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December 27, 2003

Thanks Derek!

Derek Jolly is one of the British emergency experts who dropped everything to fly out to Iran to help with the earthquake rescue effort.

Posted by mehrdad at 12:55 PM | Journal 2003 |

Earthquake Update

Earthquake is now thought to have killed over 25000.
Relief International is accepting donations on-line.
In UK you can make a donation by calling 020 7245 1000
or write to:
Iran Earthquake Appeal
British Red Cross
London SW1X 7EJ

Debris and devastation
Aid teams reach Iran quake zone
Dangerous buildings, lax rules
Shockwaves at speed of sound
Offers of help flood in
2000 years of history in ruins
Interactive guide on earthquakes
Iranian Truth has many more links and updates

Posted by mehrdad at 11:10 AM | Journal 2003 |

December 26, 2003

Earthquake Strikes Bam

A powerful earthquake has struck southeastern Iran near the ancient city of Bam, with officials saying thousands have died and 60 percent of the historic city's residential area had been destroyed. I always wanted to travel to Bam which is the biggest mud-brick complex in the world.

Posted by mehrdad at 11:20 AM | Journal 2003 |

December 23, 2003

Merry Christmas!


For Max who loves superheroes!

Posted by mehrdad at 10:55 PM | Journal 2003 |

December 01, 2003

World AIDS Day


These are terrifying figures. Click here for more info.

Posted by mehrdad at 12:38 PM | Journal 2003 |

October 15, 2003

Mona in Tehran


Posted by mehrdad at 09:01 PM | Journal 2003 |

October 10, 2003

Nobel Peace Prize


The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2003 to Shirin Ebadi for her efforts for democracy and human rights.

Posted by mehrdad at 08:37 PM | Journal 2003 |

October 01, 2003

Be Aware!


Click here for more info

Posted by mehrdad at 08:43 AM | Journal 2003 |

September 29, 2003

Alastair Campbell

This morning on my way to work, I was feeling sorry for myself then I bumped into Alastair Campbell jogging. Then I thought "Things could always get worse!". Contrary to Labour Party's theme tune "Things can only get better".

Posted by mehrdad at 06:14 PM | Journal 2003 |

September 15, 2003

Witch hunt

Superintendent Ali Dizaei, an Iranian-born British police officer, who claims he has been subjected to a "witch hunt" since joining the Metropolitan Police, has been acquitted of dishonesty. Click here for more.

Posted by mehrdad at 07:27 PM | Journal 2003 |

August 19, 2003



I am off to Germany to recharge my batteries. Auf Wiedersehen!

Posted by mehrdad at 07:02 PM | Journal 2003 |

August 12, 2003

Max's birthday


Max is 4 today! He likes fireworks.

Posted by mehrdad at 04:07 PM | Journal 2003 |

August 06, 2003

It is hot!

Today could be the hottest day ever recorded in the UK, with temperatures creeping above the existing record of 37.1C (98.8F). The Met Office said temperatures could challenge the all-time record of August 3 1990.

Posted by mehrdad at 01:31 PM | Journal 2003 |

July 28, 2003



This is an old picture of Pahlavan Razaz with one of his students, Bagher Miveh-chian.

Zoor-Khaneh is a gymnasium for traditional Iranian martial arts (varzesh-e pahlavani).
Zoor-khaneh website has a nice flash intro and Pahlavani website has interesting content.

Posted by mehrdad at 03:43 PM | Journal 2003 |

July 23, 2003

Asylum Day - BBC1

As part of BBC One's Asylum Day, "You The Judge" programme gives people the chance to have their say about Britain's asylum policy. Shappi Khorsandi is going to be one of the judges. They will be stating the case of four refugees and will discuss who should stay or go then there is a public vote. "You The Judge" will be broadcast tonight at 20:00 BST on BBC One. It will also be available live and on demand from BBC website.

Posted by mehrdad at 11:47 AM | Journal 2003 |

July 11, 2003

Wacky Web!

