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June19, 2002

* Hooshang Nemati

Good night,

I'm writing you from Argentina, and i'm really don't know to contact with a person i met in Miami in 1976, yes, long time ago.

I'm a peruvian woman, when i met Hooshang Nemati, a persian boy in 1976 i was 20 years old and he was 24, we met each other at Lindsey Hopkins Education Center by studying english, he was born in the city of Ahwaz, Iran, his family had oil, something like Pipe Mills, i really lost the address, he had a sister, i believe, Miriam, i don't remember too much.His birthday 21 of march, was born in 1951.

Please, can you help me?

Consuelo Ayala

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* I write to find others through writing

this is to respond to houshange ahmadi's email [Right words in right times] which has benn published in's letter section. I am not a good writer, but my stories may be a mirror that you look at it and see the greatness, but that's your own "bozorgi"! not mine! because it's a mirror which reflects your own self... [ Sarhangaane tareeghat, Nima]

in my whole life I was looking for SARGORD MOJGAN, KAVE DEHRIZAKI, MIRZA SHAHINE GONABADI, ATASHE SOLTANI, NIMA, AZITA &... the characters which I have created them in my stories"sarhangaane tareeghat" & "nima", now by your letter to I think I have found one of them!

I am a writer but I write to find others through writing,to seek other horrizons,to discover other spirtitualities and open new deep thinking about life,you all may think readers need writers more,but I as a writer need you more than you need me,yes you heared the truth,you are my meaning of the life,if you were not here on earth I had to write for no one,I wuold have lost all my writing intentions after a while...

so I appriciate your response dear houshang ahmadi,bahman tahayori that were there for me,
here I want to tell you you encouraged me to write more!

kheir pish!

payam rafighi

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* Natural ice collection

Dear Charles, [Ancient Iranian icepit (Yakh Chal)]

What you are going to read is what I have seen & experienced. It is not from any book or other written texts. I am not sure if any thing is written about the Iranian, Natural Ice collecting, called YAKH CHAL. We had a house in Tehran, situated behind the old Parliament ( Majles ) compound. Right behind our house was a big YAKH CHAL.

Actually the northern wall of our house was the tall wall of YAKH CHAL. The wall which was made only out of mud & clay with occasional layer of bricks was more than two meter wide at the base & about 15 Centimetre at the top. The wall was 20 meters high stretching to about 100 meters. The wall was constructed east west ward to catch the freezing northern breeze coming down from Alborz range of mountains north of Tehran.

In front of the wall was a shallow pond, ten to fifteen meter wide, about a meter deep & stretched alongÜ the length of the wall. Then came the covered pit, to house the ice. I can not say how deep the pit was, but I know that it must have been quite a large space. The pond was filled up every day in winter time. At nights the ice was made naturally. The tall wall stooped & diverted the freezing breeze & turned the water of the pond into a thick long slab of ice.

Every morning the workers used to slash the thick ice & slide the slabs down into the pit through few narrow path ways. There were some workers in the pit who spread & arranged the ice evenly as well as spreading layers of straw to keep the ice slabs isolated from one another, so that when they wanted to take the ice out during summer time, they did not have to brick it again. Every day, the pond was refurbished with water. Due to that thick wall our home was protected from the freezing breeze of the mountains, therefor it was warmer than other parts of the same district.

With the advent of refrigerators, Ice making factories, the old YAKH CHAL went out of business. The owners sold the plot & the wall came down. I went to visit the site & came to know how thick the base of the wall was. In place of the OLD YAKH CHAL they constructed few double story buildings. I have no other information about YAKH CHAL. But I hope this will be useful to you.

Best regards,

H. Hakimi,

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* Does not represent the diverse population

Having watched the film, Shahrbanoo [Ordinary (Muslim) woman], I would like to re-confirm your comment that "Although Shahrbanoo is eminently watchable and informative, it would be wrong to mistake it with ethnography or political sociology.

It is a delicately funny and engaging film that is full of poignant and touching moments. " The film is an intimate portrait of AN Iranian woman who is a firm believer in tradition and Islam. Shahrbanoo, as potrayed in the film, does not represent the diverse population of Iranian women

Let's not make the mistake that this film provides an objective survey of Iranian women. It is at best a portrait of one Iranian woman who, like many other women all over the world, is a staunch believer of fundamentalist ideology with all of its inherent contradictions.

You state: "Modernist -- or Postmodern -- art best corresponds to a contemporary understanding of our position in the world. How else can you give an honest portrayal of a maddeningly challenging subject as islamic fundamentalism?"

Rahmanian's portrayal is one possible portrayal of Islamic fundamentalism as it plays itself out in a woman's life. There are infinitly other ways of making a movie about the same woman- Shahrbanoo.

I am writing these comments becasue I was present in a film screening of the film in Los Angeles and was bothered by Rahmanian's comments about Shahrbanoo in question and answer period. At one point, he claimed the films 'presents' Iranian women's voice! Let's remember that art can only display an artist point of view. Nothing more, nothing less.


Elham Gheytanchi

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* New trend

Today as I was glancing some headlines and skimming a few articles on the www, I have noticed an emerging pattern.

An increasing number of hints and even direct commentary regarding the solidarity of Iranian military forces against the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI)establishment are being made. These comments generally take two different forms:

1. Military personnel voted for Khatami who is powerless; and

2. At times the regular army has been somewhat hesitant to carryout certain politically charged orders/positions (minor clashes/uprisings).

It must be stressed that outside news media are beginning to pick up on this and make direct references to it. This fact alone is significant. This differences between the IRI establishment and the Iranian military are now great enough for outside reporters to pick-up.

The toppling of IRI may be much closer and may happen much quicker/efficiently than previously thought.

An observant Iranian

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* Your appearance

Dear A. Nemati:

I sometimes read your material. Not because I like it but because I believe that whatever Mr Javid chooses has some discovery value to it and tells us something about our culture (be it grand or pitiful) as I have learned so much by

I have noticed you always make references to your appearance when debating unrelated issues. I would like to make a formal request in having you post your picture online so that we can all bask in your striking beauty.

Thank you,


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* Let everybody know they were women beaters

I was so distraught to read this heart wrenching account of women being abused [What are men made of?]. I too have had to step in and threaten some men who used to beat their wives. If I point them out to the people of my community they will be shocked. How could it be possible? These educated and cultured men raise their hands on their wives? Well, the ones I approached did.

I am very lucky because many members of the Iranian community where I live confide in me. These women were so hurt that had no choice but to tell me. They did not have skills or jobs so they were stuck. I had to step in and threaten the son of the bitches(one is over 6 feet tall and weighs over 300 pounds) with paying my own lawyer to represent their wives and get them for everything they had.

I went so far and told them that I would let everybody in the community know they were women beaters. Well, they have stopped the physical abuse but occasionally they take a shot at verbal abuse. Many Iranian men have this problem because their fathers used to beat their mothers and they assume it is okay for them to do so.

I am so glad my father taught me fighting techniques and made me box with my brothers. His reason? Well, he used to say if I was caught in a situation to defend myself but, I know now he knew better but did not to frighten me. I also know why he insisted that all of us girls go to school and get an education to be able to be self reliance. He wanted to make sure we did not have to stay with a man because we had nowhere else to go.

We have a responsibility to interfere on behalf of these women when we come across them. We need to educate them about the options they have to start all over and remind them this is not Iran and women have rights and can be protected if they choose to. As for the men who hit women, they are not a human being period.

A human being should not hurt even an animal. Beware when these women find the courage to talk to someone that can help them! You will be stripped of your dignity and like the bozo who used to hit his wife for eleven years until she got the courage to let us know and we took care of him the legal way. He fled with his sorry ass to Iran and can never come back.

As for his ex-wife she learned English, went to school and now is a beautiful and independent woman who is engaged to a wonderful Iranian man. She will never be abused again. Parents pay attention and encourage your daughters to become financially independent and do not count on a man to be a good mate simply because he is educated or comes from the right family.


Azam Nemati

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* You will never understand

You sure did that didn't you? I tried to read your lengthy essay [Who's a Nazi?], but to tell you the truth, the cows were coming home! Thousands of thoughts were going through my mind, hundreds of replies were lining up to rip you apart, but I only mention about one. The massacre, killings, or as you put it "serious violations of the Geneva Convention" committed by Israel in Jenin was looked at by human rights groups.

Who were these groups? Can you name them? Was there any international group let into Jenin, immediately after the little Israeli "boo-boo"? Could you tell us why United Nations was not allowed into Jenin weeks after the "oops"? Any reason why Israel was so against even filming the "little bad thing"? Why were not any of the films allowed to get out of Jenin? You think about some of these questions and look at the small filmstrip of the father holding his little boy and begging the Israeli soldiers not to kill them.

