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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


July 24, 2000

Not new

The piece on the IRI's attempts to lure expatriates back to the motherland for whatever service or investment is not new to the Iranian society ["Come back (and be quiet)"].

Only back in the early 1970's the Pahlavi kingship sought also to prevent the flight of brains or brain drain (faraar-e maghzhaa) and it courted the notable Iranians living abroad. One such person who was rumoured to have been coaxed to return to the motherland was Professor Reza, who upon return lingered about for the longest of time until the regime was sufficiently embarased to post him abroad as the Iranian representative to UNESCO.

I am sure there are many other examples of invitatiosn for return that have gone bad. Well, it looks like the centrifugal forces are at work to deprive the motherland of another wave of brainy Iranzads! Soon one will hear of the conspiracy of the Western industrialized countries to suck Iran dry of its national grey matter, just like they sucked it dry of oil and gas!

As for the obligation to return, one is reminded of two paradigms, one an oriental one and nother occidental. In The Merry Widow, the ambassdor of Prussia to Paris is too busy enjoying the perquisites of his mission in the lap of luxury and enchanted bossom of indulgence. Meanwhile, back in the kingdom, the kaiser was in dire need of his statesman and therefore sent an emissary to urge the ambassador's return. Upon receiving word, the ambassador sent word back to the monarch, "Sire, as much as I love the fatherland, I am prevented from immediate return by an urgent affair."

And if the same was to have been asked of Sa'di, the Persain poet, he would have said "eshq-e vatan garch-e hadithist sahih, besakhti natvaan mord keh onjaa zaadeham."

Guive Mirfendereski


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