Letters

 

April 2005
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When ignorance gets the better of you

In response to Samira Mohyeddin's letter "Non-Iranians trying to teach us a lesson":

Dear Ms. Mohyeddin:

Thank you for your letter in response to my article ["Iran with Lolita in Perspolis"] on Nafisi's and Satrapi's books.

Given how westernized you are it is evident why you take offense at my complaint of the usage of works in English to proffer lessons to the Iranian women in Nafisi's book. I am not a scholar of English, American or Iranian literature but my background is in Comparative Literature (Spanish, Latin American, French and Italian).

Since you choose to be ignorant of anything other than that which is written by your English-speaking idols it is your loss since you do not realize the plethora of masterpieces abundant in world literture that do not kow-tow at the altar of the British or American empires. Also, I am not related to Macho Camacho as he happens to be Puerto Rican and not Mexican as I am but then again I assume you are also ignorant of the difference of the origins of the world's Spanish-speakers.

Sometimes it is valuable when someone who is not of your culture to observe and offer their impression but again your ignorance gets the better of you since only Iranians should write and speak about all things Iranian. Also, you should neverassume who is Iranian and who is not.

How did you know that I did not have at least one parent who is Iranian. Apparently, you may be experiencing a bit of an identity crisis and how to define yourself in your American mind and identity. You will be happy to know that I am a contributing writer to a new Iranian-American magazine NAMAK Magazine which I will be happy to send you if you provide your address.

Ba tashakar,

Teresa Camacho

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Better than Khahare Zynab, Pasdar or Mojahed

In response to Norwegian-Iranian porn star "Diana":

I don't understand the whole excitement about the girl. What do you mean with gheyrat? It is better to be a porno star than Khahare Zynab or Khahare Pasdar or Khahare Mojahed. It is better to show your ass in front of Camera than carrying Chador and forcing other to do the same against their will.

It is better to have Sex in front of the camera than abusing the human right of other people. It is better to be a hot porno star and making some people fun than accepting the existence as a suppressed human and forcing other woman to this nightmare. So Diana is my hero and my Iranian of the year (even if she is half Iranian )

Ramin

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Please help me

hi
please help me
i like live in usa
i love freedom
please help me

Nima

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Pinnacle of all Nowruz gifts

In response to Azam Nemati photo:

Dear Jahanshah,

Thank you thank you thank you. I am delighted to see Mrs. Nemati as Iranian of the day and find myself writing to your letter section not only as a provisional but absolutely necessary means to let out but a fraction of the overwhelming passion build up in my soul, which threatens the devastation the very destruction of nothing less than my very unworthy soul, my finite and negligible being, nearly uniting me with my maker, but also for the sake of some possible poor soul out there somewhere who might have unwittingly missed this life-changing experience, this revelation of historical, biblical ... oh, why be careful, indeed mythological significance.

Too often one says, perhaps as a matter of empty taa'rof, that a picture speaks a thousand words... and this in occasions not worthy of the truth in such sentiment, but only those who have truly lived through this particular irresistible life-changing experience and yet have by the grace of the lord almighty somehow managed to survive it in order to tell the tale... only those who have dared to stare with their naked unprotected humanly finite eyes into the majesty of the blazing sun and yet perhaps due to some inexplicable miracle still capable of going on in the accompaniment of the incomplete fallible earthlings on this negligible rock on the far side of an unimportant galaxy... only those select chosen few are truly capable of such utterance about the image and the word in earnest; only they can bare witness to the truth of what may be conceived of otherwise as but merely a figur! e of speech to throw about. So let me say it again, a picture speaks a thousand word >>> Full text

Amir

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Strong, confident, and independent

Hello Ms. Nemati,

I first wrote to you last year. At the time, I was going through a rough path in my life, and was able to take great comfort in reading your stories. I really enjoyed reading about Asal, and reading about a character so courageous and independent actually seemed to be the only source of comfort for me at the time. Recently I entered another challenging phase, and again I found my way back to your stories. "Trip to Qom" remains one of my favorite stories.