A few seconds later both father and child were shot to death. Of course that little filmstrip is gone too, isn't it? You need to be in a Muslim frame of mind to feel the pain and what leaves their lips. No Muslim or Arab could ever make an American understand what it feels like for a race that you hate already to occupy you and rule.

You will never understand. You want to talk about typical? Your essay is a copy of thousands of other "American" essays reaching these types of websites. So, don't feel unique in taking the time and really autopsying this amazing accusation of Nazism in Israel. Maybe the actions and belief don't match line by line or action by action, but common, what the hell do you expect. Would you like a new and improved washed out terminology. Something like, " The poor, helpless, innocent, totally legitimate Israeli movement?"

Would that make you happier or will it make the Israeli soldier's job a bit easier when he pulls the trigger to kill another Palestinian child? Will it make the Israeli tank commander's job a bit smoother to blow up yet another home? If so, there you have it "Billy Bob", it shall be called, "TPHITLIM". Now, that's a movement. Speaking of movements, your goofy essay just made me have one, I gotta go.



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* Not a proper place

First of all let me admit that I don't know too much about poetry. I was reading letter section and I ran into a comment [So-called poem fails to be a poem] by Mr. Najdi about Ms. Nemati's poem [Taa abad]. In spite of my poor English I felt the insulting attitude. I clicked his name to tell him something about Ms. Nemati but when I saw the address I realized that he doesn't even deserve to be addressed back. As I had the opportunity to publish my stories on, Ms. Nemati taught me many things about literature, she so kindly encouraged me and told me about my weaknesses. She was a real guide.

Her poem may not be a good one but as a critic she is great. About social affairs we all read nice and challenging articles and comments of her. Dear Mr. Najdi, you and me won't get anything by insulting the people who can help us. If Ms. Nemati tells me that my story is not well done and it is shaky, I should try to find shortcomings and fight them.

My anger, resentment and such attacks will not help me to write a better story and I would be the loser. So let's respect the people who know more than us and have such treasures active enough to help us in getting rid of our ignorance. Don't tell me you wanted to say your opinion about the poem. Her poem failed to be a poem? Ok, you should have sent a letter to her address and tell what you believe. The letters section is not a proper place for such comments especially with that kind of language.

I would be glad if everybody respect and literature section in particular, as a classroom and medium for a literal communication and humbly ask everybody not to poison the atmosphere with personal problems. I wish not to see any letter from Mr. Najdi answering Ms. Nemati's "Lighten up" (which, to be honest, I didn't expect from my reasonable and tolerant lady teacher in such a hostile manner) in the letters section. PLEASE don't "kesh": the matter.

Thank you all and sorry for my poor language.

Omid Rahimi

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* To the point

I very much enjoyed reading Mr. Reza Ebrahimi's article "The new Islamophobia". He is very much to the point when he declares, quite accurately: "All racist discourses based on religion are interchangeable. Muslims today have enemies called amalgamation, ignorance, misinformation, propaganda, intolerance and demagogy."

I want to congratulate Mr. Ebrahimi for the clarity of his vision and the crispness of his wisdom in this article. May our fragile planet survive the stupidity of her inhabitants.

Moji Agha

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* Very well crafted

Dear Roya, [Alive by the Dead Sea]

Thank you for a very well crafted piece. I wish you wrote more prose.

Korosh K

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* Bin Laden / Taliban sources

If you're really interested in knowing "Who "bred and raised" bin Laden" and the Taliban, read Mary Anne Weaver's articles in The Atlantic Monthly from 1989 to recent prints. Here is the URL address to one of her articles, which I had translated in May 1996 for Mehregan, The Monthly Journal of Iran's Teachers Association:


Also read her recent books:

A Portrait of Egypt: A Journey Through the World of Militant Islam by Mary Anne Weaver

Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan by Mary Anne Weaver

Mary Anne Weaver was at one time, when a student at Al-Azhar University, a classmate of Zawahiri, the 2nd in command of Al-Qaeda and knows the man first hand.

Also, please see:




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* Beautifully written

Dear Roya, [Alive by the Dead Sea]

Thank you for a beautifully written memory. I hope you will write more and share your writings with the rest of us.


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* Shah had AIDS?

Mr. Kaveh Ahangar's essay was very informative [Not alone]. What was missing was the lifestyle of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi had three wives Queen Fawzia, Queen Soraya, and Queen Farah. The Shah was a womanizer and had many girl friends on the side even while he was married to Queen Farah and had four children from this unfortunate female. One of the Shah's last mistress's were from the Gilan Province.

What many Iranians don't know is that when the Shah was a student in Switzerland he had a friend named Mr. Peron. This Mr. Peron, a son of a gardener returned to Iran with the Shah after the Shah completed his studies in Switzerland. This information can be found in Princess Ashraf Pahlavi's Book Faces in the Mirror.

Queen Soraya also wrote about the odd relationship in her autobiography saying, "This odd chap, Mr. Peron would enter our bedroom to talk with the Shah." Mansour Rafizadeh, a head SAVAK man in his book I am witness stated that both he, General Pakravan and General Moghaddam knew about the Shah's homosexual involvement with Mr. Peron.

What we as Iranians know is that the Shah was very thin and sickly at the end of his life. The doctors presumed he died of Cancer. But the truth is the HIV virus was not yet acknowledged by doctors. History has said that the Shah had a very high fever before his death. Most AIDS patients die of a fever.

My guess is that if the Shah had AIDS medication he would have probably lived. Not one in Guadeloupe wanted that... not the British, not the Americans and absolutely not the French.

Peyman Allen Alagheband
New York, New York

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* UNLESS I am out of mind

To reply Mr. Adrian Norbash in article "I'm an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces", if your are capable to kill your own people for defense Canda or any other country, you should shame on you to call yourself Iranian-Canadian or Iranian-whatever country. because then you sold your country in the hand of foreign country.

I was an ex Special Forces member in Iran during Iran-Iraq war and I defend my country against any enemy and I am proud to be a pure blooded Iranian. and I never fight against my own country, UNLESS I am out of mind.


Nader Sharifi

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* None other than Alahazrat

I know that you know that i know and everybody else knows that solitary donor is none other than Alahazrat Reza Pahlavi in Virginia [Dear Solitary Donor]. He just loves your opinion section pieces.


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* This time they didn't play ball

In response to Story: "TThey are coming" by Farooq Azam, May 2, 2002. From an Indian Hindu perspective:

At one point in the story the narrator exclaims, "O Lord in Heavens!......What crime have we committed that You are punishing us so severely?" That perhaps is the crux of what is going on in India and between it and Pakistan.

The partition of the subcontinent, one (Pakistan)devoted to the principle that Hindus and Muslims are separate nations, the concept of "deen" in Islam; and the other (India) at least nominally devoted to the concept of a secular democracy with limited, informal reference to religion, is at the heart of all the war and violence between the two.

The partition was a bitter, bloody experience. It was a Bosnia and Rwanda combined times a thousand. Muslims in what is now Pakistan raped and slaughtered their Hindu and Sikh neighbors in an even gorier fashion than the scene you've fictionalized, the survivors among them reaked they same hell on Muslims who stayed in India. Kashmir is a symbol of that conflict because it is a Muslim majority state, that allows India to retain its secular credentials in what is a dominantly Hindu, and religious society.

But it also forces it to accept the Perso-Mughal-Islamic heritage that is a part of the core of its identity. For Pakistan it would confirm the rightness of their belief that Muslims or countries with Muslim majorities must be Muslim states, even if it comes at the expense of religious minorities. The Hindu nationalists that have led the government up till now were mainly elected on the belief that they would be more effective in dealing with corruption and would be slightly less cynical with their power than the previous government which had been in power since Indenpendence. However, this has not been the case.

Their only real accomplishments have been to liberalize the economy somewhat with few benefits, pursue a closer relationship with the USA and of course, going nuclear... After the riots in Gujarat state, the only state government that they have totally controlled, FEW trust the religious nationalists with the reponsibilty for keeping law and order. The behaviour of everyone in involved has been utterly appalling. The media has traditionaly papered over such events by merely refering to "clashes between 2 communities" rarely mentioning the religious element of it, and NEVER mentioning the specific attrocities that were being commited.

This time they didn't play ball. Everyone knows that it was a Hindu-Muslim sectarian riot with grave atrocities committed against innocents, especially women. Everyone I talk to either avoids the topic with a pained expression on their faces, or mentions how they thought these things only happened in Pakistan and frankly most if not all Muslim countries. It is ironic that the religious nationalists will be making a lot of hay of the Kashmir issue since they believe that India must formally become a Hindu state.

