Welcome to our third issue.
Though I’ve lived in the United States for most of my life, the older I get, the more Iranian my soul feels. I turn to my mother’s cooking, to music—belying my age, it’s Hayedeh right now, and the violin, the santur, and her glorious voice singing about the two kaftar, avian soulmates, that have been separated from each other because a merchant has taken one to market in Shiraz. Azizam, kojayee? Where are you, my beloved?
In the wake of the unceasing bloody, horrific protests in our country of origin—in the wake of internecine wars the world over—I’m thinking of all those throughout the globe whose kaftar, the other part of their heart, is lost to them. In that, in such sorrow, we are one humanity.
Yet we are all also one humanity in our appreciation of literature and art, and the contributors in our third issue offer their beautiful hearts and narratives to us as a generative way to learn, connect, and feel less alone. I know you will love the work of those you know and will want to follow those who are new to you.
As always, we ask that you share our work widely, and follow us, whether as a (free) subscriber to our occasional newsletter and/or on social media. It is a great gift to be here three years later, and I am humbled by those who entrust us with their talents, and all of you who read these issues.
This publication wouldn’t exist without the commitment and love of our brilliant designer (and beautiful poet in her own right!) T. De Los Reyes. Follow her and her work.
Our contributors—and everyone who has ever sent us work—are our own beloved kaftar, our artistic soulmates. Because of them, we are all a little less lost.
In community, in peace, and with love,
Mandana / ماندانا
.زنان. زندگی. آزادی