Make or break
Are we unable
to contribute to a good thing?
December 12, 2004
Not too long ago, my daughter, Lilly, told me about a friendly
"Mom, click on Iranian.com and you'll see an article
by me," she said.
I wouldn't miss the chance. After reading her
article, I was so moved; I had to write a response.
I became hooked and, before I knew it, I had turned into a regular,
a feature writer, if you will.
Through the past couple of years,
not only have I read numerous good articles, but also have enjoyed
a chance to put some of
my own writing out and gather an impressive number of loyal readers
whose encouragement has kept me going. And, of course, a few
angry souls who seem to like profanity in print.
Outside of the pages
of Iranian.com, I do not know Jahanshah Javid. But I've always
been grateful for the opportunity the
Iranian.com has offered to be in touch with my own kind, exchange
ideas and read the works of other writers. The photo essays connect
me to a home I left behind long before I had a chance to enjoy
its beauty. The art exhibits make me proud of the many good artists
among the new generation of Iranians and the poetry tells me
I'm not the only one who knows the meaning of pain.
Over the years,
Iranian.com has become the community I can turn to when no one
seems to be around. In the lonely life of a writer,
I consider that a gift.
But we can't leave well enough alone, can
we? Lately, the more I read, the more I understand why anyone
would succumb to censorship.
There is a phrase printed in large letters on the front page,
"Nothing is sacred." Coming from a demoralized society and suffocated
by censorship, Jahanshah has vowed to give his writers the kind
of freedom they have never experienced.
He'd be the last person
to stop them from saying what is on their minds. He has offered
a clean slate, something Iranians never knew. Indeed he takes
pride in publishing whatever his writers wish to say, even if
it involves profane comments addressed to him. His message is
loud and clear: "Here's an open door. Enjoy your freedom
This freedom seems to have turned Iranian.com
into a mirror to reflect our true identity. As always, there
seems to be the two
extremes. While it succeeds to bring us a wealth of information,
true works of art and lovely prose, it also exposes us to harsh
comments from those who are unable to accept that different people
are entitled to their different opinions.
Lately, readers have
started to object to this. They sound unhappy over the lack of
restriction and do not approve of the fact that
some articles are printed without an editorial intervention.
Am I wrong to think that they are indeed asking for censorship?
Did we not move across the globe to be free of just that?
has turned into a metaphor of our old society. It reminds me
of an old saying, "You can take the farmer out
of the farm, but can't take the farm out of the farmer." At
times, I'm reminded of the "koocheh" where people
come to watch a good fight. And, naturally, when someone is unable
to put up a fair fight, profanity comes to their rescue.
is a chance for us to interact as a people, to learn from one
another, and to gain strength from our global unity, and
yet, what do we do with it? We use it to settle old scores, to
humiliate each other, to demean someone, or to show prejudice
and generate antagonism, wrath and devastation
Are we unable
to contribute to a good thing? If somebody builds something,
must we find a way to destroy it? Some of us may have
moved around the world and changed appearances but, deep down,
we remain the same. If an endeavor fails, we'll say we knew it
was doomed and if it succeeds well accuse it of deception. "The
British have a hand in this one!"
We hate prejudice, yet do not hesitate to make nasty comments
about others. We allow our religions, philosophies and emotions
to divide us into fragments of a lost nation. All this young
man aspires to do is to bring us together. And, yes, this happens
to also be his job. But, no-ho! We can't have that, can
we? We're going to push and shove to see exactly at what point
he'll cave in and set a limit.
When will Iranian.com resort to
censorship? Soon, I hope. Because the comments I hear lately,
as well as some of the recent articles,
indicate the danger that it may lose its quality, if not some
of its best writers.
Oh, I assure you, I'll remain loyal. I take
pride in my lack of prejudice and don't mind being published
next to someone who
does not necessarily write with dignity, but there are many who
do mind. One of the readers just told me, "It's going downhill!
I have better things to do with my time than read THAT!"
said. "I should hope not!"
I command J. J for his perseverance.
He sure is a man of his word. I guess now it's up to the Iranians
to make or break something
that truly belongs to them. I continue to hope that goodness
will prevail. The only problem is we have a questionable track
record, don't we?