This pretty much loses India's argument to the rest of the world for its right to retaining all of Kashmir which is that it is a secular state that guarantees rights to everyone regardless of religion and that Pakistan is what Hindus call a "mullah raj" (as opposed to "British raj") that will slaughter if not force the conversion of the religious minority Hindus and Buddhists that make up nearly 35% of Kashmir. The incident that you have depicted which is based on the actual events occurring in India now (which are continuation of events that have been occuring in the subcontinent for the last 50 years) has been shown to be politcally motivated where religiously non-descript inconspicuous and individuals, establishments, etc. were specifically targeted by thugs because they happened to be Muslim.

Muslims who had pretty much assimilated within India's non-Muslim culture (although assimiliation may not be the right word), who's stores, houses or appearance would not have made them stand out from the rest of the crowd were attacked. Stores and restaurants that few people knew were owned and operated by Muslims only revealed the identity of their owners because they were burned and looted, whereas other shops weren't. This is why everybody knows that elements of the state government and the police were involved in either directing or allowing their underlings to commit such atrocities because the attacks were so specific and precise. Not wild or out of control (if murder and rape can ever really be anything else).

Even more ironic is that Gujarat State where all this has happened is the birthplace of Gandhi, the birthplace of Mohammed Jinnah the founder of Pakistan, not to mention of the various sects within Hinduism that specifically preach vegetarianism and non-violence, often to an extreme (and sometimes absurd) degree. Indians are far better that the events that have occurred in India and in your story. And another event like will be see the Hindu Nationalists out of power.

Mohit Dayal

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* We already know how to fight with each other

If all Iranians unite to write about atrocities that the British brought upon us since Karim Khan Zand and today more than ever before, then the issue of Monarchy vs. Presidency would appear minute.

The debate that Iranian may carry until King Reza II gets to age 65 for his ceremonial arrival to Iran is only a little entertainment fueled by the British to keep us away from the main issue of imposed fanatics, prostitution, addiction, corruption, poverty upon us by non other than the British.

I never blame an Iranian before I blame the "Thieves with Guiding lights", "Cho dozdee ba cheragh ayad, gozeedeh-tar barad kala".

Iranians need to learn how to unite; we already know how to fight with each other. The future of Iran is far beyond Pahlavis of the World, we need to step back and find out how to unite.

Any suggestions?

I do respect your opinion.

F. A. Ashtiani

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* Tasteless stuff

Tacky articles such aI wanna be your king" are abundant in your site. You really do publish everything and anything, don't you? I must admit that I have come across some excellent articles on this site (such as Mehrangiz Kar's papers) but the tasteless stuff surrounding it is so dense that, first and foremost, it is demeaning for a prominent writer like Ms. Kar to have articles on your site; and secondly, it gets more and more discouraging to visit

Why can't you, as reputable editor, pick out the tasteless stuff and provide your readers with literature that is not so insulting to one's intelligence? People Magazine, for example, might be fun to skim through in the supermarket queue, but who wants to be associated with it in real life?



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* Short memory?

I must ask why do you side with that opportunist bunch of thugs, namely the Palestinians? [God knows what they would do if they actually had any power]Have you a short memory? Did you forget the Revolution of 1979 and those same hooligans manning the firing squads murdering innocent "Iranians"?

Please sir, do us all a favour and refrain from siding with "the eternal enemy" of Iran. Or you can go one step further and move to Arabian Peninsula where you can freely socialise with your Arab brethren!

Warmest regards,

Babak Kalhor

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* Kobra Khazaie

I am looking for an old high school classmate, Kobra Khazaie. last heard she lived in London. If you have any information please e-mail me . Also, All classmates who attended Azadegan High school in Nowshahr, Class of 1983, May e-mail me at

This add was placed by Fariba Darvish on 6-19-2002.

Thank You

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* I share the hope

Bravo Mr. Baygan, [The country she loved to death]

Very nice of you to share your experience with us. We all grieve the untimely death of our princess as well as the distraction of our beloved land.

I share the hope with you that before I pass away in this frozen part of the world, I will have the last chance to die in my home land.

Best wishes & regards,

H. Hakimi,

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* I see a brighter future

Reza Khan, [The country she loved to death]

Thank you for that lovely piece on on Princess Leila. I really appreciate it.

I also ask myself what do I, standing here in distant mountains, sincerely feel. With a quarter of a century of hate, inhumanity and bigotry behind us, in my mind's eye I see a brighter future for Iran. An happy and healthy Iran that even our forefathers could not have imagined. An Iran that will forgive but never forget.

Amir Khosrow Sheibany

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* Other side of the coin

I am a bit confused about this issue [The new Islamophobia]. So isnt every person treated the same if you are a muslim? I have often heard important muslim personalities say that hurting one muslim is like hurting all muslims. And the behaviour of unrelated muslim communities bear witness to this fact.

When Turkey's caliphate collapsed the muslim population(mopla rebellion) of this tiny Indian state (Kerala) went on a rampage killing innocent hindus and christians.

The reason for the rampage? the fall of the caliphate in Turkey! which is thousands of miles away from this state and populace!! which means that there IS a relation and all muslims see themselves as one body.

I think it is a wonderful tenet of Islam that all people are equal. "Hurt one and you hurt all" is a good philosophy but all muslims getting blamed for the criminal behaviour of some muslims is just the other side of the coin.



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* Unmoved

Mr. Reza Bayegan's article seemed sincere, but it failed to touch me. [The country she loved to death] I have a tough time justifying to myself why I should reserve sympathy with a man who is grieving the death of lonely, rich princess. He wants us to believe that Leila Pahlavi was a role model for female Iranians.

Leila did not die fighting for Iran; instead she died of drug overdose. She may have been innocent, but she was not a role model. I reserve that title for those worthy of such praise. And by the way, Leila's death may have been a "tragic loss" to her family and friends, but not to the Iranian masses that are still suffering from the effects of corrupt and nasty Pahlavi dynasty.

Hamid Karimi

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* Growing up away from Iran

I was born in Iran, and I stumbled across your site. I was looking for an article that was written from the point of view of someone that was raised Iranian, but I couldn't find one.

Growing up, I did not have many Iranian friends, so when my parents talked about the past, I had no idea where they were coming from, and I felt like I was being pushed into one culture by American society, and I was trying to still hold on to the way I was raised.

If you have an article on this topic, could you please email me the link? If not, maybe it'd be cool if you had stories from young adults around the world that found it hard to hold on to Iranian roots, and assimilate into the new culture.

Thank you,

Sodabeh Etminan

REPLY: There are many articles about this subject. Take a look here. Make sure you see the archived pages for articles in previous years: //

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* The most objective people (in the Middle East)

For some reason I believe that the Iranians are the most objective people in the Middle East. I am from Nashville, TN now living in Santa Monica, CA and listen to the cable channels, newspapers, internet and respect the opinions of people I have met from all over the world and the bottom line is that Iranians are ready to be heard.

Correct me if I am wrong, Iranians are people that want the truth, willing to listen to other opinions, want to advance their knowledge, respect their historical religion, however, will never sing the song, "Is that all there is." Excuse my age, however, it was an old Peggy Lee song that is so poignant.

I believe that there is so much artistic, poetic, musical, passion and love that Iranian's want to share with the world and will do it no matter the price. Iranians marched to give honor to those that died on 9-11. Thank You. When have we in America marched in honor for Iranians that suffered? Iranians and Americans have a common bond, God in heaven that loves us equally. So get over the politics and let's go have a picnic together and get to know each other.


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* Interesting arguments, nevertheless

Your article "I had a dream" is ironic but interesting. You point out some interesting points eventhough as a Democrat and Constitutional monarchist I believe that it is prematured for Reza Pahlavi to set aside the idea of a Constitutional monarchy, given the fact that a "Congress for Democracy" which you advocate through this well thought "dreamed speach" has to take into account all political sensitivities.

Nevertheless you do point out a number of interesting arguments which could eventually lead to a form of dialog between democratic forces inside and outside Iran.



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* My house was just three blocks north

Dear Setare Sabety, [The bicycle posse of Maydaneh Hedayat]

I just finished reading your article on It hit so close to home for me that I just had to write to you and thank you for it. I grew up in Darous just about the time the story takes place. I am guessing the time by the samples of music you mentioned.

My house was just three blocks north of Hedayat square on Faryar street. We had our own group of kids on bikes and we play soccer in the street almost every single day. We even had a "Men at Work" sign that we put up at the end of the street so cars wouldn't drive through and interrupt our game. Hedayat square was always the destination after the game where the loser team bought sodas for the winning team. Or we all went to the candy store on the west side of the square and got cream puffs! The best in town.

You article took me on a wonderful trip down memory lane. Before I knew it I had been sitting there daydreaming for a good twenty minutes and thinking about all the kids I eventually lost contact with when they all scattered all over the world. I think I will dig out my old Hendrix records tonight when I get home. I don't think the CD will do this time. Somehow the old records sound different than the CD's.

