Educating Malala

October 18, 2012 By Jasmin S. Kuehnert In a blog I wrote several weeks ago, I mentioned the new law passed by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran that bans women from 70 plus majors at colleges and universities in the country. The new law has sent angry shock waves throughout the country […]

Adversity and Ingenuity: Partners in Creation

October 11, 2012 Human beings have shown amazing ingenuity in fashioning musical instruments, often in less than ideal conditions. Many of these instruments were conceived and designed by people at the bottom of the social spectrum, most of whom were slaves in the Americas. Here are four examples that demonstrate amazing creativity by people who […]

The War on Women: From USA to Iran and around the World

August 23, 2012 There is a war going on; it is against women and it’s on a global scale. From the outrageous remarks on “legitimate rape” made by US Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), to the arrest of the three feminist rockers of the band Pussy Riot in Russia accused of speaking out against […]

Living in Rennes

July 19, 2012 I arrived in Rennes, the capital of Brittany, as an exchange student in September 1975. I was a 19 year old sophomore, who, along with 29 American students from my college, would be living with French families and taking classes at the university. My host family, the Louis, were a clan of […]

Higher Education in Iran: The Path to Freedom and…Singlehood

June 21, 2012 Three years ago Iranians marched through the streets of Tehran and other major cities in Iran protesting the presidential elections, which soon became known as the Green Revolution. I remember watching news clips and YouTube videos of the protests and found myself moved by the faces of all the people marching, especially […]

Useless Literary Terms Come Alive

May 17 2012 Synedoche: figure of speech wherein part represents whole, e.g. “crown” stands for “king” or “queen”. Objective Correlative: T.S. Eliot’s literary device, akin to metaphor, where an object or thing represents an emotion or feeling. How do I know such obscure things? Rather than following my dad’s advice to pursue a more practical […]

Henri le Chat and Erik Satie: Partners in Ennui

April 19, 2012 My friend Jasmin S. Kuehnert, a cat lover like myself, sent me this video of Henri, a very French kitty. The music—most appropriate for this video– is by Erik Satie, who left the Paris Conservatory—his teachers called his piano playing worthless-— to play in the more accepting milieu of piano bars such […]

Now-Ruz: A Celebration of Life

March 22, 2012 Photo of Haftseen by Firooz Saofoura Zoroofchi According to a recent post by Shirin Sadeghi on HuffingtonPost: “The talk of war (against Iran) walks tall amongst the rhetoric of Washington.” As the U.S. and Israel increase the volume of their threats of war against Iran, Iranians in the diaspora and those living […]