Iran News ...


3/15/07

XERXES

By Darius KADIVAR

 



A screenplay by Ren A. Hakim © Ren A. Hakim

 

"Among all this multitude of men, there was not one who,
for beauty and stature, deserved more than Xerxes
himself to wield so vast a power."
~ Herodotus

 

"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies"

-Aristotle

 

 

 

Few true Love Stories in History have determined a People's Destiny, tested Iron Wills or so positively catalyzed a Nation's Identity so as to last centuries and fill in its most glorious chapters as well as inspire artists, poets and writers through the Ages...

 

What would Egypt be today had Julius Caesar judged Cleopatra's nose as being too short? As for Poland it would certainly not exist today had Maria Leczinska, better known as Marie Walewska, wife of a Polish nobleman, not seduced Napoleon Bonaparte and convinced the French Emperor to create the vassal kingdom of Warsaw in 1807. Where would Winston Churchill or Charles De Gaulle find the necessary strength and determination to resist Nazi invincibility was it not in the affection and lasting love of their own spouses ? It is said that behind every Great Man there is certainly a Great Women so often ignored in the chapters of history. This statement has certainly never been more adequate than when applied to the Biblical Love Story of Persian King Xerxes 1st with the Hebrew Slave Princess Esther turned Queen and providential heroic icon for the Jewish and Persian nations. The Story of Ahasuerus (as Xerxes is known as in the Torah and the Bible) and Esther ( known as Hadassah in the Bible) was subject to several Hollywood films. Already back in 1916 British director Maurice Elvey had pondered on the subject in a silent version with Elisabeth Risdon playing Esther. Xerxes was also the subject of an Opera by Handel composed in 1738. A 1978 miniseries entitled The Greatest Heroes of the Bible starred Victoria Principal as Esther, Robert Mandan as Xerxes, and Michael Ansara as Haman. More recently a TV series was produced in 1999 with Thomas Kretschmann in the role of Xerxes and Louise Lombard in that of the Hebrew Princess which was overall quite accurate in depiction, sets and costumes. It is however the Technicolor version of Esther and the King directed by Hollywood veteran Raoul Walsh and Italian Mario Bava that is best remembered starring the glamorous Joan Collins and strong jawed Richard Egan in the title roles. Interestingly Hollywood may well discover a new and interesting version of this legendary tale thanks to a script written by a beautiful American actor/writer of Iraqi heritage: Ren A. Hakim. All the more interesting is that Hakim's script is titled Xerxes and tries to take a look at this story from the perspective of the King whose reign saw the expansion of the Persian Empire to its pinnacle and during which the Palace of Persepolis was to be completed as an architectural Imperial legacy for future generations before its fatal destruction and burning centuries later by Alexander the Great ...

 


The Story of Esther & Xerxes (Ahasuerus)  has been an Inspiration for many great
European Artists such as Rembrandt, Theodore Chasseriau,
Valentin Lefevre,
Jan Victor, Francesco Caucig, Pompeo Batoni to name a few that are dispersed
in museums worldwide.

 

I had the privilege to speak to her on this ambitious project that she hopes to bring to the Big Screen with a cast that would include both Iranian and Hollywood actors. It is all the more remarkable that this screenplay was written by an Iraqi lady fascinated by Persian Culture and History all the more that the Persian Empire and particularly its architectural legacy as we see it today at Persepolis or Pasargardae, was greatly influenced by Babylonian and Assyrian craftsmanship and style. Both Iran and Iraq were part of this immense Empire that was ruled upon the ideals of its founding father Cyrus the Great whose famous cylinder remains to this day as the first known Declaration of Human Rights in the History of Mankind, a replica of which, stands in the entrance hall of the United Nations headquarters in NY. To maintain this ideal was not an easy task in an Ancient World that was not yet introduced to the ideals of Democracy (other than in the shape of an imperfect oligarchic Athenian model). The American or the French Revolution were yet to come and shape the governments and institutions of most democratic states as we know them today. The terms Empire or Kingship were not so negatively associated to the totalitarian or dictatorial regimes that devastated the 20th century and continue to shed a bad light on many Third World country regimes of this millennium. Iraq's former Saddam Hussein, the disastrous American Debacle in Iraq and to a lesser degree in Afghanistan or Iran's clerical theocracy and its henchmen are sad reminders of tyrannical statesmanship's or Imperialistic policies that have proved so destructive to the spirit of the Founding Fathers and Founding Mother's of a region once known as A Cradle of Civilizations...


