art ~ spirit ~ transformation

e*lix*ir   #9, Special Bicentenary Issue
autumn 2019



  • This Holy Land of Persia by Sandra Lynn Hutchison

  • Personal Reflection Piece

  • The Gate to Eternal Life by Roxana Karamzadeh

  • Sweet Fruit

  • A Small Window on the Big Blue Sky by Mahtab Rezvani
  • Planting Seeds by Shadi Saadat
  • Broken Dreams by Roxana Karamzadeh
  • * Reading Anne Frank in Isfahan by Sahba
  • * Sweet Fruit by Anisa Bahamin

  • In the Land of Persia

  • An Alley Called Golestan by Nabil Zarei
  • Culinary Sisters-in-Law by Neda Akhavan
  • My Grandfather’s Library by Siavash Haghighat
  • * A Small Piece of Heaven on Earth by Saba Shadabi
  • * Riding a Purple Bicycle in the City of Isfahan by Sahba

  • Holy Places and People

  • Maku and the Muslim Man by Shadi Saadat
  • Fort Tabarsi and The Courage of the Brave Bábís by Negin Rezghi
  • The Cloak by Shadi Sadaat
  • The Mysterious Box by Sara Shakeri
  • Haji Assad, the Great Teacher of Seysan by Shadi Saadat
  • * A Glimpse of the Glorious Landscape by Rojin Ghavami

  • Through a Child’s Eyes

  • The Grief of War by Tanin Azadi
  • An Earthen House by Nava Habibi
  • A Cherished Dream by Elmira G.
  • The Golden Crown by Shaghayegh Rashedi
  • A Dream of Childhood by Basir Samimi
  • * The Love Bird by Zarrin Kasiri

  • Comic

  • Ruhi & Riaz
    by Eira

  • From Yazd to New Delhi

  • A Weekend in a One Hundred Star Hotel by Saba Shadabi
  • The Long Journey from Yazd to Tihran by Ali F.
  • The Road at the End of the World by Tanin Azadi
  • My Soul Dances in New Delhi by Roxana Karamzadeh
  • The Turkish Girl by Nava Habibi

  • The Left Hand of an Artist

  • The Left Hand of an Artist by Sara Shakeri
  • To Sing or not to Sing by Ellie
  • A Sympathetic Friend by Farina Shafei
  • Taraneh Alidoosti, My Hero by Nava Habibi

  • * asterisked works appeared in previous issues of e*lix*ir.

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    Taraneh Alidoosti, My Hero

    by Nava Habibi

    I will never forget the first time I saw Taraneh Alidoosti in a film. In I am Taraneh, I am Fifteen Years Old, Taraneh played a beautiful teenage girl with thick bushy eyebrows and dark brown eyes, which are often moist with tears because of the many problems she faces from an early age. This is just one of the heroic characters that Alidoosti has played throughout the years, so it is not surprising that she has achieved superstar status in Iran. Many viewers have been inspired by the characters she has played. And I have too. I think of the courage and diligence of Taraneh in I am Taraneh, I am Fifteen Years Old, of the self-sacrifice of Eli in About Eli, and of Raana’s capacity for forgiveness in The Salesperson.

    In I am Taraneh, I am Fifteen Years Old, Taraneh plays a girl who lost her mother when she was a child and is separated from her father, who is in jail. Eventually, she marries a rich boy, but once she is pregnant, her husband leaves her. Because hers is a temporary marriage, Taraneh cannot force her newborn’s father to write his name on the birth certificate in order to prove the child is legitimate. Even though she is only fifteen, Taraneh courageously undertakes to raise her child by herself.

    Alidoosti plays another admirable character in the film About Eli, which is about several families who decide to take a holiday by the sea in the north of Iran. The major character, Eli, is an attractive young girl with a round face and straight eyebrows that frame her large brown eyes. One day, as Eli watches the children as they play by the beach, one of the children swims out too far into the water. The child calls for help and is about to drown when, at the last minute, she is saved, though we do not know how. At the end of the film, the audience becomes aware that it is Eli who saves the child. We learn, too that Eli has drowned in the process; she has sacrificed her own life for the life of the child in her care.

    Another of my favorite films starring Taraneh Adoosti is The Salesperson. Here, she plays character named Raana, a young woman with shiny jet black hair and skin as white as snow. Raana and her husband, Emad, are actors. At one point in the film, the couple moves to a new apartment, which, unbeknownst to them, was previously the home of a prostitute. One night, when Emad is out, an old man who was once a customer of the prostitute arrives at the door. When the bell rings, Raana opens the door, thinking it is Emad. But it turns out to be an old man who violates her. It takes great courage for Raana to seek justice and forgive the man, but she is able to do so.

    Without doubt, Taraneh Alidoosti is a positive role model who plays characters who embody many of virtues I would like to possess. I always strive to be as courageous as Taraneh, as selfless and brave as Eli, and as strong and forgiving as Raana. I have learned a great deal from the characters played by Alidoosti about how to respond to difficult, even life-threatening situations. Everyone has someone who shows them how to become a better person — maybe even a truly great one. For me, Taraneh Adoosti is not only a role model, but my hero. Through watching her masterful and moving performances, I have understood more and more about how I myself can live heroically.