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Jahanshah Javid

Age: 56 |

Birth City: آبادان |

Joined on October 02, 2012

Lunch break

Today, Plaza San Blas.

Amy's Party

Tacomania last night.

Behrouz Boochani: Who am I?

The PEN Ten is PEN America’s weekly interview series. In this special PEN World Voices Festival edition, Ari Zatlin interviews Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian poet and journalist who has been detained by the Australian government for more than four years on the remote Manus Island. Boochani’s work will be read aloud tonight for the opening night of the PEN World Voices Festival. Purchase tickets here.

1. How does your identity shape your writing? Is there such a thing as a “writer’s identity”?

I have been living in a prison for near five years and I have been under systematic torture for years. This system is created to humiliate people and destroy their personality. In other words, the system has been trying to take people’s identities by humiliating them. For instance, they have been calling us by numbers for years. This way of addressing people reveals that the system does not want to recognize us as human beings. Living in a situation like this, where every single element of the system is trying to take your identity, it is very essential to retain your identity. It is the key factor to survival, to feel that you are more than a set of numbers and that, importantly, you are human. It also reminds you that you are still alive.

To answer this question, I won’t consider other writers living out of this remote island; but for me, living in a prison like Manus prison gave me a unique setting to create some of my artwork. So this situation had an important impact on my work. Writing always helps me to redefine myself as a kind of human who makes a stand against a system that has constantly been trying to humiliate me to take my identity.

Thinking about identity and understanding is one of the main challenges in my life. I was born in Kurdistan and started to explore and understand the world through Kurdish language, but when I went to school, I had to learn Persian. I can say it was the beginning of this challenge when the system was trying to force me to forget everything about Kurdish culture and language. I was living in Iran, the country was trying to take my identity, and it is still denying that there is a Kurdish nation. I have been living my whole life under a system that wants to define my identity in a certain way and to dictate “who I am.” Definitely, being a Kurd has a deep impact on my works in Manus; and there is no doubt that nature and also Kurdish culture feed my works. It’s a very complicated matter >>>

Mr. & Mrs. Khojasteh

From San Francisco Bay Area on their way to Machu Picchu tomorrow.

Kamran Ghaderi's Freedom Walk

CHRI: On March 21, 2017, Kamran Ghaderi, an Iranian-born resident of Sweden, began walking from Stockholm toward Iran carrying the country’s pre-revolution national flag. In his Twitter bio he wrote that he was “walking to Iran for freedom.”

In February 2018, after crossing 11 countries, he was arrested in Iran at the Oroumiyeh border near Turkey and charged with “propaganda against the state,” “assembly and collusion against national security” and “insulting the supreme leader and officials of the Islamic Republic,” a relative told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on April 10, 2018.

He was released at an unknown date but arrested again in March. It’s not clear whether he was released on bail or the charges were dropped.

“When he crossed onto Iranian soil he was detained by border guards for carrying the lion and sun flag and released a few days later,” said the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “But it seems the Intelligence Ministry caught wind and arrested him on March 7 and sent him to prison in Tabriz [city].”

“He told us on the phone that there’s a possibility he could be transferred to Tehran but for now he’s in Tabriz,” added the source.

After Iran’s monarchy was ousted following the country’s 1979 revolution, the lion and sun symbol on the flag was replaced with an emblem representing various Islamic symbols including the word “Allah” (God) by the newly established Islamic Republic.

Today, the old flag has become a symbol for some Iranian opposition groups in exile, particularly monarchists seeking the return of the Pahlavi Dynasty (1925-1979).

The source told CHRI that Ghaderi had intended to end his march at Iran’s Pasargadae archeological site, where the ancient Persian king Cyrus the Great (559–530 BC) is buried.

During his march, Ghaderi posted regularly on Twitter and gave a number of interviews to Iranian monarchist websites based abroad. The source told CHRI that these interviews have become the basis of the indictment against Ghaderi.

Ghaderi, 48, emigrated to Sweden at the age of 15. His wife and two children have Swedish citizenship but he has never applied for it himself.

Can you hear me now?

"I said I bought food for the llamas." 

Big shark, little tank

On Calle Recoleta.

Sit and watch the madness

Stray dog in Plaza de Armas.

Good morning

Very good morning for Valentino.

Freedom for Iranian refugee Mojgan Shamsalipoor in Australia



Courier Mail: IRANIAN refugee Mojgan Shamsalipoor says she is “really happy and so excited” to receive her Australian high school certificate tonight, after she missing her graduation with fellow classmates last year due to being in immigration detention.

“I was waiting for this moment for so long and I was dreaming about this,” Ms Shamsalipoor said.

“I thought it was impossible for me but it’s become possible, I’m really grateful.”

Ms Shamsalipoor arrived in Australia by boat in 2012 and attended Yeronga State High School in 2015. She was transported to school from the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation Centre (BITAC) each day but was removed and taken to a detention centre in Darwin in August.

Ms Shamsalipoor was later moved back to Brisbane and on September 21 this year, she and brother Hossein, were released from BITAC on a bridging visa.

Her shock release came to the relief of husband Milad Jafari, and deputy principal at the school, Jessica Walker who had actively campaigned for her release since she was detained.

Ms Shamsalipoor said she was “happy and sad” when her classmates graduated without her while she was detained last year.

“I was happy because in a really hard situation, with everyone’s help I was able to study,” she said.

“But on the other hand I was really upset because I wanted to be there and celebrate the ceremony with them and be with my schoolmates and everyone else.”

Ms Shamsalipoors husband accepted the high school certificate in her absence last year and recalled it as being such a hard and emotional experience.

“We were so lost, a big part of our school family was missing,” Mr Jafari said.

“But tonight is something else, tonight it celebrating our being together again and feeling grateful that she finished high school here.”

Ms Shamsalipoor said she will soon begin to study a certificate in health care with the view of becoming a nurse.

“Then I’m looking forward to going to uni, (but) I need to save money for my study,” she said.

She said these experiences were only she had only imagined in her mind.

“I was talking with my friends in detention that it’s a dream to be out again and walk freely and now I’ve got that dream and it’s a really beautiful, great feeling.”

The ceremony will start at 7pm, November 16 at Yeronga State High School in conjunction with the schools awards night.