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Summer is coming to an end

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran

For the past few days we have been feeling sudden outbursts of autumn wind which make life more bearable although Tehran is still too hot. Summer has been quite hellish and I am sure my bones will be much happier when we switch the water coolers off as the weather becomes cooler but I think that we still have a few more weeks to go.

Life has been very busy these days; many visitors come and go, some you love to see and you wish they would stay until the end of time and a few that you pray will leave. I have been very lucky this summer as I have met several most interesting people through others or by sheer chance and they have become so close in such a short time. I feel that I have known them for many years yet the truth is that I have only known them for a few months or even weeks. My theory for this is that by sharing common values we makeup in depth what we lack in length.

This summer I have been to several lectures, concerts, and parties and not left Tehran except for two half day trips to Damavand.

At one of the talks that I went to, a friend of mine was giving a lecture on feminism and she was categorizing it and I wanted to say that she must add sensational feminism to her list too. It was a delight that the Iran Sociological Association lectures have started again; even though I do not understand everything these wonderful academics say, I find the lectures most rewarding. When a friend asked me why I go, I said that I learn something new from each, but more so these lectures give me a new window to look at the world. All that rushing through Tehran traffic during even hot days makes it quite worthwhile when you sit and hear these hard working academics and field researchers speak and share with you their knowledge and findings.

I went to a party recently and there I heard a lady play the sitar and another young lady was singing in a most wonderful voice. I always feel a lump in my throat at such times, because I want everybody to be there in order to enjoy such a lovely voice or music and this time both. I was a newcomer to most of the guests who were present but after the most moving and beautiful performance I had to go and thank them and hug them for the joy they had given us. Wowwwwww!

Another time we went to a concert at the Aseman cultural center in north Tehran where the Osnabrück choir and orchestra had come from Germany to perform the St John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach. Several Iranian musicians performed at the concert too. We got tickets for the second and last night, and the performance, which lasted over two hours, was outstanding.

We would have enjoyed it even more if some of the members of the audience did not keep coming and going or did not bring their restless and noisy kids along, but it was lovely and we were most pleased to have been there. It was so beautiful to hear the lovely soprano voices filling the auditorium. The program was part of Land of the East Concert series which will be held in Osnabrück. I had only admiration for all those who were involved and may art and music continue to build bridges of understanding and cooperation. After the performance we waited outside to thank these young performers who despite all the negative publicity in the western media chose to come and delight us with their performance.

Among the sad news in the past couple of months was the call I got from a friend to inform me that Zanan (women) magazine which had been closed down by the authorities was to close its premises as the editor Mrs. Shahla Sherkat had been unable to overturn the order or get permission to have a new publication so they were selling the old magazine issues. So many of us went there to buy back issues - it was a very sad day for press, freedom and women in Iran.

This summer, I made sure that we have some girlies days and nights. A few times my yoga friends got together at our home for a pot luck lunch and a dip in the pool or to sit lazily by it. Everybody was comfortable and we talked a lot, laughed a lot and enjoy being girls again. The same went on at a couple of girlie evenings with other friends which was most cherishing, enjoyable and fun.

Several friends left Iran this summer, and even now, as I am writing this I have tears in my eyes, as I felt that they cared for Iran and its people and they were positive and effective in many good deeds that they did during their time here; may they all be happy wherever they are.

Life goes on and I go to work and my yoga classes, to my weekly Mahak meetings and attend my other charity works, go to galleries, charity bazaars, play with kids, give dinner parties and go to many more. All along, we struggle with traffic, pollution, low and high expectations, this and that and put up with each other, see friends, and watch films We had a few doves nesting, but only one became able to fly away and leave the nest. I would like to finish this the news that despite our dubious gardening skills and yellow fingers, we have had one baby tomato, home grown in our garden by Paul who has been most patient with me throughout this difficult summer.

... Payvand News - 09/16/08 ... --

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