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Letters

September 6, 2003

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* Something to stop conquerors

I don't know what to think of this piece of propaganda you put out! I think neo-cons are laughing with delight and forwarding it to their compatriots!! [Colorful missiles] you sure delighted them with this piece of put down! you managed to ridicule Iranians among other people of east who are worried about neocolonialist forces (not all  Americans)  who want to break the will of "all" folks in that volatile middle east be Persian, Arab or Turk.

we are not talking about defending the  theocracy that rules Iran today! lets not mix issues here! we are talking about Iranian nation trying to come up with something to stop these hordes of conquerors from breaking through! you ridicule this?! giving a green light to potential enemy (whoever it might be)  that these poor Persians are bunch of backward folks who don't know what kind of paint to use to camouflage the rocket and their submarines are marooned in shallow Persian gulf!

to really rub it  in you wrap this article (!!) in comical language, your TANZ about dumb backward Persians who are trying to defend their homeland sickens me, then you ask, "do you think it will stop Americans!?", that is your question?! it may not stop them and we too end up a colony of big daddy!!

"boro kolah to kaj bezart" for the rest of us Iranians  we are going to try to save our honor and not to be conquered by any body!! in time of SHAH there were bunch of worthless folks who ridiculed him  for trying to come up with a viable well equipped army!! I remember those days, the equipment came handy and defended Iran well against Iraqi army who were supported  by your benefactors!

what worries  Iranians is not your BABBLE  MR. WHOEVER YOU ARE but  the hand that is feeding you might miscalculate Iranian resolve and attack our homeland! he should know  what defends Iran is foot solder and topography the rest is gadgets!! Iran will be defended, rockets or no rockets and! shame on you!

D F Davarpanh

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* Unaware -- or an Arab yourself

Ms. Akhavan was moving forward in her argument relatively smoothly (still with some questionable remarks, in my view) until she wrote this:

Yeah, well while these folks were dining on rotten mutton the Arabs were actually thinking a little. In fact, it was three Arab scholars that were prolific during these times that helped save Europe from the Black Death. As Oxford University's research on Arab society's states; Razi (Rhazes), Ibn Sina (Avicenna), and Abu Ali al-Hasan (Alhazen) were the greatest medical scholars of mediaeval times. Al-Razi was the inventor of "Seton" in Surgery and the author of Al-Judari wal Hasbak, an authentic book dealing with measles and small pox.

Avicenna wrote Al-Qanun fil Tib known as Cannon, which was the most widely studied medical work of mediaeval times and was reprinted more than twenty times during the last 30 years of the 15th century in many different languages. Alhazen was the world's greatest authority on "optics".

I would say to her, my friend what you are quoting is the expression used by ignorant westerner who doesn't recognize independent Persian culture and lumps them together with Arabs as "Islamic culture". Either you are unaware or an Arab your self. I am perplexed.

By the way, after lecturing that guy (Aliabadi) about his lack of education and her own background in history, she goes: "... the Egyptians (also considered Arabs, in case you didn't stumble across this tidbit of information at some point during your evidently abbreviated education) did with their unwieldy mathematics system was, actually, pretty fantastic. Not only did they just use it in their day-to-day lives, but they built one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world."

What a surprise, she doesn't know that at the time the Egyptians were an independent ethnic group with no connection with the future Arabia. In fact the history is blurry about Arabs 5000 years ago [even today, Egyptians are culturally or mostly linguistically Arab and not completely genetically, although it doesn't have much bearing on this argument].

Overall, the Saudi government would normally spend some money to get writings like this in supprot of their national prides, Ms. Akhavan did it for free (I guess), but with no representation of us Persians; it should be considered her personal view only.

H. Shamloo

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* Mixing many issues

The article touched interesting points but mixed many issues simultaneously [Close enough] .  I am not sure whether the author has any relationships with Arabs in anyways but whatever the motives would be, it's not going to change the fact that Arabs & Persians are from two totally different races.

Features were not the same to begin with but started to change, of course, by invasion . Moreover, the study of anthropology would totally reject her claim that our culture is the same as well. For instance, many of non- religion festivities goes back to pre- Achamanied era and so forth.
 
I would like to know what school in USA she attended so that I make sure not to go there.
 