In your last piece "Alley of love" u mentioned that u were thinking about publishing your stories (and hopefully with many more additions) into a book. I think that that is a wonderful idea because I believe that many young people today (especially females) are conditioned to please everyone and everything, except themselves. I myself lived through such an upbringing and to this day suffer from the consequences of not being true to oneself in order to be "proper" and "liked".

I have recently, through different life experiences learnt how dangerous living in this sort of bubble can be. Thus I have taken some steps in the past short while to rid myself from all the extra baggage that has complicated my life and pushed me to a point where I almost did not know myself anymore. When I read your stories, and how strong the characters are in them it gives me hope that I myself can grow to also become that strong, confident, and independent.

I truly admire the characters in your stories, and since they are based on your own upbringing and character, I admire u. Even though we are strangers, the positive influence that your stories have had in my life makes me feel as though u are not a stranger. I would really like it if there are other stories that u have that I could read and also to correspond with u further. I know that u are a very busy woman, and if your busy schedule does not permit the latter, then I would still be delighted to read more of your stories.

Elham (from Toronto)

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Lost Qajar relatives

I am desperately trying to locate my great-grandmothers family. Her name was Fakhreh Sadaat and I beleive she was related to the last remaining Qajar family based in Shiraz.

My great grandfather relocated their 3 children Saleem, Akhtar and Shamsie sometime in the 1940's and brought them to India. His name was Abdul Wahid and he was of Kashmiri decsent.

My maternal grandmother Akhtar, is ailing and would really like to trace some of her mothers family before she dies.

Because ties were severed back in the 1940's we have no known contact to go by except my great grand mother name and lineage.

Could you please help? Or possibly point me in the right direction. I am based in London and my grand mother is in Lahore, Pakistan.

Suniya Qureshi

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Jamalzadeh made my day!

In response to video clip of "Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh at 102"

Dear Mr. Sepahbody,

Thank you for posting your video clip on iranian.com. ... I am Jamalzadeh's biggest fan and you can see a website I made of one of his stories when I was an undergrad at University of Washington.

Thank you again for posting the clip. It made my day!

Connie Bobroff
Persian Studies,
University of Texas
Austin, Texas

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I'm still Afshin, not Tony or Mike

In response to Sorosh Kordestani's "So where are you from?"

I just do not know where to begin. As an Iranian living in the US for 27 years, living in the Midwest and in California, different cities, different neighborhoods, attended small schools and large schools, worked for small companies and large American or International, I can honestly say I have not been mistreated because of Iranian origin even though I look as International as you can get. I have seen and heard arguments starting due to a different subject leading to ethnicity (and not me either), but have not experienced or observed any negativity.

I still use first name, Afshin, did not become a Tony or Mike, and never pretended to be Italian either. I am well respected in my neighborhood and at my work, not because I am Iranian or what but simply because I do respect and I get respected.

I am proud of my Iranian origin, when I did see an Iran Air jet in China back in 2001, my American colleagues traveling with me noticed tears in my eyes, they were touched by my love for my birthplace. I do love the US too, I have spent most of life (all my adult life) here, and I think they are very nice and kind people.

By the way, did you see the World Cup Qualifier game between US and Guatemala played in Alabama last week? Did you see all the folks cheering for the Guatemalan team? Can this happen in any other country, where the locals are so tolerant. I am afraid not. If the Europeans and the Euro Lovers get off their soap box and see the reality of things, how good would that be?

I have to agree with Faraz Farzam's last comment "If you find it hard to admit you are Iranian in America, my advice is look within yourself for why, and don’t blame the Americans".

Afshin

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Silent protest

In response to photo of street boy under "child abuse":

I became ill after seeing the pictures of this boy. First he is exploited by his stupid father, then by Iranian.com. Knowing, as you do, how many of your readers cannot read farsi (and I am only assuming - praying - that the accompanying article did not condone this action), I cannot find any other word for publishing these pictures.

Is this what we have become as a society? You claim that there are no taboos or sacred cows, yet the look on the boy's face should remind you that, maybe, some things should remain sacred.

