April 2005
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More than one community

On Soroush Kordestani's letter, "Rubbish beyond belief":

Soroush Kordestani, in response to an article I wrote on these pages ["Tarzan among apes"], writes: "[London-based charity Iran Heritage Foundation] is run by a group of individuals who have dedicated considerable time and energy to furthering Iranian culture. I am sure mistakes have been made, but for an Iranian to rubbish such an important effort is beyond belief."

Also, in a letter to a reader [Professional, classy], he says: "I would certainly understand if IHF is not to the taste of all Iranians, but, as I hope you appreciate, culture is diverse. The Iranian communities abroad are a real mix and display their identity in different ways."

The thing is I never intended to trash all of IHF's activities and have no doubt that those who run the organisation work hard.

But is it not a shame that the diversity Mr Kordestani refers to is not reflected in its output? IHF events are high-profile and how Iranian culture is represented in them affects us all. He is right, the disgruntled could set up their own "real" IHF, but should our activities aim to counter each other or can we through dialogue become more relevant to, and learn from, one another?

Is it unreasonable given IHF's persistent doting on a Palm d'Or-winning film director, to wonder whether we must be rubber-stamped by Europeans before we can accept ourselves? (Is Kiarostami's contribution to Iranian culture and society really more worthy than, say, Iraj Pezeshkzad's or Marjane Satrapi's?) IHF cannot win the hearts of minds of Iranians simply with PR.

If there are people within IHF who, like Mr Kordestani, are wise enough to recognise that we comprise communities and not one community, it is their job to reach out to a broader constituency. This will ensure that IHF survives not as a hive of nincompoops, but as an indispensable institution.

Peyvand Khorsandi


Expert on photography, all of a sudden

On Vida Kashizadeh's photo review, "Cooking a fish":


Vida Kashizadeh wrote: "Please give us some wonderful pictures of New Zealanders, perhaps aboriginals?" WHAT, is she joking? Obviously a geography flunker, she has New Zealand confused with Australia! New Zealand natives are called Moari's, lady. I have plenty of images. Are you worthy of them?

Secondly, you wrote: "Otherwise go and stay in Iran for a while".

My Iranian citizen ship gained through my parents dictates that I am only able to make three, 3 month trips to Iran before doing my Millitary Service. Thank you very much.


"... and when fluent in Persian, Turkish or Kurdish go back to the same people who posed so lovely for your camera and capture the moment of joy in their faces, when they see a caring person back."

Actually I hate to break it to you lady, but I'm a fluent speaker of Farsi. And my advantage with language was the thing that was able to get me close enough to make a lot of my images. I have got the moment of joy in their faces. Perhaps you just chose not to see it.

FINALLY. Its funny how all of a sudden every person is an expert of photography. And how people can make un-founded hollow, shallow and careless remarks that can make them look like fools.


Nickmard Jamsheed Mohammadzadeh-Khoey


Kaboudi as a process

On Guive Mirfendereski's "When 'kaboud' is not":

Guive Mirfendereski (what a lovely name) has to consider the following two points in order to find peace about this donyaay-e kaboud: -- As a lawyer he seeks order even for the words and is prepared to go a FANTASTIC long way only to let us know about the kaboud bit of the story (more of the other bits as well please). O'kay, why not accept kaboudi as a process instead of a fixed appearance?

In fact if you think of the sky as well as kaboudi on the skin you would see all those colours one after the other. In the sky from dawn to dusk throughout the day (and the grey for the clouds) and in the process of healing of the skin the change of one colour to the other, which includes all those colours he mentioned if not more (for instance the yellow hue around the black). -- Just the fact that he mentions the involvement of his subconscious in connection with kaboud, makes me think that perhaps his body is trying to tell him something he is not conscious of.

For instance if he has high cholestrol and HBP it would be well-meaningly advisable (I am an acupuncturist) to check his blood stream just in case there is a blood clot in the process of formation. If you have never checked your cholestrol before please do. Meanwhile I hope very much that he doesn't turn kaboud when reading this. Just think of me as a kaboudi - difficult to fix/categorize/understand- and everything would be fine.

Good Luck.

