We are manipulated by those who don't have our
best interest in mind
By Azadeh Madani
January 12, 2004
Many years ago, when I was a student, I read an article
about Iran in a foreign magazine that I think was Harper's. Two
journalists, who were travelling across South Asia and the
Middle East, were reporting each week about a country they
had just visited.That week they wrote about Iran, how they entered
the country from Zahedan border, traveled across the country,
and left Rezaieh to enter Turkey.
After giving some demographic information about
Iran, size, neighbor countries, population, ethnic groups, language,
natural resources, etc., they wrote about Iranian people, how kind
and hospitable they were. After driving for several hours in the
desert kavirs, when they would get to a location with a couple
of trees, where a few poor farm families lived, they would be invited
in and offerred food, which was usually tea and some bread.
They mentioned, "majority of Iranians are
Moslem, but they respect other minor religions in Iran and live
with them". They wrote "Iranians are strong individuals
but weak in teamwork.This is reflected in their sports
too, where they have achieved international medals in wrestling
and weight lifting, but not in basketball, football (soccer), etc."
They wrote, "Iranians are extremly emotional. When
they loose someone, they mourn for a long time, and at wedding
or other joyful occasions, they celebrate for a long time. Because
they have been invaded by enemies many times during their
long history, they are always suspicious of others. They say, this
eye should not trust the other eye, or a brother should not trust his
As I was reading the article, being young and naive,
I liked and would agree with the parts that sounded good to my
ear, such as
kind, hospitable, tolerant of other religions, but I thought the
parts about Iranians being over emotional, suspicious of others,
bad in teamwork,etc., were nonsense and not correct!
Now that I am older and a little wiser, I think
everything in that article was true. We Iranians are extremely
emotional, and have
a hard time to think rationally. That is why we can easily
be manipulated by those who don't have our best interest
in mind. We can not work as a team for our common good. We don't
admit to our mistakes, and don't try to learn from them.
That is why every few decades we go though a cycle of self-destruction,
and loose everything that we have achieved.
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