While I usually enjoy your website, I will not be visiting Iranian.com for the next couple of days, as I think about this child's life. I invite your readers to silently protest if they are so inclined.

Farhad Mehrtash

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What do you know about Islam?

In response to Sanaz Fotoohi's "Your loss", on Tasooa-Ashoora in Iran:

Ms. Fotouhi,

I often wonder why people like yourself who are so "in love" with Arab religious figures who lived thousands of years ago, choose to live in the West ??? I mean, you blame everything on the West, yet you continue to re-locate to western countries. Why don't you for example return to Iran and make it your duty to "save" the Iranian youth from satellite television and the " abyss of miseries" as you put it ??? or better yet, move to Saudi Arabia and study the "real Islam" ???!!! you can also take vacations in Southern Lebanon and practice freely your shia religion !!!! Having faith and believing in a supreme being is one thing and following organized religion (especially blindly) is another >>> Full text

Bageh Torsh

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Must free ourselves from religious superstitious

In response to Sanaz Fotoohi's "Your loss", on Tasooa-Ashoora in Iran:

I am surprized that how someone of this era can defend a charracter of the past that doesn't know anything about ! And when reading or hearing contraversy on these "religieouse superstitious charracters" became angered ! this anger is the flag of ignorance not love or respect, showing identity loss of a being that doesn't see the misery of his/her contemporary people and others suffered from injustice and slavery caused by these charracters but only their carma. and mourns for them.

Surly if someone is trying and working for freedom of humankind and disapproves slavery must leave any religion aside. I must say that the people of Fars had beleived the justice of 4th Caliph (1st Imam of Shias) and they were recompensated by blood bath. if any religion that it's leaders tolerate slavery and enslaving of human beings; is anti-human religion and is not from God.

All religions are conservative and don't tolerate other thoughts and they teach hate and anger about other ideologies. We must free ourselves from religious superstitious and teach our children love to human kind and respect for different thoughts.

Ali,
Clerical student

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Blow by blow

In response to Azam Nemati's "Aghdashloo has it all"

Dear Azam Nemati may I respond to your small article by paragraph?

You wrote:

First of all, I have observed Shohreh as a artist in Iran trying to make a name and later on in the U.S. (she is in the same age group as I am). Then two years ago I met her at a very small gathering where Simin Behabahani, Arian Frashad and a few other notables were present. She was the only person who was genuinely warm and interested in those she was introduced to. When she was told by the host who I was her beautiful face lit up and she said; "She is so beautiful and young!"

she is in the same age group of you but then again calls you YOUNG and beautiful. and when her face lit up we could expect a strking beauty not what i saw in your posted emage here baby. and isn't it the main reason you like her so much. because simin behbahani and other dignitories did not notice you and this loser saw you and praised you??????? >>> Full text

Narges Nobari

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Googoosh song nothing to do with Khomeini

In response to Azam Nemati's "Aghdashloo has it all"

Dear Ms. Nemati,

For your information (and although you know quiet well) the song HAZRAT ESHGH or as you name it AGHA JOON was recorded by Googoosh three years before the revolution and because she did not like the arrangement, it was not supposed to be released. This song was released after the revolution but it has nothing to do with Mr. Khomeini, you can ask its composer mr. Nojooki and it's distributer mr. Vartan in los angeles.

So please find some other subject to criticise because your knowlege about her career is almost zero. Thanks a lot.

Shirin Sanjabi

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Googoosh, khomeini, wrong

In response to Azam Nemati's "Aghdashloo has it all"

Azam joon,

Both you and Shohreh Aghdashloo are making a big mistake because Googoosh did not sing that song [Hazrat-e Eshgh] for Khomeini, so your enmities are based on false information and I think you are the one who should be suffering from inferiority complex.

Delkook

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Don't blame Americans

In response to Sorosh Kordestani's "So where are you from?"

I wholeheartedly, and respectfully, reject all of your conclusions and assumptions.

For nearly ten years now, I have made it a point of introducing  myself as Iranian, never Persian nor Middle Eastern. (If they say eye-ranian, I make it a point of emphasizing eee-ranian) I also live in the Midwestern United States. Actually, as long as I’ve lived in America I’ve been domiciled somewhere in the Midwest, that bastion of evil Red States. Never have I come across an ounce of hostility from anyone.

