Age: 57 |
Birth City: آبادان |
Joined on October 02, 2012
Twenty years after the miss-discovery of the forgotten continent of Chicarainia by Professor Sheph, Roham Sheikhani and Ali Dadgar desperately and in true Dadaistic theatrical fashion reflect on, and examine important issues like art; authenticity; bathroom objects; and all the other useless objects we have inherited from our proud ancestors. All that under the watchful, but distracted eyes of Mr. Lazlow Laz-low the invisible mastermind.
Only two shows: Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 at 8:00pm at Central Stage, 5221 Central Avenue Richmond, CA 94804.
Thrive Global: I had the pleasure to interview Lena Späth. Lena is a German author, traveling between Iran and Munich, Germany. Her self-published book ‘Behind Closed Curtains: Interior Design’ was endorsed by journalists from The Guardian, Conde Nast Traveller, Design*Sponge, AD Magazine and many more. Lena has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies and worked for consulting and internet companies before returning her focus to Iran.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I am a big fan of interior design and handmade things. Since I was a child, I re-decorated my space every year. I was reading decor magazines and coffee table books on design in India, Bali, or Buenos Aires. When I started traveling to far away places, I was drawn to the workshops, bazaars, and magnificent architectural sights. The same happened when I came to Iran the first time in 2008.
So I knew about the treasures you could find in Iran, and when in 2016 I left a job with some savings I decided to try an own project; something related to Iran as the sanctions had been lifted recently. A coffee table book showcasing design and architecture but also introducing the country, in general, seemed suitable, and I knew no similar book existed. A book on beautiful private places would draw attention away from politics and onto design and architecture; it would illustrate a positive and uniquely human face of Iran. It was vital for me to tell the stories of Iranians, the people behind these houses, and explain Iranian culture along with design elements. On another note, I felt a book like this would wake up Iranians and especially the younger generation to appreciate their heritage and try to keep and restore older buildings and Iranian traditions and crafts. There is still more innovation needed, but for this to happen, you need to know your own history and identity.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?
A friend of mine is friends with the son of Iran’s current president Hassan Rouhani. He told me to sign a copy for him so he could forward it to the president. To make it more impressive, I was supposed to write in Farsi. We included a little message, but I ruined three of my books until the writing was looking fine and without any mistakes.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I can’t recall how many times Iranian men tried to approach me or even proposed to me on Instagram. I am really touchy warm-hearted German, so people often got it wrong. One time at a book signing event, one man started stroking my back when we took a picture together. He said it was his best day in the life. Since then, I am way more serious about coming across self-confident, and a bit distanced >>>
URGENT ACTION: JAILED ACADEMIC NEEDS URGENT MEDICAL CARE
Iranian-Swedish academic Ahmadreza Djalali needs urgent specialized medical care unavailable inside prison. The Iranian authorities previously conditioned his transfer to a hospital outside of prison on being shackled, which would amount to degrading treatment. He was sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial, which used “confessions” Ahmadreza Djalali has said were obtained under torture.
TAKE ACTION: WRITE AN APPEAL IN YOUR OWN WORDS OR USE THIS MODEL LETTER
Prosecutor General of Tehran Ali Alghasi Mehr
Office of the Prosecutor Corner (Nabsh-e) of 15 Khordad Square
Dear Mr Ali Alghasi Mehr,
Medical doctor and academic Ahmadreza Djalali, imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin prison, is being denied the urgent specialized medical care he needs. In the last year, three different blood tests indicated that he has a low white blood cell count. A doctor who examined him in prison in early 2019 said that Ahmadreza Djalali must be seen by doctors specialized in haematology and oncology in a hospital outside of prison. To date, the authorities have not taken Ahmadreza Djalali to hospital for the medical care he requires. Since his arrest on 26 April 2016, he has lost 24 kg and now weighs 51 kg.
On two occasions, mostrecently in February 2019, Ahmadreza Djalali was scheduled to be transferred to a hospital outside of prison to see a specialist, but, on the day of the transfer, he was told that the transfer was conditioned on him being shackled and wearing a prison uniform. He protested against these degrading conditions and, in reprisal, the authorities cancelled the transfer. Amnesty International considers thatthe conditions imposed on Ahmadreza Djalali’s transfer to the hospital were unnecessary and excessive, and deliberately designed to humiliate and punish him. This treatment violates the absolute prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments under international law; Iranian authorities have an obligation to treat prisoners respectfully in accordance with their inherent dignity as human beings.
