Tag Archives: Iran

4.16.14 Personal Status Law in Iraq and Iran funding Iraqi Shia militias to fight in Syria

from Al Jazeera

On this week’s show, we look at the Iraqi cabinet’s approval for a new personal status legislation, called Ja’fari law, named after the sixth Shi’ite imam Ja’afar al-Sadiq. He established a school of jurisprudence (Shi’ite) in Madina in the 8th century. The draft law is now awaiting a final vote by the Iraqi Parliament, and has created an uproar among Iraqi women’s rights and civil rights community.

If approved, the Ja’fari law will abolish the current Personal Status Law No 188, which is considered one of the most progressive in the Arab world. The new law will roll back the right of women in marriage, divorce and child custody, as well as inheritance. It will lower the age of marriage for girls from 18 to 9 and for boys to 15.

In this week’s show, Malihe speaks with prominent Iraqi women Rights’s activist, Basma AlKhateeb, who volunteers with Iraq 1st CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Shadow Report Coalition as expert and trainer. She spoke from Baghdad about who initially proposed the law and what the implications of this law are for Iraqi women.

Shahram Aghamir speaks with Martin Chulov, the Guardian’s Middle East correspondent, about one his recent reporting trips to the Iraqi city of Najaf. Iraqi Shia militias killed in Syria are the newcomers to the city’s cemetery, the biggest in the world. They discuss the growing political force Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq’s connections with Iran and thousands of Iraqi Shia militias funded by the Iranian government to fight on the side of Bashar Al Assad, who is predicted to win the next election in Syria.

Chulov writes, “The newest occupants of the cemetery were killed not here in Iraq but in Syria, where they fought under the green flag of the Middle East’s most potent new Shia Islamic political force, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous).”

“Three years after the uprising in Yemen and Music Freedom Day”

Three years after the beginning of the Yemeni revolution, little has changed in the country, writes Alwazir [AFP/Getty Images]

February 11th marked the 3rd anniversary of the popular uprising in Yemen, which, after a long drawn-out process lasting almost a year, led to resignation of the long time dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh. According to government’s own figures, more than 2000 unarmed protesters and military defectors, as well as more than 120 children and a total of 22,000 people were wounded over the year long protest.

In a recent piece on Aljazeera, Sanna-based activist and researcher Atiaf Zaid Alwazir writes that “While many positive steps have been taken in the past three years, including the official removal of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power, the creation of a transitional unity government, and the completion of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC), a complete break with the past is yet to be seen.” She also co-founded the media advocacy group #SupportYemen.

Our Shahram Aghamir speaks with Alwazir about the socio-political situation in Yemen. What has changed as a result of the historic uprising?

Later in the program, we will mark Music Freedom Day by featuring the prominent Iranian folk band, the Shanbezadeh Ensamble, led by Saeed Shanbehzadeh. The group originates from the southern city of Busher in Iran.

And the program ends with Sinan Antoon reading the poem “A Letter to Al-Mutanabbi Street,” excerpted from the book, “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here”, a project of Beau Beausoleil and Sarah Bodma.

On March 5, 2007, a car bomb exploded on al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad, killing over 30 people and injuring more than 100. Al-Mutanabbi Street is the historic center of Baghdad bookselling, with bookstores, outdoor bookstalls, cafes, and stationery shops. The street has been the heart and soul of the Baghdad’s literary and intellectual community.
An exhibition of Al-Mutanabbi street is currently taking place at the San Francisco Center for the Book. More details can be found here.
Thanks for listening!

Mohsen Namjoo in concert at UC berkeley this saturday

Iranian musician singer and song writer Mohsen Namjoo and Ensemble will be performing at the Wheeler Hall at UC Berkeley (location details here) on Saturday April 28th at 7:30pm.



Vomena Team

Interview with Hamid Naficy

Hamid Naficy, a leading authority on Iranian cinema is Professor of Radio-Television-Film at Northwestern University. He is the author of An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking, The Making of Exile Cultures: Iranian Television in Los Angeles, and (in Persian) Film-e Mostanad, a two-volume history of nonfiction cinema around the world. Naficy helped to launch ongoing annual Iranian film festivals in Los Angeles and Houston.

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UC Berkeley hosts the iranian film festival in April







The Iranian film festival will take place in UC Berkeley every weekends of April. This cultural event, organized by UC Berkeley’s Near Eastern Studies Department,  will be entirely free.

Talks, lectures and screenings by reknowned filmmakers and professors will be programmed. Parviz Sayyad, Hamid Naficy, Bahram Beizai and Sahraa Karimi are part of the star guests to discover.

More about the program on this page.

Vomena team.

Jaffar Panahi’s “this is not a film” in San Francisco

The SF film society will screen “This is not a film” from the prominent director Jafar Panahi. This coming friday (April 6th) to the 12th, you can watch the movie at the following adress 1746 Post Street (Webster/Buchanan)>

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“A Separation” Makes it to Oscar Shortlist

Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin), a film by Asghar Farhadi

A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin), a film by Asghar Farhadi

By: Kiazad Ehya

As the film’s title suggests, director Asghar Farhadi’s film A Separation (Jodaeiye Nader az Simin), is about the separation of a married couple, but the story is actually centered on the complex interpersonal relationships between an upper class secular liberal couple and that of an impoverished religiously devoted Muslim couple. The complexities are deep, and Farhadi tries to not take the side of one family over the other in the film.

“I think A Separation is a detective story without any detectives…The film raises questions instead of imposing ideas and answers,” said Asghar Farhadi, the films director.

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Women’s World in Qajar Iran

Harvard University About the WWQI Project Goals and Scope

Harvard University About the WWQI Project Goals and Scope

The goal of Women’s Worlds in Qajar Iran is to address a gap in scholarship and understanding of the lives of women during the Qajar era (1796 – 1925) in Iran by developing a comprehensive digital resource that preserves, links, and renders accessible primary-source materials related to the social and cultural history of women’s worlds in Qajar Iran. Through the use of technology it brings together little known archives scattered across the world.

Violence in Yemen; Graphic Novel of Iran’s Green Revolution

Zahra's Paradise is the fictional story of the search for Mehdi, a young Iranian protestor who has disappeared in the Islamic Republic’s gulags.

Zahra's Paradise is the fictional story of the search for Mehdi, a young Iranian protestor who has disappeared in the Islamic Republic’s gulags.

This week’s Voices of the Middle East and North Africa, we explore the escalation in violence in Yemen’s capital Sanaa persists as military forces loyal to president Ali Abdullah Saleh have continued their assaults on  protestors for the past four days. We’ll speak with Atiaf al Wazir, a Yemeni-American blogger and activist based in the nation’s capital Sanaa.

We’ll also speak with University of Richmond political scientist Sheila Carapico about how external powers are attempting to shape Yemen’s future.

Later in the program, we’ll feature a new graphic novel about an Iranian family’s search for their 19-year-old son after he disappears during a protest in the aftermath of the rigged 2009 presidential election in Iran. We’ll speak with Amir, who’s the author of  the graphic novel Zahra’s Paradise.


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Turkey’s Role in MENA Region; Interview with Firoozeh Kashani

This week on Voices of The Middle East and North Africa we will be looking at Turkey’s expanding role in the Middle East and North Africa. We will be speaking with Dr. Karem Oktem, a research fellow at the European Studies Center of Saint Anthony’s College about Turkey’s foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa. Later on in the program, VOMENA producer Shuka Kalantari will speak with Iranian-American author, Firoozeh Kashani of Penn State University about her debut novel ‘Martyrdom Street.’




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