According to Brian Livingston, WWW stands for Wacky Web Week and my site is among the Internet’s greatest bits! Thanks, but is this site only about Iranian politics? Well I hope not. I just like writing about things that are current and I know a bit about.


Posted by mehrdad at 09:12 PM | Journal 2003 |

July 09, 2003

Thanks for reading

Deer Aamerikan ferends velkom to my saayt!
(I just wrote it with an Iranian accent, "dear American friends welcome to my site" in case you didn't understand). I noticed the number of American visitors has increased thanks to links from Glenn Reynolds, Andrew Sullivan, and hopefully a few more that I don't know of yet. I really appreciate you reading this blog and seeing the perspective from a British/Iranian angle. I am a cheerful cynic, so don't take it too seriously. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy writing it.

Posted by mehrdad at 10:36 PM | Journal 2003 |

July 08, 2003

Iranian twins die in surgery

It was very sad to hear that Ladan and Laleh Bijani died today at the end of a 50-hour operation to separate them. The 29-year-old sisters were well-known in Iran for their courage and academic success.

Posted by mehrdad at 06:32 PM | Journal 2003 |

July 07, 2003

Interactive Guides

I really like the interactive guides on The Guardian website. The guides need Macromedia Flash Player to work. Recent guides include:

Posted by mehrdad at 10:01 PM | Journal 2003 |

July 02, 2003

Heart attack

My old school mate Ahmad called last Sunday and told me that he is recovering from a heart attack. He has just turned 39. I was shocked and saddened by the news. He was taken to hospital suffering from severe chest pain and the heart attack actually happened in the hospital. Apparently his heart stopped and he was given resuscitation.

Awful things happen but it looks like they particularly happen to my unlucky Iranian generation. In his case he is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, lost his younger brother in the war and hasn’t heard of his older brother for many years. He told me many horrendous stories of the war. Now he lives in exile alone.

Posted by mehrdad at 06:00 PM | Journal 2003 |

June 29, 2003

Max's Pearls of Wisdom

" I want to get married!" Max announced when he was only two years old.
" To whom?" I asked.
" Spiderman!" Max answered with a big smile on his face.
"You are our number one!" I told Max who is going to be four in August.
"No. I am not number one. I am number three! You are number one, mummy is number two and I am number three." He insisted.
" Were you born in Iran?" Max asked me the other day.
" Yes. I was born in Iran." I replied.
"Why?" He asked.
" Well my parents are from Iran." I explained.
" In Iran people say Salam. It sounds like Salami." He said.
" Do you know the capital city of England?" I asked Max.
" No." He replied.
" It is where we live." I hinted.
" London!" He answered correctly.
" Well done. Do you know the capital city of Germany?" I asked him.
" Sch?neb?rg!" He replied.
(Sch?neb?rg is a small village where his grandparents live.)

Posted by mehrdad at 09:20 PM | Journal 2003 |

June 20, 2003

Better latt? than never

I really like Knife & Packer's cartoons which appear in Private Eye and the Guardian. Their characters live in arty farty north London!

Posted by mehrdad at 11:18 PM | Journal 2003 |

June 17, 2003


The last two weeks have been really bad for hay-fever sufferers like me. According to BBC grass pollen levels for June have been the highest since 1976. Achoo!

Posted by mehrdad at 04:34 PM | Journal 2003 |

June 16, 2003

Dullest blog in the world

The author of the "dullest blog in the world" is a 32-year-old English cartoonist. The site is a satire on the daily trivialities that some bloggers - including myself - see fit to share with the world, he posts regular updates like this:
"I was sitting at the table and realised that I would be more comfortable if my chair was a couple of inches nearer to the table. I moved the chair forward slightly, thus lessening the gap between me and the table. I was then able to continue what I was doing in greater comfort.".

Posted by mehrdad at 09:14 PM | Journal 2003 |

June 15, 2003

Today's weather


A beautiful blue sky and a glorious sun in London.

