• 8 January 2010
  • Posted By Darioush Azizi
  • 2 Comments
  • Culture, Events in DC

In conjunction with the Falnama: The Book of Omens exhibit, the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Galleries’ 14th Annual Iranian Film Festival features five new films and a special presentation by Abbas Kiarostami. The film festival runs all month from January 8 to February 21 and is organized by Carter Long of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts with the support of ILEX Foundation: Olga M. Davidson and Niloofar Fotouhi.

Films include, Payman Haghani’s A Man Who Ate His Cherries, Kiarostami’s Taziyeh (The Spectators) and Shirin, Samira Makhmalbaf’s Two-Legged Horse, Niloofar and Shalizeh Arefpour’s Heiran. Film topics range from a story of a wealthy child with no legs and 12-year old girl’s quest for an education and an Iranian girl who falls in love with an Afghan refugee.

All films are in Persian with English subtitles. The festival recommends viewers to arrive at least an hour early; as there is high demand for tickets, assigned seating is in effect and tickets are distributed one hour before show-time with a two-ticket-per-person limit. For information on the film festival, please click here.

Posted By Darioush Azizi

    2 Responses to “Freer and Sackler Galleries’ 14th Annual Iranian Film Festival Debuts”

  1. Publicola says:

    not to the topic discussed:

    Dear Madam(s), Dear Sir(s),

    I would like to thank you for reporting on matters Iranian in an unexcited, matter-of-fact tone,
    which by the way as as result communicates itself to the tone usually adopted by your commentators/readers on their part!

    A hard task to keep a cool, rational head, a stiff upper lip in times as tempestuous [to say the least] as these !
    This kind of climate and atmosphere – conducive to sound mental reflection – seems to enable your readers to ponder calmly on momentous matters of far-reaching – and at the time cataclysmic and disastrous – importance/relevance.

    So thank you very much from the whole of my heart!

    With best wishes from everything good for you and for Iran

    remains

    Publicola

  2. Farrokh Bulsara says:

    MashAllah

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Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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