Vida Kashizadeh


Polish Persian connections

Dear Jahanshah,

First of all, I would like to thank you for editing Iranian.com. I myself was born and live in Poland (or Lechistan, as I learned when being in Iran in late 80's). Seems that it is now a time in me life for recalling some long forgotten connections with Persia. I can learn so much from reading iranian.com. And it was through your site that I found persianparadise.com and Farrokh Ashtiani and some others. So, thank you!

Right now I finished reading your "Catching a Flight" and your previous "Death and Rebirth". They are good writings, and when reading the first one I immediately thought of a guy, whose books you may want to read, or may be not, who knows. His name is Derrick Jensen, and he seems to have his head in the right place and his heart in the right place, too. He reveals much of an absurd systems of modern cultures, especially American. I read A Language Older than Words and Welcome to the Machine -- I cannot resist recommending them.

Best regards,

Alina Sarna


Very sad, real, beautiful

On Leila Farjami's "Akharin rooz-e donyaa":

Dear Leila,

I wanted to thank you for your beautiful poem which I read on Iranian.com. It was Very Sad and Very Real and all the same Very Beautiful. I feel I can somehow feel your feelings when you wrote that! It seems that we Iranians have become much deeper and less superficial as a result of the past 26 years. We have come to the end of the line, we have seen the emptiness and the lies of the contemporary world and all it has to offer or NOT!

It is nice to hear the are other souls who can feel the air of heaviness of our time! It seems that no matter where we live, we are longing to return, this world has betrayed us all!

Thank you,



Bah bah!

On Leila Farjami's "Akharin rooz-e donyaa":

Leila aziz,

Dast e shoma dard nakonad!

I would go for The Last Day of This World only if there is a guaranty that we would keep receiving THE IRANIAN TIMES with your poems in the other world as well.


Mohamad Navab
Los Angeles


I loved it

Hi Miss Leila Farjami,

My name is Ali. I live in Florida. I raed your poem, "Akharin rooz-e donyaa". It was beautiful. All I have to say is I loved it.

Thank you so much,



We were first

On Behzad Ahandoost's "New York Persian Parade" photos:

Dear Mr. Ahandoost,

I am writing to express my gratitude on your prompt uploading of the NYC parade pictures onto iranian.com. I am also writing to gently bring up some serious issue of undesirable ramifications that you may or may not be fully cognizant of, namely the fact that the parade was of two seperate parts as follows:

Section A, Persian-Iranian Parade sponsored by Persian-Iranian Parade Foundation, that proceeded first.(their first banner read, IRANIAN PARADE 2005. Section B, Persian Parade (your first slide), sponsored by the NY Persian Parade, that followed section A with a several blocks pause.

Your pictures are of high quality and we hope that they get uploaded on the net to spread out the goood message of Nowruz. However, based on your first slide, it implies that the whole parade was sponsored by the "NY Persian Parade" and that Persian-Iranian Parade Foundation, that as you and everyone could attest to it, which presumably played the major role, did not even exist! Paradoxically, except the first slide, ALL your other beautiful pictures that follow do emphatically belong to the Section A sponsor, that is, Persian-Iranian Parade Foundation.

I trust this was an innocent, inadvertent oversight on your part, without having known these complicated factual intricacies that we strove to keep behind the scene for the public to enjoy the parade. If so, would you so kindly request our mutual Dear good ole friend, Mr. Jahanshah Javid to add the banner IRANIAN PARADE (I have one attahced) as the first one, followed by the slides for this part of this very parade as you now have htem in place, then, followed by the very first slide of [NY Persian Parade} you have at this moment, followed by a good number of slides from that parade? ...


David Rahni


EVERYTHING is sacred! Except...

On iranian.com's "nothing is sacred" policy:

With regard to your websites statement of 'Nothing is sacred' - I would like to say the following:

EVERYTHING is sacred! Life is sacred, the earth is sacred, nature is sacred, food is sacred, sex is sacred, children are sacred, etc. Everything should be treated with respect and with contemplation of its beautiful place in the whole scheme of things.

The only things that are NOT sacred are dangerous and wholly-imagined human ideologies like religious fundamentalism, captalism, communism, militarilsm, and so on.

Khuda Hafez



Emptier, older

On Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani's "Ageless(ish)":

Ms. Ghahremani,

I enjoyed reading your article on age. In the more traditional eastern societies, including Iran, age brought with it respect and high regard among family members and society at large because old age meant experience, wisdom, and knowledge.

