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If our earth is going to disappear, I hope it happens as slowly as in the movie MELANCHOLIA

Hi Michael, not sure if I shall recommend you to see that new movie by Lars v. Trier "MELANCHOLIA". It started in Sweden already in May, but I did not had time before to go. It has some very beautiful scenes, in particular at the very beginning. It shows some moments in the life of the main character (Justine, played by Kirsten Dunst) in extreme slow-motion. It is so extrem slow-motion, that a blink of her eyes takes 2 minutes, and when she is doing a step forward on the field, this takes 5 minutes. It reminded me a bit what you wrote me last week, that my fear that time is passing too fast is a pure illusion. Because it is so subjective how we anticipate time, it is perhaps also possible to manipulate the speed of time.  You might even manage to slow down the speed of time, like in the movie.



Melancholia from Zentropa on Vimeo

But except for these first scenes, the movie becomes sad and tragic. It appears that the earth is going to collide with another planet, and all life will be destroyed. But Justine, who suffers from episodes of depression during her wedding ceremony, suddenly becomes very calm and self-confident when this huge planet approaches the earth slowly. All other person, who were initially the strong and successful ones, start to panic.

In particular her sister Clair changes completely, from a 100% self confident and rational person to an emotional ruin. Take Care /ghazal ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ghazal my Dear, Melancholia will start next week in Munich. I only saw a trailer, it was amazing to see how the earth is slowly absorbed by this new planet Melancholia. It is a beautiful scene, very aesthetic. It is an extraordinary idea of the film director to show the end of the earth not as a big disaster with noise and explosions and distraction, but with a very calm and almost harmonic "operation".  By the way, the planet Melancholia was also visible over Munich: Do you know that Clair, the sister of Justine is played by Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. Do you remember we were listening last year to their song "Je t'aim - moi non plus" . I hope you are calm and self-confident and strong, and you don"t have to worry about nothing at all. All you need is love (just a citation from a Beatles Song). Take Care, my Dear   Michael ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hello Michael, It is difficult to imagine that the actress who played this emotional fragile Clair could have been the product of this amazing song, and of two very strong parents. If you want to watch the movie when it starts in Munich, I recommend you to go not alone.  Some scenes might be not just melancholic, but depressing. It is better to go there in companie. Take Care /ghazal


Berlin Pirates win local election using Facebook campaign

Dear Ghazal,
the lastet blockbuster export from Sweden that hit the headlines in Germany without doubt is the Pirates Party. At the recent elections to the Berlin municipal gouvernment they surprised everybody as soon as the ballots were  open and the first estimates saw them appoaching 10% of the votes. Although the final confirmed number was fixed at 8.9%, this guaranteed them 15 seats in the Senat of Berlin, that until recently was dominated by the social democrates, conservative christian democrates, liberals and the left party. 
This is how the New York Times describes the members of the Pirates Party: "With laptops open like shields against the encroaching cameramen, the young men resembled Peter Pan’s Lost Boys more than Captain Hook’s buccaneers when they were introduced Monday as Berlin’s newest legislators: They are the members of the Pirate Party."
This landslide change in the political spectrum of the german capital demonstrates, that the power of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Google+ is not limitted to political movements in the arab world. 


Chocolate and the last Woody Allan movie

Hello Michael,

Im glad you have your vacation and that the weather and everything is nice. enjoy these days.
Nice that my gels worked out!!
Thank you but you dont have to send me chocolate. i already eat too much here :)

I had my vacation (2 weeks), my family came for a visit from US. So it was nice.

Enjoy your vacation!



Hello Ghazal,

So nice to read your messages after an 7 hours train journey from the Black Sea back to Sofia. I am glad you had nice vacations with your relatives from the US. It must be interesting to talk to them. I guess your parents and relatives are very educated and cultural people, if they decided to live outside their iranian home-country for so long time already, only to live in freedom and to have their kids grown up in freedom. Ghazal, I think you have to be very grateful to them (what you are, of course, I know too good).

Yesterday evening we had a very nice evening show at this little family hotel: A charity group of artists-dancers gave a performance with orphan gypsy kids. First they did some classical ballet, than they switched to their traditional belly dancing, and finally they invited the whole audience to dance with them. The funny thing was, that our 13 year old son (who always wants to appear cool, like when he refused last year to have the pink Phillips iPOD station) was invited to dance by a polish girl his age. They had obvioulsy already exchanged some eye contacts during the days before. Although he has a "big mouth" always, if it comes to girl-friends he is absolutely shy (must be genetic, I guess somewhere on the Y-chromosome).
Therefore he first appeared frozen like a snow-man, when the girl just grabbed his hand. Of course he followed here on the dance-floor, but knowing that we were also there, he was a bit reluctant to dance. Only when he saw that we were dancing as well, he overcame his passiveness and suddenly danced very enthusiastic and with very funny habbits. I think it was good for him to see that it is nice and relaxing.
Because he would be sad to leave right the next morning after this encounter, he and the rest of the family decided to stay 3 more days there at the beach ressort.
But since I have a meeting at the Bulgarian radiation research center tomorrow, I had to leave anyhow. Late this week I go to Belgrad (which is in Serbia, just cross the boarder) to talk to some doctors about Tinea Capitis patients. In case you have forgotten about this story from your MSc-lectures: They were irradiated as kids for a fungal infection on their heads (done in the 1950s, also in Israel, Marocco and Iran - click here to see a photo.