The Love Story of Xerxes and Esther is all the more remarkable in the light of historical knowledge that it was also to resist to outside pressures be them court intrigues and religious prejudice. If Paparazzi's and People Magazines had existed in Ancient Times, Esther would most probably have been the Lady Diana of her times and sadly enough the love story would have had a more tragic end with far more destructive consequences. Fortunately this story has a happy ending that would most probably be regarded by some snobbish French film critics (sic) of Les Cahiers du Cinéma as too "Hollywoodien" were it not true. For in this case Reality indeed surpasses Fiction ... 

 

So let's try and take a closer look at this story and the reason's that motivated its author in writing her interesting version.

 

 

Darius KADIVAR (DK): Could you tell us more about yourself, your background and why you were particularly interested in this very ancient love story ?

 

Ren A. Hakim (RAH): Where to start...Well, I was born and raised in Michigan. I'm half Iraqi (ethnic Assyrian, Chaldean sect), and my mom's heritage is Anglo-Saxon. I feel very blessed to be part of a multi-cultural family. It's definitely influenced the way I view the world, both in general and in the political arena. It also sparked my fascination with ancient history, in every regard, from conception to art. While some girls thought of Cinderella as the epitome of a fairytale princess, for me, it was the tale-teller herself, Scheherazade.

 

Many years ago, I remember telling my mother that I wanted to write a story set in the ancient Middle East, but it was only after reading the works of Herodotus that I found my star -- Xerxes. You see, it wasn't the romance between he and Esther which pulled me in, but rather, Xerxes himself. He has been, and continues to be, egregiously misunderstood and misrepresented in popular culture. He was not a tyrannical villain, seeking to enslave the world. Like today, the ancient world had its share of propaganda, and remember the old saying: history is written by the victors.

 

If one really did their research, they would realize that Xerxes was the heir to an empire which was founded upon the creed of "good thoughts, good words, good deeds"...a son, desperate to follow his father's and grandfather's footsteps... a man, who recognized that, like all men, he would not be defined by status, but by the fruit of his works. Unlike larger than life figures, Cyrus and Darius, the title "the Great" is not often tacked on to his name, but, like so many of us, he aspired to be. That is what makes him so identifiable, his story so compelling: it's our own...in more ways than one.

 

DK: What were your sources in writing this screenplay ? How much of this Love Story as we know it today is authentic and recorded in History books?

 

(RAH): When one writes a story based in history, there is already an expectation of the final product being as authentic as possible. I did a great deal of research, spending countless hours reading the works of Herodotus, Ctesias, Aeschylus, Plutarch, Thucydides, Justin, Diodorus, and Xenophon, among others, and seeing where they corroborated one another. I also used actual palace inscriptions and, in doing so, was able to not only create a character profile of just who Xerxes was, but those who most greatly influenced his life, friend and foe alike. It was truly a painstaking process. Again, I wanted everything to be as true to life as possible.

 

There were a few, really minor changes (for example, a cousin being instead referred to as a friend, or one character being a composite of a couple of people) so as to make the story more palatable for a contemporary audience. Of course, scenes and plot devices had to be written to maintain continuity, as no one was there to document every little thing that happened from point A to point B, but I think I accomplished a work that is both entertaining, as well as educational. In fact, there is only one part, which takes place during Thermopylae, that is a blatant "Hollywoodism", and even that was done intentionally to symbolize the struggle between two kingdoms.

