Thursday, March 31, 2005

Rape, torture and lies

In case you were following the news about the Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi who was killed in Iran in 2003, check this out...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Going through an "Early 30's crisis"?

I feel more relaxed with life recently, but don't feel great in general... Hence this article may seem to have a frustrated tone to it...

I am quite fed up... The same old issue that has been plaguing me: I hate the environment that I work in... This team is so different than any other team I've worked with since 1991 - when I started my first job in the corporate world!

One colleague treats me like I finished school yesterday... He's trying to "teach" me things that I was teaching people a decade ago!

So far I've investigated my alternatives... moving out of this team has been sort of promised by 3 managers (my manager, my manager's manager, and my manager's manager's manager!!) but God knows when it's going to happen!! A month from now? 6 months? a year?!?!?

I am running out of patience... So I thought I'd look elsewhere for job opportunities... Gosh, This town is the land of *no* opportunities in this industry!! There are either labor level positions available or chief executive positions!! Not much in between! I guess all I need atm is some L U C K - Which apparently kissed me goodbye 2 years ago!!

For a while I was thinking that I might be in the wrong career... I am a very social person and I love to deal with people, something that this job doesn't give an S about... I hate to be a machine and work like a machine... something that is very well rewarded in this team!

Then I was thinking: "Should I start my own business? how much money do I require to start? What kind of business gives me the highest chance of success?..." and, as usual, I don't think I have the guts to start my own business...

Maybe I am going through some kind of early 30's crisis!! Not happy with what I do and too old to start anything from the scratch!!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Being a woman, a colored woman... how hard is it really?

A few years ago when I was in a stronger mental shape, I never thought about this, and I was happy with whatever life had brought to me (except for one thing!). I wasn't too ambitious since I was young and new to this part of the planet! So my expectations were not very high at all...

The thing is that I now started to realize how hard is it to be a woman in a male dominant industry... Why do we have way less female CEOs, MPs, ... than male in most places in the world? What is it that makes it harder for women to achieve the highest highs in their careers? Add some "color" to this, being a colored woman - an immigrant - makes this even harder... and it's not just the language!!

You have to struggle more, be more efficient, more confident, more considerate, ... than your typical non-colored male colleagues, to climb the career ladder... and you may argue this if you're a man and you have never immigrated to a totally different environment...

What is the secret here for those who overcome this challenge? I know it takes a lot of strength, ... but what else? Is it the "charisma" that most of us immigrants lack in our immigrant lives?

Any idea?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Welcome spring :)

What a great Norooz!
It took me half of Saturday, but I finally finished the spring cleaning of my tiny little apartment and then set my Haft-Seen. I then went to my fitness class and felt so energetic afterwards (as usual). I walked back home, picked up my car and drove downtown to shop. I got a polo style shirt for TC as his Norooz present (It's a frugal year!!). Called P on my way home to see if she'd like to join me (I felt that she was frustrated and needed to talk) and she said that she'll meet me in 2 hours. I then prepared a chicken ceasar salad for dinner and we talked while dining. She left my place at about 10:30ish pm and I watched "Prostitution behind the veil" which I had taped a few weeks ago on CBC (What a sad documentary!). It was almost 1am Sunday morning when I finally hit the sack right after sending a "nighty night" SMS to TC who was dogsitting at his mom's place. I was gently woken up about 3:15am when TC came (all the way from his mom's place!) and we both started getting ready for Norooz. I also got a chance to join the Norooz chat room which dear Haleh had arranged for Iranian bloggers... That was fun!! Mom called right before Norooz and we counted down the seconds to Norooz... Couldn't have been a better a Norooz!! TC in my arms and mom on the phone... TC had to go back to his mom's for the dogs and I guess it was almost 6am when I went back to bed... but it really felt good...
I forgot to mention my Norooz gifts! I got beautiful red satin PJs and a photo album which included all the pictures of our happy moments since we started going out... TC never fails to surprise me and put that huge smile on my face!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The festival of the last Wednesday

chaarshanbeh soori

Tonight is "chaar-shanbeh soori" (the Fire Festival)!! Chaar-shanbeh soori falls on the eve of the last Wednesday of the Persian year.

The plan is to pick up Ouna on our way from work and then the three of us will head to North Vancouver where we will shop for "Haft Seen". Then we'll meet with V and M for a yummy Kabob dinner. After dinner, the plan is to drive to Ambleside park, West Vancouver - where tons of Iranians will gather to sing, dance, and hop over fires to celebrate the last Wednesday of the year!! Wanna know more about it? Why don't you join us if you live in/near, Vancouver?

* "chaar-shanbeh" means "Wednesday" in Farsi and "soori" is an ancient word in farsi for "party" (There are some similarities between the Persian fire festival and Halloween)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Norooz and feeling nostalgic again

Haft-Seen (The 7 "S" symbols of Norooz)

Norooz (the Persian new year which starts at the crack of spring) is on its way again and like the past 6 Noroozes that I have spent away from Iran, I start to feel quite nostalgic and sort of sad...

These days in Iran, like all years previous, I'm sure there is the same old craze everywhere... the excitement and energy in the air as everyone tries to get things ready for Norooz... Spring cleaning, busy streets, insane traffic jams, buying presents, "Haft-Seen"* (the Norooz table), planning ones Norooz holiday vacation, "Chaahaar Shanbeh Soori"** (the fire festival), the new year's feast, painting hard boiled eggs, baking Norooz pastries, and the excitement and anticipation growing in all kids as they wait for their "Eydee" (a-d) (new year's gift(s))... or just feeling happy and eager that something special is on its way...

There is no way that I can experience my same old feelings for Norooz here... Life goes by "as usual" here on Norooz. The same old routine as the past 6 years: I go to work like everyone else, get the work done, put a box of chocolate on my desk and email everyone: "Today is the Persian new year and the 1st day of the spring... please feel free to come by my cubicle and take some chocolate!!" and hope that all the people who come for a chocolate will say 'hi' back to me tomorrow when I say 'hi' to them! Nothing at work, in the streets, on TV, or in the newspapers indicate that there is anything any different or special about this time of the year - it is just another regular day... I may be invited to go to a restaurant with the Persian crowd I know here, but even that doesn't make it feel like it's the best day of the year. Like all my past Noroozes in Canada, I will set my "Haft-Seen" table, turn my TV to the multicultural channel hoping that there is a Norooz special, and wait for the long distance phone calls filled with good wishes and special Norooz greetings from my friends and family around the world that are sure to come. All the while thinking about my beloved ones whom I left behind when I moved to Canada: Grandparents; Aunts; Uncles; Cousins; and all my wonderful and special friends...

Last year, mom was here for Norooz! It felt slighty better, but still not the same. TC couldn't join us since he had a hockey game at the same time, although he did send me an SMS message at the time - while he was resting on the bench in the middle of his game...

I now think to myself, will I ever get to experience the same old Norooz feelings? Will those butterflies in my stomach ever come back while I am counting down the seconds for Norooz?

Links for more info on Norooz:

Soosk Naameh (Cockroach Scripts) in English

Ok, finally I decided to write in English as well! (for the sake of readers with no Farsi language background)
I cannot promise to keep the contents of soosk naameh and this one consistent, but I'll try my best to keep 'em both alive!!

Wish me luck, y'all!! :)