Thanks again,

Sean Tohidi,
Santa Monica, CA

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* More alike than different

Dear Mr. Begli Beigie,

We Afghans, Arabs, Armenians, Azeris, Kurds, Persians., Turks, Greeks etc are more alike than different [Broken link]. As an Iranian of Persian, Kurdish, Arab and Azari blood I feel so frustrated with all the articles and writers who write about Iran/Persia's history, culture, language and ethnicity with half-baked theories or with entrenched ultra-Iranian nationalism that fails to bend to reason, logic, fact and historical reality. When reading articles written by a Kurdish-Iranian ("The rest"), or other articles written by Azari and Persian Iranians and even pieces written by Arab friends (Common Bonds, A place to call our own), it becomes clear that we are all struggling with the idea of what unites us and gives us identity.

In each article one can read ideas that one can work with but one also read ideas that have been taken to an extreme as well. I really hope Iranians and those interested in Iranian heritage read more history. In a few sentences to give an overview of Iranian history, one can more or less start around 7 thousand years ago. From around 7 thousand BCE to around 3 thousand BCE, Iran had a thriving Elamite culture which was not an Aryan culture. The Elamites who themselves were a mixture of numerous tribes and who often fought with various other groups in present Iran and Iraq lived in very close contact and were in constant rivalry with the ancient Sumerians and later Babylonians.

The cultural give and take influenced the many things some of which are the cuneiform writing and the building of ziggurats which the later Assyrians and the Achaemenid (Hakhamaneshi) Persians inherited. The Assyrians for the most part were responsible for the destruction of the Elamite civilization but the Assyrians influenced the cultures of Media and Urartu And the influence of Elam lived on among the Medes and Persians. The various Iranian speaking peoples who had been coming into what is now Caucasus Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia since around 4 thousand BCE were heavily influenced by the aboriginal Elamites and the Semitic Babylonians and Assyrians. This difference can be most noticed when one compares other Iranian speaking peoples who lived in Eurasia like the Scything and Sarmatians whose culture was very different with that of Iranian tribes who settled in the Iranian Plateau and became more intertwined with Slavic peoples. So from that far back Iran (the geographic location) has been multi-ethnic.

With the formation of the various empires starting with that of Assyria (Semitic), Media, Persia, Alexander/Seleucids (Greek/Macedonian), Parthian/Ashkani and Sasanians, some of which stretched as far west as Greece and Bulgaria to China in the East and Libya and India in the south it becomes very obvious as you can imagine the ethnic and cultural mixture and diversity that had developed in these periods. And by the way all of this mixing happened prior to Islam. In fact Persia's most important contribution to world civilization was building a multi-ethnic tolerant empire based on taxation a model which the Greeks and the Sasanians did not use but the Romans copied. The Sasanians failed because the encouraged a rigid form of Zoroastrian autocracy and persecuted many.. Then next major invasions which are well documented are that of the Arabs and the later influx of the Turkic and Mongol peoples which resulted in the various Arab, Persian, Turkic, and Mongol dynasties that ruled from the 7th century AD to the 19th century AD.

It is important to point out that from the Arabs with whom the ancient Persians had had very close interaction with were fairly Persianized and influenced even more heavily by Greek-Byzantine culture. From this new mix of culture modern Iranians get their writing, religion and up to 40% of our vocabulary. And for al those who talk about the uncultured Turks may I remind them that if it were not for Turko-Mongol dynasties like that of the Ghaznavids, Saffarids, Saljuks, Il-Khanids, Timurid and even other very powerful and non-Iranian dynasties like that of the Mughuls in India and the Ottomans in Anatolia, the language Persian (Dari/Farsi) would not have become the language of culture and literature. These dynasties encourage the use of Persian over Arabic. In short how can any Iranian claim to be pure Aryan???????????????or pure anything. Iran has always been a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural empire and for those Iranian nationalist who believe that the Azeri's are Turkified-Persians and that the Kurds are pure Iranian and all the other ridicules racial concepts out there they are so misguided....

Many also are fixated on language groups... Yes Iranians, Afghans and Tajiks speak more or less Persian but Afghan culture is far more influenced by the great culture of India and Tajiks are culturally more similar to Turkic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz people and yes do not be offended my dear Persian nationalists but people from Fars, Kurdistan, Lorestan, Gilan and Mazandaran are far more similar to Armenians, Azeris, Iraqis and the various peoples of eastern Turkey. Yes I know Armenian, Azeri, Georgian, Arabic, Kurdish and Persian are all distinct and even belong to different language groups but culturally I have noticed that as a Kurd/Persian my food music and culture far more similar to that of an Iraqi Arab from southern Iraq to that of a fellow Persian speaking Tajik. I feel just as much at home with a person from Armenia or eastern Turkey. Similarly people from Western Turkey, Greece, Lebanon and the Balkans are culturally very similar despite the very different language groups.....

What I am saying is that besides, language and religion one should look at common culture, history and regional realities also and not allow West European notions of race and ethnicity or language groups overshadow thousands of years of common history and culture. A good example is Iraq, Hatra, Selucia, Teesphoon and Baghdad are all Iranian capitals based in Iraq now just because Iraqis speak Arabic does that mean they do not share Iranian culture... Please open your minds..... Iran must make room for diversity and not follow Iraq and Turkey in the politics of constructed politicized racial national identities.... I am tired of Arab, Turkish and Azari bashing by so called Iranian nationalist and intellectuals.... I did not intend to sound like a wise know it all, lecturer but I feel so frustrated by all the misinformation and useless hate encouraged towards people who we are so similar to us, like the Arabs, Afghans and Turks etc.....


Hirad Dinavari

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* Want to speak Persian

i am 50% iranian, and want to speak persian. Are there any books at this site or anywhere that i can buy to teach me how to speak pharcy(persian). That is like a learners kit to help me step by step or in certain situations, what to say. I cant find any books here at this site.

B. Nezami

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* Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Dear Setareh, [The bicycle posse of Maydaneh Hedayat]

Salaam! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for taking me back to Maydaneh Hedayat, and to Darrous, Shemiran. Many years ago, I also lived there with my parents and with my sisters and brothers. I experienced a life very similar to what you have described in your article. I have cherished my memories in my heart from those days, and they are always with me. Reading your article, it brought back all the fine memories from my life in my beloved country of Iran back to me.

I smelled the fresh air I have breathed there for so many years. Always remember that the true part of the Culture, NEVER dies. The Arts, and the Literature will exist forever! The Love Songs will never cease to exist, no matter what! The true Iran is the one we carry in our hearts and our minds. As long as we carry our memories in our hearts, as long as we preserve the beauty of our nation, share its culture with others, and learn new things to make it better, we never have to worry about Iran perishing.....

Thank you again!



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* Darrous has changed

Dear Setareh, [The bicycle posse of Maydaneh Hedayat]

I just finished reading your summer memories from Darrous and Meydan-e Hedayat and I truly enjoyed it. It felt like you are illustrating my childhood growing up in Darrous with all my cousins or neighborhood friends and the bike rides, mini Honda and playing football in a shady bon-bast ally.

Now I realize one of the reasons behind enjoying your writing style and learning about your thoughts could be having similar background and childhood. My Family still lives in Darrous and whenever I go back to Iran I can hardly wait walk to the Meydan-e Hedayat and forget all about the sense of solitude I feel here in the US.

Darrous has changed and most of the baghs are destroyed and tall apartment buildings have replaced all those beautiful shady alleys, but it still has its own unique and peaceful culture. All of the shops are still there including Agha Reza's little shop and he is always there to greet you and call you by name and sometimes even hug you!

When I was there last year, the last day of my visit I decided to buy Sangak bread from Meydan and bring it back with me (Don't ask me why!). Agha Reza saw me standing in the line of sangaki from his shop so he approached and asked me to stand outside and have some Laboo while he is getting me the best Sangak-e sefareshi! It took him half an hour to get me the bread because none of the breads were good enough for him.

When I asked him why it is taking so long he responded "agar noon-e khoob nabari, aberooy-e meydoon too Amrika mire!" Now, after so many years when I walk through streets of Darrous I really enjoy looking at the young kids, a new generation who would get together on their bikes, and they too are riding through the same path as we did years ago. And, Agha Reza is still there to take care of their bikes and call them by their names! Thank you!


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* Nothing to be ashamed about

I enjoyed reading this article [Making a difference in Iran]. I have been battling this sense of belonging to Iran since I put my feet in this country18 years ago. The article very well expressed the feelings of me and many thousands of other Iranians. The author should not be ashamed to express such feelings, therefore he/she shouldn't have used initials.


Reza Saberi

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* Real amateurs

After being away from for some time, I grabbed my espresso today and sat down to read through all that I had missed on your site for the past couple of days... Once again I came to the conclusion that your "Abjeez" are real amateurs when it comes to "advising" [Madly in love with an Arab boy].