Sorry to wright you always so long messages, would be easier to talk. I miss this a lot.
Have you been to the movies recently ? I heard that "Super 8" must be a good one.

About the chocolate: Sorry, Ghazal, but I cannot stop it any more, it is already on its way to Warsaw. If you don"t want to eat it all, you might do either of the following:

- eat only the thin chocolate layer between the waffers. Some assume chocolate helps to increase serotonine level, therefore it makes you happier. You can never be too happy, as was shown by the picture of you jumping high in Brussels. In case this was in part due to Belgium chocolate, you might try a little bit of this Knoppers stuff and test how high you can jump from this.

- you might help some of colleages/friends at the meeting surviving the polish cousine. I remember in the past it was not so tasty. Maybe you can please somebody a piece of chocolate buscuit.

- you can leave it till Christmas (or Jul or Yalda) and eat it with your family

- in the worst case, you can feet the birds and doves in Warsaw with it. There are thousands of doves on the public squares in Warsaw. Don"t know of they like
chocolate, but for sure they like the biscuit around (so you eat the chocolate for happiness, and give the biscuit to the birds for a good feeling). And I think in zoroastrian faith the birds are considered holy creatures.

Ghazal, my dear, wish you a nice time in Warsaw,
and as usual: happy days and success and optimism.

Take Care


hello michael,

just wanted to thank you for the chocolate and I hope that everything is fine with you.



Hi Ghazal,

I hope that the chocolate helped you to survive the polish cuisine.
For my feeling, polish cuisine is pretty much the exact opposite to the fine meals we had exactly a year ago at the persian restaurant here in Munich, where you and Shafa invited me. Please give her my best greetings and I hope there will be the possibility once to invite you and your family to such a nice place as well.

1: If you want to read about a nice movie, continue here (otherwise jump to 2:)
I went to the movies last weekend, saw Woddy Allan's newest film "Midnight in Paris". I liked it a lot, it is a complex story of a young writer engaged with a rich american girl. At night he used to escape into a dreamworld that lays 80 years back in time. There he meets all his historic heroes like Picasso, Hemingway, Bunuel, Dali, Josephine Baker, the Fitzgeralds and many others, which I am afraid don"t mean anything to you since you are another generation (they are considered the lost generation and were in fact the wild rebels in the 20s of last century). In particular, he meets a girl Adriana in his dream journeys, who is played by Marion Cottilard. You might remember, we saw her last year in the movie "Inception" on the side of Leonardo de Caprio, but she won the Oskar for playing Edith Piaf in "La vie en rose" (which we did not managed to watch here in Munich). I liked the movie a lot, there are no special effects, but this nice idea that one falls in love to somebody who is living in another time. If you like good actors playing in Paris, try to see the film.

2: I think that the link I send you recently showing some pieces of historical arts in Bulgaria, which in my view resemble persian style, was not working. You can either try it again here or have a look at the attached photo.

Take Care, my dear,


PS: It always makes me happy reading some words from you.
At least they show that the time you had here in Munich was not a horror for you.
Reading the e-mails that I send every day and night to you to the guesthouse, I am a bit shocked.
It must have been difficult for you to accept these messages, that not always could hide a certain degree of desire, Ghazal.
Seeing that you have not completely terminated our communication lets me believe, that you are strong and confident enough to laugh about all this and consider it a funny episode in life.

Bulgaria and Persia - some common styles in ancient arts

The ancient Bulgarians came to the Balkan peninsula from the south russian and and Kazakh grass lands, were they lived next to skyths. The Partians, i.e. the native persian people, came from the same area and from their brought to Iran the expertise of horse breeding and riding.
But the Black Sea basin, located between the Balkan peninsula, caucasus mountains, norther Anatolia and the Crimean peninsula, was perhaps the earliest site of neolithic settlements. Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, eminent geneticist, anthropologist and linguist located the site of the original proto-indoeuropean language there. An intriguing theory by Pitman and Ryan, based on geologic and archaeologic research even claims that the great deluge (Noahs flood in the old testament, but described much earlier in the epic of Gilgamesh) happened there at around 5600 B.C., leading to a migrational wave of the early agricultural settlements into various directions.
It is thus not difficult to understand that in Bulgaria some historical artefacts, that sometimes are still reproduced in common craftswork, resemble to a large degree the persian-sassanid style.