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June 16, 2004

* Americans can tell the difference

I found this article [Worse than Blacks] quite entertaining and some of the points were accurate. However, in general I disagree that Americans do not know the difference. Americans usually can tell the difference between Iranians and "others".

First of all whether you admit it or not as a group we are a lot more educated and more sophisticated and that is reflected in our demeanor and the way we come across. Even when I have gone to Middle Eastern stores to shop and there are Arab people there, the American customers always come up to me and ask me for advice.

Arabs are much louder and the way they speak their native language is much more pronounced (I recently heard one of my son's American friends making fun of the Arabs by saying, Aaaahlaaan vaaa saahlaan which made me laugh. When I tried to defend the Arabs, my son said ; mom, it is true their accent is not as nice and soft as ours!).

I hate to stereo type but in general Iranian men are much more polite and normally do not stare at women and if they approach a woman they are much more respectful and pleasant. Also, if you walk to an Iranian market where the wife and women are employed you will see that they are treated by the man of the household as equals.

Go to any Arab store and see the woman working in the back and when she is summoned to bring something from the back observe how the husband talks to her). There is another major German company in the area I work at. The first time I was walking with a group of colleague and ran into some Iranians (before I heard them speak) I immediately recognized them because they were dressed causal chic and when I said hello they politely answered. There are four Arabs and I immediately recognized them too because they were staring with a gross smile and when my colleague and I said "hello" they seemed so pleased as though we had come on to them (yuk).

Also, if you go to a shopping center you will see Iranian women who are dressed beautify and walk confidently. They address the sales person (while their partner stands listening). Go to any store where you see an Arab couple and you will see the man does all the talking and shopping. I laugh so hard anytime I go to my jeweler and pick up things I like and pay for them. Sometimes the owners of the store become agitated with Arab men because they make the poor little woman try so many different bangles so he can pick what he likes (I never hear the woman say anything) and that is a backward tradition you do not see among Iranians.

I have heard the remark form American who travel and interact with various people form Middle East and they tell me they recognize Iranians right away. Recently I misplaced my driver's license and had to make an appointment to go to the bureau and replace it. I took a few hours off to go and do so however, one of my Columbian colleagues had me in a panic because she said: "You need your Citizenship certificate because you are a foreigner. I am Columbian and have lived here 32 years yet they made me go back and get the certificate."

I was horrified because I had no time to go home and had already waited three weeks to get this appointment. Well, I took my chances and went to the packed place. When I went to the counter the blonde hair blue eyes middle age American lady smiled and said; you are Iranian. I love Iranian people. They are so educated, polite and they all speak great English. I wish all the foreigners here were Iranian. We should only grant citizenship to Iranians!". Flattered, I smiled and said thank you, do you need to see my work badge for ID? She shook her head to indicate no.

My Columbian colleague was outraged that I "got away so easily" but frankly I get the same treatment anywhere I go. The only retards who mistake us for Spanish are the low class uneducated Latinos. If I walk into a store and the person speaks to me in Spanish I just snap and say in Farsi, naah olagh man Irooni hastam" and walk away because I refuse to give business to ignorant people. I know I will get a nasty e-mail from a Latino who has dated an Iranian (and thinks he or she now is different) but I do not care and I vehemently disagree that educated, cultured and well read Americans think all Middle Eastern people are the same.

I can not tell you how many times a month an educated American will say "you are a Persian Princess" and I just smile and say, my friends call me the Queen because all Iranian women are princesses but there is only one Queen! Usually there is a smile and apology which I accept!



All past letters

By subject
June 2004

June 16

* Unparallel effort
* Dire state
* Brilliant Bush
* Left-wing idiocy

Anti-Midle Eastern
* Not a problem
* Going for the jugular

* Americans tell difference
* Monarchist magnet
* My soulmate
Lost & found
* Ali Reza Shahabi
* Stupid mistake
* Wonderful singer
* Connection to long ago

>>> More letters in June
>>> All past letters


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