Out of all my travels in 137 countries, it is right here, in Iran, where I have found the most hospitable and friendly people. Complete strangers coming up to me on the street, from big cities to small towns, offering me a cup of tea in their shop or a bed to sleep in their home. I'm convinced that I could come to Iran with $0 in my pocket and easily be able to make friends, find delicious meals and be welcomed in a comfortable home like family. Seriously, it’s almost like they force you into their homes (in a good way!)Over the last 2 weeks, I’ve told dozens of Persians that I am both American and Jewish, and contrary to what you may think, it makes them like me even more, peaking their interest and asking more questions. I have not felt a minuscule of negative hostility yet from anyone in this country.Also, as I have now published 10 videos about Iran so far — it really makes me laugh when I read some of the comments and hear people calling my videos "propaganda." These videos are the farthest thing away from propaganda!!! They are telling you the downright truth from my experiences in the country. Nobody told me to make this video (or any video). I made this because I feel the need to share what I am seeing to you. And I hope that by watching this video (and my others about Iran) — that you will remove your negative stereotypes about this humble nation and realize that it's one of the safest and best places to visit on our planet.If you have ever been to Iran, and you agree with what I am saying, then please share your thoughts or a quick moment/story from your experience with the people here. I want the entire world to know!!!Follow Drew Binsky for daily travel videos, and come say hi on Insta @drewbinsky 🙂 Music: Epidemic Sound*Note* My trip to Iran was from May 26-June 9, but due to limited WiFi there, I decided to delay my videos until trip ended — which you are seeing in chronological order. Hope you enjoy!
IRAN is the world's largest producer and exporter of CARPETS, producing 3/4ths of the world's total output. And frankly, you cannot visit Iran without being completely immersed in the carpet scene. They are decorating almost every floor in all mosques, palaces, museums, hotels, restaurants, households and any other notable buldings. The come in all kinds of textures, designs, colors and styles — and they add such a unique flavor to Persian culture. I am really enjoying it!Today with our G Adventures's crew, we had the pleasure of visiting one of the most well known carpet shops in Isfahan, Iran — and little did I know how EXPENSIVE they can be! Well, not all of them (some are $70USD…) but I found one today that is worth $100,000 USD!! Can you believe that?Join me as I take you deeper inside the world of Persian rugs :)Follow Drew Binsky for daily travel videos and inspiration, and come say hi on Insta @drewbinsky! Music: Epidemic Sound*Note* My trip to Iran was from May 26-June 9, but due to limited WiFi there, I decided to delay my videos until trip ended — which you are seeing in chronological order. Hope you enjoy!
Some at Brown Pundits have expressed dismay at my using the phrase “caucasian intelligentsia”, maybe because they see this as a criticism of white people. To be clear I am not criticizing people of European ancestry or European influenced culture; but rather a very subtle, pernicious and dangerous colonization of the mind. Some caucasians and non caucasians are at the epicenter of this imperial oppressive hegemonic system. And many good caucasians and non caucasian are fighting against the caucasian intelligentsia. Malcom X and Ali ably describe this caucasian intelligentsia. They call this phenomenon the “white liberal.” Since many caucasian liberals fight against the caucasian intelligentia, I am uncomfortable with the term “white liberal.” I also do not completely agree every aspect of what Malcolm X and Ali say. With that caveat, please listen to the whole thing. the clip is only six minutes long. Some great quotes:
“The white liberals [caucasian intelligentsia] from both parties cross party lines to work together toward the same goal”
“The white liberal differs from the white conservative in only one way . . . the liberal [caucasian intelligentsia] is more deceitful, more hypocritical than the conservative”
“Both want power but the white liberal [caucasian intelligentsia] is the one who has perfected the art of posing as the negroe’s friend and benefactor and by winning the friendship and support of the negroe the white liberal [caucasian intelligentsia] is able to use the negroe as a pawn or weapon”
Ali says that we should love our race and culture
Most but not all of the caucasian intelligentsia comes from post modernism. A sizable minority of the caucasian intelligentsia comes from other caucasian pathologies that can be elaborated on in another post. To massively oversimplify post modernism seeks to negate all metanarratives and universalist norms to observe the world as it truly is. In practice however, modern post modernists see the world through a very narrow incomplete, misleading and biased western ethnocentric filter. In practice they dispute the core of European Enlightenment liberalism and Eastern philosophy, three features of which are:
All humans are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights, including the right of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (eastern philosophy conforms)
All humans have the right to freedom of art, speech and thought (eastern philosophy conforms but adds freedom of intuition and feeling)
All human beings are potentially powerful, potentially wise and sovereign (eastern philosophy conforms but adds “divine”)
Post modernists disagree with all of these, seeing them as tools of oppression, hegemony, exploitation, colonialism, imperialism, sectarianism, bigotry, prejudice, racism. Post modernists see free expression, liberty or the concept of everyone being potentially wise, powerful and sovereign; as potentially violent and potentially oppressive.
