May 31, 1999
* What about Jews who hate Iranians?
Everyone always places Jews at the receiving end of hatred, oppression,
and prejudice ["I
must be a Jew"]. It's always about how the Jews are the hated
minority; in fact anti-Semitism has become a crime that rivals murder in
the U.S. (I don't condone anti-Semitism, just making a point here).
I'm still waiting to see when rational people start placing Jews at
the disseminating end of that equation, i.e. when will people start seeing
the hatred the Jews feel toward other minorities, like Iranians and Arabs?
More than once I have been in a situation where I've gotten a less than
favorable response when a Jew has found out I was Iranian... FULL TEXT
* God's chosen people not Iranian
We are THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL AND GOD"S CHOSEN PEOPLE. WE ARE ISRAELITES
NOT IRANIAN ["I
must be a Jew"]. I frankly do not care about recognition from
a bunch of gentiles. Iranan or not, we are Israelite first.
I think all remaining Jews in Iran should go to Israel and join their
motherland. For the rest of us living outside of Iran , we shoud forget
about Iran and hang on to our glorious Jewish identity and culture, and
above all the love and support for the state of Israel, our REAL homeland.
May 28, 1999
* Revolution is maturing
Dear Mr. Sajjadi,
I read with great interest your letter in The Iranian about the
the revolution, and I just wanted to make a few small points in reply,
which I hope you accept as graciously as you have offered your opinions.
First off, I really don't think the revolution as an idea is dead, since
it obviously still occupies such vast tracts of the psyche of Iranians
inside Iran and outside. Revolutions are only similar to living organisms
in that they go through a lifecycle, and I believe that the Iranian Revolution
of 1977-1979 is in its maturity stage ... FULL
* People are maturing
Dear Ms. Khalili,
... Revolution, by its nature, which is nothing more than war, chaos,terror,
etc., never "matures", what you refer to as maturity is in fact
the maturity of the Iranian people, who are not looking for another revolution
and want to have peaceful change. Credit for a peaceful movement goes to
the Iranian people and not to the revolution... FULL
Editor, Par magazine
* Amazing ignorance
Mr. B.M.'s emotional commitment to ignorance is amazing.
The statement that not one Bahai died during the Iran-Iraq war or Bahais
and Jews don't help during hard times are so ridiculus. What is your proof
and how can you substantiate such statments? ["I
must be a Jew"]
What is well-documented is what all the minorities in Iran have been
and are going through whether there is a war going on or not: Bahais have
lost their lives since the begining of their religion, and guess who took
these lives? I rather be a Bahai than a blood-thristy nationalist.
May 27, 1999
* Must learn to tolerate
In a historic speech given during the "Islamic conference"
at Tehran University, Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan
said: "Human rights are rights that any person has as a human being.
We are all human beings; we are all deserving of human rights.The absence
of tolerance and human rights is not only a denial of human dignity. It
is also the root of the suffering and hatred that breeds political violence
and inhibits economic development."
In order to achieve a civil society we must learn how to tolerate people,
your recent articles about minorities "I
must be a Jew" and "Siaah
Sookhteh" moved me (I am neither Jewish nor Black).
Our country had a much better human rights record 2500 years ago than
it does today (relatively speaking). I just want to thank you for paying
attention to this very important issue. Thank you The Iranian. Long
live CIVIL SOCIETY.
* Japanese food tastes GOOD!
Your article about sushi ["Well,
excuuuse me!"] made me laugh with disgust. So you don't like oriental
(Japanese) food? What makes you think everyone jumped on the bandwagon
in the 80's and started eating Japanese food because they had a "can't
beat them, then join them" mentality? That's a dumb generalization.
I don't know if you've been asleep for more than ten years but Japanese
food is not all about sushi! Wake up and smell your sumac! Japanese cuisine
has many cooked dishes that include beef, chicken, seafood and steak. And
they taste GOOD! Have you ever heard of a Japanese Steakhouse? Hello!!
If you're going to talk about another nation's food, then study about
it before you open your naive, onion-scented mouth. I'm Iranian and I love
our country's food but I appreciate what other countries have to offer
as well. Have you ever sampled Thai cuisine? It's delicious and quite healthy.
Life is not all about chelo kabab. Open your eyes and empty your cup.
Look around you. Go beyond the obvious and maybe you'll learn to appreciate
what you have yet to taste.
* What were you on?
I don't know. When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the adventures of Sherlock
Holmes, he was, high on opium or heroin. Edgar Allen Poe also wrote some
of his most horrifying tales while stoned out of his mind.
I wonder what the author here is on to write such a brutal scene ["Midget"]?
If it isn't drugs then it must be personal experience or imagination. Either
of which should be cause for alarm and a general psychological evaluation.
May 26, 1999
* Can't blame people
I should congratulate you for the story that you have written ["I must
be a Jew"]. Unfortunately, people from time to time get carried
away and confuse the issue of politics and blame their international problems
on religion or religious differences.
