Sprint Long Distance

The Iranian


email us

Sprint Long Distance


Sehaty Foreign Exchange


September 21 2000

Narrow-minded chauvinism

I read the article "Okay, I'm a racist" with a pinch of salt. A few months ago at a Hafez poetry night a friend of mine said that he had been thinking hard about the fall of Persia to the invading Arabs. He said that the Arabs would not have conquered the Sassanid empire had the Persian generals not betrayed the king Yazdgird III. A similar reflection was made recalling the Greek invasion where Darius III was murdered by two of his own royal bodyguards for ten pieces of gold.

In someways the fall of the last Shah could be partly due to the divisions that existed within the imperial armed forces that allowed the revolutionaries to destroy the fifth largest military force in the world in 48 hours. My point is that looking for scapegoats only serves to soothe bruised egos.

Being engaged to a beautiful Iraqi of Kurdish-Arab blood I realised how narrow-minded our Persian chauvinism can be. The modern Arab - Egyptians, Iraqis, Jordanians, Lebanese, etc - have a high appreciation of Persian culture and in my dealings with them they have all quoted Hafez and Saadi to me whilst to my shame I was hard pressed to quote any of their great poets until my fiancee handed me Nizar Qabani's (Syrian diplomat) poetry books which in parts was influenced by our culture. In fact despite the initial shock of the Arab invasion, many Persians were to form the cultural backbone of the Islamic empire.

We are all products of our roots, history and experiences. Maybe we should also open our minds and hearts to what is good and beautiful in life - and yes, Arabs have contributed to world culture.

When I first met my fiancee at a Persian film festival last summer in London I recalled how we felt ashamed by the tragedy of the Iran-Iraq war. An elderly Shirazi woman who introduced us by chance without knowing either of us said, "What we need in this world is less politics and more ensaaniyat (humanity)."

The beautiful Iraqi woman who captured my heart and who had studied Sassanid history at Baghdad University later paused to think. Then as if she had discovered a hidden meaning declared: "Yes..yes! Ensaaniyat... we have that word also in Arabic!" It was then that I knew I was in love.

We spoke of Baghdad and Shiraz and the beautiful memories we had of our cities. We spoke of happy days, the moon and wine. One day after our engagement my fiancee took me along the Thames river and looking into my eyes whispered: "With you I feel like there are no borders."

Call me romantic or mad but hey, that's what I call the start of civilization.

Cyrus Kadivar


 MIS Internet Services

Web Site Design by
Multimedia Internet Services, Inc

 GPG Internet server

Internet server by
Global Publishing Group.