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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


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.



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