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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


December 6, 1999


I read Hossein Samiei's "A moon of our own". I asked myself A) What function does this essay have for Hossein? B) What is the point of this essay? And C) How could it affect others and their lives?

Let me first explain that the story left me very confused. Because although on the surface it appealed to me as beautiful, moving, and very engaging, on a deeper level it left me empty and sad and unsympathetic. I think, unconsciously, I was noticing a rather self-serving attitude that the story had portrayed of the boy in question.

The images that have stayed with me are those of a boy from a very comfortable home who is terribly preoccupied with his own sense of self. He had no other worries (or at least it appeared as such ) and very little concern for the little girl whom he had interacted. He enjoyed ignoring her and not attending to her. Unfortunately, none of these images impressed me.

I asked myself what does this essay tell me about children? And about male and female interactions? The author attempts, in my judgement, to justify a very wrong assumption that human interactions and male/female interactions are just a "natural" thing and that "learning" plays no role in shaping our attitudes. For example it assumes that if he did things to Niloofar and Niloofar did things to him, they were merely taking the "natural" course of events and that their actions had nothing to do with their upbringing.

Frankly, when I think of my own childhood, I cannot remember responding to my own feelings and showing my affections for any boy in that open and free manner. Nor do I remember having any conscious chemical reactions to boys around me. Although I am the last to favor any generalizations, I find it hard to believe that the case was very different for Niloofar. Therefore, I it could be that the attractions the author attributes to Niloofar are really just the boy's imaginations.

All in all, I did not walk away from this essay thinking that the world is a great place with people who care about each other and whose love and physical chemistry is an outcome of this care and support. Just the opposite: I felt physical chemistry had played the most important role in this essay, leaving the reader on a superficial planet.

To the credit of the author, at least Niloofar was portrayed in terms that one could easily connect with positively. I only wish the feelings of the author about the boy would have been as loving and as positive as those toward Niloofar.

Poopak Taati

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