Post modernists are trying to damage the self confidence (Atma Vishwaasa in Sanskrit) of black Americans of African ancestry similar to what they did to former European colonies in Africa and Asia during the 1800s and 1900s. To quote from a previous Brown Pundit post:
At ASHG next Monday Niraj Rai will be presenting this poster, Reconstructing the peopling of old world south Asia: From modern to ancient genomes.
South Asia was one of the first geographic regions to be peopled by modern humans after their African exodus. Today, the diverse ethnic groups of South Asia comprise an array of tribes, castes, and religious groups, who are largely endogamous and have hence developed complex, multi-layered genetic differentiation. From such a complex structure, several questions have stood out from the research of our group and others that are only beginning to be resolved using modern sequencing techniques and targeted sampling of populations and archaeological specimens. Here, for the first time we have used ancient genomics approach to understand the deep population ancestry of Indian Sub- continent. Despite the rich sources available of modern Indian populations, success from ancient DNA specimens in the subcontinent have been limited. We have successfully analysed several museum samples and fresh excavation from the different part of India which provides us a wonderful opportunity to be able to relate these modern populations genetically with those in the past and build complex models of population mixture and migration in India. Using ancient genomics data from the human remains who have lived about 4-5 thousand years before present in North West and South of India, we are trying to understand the population history of Iron age people and their genetic relation with the North West of Indians and Iranian Farmers. Furthermore, we are providing a solid Genetic evidence that substantiates archaeological and linguistic evidence for the origins of Dravidian languages and the language of the Indus valley people.
I’ll probably be trying to make sure I catch Rai at the poster. I’m most interested in the South Indian samples.If they date to more than 4,000 years before the present, it will be quite interesting.
The discussion on Muslim birthrates is verging on the obscene. As I’ve mentioned before the problem with multi-ethnic multi-religious liberal democracies is that people start tracking population data. One strong about the autocratic and mercantile Khaleej Gulf Arab states is that they are simply indifferent to their population; you are either a citizen or not. I can see the Rise & Rise of Dubai as a enlightened despotic trading entrepot for Indians, Pakistanis and other Asians.
Vidhi made the very important to me in our discussions that as a Sindhi, she has an interest in her homeland. But she also made the critical point (I’m the only Punditeer who’s married to the enemy; the rest of you encounter them online whichever side your on) that she wouldn’t be able to dress as a Hindu
The importance of Khorasan to Turan, which I will expand on in future posts. There were two great Persian dialects in the middle ages; Sabk-e Khorasan and Sabk-e Hind. One of the great mysteries is what contributed to the intense “Persianiasation” of Khorasan; when it was originally Parthian/Eastern Iranian and “Aryan”.
In her facebook post; Vidhi used the term “Islamic chains”, which offended many of my liberal Islamic friends.
The point is that my friends weren’t necessarily upset by the governmental communique, which threatens to kill the Pakistani drama industry. They were a bit ambivalent about it; the way Pakistanis usually are when it comes to Aasia Bibi, Qandeel Baloch and all the other horrors in our society.
