• The Lonely War: One Woman's Account Of The Struggle For Modern Iran.

    Posted by Susan Shivers on 12/11/2014
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    Posted by Susan Shivers on 11/30/2014

    CANADIAN JOURNALIST MAZIAR BAHARI - Arrested by Revolutionary Guard and Imprisoned in Infamous Evian Prison.
    Who is Bahari and What Happened to Him- Fareed Zakaria comments on Bahari's release from imprisonment in Iran
    MAZIAR BAHARI (American journalist imprisoned in Iran) talks with Fareed Zakaria in June 2011.
    Then They Came for Me

    "When Maziar Bahari left London in June 2009 to cover Iran’s presidential election, he assured his pregnant fiancée, Paola, that he’d be back in just a few days, a week at most. Little did he know, as he kissed her good-bye, that he would spend the next three months in Iran’s most notorious prison, enduring brutal interrogation sessions at the hands of a man he knew only by his smell: Rosewater. 

    For the Bahari family, wars, coups, and revolutions are not distant concepts but intimate realities they have suffered for generations: Maziar’s father was imprisoned by the shah in the 1950s, and his sister by Ayatollah Khomeini in the 1980s. Alone in his cell at Evin Prison, fearing the worst, Maziar draws strength from his memories of the courage of his father and sister in the face of torture, and hears their voices speaking to him across the years. He dreams of being with Paola in London, and imagines all that she and his rambunctious, resilient eighty-four-year-old mother must be doing to campaign for his release. During the worst of his encounters with Rosewater, he silently repeats the names of his loved ones, calling on their strength and love to protect him and praying he will be released in time for the birth of his first child. 

    A riveting, heart-wrenching memoir, Then They Came for Me offers insight into the past fifty years of regime change in Iran, as well as the future of a country where the democratic impulses of the youth continually clash with a government that becomes more totalitarian with each passing day. An intimate and fascinating account of contemporary Iran, it is also the moving and wonderfully written story of one family’s extraordinary courage in the face of repression."
     Published on May 20, 2013

    On May 8, 2013, world-famous political satirist Jon Stewart of The Daily Show held a discussion about censorship and power in Iran, followed by a lively Q&A, at an event hosted by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the PEN American Center. In conversation with Iranian-Canadian film director Maziar Bahari and CPJ's Executive Director Joel Simon, Stewart explored issues ranging from incarceration and torture to foreign policy to free speech and creativity under repression.

    The discussion followed the New York premier of director Maziar Bahari's film Forced Confessions. Watch the full discussion, including introduction and Q&A, in this video!

    Zakaria's Take October 2011 on TEHRAN
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    Posted by Susan Shivers on 4/5/2014
    Poignant coming-of-age story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution. 
    Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return
    Uploaded on Apr 2, 2008
    Persepolis is the poignant story of a young girl coming-of-age in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of precocious and outspoken nine year old Marjane that we see a people's hopes dashed as fundamentalists take power - forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands. Clever and fearless, she outsmarts the "social guardians" and discovers punk, ABBA and Iron Maiden. Yet when her uncle is senselessly executed and as bombs fall around Tehran in the Iran/Iraq war, the daily fear that permeates life in Iran is palpable.

    As she gets older, Marjane's boldness causes her parents to worry over her continued safety. And so, at age fourteen, they make the difficult decision to send her to school in Austria. Vulnerable and alone in a strange land, she endures the typical ordeals of a teenager. In addition, Marjane has to combat being equated with the religious fundamentalism and extremism she fled her country to escape. Over time, she gains acceptance, and even experiences love, but after high school she finds herself alone and horribly homesick.

    Though it means putting on the veil and living in a tyrannical society, Marjane decides to return to Iran to be close to her family. After a difficult period of adjustment, she enters art school and marries, all the while continuing to speak out against the hypocrisy she witnesses. At age 24, she realizes that while she is deeply Iranian, she cannot live in Iran. She then makes the heartbreaking decision.

