2

Letters

July 2006
Part 1 -- Part 3 -- Part 2

July 17

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How ridiculously anti-Islamic

G'day mate,

I would like to congratulate you on how ridiculously anti-islamic your site is. You make it out as if your this peace loving tree hugging faggot that is secular to the whole world...but when it comes to one and only one religion...you are quick to shit on it. If you really hate islam that much...why dont you change the name of ur site to ihateislam.com so then people know ur agenda really is. Anyway mate...i really dont care....i will pray for you....but at the end of the day it is ur loss. Good luck and take it easy.

Mehdi Abusaleh

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Arash will never allow Iran to divide

On Nima Kasrai's "Middle East Made in USA":

Just because some stupid families are ruling Iran who don't give a damn about the country doesn't mean that the spirit of Arash Kamangir will allow Iran to divide. Never! Remembrance for all the reader of the Iranian.com who are not Iranian...

Abarmard

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Made me want to throw up first thing in the morning!

On Iranian of the day, Faramarz Aghazadeh:

FARAMARZ AGHAZADEH might be a great weight lifter, but his physique is just disgusting, made me want to throw up first thing in the morning! For god's sake, take his picture off the site. He might be a good ad for the Micheline tire man.

Susan Zahedi

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Right on lying

On Ben Madadi's "Culture of lying":

With regard to your article about lying - you are right on. I have come to find that many Iranians that I know (as well as other middle easterns) tend to have the ability to lie about things very easily. Iranians like to differentiate themselves from Arabs a lot. However, one thing that I have noticed that Iranians and all of the Arabic speaking countries is that they have in common is the tendency to lie about anything and everything very easily. If there is an opportunity or advantage to get ahead, manipulate the system, or to simply just look better in front of friends/peers, all of the iranian people I know will do just that. It is very strange to me.

- Most Iranian doctors I know (given I am sure there are exceptions) figure out ways to work patients and the medical system in order to make more money.

- Almost every Iranian female friend I have known flat out lies and makes up stories about the money and wealth of their families/husbands/etc. in order to impress you. I am embarrassed and in awe when I come across these people. I used to be disgusted, until I realized what a widespread problem this was.

-I work in corporate finance - and seldom come across/do business with Iranians. My experiences with Iranian business people have left much to be desired. I have not met one Iranian business man who operated 100% with integrity and honesty. This is not because the nature of the business world is built upon lying. And I am well aware that there are many non-iranians who operate under this pretense as well.

-Every Iranian guy I have met at a party,restaraunt,bar have initially lied about one thing or another in an attempt to impress me.

Iranians of America, please stop doing this. You are embarrassing yourselves and turning people off to you. Unless you plan on socializing and remaining in your segregated enclaves of "strict Iranian community" sometime sooner or later you will have to socially assimilate yourselves to other cultures. Habitually lying about all things great and small only makes you look desperate to impress and falsely elitist.

Sarah Smith

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Sacred mother

Just a quick reply to both letters I've received regarding my short article about Zidane and Materazzi "Something very bad":

To Jon - Actually, that piece was just an imaginary one. Until a few minutes ago, nobody really knew what was said on the pitch. Actually, even now that Zidane has said that the insults were in fact about his mother and sister, knowing that Materazzi denied that allegation already, it's still not certain what the exchanged insults were about. Not that any of this is really that important, of course. :-)

To Nia - Re: "I drew a cartoon about your prophet" makes more sense sense than "your mother's cartoon"!

That's actually the point. I was refering to the cartoon controversy in the piece. The sacred value in this case was Zidane's mother.

Regards.

Parham

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Focus on positive thinking

On Faramarz Fateh's "Missing TEAM genes":

Perhaps, this is one of the reason that you are a loser with such a negative attitude toward your own country men. Remember, there are other countries who could come to Soccer Olympic, but they had to win over Iran.

Before, you judge others, take a look at yourself in the mirror and see what have you done positively for your own country except running away and eating off of USA or other countries. Let Iranian problem be for the true Iranian who put up with all bad and good situation in Iran not people like you and I who are comfortably living in USA or other countries and all we have is nothing but saying negative things about our own people. Shame on you. 

There is no doubt that Iran has a lot of problems, but If you are an Iranian try to think positive about your country and see what you can do to make things little better. If every one of us focus on positive thinking who know we may make a different for our love ones. Just a thought my friend. 

Hamid Bakhsheshe

July 12

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That's what you get for insulting my mom

On Parham's "Something very bad":

As soon as i saw what zidane did, i said materazzi must have cussed zidane's mom! i knew that because anyone who has done that to me in the last 45 years has regretted it. as a former boxer and someone who considers his mom his honor i would never allow anyone to insult my honor even if it costs me millions! stupid? i take it, as zidane will!

Jon

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Priceless

On Parham's "Something very bad":

"I drew a cartoon about your prophet" makes more sense sense than "your mother's cartoon"!

Zidane is a Muslim and the Mohammad cartoon row started from a Danish newspaper last year. We will never know if the French want the Muslims to go against the Italians, or it could just be an anger management issue. Italians are famous for not playing fair in games or business.

By the way the Italian mafia started in Sicily by Italian Arab immigrants. However, to me, head butting an Italian on TV who falls on his ass by the best soccer player who happens to be a Muslim and viewed by billions of viewers -- is priceless.

