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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


September 13, 2000

Certainly not brainwashed

I am sorry that one of your readers felt like "throwing up" after reading my article "Requiem in Cairo". It surprised me to receive such a crude response from someone who has never met me. I too can say that the events I witnessed during the 1978-79 revolution and the tragic waste in human and economic potential suffered by Iranians in the last 20 years also make me physically ill.

Nevertheless, my father was a surgeon who saved many lives in Iran and my French mother taught me to love my country and my beloved Shiraz. My experience as a child and adolescent was a happy one and I certainly felt that the late Shah and particularly Empress Farah played a positive role in the development of our city and lives.

And if my parents abandoned Iran it was because they no longer felt that a climate of revolutionary terror was the ideal place for their children to grow up in - any parent would rather see their children happy than to step on a minefield or join the Basijis. Having studied in the U.S. and Europe I also learned to respect other people's views or to disagree with them in a mature and rational manner.

Freedom of expression is a luxury of Western democracies and I exercised it. I am certainly not brainwashed nor did any member of my family persuade me to write my feelings about an event which in my view was both personal and necessary.

I could take Mr Bardia Saeedi's comments as an insult but I leave it to other readers to judge his words against mine. Personally, the least I would expect is that he apologizes to me, without giving up his democratic right to criticize me. In conclusion, I will say that qadr-shenasi was once a virtue amongst our people as was manners and politeness - both alas seem lacking in some people these days.

Cyrus Kadivar


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