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Letters

July 2, 2003

Page 4

* Further evidence of Parthians in India

I have read the article of Mr Abbas [India's Parthian colony]. I was a student of archaeology in an Indian university and my topic was about Parthians and their Indian families.

As Mr Abbas has written, and even in an article which has been printed in an Iranian journal about Sassanid maritime relations, there were ties between the Gujurat kingdom of India not only in the the time of Parthians but also in time of Sassanids.

But further studies about Parthian coins found in the coastal region of Surashtra (part of today's Gujurat) show that from at least 50 AD, there were direct relations between Parthian and Indians in Gujarat, where many Parthian coins were foud in the coastal region.

Secondly, the concentration, or presence of Parthians was limited to Mesopetamia. Commerce came from outside their territory. Surely their aims were to control the trade routes and that is why Parthian coins have been found in coastal regions.

For more information I can refer to the Nasik Institute of Numismatic Studies.

Khademi Nadooshan
Dept of Archaeology
Tarbiat Modaress University
Tehran

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* PLEASE help m Aharon find his father

My son has never met his father and has been searching for him for a few years. He is presently in musicschool in Jerusalem, Israel, and is also studying hazanut (religious chanting). He asks me to try to locate his biological father living in California, L.A. area.

His name is David Mahtaban or Khosroe Mahtaban. He previously lived in England, and New Jersey. His brothers are also in California (Jamshid and Parviz). PLEASE help my 19-year-old son Aharon find his father.

This is for his sake not mine. I have re-married a wonderful Parsi-kurdi who acts and showed his love all these years, more than his real father.Please e-mail me at above address.

Many thanks. G-d bless you, for trying to help my son Aharon.

Esterina Tabrizi

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* Excuse academics using laws of reason

Regarding "Too smart for our own good: When you spend too much time in academia, something happens to you" (link?),

It is very simple to make generalizations about such subjects as the makeup of our educated population, world affairs, things of that nature. If there is anything useful that academics do, it is that they do not rush to conclusions as easily as the majority of guests at one of our customary dinner parties.

We Iranians, and here I am perhaps generalizing (!), have a propensity for throwing about politicized banter at gatherings, and approximately half (if not more) of it is grossly generalized, sensationalized, and replete with conspiracy theories and things of that nature.

Excuse the academic for trying to use the laws of reason (and I am by no mean a cold rationalist) to figure matters out. Your simplified "theory" has not done much either, I am afraid to say.

If you read all the theses, books, and articles, and still don't have an answer, that is neither your or the academics' fault. The reward and beauty of the study of history is that we end up with more questions than with answers. It would be awfully boring if we had the "cut and dry" answer, as it is said, for everything, wouldn't it?

If there are academics who are haughty and dance badly (whatever that is supposed to show - "let he without sin cast the first stone"), then it is counter-productive to blame the profession.

There are insecure people in every field who express their insecurity in bad ways. Perhaps you should focus your energies of criticism on a greater group than merely academics, i.e. Iranians from Los Angeles (I mean this in jest), et alia.

It is our duty to support, admire, and respect our academics and professionals. They have worked hard and many of them care, but clearly, according to your standards, they are hopeless in trying to reach the conclusions that your enlightened self has, to God be thanks, reached.

In the United States, we are witnessing how the Americans' lack of respect for the true, selfless scholar is faltering miserably and how it is affecting their society and culture. I pray that this will not happen to Iranians.

If you are yourself "insecure" as you say, then do not impose your insecurity on those who have worked hard. They do not deserve contempt. However, since you clearly have all the answers, I respectfully leave that judgement to you.

Mahan Esfahani

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* A rare pleasure

It is not always that we are treated with contributions from both Sadri brothers on the same day issue of the Iranian ("Chi fekr mikardim...", and "Good long look in the mirror", May 29-30, 2003).

This is certainly a rare pleasure, somehow too good to be true. By the way, I don't know if it is me or do others feel the same but every time that I see the Sadri duo or read their postings I am reminded of another celebrity twins who, in more ways than one, share an uncanny resemblance with Sadris.

I am referring to children's French comics, Tintin, and the twin detective brothers Dupond and Dupont (or Thomson and Thompson in its English version - see this)The twin detectives, whose only facial difference is in one of them having his moustache pointing up while the other pointing down, always support and even repeat each others words, often with the second brother emphasising the same point already made by the first one. In the style of the Thompson twins, the Sadris have followed each other on the same paths - sociology, NY's NSSR, Max Webber, Soroush, religious reformists, etc.

But anecdotes aside, what prompted me to write this letter was not the auspicious occasion of having two Sadris in one page. I was taken by Mahmoud Sadri's assertion that he is bent on bridging the gaps between, as he puts it, the opposing universes of Iranians within and without Iran. The point is that a bridge is built between two solid structures and not with one end of the gap in the process of total collapse - as is the case with the clerical regime in Iran. Besides, it takes a long time to build a bridge. I once had a brief encounter, virtually that is, with brothers Sadri while being on the same mailing list about two years ago.

