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Role model

Fame, fortune & false hopes
Anousheh Ansari is not a role model for having paid the $10 million to go to space


September 14, 2006

It always saddens me to see female members of the younger generation when they come across as airheads focusing on insignificant matters considering the opportunities they have to make a difference by all the learning opportunities available to them in the West.

Ms. Ahmadi [see: "Rocket on Anousheh"] thinks that she must be brilliant by tackling an old age issue which has been written about numerous times and does not really matter. That is the subject of Iranian TV stations being garbage (those outside Iran of course). We all know that they take advantage of a bunch of homesick, nostalgic people by milking them for advertisements that are insulting.

I must have missed something because I could not see why this young lady expects the TV personalities to be her role models (she can always choose Paris Hilton or Lindsey Lohan since they are stylish and do not use bad language!).

I am willing to bet she is from San Jose area which is like a different village. I just happened to attend Mehregan Conference the first week of September in San Diego and I am sure there were several hundred Iranians each day at every lecture. I was impressed at my fellow Iranians interactions as well as the lectures.

In one instance a younger speaker who has done a project on the "Iranian sexual revolution" spoke and painted a portrait of one big sexual orgy going on in Iran and the youth using their sexual adventures as a tool of rebellion!

For someone like me who is in touch with the youth and other ages in Iran and is always impressed at how many of the younger generation are fighting to make a difference and consider that rebellion, I found the "study" inaccurate portrait of an entire generation. One gentleman sounded hostile and stated that he wanted the speaker to provide proof because the lecture had disturbed him.

Most of the listeners simply thanked her and said they were saddened by learning about these issues. I asked the speaker if she had observed the young and educated who are rebelling in a positive way by making a difference and trying to gain more freedom for the right reason.

The mighty little PhD candidate (who came across as Ms. Knowit-all) rudely misunderstood my question (or did not even care to listen since she seemed to think her speech was perfect) said "they are all educated and are having sex"!

Instead of insulting her and being rude by making her see her shortcoming of being a horrible listener I simply shook my head. I even offered to help her fundraise for a TV show which will feature a panel of experts to provide education on sexually transmitted disease and that is despite the fact that the old and the really experienced middle-age dame in me knew damn well, this young lady's effort (for the most part) was about self-promotion (and selling her book) but as an Iranian female, I want to support her and if any members of that panel can save a young life form catching AIDS then I am all for supporting that cause.

Either this writer [see: "Rocket on Anousheh"] is not surrounded by highly educated and compassionate Iranians or she is isolated because you talk to anyone with average intelligence and they will tell you Mrs. Ansari is not a role model for having paid the $10 million to be on the list of people wanting to go to space. Those opinions are from people of all nationalities which I hear from.

That kind of money can empower many people to be a valuable member of the society and make a difference. Mrs. Ansari's ambitions to make a name for herself and boost her ego. God forbid she would quote an Iranian because we have shortage of valuable quotes from our brilliant pats and present people.

Isn't it ironic that the world famous and noteworthy people always quote Rumi, Khayyam or even Hafiz, yet your hero quotes Gandhi (who will turn in his grave if he found out his quote is being misused) and her idea of a change is to ignore all the problems the world, close her eyes and hand 10 million dollars so she can get her pictures all over everywhere and have all her relatives boast that little Anousheh traveled to space! That is no different than during the Crown Cannibal's time when monarchists boasted about trips to exclusive boutiques in Paris to buy custom-made clothes.

Ms. Ahmadi, you should be ashamed of admitting to watch the Iranian music videos which are worse than Hip Hop. They degrade women by showing overly made-up fat females with short skirts performing cheap and seductive moves with Iranian tunes.

Look around because there are many Iranians who do not advertise and work to help better humanity every day and that ranges from paying to feed the homeless to providing money for treatment of a cancer patience. They give small amounts but give regularly. Those should be your role models and you should start by learning to take the lead in making a difference in your community and not be a typical Iranian who is great at complaining about every thing that is bad about our communities outside and never mention what is good about us.

I had my first Iranian cinema feature which took place yesterday and there were only two Iranians (I am doing this project for non-Iranians who understand the artistic values of movies) and I can not tell you how positive the attitudes were during my Q and A session as well as when I took the discussions outside. They had nothing but positive things to say about the Iranians they had come in contact with.

Stop complaining and try to be an example. Do not wait or expect others to do it for you. I started when I was 14 years old in a little port town in Iran without all the opportunities you have. Comment

For letters section
To Azam Nemati

Azam Nemati



Book of the day

Crowning Anguish
Taj al-Saltana, Memoirs of a Persian Princess 1884-1914
edited by Abbas Amanat

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