After living outside Iran for more than 15 years in five different countries,
I've come to the realization that people's logic works the same way all
over the world. The difference is mainly around the type of input given
May be, we can't blame the people. In majority of the circumstances,
they are taught to look at their surrounding from a single dimensional
aspect and think over a very narrow and limited horizon, i.e, the intellectual
engine of data analysis. The information fed into those engines; either
through the media or educational system; makes the situation even worse.
Personally I have no clue how to cure this stereotyping problem. But,
one thing I can say is that, understanding the problem area is the first
step towards the cure.
* Must love Iran first
Let's put aside religion for one minute ["I
must be a Jew"]. An answer to your question could be that every
time the country is going through hard times, Jews or Bahais don't help
at all. In the Iran-Iraq war not one jew was killed. I think the living
condition of Jews in Iran is not bad. If they left it was not because of
thier JAAN, but it was because of thier MAAL.
By the way I am a Muslim with Jewish and Bahai friends. They are my
Bahais have had a much harder time in Iran. Like any other situation,
in order to be accepted by any group or organization, you must pay a big
price and you might have to suffer a lot. I guess in a real world justice
is not for all.
If Bahais and Jews want to be accepted by Iranians and Iran they must
first love Iran, not their religion. If they do this there might be a chance
and this will take a long time.
* Turned off
I am a Moslem Iranian who happens to have quite a few American Jewish
friends (not too many Iranian Jews in Austin Texas). I knew a few when
I lived in Manhattan and believe me the iranian jewish community did more
to upkeep the traditions (Noruz) etc. than most of the more perhaps apathetic
moslem community ["I
must be a Jew"].
I took offense to the whole tone of your piece : does anything positive
come of "And you're a STUPID, HATEFUL IDIOT! " or comments like
"'Hitler should have finished them all off taa az daste een joohoodaa
raahat meeshodeem.'". LANGUAGE SUCH AS THIS SERVES NO PURPOSE. If
you want to start a thoughtful dialogue, that's one thing but your language
offended and turned me off.
May 25, 1999
* Fight extremism by improving economy
I was rejuvenated by Mr. Aria Mehandoost article ["From
revolution to freedom"]. I wished I was back in Iran in the crowd
saying "Marg bar Taleban" to the Ansar Hizbollah. And I'm sure
that the great majority of Iranian youth support reforms toward freedom
and democracy, which are of course intertwined.
But I believe that in order to mobilize the majority who voted for Mr.
Khatami, and fully neutralize all hardline elements in Iran, the economy
needs to be fully improved.
State control of the economy in Iran is considered one of the highest
world, with conglomorates like the Bonyad-e-Mostazafin causing too much
injury to a potentially blooming economy.
When people feel they have enough to eat without having to hold more
than one job, then even some members of the crazy Ansar Hizbollah can be
converted to freedom fighters rather than just stay on as mercenaries.
* Youth true engine of change
I appreciate the writer's first hand experience and the courage of the
revolution to freedom"]. I only want to remind the writer that
no generation of Iranian youth in the past 50 years has been without courage.
That every young generation from the time of Dr. Mossadegh to anti-dictatorship
movements of the 60's and 70's to the 1978 revolution has been the true
engine of change in Iranian political arena.
Even in the dark days of 80's, it was the women and men (really girls
and boys) in high schools and universities who were the vanguards. Anybody
who remembers the 30th of Khordad of 1360 knows that they did not run.
May 24, 1999
* Jews & Bahais are Iranians
Clearly the authors of this story, do not consider Jews and Bahaiis
as Iranians ["I
must be a Jew"]. Otherwise why do they confront a Jew with an
"Iranian" and not a "Moslem" or other kind of Iranian?
It is about time for all concerned Iranians to realize that being Iranian
should not be equated to being Moslem, and non-Moslems have not been foreigners,
even though up until today it has been so in the minds of most Iranian
Moslems, including Religious ones, Leftists and Nationalists.
Committee for Religious
Minority Rights in Iran
* Isfahan or Iran's problems?
I read the article on "My
city, Isfahan" by Mohammad Ali and I'm still trying to see how
"the bad and theugly" that the writer gripes about are necessarily
Isfahan rather than Iran's problems. And what about "the good"
about Isfahan -- such as food that "are to die for" -- that he
briefly mentions and leaves suspended?
I am an Abadani with Isfahani heritage. Both my parents are Isfahanis
who spent their adult life in Abadan. When I was a kid, my father used
to send us (his family) to Isfahan for the off-school summer months. I
cherrish the times I spent there and being an Iranian-American does not
change that an iota. I'm not a "shotormorgh."
When I left Iran some 25 years ago, among the country's many problems
at the time were noisy bumper-to-bumper traffic, low productivity/high
demand for nonreturnable products, lack of customer satisfaction, government
corruption, addiction, prostitution, poverty ...
What this article obviously brings out is that, the more things have
supposedly changed in Iran during the last quarter of a century, the more
they are the same -- countrywide and not in Isfahan alone.
May 21, 1999
With all due respect to Professor Majid Tehranian, what is his point?
NATO"]. Is he just recounting the Chinese point of view on the
Kosovo crisis, or is he repeating those "Sinocentric" (paranoid
would be a more appropriate adjective) quotes with approval? Does he seriously
believe that "...in Kosovo it [intervention] has produced greater
tragedies than it set out to correct"?