Nia

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Shouldn't be a surprise

On Nima Kasrai's "Middle East Made in USA":

Hi Nima,

I just read the brief commentary you had posted on iranian.com. You make it sound like breaking up the Middle East region is a new idea and/or it's particularly bad.

If a hundred years ago, you looked at the then map of the Middle East, you could say the same thing and you would be right. That British India would become Balkanized into India, "Free Pakistan" and other free areas (e.g. Burma, Bangladesh, etc.) That the Ottoman Empire would split into many pieces: Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc. And also a new Jewish state would be formed despite most Jewish folks living in Europe at the time. The only difference is the culprit: England then and the US today.

There shouldn't be a surprise if the Kurds, who are the largest minority in the world without a homeland, get their own state in the 21st century or that the Shi'ite Arabs secede from their Sunni counterparts.

Now, I say it's not a bad thing because first of all boundaries are made to be broken; it's simply a historical fact. Secondly, when democracy takes root, people will vote to make their own states. The Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia split because different ethnic groups didn't want to be run by the majority. If China loosens up, Tibet and the Muslim areas will probably want to go their own ways. Why would the Kurds, Azeris, and Arabs of Iran be any different?

Mehran

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Shooting us in the leg

On Faramarz Fateh's "Missing TEAM genes":

Dear Faramarz,

I read your piece at Iranian.com and you said the following:

"The funny thing is that when you talk to some patriotic Iranian idiots, who are a dime a dozen in LA, they keep saying we lost because of government influence on the team, or because Ali Daie fought with Ali Karimi in the locker room or because of this or that."

I assume you are an Iranian, and when you call the other Iranians "idiots" you are shooting us in the leg. Precisely is this kind of attitude that we have not been able to be united. Considering the financial and educational success of all the Iranians, this kind of attitude, (your attitude) will keep us down.

I suggest, that you re think before you put your thoughts in writing to be published at a website that gets million hits. Remember, this website is not only read by Iranians.

Thank you for listening,

Mahtab

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They kicked booty

On Faramarz Fateh's "Missing TEAM genes":

So you think that Italy was the best team overall? A country whose national league is mired in all kinds of accusations of illegal activities including match-fixing, to say the least.

With all the money they shower their players with, and all the pampering, that is the least that would be expected of this team. How convenient for you to compare two of the teams whose players are in top and most ideal shapes in europe and in the world, boast having the top scorers in top leagues, and play on top speeds, to a team whose mostly young and inexperienced players have not even had the chance to get to know each other sufficiently and fail to connect during big moments and big plays, simply because they have not played the giants often enough, as a team.

In a way, The iranian team have already played the "street soccer" that you have so highly recommended, and guess what, On both International and the asian championship levels, they kicked booty.

We have already overcome that barrier of having a team a long time ago, and have been introducing players who are young and have so much potential to become as technically sophisticated as other major players.  but thanks for reminding our players and their coaches of that fact, because all they have to do now, is to work double hard and build up on the foundation already established to dissapoint their critics in the upcoming Aisan championships and international tournoments and the world cups.

Prepare to be dazzled, My friend.

Kyle Saghafi

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What, you want Iran to win the World Cup or it's a crappy team??

On Faramarz Fateh's "Missing TEAM genes":

The fact is that Iran qualified to play in the World Cup with 31 other teams. Out of these 32 teams only ONE team wins, that's how it's been for decades.

Now, some teams are better than others and some are weaker. For example, the British have played far more than Iran but have won the title once. That doesn't mean we sould bash the Bristish for not wining more than once.

What, you want Iran to win the World Cup or it's a crappy team??

At least I'm proud of the Iran team to qualify in such a great tournament, that some 100 countries try to get in, and whatever little they did. What are you proud of, with all due respect??

Farshad

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I saw it all happening here (in the US)

On Ramin Jahanbegloo's "From revolution to dissent":

I couldn't agree more with the analysis and hope for the present as discussed in this article. I saw it all happening here (in the US) before me and couldn't understand why supposedly rational people would give their allegiance to this fundamentalist nonsense. Unfortunately, it happened among Christians, Jews, and Hindus as well, if not others.

Nancy

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Not political?

On Golbarg Bashi's "Simply a stunner":

I have not read any of Shahrnush Parsipur books but I intend to read most of them. Anyone who likes Sadeq Hedyat should have something to say. But I wish she would show a little honesty. Why say you're not political when your whole life is nothing but political. It's like some Republican who say they're Independent althought everything that comes out of their mouth is from Republican platform.

Ms. Shahrnush Parsipur writes about women's issues and though that alone should make her polica, l but from her interview it is aboundently clear that she is pro monarchy when she says she wasn't against monarchy and she is still not.

Ms Shahrnush Parsipur is political by any strech of anything not just imagination but just come out and say it. I may not agree with her about monarchy, I don't agree with anyone about monarchy, you might say I am Thomas Painian. I think every Iranian should read Thomas Paine, specially, "Common Sense".

