07 Nov

Scorpion on Andimeshk Railway Stairs

  • 118065-400x250Title: Scorpion on Andimeshk Railway Stairs, or This Train is Bleeding, Sir!
  • Series: Contemporary Iranian Fiction
  • Author: Hossein Mortezai’ean Abkenar
  • Genre: Novel – War Literature
  • Publisher: Nashr-e Ney
  • Release Date: 2006


Book Browse

A peerless war (anti-war) novel, Scorpion on Andimeshk Train Stairs offers a real life-like account of Iranian troops’ encounter with the Iraqi army in the south of Iran, chemical bombardments and the unrepresentable darker side of defeat, suffering and sorrow of the people and soldiers. Yet the novel is anything but a realistic war novel. Based on exaggeration and Keitch, form in this novel supersedes content. It also distances from the dominant Holy Defense discourse of the imposed war and intentionally avoids tragic or epic tones. It is recently translated to French.

14 Jul

Tirgan Short Story Contest

Tirgan: an ancient celebration of Iranian arts and culture

Tirgan refers to an ancient festival traditionally held in the month of July (the month of ‘Tir’ in Persian Calendar). Reviving this ancient tradition, the first edition of Tirgan Festival was held in 2006 in with over 25000 visitors, and since then it is taking place biennially at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Canada. As it is stated on the website’s About page, “Tirgan Festival is built upon the contributions of over 300 volunteers, and numerous public supporters, individual donors, and corporate sponsors, working side by side to promote a cross-cultural dialogue between the Iranian community and the global community at large, and to contribute to the diverse cultural mosaic of the Canadian society. The festival makes a deliberate effort to include works of various ethnic groups in Iran across many artistic and cultural disciplines, and to showcase internationally acclaimed as well as local artists and performers of Iranian descent who promote Iranian heritage through music, dance, theatre, cinema, literature, and visual arts.”

Tirgan Short Story Contest

First introduced to the festival in 2011, Tirgan Short Story Contest biannually calls for previously unpublished short stories no more than 2500 words written in Persian. The eligible submissions are judged by a panel in two stages. A selection of stories advances to the final round, and will be published in the Tirgan short story collection. The authors of the top three stories are announced as winners and granted cash awards.

The First Edition (2011)

Out of 262 participants in the 2011 Short Story Contest, fifteen pieces reached the final stage under the supervision of Abbas Maroufi:

First Winner: “Dear boy! Long lives the cry” by Faramarz Pournoruz from Vancouver, Canada

Second Winner: “While Everyone’s Asleep” by Atousa Zarnegarzadeh Shirazi from Iran

Third Winners: “Hasmik” by Kafieh Jalilian from Toronto, Canada – “All of Us Are Gonna Die One Day” by Alireza Javidi from Sweden

The Second Edition (2013)

Out of a shortlist of about 364 participants, the jury consisting of Mohammad Charmshir, Moniru Ravanipour, Mohammad Rahmanian, Hassan Zerehi, Mojtabaq Golestani, Dr Bahram Meqdadi and Abbas Maroufi selected the following pieces as the final winners:

First Winner: “Dot. End of the Line.” by Golriz Abbaspour

Second Winner: “Playing with Dust” by Mandi Shams

Third Winner: “Glass” by Farjam Koliayi

The Third Edition (2015)

Under the supervision of Dr Houra Yavari, the third edition of Tirgan Short Story Contest was held in August (20-23), and the jury composed of Safdar Taghizadeh, Amirhassan Cheheltan, Behnaz Alipour Gaskari, and Hassan Mirabedini announced the following stories as finalists:

First winner: “Aquarium” by Ali Mohammadi Kashani – granted $500 cash award, a Tirgan Arash statuette, and a certificate

Second winners: “The Banknote Dealer” by Amirreza Bigdeli, and “Snail & the First Persian Gulf War” by Navid Hamzavi – jointly granted $300 cash award, and a certificate

Third winner: “Signature: God” by Hamed Ahmadi – granted $200 cash award and a certificate

20 Dec

Homage to the Singer of Naseria

Today (December 20) coincides with the seventh death anniversary of Iranian Pop Star Naser Abdollahi who, despite his brief twinkle in the arena of Iranian Pop Music, was loved and praised by the young generation.

Naser was born on December 31, 1970 to a retired worker and a housewife in the Southern city of Bandar Abbas and started music at 13 and with Hozeh Honari of Hormozgan Province. But it was in 1995 that he pursued music as his career and reached peerless fame with his early albums “Humid Scent” and “Eve’s Air,” especially with his Naseria song.

Just before he could celebrate the first decade of his artistic achievements and take the next step, Naser Abdollahi passed away on December 20, 2006 in Bandar Abbas, having struggled with life and death for 27 days in coma, at age 36.  Unproved rumors say he was actually hit on the head and that his death was suspicious enough, following his conversion to Shiism, divorce, and and serious clan quarrels.

Abdollahi had a distinct voice and often sang Mohammad-Ali Bahmani’s lyrics. Because of the introduction of Arabic rhythms and the Spanish style to his vernacular Bandari songs, he is known as the Gipsy King of Iran. May he rest in peace.