Is he saying that the civilian casualties of NATO bombings (no more
than 2,500 which is the figure put out by the Milosevic regime) is a greater
tragedy than the forcible removal of one million people from their homeland,
mass killings of thousands of defenseless civilians, rape and humiliation
of thousands of fleeing women, use of the ethnically-cleansed as human
shield, etc., etc. ?
Since he believes in the UN, I would be much more interested to hear
Prof. Tehranian's analysis of which Security Council resolutions regarding
intervention in Kosovo the Chinese would vote for, and which ones they
K. Cyrus Homayounpour
* The revolution is over
letter deeply touched me, particularly because you are labeling people
that you clearly don't know anything about. Labels like "zed-e enghelab"
and "zed-e Iran." I want to draw your attention to the following
- Thank God, the ENGHELAB IS DEAD (it's over, finished, zippo) and I
don't think I need to give you any proof of that. Now it is an open secret
that the Islamic Revolution was an utter failure in every aspect: morally,
socially, culturally, economically, etc ... FULL
Editor, Par magazine
* Covering up for criminals
I would like to comment on Eyaas' letter "Backstabber".
Covering up for criminals is no way to help your hamvatans ["Aaberoo reezi"].
Is it right because "everyone else does it"?
I don't believe that "half of the Iranian population here"
seeks to exploit the welfare system. Prove me wrong and I will be the first
to join the hate-monger dogs who want to rid the U.S. of immigrants.
Most Iranians I know are upstanding, highly productive and ambitious
people. It makes me wonder who is the "Persian backstabber"!
May 20, 1999
* Ignoring plight of minorities
Any Iranian with the least understanding of history, can tell you that
the Jews contributions to Iranian culture, science, education, art, and
economics is beyond belief ["I
must be a Jew"].
As a non-Jew, I have had the honor, and privilege of living in the Jewish
Quarter in my home town. My family had a great deal of respect for the
Jews hard work, honesty, and integrity.
Throughout our sad history, we have witnessed the plight, the murder,
and the anguish of our minority folks, and we have played the role of silent
* Enjoy the rain
Pakravan wrote: "The issue is where to find the golden pot at
the end of the rainbow." Consider, if you will, the following: The
essence of your message is not to find the the golden pot [pot of gold]
at the end of the rainbow. It is, and rightly so, for one to care neither
about the pot of gold nor the rainbow, but just simply enjoy the rain.
I, for one, appreciate your perspective, which means I understand it and
agree with it.
* Like choosing a dog
I was pleased to see Iranian women responding to Mr. Raafat's recent
article in your paper ["Real
Iranian girls?"]. As an educated American woman I found his article
uneducated, sexist, and sad.
I respect his desire to express himself, however, what catagory of Persian
men was he directing his stereotypical speech to? The single Persian men
in the smokey corners of discos that have no emotional depth and no hope
of a respectful loving relationship?!
Mr. Raafat has no idea that while he is degrating women across the board
he is degrating himself even more. I wish him all the best in choosing
his wife like you choose a dog at the dog pound and my apologies to the
future "virgin" bride.
May 19, 1999
Are you guys Iranian, because if you are,you ought to be ashamed of
must be a Jew"]. You are guilty of the very accussation you are
leveling at most Iranians. You are STEREOTYPING. Basically, you are dumb
asses who have had a chance to express your views on this desolate, wasteland
of virtual intellectuality.
There is no doubt that Jews control most of the media in this country.
There is no doubt that they have been responsible in lobbying to isolate
Iran, and to paint that beloved nation of ours as a "terrorist"
nation. But most Iranians do not wish that Hitler had finished off the
And one more thing, I am damn proud of my Aryan heritage. Damn proud.
We are the true Aryans, not Aryan in context of Nazism, but Aryan in the
context of nobleness, loyal, and faithful. There is nothing "crappy"
This pride does not come by looking down on Arabs, or Blacks. It is
there, because, we Iranians are certain of our place in the annals of civilizations,
WE KNOW OF OUR CONTRIBUTION TO HUMANITY. And that is far more than Jews
have ever done, inspite of "khaens" like yourselves.
Get a life, and try to write something useful.
* Stick to news
Several recent features in The Iranian have been about hate &
hatred of other nationalities and races ["I
must be a Jew"]. Why don't you stick to the business of reporting
May 18, 1999
* One of many reflections
I read your
note, and understand your perspective. I do differ with your conclusions,
although I think you are correct in many of your observations. The Iranian
is not a reflection of Iran - or Iranians that have exclusively kept
their links (cultural, or other) to the country. The Iranian, whether
by design or by default, has become a representative of the new Iranian-American.
Most, if not all, of the authors you mention have been either born or raised
here in the U.S. They associate closely with the Iranian culture, its dichotomies
and through that association critique/comment the culture from their perspective.