In the west, especially in the U.S., "youth" and "physical beauty" are so valued, thanks to Hollywood, that people will go to any length and put themselves through any torture to look "younger" and "more beautiful". This becomes especially true when they grow old and they realize they have neither youth nor the wisdom and knowledge that comes with age. And I'm sorry to say this is especially true for women! The emptier they are inside the more horrified they are of growing old with grace!

At any rate, that was a wonderful article, thank you.

Nahid Shafiei



On Ziba Shirazi's new album "Havaay-e Taazeh":

Really Ziba. Wonderful lady with wonderful sound, melody and music.



It was Moshe who got PUNK'D!

In response to Saman's cartoon "Khatami-Israeli handshake":


Did you actually see the handshake?! The fact is that there was no handshake! I was up until 1 am on Friday morning and watched about an hour of the ceremony. At some point after Khatami entourage arrived, he was greeted by a guy wearing a turban.  At about the same time, Israel's president who was standing by the turbaned guy, reached his hands to shake Khatami's and Khatami SNUBBED  him!!! Notice my 3 exclamations?!  I think the reason he was compelled to shake his hands was that they are from the same city (Yazd) and Katzav speaks fluent Farsi!

Regardless, it was Moshe who got PUNK'D!

Alex A.


Best choice to destroy credibility

In response to Iranian of the day "Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf":

Your new Iranian of the day is the Iranian of every day for the most VICTIM defense less homeless girls arrested by the Iranian police.

According to the press agencies, 50 to 60 young and child girls are sold daily in Kerachi of PAKISTAN by the Iranian police authorities.

We have seen the honorable people in your IRANIAN of the DAY colomun; your new Iranian of the day shares only one parameters with the others, he is Iranian unfortunatly like other 70 millions.

By choosing this progeny of the dirty and criminal Ayatollahs as the Iranian of the day, you wanted to afirm that the others are in the same category?!!!'

You couldn't choose better than that to destroy you credibility.


REPLY: "Iranian of the Day" is IRANIAN of the day, not THE BEST Iranian of the day... -- J. Javid


Let's not pretend

On Behrouz Bahmani's "Death to 6/8":

funny thing, ok, it's not that funny, tad bit interesting maybe, but regardless, i was going through the letters, reading some, skimming others, two kina got my attention: 1) a respond to behrouz bahmani's "death to 6/8" and 2) one to the "reality" pix or news posted on the site (shocking/sad exploitation). and i could not help but having a respond of my own:

1) while i do see the reader's point in how delicate the situation is for those of us with young kids going though internet, i see the other side's point also. this is a censor-free site and no one is going to monitor, guide or cut an article on the base of the writer's choice of word. that said, having a very bright, very curious 6-year-old son, my only suggestion for a bit altering is to avoid using those terms on the main page, so we (the parents) can share the site with them without worrying about the words used in the context.

now the whole use of term aside, i must add that behrouz said it like i see it. the cheesy songs and lyric, the awful videos, the over-the-limit "dance" moves, the facial expressions, the close-ups of half naked bodies at a wrong time, in a wrong place, for the wrong cause. the whole package is rotten, that is the price we have to pay to listen to a half way decent song or two. behrouz is right, the only way to get the music we like without feeling ripped off is to download them, then again, where from?

2) although i can see the reader's point of view and how disturbing the "street show" can be, i do not see his on the "iranian girl" clip. i don't approve or disapprove, don't agree or disagree with the lifestyle the girl has chosen, but she has "chosen" it. good or bad, this is what she decided to do (whether it was a one time fling or her way of living) in a free country, unlike the unfortunate little boy and his "charmer". we don't know who they are, but at least we know that they decided to make a living out of some freak show rather than stealing or whatever, there was not much choice for them to choose. of course given the circumstance, the boy's situation is the unfortunate one and the one to find disturbing.

plus, let's not pretend that in real life, girls are, act, feel and think the way our mothers and fathers portray them: innocent, naive, not interested in the opposite sex , even sex itself heaven forbid. we need to remember she, being iranian or norwegian, has chosen to participate in this clip because she wanted to.

all in all, the logo says it all, nothing is sacred, do not enter this site assuming that all you're going to read are some poetry and few articles about so and so, and a few songs from some iranian and non-iranian singers, that would be like going to a george carlin act and expecting him to say a few clean jokes, not to criticize every one and anyone under the sun and call it the show.


sheila dadvar


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