Big fat hairy happy birthday
I used to be a regular subscriber to Soc.Culture.Iranian (SCI), the
most visited Iranian usenet newsgroup. Sometime in mid 1995 there was a
strange message from an unknown silent reader called Jahanshah Javid who
announced plans to start a new Iranian magazine and asked SCIers to contribute
Ah, I thought, another single-page magazine with articles talking about
how the Iranian government is blah blah and how America is tati tata. Not
everybody thought the same way. There were some flamers who started belittling
the guy's magazine and calling him a "mozdur" of the regime:
"He used to work for them, he must be a spy or something."
A few months later another message caught my eye; same person giving
a url of his magazine's first
edition. Now, this was interesting. Is he really a hezbollahi as some
used to call him? I thought I'll have a look and see for myself. And wow,
how I liked it.
What impressed me the most was the closing of his editorial where he
dedicated the magazine to his young daughter and a wonderful remark about
freedom. And somewhere in the same editorial he wrote: "The Iranian
is based on the belief that we all have something to say, something to
gain, something to prove."
I decided to write a little article for him ... nah too lazy. I dug
out one of my articles
to SCI and sent it to him. He was thankful and asked for some pictures
to add to the article. I didn't have a scanner, so I snail mailed some
to him, and before I knew it there was this message in SCI: "If you
want to know how dAyi Hamid looks like, come to The Iranian."
Slimy bastard, I thought. He's advertising with my false fame in SCI.
I was about to write and complain, when I got some emails from other silent
SCIers congratulating me for writing for The Iranian, and some nasty
hatemail from well-known SCI thugs calling me a hezbollahi (the same people
used to call me a Jew and a Bahai because I defended their rights). I thought
JJ must have received a lot more hatemail, and I decided not to leave the
Today, after exactly four years, The Iranian has become one of
the most-visited Iranian sites and the most popular Iranian magazine in
kenaar, one of the 30+ Iranian clubs on internet has the most members
an Iranian club has ever had. The Iranian Times is the most important
source of information for Iranian interneters. The Iranian is read
and appreciated all over the world.
Like everything else in life, The Iranian has changed over the
past four years. It has transformed from a shy, careful magazine to a taboo-breaking,
freedom-fighting frontier, and I'm proud to be one of its first
In this new The Iranian where literature professors, professional
writers, talented journalists, intellectuals and artists write breathtaking
articles, there's not much demand for people like me with poor middle-European
command of the English language.
Mind you, now I'm a kind of proud that the "slimy" guy used
my name to advertise such a great magazine. With hope for better years
to come, a big fat hairy HAPPY BIRTHDAY.