To judge them as qarb-zadeh is not correct (if not overtly simplistic),
they are qarbi - and if anything Iran-zadeh. And, this is not a bad thing
- it is the reality of over a million people who are as American as the
Irish who migrated a century ago to this country ... FULL
* Biggest crook of all
I wish that 20/20 ["Aaberoo
reezi"] had done a piece on the biggest fraud of all: The Bonyad
Mostazafan and Janbazan and Iran's (if not the world's) #1 crook: Mohsen
* Iran's black-eyed beauties
The author Cyrus Raafat is a bold and courageous gentleman ["Real
Iranian girls?"]! He seems to have the balls to do what he knows
is good and righteous.
I was born in Iran, but haven't been back for so many years! I will
be hitting 30 in almost a year and have thought about settling down, after
finishing my education. Like Cyrus, I am half-Iranian, half-American and
feel a pull towards those sweet babes in Iran! He's got it together and
I know that what he has done and says is completely on the ball!
I can totally agree with the brother and think that all these blamer-complainers
out here just can't be too sweet! The fact is, if you want something pure...go
to it's source: real black-eyed beauties are found nowhere else, except
in good Iran!
I think all those girls who trash him are jealous of them girls with
hymens intact! Those "liberal guys" are just envious of his actions.
Maybe they don't have the balls to do it?
Move on brother, move on,
May 17, 1999
* Who says you're more Iranian?
In response to your
letter (Babak Banaei), there is no doubt that this magazine has a very
shaky quality; some very interesting & educative materials adjacent
to some very futile and self-opinionated (contributor's own raw point of
But who are YOU to tell others that you are more Iranian or more revolutionary
than others. Why should your ideas and feelings be better and stronger
than others? Yes you might not like reading/writing about liking Black
men and not liking expatriate Iranian girls, but what your expressed opinion
is similarly superficial and low on content.
You want articles about religion because Iran is predominately religious
country? From the point of view of a Sunni Moslem (our Arab cousins in
Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Turkey, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, N.
Africa and etc, etc) Iran's Shiite branch of Islam is not entirely acceptable.
Out of Islam's global population, only 1%-2% are Shiite. So your Moslem
neighbors always preferred and prefer their Christian friends than their
Shiite cousins. So don't go Arabic on me.
I know your type: You kissed Eskandar's hand, the Arab sword, the Mongol
boot, the Afghan lash (very recently for the second time), but you still
have no tolerance for your Iranian brothers and sisters. Why?
Just wanted to say that your articles [dAyi
Hamid's index] are h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s. Wonderful. You managed to take
a whole half-hour out of my paper-war at the end of this blessed semester
in college. vAghean, delam az khandeh dard gereft. Nun muss ich wieder
zurueck an die Arbeit, das Voelkerrecht auseinanderpfluegen.
P.S. Kann man diese Schweizer-Iranische Radiostation hier in New York
empfangen? Oder koennte ich eine Cassette bekommen? (noch so eine "torshideh"...;)
* Glorifying violence against women
I would think that your imagination would find a better template than
writing stories on violence against women ["Midget"].
As you well know, what you call literature is a reality which we should
rally against rather than glorify in writing.
May 14, 1999
* Googoosh in Italy
I need information about Googoosh's performance at the Sanremo music
festival in Italy. From what I have heard she went to Italy and sang three
songs in English (including "I Believe") in an international
competition sometime in 1970s.
Does anyone know exactly which year that was? RAI (Italian TV station)
has its entire archive on sale. If I can find out which year that show
went on air, we might be able to find videos of Googoosh that have never
been seen before!
I do not think Mr. Yekrangi realizes that half of the Iranian population
here in America are trying to get there relatives on welfare ["Aaberoo
reezi"]. It is not a big surprise to any of us, and I would like
to know where Mr. Yekrangi has been for the past 100 years. Everyone wants
to come to the U.S. and get the French Benefits so-to-speak.
All kinds of immigrants are coming here and getting welfare money and
going back, it's not just Iranians. There are Cubans, Haitians, and many
others. Instead of trying to help the Iranian population out, he is trying
to get them in trouble.
It is not new however to find a Persian backstabber.
* God have mercy
Cyrus Raafat wrote: "...deep down inside every guy wants an untouched
piece of cake, right?" ["Real
Iranian girls?"] You must be kidding me. Every Iranian girl in
the U.S. is "neither moral, nor virtuous; neither chaste, nor hard
working!" he says, and all Iranian women in Iran are "chaste".
God have mercy on the woman whom you choose to marry. May she smack,
and I mean literally smack, some sense into you and your ignorant pea of
May 13, 1999
Thank you so much for publishing the photos from "ganj-e peyda"
moments"]. They are absolutely marvelous and captivating.
* Guessing in the dark
Mr. Raafat, a very interesting article ["Real
Iranian girls?"]. It is nice to see that you actually took the
time to go to Iran and visit. A word about generalization: I don't know
if you have heard the old Molla Nassredin joke:
An elephant was brought to a town where no one had seen such a creature
before. The elephant was kept in a very dark place and people had to guess
what it was by their sense of touch. Some felt his trunk and came out saying
it was a long snake-like animal . Others felt his tail and said it was
a tall skinny animal.... do you see where I'm going with this?