 

The most difficult part of writing this screenplay, however, was when Esther enters the picture. For example, the Bible tells us why she was introduced to Xerxes, but what actually occurred during that first meeting? What words were spoken? We're left to wonder, and I found it profoundly difficult to make up my own dialogue when dealing with something so sacred. I recently saw another film about Esther, and was dismayed by how the writer added so many unnecessary factors to the story, like a would-be boyfriend, and diverted from the Biblical account. There were many, many historical inaccuracies regarding the Persians too, but that wasn't surprising.

 

This sad trend is being continued in a new Spartan-centric film about the Battle of Thermopylae ( Warner Bros 300 ), which is factually flawed to the point of being downright offensive. The movie's logline claims it retells the account of how three-hundred Spartan soldiers drew the line in the sand, defending democracy against Xerxes' million-man army. The numbers are laughable and the premise of the story is backwards. It implies that Xerxes was attempting to enslave Greece under Persian tyranny. Wrong. The war was initially sparked by what was viewed by the Persians as an unprovoked attack against the empire, perpetrated by the Athenians. Furthermore, according to Herodotus himself, the Persians supported democracies in the northern Hellas, while the Spartans imposed oligarchies.

 

In fact, I believe, had Greece allied itself with Persia, democracy might have flourished faster, because the grueling Pelopponesian War, fought between Sparta and Athens, would have been averted. Sadly, it wasn't. The Spartans prevailed, overthrew the 'democratic' Athenian leadership and replaced it with...that's right...an oligarchic regime.

 

Though I don't believe the creators of the aforementioned film intended this, it screams, "Hey, look! Not only are the Middle Easterners out to get us now -- they've always been after the West!"

 

It is promoting disinformation, which may very well fuel further racism, especially in light of the current state of world affairs...and for what? Entertainment?

 

DK: Could you shortly outline the plot and the major protagonists ?

 

(RAH): Why certainly! Xerxes is just that -- an account of Xerxes' life, from his rise to power, to the second Greco-Persian war, courtly intrigues, his union with Esther, his death...and beyond. Along the way, we're introduced to a slew of famous and infamous characters. Interestingly, with the exception of Haman, none of them are clearly the "bad guy". These were real people, motivated by real beliefs and whether their actions were right or wrong, everyone felt they were justified. Those that stand out to me as being the central figures to this tale are Mardonius, supreme commander of the Persian army, and the real architect behind the war; Artabanus, Xerxes' Uncle and prime minister, who was helpless to stop the military juggernaut; and the man who was truly Xerxes' greatest Greek adversary: Themistocles of Athens.

 

 


Lithography by 19th century artist Gustave Doré

 

 

DK: As you mentioned this true tale has was already brought to screen several times. The One, Swords and Sandals film buffs remember most, is Raoul Walsh's Esther and the King with Joan Collins and Richard Egan in the title Roles. How does your screenplay differ from this Technicolor version ?

 

(RAH): The most obvious difference is that this version is not Esther-centric. In fact, she doesn't really factor into the story till over halfway in. Apart from that, Walsh's picture is yet another example of disregard for historical authenticity. As you may recall, in his film, the Greek threat is that "upstart Alexander", who we all know wouldn't even be born for another hundred years!

 

Another key difference between my version and those preceding it, is that I took a different approach to a major element in the story: the timeline. Here's what I mean: We know that Xerxes was married to Amestris, referred to as Vashti (which we may accept as an epithet) in the Bible. The Book of Esther opens with Xerxes holding a lavish, six month party to show the wealth of his empire in preparation for war. Following her refusal to join him at a --different-- gathering, Amestris is deposed, and that is what necessitates the search for a new queen, wherein Esther enters the picture. The problem has been that this conflicts with Herodotus, who still names Amestris as Xerxes' wife when he returns from Greece years later.

