Toronto Dreams: Iranian Artists Aim to Debut their Art at Film Festival

When I found out about a Persian film festival in Toronto dedicated to young filmmakers exclusively from Iran, I immediately packed my bags and bought tickets with money from my savings. My aspirations for making films in Iran after college drew me to this festival, especially given that the judges were some prominent filmmakers flying in from Tehran. However, hours before my flight was set to depart, I was informed by Shahrokh Bahrololumi, the organizer of the festival, that the festival was postponed.

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War on Drugs Gets Wasted

In the 1920s, alcohol was banned from the United States in an attempt to reduce crime, poverty and improve the overall living conditions in the United States. As a result of the ban, alcohol consumption skyrocketed, organized crime rates went through the roof and severe corruption took root in law enforcement agencies. This prohibition of alcohol was, without a doubt, a failed policy that was not only incredibly ineffective, but was also detrimental to its goal.

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The Plight of the Persian Baha’is

A faith that is established on the foundations of unity and a universal truth among all religions is staring persecution dead between the eyes. A faith that fosters the equality of men and women and peacefully promotes the elimination of all forms of prejudice has been condemned by a government that views its teachings as a threat to the Islamic Republic. A faith that has remained steadfast when faced with adversity and has continued to promote the oneness of mankind, despite all the afflictions and vexations suffered, is tiptoeing around the policies of a country that fails to recognize its existence.

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UC Salaries Come at the Expense of Students

It’s more bad news for University of California students, as UC officials have agreed to a 9.3 percent hike in student fees for the 2009-10 academic year. According to The Los Angeles Times, this would amount to a $662 increase per student and will bring the average basic cost for an undergraduate UC education to $8,720 a year for California residents, not including room, board and books. This increase has been enacted in order to help cope with the $450 million UC budget shortfall that is projected for the next two years.

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A Dose of Persian Culture

Those of us who crave new culture and new experiences usually look to the Education Abroad Program or study abroad programs to flee the bland office buildings of Irvine and immerse ourselves in Chinese, British or Russian life. However, in a rare opportunity, a little bit of Iranian culture came to UC Irvine last Friday. The Iranian Student Union’s (ISU) second annual Culture Show filled most of Crystal Cove last Friday night and stirred its audience with native music, singing, fashion and comedy.

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Succeed or Fail: Obama’s First 100 Days

When Barack Obama first began his quest for the Democratic Party’s nomination three years ago, the Dow Jones industrial average was around 14,000 and the world and national economies were in the midst of a boom. By 2008, America’s financial industry was in shambles, credit markets were frozen, housing values were decreasing and the economy was in the worst shape since the Great Depression. Add Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and North Korea to the mix, and you have got yourself an astounding set of international and national challenges.

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