Don't get me wrong. I am not one of the more "narrowminded" individuals of the Iranian youth (although I personally wouldn't use that word to describe someone's opinions, beliefs and family values.). But a "guess what honey? your family sucks, your life sucks and your religeon sucks. So why not deal with it until you are old enough to run away from these cruel creatures that are your parents...."?

Puh-leeze! And to top it all off, an offer for a chai and shirini?

It reminded me of the this time I tried to take back Gaultier-lookalike skirt the day after I bought it for refund or exchange and the manager at the store gave me a long speech which sounded something like "I can't accept it back since it was a 'final sale' merchandise at the time of purchase. I do realize that you weren't aware of that because it was put on display with our latest collection and there were no 'sale' tags on it due to a new employee in the store that day. But I really can't do anything about it due to our policies. How about I give you a great smile but no offers to leave you satisfied? Do keep coming back to our store for your latest fashion needs though."

Nothing is perfect out there. But when you come across something that is just close to perfection with this one flaw that really stands out, you can't help but point it out.

Good luck and have a nice summer.

A frequent visitor,

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* When an exodus might begin

Dear A.S.F., [Making a difference in Iran]

I just printed your article on my printer after reading it. That's not such an insignificant event as it may seem. You see, I hardly ever seem to print anything anymore, as I don't know what's right or wrong, what's a temporary illusion and what's permanent, what's hype, what's true. And I am most disillusioned by my adopted country, which I once held so highly, before Sept. 11... and before Jan. 20, 2001.

But your article I want to keep.

For a while now I have been pondering when an exodus might begin. I too have been wondering what driving my sporty car, having a nauseatingly comfortable life where my biggest decisions are which videos to rent or whether I should have Chinese or Indian food for dinner, living in a place where anything can be bought -- anything... what it all means.

Sept. 11 was a real awakening. I remember how everyone, from the President on down, said go back to normal, continue to live the same as on Sept. 10. And silently I cried: No! not the same... better! We're given an opportunity for self-awakening, let's not fall into the same zombie state of before.

I thought the best tribute we could make to those innocents who gave their life, including one Ms. Darya Lin (among other Iranians) whose tribute I clipped from the newspaper and see every time I'm in the car... was to understand why this had to happen, and to strive to become better human beings.

Foolishly I thought we could start the 21st century on a higher moral ground than those who perpetrated those crimes, even as the winds of war were whirling within the hallowed walls of Washington, the haven of liberty and democracy, and in the hollow egos of the people within those walls.

About 12 years ago, a good friend of mine, a double-major honors graduate of USC and a consummate tinkerer and free thinker, suddenly decided to pack things up and move back to Iran. We all wondered why? I distinctly remember his reply: he was weary of the depleted moral fiber of his adopted environment and the lack of any substantial values that would not be bartered for personal and/or political gain.

Today, I find myself asking the same questions, and increasingly coming to the same conclusion. Mind you, I still rank the U.S. as one of the top countries in the world and find gems among its people that none other could rival. But my once exalted notions of freedom and justice for all have been maligned out of shape by the events after Sept. 11. Thanks largely to the course the present Administration has decided to pursue, I'm afraid Sept. 11 hurt America a whole lot more that what was lost on that day alone.

And so, I printed your article and will probably keep it for a long while. Perhaps it is a sign of things to come. America, like any other great and just civilization, including our own of some 2500 years ago, will eventually fall. If before it was gradually declining, since Sept. 11 it has, I believe, moved a noticeable notch in that direction.

I applaud you for trading your comfort and false sense of security for a higher, more fundamental, calling. In not too long a while perhaps I might be joining you. With a guilty feeling of comfort, a noticeable loss of privacy and freedom, and with near complete loss of security (every time I cross one of the great bridges around San Francisco, I feel it might be my last!) I wonder, why America?

(As if by karma, Ms. Hayedeh just now is singing "chon miravi, bi man maro...." Think she is trying to tell me something!?)

All the best to you and hope to run into you someday, somewhere very near, on the streets of Tehran.... and the throughway of life.



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* Lay off the crack pipe

Use less:  Cut down, lay off the crack pipe for a while.

Tasteless: making jokes about an old lady, whom her compatriots appreciate and respect, basically because one finds no nobility in oneself, and so imagines it must not exist!


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* Childish

Once I wrote to you regarding Guive Mirfendereski's childish accusations against me appearing in your journal before his complaint to the Ethics Committee of MESA was dealt with and asked for my answer to these accusations be printed.

But your one sentence reply with no beginning and no ending made me understand that you were together in that childish game.

Now that the said Ethic Committee has dismissed these jealously based accusations (5 June 2002), I wander if your journal has enough ethics to rectify its hasty publication of those accusations.

I am talking about what you published on January 4, 2001, under "All Rights Reserved!", by Guive Mirfendereski. You can rectify your hasty publication of those childish accusations by publishing the view of the MESA's Ethics Committee in respons to his complaint, which reads as follows:

Dear Mr. Mojtahed-Zadeh,

The Ethics Committe of the Middle East Studies Association has read carefully the materials you provided in your defense aginst the accusations pf plagiarism made by Mr. Mirfendereski and your counter accusations of plagiarism against him. In our judgement, the core of the problem lies in the existance of a substantial corpus of literature related to the topic of the islands of Tunb and Abu Musa.

Since you and Mr. Mirfendereski are respectable scholars in the field, you have both naturally drawn upon this material extensively in your studies. We are peruaded that the corresponding passages in question could have resulted from drawing upon the same sources in developing your respective narratives and specific phrasings.

Therefore the Ethics Committee will take no further action with regard to the allegations of plagiarism.


Mary C. Wilson
Chair, Ethics Committee
Middle East Studies Association

Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh

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* On allegations of plagiarism

The text of the letter dated June 5, 2002, from Mary C. Wilson, the Chair of the Ethics Committee, Middle East Studies Association, to Mr. Guive Mirfendereski, relating to Mr. Mirfendereski's complaint about certain unattributed material in Mr. Mojtahed-Zadeh's work: [All Rights Reserved!]

Dear Mr. Mirfendereski:

The Ethics Committee of the Middle East Studies Association has read carefully the materials you provided in support of your accusation of plagiarism against Mr. Mojtahed-Zadeh. In our judgment, the core of the problem lies in the existence of a substantial corpus of literature related to the topic of the islands of Tunb and Abu Musa.

Both you and Mr. Mojtahed-Zadeh are respected scholars in the field and, as such, you have naturally drawn upon this material extensively in your studies. We are persuaded that the corresponding passages in question have resulted from drawing upon the same sources in developing your respective narratives and specific phrasings.

Therefore the Ethics Committee will take no further action with regard to the allegations of plagiarism.


Mary C. Wilson
Chair, Ethics Committee
Middle East Studies Association

Guive Mirfendereski

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* That's why they are where they are, and we are where we are

Bravo!! Marhaba!! Afarin, sadd afarin, hezaro si sadd afarin!! Khoda ghovat! More strenghth to you! [Making a difference in Iran]

If only we had more people in our comnmunity with your strength, instead of people who sit far away and only whine about everything. Kenaareh gowd mishinand, migan lengesh kon. My family had a similar experience. My parents graduated from the university here with their Ph.D.'s and we went back after almost 20 years.

They wanted to see if they could take part in their nation's struggle towards progress. It was very difficult for me, who had grown up here, but I wouldn't give it up for anything in the world if they paid me a fortune. I feel that I am the person that I am because of that experience. I can now feel grateful when I walk into a university here, now that I am back for college, since I went through a few years of high school and konkoor.

I can sympathize with my young fellow Iranians living in Iran. I now have a better view and perspective of the political situation and changes that are going on currently in Iran. I feel more mature than I would have if I had stayed (maybe) and compared to some of my fellow Iranians living abroad...

And I still feel, despite all the difficulties, that my parents get more satisfaction there among their people, friends, and family, than they would had if they had stayed and kept on wondering "what if...."

I wish you strength to struggle with hardships and success and satisfaction in everything you and your family do. May more people think the way you do... If they did, we might not be here in the world today, but maybe even a step further ahead. It takes people to bring about change, and the more we give up, the more we give our opponents a chance to succeed. I couldn't agree more with J.F.K. That's why they are where they are, and we are where we are.

Beh omideh movafaghiyat va rezayat,


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* Posters

I am one of the fans of Nosrat Karimi. I will be glad if you can tell me where can I get one of his posters, same thing with Ezzatollah Entezami.

Please email me at

Thank You.

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* Will carry our Princess in our hearts forever

Hello from across the ocean, and yet so near - your words and sentiments are mine, in every sense and nuance, thus I feel as if I stood by that same grave with you today, the same emotions flooding me - clasping a white rose in my hand. [The country she loved to death]

Last year I flew over with my daughter who had known our Princess Leila since they were just toddlers. They remained best friends then and forever. They shared fleeting joy and so much pain. All of us, young and old, will carry our Princess in our hearts forever, and we will make her proud of her beloved Iran once again.

