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Letters

June 26, 2004

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* Get over yourself

In response to "United States of Klingons": Thank you for such an enthralling piece of work; writing such as yours reminds me that ignorance still breeds. Has it ever occurred to you that not every Mexican is an immigrant, such as yourself?

Considering a vast majority of America actually belongs to Mexicans (see, they discovered parts of America, didn't "National Geographic" teach you that?), it is safe to assume that not all Mexicans dodged bullets to obtain status in the US. Get over yourself; these " foreigners" actually discovered America, have been here hundreds of years, or helped build this country.

Until you rid yourself of your ignorance, bigotry, and extreme paranoia against Mexicans, Chinese, and blacks, I suggest you sit in the Middle East and continue to hold your breath.

Sarah

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* It's their job

I understand and sympathize with you [United States of Klingons]. I have been in a similar situation many times myself. But you have to recognize and respect the fact that the stupid Mexican or the obese Black has a JOB to do, so they TOO can pay the bills and go back to their families and play with their children after work. Their job as annoying as it may be is to ask you to perform certain things.

And excuse me if those certain things de-humanize your intellectual being, but I wonder if you ever thought of facing these guys (or anyone else for that matter) with respect and dignity as opposed to arrogance. Try it next time, I am sure you are going to see different results.

Arsalan Faghri

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* A privilege, not a right

The government of the United States didn't invite you to visit [United States of Klingons]. Entry to the United States, or any country in the world, is not a right but a privilege. It's unfortunate that things have come to this, but it is a necessary evil. In the 90s because of labor shortage and an ever aging population, Canada opened the flood gates and allowed massive and often unchecked immigration. This has resulted in an influx of some unsavory characters from many parts of the world, including the middle east. 

You may feel singled out, but you're not and everyone is now finger printed and photographed upon arrival to the United States. These are the rules and there is no secret about their existence. By looking at your face one cannot discern your background or intentions. And judging by the extremely sarcastic and patronizing tone of your editorial, I suspect that is possibly part of your personality and must have shown itself during your encounter with INS officials.

I have a number of solutions for you to consider. First and foremost, is that if you don't like it, don't come. That is the most simple and effective treatment. The second can be a bit more tricky. Try having a more open attitude and carry less scorn, arrogance and sense of entitlement with you. It will help you in other endeavors as well.

Afshin D

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* Have a little respect

I am sorry but this lady was asking for it [United States of Klingons]. She not only has a chip on her shoulder but is also racist: What is with all the remarks about "Mexican Klingons". Have a little respect if you want to be respected.

You started the paranoia by mentioning paranoia, so stand up and face the consequences. You not only didn't prove anything or improve any perceptions about Iranians but now you are the reason that a lot of other people get stopped and harassed too.

Ramin Tabib

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* Akhunds are people too

Zohreh, Salaam.

In your article [Rediscovering the lost art of laughter], you said: "With no sanctions, no prejudice-at least none against me, for a change-and no restrictions, I could laugh all I wanted." No prejudice? The prejudice that made it "funny" in the beginning, was against the Akhunds, the Mullahs, our once-respected Ulama (clergy).

Do you remember the beginning of the movie? When Reza Marmoulak was blaiming all his problems on the "akhunds" to the guy next to him (without knowing he was an akhund)? What did the guy next to him say? " Who easier to blaim, than the akhunds" That is why you laughed. Because it started with a prejudice against the clergy, God and religion >>> Full text

Dariush Abadi

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* She will become a "lesson"

I enjoyed reading your analysis of Iran's "sensational' murder trial [Murder they wrote]. However, I disagree with you on your last paragraph. Not only will she not become a "talk show host" a la Oprah Winfrey in Iran, her appeal will be denied and she will be put to death quickly.

And they will make sure that her death becomes a "lesson" to all women who plan to engage in "zena" and murder their lover's wife. Meanwhile, in a few months Mr. Mohammadkhani will marry another woman and live happily ever after! This is justice in a "patriarchal society". It was Eve who seduced Adam and created all this trouble for these poor men !

By the way, I am NOT a "feminist" !

Nahid Shafiei

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* Psycho

Replying to najme mirfakhraei's essay [Murder they wrote] i need to address a few issues that were raised in your piece in regards to the legall battle currently taking place.

although i agree in priciple that the government and the media have placed too much emphasis on publicity surronding this matter, apparantly and obviously for the purpose of diverting attention away from more important problems facing our country, the concept of creating superstars overnight is not new in iran that is seen only under the islamic republic as i am sure many of us can recall the superstar-creating culture that dominated our society during the monarchists rule in iran. and as we can see now, as before the majority of public would still take great pleasure indulging in such conversations.

while you elaborated generously on plaintiff's rather unusually confident appearance in court, and how she approaches the victim's family, i wish you would have spent more time bringing to light her motivation and what possessed her into commiting these horrible crimes. it seems as if you are so outraged and upset knowing that the punishment that the male has received in this case was not sufficient, given the fact that it took place in a male-dominated society and the court's tendency to side with him.