Mark Morshedi

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Where a little "integrity" would have been very useful

On Ari Siletz's "Self-righteous lashing with no facts":

Dear Sir,

I listened to the whole show [See: "Shame on you"]. (And I hope every one goes back to the KQED radio archives and listens and judges for themselves). Not only did all the guests skirt the issue of Mr Mortazavi's appointment to the UN , but after being asked what they thought of women's situation in Iran under Ahmadinezhad, one of them answered something like, "Oh I can not say because the last time I was in Iran he had just been elected and I have not been back since then, and so I can not really answer your question"! WHAT??? Hasn't she even seen the pictures of women being beaten in a gathering a month ago? Did she see the pictures of Simin Behbahani after she was attacked? Surely she did not need to attend the gathering itself to be able to answer this simple question? Actually that is where a little "integrity" would have been very useful.

Yalda Hakimian

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Responsibility to respect/express our collective sentiments

On Sudabeh Siavashan's "Selling out to sell a book":

Thank you. My thoughts exactly. I decided that day - when I read about Persis Karim & other editors' comment (or lack thereof)  about human rights in Iran - that all I can do against this type of gutless intellectualism is to boycott "buying" their book.

As Yalda Hakimian mentioned, Karim and friends should have used that opportunity on their KQED interview, June 29th, to at least briefly express some of our collective disgust with inhumane approaches within IRI. No one asked them to go into gory details about Kazemi and others, but with their names on that anthology of the Iranian Diaspora (yes that's me and you too), there came the responsibility to respect/express our collective sentiments when given a chance on a good radio station.

Monda

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We should not add to our own de-humanization

On Yalda Hakimian's "Shame on you":

I agree that many scholars and writers become meek in expressing their opinions about the political and social situation in Iran, for the very reasons expressed in Ms. Hakimian's article. However, please keep in mind that our image and status as Middle Easterners, and Muslims, in this country suffer another severe blow each time negative aspects related to us are brought up. The media and a majority of experts do assail us and reinforce the culture of orientalism in dehumanizing us as a whole; let us not do the same ourselves.

And yes it is permissible to remind Americans that they also violate human rights of others, they have reduced a country and a people to nothing. At this point no American has the right to criticize anyone about human rights. Mortazavi should not have been sent to a human rights forum, but he was allowed to do so. It's all a pity but I for one don't think we should add to our own de-humanization in any form or shape. Others do it for us and they do a fantastic job of it.

Shahin Shoar

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I like Fakhravar

On Pedram Moallemian's "Keep looking":

I like Fakhravar. The man is young, intelligent, hand some, out spoken, and articulate. He has got his bearing straight. He does not beat around the bush. He has experienced the wrath of this back ward murderous regime first hand. He knows the only viable solution for Iran and for that matter humanity is for the Islamic regime to vanish from the face of the earth. Ironcially Mr. Fakhravar has never adovacted any military action towards Iran.

I suppose Mr. Mollemian and folks like him would have loved him if he was as phony and fake like Ebdai, Ganji, Sazgara and the rest of these charlatans who periodically travel to U.S and Europe and throw us seminars advocating peace and non-violent behavior toward the Islamic regime!!!

I wish Mr. Fakhravar a great success. I only wish we had more people like him.

Synaky

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Incredibly illiterate or plain evil

On Pedram Moallemian's "Keep looking":

I think Pedram Moallemian's article about Amir Abbas Fakhravar is excellent and extremely timely. Very informative and concise indeed, although it is very sad to see how people who may have genuinely been mistreated in Iran now side with no other than Bush‚s imperialism. I don‚t see Moallemian's article as singling out a person or vilifying a young ex-student (Amir Abbas Fakhravar) from Iran who has suffered hardship.

In fact, Iranian "Native informers," a term coined and theorized by Professor Hamid Dabashi in his outstanding Al-Ahram article last month, are increasing by the minute, and for historical reasons, and since we are in very hostile times when Iran can actually get bombed, there is an urgency to highlight and document Iranian as well as other native informers‚ share in US atrocities around the world. These people, i.e. Amir Abbas Fakhravar or Azar Nafisi (someone who visits the White House regularly and works with neocons in DC), are either incredibly illiterate about US history, the atrocities of the American military in Iraq or just plain evil and only after money...

As Dabashi warned us all back in April:

"Those analysts, Americans or expatriate Iranians, posing to defend the cause of democracy and/or human rights in Iran from the safe distance of US think-tanks, promising that Iranian people are all pro-American and thus will welcome the US Army, will have to be held accountable for their dangerous delusions should the US attack Iran and tens of thousands of Iranians and Americans are maimed and killed - with women in particular yet again the most under-reported victims of such crimes against humanity."

Let us just hope that we will not wake up one day soon to hear about the bombing of Iran as we did with Iraq and all the lies about its WMDs back in 2003...We are in very hostile times and I once again like to thank Pedram Moallemian for taking the time to investigate and write about these important life and death matters...

Azadeh Khah

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He is genuine and good natured

On Pedram Moallemian's "Keep looking":

I find your article about Siavash (Amir Abbas) Fakhravar shameful, patronizing, and absolutely irresolute. He has been brutally tortured , his father allegedly murdered, and his relatives imprisoned -- all due to his call for democracy and freedom in Iran. Please do not incriminate this man, he is genuine and good natured; all he wants is for our people to be free. Just because you're adverse to the right, doesn't mean you should blindly censure their attempts at fostering a stronger pro-democracy movement in Iran through the means of dissidents.

Also, some of your notions about Siavish coming to America and his prior wereabouts in Iran are not verifiable. Look into that, it's important to offer unbiased legit facts.