Unfortunately for me, I haven't met too many Iranian women in the U.S.,
partly due to where I live. However, I would certainly hesitate to say
that all Iranian women, in your age group, living in the States are ghaati-paati.
I'm quite certain you'll find women, or men, of the same nature no matter
where you go across the planet earth, Iran included.
I am sorry to see that you have not been able to find yourself a virtuous,
self-respecting, educated and motivated Iranian woman in the States. Have
you looked within for an answer?
* Chance to learn
[Regarding The Iranian] Thank you very much for offering us all
this most precious chance to learn more about the fascinating Iranian culture.
Miryam Librán Moreno
May 12, 1999
* Mind of a lunatic
is a very good story. Very well written and very descriptive. I really
saw inside the mind of this lunatic. Again, well done.
Nima "John" Sharifi
May 11, 1999
* Complete fraud
A very interesting story, but a complete fraud ["The
energy man"]. The spoon bending experiment is old news - the famous
Uri Geller was among the first to claim such supernatural powers. He was
"debunked" repeatedly by people who actually showed how to do
the spoon bending. As for energy waves and healing, these are also old
news and have been debunked repeatedly in the scientific community.
If Mr. Aliakbari is really serious about his so-called powers, he can
do the following two things:
1) Produce for us humble people, the results of the alleged Princeton
2) Take a look at this site: //www.randi.org.
A prize of over one million dollars has been offered for years by this
foundation, to anybody who can actually demonstrate something supernatural.
Surely there is much to be gained by Mr. Aliakbari if indeed his claims
are true, isn't it so?
Many people have taken this challenge, but all have failed. James Randi
has been able to demonstrate EXACTLY how they do *it*. Take a look at this
site, read about him, and his articles and books. You will not believe
a word of charlatans such as Mohammad Aliakbari any more. He is a disgrace
to Iran, Iranians, and the world community of rational and intelligent
* Photos speak for themselves
The Qajar-era pictures are very interesting ["Casual
moments"] and I think the people who own them can remember more.
There must be stories behind each one, but I know it is very difficult
to present the past and get people interested. Anyway, photographs speak
for themselves and the sky is the limit for immagination.
* No piece of cake
I read your article with interest ["Real
Iranian girls?"]. While I can understand this thought in a purely
cultural context, I cannot understand or accept it as the logic of a mature
I do agree with your opinion of the self-respect and intellect of Iranian
women. However, I do take offense at your regard of a woman as an object
to be had such as "a piece of cake."
Correct me if I err, but your article conveys the undertone of failed
relationships in your personal past and an unjustified sense of entitlement.
I am sorry if any woman is willing to play into and up to this idea to
get a life partner.
While you comment so strongly on the advantageous aspects of Iranian
womanhood you seem to utterly disregard them as full and equal human beings.
To go from your article, you do not need a partner. You need a combination
a) a mucous membrane (Try blowing your nose.)
b) a good bakery shop around the corner
c) an "Uebermutter"
d) a test tube and
e) a uterus.
These objects used in various combinations over a longer period of time
are guaranteed to satisfy all needs.
To base high regard of a person on an issue so basic is to insult and
debase the very qualities you profess to admire.
May 10, 1999
* Shomaa migin chekaar konam
Aghaye sardabir,digeh az bas dar morede zanhaaye iraani maghaaleh khundim
khasteh shodim vallaa ["Real
Iranian girls?"]. bandeh yek dokhtare bisto hasht saaleh iraani
hastam, dar iraan ham dasrs khundam. felan do saalo nimeh khaaej az iraan
1 - avalan moshkelaate zanhaaye iraani aslan az moshkelaate mardhaa
jodaa nist. be hich surat nemisheh jame-eh raa be do ghesmate zan va mard
taghsim kard. agar dokhtarhaaye iraani-ye moghim Amrikaa ziaad iraani nistand,
pesarhaaye iraani moghim Amrikaa ham be hamin tartib. che unhaee ke bande
shakhsan dar iraan didam, che unhaaee ke dar kharej az iraan didam.
2 - hame jaaye donyaa hamye zanhaa hanuz baa hoghugheshun va khaastehaashun
moshkel daarand , faghat iraan nist ke intoreh. movafaghiyat har shakhsi
be avaamele ziaadi bastegi daareh ke shaayad yeki az un avaamel sex baashe.
3 - baa yeki do hafte tuye iraan zendegi kardan va mehmuni raftan nemisheh
dar morede hame iraan ghezaavat kard tehraan baa hame shahrhaaye digeh
kheyli tafaavot daareh. be ghole maruf "rafti tehraan barnagard iraan".
4 - kolan alaan moshkele bozorge javunhaaye iraani moshkele kaar va
pul hast - unghadr-haa ham masaleh bekaarat va dushizegi na ahamiat daare
va na ahamiat nadaareh. aslan unghadr hame dargireh ye loghmeh nune shab
hastan ke ki gushesh bedehkaare in harfhaast? aslan jaaee nist ke to beri
unja bekaartet ro az dast bedi. aakhe kojaa? na maashin daari, na khuneh,
kojaa beri? in harfhaa baraaye nojavunhaaee ke hanuz moshkele kaar va pul
nadaarand momkeneh jaaleb basheh.
