see iran

Some tidbits about American Gods

At the Hannibal meet and greet, Bryan Fuller shared some scoops about AG.

Bryan will be interviewing Neil for the April 15 Bard event.

Possible spoilers below


There will be full frontal nudity in the Jinn/Salim love scene. Bryan had to ask vfx to reduce the size of the Jinn’s digitally enhanced member.

One of Media’s appearances will be as David Bowie. He showed us a pic and ofc Gillian looks amazing.

We also got to see a gif of Media as Lucy winking right after she says The Thing.

We’ll see Bilquis in Iran at the fall of the Shah and that’s when she comes to America.

Mr Nancy shows up in a checked suit on a slave shop and convinces the slaves to revolt and kill the slavers.

washingtonpost.com
Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel
Erik Prince met with a Russian close to the Kremlin in a meeting brokered by the United Arab Emirates.
By https://www.facebook.com/kevin.sieff

Adam Entous, Greg Miller, Kevin Sieff, and Karen DeYoung at Washington Post

The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials.

The meeting took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inauguration — in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective that would be likely to require major concessions to Moscow on U.S. sanctions.

Though Prince had no formal role with the Trump campaign or transition team, he presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump to high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up his meeting with the Putin confidant, according to the officials, who did not identify the Russian.

Prince was an avid supporter of Trump. After the Republican convention, he contributed $250,000 to Trump’s campaign, the national party and a pro-Trump super PAC led by GOP mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, records show. He has ties to people in Trump’s circle, including Stephen K. Bannon, now serving as the president’s chief strategist and senior counselor. Prince’s sister Betsy DeVos serves as education secretary in the Trump administration. And Prince was seen in the Trump transition offices in New York in December.

U.S. officials said the FBI has been scrutinizing the Seychelles meeting as part of a broader probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged contacts between associates of Putin and Trump. The FBI declined to comment.

The Seychelles encounter, which one official said spanned two days, adds to an expanding web of connections between Russia and Americans with ties to Trump — contacts that the White House has been reluctant to acknowledge or explain until they have been exposed by news organizations.

“We are not aware of any meetings, and Erik Prince had no role in the transition,” said Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary.

A Prince spokesman said in a statement: “Erik had no role on the transition team. This is a complete fabrication. The meeting had nothing to do with President Trump. Why is the so-called under-resourced intelligence community messing around with surveillance of American citizens when they should be hunting terrorists?”

Prince is best known as the founder of Blackwater, a security firm that became a symbol of U.S. abuses in Iraq after a series of incidents, including one in 2007 in which the company’s guards were accused — and later criminally convicted — of killing civilians in a crowded Iraqi square. Prince sold the firm, which was subsequently re-branded, but has continued building a private paramilitary empire with contracts across the Middle East and Asia. He now heads a Hong Kong-based company known as the Frontier Services Group.

Prince would probably have been seen as too controversial to serve in any official capacity in the Trump transition or administration. But his ties to Trump advisers, experience with clandestine work and relationship with the royal leaders of the Emirates — where he moved in 2010 amid mounting legal problems for his American business — would have positioned him as an ideal go-between.

The Seychelles meeting came after separate private discussions in New York involving high-ranking representatives of Trump with both Moscow and the Emirates.

The White House has acknowledged that Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s original national security adviser, and Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner met with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in late November or early December in New York.

Flynn and Kushner were joined by Bannon for a separate meeting with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who made an undisclosed visit to New York later in December, according to the U.S., European and Arab officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

In an unusual breach of protocol, the UAE did not notify the Obama administration in advance of the visit, though officials found out because Zayed’s name appeared on a flight manifest.

Officials said Zayed and his brother, the UAE’s national security adviser, coordinated the Seychelles meeting with Russian government officials with the goal of establishing an unofficial back channel between Trump and Putin.

Officials said Zayed wanted to be helpful to both leaders, who had talked about working more closely together, a policy objective long advocated by the crown prince. The UAE, which sees Iran as one of its main enemies, also shared the Trump team’s interest in finding ways to drive a wedge between Moscow and Tehran.

Zayed met twice with Putin in 2016, according to Western officials, and urged the Russian leader to work more closely with the Emirates and Saudi Arabia — an effort to isolate Iran.

At the time of the Seychelles meeting and for weeks afterward, the UAE believed that Prince had the blessing of the new administration to act as its unofficial representative. The Russian participant was a person whom Zayed knew was close to Putin from his interactions with both men, the officials said.

