Here comes the new Chapter!

My Friends!!!! This blog might have served its purpose, but *I* still have lots and lots to do in this beautiful world, for these happy and sad and educated and uneducated, responsible and irresponsible, reasonable and unreasonable, loving and underprivileged people whom I live with or hear about and whose life and happiness affects my life and my loved one's lives and happiness! If writing about the journey of *finding* how I can add something to this world and *doing* it, can contribute to the body of goodness that my heroes and idols and good friends are constantly building up, who am I not to write it down?! I JUST began a new blog (, resulting from me beginning a new chapter in my life!! Please, do visit me there, and together we WILL make our dreams all come true! :)

Last Post!

Dear LJ friends, and anyone who will come by this place at some point,

Thanks for your loyalty to this little blog, in the past 6 years. Wow, that sounds long doesn't it? :)

Anyway, this post is a little overdue. What I am here to say is that I have decided to close this 6-year old chapter, hopefully to focus on my life's more important chapter, this time in the real world. Maybe I'll write again, maybe in Persian, maybe in English, maybe even a book. Who knows? But I know that I will not write in here anymore. The task I set off to do is done here. Now I have a more serious task in mind, something that demands a chapter of its own. A more daring, more certain, wiser, and more determined chapter. Life is good, life is serious, life is there to live for!

What I can say is that I had an amazing experience, thanks to all of you. :*

So, in a few weeks I'll start PhD, still in the US. You already know about everything that's happening in Iran. My family is safe... I'm also safe, in case you have been worried. It has been hard, really hard to watch the events from far away, but these days my steps are a little bit more determined, my shoulders a little bit more set, my mind is a little more focused, and I'm hopeful. I'm proud, and very hopeful. In the last month I have touched the true meaning of *country* and *honor* and *sacrifice* and *courage*. I am just counting days till the day I fly back home to join this brave brave people forever.

Well, yeah, that's it!
Take care you all,
Best wishes,
19 July 2009
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If you are wondering where I am, you should know that I am again running between my office, classes, managing activities for an student organization (which I was made the president this year), university faculty and PhD admission web pages (including many schools in sunny southern California :D), publishing some stuff, annnnd...

... since Friday evening, planning the coolest ever vacation to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Fransisco. Yaaaaay! I'm spending nearly 10 days there during the winter holiday, and I'm looking for the best best places to visit, and coolest activities to do. If you have ideas and suggestions please share! I will repay you by writing the best travel entry of my journal ever! Right now we are going from Pittsburgh to LA, spend one night at a friend's house, then drive to Las Vegas the morning after, and spend 3 days there. We will then drive back, spend one day in LA again, and then head up to San Fransisco (driving through the famous highway 1). After 3 days in SF we plan to go back down to LA. We will then spend 3-4 more days around LA and then fly back to Pittsburgh.

Sounds really exciting and I want to fill it with the most exciting activities imaginable. If you have great experiences on each of these places or cities and national parks around the cities and on the road, then please let me know too! I can't wait to experience the other side of the US for a little bit :-)

A recipe for a Persian food

Yesterday I finally received the check for my calligraphy! Yeah, well, a little bit late, but I got it none the less! And that's a money you want to have fun with! (honestly it wasn't all that much to begin with, but oh well). I'm thinking to buy a good watercolor set with it.

Summer (in student sense) is also about to be over. :( I see more gray sky everyday. My classes will begin next Monday, and I'm already starting to miss the nice summer. I'm thinking that maybe for PhD I should really consider a place where the weather is always good. Somewhere that doesn't get too hot or too cold. I've heard there are some nice places in the west and south-west. I'm actually really looking at the nice schools out there. Any particular suggestions about the best locations?

Oh by the way, I got a brand new oven today. Looks pretty cool and clean! :D
Should go try it out now. Ooh which reminds me,

There's one Persian food recipe I was planning to write up here. It's my favorite food, somehow. And it's really easy. You can actually only try the chicken, but adding rice will make it even more Persian.

for 2 people you need :

1) a medium sized onion
2) two or three spoons of cooking oil
3) half a teaspoon of turmeric
4) two spoons of tomato paste
5) a boneless chicken breast cut into 4/5 pieces.
6) some salt
7) small pieces of green Bell pepper (not the hot type)
8) long rice (not Asian rice)
9) a tiny bit (a pinch) of grounded saffron, and a spoonful of rosewater.