Thank you for sharing.


Shahla Samii
(New York)

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* Such a shame

I was trying to reach KOBRA KHANOOM! but I could not. Just wanted to say it was such a shame talking about SEX in front of children on June 1, 2002 before the comedy show in Washington DC!

So sorry for Iranian.Com and their community.

Anahita Kiavand

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* Bringing smiles to our faces

I just wanted to say thank you for organizing the great event in D.C. a few weeks ago. I just was so disappointed more people didn't come out to support you. You are awesome.

Keep up the great work and thank you for bringing smiles to our faces:-)

Maryam Ovissi

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* Feelings shared by many

I am writing to let our friends A.S.F. and his wife know that their feelings are well shared by many of us Iranians abroad [Making a difference in Iran]. For the majority of us the future was very much blurred when we first set foot in this or any other country.

Many of us left Iran with the notion of returning one day. That notion materialized only for a few. And for most, being with the loved ones in Iran at the expense of giving up the comfort and certainty of life here for the daily struggles and uncertainties there has been the main dilemma.

My wife and I have been living with this dilemma for the past few years. As we grow older the need to be with family members and relatives grow stronger. The experience has been very painful. At least the claim has been true in our case.

This being with family members has been summarized in once a week phone conversations and irregular e-mails. Suffice it to say that during these conversations the eager and trembling voice of my mother, longing to hear her only grandchild's voice, or my father's pretend of doing well while his advanced Parkinson disease is gaining grounds on him, has left many deep wounds in my heart.

I wish my wife and I can come up with the courage some day to do the same thing that you have decided to do now.

With Best Wishes,

Masoud Abbasi

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* All said something wrong with the women

I am responding to the comments publishedon, about the article titled "What are men made of?". It is so sad to read such articles, reminding us that not everyone is living in a pleasant or even a tolerable situation. That we need to look around us once in a while and try to help those in pain.

First of all I find it really interesting that no one actually said that yes, these abusive and sick men exist, and yes, they are animals and yes, they need psychological help.

Almost all the responses that I read about the above article mentioned that there must be something wrong with the women in such circumstances, and that they attract such men.

This needs to be said: it is not the women's fault, no matter what no one has the right to abuse women (or men), physically, emotionally and psychologically. There is no excuse for it. No one likes to be beaten up and abused, and no one chooses to be in such a situation.

For whatever reason these poor women are in these situations and can not get out. It may be a sense of security for them, it may be that they think they have no where to go. Let's be honest, in an Iranian community getting a divorce or leaving your husband is not exactly a welcomed idea. To this day, a woman that leaves her husband for whatever reason may be frowned upon by relatives and friends.

Most of the abusive relationships that I have seen or heard of involved an Iranian man. As an Iranian woman, who is proud to be Iranian, I am ashamed to have to admit this, but it's true.
I think it's a control issue, it allows the abuser to be able to control the other person in any situation, even by the threat of being beaten.

I apologize to all good Iranian men reading this, I do not mean to generalize and I am not saying that I agree with the writer of the article, that I will not get close to Iranian men, because there are good and bad individuals in every culture, and we need to be good iudges of character.

Please let's learn from these stories instead of blaming the women for being abused, actually keeping an open mind and try to see their side of it too. For us women, we need to value ourselves and know when enough is enough, the very first time being abused, the very first time being hit is way more than enough.

Best of luck to everyone.


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* English, please

Hello, Bonjour,

Je suis à la recherche de la traduction (en français ou en Anglais) ET les paroles originales des chansons du grand chanteur iranien Shahram Nazeri :

- Desire
- Andak andak
- et d'autres ( si possible)

Merci d'avance pour votre aide


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* 'some day' is not going to happen, is it?

Dear A.S.F., [Making a difference in Iran]

I just read your article and it really moved me. I am an American woman married to an Iranian man for 26 years. I haven't been back to Iran since 1979. After living there for over 2 years, we left when our 2 year old twin sons (they are 24 now) became ill and weren't recovering. (At that time there wasn't good medical care due to the fact that so many doctors were fleeing the country during the hostage crisis.)

Saying goodbye to everyone was hard, but we all trusted that we would be back to live some day soon. It didn't happen. I miss them terribly. I, too, can only marvel at the voices I hear over the telephone when we call Iran - children who now speak as adults, who weren't even born, or who were only children when we left Iran.

I also hear the now older voices of my brother-in-laws, who like us, were only in their 20's when we lived in Iran. (How much fun it was and how crazy we all were together those days!) And then there's the beautiful elder voices that are gone now and we'll never hear again.

As it turned out, we didn't share life together - didn't grow older together. We've kept in touch in bits and pieces. I can relate to what you said about spending life with our loved ones rather than visiting their graves. One thing was unclear to me, however. Do you have children? It sounds like you are a doctor, and I am in awe of you returning to Iran and helping your people. It is amazing and wonderful! I admire your spirit!

I don't feel, however, that ' selfish ' is the word I would use to describe us. Our children are here in America. They want and need us here in their lives as they marry and have children of their own. And of course, we feel the same way! This also holds true for our loved ones in Iran - they too have extended families that need them there, and they feel the same way. But, how I long to sit with my sister-in-law and share conversation over tea!

How I would love to be an active aunt to all my nieces and nephews living in Iran - some who also have families now. How I would enjoy seeing my husband spending time with his many brothers. You see, over the years we have all talked about and contemplated moving closer together some day - they will move here, or we will move there.

Over 20 years have gone by now. We've talked about it for over 20 years! 'some day' is not going to happen, is it? Maybe deep down we always knew. Maybe planning and talking about 'some day' has been the only way for us to live apart from each other all these years, knowing that too many ties hold us down where we are. The only word that I can think of to describe us, is ' Torn '.

Good luck to you and your wife and I wish you both much happiness and fulfillment!


Carla Hashemi

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* Photos of zar rituals

I have an article that will be published in Habibi: A Journal for Lovers of Middle Eastern Dance and Arts. It is called, "Shamanic Healing in the Zar and Sema Rituals of the Middle East: What does it take to cure?" and will be out in the next issue.

However, I cannot find any photos of zar rituals anywhere. Would you happen to have old photos of women doing zar in the Gulf region? Any help would be appreciated!!!



Katya Faris

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* Shojaeddin Shafa

Dear sir

I want to talk to Dr. Shojaeddin Shafa , But I haven't his e-mail address. Would you please help me to find it.

best regards


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* Rahman Khaledi





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* Lawyer in Cincinnati

I am looking for an Iranian lawyer in Cincinnati, Ohio. If you know any Iranian attorney in that area please let me know.

With Many Thanks,

Sepideh Mahdavieh

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* House of Orange


On a separate note, if the Italian flag is green, white, and red, why do the Italian players always wear blue?


The (light/azure) blue is the color of Savoia. It was used for the previous President's flag (blue with the coat-of-arms of the Republic in gold). That blue color is the livery color of the House of Savoy, and therefore for the Kings of Italy 1861-1946.

Similarly, the Dutch wear orange because of the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange.

Mehran Azhar

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* Why the Italians wear blue

Why the Italians wear blue (Azzurro):

"The Italian national team wear blue because it is the colour of Savoia, the ruling house of Italy from 1861 to 1946. Until the end of the second world war, the Italian flag always had the Savoy coat of arms in the centre, and it was only after the family were overthrown, and the Italian Republic established in 1946, that the plain tricolor was adopted as the national flag."

Shirin Sadeghi

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* Italian blue

I emailed an Italian friend about the Italian soccer team's jersey color. She didn't know why they were blue but her friend found this:


Niki Akhavan

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* Iran Boy

In the Article "The new Islamophobia" Mr Ebrahimi's did not mention what other name Abu-Sayaf's is called in philippines.

May be the reason Mr. Ebrahimi was targeted as an Iranian to answer the question "Don't you feel responsible?" is because Abu-Sayaf is called Iran-boy in Philippines.

So my recommendation to Mr. Ebrahimi is to try not to make a big deal of this issue. I am certainly not.

Many Philippinians who were born in Iran when their parents were servents to the wealthy Iranians and the Americans stationed in Iran. So Iran-boy could be referred to some of them too.

Take care.