I work in the financial services industry which is filled with those evil conservatives. Everyone knows me as an Iranian. I find those who have a hard time telling others that they are Iranian, have issues with themselves. I come across many self loathing Iranians and despise them more than most ignorant Americans. Yes, while many Americans are generally less worldly than Europeans, I’ve never felt judged by my national origin.

If you find it hard to admit you are Iranian in America, my advice is look within yourself for why, and don’t blame the Americans.

Faraz Farzam

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What's wrong with being correct?

In response to Khodadad Rezakhani's "Iranians speak Persian"

Mr. Rezakhani echoed what I have been saying for more than twenty years: Persian is the English word for the language called Farsi in Persian.

It is true that you can now find, "Farsi" in the dictionary, as one rather angry letter writer ("da sa") pointed out in response. That is simply because dictionaries will reflect language change(s) over time. Being included in a dictionary doesn't mean that it is "correct"; it just means it has come into common use.

If Iranians are not going to say, "Man English harf mizanam" then why should they say, "I speak Farsi"? Both languages have their own words for the other's language. Surely there is nothing wrong with improving our language skills, regardless of habit. Da Sa might rant that using "Persian" is somehow subjugating oneself to "White, terrorist-fearing American friends and acquaintances", but I think most readers of iranian.com know better.

For heaven's sake, Persian itself is a language that loves poetry. What's wrong with loving to be grammatically correct, aswell?

Bravo and Barkala, Mr. Rezakhani!

Nancy Elami

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Gesture with wide scope of meanings

Ms.Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian journalist for il manifesto who was kidnapped on February 4 outside Baghdad and released a month after, writes in her first article since liberation titled "My truth": ...at the time of the release, the one that looked the most religious and who woke up every morning at 5 A.M. to pray incredibly congratulated me shaking hand, a behaviour unusual for an Islamic fundamentalist. I think Giuliana did not understand the message of the shake hands she described "incredible".

Although many Muslim readers might interpret Giuliana's shaking hands story, as a delicate way of seeking revenge. I believe that gesture could have had a very wide scope of meanings. Perhaps a sign of apology and some kind of asking forgiveness. Or pleading for a fair judgement when she prepares her report (This is exactly what I feel every time I shake the hand of a departing foreign correspondent whom I accompany to the airport). Or may be the very basic human desire for survival made him shake a hand that will live at least more than him.

It may sound dramatic but he may have thought also, he is facing some one who within hours would be in an open and free society which he never expirienced and quite impossible will ever do. So by shaking her hand tried to extent his existence beyond his limited body. Furthermore, teaching us a lesson enriching every one's truth: Human needs are above all ideological Must and Nots.

Ahmad Saremi

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I don't mind fags

In response to Dario Margeli's on "Ding dong! Ding dong!":

Dear Dario Mageli,

I am amazed by your superior wisdom. What in God's name does a left turn in the iranian embassy have to do with a doorbell ringing. Is there any part of your article that made sense. Listen to your logic. Iran is bad because it has a Spanish military officer manned outside the gates of the embassy.

So according to your logic, America is BAD and Israel is bad too. Your a deadset genius. Ohhh...but watch the genius at work. Amidst a hectic schedule of updating the regular gay porn sites and juggling a high profile career at the local supermarket you seem to have made a left turn at iranian.com...do you see were im getting.

The thing is I don't mind fags. They are human beings like the rest of us all. Although some human beings like to get hooked on drugs, some like shooting themselves in the head, some even like eating shit. So you being a faggot is not a problem for me.

Amazingly though, you preach tolerance and highlight the fact that injustices are being committed against faggots in certain parts of the world.... yet you do not have a fair or tolerant bone in your body. Khomeini is a murder, Khamenei is a murder, a prophet a teacher a humanitarian is an illiterate sheperd.

Before you want to change the world.... first change yourself.

Shia' Ali

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| April 7-Page 1 | April 7-Page 2 |

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