Interesting Quotations




بیا تا گل برافشانیم و می در ساغر اندازیم
فلک را سقف بشکافیم و طرحی نو در اندازیم
Come so that we can scatter flowers
and fill the glass with wine,
And split the ceiling of the skies
and try a new design!
(Hafez of Shiraz tr. by D. Davis)

"Nothing is more concrete than history, nothing less interested in theories or in abstract ideas. The great historians have fewer ideas about history than amateurs do; they merely have a way of ordering their facts to tell their story. It isn’t theories they look for, but information, documents, and ideas about how to find and handle them."

Eugen Weber


“Do not be concerned that you have no position, be concerned that you have what it takes to merit a position. Do not be concerned that no one recognises you, seek that which is worthy of recognition.”  Confucius

Here a few, there a few,
the drunkards all show up,
the worshipers of wine one by one turn up
Rumi, Shams Book, Gazal 819


I took care not to dispute anything he said, for there's no arguing with an enthusiast.  Better not take it into one's head to tell a lover the faults of his mistress, or a litigant the weakness of his cause-or to talk sense to a fanatic.


دقت کردم تا با هرآنچه وی گفت مخالفت نکـنم چرا کـه با عـاشـق پـر شور جدل بی حاصل ست.  بهتر اینکه فکر یاد آوریِ ایرادِ معشوق را برای عاشـق از سـر  بیـرون کـنی.  و یا ایـنکه به وکیـلی ضعف پرونـده اش را یاد آوری کنـی و یا بـا آدم متعصب عقـلایـی برخورد کنـی    

وُ لــتِر
Hafez, never kiss but thy lover's lips and the wine cup's rim For it is wrong to kiss the hands of those who sell/claim piety
Hafez of Shiraz
مـبـوس جز لب معشوق و جام مـی حافظ
کـه دست زُهـد فـروشـان خـطاست بوسیدن
"Feeble, insignificant thinking is seldom concise.  It is wordy...[and] endlessly circles around a subject because it cannot seem to touch, perhaps does not really want to touch, the subject it has condemned itself to express. The more protracted the babble, the thinner the meaning
and the more treacherous its condensation."
Ernest Bloch in his study of Hegel
سـخنِ سـست و بی مقدار به نـدرت مختصرست. با   پُرگـویی، بی هدف دایره وار پیرامون موضوع می گرد د چرا کـه بـه نظر نمی آیـد قادر باشـد ، یـا شاید هم بـه واقـع نمی خواهد، موضوعی را  که خود را محکـوم به بیانِ آن می داند لمس کندهر چـه نامفهوم گویی طولانـی تر، معنیِ آن  سـطحی تر و خلاصه کردن آن عذاب آورترست  
  ارنسـت بلـوخ در تـحقیقات هگلـی اش


In childhood we strove to go to school,
Our turn to teach, joyous as a rule
The end of the story is sad and cruel
From dust we came, and gone with winds cool
Omar Khayyam

یک چند بکودکی باستاد شدیم
یک چند ز استادی خود شاد شدیم
پایان سخن شنو که ما را چه رسید
اّز خاک در آمدیم بر باد شدیم


The secrets eternal neither you know nor I
And answer to the riddle neither you know nor I
Behind the veil there is such talk about us, why,
When the veil falls, neither you remain nor I
Omar Khayyam

  اسرار ازل نه تو دانی و نه من
وین حل معما نه تو دانی و نه من
هست از پس پرده گفتگوی من و تو
چون پرده برافتد نه تو مانی و نه من 

The caravan of life shall always pass
Beware that is fresh as sweet young grass
Let’s not worry about what tomorrow will amass
Fill my cup again, this night will pass, alas.

Omar Khayyam

این قافله عمر عجب میگذرد
دریاب دمی که با طرب میگذرد
ساقی غم فردای حریفان چه خوری
پیش آر پیاله را که شب میگذرد

Theodore Rothstein, the Soviet ambassador to Iran in 1921,
is known to have made the following sardonic comment about
Iranian statesmen:
"Persia is fundamentally sound.  They will take money from
everybody. From the British today from the Russians tomorrow
or from the French or the Germans or anyone else. 
But they will  never do anything for the money.  You may
buy their country from them six times over but you
will never get it. I say Persia can never go under.  Persia is fundamentally sound."


