August 16, 2000
Women are not men, Persians not Arabs
What a beautiful
letter written by a young son of this old country. There is obviously
nothing wrong with being Arab and I personally have a lot of Arab friends
whom I am really happy to get the chance to meet with and I honestly respect
them for who and what they are.
However, there is an issue called identity. If you are not an Arab you
are not and if you are, you are. This is like being a woman or a man, there
is nothing wrong with being one of each but if you are a woman you don't
wanna be called Mr. --- and vise versa.
This confusion between Arabs and Iranian is a remarkable public misunderstanding
in the U.S. and even in Europe and unfortunately some part of it seems
to be intentionally led by media. A look at the very last article published
in the National Geographic magazine about Iran will prove my claim.
The cover photo happened to be a woman with an Arabic dress who turned
out to be an actress having a role in a movie about Kish where parts of
the Iranian Arab minority live.
On the other hand in the text of the article the writer talks about
several invasions of Iran during its 2,500-year history by its neighbors
including Greeks, Mogols, Afghans,Turks and Russians but fails to remember
that the most important one was by Arabs, who changed Iran's religon, alphabet,
a much of its language and culture.
Another issue is that there is enough bias and stereotyping against
Iranians outside Iran and it would be good if we at least don't have to
explain those which are actully meant to be against Arabs.