In some ways Iran is an easy political target. Sunni Arabs feel threatened by Iran and are competing with Iran for regional influence. Israel detests Iran and so do many members of Congress. Yet to see Iran as implacably hostile is much too simple. Even as Mr. Trump reaffirmed America’s partnership with the conservative Saudi royals, Iranians were re-electing a moderate, Hassan Rouhani, as president and reaffirming their interest in engagement with the West.

While Mr. Trump was explicitly not lecturing Sunni Arab leaders on human rights, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson responded to the Iranian election by advising Mr. Rouhani to restore the rights of Iranians to freedom of speech and organization. The Saudi human rights record is no better than Iran’s.

Mr. Trump’s determination to forge an anti-Iran alliance with the Sunni Arab states and isolate Iran could drift into military confrontation. The nuclear agreement negotiated between Iran and the United States could unravel, causing a split with America’s European allies. These are consequences that Mr. Trump, in his enthusiasm for Saudi Arabia, seems to have thought little about.

—  “President Trump’s Mideast Contradictions”, The New York Times Editorial Board
9

TBG TRAVELS :: TEHRAN 

I’d dreamt of visiting Iran for years. Seeing images of its magnificent mosques, beautiful parks and narrow bazaar alleyways lined with carpet weavers and rug shops always made me yearn to visit, so when I heard the UN sanctions were lifted earlier this year and that travel as an independent couple (and not part of a tour group) might be slightly more easier, I was in that Iranian embassy quicker than you can say CHELLO KEBAB.


We landed in Tehran in the early hours, just as Fajr began, and on the ride to the hotel we saw the city waking up. Getting closer to our hotel in midtown Tehran, shutters were opening, the streets became busier (Tehran traffic is a thing people – it’s worse than Mumbai), and sunlight began to illuminate the grand mountains surrounding the metropolis that were previously only a daunting shadow. 


There is so much to see and experience in Tehran; from the magnificent royal palaces, to holy shrines adorned with marble and mosaic and the huge parks blooming with flowers and citrus trees, to the dusty streets filled with rich aromas of lamb kebabs and naan, and the artsy and hipster pockets of the city sprinkled with museums and exhibitions. Come Maghrib (sunset prayer) and the city begins to light up, with families, couples and groups heading north towards Tajrish and the Darband mountains for a long night of food, music and nargile in restaurants carved high up into the rocks.


There’s an underlying atmosphere of wonder and curiosity now that the political climate is changing. You can feel it in the markets, from the falooda stands to the rug bazaars, in the glazed shopping malls and the conversations in restaurants and cafes. Will business boom? Will the economy improve? What changes will Iran see? What lies ahead?


Tehran is ambition.

1/3

- A x 

rjdaae replied to your post “rjdaae replied to your post “rjdaae replied to your post “How happy…”

Of course I have to ask whether there’s any way that this timeline would end up bringing any of the rest of the Crew into his life?

Honestly, probably not Darius or Khan- I can’t see him going to Iran, really, without any reason to. He may still encounter Christine, though, because he would likely stay in France, and she’d still go to France for the Opera House? He may even be working in music, if he grew up in a healthier environment.

“I saw the text messages from other women before we got married. My parents warned me but I married him anyway, without their permission. I thought he’d change. Now he leaves for days at a time. He tells me: ‘Calm down. It’s nothing. They come and go. But I live with you.’ But I can’t calm down. I think about it all the time. Whenever he’s out, I think about it. I try to keep busy and calm my mind but it’s gotten so bad that I’m seeing a doctor.”

(Rasht, Iran)

#230 Because of tampon Twitter reactions.

The Guardian US writer Jessica Valenti was doing some research for an article on the Tampon Tax (which became the inspiration for this post.) and decided to ask this on Twitter:

She received hundreds and hundreds of replies, all looking more or less like this:

Yes, Twitter trolls will attack everyone and anyone online. But why are women always on the receiving end of the harshest abuse? And why is always their gender used against them in this abuse? This isn’t a gender-neutral issue; these responses collectively have decided that women’s bodies are disgusting and that women have no right to express opinions about what women may or may not need.

(Also, how come… whenever gender inequalities in Western countries is discussed, some people seem to think that “Move to Iran, see how you’ll like it there!” or “Women are being stoned in the Middle East, get some perspective!” are marvellously productive and intelligent inputs that will end a discussion and make gender inequality disappear.