Posted by mehrdad at 07:16 PM | Journal 2003 |

June 03, 2003



Max is missing you a lot!

Posted by mehrdad at 11:03 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 30, 2003


My friend Siamack lives in London and writes regularly for
In his new article, he wrote:
"What I find freaky about women is how they can produce milk without eating grass!"
Click here to read more

Posted by mehrdad at 08:30 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 25, 2003

Isabella Plantation

We went for the first time to Isabella Plantation, a woodland garden in the heart of Richmond Park. The garden provides the best show of camellias, magnolias, rhododendrons, and azaleas in London. It is truly a beautiful place to visit this time of year.

Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park

Posted by mehrdad at 08:40 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 22, 2003

A Busy Day

It was a very busy day. After a demanding day working on various projects, I went with Max to my Mum's, then fetched Barbara from her Thursday yoga class; went to see Nadia and set up her computer and connected it to the Internet. Now that she has Internet access, I hope that she will start writing her journal on this site shortly.

Max - September 2002

Posted by mehrdad at 10:47 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 19, 2003


Yesterday I met a group of Iranian bloggers in London. It was very interesting to meet young Iranians who grew up in Iran after the revolution. They are an intelligent and inquisitive bunch. Over the past few months there has been a big increase in the number of Persian weblogs, which are providing an insight into the Iranian society.

Posted by mehrdad at 11:15 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 18, 2003

FA cup final

Yesterday was the FA cup final between Arsenal and Southampton. The local people were wearing red and white Arsenal shirts and most cars were displaying Arsenal’s flag. While I was driving down Holloway Road a red and white Woolworths’ plastic bag blown by the wind got stuck to my car’s radio antenna. So for a few minutes I blended in with the crowds and I couldn’t stop laughing!

By the way, Arsenal won so congratulations to Mehrnoosh and Camran!

Posted by mehrdad at 12:33 PM | Football | Journal 2003 |

May 16, 2003


On Wednesday 14th of May Mojtaba Akhtari, a talented Iranian doctor who lives and works in London, wrote this in his site about


Posted by mehrdad at 10:48 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 14, 2003


Liebe Karin,

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, halt die Ohren steif!

Geburtstagsgr?sse vom uns drei.

Posted by mehrdad at 09:39 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 13, 2003

Modern dance

Last night we went to see a modern dance performance at The Place. We took Max with us for his first time. It was interesting to see his reaction. The music was sometimes too loud for him but as a whole it was a success!
EDge 2003 - The Place

Posted by mehrdad at 09:59 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 12, 2003

I am 39 today!

"Is it your birthday today?" Max asked me.
"Yes!" I replied.
"Why?" he asked.
"I was born on a day like this." I said.
"Why?" he asked again.
"Well, that needs a long explanation. Do you know how old I am?" I continued.
"No!" he said.
"You are 3 … 1,2,3.
I am 39…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39."
"Bloody hell that is a lot of numbers!" I thought.

Posted by mehrdad at 06:45 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 11, 2003

BOULES (P?tanque)

I played with Barbara, Rosie and Massoud a game of Boules. This was my first time playing this French game. The object of the game is to throw your balls, usually with somewhat of an arched back spin so that they land closer to the small object ball (cochonnet) than those of your opponent. You can also strike and drive the object ball toward your other balls and away from your opponent's. It is a very simple game. Massoud wanted to know the rules of the game:

Posted by mehrdad at 09:58 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 10, 2003


Today I went to see Nadia. She is doing fine and showed me her new wig. She looks good with it. I tried it on and looked like Elton John. Well, I have the round face and glasses.

Max went to his usual Saturday German class in the morning. He is getting better at German.

Later in the afternoon we went with friends, Alan and Christine to Southbank. We saw at Royal Festival Hall the "World Press Photo Exhibition" of press images covering the main news events of 2002. It was very depressing.