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OK, I'll now go cook something else! (loobia polo)
Good luck with the food, good luck with the new semester and good luck with the Olympics!


Beijing Olympics 2008 :) Yaaaaay

omg omg I STILL have not seen the opening ceremony! I have only found the countdown part, and the part where they light the big torch, plus many many beauuuuutiful photos. And those has been enough to leave me drunk with delight in the past two days. Just HOW beautiful this ceremony has been! Wow, wow, wow, wow I am in love with this diversity of this world. A huuuuuuge love to Chinese art and Chinese music and Chinese language and Chinese people! Because they are hosting the games this year, and because I'm usually on hosts' side, and because Iranians have noooo hope to win the whole game this year, I hope China wins this year. Go Go China!

If anyone knows how I can see the full ceremony please let me know!

Right now I'm watching women's gymnastics (they are all so YOUNG!) and it's just amazing!
God, life is really beautiful.


National Geographic Magazine

These past couple of weeks I've become very pro-Persian again.

Hehe, I think my Persian culture dosage had dropped a little low, and after inviting a friend over one evening and cooking delicious Persian food, showing pictures of myself and my family and then pictures of Tehran and the young and fun crowd everywhere in the city, and then watching a couple of movies of my favorite Persian actors (who are handsome and cool and hot, if it's possible hehe), and watching some meaningful Persian movies very unlike some shallow Hollywood garbage that my Comcast cable gives me everyday, again I was pretty much grateful that I had been born in Iran and have grown up there. You know, someone a little smart who has grown up in Iran in a good family has a much higher chances of experiencing different cultures than someone equally smart, born and raised in, say, Pittsburgh. And nothing can open your mind as well as actually experiencing different cultures.

By the way, have you read the latest (August 2008) issue of NationalGeographic magazine on Iran?
It has featured Iran in this issue, and has anecdote-style article on Iranian culture and history. You can check it out here:
It's not too long. I really recommend everyone to read it to get a better picture.

" What's so striking about the ruins of Persepolis in southern Iran, an ancient capital of the Persian Empire that was burned down after being conquered by Alexander the Great, is the absence of violent imagery on what's left of its stone walls. Among the carvings there are soldiers, but they're not fighting; there are weapons, but they're not drawn. Mainly you see emblems suggesting that something humane went on here instead—people of different nations gathering peace­fully, bearing gifts, draping their hands amiably on one another's shoulders. In an era noted for its barbarity, Persepolis, it seems, was a relatively cosmopolitan place—and for many Iranians today its ruins are a breathtaking reminder of who their Persian ancestors were and what they did... More. "


To dearest Hoda

Yesterday one of my loveliest friend married to a wonderful man! What a great day, in history! :)

She is one of the nicest, smartest, most beautiful and funnest girls I have ever had the fortune to be a friend of. Ah, we had so many fun afternoons together in Tehran Univ cafeteria. It still brings a big grin on my face! Your husband is sooooo lucky, girl. I wish for you a loooong life full of passionate and peaceful and cozy and strengthening love, refreshing and adventurous and joyful fun, soaring big dreams, calming soaring faith, sizzling happiness, health, and unique brilliant moments. Not to mention a couple of cute and healthy and smart little kids! :D

Their wedding celebration was in Tehran, so I couldn't attend. But I can still wish her all the best from here: If you ever read this, or if you don't, it doesn't change how deeply happy I am for both of you, and how sincerely I wish all the best for you. I hope this positive warm happiness somehow traverse through the earth and brings warm smiles on your face right here and now.


Part of what makes my life what it is now...

I've been watching Children of Heaven, one of my favorite Iranian movies tonight. All 10 parts (with English subtitles) are on YouTube. I still got some misty eyes when watching the movie! It's a very simple story of a brother and sister, but at the same time, gives glimpses of life of a poor and honorable family in a poor neighborhood of Tehran. You can look into school, houses, contrasts to rich neighborhoods, sruggles for simplest things of many citizens Iran, actually. Interestingly, I've been told by some fellow CMU students that they have been touched a lot by this movie, so, I guess non-Iranian might enjoy this movie too.

If you want a touching and simple movie for your weekend, definitely try this one. It will change your view on many things in life. Just let it wash over you for an hour and a half. It's worth it.

