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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


August 14, 2000

War heroes deserve respect

Najmeh Fakhraie's latest scribbling ["At war with your people"] leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, for the very reason that her mocking tone should not go unchallenged.

Unlike some readers, I do not dismiss her writings as childish rants, because they open a helpful window into the mind of young Iranians inside Iran, who have the country's destiny in their hands.

But her tendency to heap scorn on the memory of the revolution and the war are insulting for anyone, like my family, who lost loved ones, giving them often willingly, to preserve the sovereignty of Iran.

Despite what she, or anyone may think, Iran would today be yet another Baathist republic of fear, tied to an Arab identity both foreign and alien to it, had the men whom Fakhraie's scorn is directed against, turned their backs. She admits her ignorance or interest in the time of war, and it would be fine for her to leave it at that. But to relegate the war to "a few years on the battlefied", and to say millions died "for religion or a 70 year old man" (she could'nt care less) is a gross insult.

The basijis are certainly no friendly faces, as she points out, nor is Iran itself without its problems and often undue restrictions. And one sympathizes with the conditions she and many other youngsters live under because of some of them.

But Fakhraie should confine herself to waxing lyrical about things she understands. Allegiance to them, she does not owe, but, she adds, nor does she owe them respect. She in fact does, as she does of everyone who lost their life fighting to keep Iran free of foreign domination.

My advice to her is to relish her youth, but to remember that respect for the elders, and the memory of heroes, has and always will be part of Iranian culture.

K. Husseini


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