Link Round-Up 4/30/2014

So my PC went bonkers last two weeks, so this was done much later than I anticipated. Well, here you go.

Sadly, there’s the news that the true reformist and Green Movement leader Mir Hossein Mousavi is in hospital right now for heart problems, and he has undergone angiography. Hopefully he’ll be alright.

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An Image of the Iranian English a High School Textbook

This is just to show you how omnipresence religion is in Iran, I give you two images from the Iranian textbook. These photos were shared by a friend of mine on Facebook. You usually assume that an English textbook is not an opportunity to indoctrinate children and teenagers, and should be concerned with teaching English, but the Iranian regime disagrees. And all textbooks are like that to some degree, as all books open with a picture and a saying of Khomeini.



On the Right to Evolve as a Music Band

Mastodon is one of my top favorite metal bands of all time. I have listened to every album and I love them all very much. They have released a new single, and naturally I’m excited. I listen to it, and I think it’s awesome and love it very much. Here, listen for yourselves:

There’s a catch though, it sounds very different from what they’ve been doing during their career, and that upset many fans.

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Check Out “7 Ways Westerners Can Help Ex-Muslims”, My Guest Post on Camels with Hammers

Dan Fincke of the Camels with Hammers, a man I’m proud to call friend, has graciously allowed me to write a guest post for his fantastic blog. Thanks Dan! It’s tiled “7 Ways Westerners Can Help Ex-Muslims” and gives seven tips about how you can help ex-Muslims, and this is written with the aim of promoting mutual understanding.

One point though, as my friend Marwa Berro mentioned, there is a mistake in the title, westerners and ex-Muslims are not mutually exclusive, so a better title is needed. Well, sorry for that.

Also make certain to check Marwa’s comment at the end.

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare!

Shakespeare is the reason that I chose to learn English, so that I could read him in his original language, and he is the reason I chose English Literature as my field of study and not like French or German. Many have talked about why he is so great, and I cannot add anything to the discussion. I just want to recommend that if you haven’t, don’t limit yourself to his famous plays, do read his sonnets and Venus and Adonis as well.

I have this awesome video you can watch to celebrate his birthday:

5 Greatest Shortcomings of the Rouhani Administration

Since I have been a vocal supporter of Rouhani, and for good reason, and because he needs to be known accurately among the westerners, many might think that I do not hold anything against him, but I do. Here are the fivethings that I hope Rouhani will change soon, and these are what he had failed to do the right thing about.

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Rouhani Contradicts the Supreme Leader on Women’s Rights

If you take a look at Rouhani’s speech today, it might not seem very brave or anything special, indeed he talks very cautiously, as he should. But in the context of Iranian politics this is a big deal because it contradicts what the Supreme Leader said yesterday, even if to a small degree, and that is very important, showing that Rouhani will continue to do his best in spite of things. Sadly most of the western outlets have chosen a headline that distorts what he really had said and its significance in the context. Via Tehran Times, which doesn’t distort what he said:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the country will not achieve progress unless due attention is given to women, though he acknowledged that there are still many shortcomings in regard to the issue of women’s rights.

“Moderation, prudence, and hope will not be established in the country without women’s contribution,” Rouhani told a gathering of women professionals in Tehran on Sunday, which was the anniversary of the birth of Hazrat Fatima (SA), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (S), and which is also Women’s Day in Iran.
Rouhani said that according to the tenets of Islam, neither is man the first gender, nor is woman the second gender. “Man and woman are not the opposite of each other. Women are side by side with men and have the same human dignity and position.”
He went on to say that women have suffered cruelty in previous eras and in the modern era, though concrete steps have been taken since the victory of the Islamic Revolution to improve women’s condition in Iran.
The Iranian president rhetorically asked why “some people think the presence of women is a threat,” adding that efforts should be made to ensure that women feel safe in society, in the street, and everywhere else.
“Is it possible to put [women] in a corner and sideline the role of half of the society? Women should enjoy equal opportunities, security, and social rights,” he said.
“We will not accept the culture of gender discrimination, especially against women,” Rouhani added.
I still don’t think anything major will happen soon. Rouhani cannot do anything without sanction from Khamenei. But it is still good to see that he is on the case.

What Do You Think of Cannes 2014 Line-Up?

So today the 2014 Cannes line-up is announced, and while you have Venice and Berlin and Oscars and BAFTAs and other awards, let’s face it, if you want the best of cinema each year, usually your best shot is looking at Cannes line-up.


Via Rope of Silicon, these are the films in competition and other categories:

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