MZ

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Look in the mirror

On Pedram Moallemian's "Keep looking":

The sad thing is that all this time when Fakhravar was being tortured in prison and speaking out for his fellow students and demanding freedom for our people, how many Iranians (especially those living abroad) supported him? Why is it that the people he is talking to now are the only ones willing to listen? How many Iranians today support the students who stood up for democracy empty handed and paid the price?

But for some reason, many more Iranians were willing to organize and sacrifice on a large scale when asked to 28 years ago by a religious man living safely and comfortably in Paris.

Before judging someone who actually has done something, let us start by looking at the man/woman in the mirror.

An Iranian

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I'm pretty sure it is Sa'di

On Azari Asal's "Yeh gooz be eftekhaare hameh!":

Sa'di wrote many centuries ago:

cho baad andar shekam pichad foroo hel
ke baad andar shekam baar ast bar del


Yep. I'm pretty sure it is Sa'di.

Amir Togha

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As a matter of fact she has a horrible voice

On Bruce Bahmani's "Talagh? Jesus Christ!":

For some of us who are use d to listen to a good music (not Googoosh), this is an old news. I always believed that Googoosh is very pretty, excellent performer on stage but never a great singer; as a matter of fact she has a horrible voice.

Niloufar

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Kinda crappy

On Bruce Bahmani's "Talagh? Jesus Christ!":

You wrote:

The loop that the now famous "Iranian" song used, was originally taken from, is "Heaven on Their Minds" the opening number of this huge broadway hit. Disappointed? You thought this loop was all ours? Don't be! The original Broadway song never really made it past the other more popular standards this show turned out, which were, "I don't know how to love him", and the main theme of "Jesus Christ Superstar". Altogether of significantly lesser value to us than the one Googoosh, er "lifted" for her own holy masterpiece.

Perhaps this can be used to argue that our taste in music is kinda crappy.

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NO right to sell treasures

On Niki Akhavan's "Looting Iran":

I am from the USA. And I'm writing, to comment on the Persians\ Iran's, Art Law Sue. The USA has NO Right To Sell The Art Treasures that belong to All The Dependences of Persian\Iran Ancestries (offspring's) past and present Generations. They are punishing all future Offspring, that have nothing to do with terrorist. All Iranians, should sign a Class Action Law Suit! To Stop the Sale of Persian Treasures that belong to All Generations to come. If the victims want to sue they should sue the Iran Gov. And not punish the "Descendantx  of Perisian\Iran Offspring's!

May God Bless And Protect All The Innocents

Links

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Hafez ro zir o roo kardam

On not having the answer to the Quiz question's "What is Happiness?":

In monsefaneh nist ke pasokh e ye soaletoon "God knows" basheh, manzooram sher e hafez ast. in soal e shoma daghighan 4 saat o nim vaght e mano gereft, tamam e divan e hafez ro zir o roo kardam vali natoonestam pasokh e monaseb ro peida konam, besyar konjkav boodam ke pasokh chist va hala mibinam ke neveshteh shodeh "God knows".

na omid shodam az in bakhsh e quiz.

SR

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No specific relation

On not having the answer to the Quiz question's "What is Happiness?":

This poem is from Daniel Ladinsky's The Gift: Poems by Hafiz. No poem in this book is in dialectic relation to a specific Persian text.

Mozhgan Dadgostar

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Words on my wall

On Mazloom's "Creative sofa":

I just want to say that I think that Mazloom is the man. Mazloom, you are the man. You should write humor too, because this article was funny as hell. This website is open to all, and if somebody doesn't like it, too bad. Iranian.com, with its good, bad, and average writers, its ranters and ravers, its cartoonists, its painters, and its lone cartoon painter, is a forum that Everyone has the right to participate in. For that reason, even critics who haven't contributed anything of their own have the right to send in their opinions and have the chance to be read.

Anyway, I am putting Mazloom's last paragraph up on my wall at home, and I think it should head the top of the iranian.com website in some way, shape or form, at least for a day:

When I was in my twenties I wanted to change the world, in my thirties I wanted to change my country, in my forties I wanted to change myself. Having failed at all of those, all I want to do now is to change a pixel. A pixel is the smallest image forming unit of a digital photo. A photo is made of thousands of pixels. If I could change a pixel at a time to create the right expression I‚ll be content. Let others like yourself change the world, or the country.

Maziar Shirazi

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Just teasing

On Sholeh Ja's "Lost in life":

Dear Sholeh Jan:

You really are trying to create SHOLEH here! First of all, if, as you say, you don't look Persian, then you definitely don't act and talk like one either! Knowing me, I bet those guys knew you were Iranian and they simply set you up! Another word, some of us Iranian men don't care for snobs!

This reminds me of an Iranian-Armenian student in our post graduate school, who as a new student pretended that she was not an Iranian, even though as she walked in I said that she was Iranian! Of course, she thought that we were so dumb that we never figured out that she was an Iranian! Between me and my Iranian-Armenian great friend, we decided to be the gentlemen and treat her, as she wished, s a non-Iranian!