 

So...how did I reconcile this without disregarding either source? Interpretation -- Again, the Biblical account begins with Xerxes' party for the princes and military officials, which lasts for one-hundred-and- eighty days. It then goes on to say, "when these days were over," before painting a picture of the party Amestris refuses to attend. Most people take that line literally, assuming that the next party was immediately proceeding this extravagant display of power, probably because the six month figure is so specific. I, however, interpreted it as -- when these days of WAR were over. By doing so, every piece of the puzzle fits perfectly.

 

 

DK: How is Esther introduced to the Persian King ? Is it love at first sight for both of them ?

 

(RAH): As the Bible explains, after Amestris/Vashti is deposed as queen, a search for a new one is begun. Girls across the empire are brought to the Persian capital of Susa, where they go through purification rites, a process that takes up to twelve months to complete. The candidates then wait for their night to be brought before the king. It was in this manner that Esther was introduced to Xerxes. Again, we don't know what took place after she entered the king's chamber, but we do know that, whatever transpired, he loved her more than any of the others.

 

Was it love at first sight? I would say, yes, but the real question is--were either one cognizant of it? Remember, he was dealing with many terrible issues, and she was a young girl keeping a pretty major secret. I think Xerxes was in a very troubled place at the time and Esther was like the lone star in the darkest night sky.

 

DK: Since Cyrus the Great's edict, Jews like all other minorities were put under the protection of  Persian Kings and their was never any type of hostility towards them. What changes this situation under Xerxes' rule that puts them in danger of extermination or exodus ? Is Xerxes sensitive to their plight ?

 

 

(RAH): In my opinion, the combination of personal tragedy and a lingering obsession with Greece had Xerxes completely preoccupied. I think he was questioning his own ability to lead, and left it to someone he thought he could trust to oversee internal affairs. Unfortunately, that someone was Haman. Remember, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. With the king consumed by the past, Haman's deep seeded hatred was left unchecked.

 

As for Xerxes being sensitive to the Jewish cries for help...Again, I think the only cries he could hear at the time were echoes of the past, still ringing in his head.

 

DK: How does Esther manage to win the heart of the King to join the Jewish cause against the treacherous court minister Haman ? 

 

(RAH): Without getting into the details, she defies imperial law. I also don't think it was a matter of joining the "Jewish cause" for Xerxes -- it was a matter of protecting his people, who, in this case, happened to be Jewish.

 

DK: Esther's political struggle to save her people is at the source of the Purim Festivities which is as important as Christmas for Christians or Nowruz for Iranians. It is celebrated by Jews around the world to this day. Could you develop for us the rituals and traditions that are associated to this celebration ?

 

(RAH): As I understand it, the Book of Esther, the Megillah, is read in the synagogues and there is a great deal of audience participation. When Haman's name is read, the congregation roars with hissing and booing, for example. People don costumes and masquerade as characters from the story, gifts are given to the poor, and a Purim dinner is prepared. One of the special treats served is called hamantaschen, triangular cookies which are claimed to be made to resemble Haman's hat. Fasting is also practiced by some Jews before and after Purim, in remembrance of Esther's three days of fasting in preparation to go before the king.

 

This year, Purim begins at sundown, March 3rd.

 

 

 


Iranian American actor Eric Etebari may walk in the footsteps of previous
performers in the role of Xerxes such as Richard Egan and David Farrar
©imdb.com

 

 

DK: Since the success of films like Gladiator, and Troy in recent years, Swords and Sandals films have proved their Box Office potential. The use of CGI also allows a cost effective creation of sets and extra's that can then be duplicated efficiently for action scenes. At this stage have you found a producer for your film ? Who will be directing it ?

