Archive for ‘English’

January 3, 2013

“Doors of heavens or when Jimi Hendrix was Bulgarian”







Simeon Gasparov /

Simeon Gasparov, Sofia, Bulgaria  1993“Doors of Heavens” is the novel that I have decided to write for my thesis. This novel is a story comprised of many other stories. They have different moods, pulses and beats similar to the music that I have always adored – rock ‘n’ roll. But this is also a poetic analogy and devotion to the passion, spirit and the thrill, of being a small particle within the great idea of the human and liberal sciences. A devotion to the spirit and the thrill I was inspired by as a student at the University of Chicago.
Before I begin with the introduction to the “Doors of Heavens,” I would like to reveal the roots and the reason for my choosing this particular topic. This, I hope, could provide the readers with understanding of the feeling that was hidden inside of me, and was pushing and bothering me, teasing and tormenting me for a long time, until the moment I sat and expressed it in writing. The introductory essay about the essence of the “Doors of Heavens” I named “When Jimi Hendrix was Bulgarian.” (Oh, yeah, I can see the suspicious smiles!) How come? What does Jimi Hendrix, an American, black rock musician have in common with an Eastern European country that you can’t even find on the map?
It was somewhere in the beginning of the 1970s. I was a kid, living in the lonesome, odd, quaint, erratic and misunderstood Bulgaria. It was one of those last hot sleepy summer days of school vacation. My friends and I, living in a blue collar neighborhood of Sofia, did not have many chances in front of us. But we also did not have, many things to worry about it. While our parents were working in the nearby factories, we were spending our days playing soccer, breaking the windows of houses with the soccer ball, repairing our rusty bicycles, stealing plums, peaches, apricots and apples from the green orchards around and waiting for the time when we would grow up and, like our parents, be swallowed by the same surrounding factories.

Simeon Gasparov 2018

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November 5, 2012

“There are about 5-6 million homeless children in America”

“There are about 5-6 million homeless children in America”

Diane Nilan is the founder and president of the foundation helping the homeless families HEAR US Inc. She has over 25 years experience working with impoverished and homeless families including directing the shelter at Hesed House in Aurora for 13 years. In 2005, Nilan formed a national non-profit organization, HEAR US Inc., to call attention to the hidden issue of homeless families and youth. She also travels across the country to meet and help the people in need.

Simeon Gasparov

– Mrs. Nilan some of the experts say that the existence of the homeless families in the U.S. is the best kept secret in the country. Is this true?

– This is a very true statement. Often when I ask someone how do you picture the homeless, 90% say it is a mentally ill person, or someone who is addicted to drugs.
This is the image that our society has about the homeless. Surely, this is the image that the politicians in this country have for them. Because of this, many homeless families remain invisible in America. On the other hand, they do not dare to speak out publicly about their homelessness, because are afraid their children not to be taken away.

– How many are the homeless children in the U.S.?

– According to statistics, there are over 1 million children of school age. But actually maybe 2 million. Besides, with the addition of the children who are not in a school age, I would not be surprised if there are about 5-6 million homeless children in America.

– Why are there so many homeless children and families?

– Because during the 80’s, the government stopped subsidizing housing for the poor. The drastic cuts in funds had a devastating effect on those who needed housing. The market prices jumped and the rents for more than 20 years are going up. The people could not afford to pay the high rents. Furthermore, the lack of jobs and low wages also influence this process. Other reasons to have families without shelters, are the natural disasters, such as the Hurricane Katrina, for example. Once you find yourself in this situation, it is very hard to move up.

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October 17, 2012

Dr. John Carlos: “Human and social rights have problems on worldwide bases”

Dr. John Carlos: “Human and social rights have problems on worldwide bases”

Simeon Gasparov for Trud Daily –

Dr. John Carlos is a medaled USA Track and Field Hall of Fame athlete and Olympian. Competing in the 200 meters, he earned the Gold in the 1967 Pan American Games, and the Bronze in the 1968 Olympics. A record setter, Dr. Carlos led San Jose State to its first NCAA championship in 1969 with victories in the 100 and 220, and as a member of the 4×110-yard relay. He also set indoor world bests in the 60-yard dash and 220-yard dash at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Dr. Carlos made world history during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico, when he took to the international stage during the medal ceremony and made a speechless statement, heard and seen worldwide. Winning the 200 meter, John Carlos accepted the Bronze medal at the Olympic podium wearing black socks and no shoes to represent impoverished people who had no shoes of their own, and raised a black-gloved fist crowning a bowed head to humbly reflect the strength of the human spirit. Carlos was joined in his statement by teammate and gold medalist Tommie Smith, and both were supported by silver medalist, Australian, Peter Norman who wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge.

– Dr. Carlos, you are one of the symbols of the protests for human and social justice in America from the 60’s. Why 40 years later, this struggle still continues today  in the country?

– I think this is happening not only in America. Human and social rights have problems on worldwide bases, not only here. We still deal with these issues, because we are very slow learners. And particularly slow learners, when it comes to the very tender areas to deal with, as race and economic relations. The power brokers do not want to have any discussion or a dialog with those who have no power, to resolve these issues. We have to keep driving it until they understand it. If we do not learn from the lessons from the past, we will be on the process of destroying the society, as we know it.

– I saw you few months ago at the Occupy Wall Street in Chicago. Why do you support the movement and what we, the people from Bulgaria can learn from it?
– First of all you have to understand that all these people at the Occupy Movement, are fighting for the same issues we were fighting in the 60’s. And the spectrum  now is getting bigger with all sources of ethnic groups that are getting involved in it as – Whites, Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics. Everybody is concern about, how their live will look like in a few years. Will they have jobs, will their kids go to college. Will they be able to pay the students loan, when there are not jobs. Will their homes be taken away, because can not pay the mortgage.

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