It happened that as a new student she needed to join a group study and nobody took her! Naturally we let her join our group! She was thinking that we dumbs could never figure out that she was one of us, she never spoke to us in Persian or armani, even though she had come to this country only 6 years prior. As she was sitting next to us, I would tell my friend things like: "Arlen, I bet she had a nose job! How could anyone who doesn't look American have such a well defined and trimmed nose!" Of course, my friend was only holding back his laughs! Scenarios like this abound during the entire course!

C'mon lady give us a break, how dumb she thought we were! Finally, at the end of the course, I decided to break the news to her! My God, she was so infuriated and in denial! She said that no way we could have known that! Thinking, with a name like ...(Persian-Armenian) and a last name Esmaili, and a look of a gorgeous Iranian, how dumb you really thought we were! She was so mad that I finally had to say, no, of course we didn't know you were Iranian, we were just teasing! It worked! No kidding!

Well, lady Sholeh, of course you don't look Iranian! you are just 2 pretty to be one!

Good nite, have good dreams, and have fun spying and telling on people!

Jon

BTW, I find it fascinating how you could speak on behalf of 37 million silent Iranian women, when none of them voted for you to be their spokesperson! How can you stereotype 33 million Iranian men?

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Disturbing

On Anyway video clip, "Little Bandari girl":

The video was disturbing.

TS

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You crossed that line

On Hamid Bakhsheshi's "How fragile we are":

I am so sorry for the loss of your uncle and the terrible thing that has happened to your niece. I noticed that at the end of the letter, you showed so much love towards both of them, especially her. But I wonder, Why would you call someone, who might have lost a family member, or that may know someone who has been injured as a result of being hit by a biker, A moron.  Even though the probablity of such an event is so low in US?

Does the lack of proper laws in Iran to deal with such unfortunate events, bring you so much frustration and disgust, that it makes you get selective between the lives of your loved ones and other people? That is so embarrassing and you shot yourself in the foor and runined the entire purpose of your letter the moment you crossed that line. If your were wise and caring enough you would recognize immediately that even ONE single life lost or injured due to such accidents, is worth so much more than you think and it is defeinitely a well-thought move to nail your to the cross, Regardless of whether it was your intention or not to talk about it!

Kyle Saghafi

July 5

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America's true face revealed

On decision by a US court to auction ancient Persian artifacts to compensate victims of terrorism:

I believe Judge Manning's decision has finally revealed America's true face to the Iranians and the world at large. What about the $3,000,000+ dead Vietnamese? What about American support of Saddam Hussain during the Iran-Iraq war, resulting in more that $1,000,000 dead and untold suffering and destruction? What about CIA sponsored murders in South America and elsewhere in the world? Just to name a few. As the unfolding events in the Middle-East clearly show, according to American-Israeli standards, human life has different values in different parts of our planet.

Farhad Assar

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Organize a protest?

On decision by a US court to auction ancient Persian artifacts to compensate victims of terrorism:

Is there any way to organize a protest? This is clearly a personal issue that the judge has against a culture. Only during WWII artifacts were used to pay families and that's after they could prove that they were the rightful owner of the artifacts. We shouldn't allow this to happen, or at least make this more visible on the media.

Arash

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Badkoobeh

On Vahid Garousi's "Basking in Baku":

Very interesting photos by Mr. Garousi! The Iranian and original name of this city is Baadkoobeh because of very strong and frequent wind in that area, (Koobideh az baad). I am surprised why they don't call it in it's original name again, now?!!

Dariush Radpour
Rome

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Don't fall for the propaganda

On Tina Ehrami's "How do we prevent China from colonizing the world":

Dear Tina,

The IMF and World Bank are nothing more than thinly vailed scams to transfer wealth from the third world into the pockets of wealthy investors in USA and western Europe, and ecnomically and politically subjugate the third world in the process. You may want to pick up the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins. IMF and WorldBank have rarely improved the lives of ordinary citizens. They are designed to pay off and protect the ruling elites in a country in exchange for long term debts that the public pays, and the whole thing is enforced by the US military. They have never lead to an increase in democracy or pluralism. In fact it's quite the opposite, the brutal dictatorship of Suharto in Indonesia was practically sustained by IMF and US. Same goes for the gulf oil kingdoms, Egypt and Africa. They've been doing this for 30 years, where's the democracy? In South America, the investment scams got so bad that there was a popular political backlash against IMF and Worldbank. Hugo Chavez is now starting his own fund and using Venezuela's resources to buy up these unfair loans and help free the continent from foreign subjugation.

Don't fall for the propaganda. US/West are not "inharently good" doing the third world "favors" and "pushing democracy." It's the opposite, they continue to keep the third world down, in order to maintain the unqeual life style that they've become used to since the days of direct colonialism. If Chinese influence (which is miniscule compared to that of the west) is increasing, it's only because China's promise to not interfere with internal affairs is so welcomed by the developing world.

qumars bolourchian

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Worry about Big Mac

On Tina Ehrami's "How do we prevent China from colonizing the world":

You have to be worry about other colonial powers who are right now taking what they want from countries they have under control who cares many years from now the chinese will domanate the world, if I were you I learn about real Chinese food and get ready for better healthy food in Chinese control countries, instead of BIG MAC and KFC which give you heart attack.

peace and love,

Daavood Alian

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Loved it so much

On Homayoun Bazargan's photos, "Far far away":

Thank you so much for that incredible set of photos. I don't often see many photo sets that evoke much in me, but this one truly did. I loved it so much. All I can say is...