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* Ey kaash

Aadam bazi vaghtaa yek chizaaei mikhooneh yaa mishnaveh ke nemidooneh bekhandeh yaa geryeh koneh, masalan be ein matlab ke dar rooznaameye "hayaate no" dar rooze 5shanbeh chaap shodeh bood, tavajoh konid:

Namaayandeye majlese khobregaan: "Moosighi, mohabate beyne zano shohar raa az beyn mibarad" namaayandeye valiye faghih dar ostaane kohkilooyeh va boyer ahmad va namaayandeye mardome ein ostaan dar majlese khobregaane rahbari dar mosalaaye yaasooj va dar maraaseme goshaayeshe panjomin namaayeshgaahe ketaab, didgaahe khod raa dar morede moosighi ein gooneh bayaan kard: vey baa haraam daanestane moosighi ezhaar daasht: adavaate moosighi nazire saaz, ney, Tombak va... dar har khaane'ei ke vaared shavad sababe chand-chehregi, 2rooei va az beyn raftane mohabate zano shohar shodeh va kaanoone khaanevaadeh raa az ham mipaashad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! vey goft: Har kasi che az baalaa (masoolaan) va che az paaein begooyad moosighi halaal ast, man migooyam valaah hazrate emaam jafare saadegh aan raa mane kardeh ast.

ghezaavat dar morede ein matlab be ohdeye khodetoon hast, vali jaalebeh ke dar haale haazer dar besiyaari az noghaate donyaa az moosighi be onvaane yek aamele darmaani estefaadeh misheh va moosighi-darmaani be onvaane yek reshteye academic hast.... Ey kaash masoolaane mamlekate maa kami masoolaaneh va sanjidehtar va az rooye daanesh sohbat mikardand, ey kaash........

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* Wow!


Siamack Salri

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* Taboo shakni

Emrooz man be yek site jadide Irani barkhordam. be esme Az aan didan konid va aan ra moarefie nemaied. In kar komoak be taboo shekani ast.


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* Dubai which he didn't or couldn't mention

I read Mr.Kadivar's article about his trip to Dubai and everything he said about it is 100% correct but their is a big BUT about Dubai which he didn't or couldn't mention. [Postcards from Dubai]

First of all , I want to know whom he is writing this article for and how much he got paid as it sound very much like a holiday brochure. If he really visited all those places he mentioned in one day, he must have been wearing a rolling skate and just vizzed by all those places as each of them is located at different side of Dubai. Though Dubai is a tinny small city, still with the traffic we are facing every day , it is a bit unrealistic to do all this site seing and still see every thing in detail and to be honest, see them at all.

He was looking for Iranian which is a very easy thing to find in Dubai as we are a big community over here and scattered all over town. But, all the high and mighty super expensive places he visited belong to European and better said foreigners who come with their dollors and Euros and Pounds to have jolly good time and their money has real value here.

He did not see Iranian because the majority of them work like dog to earn their living to survive. There are many rich Iranian too, but did he expect them to roum around town holding placards "we are Iranian"????

He could have gone to "Deira" side in Dubai to "Morshed Bazar" not "Royal Miraj" which many of the Iranian in Deira do not know if such a place exists.

I do not want to critize this gentelman's article, all I want to say is, that I belive he wrote an article commissioned by some UAE Arab (no wonder as his wife work MBC which is a Arab Broadcasting Channel), to write about Dubai attraction, audiancing Iranian through your site to wet their appetite for spending their holiday's over here and possibly do some inverstments and then to make sure everybody get convinced that his intension was solely patriotic and felt so deeply for Iran and Iranian and dying to see and fell anything touched by Iranian culture, he mentioned few items such as pistachio , caviar and carpet (again expensive stuff over here).

What I don't understand is, this gentleman could use few days of his 8 days holiday and go to Iran instead of looking for Iranian in Dubai, a city which, it's sole polocy is to attract rich people to spend money only for leisure and pleasure !!! and at the same time call all us " EXPAT " considering that they are mostly origenated form vilages of Shiraz such as Lar and Garash,etc ....

The only right thing in his article was what that Indian waiter said :"in UAE you own two things , yourself and your car " which is half through, you own just your car as when you get a via here, you must have an sponsor and without his permission you can not do much, which means you don't even own yourself !!!

Sorry if I offended any body, which I did not have the slightest intension to do so, but when you live here for quite a long while and get indirectly insulted because you are Iranian and not for instance a "British passport holder", reading this kind of articles really hursts you, specially when you know that it is written by one of your own country people.
Sorry again and thanks for promoting Dubai !!!


An Iranian in UAE

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* Thanks

I wish to thank you sincerely for publishing the article "The country she loved to death", by Mr. Reza Bayegan, on the anniversary of Princess Leila Pahlavi's tragic and untimely death.

Best regards,

Maral Beheshti

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* Thanks

Please accept my sincere gratitude for publishing Mr. Bayegan's article "The country she loved to death", about Princess Leila Pahlavi.

Thank you,

Rashid Sardar

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* Thanks

I wanted to sincerely thank you for your article about Leila Pahlavi [The country she loved to death]. It was very touching and I truly wish a brighter and better future for all of us Iranians. Thank you again.


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* Thanks

Thanks for publishing such a nice piece on Leila's funeral [The country she loved to death]. In the hope that we can all return to a free Iran



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* What about Iranian soccer?


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* Admirable and lovely

Thank you Mr. Dankoff for making me look at my copper plates with a different vision [The copper plate].

Your letter was admirable and lovely. It is praiseworthy enough for St. Paul to notice. Thank you so much for the kind words and for taking me back to English Schools, streets of Tehran, and history that I take for granted every day.


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* Visiting Rumi

I saw the beautiful photos you had taken from your trip to Konya, the resting place of Rumi/Molavi and would like to know if there is any special regulations and rules which people who wish to go and visit the resting place of Rumi should know.

I'd like to say you did the right thing, and certainly have had a great time visiting Konya and resting place og Rumi. I am thinking of regulations like the period of time which people can go and visit the resting place of Rumi, opening hours and the like.

Is it possible to see and experience that place in an afternoon (3-4 hours), or it is better to stay there 1-2 days? There is a possibility that I can travel from Norway to Van in Turkey (cloes to the Iranian border) and meet my mother and sister and other relatives who will be coming from Iran.

I thought if there is enough time, I should try to go and visit the resting place of Rumi too. Therefore I thought to write you, and hope this mail won't bother you.

If there are any matters of importance, please drop me a few lines. Also if you have phone numbers and other information related to the resting place of Rumi, I will be grateful to know them too.

Best regards,

Noorbakhsh Monzavi

REPLY: You can experience the Rumi's mausoleum in one aftertoon. But there are other places of interest in and around Konya which would require a longer stay. I didn't have enough time, or I would have spent more time experiencing the city and its people. It would be best to consult with a local travel agent. I only rented a taxi from Ankara and went straight to the mausoleum. Have a wonderful trip. Best, Jahanshah Javid

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* Diet secrets

I was just browsing through your site and found out that you and Siamak were on a "loosing weight" war! [Kopol vs. Topol] so i thought that i'd let you in a little "diet" secret which has become quiet famous in London (my cousin lost 20kg in 2 months). So here it is (it might not taste good at first.. but you'll get use to it).


Mix 1 cup of oat with water and put it in the oven for 45 minutes.. you can have it with unsalted butter and cinamon if you want :)

around 11ish you can have a cup of fruiteee tea..(the blackcurrent flavour is okay) (with no shirineee..nothin!)


you can have a baked potato with butter and pepper! oo you can also have errr.garlic with that!(choose a big me.. you won't last till dinner if you don't!)


you can have salad with a lemon+garlic+pepper dressing.. no corn or extra stuff in the salad.. only kahooo and haveeej! and also you can boil a breast of chicken in water..with garlic+pepper!

Continue this diet till the 18th (you might loose your taste buds or somethin..) and you'll be the champion

ooh. also you can't have any juice/milk/tea/coffee..only water and the strange fruiteee tea..

Goood luck (iranian accent)


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* If the creator does not get paid then who should?

I don't unerstand this policy of submitting one's work but withut getting paid. If the creator does not get paid then who should? Pease send me a report on this matter upon your submission so that I can submit.



REPLY: The reason no one gets paid is that I don't make enough to even support myself. I work on by myself. I have no other job. I earn money from ads and donations. If I could pay, I would gladly do so. Best, Jahanshah Javid

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* How many Nobel prize winners are of Iranian origin?

I would like to thank you for posting the pic of the first batch of professionals from India. It exposes nothing but your smuggish attitudes.

But U have more to be jealous of them. While you guys have been sitting on your lard asses, those little black men have been the workhorse of not only Indian industry, but also US, Singapore, malaysia, UK, etc.

Was an Iranian founder of SUN, Sycamore, Hotmail? If there has been any Iranian entreprenuer, he/ she is of Parsi origin. Go to any research institution in US and u see it crowded with Indians and Chinese almost exclusively.

How many Nobel prize winners are of Iranian origin? Compare the number with those of indian origin? Why is it that they are improving despite being overcrowded, poor and destitute, in a land with no natural resources? And why are U guys are crawling ass backwards into sand with your oil and gas resources? Because they are interested in overcoming obstacle(s), and u guys are interested in a strange cycle of whining about them, then forgetting about them and blaming your problems on every one else, the Arabs, the US, etc.