As vicious and inhumane as her crime was, no matter what really was her cause, i still think that she should be spared the death penalty and instead be assigned to a psychiatric ward on a permanent basis.

Kyle

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* I expect more than sho'aar

Dear Dr. Zangeneh, [After June 30th]

I was sorry to see your article ending with Sho'aar.

This is the 21st Century and I for one expect better from intelligent, educated individuals such as yourself who care about Iran and Iranians. These retards did not come from Mars or outer space. You and I helped them to come to power by our sho'aars during the Shah era. We then didn't support Bakhtiar and got Khomeini. We did not assist Bazargan and got "Rasman Jaani".

Mohamad Navab

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* Undefined wedding

I thought this article [A different wedding] had possibilities (the title caught my attention) but just another boring article which missed the point. What were the steps taken for the Zoroastrian wedding? What where the vows?

Pleas either do not use the name of something sacred and then turn it into what is available in LA and what is not available elsewhere and your wife or whoever being shocked at silly words or statements.

We have to find need to find some real Iranian projects in your area and put Iranians like you to work in order to understand that Iranian traditions are not to be used by someone who is bored and our of tough with the reader's world or culture.

Next time before you embark on such a monumental task as defining marriage ceremony in the great tradition of Zoroastrians , forget the Internet and use some very simple common sense and don't waste our precious time. Begin by reading a great deal and then decide what part of it will be interesting for us readers to learn. That is a good start.

Azam Nemati

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* Love of geography

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed seeing someone else "discover" the National Geographic article from 1947 "I become a Bakhtiari" (by Adil Khan June 17, 2004).

A few years ago, our city started having an Iran Fest. We have a small population of Iranians in this area and I have been an Iranophile since I was a little girl and first read the "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" and discovered Iran through postage stamps and a fanatical love of geography.

Since then, I discovered the many articles on Iran done by NG. I have them all collected in a big binder that I take to not only the Iran Fest but whatever other events seem relevant. I have one from April 1921that has two articles in it, one  titled "Modern Persia and Its Capital" and the other , "Persian Caravan Sketches." Some are flatteringly written, some are not, but the pictures are always fascinating.

Sarah Jourabchi
Portland, OR

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* Far-from-real image

Replying to "Why do women lie?": Sorry to hear about your not-so-succesful dating experiences recently.although it is nearly impossible to know one in a true sense, whether it be man or woman, it would be a sea change and a major improvemnet to see that all couples adhere strictly to certain unofficial basic principles in relationship's code of honor and be completely honest, but unfortunately in the cruel world of our realities!

most people, women in this case are mainly concerned about creating and portraying a far-from-real image of their own. of course there are always exceptions to the rule. more often than not, they assume that the stakes are huge and they will have a lot to lose if they come clean on the first few dates. i think they derive satisfaction in seeing a degree of complicity in men and that it would allow them to be in charge to a great extent. if men don't follow accordingly, well, we all know what the consequences are.

I hope that it has just been a streak of bad luck for you and that the most romantically compatible lady would be right around the corner.

Kyle

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* Never totally forgetting

Funny! [Persian vs. Iranian] But funnier thing is the way southern white, semi-nomadic, trailer residing tribes call us folks !! Aye-ryan-nian (besides other adjectives) actually is much closer to pronunciation of pre-Islamic era in Sassanian times, Iranian was (aye-rian-nian) and non-Iranian folks were called An-ayeran something like un-American !! With the same derogatory implication.

ANYWAY WHAT IS IN A NAME ?! Most of us are Pete and Paul and jack!! after so many years in this corner of the world we still know who we are! Call your cat Persian but he knows he is a Kermani cat from ancient Kerman City of Pars domain! He just stares at you! Like we all have been doing for past decades living in Farangie Omrikaie's home! Never totally forgetting Kerman!

Panah

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* Clinton's Khayyam

Dear Darius, [Kayvan Mashayesh's Khayyam]

What an enchanting article on our great Omar Khayyam. Top Kudos to you for such an excellent and most interesting research that you carried out for this essay. I so really enjoyed it.