Thank You!

O'meed

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Breathtaking

On Homayoun Bazargan's photos, "Far far away":

Simply took me and my breath away!

Monda

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Keep reading the Koran

On Dariush Abadi's "Pride & prejudice":

Oh you are so cool and up to date with your Islam. At least I can brag about my culture with greatness of declaration of Human Rights and freedom of Women. What can YOU say about your Bed'win culture? You can try as much as you want, you had 1400 years to modify your culture and still your highest intellectual doesn't have half the literacy of the Cyrus the Great 2500 years ago.

Of course that makes me a proud Iranian and makes you an angry Arab. Sorry about that, but hey, you got forward and modern Islam. I have no more time to waste educating you, but remember that We Iranians have a reason to be proud, you Muslims have Koran. KEEP READING IT and you may go to heaven and get your blond women serving you tea... So to each his own!

Daryush Irani

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Cyrus & hejab

On Daryush Irani's "Keep reading the Koran":

Freedom of women? In pre-Islamic times in Iran, did you know that amongst the upper class, especially the royalty....it was not only common, but usually practiced that the mother would have sex with her son, and the daughter would have sex with her father, in order that the families money stay within the family?

If you read historical accounts of the Sassanian period, one of the main reasons the elite class crumbled upon invasion by the Arabs was the fact that they were all incompetent and had no clue what to do. Modern science would indicate that high levels of mental retardation had occurred from all the inbreeding and incest that happened within the elite and royal families.

I joke you not. These are historical facts of the Sassanid period.

Now to Cyrus the Great. Do you know that he was the first ruler of Persia, as well as the first ruler of mankind to impose a form of hijab on women? He is known for making the first decree to force women to not only cover their hair, but to also remain behind a "pardeh". (Is it not curious that the concept of Pardeh, where women sit behind a curtain did not exist during the Prophet's time but was actually adopted from Persian customs once Islam reached Persian frontiers?)

While pre-Islamic Arabs might have killed their first born daughters (which Islam reversed) at least they didn't have sex with their own parents (which Alhamdulellah Islam has fixed as well).

Daryush Irani

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Lost father

i am trying to find my boyfriend's father. he lived in fyffe alabama in 1977-78. he has a brother named byron who was going to school in birgiham alabama. his name is bahman, his son is now 28 years old and would love to learn about his family and his hertiage even just his last name. any information would be greatly appreciated.

Princess

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Change emanating out of Islam

On Omid Townsend's "Very dangerous place to be":

There was actually a movement for change emanating out of Islam and Iran that was far ahead of the western democracies and Islamic practices. It was the Baha’I Faith and began in Iran and advocated an equality of the sexes, equality of races (at a time when slavery was still practiced in the USA as well as other parts of the world), equality of nations, a United Nations, a world court, a universal system of weights and measures, a universal auxiliary language to further communication, an equality of religions, no priesthood, an independent investigation of the truth, etc.

One founder was executed, another was exiled by the Persian and Ottoman governments and after much imprisonment died in Palestine (now Israel) and his son actually visited Europe, Canada and the USA and gave a speech at Stanford University in 1912 centering on “waging peace”. There are now over six million Baha’is in over 130,000 locations across the world and the movement is growing every day in spite of its daily persecution in the Moslem countries.

A.S.Mostafanejad

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Learn about the glories of the past and act upon them

On Khodadad Rezakhani's "Sheer lack of support":

Dear Dr Rezakhani,

I can not agree more... we need to know more about our culture and history and not just boast about it.

Being the only Persian kid amongst 800 English kids, my two great school British teachers in school who were Latin and Greek scholars from Oxford, they loved history and knew much about Iran's past glories; one was even proud to have a Persian in his class! Humorously, they always consoled me , when I constantly had to hear about the triumphs of the Greeks... My old head master Godfrey Browne, once remarked: "...you must know that the Persians were the greater civilization, but the Greeks were better historians!" The only solution to the negativity we face is not only to learn about the glories of the past but to act upon them; one is always inspired with the following from The Secret of Divine Civilization by Abdul Baha written in 1875 of the Ghajar era about Iran's past and its future:

O people of Persia! Look into those blossoming pages that tell of another day, a time long past. Read them and wonder; see the great sight. Írán in that day was as the heart of the world; she was the bright torch flaming in the assemblage of mankind. Her power and glory shone out like the morning above the world’s horizons, 7 and the splendor of her learning cast its rays over East and West. Word of the widespread empire of those who wore her crown reached even to the dwellers in the arctic circle, and the fame of the awesome presence of her King of Kings humbled the rulers of Greece and Rome. The greatest of the world’s philosophers marveled at the wisdom of her government, and her political system became the model for all the kings of the four continents then known. She was distinguished among all peoples for the scope of her dominion, she was honored by all for her praiseworthy culture and civilization. She was as the pivot of the world, she was the source and center of sciences and arts, the wellspring of great inventions and discoveries, the rich mine of human virtues and perfections. The intellect, the wisdom of the individual members of this excellent nation dazzled the minds of other peoples, the brilliance and perceptive genius that characterized all this noble race aroused the envy of the whole world......." [See for full text of original Persian "RESALEYEH SIYASIYEH" OR "THE SECRET OF DIVINE CIVILIZATION"]

O people of Persia! Awake from your drunken sleep! Rise up from your lethargy! Be fair in your judgment: will the dictates of honor permit this holy land, once the wellspring of world civilization, the source of glory and joy for all mankind, the envy of East and West, to remain an object of pity, deplored by all nations? She was once the noblest of peoples: will you let contemporary history register for the ages her now degenerate state? Will you complacently accept her present wretchedness, when she was once the land of all mankind’s desire? Must she now, for this contemptible 9 sloth, this failure to struggle, this utter ignorance, be accounted the most backward of nations?