It’s just that… when people discuss other issues, such as government cuts, increasing crime rates or delayed trains, “Move to Iran, see how you’ll like it there!” doesn’t really seem to be an appropriate (or commonly used) response. It doesn’t solve the problem discussed and the comment isn’t improving the situation for women in the Middle East either. So… Hmm…)

anonymous asked:

thank you so much for talking about this stuff... ive been upset & terrified all day for my persian friends who will now be unable to see their families in iran... your posts make me feel like i can do something about it, or at least they let me know that someone else is upset too... so thank u

here are some things you can do from home to help right now:

if anyone has more resources/links PLEASE add on to this post, this is just what i have on hand rn

WORDS MATTER

Words matter. Especially in Iran where what is permissible — to say, to do, to be seen to say or do — is an ever changing thing.

It took us many years of trying to finally be allowed in to Iran, the country with whom we have probably the most contentious relationship on earth. At the time, we thought that perhaps, our welcome was an indicator of a new attitude, an opening of a window. But as it turned out, that is probably not the case. The window appeared to slam shut in particularly ugly fashion shortly after our departure.

What we saw, what we came back with, is a deeply confusing story. Because the Iran you see from the inside, once you walk the streets of Tehran, meet Iranians, is a very different place than the Iran we know from the news. Nowhere else I’ve been has the disconnect between what one sees and feels from the people and what one sees and hears from the government been so extreme.

Iran’s official attitude towards America, its policies, its actions in the region, are a matter of record. How it treats its own citizens as far as their personal behaviors is also, a matter of record. You do not want to be perceived as behaving inappropriately in Iran — as we have seen with the recent video of kids dancing along to the song, “Happy.” And what is inappropriate is an ever shifting thing. What the “government” or the president says is okay one day, might be deemed dangerous or unacceptable by the clergy or the “basij”, the roving, unofficial but official religious police, on another — as we came to find out.

I’m going to be careful about what I say here. Even here.
Like I said. Words have consequences.
Not for me. I can go to China, for instance, and come back, and say whatever I want about Tibet or human rights without fear. But what about the people I leave behind? The ones who were kind to me, helped me, innocently put their trust in me and my crew to not hurt them? That is something I think very seriously about — and its something we are very careful to not do: put people in harm’s way for no other crime than associating with us. Innocence, in much of the world, is, sadly, no defense against accusations..and worse.

One of the reasons this episode is deeply confusing might be because the “vibe” in Iran, the general feeling of walking down the streets, through the markets, the way we were received everywhere by total strangers and passersby, was overwhelmingly friendly. I have said that Iran is the most outgoingly warm, “pro-American” place we’ve ever shot — and that’s true: in Tehran, in spite of the fact that you are standing in front of a giant, snarling mural that reads “DEATH TO AMERICA!”, you will, we found, usually be treated better by strangers — meaning smiles, offers of assistance, curious attempts to engage in limited English, greetings and expressions of general good will — than anywhere in Western Europe. It would be hard to imagine strangers in Germany or France or England, on recognizing you as American, giving you a thumbs up and a smile simply for your nationality. That was overwhelmingly the case in Iran.

We were having an off camera gathering to celebrate our producer Tom Vitale’s birthday at a restaurant in Tehran. When the other diners heard there was a birthday at our table, the whole dining room sang us Happy Birthday in farsi and English. This was not an isolated incident, only one example. Our daily experiences were filled with delightful incongruities.

At the time we were there, the mood was cautiously hopeful for a time where we, Americans and Iranians, might see more of each other in the near future. Iran, it should be pointed out, is very beautiful. The food is spectacular. Iranians are very proud of their cooking — and for good reason. They are also famously generous hosts.

During my time in Iran, I was not naïve about where I was — or the realities of the situation. The secret police camped out a few doors down from my room (very congenial ones, to be fair), were a reminder. The fact that twitter, instagram, and Facebook are forbidden. The sinister sounding “Ministry of Guidance”, for whom we had to refer for approvals, were unfailingly congenial and helpful, however. No intrusive government presence — or attempts to shape our story were felt as we went about our business, unlike any number of other places we’ve shot over the years.

We were not there to do an “expose” of life inside Iran. Nor were we there to do a fair, balanced, comprehensive overview — or anything of the sort. My intention was simply to give a flavor of that weird intangible, what it feels like to walk the streets, sit at the table, look around. To listen. To show you what I saw.