Arman

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* Leave me out of Arab brotherhood

Ms. Akhavan, [Close enough]

Unfortunately you invalidated your argument by false referencing to history, and somehow supported Mr. Aliabadi's point [Forsaking Iranians]. Since you were so eager to encourage Mr. Aliabadi to go to the library and research, I would recommend the same for you.

For instance, you claimed Egyptians pyramids and historical achievements came from Arabs! Well, for your information, Egyptians who managed all those great accomplishments, were not from Arab descents, but they were African Blacks ("The Racial History of Egypt and Nubia", The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 75:1945, pp. 81-101; 76:1946, pp. 131-56).

As a matter of fact, since the Arab occupation of Egypt, they have not accomplished much in science or math. Of course, they have had their contribution to war and population growth of Arab empire! Also, Razi (Rhazes), Ibn Sina (Avicenna) were Persians. However due to forced occupation of Arabs, they had to write their achievements in both Persian and Arabic. Arabs have forced Persians and many other cultures to adapt to their rules, the same thing that Jews are doing to them now. So, I don't see why there is room for crying. What comes around, goes around.

To agree with Mr. Aliabadi, looking at the Germans, and Brits, and Americans, even Israelis, they have recovered from the, as Ms. Akhavan put it, "self flagellation and boredom ", what about us? Isn't that a sign that they are doing something right and we are doing something wrong? After all, it is nature and survivor of the fittest will rule, and apparently "our people" are not the fittest. I personally believe that the reason is our culture and has nothing to do with our skin color or blood type.. 

To disagree with Mr. Aliabadi, I should refer to "Race is a social construct, not a scientific classification," Robert S. Schwartz, M.D. wrote (in "Race Is a Poor Measure," New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 344, No. 18, May 3, 2001). "Any attempt to establish lines of division among biological populations is both arbitrary and subjective."

The Human Genome Project determined that 99.9% of the human genetic complement is the same in everyone, regardless of race"  So, the differences that you point out between us and the western countries are mainly cultural and if I want to separate myself from middle east, I should cut myself from the culture not the race or color.

Ms. Akhavan feels sad for you that you have to wake up every morning and hate yourself because you can not stop being Iranian, but that comes from the fact that she thinks of color as an indication of being Iranian.

Ms. Akhavan, you can not be Iranian as long as you atach any string to that culture. I don't believe that aligning yourself with your Arab brothers and sisters is going to promote your Persian culture or create any possibility of improvement from what we have had for the past thirteen hundred years.

If you want to be a part of Arab brotherhood and sisterhood, that is fine, what ever floats your boat,  but please don't walk around and preach false historical facts and glorify something that quite frankly has retarded our people for the past millennium.

Amir Hanjani

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* So much for blaming America

Ms. Akhavan, [Close enough]

Iranians are not Arabs. The only similarity between Iranians and Arabs is this religion called "Islam" which the Arabs bestowed upon Iran a long time ago like a plague. The same religion that that the Mullahs are using today to rule and destroy Iran while they are loading up their Swiss bank accounts (read the Forbes article "Millionaire Mullahs"). And the same religion that is holding back the entire Middle East in the Third World category.

Yes, Persia and some other Arab countries contributed greatly to science, medicine, and mathematics in the dark ages while Europeans were living like animals. But that contribution ended about 5 centuries ago and since then the western world has taken off. Stop living in the glories of the past.

Wake up and smell the coffee. Arabs and most of the muslim countries (including Iran) are causing a great deal of problems in the world today while they blame all of their problems on the U.S and on Israel.

Well, lets take a look at what the Islamic Repulic of Iran has accomplished since it cut all ties with America: Iran is now much farther back than where it was when the evil western puppet Shah was in power - all this while Iran is one of the greatest producers of oil and natural gas. So much for blaming America for it's lack of progress and miseries.

B. Pejman

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* Arabs & Aliabad

"Close enough" by Shadi Akhavan compares apples to oranges. Her argument is off base. Avicenna was an Iranian. Razi was also an Iranian. And as far as Mr. Aliabadi is concerned, do you know where Aliabad is? Aliabad is a village near Qom, Iran. There is a sarcastic saying in Iran that goes like this, "Really? I didn't know Aliabad was declared a city?"

Parveez Sayyad's movies on "Samad" are a good example of people from abadi (the villages in Iran). Don't get me wrong there are some intelligent people living in Iranian villages, but for a person to deny his culture and religion for an imaginary people like the Aryans is kind of warped. The majority of Iranians are Shia Muslims. Whether we like it or not that is the way it is.

