The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


December 15, 2000

Everyone has some prejudice

I have now been witnessing the arguements about this "controversial" picture ["Maryam & Daryl"] for the past I-don't-know-how-long and frankly, I am getting pretty tired of it. But then I read the letter from Mr. Sajjadi today and just couldn't help but write.

The thing that bothered me the most was the generalizations about Iranians, namely that "We Iranians are racist, not only against Blacks, but also against Arabs, Afghans....".

Fact is, Mr. S., that we Iranians are some of the most open-minded and non-bigoted people in this world. Let me cite some interesting facts that you and some readers may find interesting. For the most of the last teo decades, Iran has taken in more refugees than any other country in the world (refer to Sunday LA times front page article 11/29/98).

There were more than 6.5 million Afghan, Tajik, Azeri, Iraqi, Kurd, Somali, Kuwaiti, etc. refugees by '98 (not all stayed). On top of this there has been minimal financial aid from the international community to Iran for this. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees budgeted $17 million in '98 for programs in Iran and didn't even collect half of it.

On the other hand, in the same year, for the less than one million people that were displaced due to the Bosnia-Serbian war, about $150 million were donated to the former Yoguslavia.

Anyway, I have digressed. But the point is everyone in this world has some prejudice towards something or someone. Some people are more bigoted than others. Yes, racism is alive and well, but all over the world. So let's just ignore these idiotic and ignorant folks that can't handle even a picture of a bi-racial couple, people, and move on.

Lastly I just want to say one thing that no one else has said, and that is CONGRATULATIONS! to the lovely newlyweds. I hope you have a wonderful life together and 'paayeh ham digar pir beshavid'. Keep your head up and good luck!



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