OK I have to go to a summer sale tomorrow! Need to get some sleep now...
But again, I really recommend you to watch Children of Heaven over the weekend!

A good Friday evening!

Yesterday was an eventful day.

I started morning with a message from our president, saying that Randy Pausch has died last night. Pretty sad, but well, it was a matter of time. I am just glad he managed to change so many people's lives and have a big effect on the world before leaving it. God bless him.

Later in the morning, I received a call from a friend who had two tickets for a baseball game (Pittsburgh Pirates versus San Diego something) and we decided to get together at 6pm. I finished my work at 5, and decided to go home and get my Pirates cap. On my way back, I decided to go to an Indian shop to finally buy one of the "Learn Hindi in 30 days" books I had seen there before. The more languages I know, the better for my carrier! But I didn't get to go too far in that shop.

An old man, carrying 4 shopping bags asked me if I have a car. I said no, and he asked whether I can walk two blocks. I still had time, so I said sure. I got the bags. His house was really close, so it was really okay. He turned out to be a Carnegie Tech graduate of sometime before my mom was even born. :) He said he was from Italy, and come to the US in 1920 when he was 7. He said he has injured his leg in World War 2, and that he has been Art professor in University of Pittsburgh for several several decades! I went inside his house to put his back near the kitchen, and WOW! His house was full of his works. Sculpture, drawings, photos of his sculptures all around the world.. He gave me copies of some of his work. He said he has lost his wife and daughter(both artists) last September, and he gave me copies of his wife's work and his daughter's poetry.

This is one of his daughter's poems.

Joys of Life

Each year stretches
from season to season,
unfolding our lives.

We create a picture
from the mystery of Fall...
its blazing reds, oranges
splashing our landscape,
to the eerie calm of Winter
when trees shiver and
sparrow huddle around chimneys.

Soon, hidden bulbs venture out,
buds reveal their secrets
and songs fill the skies
again and again.

We add out friends...
the familiar and new.
Always here in or circle
they bring laughter and joy,
offer a calming touch of a hand
to settle fear sadness,
the tears when a loved one leaves.

Friends are color
that hold us
through the seasons,
even when our picture

That's a nice poem. God bless her and also her mother who both passed away last year. The old man wanted to find some more poems, but I thought he was getting tired. I had spent one whole hour just looking at his works and talking!!. It was already 6, so I asked him to find it for me and put it somewhere safe, and that I will visit him again, to get the poem. I am looking forward to do that sometime next week.

He was Virgil Cantini. I felt so honored to be at his house, and talk to him, and look at his old old sketch books, dating back to even to 1941! But I feel like this not just because he was a great artist, but also because he was a great man who have lived a great life full of love and adventure and passion.

At 6pm, with many signed art pieces in hand, I didn't have time to get my Pirates cap anymore. I just had time to go back to the indian shop and buy my book, and then my friend was there.

Pittsburgh downtown is tiny, but still gets pretty crowded when there's a game going on. :) Pittsburgh Baseball stadium (called PNC park) is located at a beauuuutiful location. Next to river, near some pretty bridges with downtown buildings right in front of it. And yesterday was a wonderful evening. Clear sky and cool lovely breeze.

It was a close game. I (finally) managed to learn the rules and there were a couple of really exciting moments (which I could actually understand!). The Pirates lost the game though, but the game was fun, so we were happy.

After that we took a short visit to Pittsburgh's famous Mount Washington neighborhood, which is famous for its beautiful view over the downtown. It was indeed beautiful. I had never been there at night.

Before 11 I was at home again, and pretty proud of my little city, and satisfied to have a lovely evening. I now need to read some awesome machine learning (Hierarchical Dirichlet Processes) paper. Ah, the joys of life! :)

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I was watching Obama's talk in Berlin this evening.


My dreamy half jumps up and down with glee! How cool this guy's goals are! And he HAS so much potential. My realistic half scratches head and thinks OK how exactly is he gonna do all these cool stuff. My me (both halves together) says it will definitely be some good improvement anyway.

I hope he is elected. I think the more "open" approach he is representing is far more useful for middle east (and world) peace than a narrow hostile approach currently in place. Even the current Iranian government, I think, might consider new replies and new options.

I wish I could vote. If you can, then please don't let this opportunity get away.