You may be interested to know that among the recent famous references to Khayyam was one buy Bill Clinton. In his famous Rose Garden apology in which he publicly apologised to the whole nation he read a piece from Khayyam (although he didn't name the poet). The quartine that he read is perhaps the most popular and famous quartine quoted in Western literature. This link is one of many that tells the story of his Rose Garden apology and the fact the he didn't know who the famous poet was.

Best wishes and hope to see more of your brilliant work.

Parkhash

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* In search of cinematic identity

Dear Bruce, [Profile: Gita Saedi]

Great article and interesting interview you got there. It is indeed uplifting to see that our Iranian compatriots both inside and outside Iran are at the forefront of innovation in the Cinematographic artform.

I am less enthusiastic about Kiarostami though, his films are to my definition closer to a form of "contemplative introspection". I have still a great deal of difficulty to convince myself that he is a talented director or just an "artist a la mode", I am certainly wrong in my assumption since Kiarostami doesn't stop winning international prizes and seems to fascinate people as diverse as James Jarmuche or Quentin Tarantino. I am personally more fond of the Makhmalbaf's who have a more simple yet cinematographic approach to filmmaking.

However I think that the Iranian Diaspora is certainly in search of its own cinematographic identity and this is where the works of directors like Gita Saedi, Ramin Serry (Something about Maryam), Babak Shokrian ( America so beautiful) or Kayvan Mashayekh (The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam) are in a sense paving the way towards a more culturally diverse Cinema with the ambition of bridging our Western influences and Persian roots.

It was a pleasure to read your article thanks for sharing it with us, and 'Vive Le Cinema' ;)

Darius KADIVAR

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* Lady, get real

Reply to azam nemati's piece "Americans can tell the difference": Once more, this public and very well-respected forum has turned into a medium through which we the readres could learn, yet again, about your exceptional qualities and virtues and wonderful attributes, or are they so wonderful after all?

while you take pride in your marketting and excellent buisness acumen and talent,your sharp and impeccable vision for the future of iranians living abroad at the same time you are dishonoring and humiliatig small buisness owners >>> Full text

Kyle

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* Let the kid breath a little

Mr. A. Ali khan, [Worse than Blacks]

Its over 29 years that I live in U.S. never heard such pessimistic story from anybody. Let your cousin come here and enjoy life. Don't you know what a hell hole Iran is in these days? Let the kid breath a little.

Mahroo
Not Ahmagh in Texas

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* Pahlavi vendetta

Dear professor Kazemzadeh:m, [Two sides of the same coin]

Where is Utah Valley State College? Is it an accredited academic institution or is in the process of becoming one? How did you manage to receive a Ph.D. with such distortions and misconceptions of history? Was your dissertation published? Have you ever published in a refereed journal, I don't mean these "Golabi" type of journals with editors teaching at Zimbabwe National University or such!

I think you have personal vendetta against the Pahlavi family. The late Reza Shah did his patriotic duty by domesticating all those thugs and rebels! To highlight his unifying identity of Iran, he promoted many individuals of various ethnicities to high positions in the military and civilian organizations.

I can tell that you like to rally behind the late Dr. Mosadeq. But, we all know that he was surrounded by agents of then Soviet Union and thank heavens for the interference of Americans to save us from the barbarity of the communists!

Furthermore, your analysis of the history is a bit hazy! The reason Ali asked Omar to stay behind with him was because they were sexually involved. Yes, they were having a homosexual relationship and that's why he stayed behind. I hope I was able to clarify this important issue for you!

Rostam Irani

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* Dariush and Ebi email addresses

toro khoda be emaile man javab bedahid/ man daneshjooee hastam ke be khatere masa eeli ke dar khordad mahe sale 82 rokh dad majboor shodam ke khake iran ra tark konam va dar hale hazer dar keshvare Turkeye ba sharayete besyar sakhte panahjooe be sar mivbaram az shoma ajezane taghaza mikonam ke emaile aghaye darush va ebi ra be man bedahid mikhaham az ishna taghazaye komak konam.

Benyamin Paradise

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Archive
All past letters

By subject
June 2004

June 26

U.S. border
* Get over yourself
* It's their job
* A privilege, not a right

* Have a little respect
Murder trial
* She will become "lesson"
* Psycho
Marmoolak
* Akhunds are people too
Iran
* I expect more than sho'aar
Film
* Clinton's Khayyam
* Cinematic identity
Identity
* Never totally forgetting
* Lady, get real
Coming to America
* Let the kid breath a little
Arabs & Iranians

* Lady, get real
Women & men

* Far-from-real image

Zoroastrian
* Undefined wedding
National Geographic
* Love of geography
Politics
Pahlavi vendetta
Help
* Dariush and Ebi email

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

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