 

(RAH): Film is ever-evolving, and there are a lot of new exciting ways of bringing the page to the screen. We currently have a little Xerxes team assembled, looking to obtain independent finance for the film so as to maintain historical integrity. As far as directors go, no one is currently in place, but there are a number of visionaries who could create a bona fide epic masterpiece. All of the usual suspects come to mind, of course, as does Persian writer/director Farhad Safinia (Apocalypto).

 

 

DK: You expressed your desire to see an Iranian actor Eric Etebari cast in the role of Xerxes. Who do you have in mind for the other characters and particularly for Esther?

 

(RAH): I think Esther would be best portrayed by an unknown who can play the balance between grace and strength with a subtle eloquence, à la Sophie Marceau. When I think Amestris, I tend to picture Catherine Zeta Jones. As far as other prominent characters, throughout the writing process, I envisioned Kenneth Branagh as Xerxes' counterpart, Themistocles. Mardonius is another, extremely important role. Rufus Sewell would undoubtedly be amazing in the part. He seems to get typecast in these period pieces, as he's admitted, but it's for good reason.

 

What's so wonderful about this story, casting-wise, is that there is no shortage of juicy, dynamic roles to play. I would love to see an internationally recognized cast, bringing in fan bases from all over the world, because this story is not just a Persian tale, or a Greek tale, or a Jewish tale. We all share this history and we can all benefit from it.

 

 


Iraqi Jewish community representatives
Naim and Renee Dangoor (Right)  being
received by Iranian Ambassador and lady Avshar and their daughter at the
Persepolis Festivities held at the Savoy in London. October 1971
©dangoor.com Journal of Babylonian Jewry (*)

 

 

 

DK: Iran and Iraq were at war for more than 8 years which cost more than 2 million lives in both countries. The Iraqi and Iranian Diaspora share a common pain in that they could but only witness the destruction of their mutual countries in a War that did not really concern them nor was this conflict ever desired by any of the two. You yourself were born in 1979 that is barely before the Islamic Revolution in Iran and hardly when the Iran-Iraq war even started. How do you see the situation in both countries today and particularly what appears as an American failure in bringing Peace and Democracy in Iraq ?

 

(RAH): Wow, what an amazing question, and one which I find so difficult to answer for multiple reasons. I suppose I should start by repeating what has seemingly come to be an unspoken prerequisite when speaking of foreign policy: I am not anti-American. I love my country, and my heart breaks when that for which it is supposed to stand is manipulated, unthinkable actions justified, and dissent written off as offensive or unpatriotic. I'm tired of it. I'm offended by those who would silence what is so blatantly obvious -- the Middle East is a mess and the West is partly to blame.

 

To be clear: that does not justify "payback". It begs reconciliation on all fronts, by all parties. There is so much I could say about this topic, so many quotes and facts racing through my head. It's hard to know where to start, how much to impart.

 

The Iran-Iraq war is one of the greatest disgraces in recent history. Two educated, beautiful countries entrenched in a grisly war, fueled by paranoia and pride, and the West sat back, supplying weapons and intelligence to both sides. Meanwhile, former U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, who's still embraced by Washington, has been quoted as saying things like, "too bad they both can't lose," and, "I hope they kill each other."

 

It's so sad. Equally sad is that many people honestly believe the line, "they hate us for our freedom." Again, I'm not justifying any terrorist action or hate speech. I'm simply trying to say, listen, there are legitimate reasons we were not greeted with flowers and candy, and legitimate reasons why the Iraqis aren't overcome with thankfulness for our gift of "freedom".

Here in America, we always say, "never forget," about 9/11. Of course we won't, but if our feelings of loss are valid, why are the Iraqis expected to simply forget the boasts of their country having been bombed back to the "pre-industrial age," civilian infrastructure razed, supplies to fix power plants and electrical grids restricted under sanctions so devastating, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad, Denis Halliday, resigned in protest, saying he didn't want to administer a program which satisfied the definition of genocide. Some may lay the blame solely at Hussein's feet, but that argument holds no water when it was clear that the sanctions were only harming the civilian population.