5 - man hanuz baa kheyli az dustaanam (dokhtar va pesar) dar iraan (tehraan
va shahrestaanha) ertebaat va mokaatebeh daaram. oonhaa dars mikhunand
, kar mikonand , aarezu mikonand, omidvaarand.
Khaahesh mikonam in darkhaaste mano tuye majaletun montasher konid,
"YE FEKRI BE HAALE JAVUNHAAYE IRAANI BEKONID", inghadr ham dar
morede dokhtarhaaye khub va khoshgele iraani ke aashpazishun khubeh va
Engelisi ham khub harf mizanad fekr nakonid! be man ham az in chizhaa ziaad
goftand vali man hanuz dargire moshkele maskan va ejaareh_khuneh hastam.
Beesto hasht saalameh, mohandesam, panj saale daaram kaar mikonam (dar
iraan va khaarej) va hichi nadaaram! duste pesare ghablim ham moratab az
iraan naameh miniviseh migeh davatnaame befrest! maadaram ham hamash minaaleh
migeh mano tanhaa gozaashti rafti! shomaa migin chekaar konam!?
* People endure
In response to your
letter (Babak Banaei), I think you make an interesting point . There
is a large distinction to be made between the experience of Iranians residing
in Iran and those who have had to assimilate into other cultures. Still,
even Iranian expats need and want to hang on to their sense of being Iranian.
Being Iranian can mean many things, just as being human can mean many things.
Whether we identify with the Islamic regime or not is really not the issue.
Governments are not loved, it is the land, its history and its people
that matter most. Governments fall every day, but the people endure.
Perhaps if the Islamic government of Iran were not so fearful of public
access to the internet, The Iranian Times would be in the happy
position of publishing articles by those who are more able to write about
the realities of Iran today. Perhaps more traditional Islamic Iranians
in Iran would have a voice and those of us who are interested, could listen
to what they have to say.
Ironic, but I think your complaint is misdirected. You should be complaining
to the Islamic Republic for denying its people access to this forum for
education/exchange and debate. Censorship is more their modus operandus,
is it not?
Our neighbors in Turkey have certainly not missed the ball. In a recent
Time magazine internet poll for man of the century, the internet
literate Turkish people made themselves heard in a big way. Kemal Ataturk
won by a landslide in every category, including best entertainer of the
century ... leaving Elvis Presley in the dust.
I for one, would be most delighted to read the words of real Islamic
thinkers about issues that concern the world today. But unfortunately,
they seem to frighten the Islamic Republic as much as the internet does.
May 7, 1999
* This is who we are
In response to your
letter (Babak Banaei)... Many people would agree that Islamic views
are not all that you should see in Iranian culture. As much influence that
Islam had in Iranian culture, I am surprised that you expect not too see
any influence exerted on our culture by living in the U.S. This is who
we are and the way we live here in the U.S. and this is reality. "Iran"
and being "Irani" are not some small static definitions in a
box. Culture is what we make of it. Culture is not a predetermined entity
* Daylight robbery
Mr. Tehranian's story was really amazing ["Turkish
coffee is good. But not that good"]. I have also been cheated,
on a few occasions and in different cities including Istanbul. However,
I could never imagine that local charlatans could dare come up with frauds
of such large amounts.
This certainly means that the same guys or similar con artists in the
same city have done this in the past and have gotten away with it, while
so called reputable organizations like Merrill Lynch and International
Visa ignored them. So these con men keep doing it with confidence.
This is what we call daylight robbery. If Visa did not have such a vast
and obvious monopoly in the credit card business, many people, including
myself, would have returned the cards over this incident. I always enjoy
Mr. Tehranian's articles, but this time while it wasn't fun, it was very
* Seeking mother
I commend Mr. Cyrus Rafaat's courage for his article on relationships
Iranian girls?"]. Most people are probably not willing to openly
show what asses they are. This author has made sweeping generalizations
about women in Iran and in the U.S.
There are all types of people, living in every kind of society. The
"ghaatipaati" women he referred to exist in the U.S. and they
also exist in Iran, and every other society in the world. Similarly, good,
upstanding women exist in all societies and cultures.
It sounds to me like Mr. Rafaat is seeking not a wife, but a mother,
and therefore cannot accept an Iranian-American woman who would be so different
than his mother, which he described as a Mid-Western American woman.
An Iranian-American woman would be dealing with a constant struggle
between two cultures, which is the same struggle Mr. Rafaat with his mixed
blood probably deals with everyday.
Moreover, he never told us of the outcome of his khastegaari in Iran.
I imagine that any woman in her right mind who accepts marriage to this
fellow is seeking an easy exit from Iran to the U.S., not knowing what
kind of life awaits her here.
May 6, 1999
* Khar mard-e rend
In response to Mr.
Almassi's letter about "zerangi": The way you described zerang
was wrong. A zerang person is not a cheat, liar, or opportunist. A zerang
person knows what to do in every situation and has the ability to pull
his gilim out of the water! (How do you like that? Persian idiom for you!)
What you are referring to is not zerang, that is khar mard-e rend!
