Doostane Farsi Zabane Man

Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

The View from Tehran

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Want to read more about Iran and learn more about the country? Check out this annotated reading list from Foreign Affairs.

Also, I found an interesting article titled Tehran’s Take: Understanding Iran’s U.S. Policy, also from Foreign Affairs.


My Sorrowful Countries

In Uncategorized on November 26, 2010 at 7:58 pm

“Though I’ve lived my bygone years,
In this land, in this land.
I’ll uproot it without tears,
and I’ll change it if I can!

And, no more shall I be, loyal to my sorrowful country.
No more shall I be, loyal to my sorrowful country.”
-“Loyal to My Sorrowful Country”

I was talking to an Iranian man today who said that he loved both Iran and the U.S. I am the same way. I love my own country, the United States, but I love Iran, too. No matter what either country does, I will love it. I will always be loyal to these countries, no matter how sorrowful they become.

Amy Katuska
Program Dirctor

Give a Gift That Matters

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2010 at 7:58 pm

“Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States.” –Wikipedia

“In 2009, comScore reported that online spending increased 5 percent on Cyber Monday to $887 Million and that more than half of dollars spent online at U.S. Web sites originated from work computers (52.7 percent), representing a gain of 2.3 percentage points from last year. Buying from home comprised the majority of the remaining share (41.6 percent) while buying from international locations accounted for 5.8 percent. According to comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni, “comScore data have shown that Cyber Monday online sales have always been driven by considerable buying activity from work locations. That pattern hasn’t changed. After returning from the long Thanksgiving weekend with a lot of holiday shopping still ahead of them, many consumers tend to continue their holiday shopping from work. Whether to take advantage of the extensive Cyber Monday deals offered by retailers or to buy gifts away from the prying eyes of family members, this day has become an annual ritual for America’s online holiday shoppers.” –Wikipedia

Why not make your holiday gifts more meaningful this year? A few years ago, I donated to the Heifer Foundation for Christmas gifts. Sure, the recipients didn’t get a gadget with which they could play for a month and then put in the closet to get dusty, but they did get the satisfaction of knowing that someone, somewhere benefited greatly because I gave for them. My grandparents do the same; they’ll give my mom, aunts and uncles, or grandchildren a note that says that they donated to a charity on behalf of the beneficiary for a birthday, Christmas, etc.

So this Cyber Monday, November 29, why don’t you participate in Green Gift Monday? Give to a charity instead of buying the newest XBox game on the market. To give to Doostane Farsi Zabane Man by PayPal, a credit card, or a debit card, you can go to our website and click on the “ChipIn” button on the ChipIn widget. We’d really appreciate your support in this season of giving, and we know that the students affected would as well.

George W. Bush, the War Criminal

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 8:21 am

A “Catastrophic Homeland Emergency” to Justify Attacking Iran

The Bush administration’s pointing to Iran as a threat to US security is as baseless as the phony WMD and dangerous dictator claims were for war with Iraq. It’s because Washington has wanted regime change in the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution toppled the US-reinstalled Shah Reza Pahlavi to power following the CIA-instigated coup in 1953 against democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh.

The Bush administration stepped up the current effort earlier citing Iran’s legal commercial nuclear program as a thinly veiled pretext without ever mentioning that Washington encouraged Iranians to develop their commercial nuclear industry during the reign of the Shah. That can’t be revealed because doing it would unmask the hypocrisy of the current belligerency and scare-mongering.

Through its usual practice of bribes and bullying, the administration got the Security Council to act in its behalf. It passed UN Resolution 1696 in July, 2006 demanding Iran suspend uranium enrichment by August 31. When it refused, Resolution 1737 was passed in December imposing limited sanctions. Resolution 1747 then tightened them further in March, 2007. It imposed a ban on arms sales and expanded a freeze on the country’s assets, in spite of Iranian officials’ insistence (with no evidence to disprove them) their nuclear program is entirely peaceful and fully in accord with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Nonetheless, harsh rhetoric out of Washington continues with George Bush pushing for additional sanctions (against another Iranian bank and a large military-owned engineering firm) while hyping the concocted threat of Iran’s commercial program that’s no different from those of other NPT signatory states. Iran has been patient but earlier refused to allow IAEA inspectors to visit the Arak heavy water reactor until now. In a spirit of cooperation and facing a possible preemptive US and/or Israeli attack, it’s scheduled to take place before the end of July. Iran also scaled back its enrichment program in a show of good faith and agreed to answer questions regarding past experiments at its facilities to defuse the threat of tougher sanctions and avoid a possible attack that’s real and may be immiment.

As Iran shows a willingness to cooperate and prove it threatens no other country, the Bush administration renounced NPT and its crucial Article VI pledging nuclear nations make “good faith” efforts to eliminate their arsenals because having them heightens the risk they’ll be used, endangering the planet. While Iran wants peace and nuclear non-proliferation, the Bush administration pursues a reckless agenda including the following:

— It claims the right to develop new type nuclear weapons, not eliminate any now on hand.