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    Posted by Susan Shivers on 4/1/2014

    Guardians of the Revolution

    Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs

    Author: Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the CFR

    "The challenge of Iran has never been greater, and the ability of the United States to manage the surging power of the Islamist state will go a long way toward stabilizing the Middle East," says CFR Senior Fellow Ray Takeyh in Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs. Takeyh was recently senior adviser to the special adviser for the Gulf and Southwest Asia at the U.S. Department of State. In this book, he explains that the task at hand is to create a situation where Iran sees benefit in limiting its ambitions. "Dialogue, compromise, and commerce, as difficult as they may be, are a means of providing Tehran with a set of incentives to adhere to international norms and commit to regional stability."

    Tracing the course of Iranian policy since the 1979 revolution, Takeyh explores four distinct periods in his book: the revolutionary era of the 1980s; the death of Ayatollah Khomeini and the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1989; the "reformist" period from 1997 to 2002 under President Mohammad Khatami; and the policies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei. From this account, Takeyh illustrates that Iran's policies are, in reality, a series of compromises between conservatives and moderates.

    AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Guardians-Revolution-Iran-World-Ayatollahs/dp/0195327845/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241207446&sr=8-1

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    Posted by Susan Shivers on 3/3/2014
    WARNING:  Rated R for language, violence, and adult content
    Download and certify this PERMISSION SLIP for EXTRA CREDIT
    Uploaded on Dec 12, 2011
    Traffic Trailer - Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Benicio Del Toro Jacob Vargas Andrew Chavez, Michael Saucedo, and Tomas Milian The movie takes a broad approach to the war on drugs in the USA. It shows the corruption in both Mexico and the USA. Both on a personal scale as on larger scale. The movie has a lot of storylines, which are tied together slowly

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    Posted by Susan Shivers on 2/2/2014
    The Man Without a Face
    A chilling and unflinching portrait of one of the most fearsome figures in world politics.
           In 1999, the “Family” surrounding Boris Yeltsin went looking for a successor to the ailing and increasingly unpopular president. Vladimir Putin, with very little governmental or administrative experience—he’d been deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, and briefly, director of the secret police—nevertheless seemed the perfect choice: a “faceless” creature whom Yeltsin and his cronies could mold in their own image. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see in him the progressive leader of their dreams—even as Putin, with ruthless efficiency, dismantled the country’s media, wrested control and wealth from the business class, and destroyed the fragile mechanisms of democracy. Within a few brief years, virtually every obstacle to his unbridled control was removed and every opposing voice silenced, with political rivals and critics driven into exile or to the grave.
           Masha Gessen has experienced and reported this history firsthand, and brings it up to its present moment of unrest and uncertainty. Her spellbinding account of Putin’s rise and reign will stand as a classic of narrative nonfiction.
    CHARLIE ROSE interviews Masha Gessen: http://www.hulu.com/watch/337547

    Published on Mar 4, 2013

    Masha Gessen

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  • The Second Machine Age

    Posted by Susan Shivers on 1/26/2014
    Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, from MIT's Center for Digital Business, have a new book out this week called, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.
    The Second Machine Age  
    "A revolution is under way. In recent years, Google’s autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM’s Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. Digital technologies—with hardware, software, and networks at their core—will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing, and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human. In The Second Machine Age MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee—two thinkers at the forefront of their field—reveal the forces driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. As the full impact of digital technologies is felt, we will realize immense bounty in the form of dazzling personal technology, advanced infrastructure, and near-boundless access to the cultural items that enrich our lives. Amid this bounty will also be wrenching change. Professions of all kinds—from lawyers to truck drivers—will be forever upended. Companies will be forced to transform or die. Recent economic indicators reflect this shift: fewer people are working, and wages are falling even as productivity and profits soar. Drawing on years of research and up-to-the-minute trends, Brynjolfsson and McAfee identify the best strategies for survival and offer a new path to prosperity. These include revamping education so that it prepares people for the next economy instead of the last one, designing new collaborations that pair brute processing power with human ingenuity, and embracing policies that make sense in a radically transformed landscape. A fundamentally optimistic audiobook, The Second Machine Age will alter how we think about issues of technological, societal, and economic progress."

    "MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson says we are living in as significant a moment as the first industrial revolution, but the smart machines won’t lead to utopia without good public policy.