 

When military action in Iraq was initially being debated, there was an episode of Oprah in which a soccer-mom type in the audience expressed her viewpoint, likening herself to a momma bear protecting her cubs, and that if that meant waging war against Iraq, so be it. I was stunned and reminded of Madeline Albright's outrageous quote on 60 minutes. She had been told that over half a million Iraqi children had died under sanctions, yet went on to respond that the "price was worth it."

 

The crimes of Saddam Hussein are often cited, but when I hear the term "mass graves", I also think of the Iraqi soldiers buried alive in their trenches during the '91 war. Weapons of mass destruction bring to mind depleted uranium munitions dumped across Iraq and now Afghanistan, munitions long suspected of causing cancer. One could say a scene reminiscent of Halabja could be found in Fallujah, where white phosphorus was used against rebels, but also claimed the lives of many civilians. The mind simply reels...shock and awe, indeed.

 

It may be of interest to note that, though I know I have the right to express these views, to feel this way, a part of me remains wary of offending anyone. It's bemusing...and telling. I do want to say that my heart goes out to the men and women stationed overseas. I admit that I couldn't possibly know what life is like for them. They, like the civilians they are charged with protecting, sacrifice so much. Every day, the news is rife with harrowing reports.

 

Sometimes, I feel like our leadership is living in a parallel universe. It's almost as if they think the mayhem was worth it, because they got Saddam. Hussein's execution was disheartening. An opportunity to show mercy, where so many claimed none had been shown, was wasted. What a statement THAT would have made.

 

I could go on and on. I haven't even touched upon the West's role in the ouster of Mossadegh. It is profoundly ironic that the Middle East, its borders and governments have been so influenced by those who probably couldn't even muster a "Hello, how do you do," in Arabic -- let alone Farsi...but to summarize...

 

Those who claim to be an example to the world, must lead BY that example. Some say that war is a necessary evil, but I believe, as it is written in the Bible, that evil cannot be overcome with evil. Evil must be overcome with good. For what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?

 

I'm often reminded of Matthew, Chapter 7, in the Bible when people try to justify the war and, in particular, the following passage:

 

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 

DK: What is your reaction to the  anti-Jewish rhetoric of Iran's President Ahmadinejad towards Israel ? Is he a sad reincarnation of a new Haman ?

 

(RAH): I cannot understand why anyone would waste a minute of time hating someone else, let alone an entire people. It is written that God is love, to speak such hate is unbelievable. It's sad and a case of true irony. To think, this was the Persia of Cyrus, who released the Jews from captivity and is regarded by them as anointed by God; the Persian empire, half of which Xerxes offered to his Jewess bride. To think, to think, to think...

 

There's a great quote from Mark Twain, wherein he muses that history does not repeat itself -- but it does rhyme. Thankfully, I think we all recognize the tune and the machinations of Haman will not come to pass.

 

DK: Do you think that the majority of Iranians share their leaders resentment of Jews or Israel ?

 

(RAH): Absolutely NOT! The past they share has not been forgotten. Furthermore, I think the Iranian people are too busy seeking peace and prosperity in their own lives, to brood on how to destroy anothers. Peace, happiness and human respect are universal desires.

 

DK: What would Xerxes do were he living today ? 

 

(RAH): I adore this question, especially since I can let Xerxes answer that himself! Upholding the teachings of his father, he had the following inscribed at Persepolis:

 

"I am a friend of the right, of wrong I am not a friend. It is not my wish that the weak should have harm done him by the strong, nor is it my wish that the strong should have harm done him by the weak. The right, that is my desire."

 

So, what does this mean? In my opinion, just what it says -- no matter who you may be, no matter what wealth or might you may possess, you shall be held to the same standard, judged by the same measure, as anyone else.

 

 


Top : Esther's Tomb in Hamadan. Below : Xerxes tomb at Nagsheh Rostam.

