Abu Ali-Sina

Those who leave a trace in our history are those who leave an impression in our hearts!

Mohammad Ghaffari, known as Kamal-ol-Molk, is one of the most admired and distinct artists of Iran. His artwork has been a gateway to new horizons for generations still to come.

Talent was in his blood, for he was born into a family of artists. He developed an interest in calligraphy (writing) and painting. At an early age in his childhood years, he drew charcoal sketches on the walls of his bedroom which may still be evident in that very house.

Once finishing his primary schooling in Kashan, Mohammad moved to Tehran
to further his studies in Dar-ol-Fonoon School of Art. Among Naseredin Shah’s many visits to the school, he became familiar with Mohammad’s gifted talent and invited him to the court (darbar). During this period, he created over 170 paintings of landscape, royal camps, portraits of important people, and different parts of the palace.

He was first given the title “Naghash Bashi” for his acknowledgements but later with his eminent progress he became known as “Kamal-ol-Molk” (the most valuable worthiness). Kamal-ol Molk is known for a number of his most famous work during his stay at the shah’s court. The most magnificent piece among these is “The Mirror Hall” which took six years to complete (1885-1891). In this lively spirited painting, Naseredin Shah is portrayed sitting in the middle of Mirror Hall of Golestan Palace. The reflection of light and shadow of objects in the mirrors, as well as the reflection of the mirrors in one another, are so delicately painted that the observer is left surrounded by wonders and unspeakable words. He also drew a self portrait in 1920 which is also highly credited.

During Mozaffareddin Shah’s ruling, Kamal-ol Molk was facing undesirable painting requests; but, he dealt with the situation subtly, refusing to accept the offer. This rejection caused tension among both sides. Furthermore, he was falsely accused of stealing two pieces of gold from the palace. His heart could not bear such pain, thus he set out for Europe during which he enhanced his art. Mozaffareddin Shah’s second visit to Europe and the love that he had for his county made him return to Iran after four years.

With the growth of art appreciation in Iran, Kamal-ol-Molk established “Sanaye Mostazrafeh Art School” in Tehran, better known as Kamal-ol-Molk Art School. He introduced a variety of arts such as carpet weaving, mosaic designing, and woodwork to his students. Despite his academic teachings, he also taught his students about life, morals, love, and humanity. The love that he had for the young generation went beyond his professional standards. At many times, he stayed late at school teaching, and selflessly helped poor students in need with a portion of his monthly salary.

With his knowledge and dedication, he trained competent students who have become the famous artists of today, faces like Esmaeel Ashtiani, Ali Mohammad Heidarian, Mohsen Soheili and others. The achievement of these artists received much attention both in Iran and Europe. In 1927, due to further uncompromising with the Pahlavi Dynasty, he resigned from teaching and painting altogether and assigned his position to one of his most acknowledged students, Hussein-Ali Vaziri. Kamal-ol-Molk moved to Neishaboor where he lived the remainder of his life and passed away in 1940 at the age of 93.

Kamal-ol-Molk gave life to the extent and understanding of art in Iran. Iranian painting was limited to Miniature during and before the Qajar Era. Hence, he opened a door of opportunity to the young generation of artists succeeding him. In addition, he is remembered as a man of great value and morals, whose honor and love for his country had no boundary. He has left a piece of his soul in each of his paintings and will remain as a distinct artist in Iran’s history.

Marsha Mehran’s new novel Pomegranate Soup

After our December cover of OCPC featuring up and coming Iranian actor Nicolas Guilak, we were flooded with emails! Everyone wanted to know who this handsome new rising star in Hollywood was. He had just starred in an independent film entitled “Will Unplugged” and a year before he had caught our attention as the lead in NBC’s made-for-TV movie Saving Jessica Lynch as Mohammed Al-Rehaief, the Iraqi father and husband who risked his own family’s safety to help Lynch, leading to her heroic rescue on April 1, 2003.

Now six months later we wanted to catch up with Guilak to see what he is
up to…

Nicholas Guilak, just finished his final performance as the recurring guest-star
on Fox’s hit drama “24:Day 4”. A few of his previous credits include playing
the lead in NBC’s highly controversial drama “Saving Jessica Lynch” and
starring in “Homeland Security”. He’s guest-starred in more than a dozen
popular shows from CSI: Miami, Navy”NCIS”, Threat Matrix to JAG, The Agency, “24:Day 2,” War Stories and She Spies (which was directed by Reza Badiyi). Nicholas is a founding member of Big Dog Little Dog Productions, a nonprofit theatre company in Los Angeles, which was voted top 5 by Bravo in the year 2000. He is a big advocate of theatre and because of scheduling issues has not been able to do a play in the past few years. His next project is
to produce and star in a theatre production of Howard Korder’s dark comedy “Boy’s Life” for a summer opening in Hollywood. He is being considered for a few big feature films – we’ll give you the scoop as soon as we find out!

DUI Cases by Kourosh Jafari

Nowadays when most people are leading stressful lives, feeling overwhelmed with their responsibilities and daily activities, the value of meditation shines forth.

It’s time to choose meditation as a way of life, to help you understand better who you are, and what your needs are. Perhaps, after careful consideration you would choose a different life then the one you have created for yourself.

We are always searching for peace, we work hard to create the life we think we want to earn more so we can have a better car, a bigger home, better furniture, so we can be comfortable to finally be at peace. But, the more we engage in the worldly materialistic pursuit, the more conditioned we become to its complicated, never ending demands and that’s when we become a stranger to our true essence, which is peace and serenity.

That’s why I have created these simple organic excercises that will bring you closer to yourself. It’s taking a short vecation from the world outside to reach and touch who we really are within. Don’t be surprised if this journey begins to feel all too familiar to you!

Write the word meditation in bold letters on your to-do list. Everyday sit quietly for a few minutes, close your eyes and focus your attention on your breath, stay with your breath for a couple of minutes, now invite yourself to be at peace, allow your muscles to let go of all tensions and your thoughts to slow down.

Now you will begin to find yourself in a more peaceful space. Use this space to find out how you feel, are you truly pleased with your life? Re-evaluate your values and if you choose, make some adjustments.

1. For the start, let’s plan your day in a way that pleases you, in other words add an activity that serves you better. What do you enjoy doing? For instance, if you like nature, take yourself somewhere beautiful by the ocean or perhaps you choose the park or the forest and if you are really short of time go to your own backyard or balcony.

2. Take a deep breath, now for couple of minutes be aware of your breaths as they come and go, then slowly start to feel your own presence; notice yourself, focus your attention on what is going on inside of you.

3. Now, ask yourself: How you feel? Does it feel good to be out here experiencing yourself in nature? If the answer is yes, your brain has just sent the message of peace and serenity to your nervous system.

Here is another beneficial exercise.

1. Every night before you go to sleep sit quietly for a few minutes, take some deeper longer breathes.

2. Bring your awareness on your breath, love and nurture yourself, feel this love for yourself deep in the chore of your being and stay in this vibration for a few minutes.

3. Now, feel the shift in your energy and let it absorb into your cells.

With this simple exercise, you sent the message of love and kindness to your nervous system, as a result your nerves begin to let go a bit and allow you to experience the peace within. At this time truly let go of all thoughts and ideas and connect to yourself on a deep level and while you feel the connection, ask yourself for a peaceful life. You know you deserve it!

Yes, peace and joy is within us and you have always longed for it, stop looking for it outside of you, once you find it merge with it, lose yourself in it, allow your cells to dance in this blessed joyful light and finally radiate this peace and joy to the world around you.

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