— It renounced NPT claiming the right to develop and test new weapons.

— It abandoned the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM).

— It rescinded and subverted the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention.

— It refused to consider a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty to prevent nuclear bombs being added to present stockpiles already dangerously too high.

— It spends more on the military than the rest of the world combined with large future increases planned, starting in FY 2008 up for debate and sure to pass.

— It claims the right to wage preventive wars under the illegal and frightening doctrine of “anticipatory self-defense” using first-strike nuclear weapons.

While Iran, in fact, threatens no one, America threatens the planet, and the world community stays silent in the face of a potential disaster if the US wages nuclear war because it can get away with it. What other nation will dare challenge the only remaining superpower in spite of the potential horrendous consequences from such a reckless act.

Original article, titled “Bush’s Criminal War on the Constitution and the Republic”

Boot Camp

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2010 at 6:45 pm

I went to the Do Something Social Action Boot Camp yesterday in New York City. I’ve uploaded all the documents they handed out. Here are the ones on fundraising.
Foundation Funding
Individual Donors
Corporate Fundraising

Soccer Tournament Brings Hope

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2010 at 1:08 pm

This was a while ago, but on June 12, 2010, three teams of Iranian refugees – two from Turkey and one from Afghanistan – held their own soccer tournament in central Turkey. Check out the video they produced.

Also, everyone should take a minute to sign the “One Million Voices for Iran” petition.

Middle East Peace–Through Tech (via Valley Scribe)

In Uncategorized on November 7, 2010 at 4:25 am

This is a very interesting post about Middle Eastern entrepreneurs.

Middle East Peace--Through Tech Silicon Valley is full of conferences and “summits”, but this week I dropped in on a pretty unusual one: A confab at the Rosewood Hotel that brought together Israeli and Palestinian entrepreneurs and VCs. It wasn’t exactly a peace summit—though techies from all backgrounds did gather in the same room together and collectively nosh on tuna, deli meats and hummus at lunchtime. The main idea, according to conference organizers, was simply to introdu … Read More

via Valley Scribe

Call to action!

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2010 at 11:11 am

Dear friends,

Toward the end of November, Doostane Farsi Zabane Man, which translates from Persian (Farsi) as “My Persian-Speaking Friends,” is expecting our first batch of letters from Iranian students. The students range in age from eight years old to fourteen. We’re very excited about this development, and we can’t wait to have our American students write their replies.

As you probably know by now, Doostane Farsi Zabane Man is a pen pal program between Iranian and American students. The project will help foster friendships between these children, who live in very different societies from each other. They will learn about critical world issues, develop an appreciation for the other country’s contributions to society, and be involved in the development of a peaceful relationship between the United States and Iran by helping transform the next generation of Iranians and Americans into compassionate and understanding human beings.

We are not looking for a large donation. Even though we do need a fair amount of money to make the program successful over the course of the year, a small amount will fund a month’s worth of letters. If you wanted to sponsor one pair of students for one month, it would cost under $4.00.
•$2.10 would buy one International Reply Coupon, which would allow an Iranian student to send his or her letter to Doostane Farsi Zabane Man at no cost to the student.
•$0.88 buys two domestic stamps, one to DFZM to send the original letter and translation to the American student, and the other to allow the American student to send back his or her original letter at no cost.
•$0.98 buys an international stamp, which would allow Doostane Farsi Zabane Man to send the original letter in English and the translation to one Iranian student.

We’d like to be able to continue this program for eight months with about fourteen students (around seven from Iran and the same number from the U.S.).

We recently won a $500 seed grant from, but it will cost more than that to run the program for the entire year, due to expenses like necessary consultants and filing to become a legitimate non-profit organization.

We have a button on our website where you can donate using PayPal or a credit card. It’s a little widget that says “ChipIn” on it.

Thank you,
Amy Katuska
Program Director

P.S. We need to raise $23.76 by the end of December in order to send the original English letters, the Farsi translations, and an International Reply Coupon back to Iran. We are also trying to raise $400 to file for 501(c)(3) status. Please help us reach our goals.

“The qualities that make Twitter seem inane and half-baked are what makes it so powerful” – Jonathan Zittrain (about Twitter)

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm

We now have a Twitter account.

Also, we’re launching a fundraising campaign to raise money to become a 501(c)(3) organization, or a registered non-profit. We need $400 to file the paperwork. If you’d like to contribute, please go to, and there’s a widget on the bottom right. Click “ChipIn!” and it will take you to a page where you can pay by PayPa or credit card. Please help us out!


In Uncategorized on November 1, 2010 at 8:03 am

A couple of days ago, Doostane Farsi Zabane Man won a $500 seed grant from!
Do Something logo

We’re trying to raise more funds in order to pay for other necessary things that the $500 won’t cover, such as registering as a non-profit and hiring consultants.
Donate here!