* Iranian-American men just as bad
Mr. Cyrus Raafat, I have been thinking about the same issue for a while,
as if you read my mind ["Real
Iranian girls?"] . I am so unhappy about the quality of the people
I have met here. After 20 years, I have met form the most intellectual,
gorgeous face and body, to the richest. But yet not a match. You are right
, most of them are so mixed up! They have no morals, virtues, or goals
in life.They seem educated or that they come form a good family. But when
you get closer, they all seem so fake! They have no idea what they want
in life. Sexual relationships are so easy for them. No belief , political
or spiritual ideals.
I sometimes think marrying in Iran may be the alternative. At least,
everyone knows their roles! People are more respectful. Husband and wife
have sharm va haya between themselves. Maybe , it is not such a bad idea
after all. I just do not know how my parents would react to me marrying
an Iranian man who does not speak English and has never lived in the West!
I do not know how my friends would relate to this marriage. Or, maybe I
should go to Iran and marry one of the guys who came form the U.S. looking
for a wife. At least, he will not have to teach me English, driving, shopping,
pay for my education and explain a new culture. Hay, his new bride will
be so much more sophisticated than all of his other friends' brides imported
It was funny reading your criticism of Iranian girls in the U.S. I hear
the same things from my girlfriends about Iranian men living here! Few
years ago, my blood would be boiling over your stereotyping. In a few years,
you too would look at life differently. Relationships are hard work. Nothing
that comes easy is appreciated for long. So, just because an Iranian-American
girl does not bat her eyelashes at you all the time, does not hang on your
every word, or is careful about her marriage choices, it does not mean
she does not have much to offer.
And more importantly: What do you have to offer her? How interesting
are you? What are your political views? what do you believe in, spiritually?
What books are you reading these days? What do you think about the war
in Yugoslavia? Are you a good role model for children? What kind of values
and ethics do you have?
Although I have my issues with all three cultures, I value love and
partnership. I value my family and friends. I have learned to look at the
person -- not the package. So, stop chasing packages, and get to know the
person, whoever she/he is! It is hard work but like a good gardener the
harder you work, the prettier your roses!
I congratulate you on your sincere affection towards Iran and Iranian
Iranian girls?"]. Nonetheless, just as you are praising Iranian
girls for their dignity and self-respect, you contradict yourself by comparing
them to touchable (or untouched!) objects, pieces of cake and lower species
created and put there to serve as your virgin brides! Are you sure that
you understand the meaning of dignity?
May 5, 1999
* You simply lie
I read the interview with Mr Abdolkarim Soroush (previously Abdolkarim
Haji Jafar) about reconciling Islam and human rights ["Travelers
on one ship"]. Since the revolution everybody remembers him as
a bearded man giving lectures on history and philosophy, in a language
that was 80% Arabic, 20 % Farsi. I remember it was very difficult to follow
At that time he was the nightingale of the Islamic Republic. I remember
those days (enghelaab-e-farhangi and the closure of all universities in
Iran for four years). While we were struggling so hard to meet all the
demands of the shoraay-e-enghelaab farhangi -- which Dr. Soroush was one
of its eminent figures -- to reopen the universities, Dr. Soroush was giving
sophisticated lectures to the public on TV.
He remembers well when he received my message about his lectures. I
told him, "You are giving these lectures for AVAAM (ordinary Farsi-speaking
people) but your highness should be aware that we do not understand you
because these lectures are for the KHAVAAS (people who speak your lingo)."
Knowing Dr Soroush, he climbed the ladder of Borj-e-aaj, with the help
of the Islamic Republic. I cannot believe in his sincerity, when he talks
about democracy and human rights . Knowing Islamic fegh'h, everyone
knows that they are not compatible. The Islamic Republic from Khomeini's
time up to now has been very clear about that. They even went so far that
they changed vealyat-e-faghih, to velayat-e-mostabeddeh-e faghih.
My request is for him to elucidate his process of ESTEHALEH to the public,
not the way he used to give lectures nor the way he is writing nowadays,
which is reminiscent of the writing in KALILEH & DEMNEH and he is very
proud of it. Dr. Soroush, you are NAMAK KHOR & NAMAKDAN SHEKAN. YOU
ARE A PERMANENT MEMBER OF HEZB-E-BAAD. You are still pretending. You simply
* More, please
The Iranian needs more pieces like this! ["Soroush interview:
on one ship"]
* Weird Western girls
This is the best article I've read here! ["Real
Iranian girls?"] This guy is great! I am a successful 42-year-old
engineer in California who has not found Ms. Right. Look at this fascination
with these "siaahs"
for instance, what does that tell you? It might not be fair to say that
all girls in the West are weirdos, but it seems all the ones I meet, are.
There are girls in Iran who do bad. But I bet they are like 3% of the
population. Here in America maybe 3% are good; big difference!
I think if I get rich in the U.S. I will go back to my country and get
a good girl. For now it seems hard to find one and after 17 years in this
country this story has inspired me to go and check things out.
* Aftab-mahtab-nadeedeh wife?