Were not the people of Persia, in days long gone, the head and front of intellect and wisdom? Did they not, by God’s grace, shine out like the daystar from the horizons of Divine knowledge? How is it that we are satisfied today with this miserable condition, are engrossed in our licentious passions, have blinded ourselves to supreme happiness, to that which is pleasing in God’s sight, and have all become absorbed in our selfish concerns and the search for ignoble, personal advantage?

This fairest of lands was once a lamp, streaming with the rays of Divine knowledge, of science and art, of nobility and high achievement, of wisdom and valor. Today, because of the idleness and lethargy of her people, their torpor, their undisciplined way of life, their lack of pride, lack of ambition—her bright fortune has been totally eclipsed, her light has turned to darkness. “The seven heavens and the seven earths weep over the mighty when he is brought low.”

It should not be imagined that the people of Persia are inherently deficient in intelligence, or that for essential perceptiveness and understanding, inborn sagacity, intuition and wisdom, or innate capacity, they are inferior to others. God forbid! On the contrary, they have always excelled all other peoples in endowments conferred by birth. Persia herself, moreover, from the standpoint of her temperate climate and natural 10 beauties, her geographical advantages and her rich soil, is blessed to a supreme degree. What she urgently requires, however, is deep reflection, resolute action, training, inspiration and encouragement. Her people must make a massive effort, and their pride must be aroused.

Today(1875) throughout the five continents of the globe it is Europe and most sections of America that are renowned for law and order, government and commerce, art and industry, science, philosophy and education. Yet in ancient times these were the most savage of the world’s peoples, the most ignorant and brutish. They were even stigmatized as barbarians—that is, utterly rude and uncivilized. Further, from the fifth century after Christ until the fifteenth, that period defined as the Middle Ages, such terrible struggles and fierce upheavals, such ruthless encounters and horrifying acts, were the rule among the peoples of Europe, that the Europeans rightly describe those ten centuries as the Dark Ages. The basis of Europe’s progress and civilization was actually laid in the fifteenth century of the Christian era, and from that time on, all her present evident culture has been, under the stimulus of great minds and as a result of the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge and the exertion of energetic and ambitious efforts, in the process of development."

Faryar Mansuri

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Some other idiot to be proud of

On San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi "shows his love for President Bush":

Wow, what a clown. He is an elected public official showing a finger. Real class indeed, what a good role model for our children. After the jack ass driving his Jeep through a crowd in North Carolina, we have some other idiot to be proud of.

Afshin

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Photos clearly show...

In reply to Rostam Pourzal's "Inflating the truth":

In 2003 I was in Washington DC to observe a gathering of some Iranians for ‘freedom and democracy’. As you know Washington DC police does not allow portable potties at the site of rallies. When I was walking and looking for a place to use a restroom, I saw a couple of people engaged in a discussion with someone, which later I found out was you. Upon my return from the restroom I also observed that they were still debating with you and vice versa. When I asked some one later to identify you, he said, “He's Rostam”.

First I thought he was kidding, comparing you to Shahnameh’s Rostam. But when I asked again he gave me your full name, which I thought he said Rostam Pourzad, then again he told me Pourzal. Since you were engaged in debate with those other people I started talking to a young dashing man that was leaning on a retaining wall near where you were.

During our conversation at a point he said, while looking at your direction and raising his chin, that he was your son. When I first approached him I asked him if he preferred to speak Farsi or English, and if he minded explaining his position. We ended up speaking in a mixture of both languages. He was carrying a placard that compared Rajavi to Chalabi. I asked him about that and some other questions, and left only when I felt he was becoming uncomfortable. When I was leaving he said I was one of them (Mojahedin), which I am not and I told him so, and that I was there to see for myself what was going on.

While I was going to the restroom and when I returned and talked to your son and during the time I was there, I did not observe anyone cursing and threatening you in anyway, and at no time did I see Capital Police rushing to separate you from your would be executioners. The police was doing their routine monitoring of the event. This is in no way to say that you are lying in anyway. You might have been harassed and threatened when I was not looking.

Your eyewitness in Iran during the women's rally might have gone through the same thing. Some things might have happened which he did not see, as he admits it in his report. But from photos and my own observation from my own travels to Iran I have a different view of what happened that day. The photos clearly show baton-carrying women. It is not clear whether some of these women are police officers or civilians. There are other plain clothed civilian men in these photos that are clearly against the protesting women, and are engaged in harassing the protesters, however the official police is not interfering with their operation.

In my own travels to Iran I have observed that plain cloth militia groups set up roadblocks and stop young people, strip search them, and with their riffles push and shove them. In one occasion I saw a Pasdaran private hit a young man several times with the bottom of his machine gun. And I have seen that military soldiers also sit in mini busses and wait in case things get out of control.