    Brynjolfsson and colleague Andrew McAfee say they were confused by what they saw happening — an age in which thinking machines suddenly got much, much better. They asked themselves, how did this happen, and what were the consequences?"

       Watch Brynjolfsson's TED Talk:  http://youtu.be/sod-eJBf9Y0
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    Posted by Susan Shivers on 1/10/2014

    Published on Jan 8, 2014

    If you've ever used Google, Netflix, Facebook, or Amazon (and we're guessing that you have), then you've come into contact with algorithms. In fact, it's guaranteed that your life has been impacted by algorithms, even in ways you're unaware of (assuming you INTERNET... which, again, we're guessing that you have...) The point is, the importance of algorithms in today's world cannot be overstated, and their role has been the focus of much discussion- how they're shaping our lives, for better or for worse. But, how far does the algorithmic rabbit hole go, could their influence even have spiritual correlations?! Watch the episode and find out!

    Fareed's Take: NSA leaks reveal new world of big data
       Published on Jun 28, 2013  (4:02)
    How can we spot disease 24 hours before symptoms appear? How can we predict which manholes in New York City may explode next year? Can we really identify criminals before they’ve committed a crime?
       Big  Data  
       Check it out at AMAZON:  http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0544002695 
    "Welcome to 'big data' — the idea that we can do with a vast amount of data things that we simply couldn’t when we had less. The change in scale leads to a change in state. It upends the nature of business, how government works and the way we live, from healthcare to education. Big data will even change how we think about the world and our place in it. 

    Data is becoming the oil of the information age; a raw material and the foundation of new goods and services. We can tap it because society is rendering into a data format things that never were before, from our friendships (think Facebook) to our whispers (think Twitter) to the way our car engines grunt before a breakdown. It took a decade and billions of dollars to decode the first human genome ten years ago. Today, that same amount of DNA is sequenced in a day. The implications are as huge as the datasets themselves.


    As we collect and crunch more data, the good news is that we can do extraordinary things: fight disease, reduce climate change, unlock mysteries of science. The bad news is that it raises a host of worries for which society is unprepared. What does it mean if big data denies us a bank loan or considers us unfit for a surgical operation, but we can’t learn the explicit reasons because the variables that went in were so myriad and complex? How do you regulate an algorithm?


    Join Viktor Mayer-Schönberger of the Oxford Internet Institute and Kenneth Cukier of The Economist on a fascinating journey to the world of big data. The book will surprise you, amuse you, anger you and inspire you. In the end, it may even just change the way you look at everything."  www.big-data-book.com

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  • Death to the Dictator

    Posted by Susan Shivers on 1/5/2014

    Death to the Dictator!: Witnessing Iran's Election and the Crippling of the Islamic Republic

      by Afsaneh Moqadam 
    "For much of the world, Iran's 2009 summer of upheaval was an epic piece of theatre distantly observed. As citizens took to the streets in their millions to protest a stolen election and the regime that made it possible, and later, in smaller numbers, did battle with the shock troops of the Islamic Republic, so the country became effectively off limits for the world's media. This dramatic confrontation - and the deep divisions that opened among Iran's rulers as a result - have yet to be convincingly described for a Western audience. Afsaneh Moqadam observed and took part in the momentous events of that summer. Here, through the eyes of Mohsen, one of Tehran's young, courageous protesters, Moqadam tells the story of these historic months, from the mass marches that greeted the disputed election results to their brutal suppression by the hated Basij militia - and a dark aftermath of imprisonment, torture and a show trial worthy of Stalinist Russia. The result is an inspiring account of a confrontation that has signaled the fragility of the Islamic Republic and given pause to those Western leaders, notably President Barack Obama, who must grapple diplomatically with what may become the world's next nuclear power. Above all, 'Death to the Dictator!' is testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and its ability to strike fear in the hearts of despots."

    Uploaded on Jun 14, 2009

    In response to the Twitter of Mousavi:
    "EVERYONE: Tonight at 9pm Iran time from rooftops: "Death to Dictator"."


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  • ARGO

    Posted by Susan Shivers on 1/2/2014


    ARGO (Rated R)
    IMBd says:  Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.

    Argo: Inside Story


    The true story behind the film 'Argo'



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