"You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?" — Rumi.

Yet another Westerner asking "Is this ta'arof?" and following the well-worn path through thousands of years of Persian and Arab culture, stumbling around language barriers and books. All the while not wanting to be written off as an Orientalist.

This is a blog about Iran, Syria and the Middle East, politics, Persian and Arabic poetry, literature and culture, internationalism, international solidarity and other tenuously related subjects.

Disclaimer: I'm not an academic. I'm not even a student and I've got no relevant qualifications or real reason to be mouthing off.