This is not a black and white world — as much as people would like to portray at as such. That’s not an apology for anything. I’m just saying that the brief, narrow slice of Iran we give you on this episode of PARTS UNKNOWN is only one part of a much deeper, multi-hued very old and very complicated story. Like anything as ancient and as beautiful as the Persian Empire, its worth, I think, looking further. It’s also place that can warm your heart one day and break it the next.

At the time of this writing, Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian remains imprisoned. The reasons for his arrest have never been explained. In our time with him, on camera and off, he was unfailingly affectionate and generous in his portrayal of Iran — an advocate for — if anything — understanding. It is a mystery and an injustice that any would find fault with him or his wife, Yeganeh (who has only recently been released).

anonymous asked:

what about Gaza and Ferguson John? do they not deserve your respect? you're such a hypocrite, i's disgusting

I think this is a deeply flawed way of looking at the world.

Now, I have talked about Ferguson, and I’ve talked about Gaza. (In fact, I’ve been writing and talking about Israel and Palestine for more than a decade.) But there are many important problems facing the world that I haven’t talked about: I haven’t talked much about the civil war in South Sudan, or the epidemic of suicide among American military personnel, or the persecution of Muslim Rohingya people in Myanmar.

Is that okay? Is it okay for me to talk about, say, racism in football and lowering infant mortality in Ethiopia? Or must we all agree to discuss only  whatever is currently the ascendant news story? Is it disrespectful to Ferguson protesters to talk about continued political oppression in Egypt now that we are no longer reblogging images of the protests in Tahrir Square? I think this is a false choice: If you are talking about Ferguson and I am talking about Ethiopian health care, neither of us is hurting the other.

I think the challenge for activists and philanthropists online is in paying sustained attention, not over days or weeks but over years and decades. And I worry that when we turn our attention constantly from one outrage to another we end up not investing the time and work to facilitate actual change. We say “THE WORLD IS WATCHING,” and it is…until it isn’t. We’ve seen this again and again in Gaza and the West Bank. We’re seeing it in Iran. We’re seeing it in South Sudan. And we’re seeing it in the U.S., from net neutrality to Katrina recovery.

The truth is, these problems are complicated, and when the outrage passes we’re left with big and tangled and nuanced problems. I feel that too often that’s when we stop paying attention, because it gets really hard and there’s always a shiny new problem somewhere else that’s merely outrageous. I hope you’re paying attention to Ferguson in five years, anon, and I hope I am, too. I also hope I’m paying attention to child death in Ethiopia. I don’t think these things are mutually exclusive.

I really don’t want to minimize the effectiveness of online activism, because I know that it works: To use a personal example, I’ve learned a TON from the LGBT+ and sexual assault survivor communities in recent years online. People on tumblr make fun of me for apologizing all the time, but I apologize all the time because I am learning all the time, and every day I’m like, “Oh, man, Current Me has realized that Previous Me was so wrong about this!”

But we can only learn when we can listen. And when you call me a hypocrite for talking about X instead of talking about Y, it makes it really hard to listen.

At times, online discourse to me feels like we just sit in a circle screaming at each other until people get their feelings hurt and withdraw from the conversation, which leaves us with ever-smaller echo chambers, until finally we’re left only with those who entirely agree with us. I don’t think that’s how the overall worldwide level of suck gets decreased.

I might be wrong, of course. I often am. But I think we have to find ways to embrace nuance and complexity online. It’s hard—very, very hard—to make the most generous, most accepting, most forgiving assumptions about others. But I also really do think it’s the best way forward.

thexerox  asked:

I love your art and i love persia.Will we be seeing Parthian Sassassnian iran too ? And do you take comissions ? ( sorry for my bad english)

((hello! Thank you very much for your compliments :) hopefully soon Parthian and Sassanid Iran will make another appearance, I don’t have many posts that take place during those eras.

and I do take commissions! If you’d like to commission me I would suggest tumblr-IMing me or emailing me at gnosisofone@gmail.com to discuss rates, payment, and the things I offer. Thank you for your interest!))

dododo Iran! Unforunately, my dear Team Melli lost to Iraq in the AFC Asian Cup quarter finals, but they played like champions! They always make their vatan proud, though :) Forgive me for my absence here, I have been quite busy—what with nuclear negotiations with the West and the Asian Cup and everything else! 

((A simple doodle! The game between Iran and Iraq was a heartbreaker! twitter was roaring with cheers and tears at the outcome, but Team Melli is full of wonderful players and they are certainly loved by their fans!

and those leggings you see Iran wearing? You can actually buy them! :p))