However if Islam or the Prophet (God forbid we don’t use Holy or PBUH) are somehow criticised then all hell breaks lose. A few observations about Muslim liberals:
Very few Muslims are genuinely liberal but rather their alliance with liberalism is the umbrella by which they can operate.
There are priorities of criticism and loss of life is not as important as loss of honour.
Constructive Criticism is mistaken for insults in most Muslim culture since the concept of izzat is so strong.
Muslim loyalty to the religion is a thing of wonder; it is a conditioning that somehow survives secularism. Even the atheist Persians will instinctively rally to Muslim causes and sometimes Kafir Baha’is will take to the blogosphere to defend Muslim High culture.
India is ready to lose her soul in order to be rich, Muslim cultures will hold onto their soul even at the cost of prosperity.
The Kafir complex is very embedded in the Pakistani Muslim psyche; the outrage over the Aasia Bibi case is fairly feeble.
Liberal Pakistanis are complicity in their explanations “But Pakistan is a Muslim Republic.” The justifications are just not good enough.
Even if India has acted as bossy big sister (Kashmir, unpaid monies at Independent, territorial adjustment, Bdesh); Pakistan simply has failed to manage the relationship.
If we had limited our demands to to restoring the primacy of Persian in the Muslim areas (especially Punjab, Delhi & the northwestern zone) and the hegemony of Urdu in the rest we would have ensured our High Cultural supremacy in South Asia, which is what matters. But Pakistanis & Muslims aren’t adroit negotiators so resorted to religious claptrap.
With some hindsight, perhaps I was asking the question because I constrained my dataset to West and South Asian societies, where India, in particular, seemed exceptional. But if you add China to the mix, then India’s robustness seems less incredible.
Timur died en route to China because he was keen on invading it. Many Muslims believe that Timur’s death prevented the Islamicization of the Han. After reading Imperial China I believe that this is false. Even if Timur conquered China, the Chinese would be resistant to Islam, and likely throw off the conqueror’s successors in short order.
Those conquest dynasties, such as the Manchus, who were successful in China underwent total assimilation. Those, such as the Mongols, who ultimately refused to kowtow to the verities of the Chinese, were expelled.
Taking this comparative perspective it is less surprising that so many South Asians became Muslim. Indians, “Hindus”, were ethnoculturally diverse and distinctive from each other in a way that Han Chinese never were. Muslim conversion of some elites and the targeting of oppressed castes was possible because Indian society was fractured in a way that the Han never were.
Of course, the Persians become Muslim in toto. But the Persians never had an identity to match the Han.
I don’t usually like to type out posts on my cell but I’ll make an exception this time.
I first came to know about this on Karan Johar’s Instagram Feed then all the celebs followed.
India and Pakistan are going off on different trajectories. I do generally applaud the Indian model but does one have to be Western to be wealthy?
As a personal aside I’m generally in favour of licentiousness but I find the perennial identity wars in the West to be tiresome. It’s probably a side effect of the intense loneliness that liberal hyper capitalism brings about.
As a geneticist and a father, one thing about “honor killing” that always strikes me is that it illustrates the power of environmental and cultural pressures in comparison to biology and genetics. When a father, or a brother, kills a daughter or a sister, they kill a part of themselves. Additionally, I don’t think the love and affection that fathers have toward their children is a culturally learned artifact, though some fathers are quite busy, with large broods, and distant.
And yet despite the reality of fatherly or brotherly affection, because of the cultural conditioning and incentive structures in extended family kinship networks, they still murder their daughters and sisters.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Concerned about Pakistan’s international isolation and faltering economy, the country’s powerful military has quietly reached out to its archrival India about resuming peace talks, but the response was tepid, according to Western diplomats and a senior Pakistani official.
The outreach, initiated by the army’s top commander, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, began months before Pakistan’s national elections. Pakistan offered to resume on-and-off talks with India over their border dispute in the Kashmir region, which stalled in 2015 as violence flared up there.
A key objective for Pakistan in reaching out to India is to open barriers to trade between the countries, which would give Pakistan more access to regional markets. Any eventual peace talks over Kashmir are likely to involve an increase in bilateral trade as a confidence-building measure.