In November 2018, Ahmadreza Djalali underwent hernia surgery in a hospital outside prison, after being insevere pain. After surgery, his legs were unnecessarily shackled to the hospital bed, which caused him emotional distress as well as physical discomfort. The authorities transferred him back to prison less than two days later, despite medical advice that he should remain hospitalized for longer. In February 2019, a prison doctor told him that he required a follow-up procedure to treat his hernia, but this has not taken place yet.
I urge you to immediately grant Ahmadreza Djalali the specialized medical care he needs outside prison and stop using the denial of timely and adequate medical care as a form of additional punishment. I further call on you to release Ahmadreza Djalali immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation, as per the recommendation of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in his case.
Daryoush has operated the Moby Dick House of Kabob restaurant chain for the last three decades — this year is the restaurant's 30th anniversary. He had opened then-Moby's Luncheonette in 1989, serving traditional American breakfast and lunch cuisine.
But after building a traditional clay oven to bake fresh pita to sell at Moby's Luncheonette, Daryoush realized he could offer an authentic take on traditional Persian food instead. The success of the pita led the Iran native to create a Persian-inspired menu and, eventually, reinvent and rename the restaurant Moby Dick House of Kabob.
Today, it's the Washington region's sixth-largest locally based restaurant chain, with 24 locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, including the original Bethesda restaurant that opened in 1989 along Wisconsin Avenue.
“He left a big void not only with his family and friends but also in our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Daryoush's family during this difficult time,” said Alex Momeni, director and chief development officer for Moby Dick House of Kabob, in a statement Friday.
Moby Dick House of Kabob won the Favorite Fast Bites of the Year Rammy award last year from the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.
Daryoush is survived by his wife, Suzan, and four sons, Ned, Josh, Aarod and Aaram.
TAKE ACTION: WRITE AN APPEAL IN YOUR OWN WORDS OR USE THIS MODEL LETTER
Dear Mr Raisi,
Head of the Judiciary Ebrahim Raisi
C/o Permanent Mission of Iran to the UN Chemin du Petit-Saconnex 28 1209 Geneva, Switzerland
Abdullah Karmollah Chab and Ghassem Abdullah, Sunni Muslims from Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority, are on death row following a grossly unfair trial which relied on “confessions” they say were obtained under torture and other ill- treatment. They have been convicted of “enmity against God” (moharebeh) in connection with an armed attack on a Shi’a religious ceremony in Safiabad, Khuzestan province, on 16 October 2015, which left two people dead. They have denied any involvement in the attack. Their lawyers have said there is no evidence linking them to the attack and have identified inconsistencies between the “confessions” that led to their convictions and the accounts of eyewitnesses present at the scene of the crime. On 19 October 2015, both men were arrested by the ministry of intelligence and held in solitary confinement in an unknown location for six months. They have since been moved to several different detention centres. They have been given extremely limited access to their families through irregular telephone calls and only one visit. On 9 April 2019, they were transferred to a ministry of intelligence detention centre in Hamedan, Hamedan province, where they have been denied access to their families.
Both men have said they were subjected to months of torture in detention including by being beaten and given electric shocks. Abdullah Karmollah Chab has said his interrogators hung him upside down for 11 days and subjected him to mock executions, saying they would execute and bury him in an unmarked grave. For three mornings in a row, according to him, they woke him, put a sack over his head and a noose around his neck, and told him that if he “confessed” he would not be executed. He refused, saying he was innocent. On the third day, he said he heard one of the interrogators say: “Just let him go. If he had anything to confess he would have done so by now.” Both men were denied access to a lawyer until the day of their trial, when they were represented by a state-appointed lawyer. During their trial before the Revolutionary Court in Ahvaz on 22 June 2016, they reportedly removed some of their clothes to show torture marks on their bodies to the court. However, no investigation was ordered. Iran’s Supreme Court later quashed the conviction and sentence due to lack of evidence and flawed investigations and ordered a retrial. On 6 July 2017, they were sentenced to death again. The case is now again before the Supreme Court for appeal.
I urge you to quash Abdullah Karmollah Chab and Ghassem Abdullah’s convictions and death sentences; and release them unless there is sufficient evidence, not obtained through torture or other ill-treatment, to charge them with a recognizable criminal offence. In addition, I urge you to grant them a fair trial, without recourse to the death penalty. I urge you to provide them with ongoing access to their families and lawyers. I also urge you to ensure that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment, and to order an independent and impartial investigation into their torture allegations, bringing to justice anyone responsible.
PREFERRED LANGUAGE TO ADDRESS TARGET: Persian, English You can also write in your own language.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE UNTIL: 19 June 2019
Please check with the Amnesty office in your country if you wish to send appeals after the deadline.