They have pulled 600 million people out of dire poverty in last 50 years? How much has u'r living standard improved since then ? YUNAAN - O - MISR - O - ROMAA SAB MIT GAYE JAHAAn SE AB TAK MAGAR HAI BAAQI NAAM - O - NISHAAn HAMAARAA KUCHH BAAT HAI KE HASTI MIT - TI NAHIEn HAMAARI SADYOn RAHAA HAI DUSHMAN DAUR - E- ZAMAAn HAMAARAA (Greece, Egypt and Rome all have vanished from the face of earth; yet our imprints are still undiminished.

There's something for our existence doesn't efface; [though] the cycle of time has been our adversary for centuries) That statement can only be applied to four communities in the world :- parsis(not iranians), chinese, indians, japanese. They are all aware of there past(not proud.... but aware) and are moving forward. Are You?


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* Waiting 24 years to visit him

Lucky, lucky you [Khedmate Khaajeh]. Truly blessed is he who gets the opportunity to visit my beloved Hafiz. I have been waiting for 24 years to visit him but, have not been able to. I speak to him everyday and he never lets me down. You are indeed fortunate and I am glad you experienced the ultimate solitude and serenity.

Azam Nemati

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* Caligraphic masterpiece

Your caligraphy photo essay (by Kamran Abbasi) took my breath away [Worshipping words]. I suppose this is your first collection of caligraphic masterpieces. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.



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* Study in an American university

I am student of university.My course is chemical engineering. My average diploma is 17.82. I like to study in an American university. I like to receive scholarship. Can I receive scholarship? I can not speak English a lot. What is conditions for giving scholarship?

Thank you

Mohsen Salehzadeh

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* Damat Garm!

This was a wonderful article [Khedmate Khaajeh]. Damat Garm! I hope you provide us with more of the same. My family and I really enjoyed the piece.

Fatemeh Esfandiyari

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* Death should not be idealised

This article "The country she loved to death" was pretty darn good!

I really do get a sense of what good sincere people the Iranian Royals are and that they are indeed a force for good values and philosophies. It even gave me an insight into the plight of iranians and those among them who above being decent are a force for love, courage, truth, joy etc.

I would say though, and I am am just assuming, but that Leila's actions/feelings which lead to her death should not be idealised to the point of "loved her country to death". This may be an illusion of mine and I may be wrong, but surely loved her country to death is a misguided view even if that may have been where Leila was coming from, I hope it is not a place that we would want anyone to picture as good. It pleases us at times to think this way, to somehow view the actions of a hurt person as associated with the good value of Love.

I think there is a great opportunity here to learn. Like A moment of clarity following an honest reflection of ones self. In Life, it is never what happens to us that affects how we feel and act. More importantly it is the meanings we give a situation that affect how we learn from it and use it. Obviously Leila did not take important constructive meanings from what happened to her people and family. A good lesson to take from the the past in my opinion would be that Iranians overcame great challenges and succeeded externally beyond even their own wildest imagination only to be tested by the the world with yet more challenges only this time not external but internal and deeply spiritual. The challenge put forward on Iranians is to develop spiritual/emotional strength to overcome injustice and have the light of Love fill their lives. Leila obviously did not take this lesson and it would be a really bad for Iranians to hear ideas such as "love" and "to death" put together in one phrase. Millions of Iranians today are being faced with the this challenging problem and they are sitting on the razors edge at a point where they can make a really good decision or a really bad one and it will depend on whether they take the correct meaning of their situation.

I for one really liked the contribution Leila's father made to humanity. He had the courage to try, the courage to fight. It is not his critic's who count. That includes many Iranians of all walks of life and many News reporters of the world. They are those who point out how the strong man stumbled, or where he could have done better and what he did wrong. He really deserves credit, because it was he whose face was marred by dust and sweat and blood: who strived valiantly; who erred and came short again and again. He was devoted and in the end did succeed at creating high achievement, even if it was followed by a failure, at least failed while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory or defeat. Iranians should take note of the character of her father who in the moment of crushing defeat, deception, and ruin put forth views that were founded in Love, warmth, faith and wisdom. He may have lost everything else but he did not lose that. Every failure is a success if good meaning is given to it and it is learned from. The lesson is- Iranians need greater emotional strength, a greater focus on love.

Thankyou for the article.


P.S. This comes from a from a person who experienced depression first hand and over came it.

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* Hope

Hey, who cares about "horse racing competition in France". Check out "Persian Ruler" wining in Spain. Maybe there is hope for Reza Pahlavi after all!



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* Enjoying Azin

I have been enjoying Azin Arefi's writing in the past two weeks [ The richest fruit, Pickled things]. Please let me know if there are more of her short stories on line so I could read them.


Sonia Navid Paz

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* Iran's game plan

In refernece to World Cup game plans:


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* Preturbed by those who automatically discount Pahlavi

I am not an Iranian but I have enjoyed reading your on line site for a while now. In 1979, I was a 23 year old liberal being spoonfed the pablum of our American media. I read in the Village Voice of the torture chambers of SAVAK and a police state that rivaled that of East Germany.

While most Americans have a viseral disdain for monarchies, I think we were all disgusted by tales of Ashraf Pahlavi's alledged drug running and the blatant payola to members of the Royal Family by foreign investors.

So when the masses clamored at the gates of Niavaran Palace, and Khomeini swooped down in his Air France 747, I, and most of my contemporaries, felt as if Iran had was on the verge of a new and more just era. How naive we were!

Despite a 200 year old mantra of Separation of Church and State, we foolishly assumed that the Ayatollah would serve as a moral guardian and leave matters of state to democratically inclined politicians. Just from his statements in exile, we should have known better. They were as foretelling as Mein Kampf.

Then, as the files of Evin Prison were opened to scrutiny and the world became privy to 30 years of Pahlavi evidence, the scope of alledged abuses began to dramatically shrink. And as those abuses withered, Khomeinis soared. 20 years later, and alot wiser, I have joined the growing ranks of converts who have reevaluated the late Shah.

Of course some will claim that he was a foreign puppet, but as someone who vividly recalls the gasoline lines and quadrupling prices of gas in 1974, I'd beg to differ. Was he a friend of my country? Undoubtedly. At a time when we have more and more people hating us, its almost nostalgic to recall a man and nation that didnt seeth with anti-american rhetoric. America is in a tough position.

On the one hand, the world envies our wealth power and standard of living. They want our cell phones, TVs and even our awful junk food. But as these accoutrements of our wealth cross borders and are lapped up by improved economies, we are accused of polluting cultures and spreading our immorality.

The Shah lifted Iran out of abject poverty and while there was a price to pay, standards of living did increase. At the time of his overthrow, he was, even if slowly, loosening his grip on society and restraining excesses by SAVAK. It wasnt perfect, but it was progress.

I bring all this up because I am a bit preturbed by those voices that automatically discount the role any Pahlavi could play in future Iranian politics. I read one editorial in which a writer claimed that Reza II lacks committment because he wants a referendum on the monarchy. Would he seem more desirable if he demanded the throne back unconditionally?

That same writer compared restoration of the Pahlavis with the same unliklihood of the restoration of the Romanovs and other lost crowns. He failed to mention the successful restoration of Juan Carlos of Spain. Juan Carlos helped Spain recover from 30 years of despotic facism and is loved and revered by his people now despite initial doubts.

Finally, Id like to respond to a writers claim that the Pahlavis have done no charity work in exile. The Empress has worked diligently on many issues close to her heart. She has spoken on commissions and participated on panels addressing womens and childrens problems throughout the world.

Trying to compare Princess Leila with Princess Diana is a cheap shot. 95% of Princess Dianas charitable value was in her persona. Just attending an event meant mega-exposure. Does the writer of that article know how much charitable work is done by the decidedly less-glamorous Duchess of Kent?

Princess Diana, gracious lady that she was, was a media star. Even while visiting minefield victims in Yugoslavia, she was the issue, the star. She knew it, and used it to publicize issues close to her heart. Princess Leila, like many Iranian exiles, watched her family villified at home and abroad.

I dont know what personal demons hounded the Princess, but I would never make the assumption that it was spoiled-child syndrome.

David Mac Donald

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* Oghdeie

Bebinam jenaabe Saman khaan:




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* Young insight

I agree with you [Long Live Iranian TV!]. Good for you - you are the young generation and your insight and understanding is far beyond the older one.

I have always maintained that most of our compatriots are good at finding fault without doing anything about helping to correct it if they know better.

You are sensitive to this issue and have the courage to speak out.

Thank you.

Shahla Samii

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* Soul searching

Dear Aref, [Khedmate Khaajeh]

Congratulations. You saw everything with the of your soul.



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June 2002
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