In one occasion I saw that Ansar’e Hezbolah had arrested a young woman of about nineteen for wearing too much make up or improper clothing, and had her sitting in their car while her mother was outside begging for her release. A crowd had gathered around the car and would not allow it to move, and they were booing and say ‘velesh kon’ (release her). The Hezbollah’e woman was fiercely guarding the car and would not allow anyone to approach her when someone from opposite of her side rushed in and opened the door and the young woman in the car ran away.

I have also done my own unscientific poll and here are my findings; 65% of the people I polled would like to live in a country other than Iran, 10% would not live anywhere else but Iran, 25% preferred not to talk about the subject.

I admire your passion for reporting accurately. I hope you succeed at it

Mazloom

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How is that going to solve the problem of Iran?

On Neshat Rezai's "Only in Berkeley":

Neshat:

Suppose that they did impeach Bush and his entire family. How is that going to solve the problem of Iran? Is that going to remove the Mullahs from power? You are either related to the mullahs or you must be a fvcking moron. I think it's more of the latter than the former. The mullah among us is this Jakesh JJ who likes to post the kind of rubbish like yours.

I say, deport JJ and the rest of the asshole mullah lovers like you.

Gavv

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Bastardization of 'agha jaan'

On "Aw-jaan" police quiz:

Is it a bastardization of 'agha jaan' from when people were trying to get out of a traffic ticket?

Parissa Sohie

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Les agents de police

On "Aw-jaan" police quiz:

Um....no, it does not come from Adjutant!!! Just because it is in Wikipedia doesnt mean it's right! Awjan is what iranians call police officers and it just so happens to also be what the French call police officers "Les agents de police" or "les agent policier". Farsi being an indo-european language and for some reason with close ties to all things french, we have lots of words with ties to that language. This is a direct copy of that. I am sure that Adjutant has a common root, but it's not a direct link. Adjutant come from Adjut, as in adjucate, adjucation, even judge, so yes the legal aspect is there, but I insist that Awjan is simply our way of pronouncing Agents (pronounced in French "Ahw-jon".)

Mersedeh

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Adjudent is something else

On "Aw-jaan" police quiz:

That is actually wrong. Many words in Farsi were taken from French since the Napoleonic times, one of them being "Agent" (pronounced "Ajaan" in French and Farsized as "Aadjaan").

Adjudent is something else and is also called "Aadjoodaan" in Farsi.

Regards.

Parham

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Fucking jerk sellout

On "this jerk knows what's best for iran" comment on this news item, "Talks with US would not benefit Iran: Khamenei":

Regarding you calling iranian leader a jerk ----- you are the fucking jerk sellout.

Cyrus M

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Insulting intelligence

On Mazdak's "Tamaskhorism":

Thank you so much for expressing what I have been feeling for a long long time.

Please add HajiAgha to that list. This one is the worst! It sounds like he is in Canada and does not like that country and insults it left and right. Why doesn't he just go back to IRI? Not only that, but his jokes do not make any sense at all and there is definitely nothing funny about them. Not to mention the awful drawing--none of them can draw, but Saman.

I agree 100% that these cartoons are an insult to the reader's intelligence. I have already discussed this with Mr. Javid in the past year.

H. Assar

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I want to know what dahat he come from

On On Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

I visit iranian.com every day and I always check the toons section for some good humor. But honestly, if you guys find Hossein's Hajiaga's cartoons humorous or satirical, you must have lost touch with your audience. Why you keep printing this man's hatred towards Canada and Iranian people living here is beyond me. His cartoons are tasteless, flawed, and dumb.

Now, if you printed some cartoons about his life in the village (dahaat) that he came from, now that would be funny.

PR

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Why condone such points of view?

On On Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

I am really wondering why you keep publishing Hajiagha's digusting cartoons. They are libelious, racist and homophobic. I do understand than freedom of speech gives him the right to express his ideas, but why ianian.com would condone such points of views that are exactly opposing values it wants to defend.

I am very surprised. By the way, no wonder why he was barred entry to the US.

Mahmoud

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Not that anyone expected anything of substance

On rejection of U.S. entry visa for cartoonist Hossein Haji Agha:

I am so glad U.S didn't let this piece of slime shit Hossein Haji Agha in. god bless them. His jokes and caricatures are so disgusting and so insulting and you sank all time low by even publishing these. Not that anyone expected anything of substance or value from your web site.

Alex V

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Joyous attitude

On Pillango Farfar's "Things I learned from watching football with my husband":

This is a great article. The focus on enjoying it, rather than getting frustrated and competitive about it (players and viewers alike) is supercool, and people could seriously do with more of some joyous attitude!

Nandita Dhindsa

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Visual guides for kids

On content in iranian.com:

I visit your site on daily basis and encourage others do so; however one of my friends is trying to get his young son to read up and learn about Iran as he was born outside of Iran and never visited. He is usually wary of clicking on the links in daily updates as sometime mature subject matters such as videos are featured.

As I am sure a lot of families visit Iranian.com, I would like to suggest that, if you could add little icon next to those links to identify mature subjects when they are supervising their kids on-line activities.

Just want to reiterate that I am not asking for any type of censorship, just a visual guides for those trying to get their kids to learn and understand about daily events in Iran,

Thanks for your time

Ardeshir

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