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IRAN: Ebrahim/Simon

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


121 conversations normally run for a period of three months. This conversation has now reached its end date.

If you would like to take part in a similar international exchange, just click here.

posted by Gia @ 11:37 am    0 comments

Friday, December 01, 2006


Yesterday I submitted the manuscript for my new book. I say new, but I have been working on it since 1998 - so it feels old already. But it is finished and now it is out of my hands. One of my brothers is a photographer and he has done a very rough 'rough' for the image to go on the jacket of the book.

The image is of six books. But instead of the cover of the spine showing it is the other side of the spine - just the paper.

A lot of my book is about reading, about how reading philosophy can be very demanding, and how there are books that are not over even when you have finished reading them. So the image of the worn and well-read pages of a book is nice for me.

But there is going to be a secret (I mean secret in the sense that nothing on the book will show this - anyone can know). The six books on the cover will be my own copies of the six books that I expore in some detail in my book.

I have put my brothers 'rough' up at the top so you can see it. The books in this picture are not my books, and the typography is obviously very rough indeed. (Including a typo: my brother typed 'Phenomonology' and it should be 'Phenomenology')

Since he should be credited for his work wherever it appears, his name is Hugo Glendinning.

posted by Simon @ 3:53 pm    0 comments

Friday, October 27, 2006

Who Knows?

There is an experience which goes like this: You are walking in a beautiful place, you are with friends and the whole thing is wonderful. If somone had arranged this for you you would want to thank them for the gift. However, in this case one can say confidently that no human 'gave' you anything - and yet one still wants to say 'thanks'.

Another example: You are looking for your keys. You are 100% sure that you left them in a certain room and you are searching in the room. In your mind you imagine the keys sitting somewhere there to be found or seen. And you might imagine your future seen in this way too.

Classically, it is called one's 'fate'.

In may ways we are inclined to conceive the world as a gift or the future as seen, when there is no human giver or seer.

In my own view the future is not the future unless it is radically beyond the present or any anticipation in the present.

posted by Simon @ 1:52 pm    0 comments

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tehran, London, or Vienna

Dear Simon,

Today is the second day that I am living in Tehran while my wife is in London. She is a British council scholar and she has just started her second master degree in Brunel University, west of London. This is the other adventurous aspect of our plan that I had not mentioned before.

Considering the short distance from Vienna to London, we decided to take advantages of both programs. Now she is in London and I am in Tehran waiting for my Austrian visa to leave here for Vienna, while my course started in September 11th.

Unfortunately, I do not know how long it takes to my Austrian visa be issued, so today I applied for UK visa.

I don't know where I will be in the coming week; Tehran, London, or Vienna.

Here, It is pretty popular that religious people obviously say that "God knows this". Economists name it the stochastic term of the life. What do you name it?

In the comming post I am going to review our last months of life.

posted by ebraz @ 1:03 pm    0 comments

Wednesday, September 06, 2006



Traveling to a quiet place, even for a short period, is really refreshing. For inhabitants of metropolitans such as London and Tehran, it seems essential. This summer more than every other time we were eager to visit beautiful nature of Iran; because we may not have this chance for a while. Unfortunately preparation for leaving is really a time taking process and it took all the time we were supposed to allocate to traveling and even blogging.
My wife and I are very interested in traveling specially backpacking. In the last few summers we underwent plenty of such travels. In this summer we did not have any, we could only take a formal trip to Raamsar, one of the most beautiful cities in the north of Iran. It is so beautiful that is named as "the bride of northern Iran's cities". It is placed between the Alborz Mountains and the Caspian Sea and it has exclusive types of planets.

posted by ebraz @ 4:00 pm    0 comments

Monday, August 14, 2006


I am sorry not to have replied for so long. I have been in France for my summer holiday. We went - the whole family - to a little village in the South, in an area called Provence. Beautiful and quiet. And hot. There was no internet or TV or radio in the house - so the only communication with the world was a newspaper from the UK every morning.

While we were away there was of course the developing news from the Middle East. Poor Lebanon. Everyday I would read every inch of the news. The newspaper I read is called the Guardian. It is traditionally on the 'left' in British politics and I liked the way it covered the events in the Middle East and the international politics that was caught up with it.

In general it would have been easier to have been a Frenchman than an Englishman through all of this. On the other hand, I found myself unable to form an opinion on the matter which I felt was unchallengeable. Each day I would read articles in the paper and the various points of view expressed. And I would think of some of the views that they were right. But each day something different! I am glad the UN have reached some kind of agreement and fingers crossed now that it works.

posted by Simon @ 1:28 pm    0 comments

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Performane of Tact


I hope you have good times in your new house.
I think your tact in estimating another buyer's bid price from the agent's words has a good performane in this transaction. It is what a philosopher can do.

posted by ebraz @ 5:02 pm    0 comments

Winning Bid

That was a great analysis of the situation I was in.

So operating (nearly) blindly we phoned in our bid as did the other party in the game - and the seller was able to chose the one he liked best.

I put it like this because the variables included more than price. Who could move fastest, who was in the best position to complete the deal and not pull out, etc. So price was not everything here. Or at least the calculation of 'best offer' included factors that went beyond the best bid price.

Our strategy was, however, quite simple: calculate a bid price that was both within our means and was also in accord with our hopes for doing work on the house if we got it. We looked at the maximum we could pay in those conditions and made a guess about the 'opposition'.

One thing we think we knew (and I think we were right) is that the opposition had originally made a bid lower than our own. The agent had told us: 'we have received another offer'; not 'we have received a higher offer'. So we guessed that they had less to play with than we had and that we did not have to go as high as our maximum.

Eventually we decided on a number just a little bit more than the original asking price.

And we got it! So now we have to get everything else organised - schools for the children being uppermost in our minds. Now we have to wait and see if the whole thing unravels (our buyer pulling out for example) or whether by the end of the summer we will be moving into a new home. Fingers crossed.


posted by Simon @ 3:44 pm    0 comments

Hot Weather

I am wondering if you have bougth the new house or not. I hope so! Now that the weather is getting hot, moving to the country seems more desirable.
Here in Tehran we are tolerating a really hot weather. Some days it goes up to 45 degrees centigrade. I have not ever undergo such hot days in Tehran. Although living as well as working in such a hot day seems difficult, expecting moderate weather in the near future turn it easier.
Another upwarding trend that is controversial these days in Iran is the increasing prices. In the last two decades our economy has undergone more than 15% inflation rate each year. But, the prices trend seems to be still higher than that this year. Not having hope to any decline in this trend makes it really unbearable specially for the people in the lowest income groups. The people who was the majority in voting for a government with new ideas in managing the country in the last year's presidential election.

posted by ebraz @ 3:04 pm    0 comments

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