Abbas Mirza Qajar was the crown prince of Fath Ali Shah, the second Qajar king; Abbas
Mirza died in 1834 at the age of 43, never becoming king; but he was the governor of
Azarbaijan (seated in Tabriz) and as such in charge of Qajar Iran's defense of the Caucasus
(qafqaz) in the two Russo-Iranian wars which resulted in the Golestan (1813) and Turkmanchai
(1828) treaties and loss of the region; he was also Iran's first modern reformer, attempting to modernize
the Qajar military and administration.  In 1805, in a conversation with Napoleon Bonapart's representative
to Iran, Abbas Mirza went on record asking, with lamentation, the following question; remember this
was when he was losing badly to the Russians despite his best, brave efforts; see if you care to answer it:

"What is the power that gives [Europe] so great a superiority over us? What is the cause of your
progress and of our constant weakness? You know the art of governing, the art of conquering, the art
of putting into action all human faculties, whereas we seem condemned to vegetate in a shameful



Morgan Shuster's observation of Iran's Constitutional Revolution of 1906:
"I believe that there has never been in the history of the world
an instance where a people changed suddenly from an absolute
monarchy to a constitutional or representative form  of government
and at once succeeded in displaying a high standard of political
wisdom and knowledge of legislative procedure"
The Strangulation of Persia, pp.240.


"A revolution is a mighty devourer of human energy,
both individual and collective. The nerves give way . 
Consciousness is shaken and characters are worn out. 
Events unfold too swiftly for the flow of fresh forces
to replace the loss. Hunger, unemployment, the death
of the revolutionary cadres, the removal of the masses
from administration, all this led to such a physical and
moral impoverishment of the Parisian suburbs that they
required three decades before they were ready for a new
Leon Trotsky on the Great French Revolution in
Revolution Betrayed, pp38-89


He who has a one year intent, plants grain,
if the intent is ten years, then a tree.
He who has a hundred year intent, educates a person.

Amir Kabir (Iran's Chief Minister 1848-52)   

کسی که نیت یک ساله دارد، گندم می کارد
و آن که دهساله، درخت مینشاند و
آن که صد ساله، آدم تربیت میکند

میرزا تقی خان امیر کبیر


To all who by their thought, or word, or deed
Have aided Persia in her hour of need,
Whether by tongue, or pen, or sword they wrought,
Whether they strove or suffered, spoke or fought,
Whether their services were small or great,
This book of mine I humbly dedicate.
May these approve my poor attempt to trace
This final effort of an ancient race
To burst its bondage, caste aside its chain,
And rise to life 'a Nation once again.'
Dedication page by Professor Edwarde G. Brown
n his The Persian Revolution 1905-1909


Ibn Khaldun, the renown Arab historian of the 14th century and author of Muqadama (Introduction to History), reported the following remark attributed to the Prophet of Islam: 
"If scholarship hung suspended in the highest part of the heavens, the Persians would attain it."
"Besides, death itself is not frightening; it is the
moment before death, that horrible last instant. 
That is true not just for the cowardly but also for the
brave, even for those of whom it is commonly said
'He looks death square in the eye'"
Anna Larina widow of Nikolai Bukharin the Bolshevik leader
"Faced by the mountainous heap of the minutiae
of knowledge and awed by the watchful severity
of his colleagues, the modern historian too often
take refuge in learned article or narrowly specialized
dissertations.  I believe that the supreme duty of the
historian is to write history, that is to say, to attempt
to record in one sweeping sequence the greater events
and movements that have swayed the destinies of man"
Sir Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades. (Introduction)


"Extremism is so easy. You've got your position,
and that's it. It doesn't take much thought. And when
you go far enough to the right you meet the same idiots
coming around from the left."
Clint Eastwood
"The saddest thing I can imagine is to get
 used to luxury."
"Words are cheap. The biggest thing you
can say is 'elephant'."
"Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up,
but a comedy in long shot."



What is to be done, O Moslems? For I do not recognize myself.
I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Zoroastrian,
nor Moslem. I am not of the East, nor of the West, nor
of the land, nor of the sea; I am nor of Nature's mint, nor
of the circling heavens. I am not of this world, nor of the
next, nor of Heaven, nor of Hell; I am not of Adam, nor
of Eve, nor of Eden and Paradise.  My place is the placeless,
my trace is the traceless; It is neither body or soul, for I
belong to the soul of the Beloved.
Come, come whoever you are.
Wanderer, idolater, worshipper of fire,
Come even though you have broken your vows a thousand times
Come, and come yet again.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.


A heart that circles round the door of love
Will die, at last, by the dagger of love
This point is written in the book of love
He has no head at all whose head holds love
Mowlana Jalal al-Din Mohammad Balkhi  (Rumi)