International Women’s Day

8 03 2011

Today in Ireland (and most parts of the world), two different celebrations coincided. International Women’s Day (March 8th) and Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday/The day before Lent starts). I got to celebrate both of them. This post is about International Women’s Day, and hopefully you should get another post soon about Pancake Tuesday 🙂

For International Women’s Day I received an email from Zahra, a girl in my lab, about a film screening of The Circle, organised by Amnesty International. It follows the life of a couple of girls who escaped from prison in Iran. It also looked at the different aspects of women cultural experiences in Iran. From talking to the Iranian people there it seems that the movie is a good portrayal of Iranian life at the time it was filmed (more than 10 years ago), but nowadays things have somewhat improved, at least in the middle to upper classes, although at the lower classes portrayed it is still the same way. In a way I think this is true of most movies in that whilst they portray the truth, it is the truth for a small number of people, and it might be exaggerated a bit.

Overall I guess the movie was OK, but I found it a bit one-sided (which is the idea of the director I guess) where only the women’s point of view is given. It is also different to the type of movie we are generally accustomed to in that there is no defined ending, and there is no particular main character, but rather a series of women, whose background is similar, and we see the story follow the different people, similar to a couple of movies in one.

What I liked about the evening? we got served free pizza (not a lot of it, but good enough). What I found strange about the pizza? A couple of people who came, just sat through the movie till the pizza came and then left in the middle of the movie. I found this a bit strange/rude to be honest. But oh well. Each to their own. I also liked the fact that there were Iranian people present and we got to discuss the movie a bit. But only one person seemed to want to talk (there were 5 Iranians there and by the end around 5 non-Iranians). It would have been nice to have an actual discussion.

Iranian dancing?!?

28 02 2011

Today it is my friend, Roya’s, birthday, and therefore yesterday she invited a couple of friends to meet up to celebrate. We met at Cafe Topolis in the city centre. With the help of a googlemaps printed map, Ross and myself managed to find the place quite easily. We asked about where the booked table is and they directed us downstairs hmmm. It seemed that Roya had booked the entire lower portion of the restaurant for our use (we were about 30people after all, and that is all that fit). Slowly other people joined us, including Zahra and her husband (and a couple of other Iranian people, who keep confirming my theory that Iranian girls are BEAUTIFUL). We had a great time chatting and then ordered the food. For starters I got to share a minestrone soup, and as main course got the Pizza Roma and got to try the Fettucine al Pollo E Funghi. Both were delicious, but I think the Fettucine were quite better 🙂

After the food however came the part I think I enjoyed the most. The Iranian dancing 🙂 I have been hearing about this. I have seen it being danced on Zahra’s wedding movie and have heard some Iranian music when I went to her house earlier on in the month. The music really get you moving, and I decided what’s the worst that could happen apart from me making a fool of myself? so I plunged in and had a great time. In particular I enjoyed it cos there was a Spanish girl too, who had never done any Iranian dancing. So we just had a great time with our interpretation. We also got a masterclass session with one i=of the Iranian guys who really seemed to know his stuff.

Then it was time for the cake cutting. But that requires a whole set of other dancing….knife dancing. These people really have a great time with everything they do. It was then time to go home, because this morning I wanted to be in Uni early enough. A great night. Thank you Roya. Tavalodet Mobarak. Bia Baghalan 🙂


The Gathering

The Gathering


A Night Out In

6 02 2011

Yesterday I had a night out, where I actually went in 🙂 Hmmm…that sounds complicated. Well, it was a night out, but I stayed inside. Why? Because Zahra, the other girl on the ATWARM PhD programme in our lab, invited me over to her house for the evening. She had been softly inviting me for some time now, but I never really wanted to suggest it myself. Well, last Friday after Uni she said it again, and so yesterday morning we chatted a bit and somehow got around to the invitation. Zahra told me to go with my tummy empty and be prepared to eat. Hmmm no complaints about that. Therefore yesterday at 5pm saw me going to her place. I bought an apple pie on the way (yes I know…crappy present) and off I was.

We did not get around to doing much, but got around to doing plenty. I have missed such nights out, where you go to someone’s place, and just eat, chat and have a good time. The only other time I did that in Dublin was when I had the movie night with Monika. These are the best evening. No stress, no dressing up. Just lounging around. It was Zahra, her husband, and myself. Unfortunately other people from the lab had gone home for the weekend, since they are Irish and so they could not make it.

So what did we get up to? We chatted, watched youtube videos of Malta and Iran, and a couple of Iranian and Maltese music (I showed them some Wintermoods, Sammy Bartolo, Freddie Portelli, the Malta…Truly Mediterranean videos and a couple of others). I really liked the Iranian music too (although I could not understand most of it hihi).  I also got to see parts of Zahra and Ali’s wedding video, and continued to confirm that Iranian girls are BEAUTIFUL.

As promised Zahra had cooked a big dinner of Iranian food. We had (OK not the actual titles, but you can get the idea) some rice with herbs, nuts and potatoes, lamb with sauce, chicken, mushrooms, sort of meat and potato burgers and some salad. Yes lots of food I tell you (and all this after the nibbles at the beginning). We also had ice-cream for dinner.

Suddenly without knowing I looked at the time and noticed how much time had passed…time flies when you are having fun :). So I got to leave, but the ever gracious Ali and Zahra walked me to my apartment. It was a nice walk. After the earlier rain, the air was clear. Just the smell of burning wood in the air. We said our good byes and they left.

I look forward to another such an evening. Thank you Zahra and Ali.

Bia Baghalan (hope I wrote it correctly)