 

 

 

DK: How do you explain that countries like Iraq, which gave birth to Hamurabi's Laws, or Persia/Iran, where Cyrus established the very first Human Rights decrees, have been reduced to what has clumsily been dubbed as an Axis of Evil ?

 

(RAH): I think one can answer this question quite simply: lack of knowledge.

 

There is such emphasis put on how cultures differ, yet so little on how they DON'T.

I have found that events that have shaped the Middle East into what it is today are either unknown or completely misunderstood. Xerxes' war with Greece is a prime example. In fact, some historians claim this event is what first set the cast the West as GOOD and the East as EVIL.

 

That's why it is increasingly important to speak when the opportunity to do so is presented. Wars destroy, but education builds. That's why I felt it necessary to mention the forthcoming Spartan film. It's frustrating that the fallacy of a tyrannical Persian empire is being perpetuated, yet again -- at the worst possible time!

 

If anything good may come from it, though, it is that it may spark interest in the subject. For example, after seeing a teaser for the film, a Persian gentleman, understandably upset, was compelled to do a little research on Xerxes. He found my website and emailed me to ask whether or not the movie's depiction of Xerxes was true. Of course, I explained it wasn't and cleared up the misconceptions. He's now resolved to tell others, and, hopefully, they'll tell others and so on and so forth, so the truth may yet be brought to light.

 

 

DK: Will your beautiful country or Iran ever find peace and that tolerant spirit that you so beautifully illustrate in your screenplay Xerxes ?

 

(RAH): Iraq has sadly become one, chaotic minefield. I don't know if it will ever know peace, but I do know that it will never, ever be the same. There has been too much loss, too much destruction. So many have fled, and who can blame them? I fail to remember when the Iraqis volunteered their country to place host to the "war on terror" -- and Chalabi doesn't count. Still, I will continue to hope and pray.

 

Iran still has the chance to be, like Esther, that bright star in darkened skies. There are so many ambitious, well-educated citizens, who still hold dear the fundamental principle upon which their lost empire was founded: good thoughts, good words, good deeds. All of this may be lost, however, if, once again, paranoia and pride clash and consume the country in war.

 

Iraq/Mesopotamia was the cradle of civilization. If it wants, Iran could find its true purpose as the sanctuary of hope.

 

 

DK: Thank you Ren, and I sincerely hope that your screenplay will soon become the fantastic and exciting movie you have been dreaming of.

     

 

 



Author Ren A.Hakim © Ren A.Hakim

Author's Notes:

 

(*) In 1971 Iran celebrated the 2500th anniversary of the Persian Empire established by Cyrus the great to which all the heads of state were invited to week long festivities. As Iran could not invite the president of Israel because of Arab objections, and as it was considered unacceptable that the festivities should pass without a Jewish presence, the Iranian ambassador in London on Tehran's instructions, invited Iraqi personalities such as Naim and Renee Dangoor to lead a large delegation of Babylonian Jews to the festivities that were held at the Savoy in London, to which the Prime Minister and members of the diplomatic core were invited.

 

Ren A.Hakim:  Official Website

Recommended Readings:

 

-          Persia? Ancient Persia's virtual absence in Hollywood By Darius KADIVAR

-          Swords and Sandals Films about Ancient Persia By Darius KADIVAR

-          Persian Golden Boys in Hollywood by Darius KADIVAR

-          Xerxes, the opera by Cyrus KADIVAR (iranian.com)

-          He is Awake: Close Up on Cyrus KAR by Darius KADIVAR

-          The Persian Empire Strikes Back by Darius KADIVAR

-          Esther's Children: A Portrait of Iranian Jews by Houman SARSHAR (amazon.com)

-          The Scribe: Journal of Babylonian Jewry (Published in London)

 

 


About the Author: Darius KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian, and Media Consultant.

 

... Payvand News - 3/15/07 ... --



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