I read your proud proclamation of chauvinism with utter disbelief ["Real
Iranian girls?"]. How truly hypocritical to admit to having been
a playboy and expect an aftab-mahtab-nadeedeh wife! Do you not hold yourself
to the same moral standards that you expect of your future partner in life?
What on earth makes YOU a better husband than an Iranian man living in
Iran or any of the more enlightened Iranian men living in the West?
There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to marry a woman who
was raised in Iran - there are undoubtedly a good number of intelligent,
virtuous young ladies living there. However, the same is true about the
women living in the west. Ultimately, there are people of all kinds everywhere.
If you have not had the opportunity to meet some of the more hard working,
bright and accomplished Iranian women living in the U.S. in your lifetime,
you should question your own character, social circle and life style!
To make sweeping generalizations about all Iranian women born or raised
in the West and to call them all immoral, unchaste and lazy is disrespectful
and does nothing to prove your point, if you have one at all.
It is your mentality and those of men like you that has made hymen reconstructive
surgery one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in Iran.
Yes, the virgin wife that you will be importing could have an intact hymen,
but nothing remotely virtuous about her. Of course, your hypocrisy deserves
Chaste in San Diego
May 4, 1999
* Hymen reconstruction
Mr. Raafat's obsession with female virginity ["Real
Iranian girls?"] is not only irritatingly uncool and medieval,
but is also surprisingly naive for a self-proclaimed playboy.
Precisely because of customers like him, reconstructing hymen has become
a common occurrence and a profitable business for doctors in Iran.
Iranian genius, with help from Japanese technology, rebuilds this precious
part of the female anatomy better and stronger than God himself had intended.
While this keeps the likes of Mr. Raafat happy, it perpetuates hypocrisy
and harms Iranian youth's desire for an open and healthy society.
* Are you out of your mind?
Cyrus Raafat mentioned ["Real
Iranian girls?"] that Iranian girls abroad are "ghaatipaati"
and in his opinion any self-respecting American girl is better than them.
But, aren't you ghaatipaati when you are seeking a decent, virtuous, virgin,
chaste, untouched bride and at the same time admit to being a playboy?
And of course congrats for meeting 23 girls during only 35 days in Iran.
All they had to do to impress you was talking to you in English and "really"
wanting to know you. I wonder if what you really need is just some attention,
which you haven't gotten from Iranian-American girls.
And do you really think that if virginity is not an issue for someone,
it means they do not care if their bride sleeps with someone else the night
before their wedding? Either you are very simple or just completely out
of your mind.
* I disagree
In penning his May 3rd letter "Why
so blatantly biased", Mr. Banaei illustrates that he has bought
into the Western notion of bias versus subjectivity, while he criticizes
the very paradigm his analysis is based on. What he is in essence objecting
to, is the fact that his viewpoint is not being addressed.
To adopt a different style, I disagree with Mr. Banaei for the following
reasons: Banaei levels accusations and offers critiques of Iranian writers
while failing to acknowledge that in general viewpoints reflect a bias.
His admonition of the contributors to The Iranian is quite humorous
given his "bias". Furthermore, by criticizing the writings of
Laleh Khalili and Shalizeh Nadjmi, he trivializes the legitimate concerns
and voices of Iranian women.
Couching this chauvinism in accusations of "zede Iran", Mr.
Banaei is only illustrating his simplistic understanding of the larger
issues facing the Iranian diaspora. Would he be content if women only wrote
what he believes or didn't write at all? After years of struggling as veritable
second class citizens, Iranian women are finding a voice and a forum to
It is curiously ironic that at a time when President Khatami is struggling
to guide the country on a course towards openness, tolerance and democratization,
we encounter this sort of myopic analysis. I have no problems with Banaei
speaking openly, and if I did, I certainly wouldn't accuse him of being
May 3, 1999
* Attempt to reconstruct reality
From open letter in October 1997: Dr. Soroush was in a position of responsibility
when the Iranian academic community was under the most serious intellectual,
psychological and even physical assault. I do not recall hearing a word
of support from Dr. Soroush. I said I find it delightfully ironic that
my association comes to the defense of a man who regards himself as an
intellectual but was a part of the machinery that destroyed an intellectual
community. Be it a reminder to those who may be in the position of power
today. Be it an example for those who have eyes and can see ... FULL TEXT
* Why so blatantly biased?
I cannot help but notice the "zede-enqelaab" or even "zede-Iran"
bias of your magazine. A simple browse over the list of articles available
reveals this. You have the assimilationist piece by Guive
Mirfendereski, an adolescent article by Pejman
Mosleh, a thoroughly boring piece of fiction by Massud
Alemi, a couple gharbzadeh-esque articles from Laleh
Khalili, the article from Shalizeh
Nadjmi that is little more than a thinly veiled rationalization of
her Black man fetish, the collection of pictures from the pre-Revolutionary
Air Force (who cares!?), the typically mediocre poetry of yet another
gharbzadeh young Iranian woman, Leyla
Momeny. ... Why is your magazine so blatantly biased? ... FULL TEXT
* Letters Section main
* Cover stories
Copyright © Abadan Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved.
May not be duplicated or distributed in any form