A debate on Sadris' favourite topic, religious reforms in Iran, was being participated by the members on the list. But only after a couple of exchanges, M. Sadri announced his departure (his other half had already excused himself). I remember that I asked Mahmoud Sadri to be more tolerant of the opposite views and to reconsider his leaving the debate but to no avail.

The trouble is that whenever you engage our thriving academic brothers in a debate with a non-academic, non-sociologist, non-Webberian, non-reformist opposition, they tend to retreat to their academic ivory towers and from a safe and superior high ground, denounce you as unequal opponents, and when asked to explain, flaunting their reading lists into your face. So much for bridge building! Which brings me to Mahmoud Sadri's latest bridging project: Is a kiss just a kiss?

Reading the script of this otherwise innocent dialogue between Ms Hakakian and Mr. Sadri, one cannot ignore its gripping sexual connotations, not to mention their mildly flirtatious exchanges (like Sadri ending with blowing a shy kiss toward Hakakian). What triggered their debate was not, for instance, a general critique of the reformist movement but an allegedly lewd act of rubbing an adult man's lips against those of a child.

Ironically while Mr. Sadri refutes any suggestions of pedophiliac interests by Hakim, the title of his response to Ms Hakakian (chi fekr mikardim chi shod - picked up from the text) has a strong pedophiliac undertone. The origin of this line comes from the tale of a village boy at the age of puberty, whose mother was severely ill. The boy used to fantasise that with his mother soon dead, his father would have married a younger woman, and the boy could have realised his sexual fantasies with his young stepmother. As bad fortune had it, the mother survived and, shortly afterwards, the father died. Then his mother remarried, this time to a much younger man and the situation reversed. Now the young stepfather would realise his pedophiliac fantasies with the boy - hence the boy used go around the village chanting: chi fekr mikardim chi shod.

Assuming the learned Mr Sadri is aware of the origin of his chosen title, is it therefore fair to ask if he is trying to tell us something about Hakim's carnal intentions? Or does his new bridge have Hakim standing at one end and the bridge itself is labelled perhaps fittingly: MIRI (Made in Islamic Republic of Iran)!

Parkhash

* MIRI vs SRAD

I'm encouraged by the civic, light-hearted dialogue between Ms. Hakakian [Heard enough] and Mr. Sadri [Chi fekr mikardim...], but dismayed at the former's insistence of labeling a person, or whole issue, into a four-letter acronym.

By that offense, Ms. Hakakian can be said to belong to the PWLL (People Who Like to Label), which is a part of the larger PFPS (People For the Preservation of Stereotypes).

Of course, her choice of the very acronym MIRI (Male Iranian Religious Intellectual), is her rightful admission to the SRAD (Sexist, Racist, & Agnostic Disestablishmentarianism) club.

Being a poet admits her to the PS (Poet Society), but not just any poet society -- oh no! Because she is a female poet of Iranian heritage living in New York, she more aptly belongs to the very exclusive WFIPS-GNY (White Female Iranian-born Poet Society of Greater New York), pronounced "weefipsogony."

All this labeling reminds me of an aptly-designed Far Side cartoon by the great cartoonist Gary Larson, in which a confused man with a paint bucket in hand has gone on a rampage of labeling everything in sight, including the "house," "cat," "tree," etc. with the caption: Ahhh, now that makes everything clearer.

Although such labels make it easier to grasp and digest an issue, ultimately they tend to alter, over-simplify, and even disguise real, complex issues.

Moe

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* Research on White Revolution

I'm a Canadian student, studying in Tel Aviv, currently doing research for a paper on the White Revolution.

Do you know of any interesting sources, preferrably analyses by Iranian
intellectuals, on the White Revolution, its background, its interaction with demographic pressures in the 1960s-70s, its social repercussions, etc.?

If so, please do not hesitate to point me in the right direction. I greatly appreciate any help you could offer.

Jordan Levine

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*

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July 2, 2003

Protests
* To be slaves or to be free?
Iran-Iraq-US
* We will fight

* Surprised? Why?
* Americans don't care
* Marred by medling
* How would Iran defend itself?
* "No" means "Yes"
Satellite TV
* Misrepresenting facts
Reza Pahlavi
* Those getting screwed
* Change without RP
* He is a stranger
* NOT doing it for the crown
* Does he think we're stupid?
* What have you khars done?
* Better off in present miser?
Monarchy
* Questions for you
Mojahedin
* Most fair on MKO
* This is not normal

Nationalists
* Refuting traitors
Hoveyda
* Discovering those who governed
Debate
* A rare pleasure
* MIRI vs SRAD
Abortion
* I would have had one
* Sacredness of human life
Academics
* Using laws of reason
1931 film
* He will enjoy it
* Contributes to a brighter future

Diaspora
* Sadaf Kiani: Our voice
* Ban those who hide
Iranians
* Concise, real analysis
Fashion
* Super catchy
* Just horrible
Setareh Sabety
* Reasonable and intelligent voice
Poetry
* Translations

History
* Parthians in India
Music
* Can't imagine my feeling!
Lost & found
* Help find his father
Help
* Khorramshahr bridge
* Research on White Revolution

 

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