By Syma Sayyah, Tehran
As this Iranian year comes to an end I have been wondering about all that has happened and what we have been through. For Iran in general and also for ourselves it was an event filled year, although not one we would wish to be repeated. This year has been one of the driest that I remember, yet we managed not to have any water shortage; and I pray that next year will be the same. As it is part of life, some of it is good and some of it not so good. As one always says "it is all about how you look at things and if you look there is always something good and positive about all that we experience even though we may fail to see it now." And I have tried with all my might to see the positive sides of all that I have experienced this year, even though at times it has not been easy.
In the year that has passed, I discovered my limitations, as well as my powers. I reached the peak of hope and the depth of disappointment. I fell over and over again over different things and about different issues and tried to get up again and move on and learn from my experiences now and in the past and to make things positive and good.
I felt disappointed more than anything I had ever imagined by some of my family, our elders and a few friends. Yet I managed to laugh with friends and cry out mostly alone. I made many new friends and lost some old ones to differences of opinion, to money, power; but saddest of all some good people were lost to us permanently as their lives were taken by fate and they are no longer with us. There were times when I felt proud and pleased with myself and then there were occasions when I felt I had let myself down and felt ashamed and sad and even angry with myself. Again, like it was for most of you dear readers, the year 1388 was a bumpy one on the road of life and I can only hope and pray that next year my joys will be more and my disappointments less. But I know that I must go on and carry on to do what I can the best way that I know how, and keep hope and optimism alive and kicking.
a street vendor in Tehran
As always in the past 10 years I have been involved with cultural issues and activities and continue to write for payvand as many of you who are regular readers know. I found the art scene at times overpowering and amazing and at others just a way of making money or passing time at the expense of others. Several times when I came out of galleries I was upset at having wasted my time but then once in a while we went to an exhibition that made all the rush, parking troubles and the suffocating traffic even on late Fridays all worthwhile. This year several new galleries were opened in Tehran, they all continued to promote the art scene, among them Aaran is quite an exception with its choice of artists and strong goals, taking up the challenge of promoting new, unusual and avant-garde talents, even though they may not be to my taste some of the time.
Hich by Parviz Tanavoli
During the winter we went several times to the theater which I have been missing a lot and a couple of weeks ago we went with some friends to see Bertolt Brecht's Galileo at The City Theater. It was simply amazing; not because it is a very good play and most entertaining, and not because it was a good performance, but the fact that it was being staged in Tehran at all. Sadly a few days later when other friends went to see it on our recommendation they were told that due to the illness of the main character it had been cancelled!
A few weeks ago we were invited to a concert of Japanese Traditional Music arranged by the Japanese Embassy, Tehran Art University and Japan Foundation at the Farabi Hall. The program started an hour late but the performance of the three Japanese musicians, Yasukazu Kano, Haruhiko Saga and in particular the drummer of the group Ryutaro Kanenko was simply sensational. We simply loved it. When they were playing I closed my eyes and I felt myself dancing in spring among many lovely flowers, while the sky was beautiful blue and the birds were flying around and everything was joyful, peaceful and happy. I felt so uplifted afterwards that was unbelievable. I wished that everybody I love and who loves good music could have been in that small theater hall to share this most uplifting joy with us.
This cultural outing was continued thanks to my friend Afsaneh when we enjoyed an interesting play at the new theater hall at Tehran Artists Forum. This one was called Revelation on a Silent Party. It was very modern and directed by Mr Reza Dadd and written by Mr Attila Pesianni, about the experiences of our time. In this play there was very good use of sound and light and on stage video work and a very good mixture of actors and actresses with a very strong social historical message. Sadly the only disappointing thing was the behavior of a few in charge before we got inside the theater hall where the play was staged.
A few weeks ago, with the help of our friend Mehrdad, Paul was able to have the experience of spending a few days travelling in the desert and exploring areas where nobody had been before.
We enjoyed a wonderful exhibition of photography and calligraphy at the Saba museum during the Fajr festival, and a few days later we celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary with friends.
As I am writing these lines I can feel a wonderful warm spring breeze from my open window and want to celebrate the coming of spring which this year has been very early - these days the average temperature is about 25 degrees day and night. Yet my heart feels very heavy and weary and I can only hope and pray that the New Year brings more positive, good and wonderful events and experiences for all of us and for our nation too.
view of the mountains, Tehran
Finally I would like to take this opportunity to thank once more from the bottom of my heart Payvand readers for all their support, comments and criticisms which encourages me to carry on doing what I do, and of course my two editors, at home my husband Paul and at Payvand, Ali.
A very happy Norouz to you all and all the best for 1389!
Syma & Paul
... Payvand News - 03/25/16 ... --