MAKATI CITY (13 March) – In addition to (1) simplicity or simple living, there are three other enduring challenges, among others, facing Islamic Republic of Iran’s revolutionary-to-ruler transition: (2) openness to criticism, (3) loyalty vs. competence, and (4) blaming the enemy.
2. Openness to criticism. Undeniably, for a person to feel bad with criticism is a natural tendency as he tends to see himself, his attitude, and his intellect as perfect and flawless. In Sa‘di’s poetry, “Everyone thinks his own wisdom perfect and his child beautiful… If wisdom were to cease throughout the world, no one would suspect himself of ignorance.” (Golestan-e Sa‘di, chap. 7 (Rules for Conduct in Life), tale 30, p. 357)
YANGON, MYANMAR (11 February 2019) – It’s exactly 20 years back. 1998. February 11. 3:12 am.
“In a few moments, we will land in Mehrabad International Airport,” an IranAir flight attendant in navy blue hijab assured with a smile the drowsy passengers to a seven-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tehran. A score of fellow students from Mindanao and I were fetched by a minibus at the airport and transported to Qazvin, a city over 100 kilometers away. After taking a sumptuous breakfast in Karaj in the suburb of the capital, we arrived in Imam Khomeini International University where we had to learn within six months the language of Gulistan, Divan-e Hafiz, and Shahnameh.