As far as the Aryan theory goes, there is no one in Iran that could be 100% Aryan due to the fact that Iran has been invaded by so many Armies in its history. The Ancient Greeks (Alexander the Macedonian), the Romans, the Arabs, The Mongols and so on and so forth entered Iran and had sex with native women. Yazdegird's, the last Sasanid Shah of Iran, daughter married the Prophet Mohammed's grandson Hussein.

As far as the Arabs go, they had no culture until the Prophet Mohammed came along. Arabia was between two empires the Roman and the Persian. Every out law from the two empires ran away to Arabia to escape the law.

One of the followers of the Prophet Mohammed was Abuzar Ghaffari. The tribe of Ghaffar was well known in attacking caravans and robbing merchants in Arabia. Omar, another of Islam's converts and the 2nd Caliph buried his daughter alive, due to Arab custom before Islam; Omar also broke his sister's nose when he found out that she had converted to Islam. Face it, Omar Khattab was a brute. Uthman, the 3rd Caliph was from the blood thirsty Omayaad family that fought the Prophet till the day that Islam was declared victor in Mecca.

Before Mohammed died he made a speech that no Muslim is better than any other Muslim in any way (race, tribe, etc). A Muslim is only graded on his faith. After the death of Mohammed there was in fighting. And after the first 4 Caliphs one tribe triumphed and killed all its opponents and installed the Omaayed Dynasty. The Omayyads were overthrown and killed off by the Abbasid Dynasty. The Abbassid Dynasty was overthrown by the Mongols.

And the Mongols were conquered by the Ottomans. And AttaTurk in the 1920's ended the Caliphate and started a secular state. After WWI the Ottoman Empire who sided with the Axis Powers was divided up. The Arab lands which were colonies of the Ottoman Empire became either British or French Colonies. And the Arabs have been pissed off since.

Yeah there was some advances in the Muslim World during Europe's Dark Ages. The Arabic Numerals, rubbing Alcohol, Algebra and other advances were made by Muslim countries. But advancement stopped and the Renaissance began in Europe. And with the Renaissance and Europe's conquest of the Muslim East led to the Islamic world's decay.

Did you know the Philippines were named after King Philip of Spain and that the Southern Philippines is filled with Muslims. The Spaniards fought the Muslim Moors in Southern Spain in 1492 and when they entered the Philippines they said, "Oh no more Muslim Moors!"

Why can't we just all get along?

Jacob Cohen

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* Ms "Al-Akhavan"

Dear Ms "Al-Akhavan", [Close enough]

You wrote: "We're not Arabs but we certainly have similar cultures, features, religions."

Culture?! You're comparing Persian culture to savage bedouin like arab culture?! It's notworthy to say that arab culture is the same thing as islamic culture they are the same "thing".

Culture of hatred, death, segregation, savagery, beatings, floggings, hangings, amputating, killing, raping, pedophilia, extremism, humiliation, slavery, etc etc This does not sound similar to Persian culture!

Now if you want to talk about the Islamic Republic and its followers culture then you're correct in your views that they are identical (not similar) but if you are talking about Persian culture NO you're wrong.

Mr Gigoloo

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* Absolute idiot

Mr. Aliabadi, [Forsaking Iranians]

You are an absolute uncultured idiot, excuse my French, and read some books Mr. loser.

Take it from someone who has been there and done that.

My apologies to other readers; I had to say this.

IMS

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* Mindless anti-Semitic garbage

As an Iranian-American I am appalled and shocked that you would even publish Mr. Aliabadi’s mindless anti-Semitic garbage [Forsaking Iranians]. I believe by doing so you have not only made Iranians look bad, but have also given credence to our Jewish brethren who might think Iranians are inherently anti-Semitic.

The Iranian should be ashamed of itself for even allowing that lousy and inaccurate writing to be posted on its site. I apologize to any Jews (Iranian or not) who may have been offended by this joke of a writer (and I use that term loosely with him).
 
Sohrob Tahmasebi
San Diego,CA

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September 6, 2003

US invasion of Iran
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* To stop conquerors
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Immigration
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Help
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* Leave me out

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* Absolute idiot
* Anti-Semitic garbage
Air force & war
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Lahooti in USSR
* Iranian clippings
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Film: "Maryam"
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