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Massud Alemi

Biography
The Midget
The Herbalist
Mosquito Wings
Shiite Has Been Kicked Out of Me to Grow Up
Rootless-ness
The Clash of GroupThinks

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Massud Alemi Biography

Massud Alemi
malemi@yahoo.com

Hi, everyone. My name is Massud Alemi (pronounced masood aaleh-mi), and I am very proud to be a member of the IPC.

Born (1959) and bred in Tehran, Iran, I went to a Catholic school called Don Bosco.

All the gory details of my sordid life prior to coming to the U.S. can be found in an essay, I wrote a few years back named Rootlessness. Soon I will publish this essay as an article in IPC and then a complete novel.

The gist of it is that I came to America in 1977 to go to college, very little prepared for what was going to happen within a couple of years. As a result of the mess otherwise known as the Islamic Revolution (1979), my family was scattered all over the globe. With the exception of my father and a brother, we're all in the States now, and have made it our home here. The Islamic Revolution of 1979 caught me by surprise, as it did many others; nevertheless it made a huge impact on me. I would argue that I along with my family and the rest of the Iranian-Americans are the first victims of what is now known as Islamic terrorism and fundamentalism.

I am married and have two little girls: smart and studious Sophie (9), and of course the funny and caring Layla (5).

I worked at different jobs to put myself through school. Aside from non-career, paid professions such as a stock-boy, bus-boy, cook, cabdriver, ice-cream seller, courier, and non-career, non-paying positions such as a political activist and consultant, I was for ten years a graphic artist, working for various print houses around Washington DC. That's before the computers were so prevalent. When computers (Macintosh) began to invade our workplace, I was the go-to guy for fixing glitches and printing problems. We output (printed) images and text into lithographic films, which were then photo-chemically burned into plates, and those were put on printing presses. There was pressure to get everything right the first time, since the lithographic film and plates weren't cheap. Anyways, I became interested in computers for the precision they offered, the low margin of error. I excelled in making them talk to each other and that's how I insinuated myself into computer networking.

I'd received my BA a long long time ago in history from George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia. I even went for masters in history, but responsibilities caught up with me and I dropped out.

The networking field, as diverse and colorful as it is, was able to hold my interest for about 10 years, enough time for me to figure out that as an Information Technology specialist I was very much interested in the uses of IT to help underprivileged communities overcome the side-effects of globalization. I developed a curiosity for the new emerging field of ethics in global business, and read up a lot on it and even went back to school and got an MBA in technology management. I worked as computer network engineer to make ends meet and put myself through school.

I think globalization has created numerous opportunities in every field of human endeavor. The most interesting aspect of it is the diversity of people and geographical entities that are gravitating toward it. I live and breathe it, and I think there is a lot that is going on in the world that we all need to stay alert and learn as much as we can in order to make a positive contribution. Globalization has also presented tough challenges to governments and businesses around the world. People (from both ends of the political spectrum) are beginning to see the impact it is having. Depending on their understanding of the global changes, people are reacting to it, sometimes seeing only the negative effects. I feel that globalization brings with it a wealth of resources that can be employed to lessen the negatives.

In all these years of working and living in the United States of America, I was fortunate enough to find out what my true passion is. A lot of people go through life not knowing what they are born to accomplish in the narrow space and time they are given on this earth of ours. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I continued to write in both English and Persian. My writings have appeared in various in-print and online publications. In addition to writing essays and stories, both in English and Persian, I finished my first novel, entitled "Interruptions." It will be out in January 15, 2008. I like to write and read, and I like to do these activities with my daughters. Writing is my way to decompress, on my time off from the world of work and cruel politics.

"Interruptions" is about how interruptions in our daily lives define who we are. Interruptions is about the various paths we choose when our daily lives are severely interrupted. Farzin is a gay man living in Tehran, who finds himself accused of a crime, which he did not commit. He realizes that if he tells the truth to the authorities, he will be more severely punished for his sexual orientation, than for the crime which he is accused of having committed.

Interruptions is an intimate look at the interrupted psyche of a nation whose dreams of freedom and justice have been repeatedly trashed. Interruptions is about the Iranian society which is full of life. In this society, a nation held hostage by the fanatics, effects and interrupts Farzin's life. Farzin has a rich family history and went through many misfortunes but this episode will be a great challenge for him …

Rushdie once said something about how every nation has a caricature. The caricature of the French, for example, is their vainglorious notion about their cultural superiority. The caricature of America is the idea of goodness. That no matter what happens God always sides with America. I was always curious to know what caricature would fit the idea of Iran. I searched a lot in books and came up short. Until I decided to examine the idea closer, and write a story complete with real characters that would help me understand who we are and what we are made of. The result of that search became the book that you will hopefully read and enjoy come January 15. I basically maintain that we as a nation, or people, are defined by the interruptions in our lives, in the life of our society, history as well as our individual lives.

IPC recommends this valuable and informative book by Massud Alemi:

 

No sooner had my publisher signed my book with the Library of Congress and applied for its ISBN number and Copyright, than I started hearing about the so called "reviews" I've been getting in the websites connected to the regime. My book, Interruptions, is not due out until mid January, and I am already getting badmouthed from the sites associated with the Islamic republic of Iran. One of them (MehrNews.com) has called my novel "anti-Iranian," "bleak" and "pessimistic." Another, (JahanNews.com) says Interruptions "is set to negate the revolutionary values on which the Islamic Revolution is based." Pretty hefty charges, I say. A third one, which is run by the circle around Tehran's mayor, Ghalibaf, (FardaNews.com), retracted the page that had called my novel "anti Iranian" among other things, after I complained to them a couple times. They sent me a brief email saying in effect, it's not their fault and that they copied the news item from jahanNews.com, etc… as if it makes a difference to me. The page now reads a bland retraction. No apologies, no explanations. That's the norm by which the news media in that totalitarian state operate. They trash something they don't have a clue about, and when you complain, they just act as if nothing happened.

But that's not all; other Iranian sites are continuing to disparage my as-of-yet unpublished book. There is a whole slew of them. I tried to keep track, but there is such a thing called life, and one just has to learn to get on with it.

My experiences in IT and management have landed me with a gig at the federal government, as a web journalist and writer. This is a great job since it provides me with normal work hours and time with my family. I visit my mother once a week. Physical activities include swimming at the YMCA with my family, and playing with the girls, or catching a movie once in a while. I try to work as if I don't need the money. Love as though my heart has never been broken. And occasionally dance as if no one is watching. I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, and I am working on my next novel "Rootless-ness." I look forward to learning from all of you in IPC (Iran Politics Club) and to expanding my horizon.

Massud Alemi
malemi@yahoo.com
Massud Alemi Facebook

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IPC recommends this valuable and informative book:


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