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June 3, 2004

* We need new ideas

Dear Mr. Zanganeh,

I do not usually bother to answer those who choose to misunderstand an article, but your thinly veiled attack [The kakistocracy] on my article [Swan song] (including the unnecessary comments on style and langauge) warrant a reply, if only because you have run to conlucsions that were far from my mind.

To mention Shariati and Al-e Ahmad in conjunction with what I said, whereas I was referring to the Kasrvais and Akhundzadehs is an insult to me, if only because I abhor both former thinker-writers, if only for having had a too limited view of their world.

My article was an answer to those ignorant American asses who keep insisting that Islam has not know any reformation and I set out to prove it when something gave me the excuse to do so. At the end I presented only one of many potential scenarios, based on the fact that our greatest atheists have always come form the ranks of the clergy.

I myself am against institutionalized religion, hence my interest in the MirFenderskys et al, and believe that all three monotheisms have outlived their usefulness and should have the decency to exit graciously. But of course, that would leave an ideological and spiritual vacuum that cannot be filled with your Hobbesian, Lockesian, Keynesian or other materilaist ideas that are depleting and polluting the world's resources into non-existence.

We need new ideas and new values and I hope someone out there other than Neocons and the Hoover Insitutions with their coroporate attachements is thinking about it. Next time make sure you understand what the writer is talking about before attacking someone who has lived over sixty years and has seen and understood the many changing faces of Iran far better than any of you California-bred pseudo-Iranians.

I could go on and on to give you examples out of my life in Iran to prove to you that many of the ills that plague us were in fact already there, but it would be a waste of time, because you would interpret them as another school-girl essay in a jargon that you could scarcely understand for lacking the experience.

Next time please have the courage to specify the target of your attack.

Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian


* Monsterous dating

Ms. Nemati,

Pardon me for not including "dear" before your name, because i am so outraged and angry at what you wrote in your "how to woo" piece. i just finished reading your techniqual manual on how to have better dating experiences. It is incredible that you did all this just so you can get some cash flowing into's fund????

You have created the iranian version, or worst yet, your own version of "how to's" and you expect to make lots of guys happy out there? you have created an absolute monster of this whole dating process. i have dated iranian women and neither one of them responded cooperatively to any of these suggestions. just where do you get your information from? and i bet you will tell me if i apply those principles correctly and in the right time and the right way, they will defenitely work for me? well i have got news for you: they don't.

This is absolutely absurd and goes well beyond the scope of realities. you have portrayed dating as such a daunting task for most men out there, as if they are attenting a dinner with someone from a royal family. any dating advice and recommendation should aim at relieving  and to assuage the fear and anxiety of dating and to create an friendly atmosphere, not the other way around. as for your friend or associate who has been used to dating americans and non-iranians, he must not have know how to get his priorities straight all these years, and it is very difficult for me to even imagine he could romance someone off their feet just by memorizing your ideas.

I have never experienced anyone of your guidlines, not even one, to pay off and work out for me. you delved into so many unneeded and irrelevant details that you even forgot to emphasize on the real things: Guys, Get to know your dates in a friendly way. you go on and on, on how men should discared their "western" version of the how to books, yet you have come up with your own version??

This is not some buisness transaction one is engaged in. one will be hard-pressed to forget all about presenting his real self, amidst all the confusion and following the do's and the don'ts, as if they are trying to psycologically manipulate a woman. you are telling men when to say what and how to say them, whereas that should be a natural process and should come up naturally and excuse me if there is a woman out there who actually expects and is accustomed to hear certain words at certain time frames, she is not well suited for a relationship, let alone marriage.

I don't mean to undermine your efforts and contributions to, specially on the music front, i have enjoyed them myself from time to time, but this is pushing the envelope a bit too far.



* Be proud of being human

I am writing in response to your letter titled "Be proud of being an Iranian and Muslim" which was written to someone who had written something about Hashem Aghajari.

First of all I don't know who the heck is Hashem and I don't care to know anything about him as long as he is even remotely associated with the freaking Islamic Republic of Iran.

All them sons of bitches can go to hell as far as I am concerned.

Second of all, it is stupid to be pround of one's nationality, ethnicity, religion, wealth etc. What the heck has Islam or Iran done for humanity in the last 100 years? Actually, with regards to Islam, what has it done for humanity in the last 1300 years?!!! Islam needs to be mothballed.

Be proud of being a human who does good things for your family, friends and humanity.

While you are at it, put pictures of Khomeini, Khamenei, Rafsanjani, Khatemi and a few others on the floor, eat a big portion of Aabgoosht and take a good dump on it.



* Condemn both

Interesting response [Shah or sheikh] to Fariba Amini's article [They wrote the book], but it seems you are doing exactly the same thing as you are criticizing Amini's one sided view.

Also, in response to the last sentence in your article, I think that the Islamic terrorism is a response to the American and Israeli state-run terrorism that has been waged for many decades and they just got fed up with it. One should condemn both of them.



* Nobody should be left out

Dear Narges,

You letter [Leap forward] about the new album of Googoosh made me feel both proud and sad. Proud because I know the young generation of Iranians inside the country who were brought up under the strictest possible conditions turned out to be so intelligent and open-minded. On the other hand it makes me feel so sad to see that you in Iran may think of us Iranian-Americans as bigoted and undemocratic.

Please for God's sake don't mistake a small number of unsuccessful and bitter TV personalities for all of us. God knows they are only a small part of our community abroad. We are also unhappy about their abnormal behavior too. The vast majority of Iranians abroad are educated, polite and civilized people and never insult anybody.

If you want to know the extent of their popularity just see the number of people who take part in their demonstrations. The same Iranians who paid up to a thousand dollar and took part in Googoosh's concerts do not waist their time and energy to be in their gatherings for free. Or the fact that they are begging for money all the time and no one gives a damn about them and their so-called TV.

I am sorry that their systematic attacks against dear Googoosh and others have left such a bad impression on you, but let me inform you that we are fighting them too from here in the united states. Whenever I see any of such improper behavior I will send them email, fax and phone and let them know about my dissatisfaction and I encourage all my friends to do so. I think it is the duty of all of abroad to do this. Just to make sure tomorrow will be better than yesterday and today. A tomorrow in which no one is allowed to insult other just because he or she is not in line with their political agenda.

Take care of yourself and be sure that your compatriots will take care of our lovely diva too . If there should be a spring of freedom, it would be celebrated with all of Iran's children including Googoosh and even the impolite LA TV personalities and nobody should be left out.

Jalal Salari


* I'm a big fan

Ms. Azam Nemati,

I really enjoyed your compilation of legendary Mahmoudi Khonsari's music on It brought back all the good memory from past especially Morghe Shabahang song. I'm a big fan and have about 20 cassette tapes of his music. I wish, I could convert them to CD or any other digital format so they will be preserved for next generation. I noticed on your site you did not have any of his music for sale. 

Thanks for your beautiful artistic work. It's well done.

Hamid Kayhan


All past letters

By subject
June 2004

June 3

* We need new ideas
Shah or sheikh

* Condemn both
Men & Women
* Monsterous dating

* Be proud human
* Nobody left out
* I'm a big fan

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