World Press Photo of the Year 2002 is a black & white picture of an earthquake in Qazvin. In the photograph a young boy clings on to his dead father's trousers as he squats by the grave where his father is about to be buried. The picture was taken in June 2002, after the earthquake struck Qazvin in northwest Iran, killing more than 500 people in some 12 villages. Here is the picture:


Posted by mehrdad at 08:53 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 08, 2003

Nooshe Jaan


Serving guests... Iranian style!

Posted by mehrdad at 02:15 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 06, 2003

Kenwood Park


On Sunday we went to Kenwood Park to see the azaleas and rhododendrons! We met Jamie and Ruth who took this picture of Max with their daughter Polly.

Posted by mehrdad at 01:56 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 03, 2003

Happy Birthday

Today is David (Davood)’s birthday; I wish him a very happy birthday in Thailand.

It is also Uncle Ahmad’s birthday. He and Inge are in Iran after over 20 years. I wish them a great time.

Posted by mehrdad at 06:46 PM | Journal 2003 |

May 01, 2003

Letter of Reference

To Whom It May Concern:

Mark Brown, my assistant programmer, can always be found
hard at work in the office. He works independently, without
wasting company time talking to colleagues. He never
thinks twice about assisting fellow employees, and he always
finishes given assignments on time. Often he takes extended
measures to complete his work, sometimes skipping coffee
breaks. Mark is a dedicated individual who has absolutely no
vanity, in spite of his high accomplishments and profound
knowledge in his field. I firmly believe that he can be
classed as a high-calibre employee, the type which cannot be
dispensed with. Consequently, I duly recommend that Mark be
promoted to executive management, and a proposal will be
executed as soon as possible.

Received a short time later:
Re: Letter Of Reference

To Whom It May Concern:
That idiot was standing over my shoulder while I wrote the letter
I sent to you earlier today. Kindly re-read only every other line.

Posted by mehrdad at 10:08 PM | Journal 2003 |

April 29, 2003

Religious Man

"I'm not normally a religious man, but… if you're up there, save me, Superman!"
Homer Simpson

Posted by mehrdad at 10:40 PM | Journal 2003 |

April 27, 2003

Columbia Road Flower Market


This morning we went to Columbia Market which is only open on Sundays. We always enjoy going to the market with its mix of traditional East End and trendy London. We bought a few plants and visited Nadia later in the afternoon.

Posted by mehrdad at 09:23 PM | Journal 2003 |

April 22, 2003


Tomorrow morning David and Katy are going to Thailand for 7 weeks
and Barbara and Max are coming back from Germany.

Posted by mehrdad at 10:53 PM | Journal 2003 |

April 21, 2003

Spring cleaning

Cleaned the flat today. That was it!

Posted by mehrdad at 10:27 PM | Journal 2003 |

April 19, 2003


My mum came this afternoon to see me and I showed her this site. "What is it for?" she asked.

"Well it is kind of a journal. From Iran, US, Germany, everyone can see what I am up to, perhaps they could also contribute to it so hopefully it 'll become a hub for our scattered family." I replied with enthusiasm.

Posted by mehrdad at 06:39 PM | Journal 2003 |

April 18, 2003

Chinatown hit by Sars rumours

Last night I went with Mir to a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. It was a bit quieter than usual. Perhaps this report in the Guardian is right:

"Britain's Chinese restaurants have reported a downturn in trade after customers were frightened by rumours that staffs were infected with the Sars virus. Alarm is so high that one restaurant placed an advert in a Chinese language newspaper denying that some of its staff had the virus."

There have been six suspected British cases of the virus. Well, yet another deadly virus to worry about!

Posted by mehrdad at 02:20 PM | Journal 2003 |

April 16, 2003

A Beautiful Day in London

It is a sunny warm day (26?C) but I am sadly indoors
recovering from my chest infection. I am taking Amoxycillin
(antibiotics) 3 times a day, which so far is not giving me any
side effects.

Posted by mehrdad at 05:20 PM | Journal 2003 |