unforgettable phrase of Khomeini: Britain is worse that Russia, Russia is worse than Britain and America is worse that both of them towards Iran.

We don’t even need the management skills. This is a city where one manager decides to renew the asphalt of an area and the day after the other manger decides to dig it out to put in a new gas pipe.

Therefore in this society that tiny group is happy, the managers are happy and the majority of people who are not counted in the public and have not been taken seriously, can read the daily papers and books and improve their “Communication and Management” skills.

How incredible is when the majority is considered as minority and the minority is considered as no body!

This morning while I was working on my computer I received a phone call from my manager and was called for a short meeting in his office. On my way to his office while I was waiting for the traffic light to turn green, a number of young boys and girls and small kids ran into the cars to sell their stuff: window shades, kitchen knifes, socks, screw driver, Rayban sunglasses and flowers.

They were carrying all those unnecessary stuff and were begging people to buy them. One of them with a very dark skin; probably from the southern parts of the country, looked like a potable shop. His white teeth shone behind the roses and daffodils.

“Next time…. I really don’t need any of them.” I said. But he was insisting to sell and kept telling the drivers that how useful and practical his stuff were.

A young man with huge mussels whose car was next to me shouted: “Hey Obama, come over here! How much do you want for the daffodils?”

The black guy immediately ran into him as if he had been called by this name many times before. The guy bought the flowers and gave it to the girl who was sitting in the passenger seat.

Before the light turns green, the young boy was happy, the girl was happy and Obama was happy too.

Even I was happy, I have decided to improve my communication skills and to meet the Dutch writer again. Communication is an inseparable part of the living!

# 2

Obama's name associates with change everywhere as well as in Iran. Everyone in Iran is hoping for a big change for better, including ordinary people, reformists, liberals, hardliners and even the morose anchor woman who is always covered in black chador. When she was announcing Obama’s victory from channel 6, her eyes were shining and she was not able to hide her big smile from ear to ear. So she was not frowning for the first time and we were honored to be the first to see her teeth. Actually I felt that she was even ready to take out her black Chador in front of the live camera and jump over her desk and shout out the victory of Barak Hussein Obama.

I started to think about the changes she is hoping for and I’m sure it cannot be just connected to economy. I compared that with the changes I desired or did my religious neighbor or my gay friend or the kids who sell flowers in the street or my depressed friend in her bed. Today, we all have something in common: we all woke up with hope!

And because of this fact I feel closer to the people I know and I can share more with the people I don’t know and I pray that our hopes meet somewhere at the end.

Immediately after announcing the news SMSes started. Everybody congratulated Obama’s victory. After half an hour my father called me to say that his mobile phone is making noises non-stop. I’m just wondering why my father is not willing to learn how to open and send SMS at the age of 70, while our anchor woman has learnt to smile at the age of 35!

“Hey daddy, please put your glasses on, you need to take part in the changes, Obama is not going to do it all alone!” This is what I told my father.

All the reformist papers covered this news on their front page with huge headlines as if they are Washington Post or NewYork Times. Keyhan Farsi, the hardliner wrote: “A falcon in pigeon’s grab”

The day after everyone at work was talking about the reaction of our media on this news and I noticed that this was the first time we didn’t discuss the news on VOA (Voice of America) or other American based Iranian channels. We all had followed the news from Iranian based news channel and this change felt great.

After speaking all day long on the movies and in the studio with Colleagues, on my way back home I stopped at a small supermarket to buy a juice. The fat guy who is working in Daryani supermarket close to my home offered me to buy a new canned coffee.

“This is wonderful. It’s both delicious and fat-burning coffee too. If you take it you cannot eat anything for the rest of the day. It helps lose weight." The fat guy said and I looked at my tight Mantua and the buttons which were ready to jump out any second and then looked at the fat guy’s belly and said: “Did you lose weight with the help of this?” And everybody in the supermarket burst into laughter.

Mr.Daryani, the owner said: “He lost weight after he got married because his wife calls him every 5 minutes and he continued to say: “but things are going to change a lot after Obama takes power!”

I paid for the drink and the canned coffee and got into my car. I was thinking of a diet and hoping to lose weight but at the same moment I received a SMS: “friends are coming over for dinner, please be here at 8:00”

And that was from my father.

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Director/Producer Parvez Sharma

Director/Producer Parvez Sharma
All the Breaking News around 'A Jihad for Love' is at this blog address. You can email Parvez directly at parvezsharmaATgmailDOTcom

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