Letters

May 2006
May 31 -- May 5

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Talks without pre-conditions

On poll, "Should Iran accept or reject U.S. offer of direct talks?":

Need one more choice on your direct talks poll: “Talks under no pre-conditions”.

Arash Z

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Insulting my Iranian heritage

On Iranian of the day, David Safavian: Jack Abramoff's "favorite":

It is a shameful act on your part to include David Safavian as an "Iranian of the day". Just what the hell you think you are doing? As far as I am concerned anyone who associates with the likes of Robert Ney, Jack Abramoff, and Ralph Reed ought to be hung from the nearest tree! Don't insult my Iranian heritage by including Safavian in the same league!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kamran R

REPLY: "Iranian of the day" is not a badge of honor for a select few. It is a statement of fact... Safavian is just as Iranian as Ferdowsi! -- Jahanshah Javid

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Some Iranians will complain no matter what

On Nima Mehraeen's photos on Shirin Ebadi's speech at UCLA:

The photos in Nima Mehraeen's photo essay of Shirin Ebadi's speech at UCLA show that some people were escorted out of the speech my UCLA public Safety officers. Who is Shirin Ebadi a danger to? She is a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. She was a judge during the Shah's reign. And she served as a human rights attorney during the Khomeini/Khamenei era.

One must conclude that some Iranians will complain no matter what. If Shirin Ebadi was wearing a chador I would understand the outcry. But even in that instance, doesn't she have a 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech? Isn't is uncivilized to heckle the old lady who has a doctorate and has devoted her life to fighting for human rights? Maybe, as Leila Farjami suggests in her essay the Iranians were hungry for Kabobs.

Jacob "Abd Al Aziz" Cohen

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Wouldn't it be wonderful if...

On Slater Bakhtavar's "Why Iran wants war":

Your article is really scary. From reading it, I get the impression that the only thing that can save Iran and the world now is a revolution inside Iran. But the oppressed people of Iran won't be rebelling against a Gorbachev; they will be rebelling against a religious-fanatic version of Stalin.

The belief in a Messiah is found in many cultures. The Jews have their Elijah, the Christians have their Second Coming, the Shiites have their Mahdi, and the stargazers have their extraterrestrials. I do not believe in any messiah, but I can understand why people would want to believe in some kind of messiah.

There is one messianic prophecy I would want to come true. It is the messianic prophecy concerning the last Zoroastrian princess of Yazd. Thirteen centuries ago, after Islam had become the dominate religion in Iran, the last Zoroastrian princess of Yazd was fleeing from Moslem fanatics who were determined to kill her. She vanished into the Mountain of the Sacred Spring of Chek-Chek in the Yazd desert. According to legend, she will return (in spirit or reincarnation or whatever) in Iran's hour of greatest danger. When she returns, Iran will be saved and the dominate religion of Iran will once again be Zoroastrianism.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if that particular messianic prophecy was to come true?

Eric Jerpe

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War and destruction is the legacy of Zionism

On Mazloom's "Shaash & awe strategy":

Prospect of war and destruction is the legacy of Zionism. Fathers who choose to give such legacy to their children can hope their children do their dirty work for them. The little pissing boys grow with fears and fear turns them into psychopaths.

Go look at the high rape statistics of children as young as 10 and 12 rapping kids as young as 6 and 4.

It looks like when it comes to drowning in piss, they don't need any help from the rest of the world.

The BangMan

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Just laugh at the jokes!

On Mana Neyestani's cartoon in IRAN newspaper (May 19, 2006) which sparked protests among Azaris:

een Torka ham digeh shooresh ra dar avardand!!!

When you say a "jok-e Torki" they are offended and they demonstrate over a cockroach saying "Na Mana" in Turkish (the cartoon was drawn by a Turk!) Jesus.... talk about insecurities.

How come Rashti men are not offended when they are portrayed as "sexually impotent" and their wives "sexually active", or Qazvinis as "homosexuals", or Kashanis as "cowards", or Esfahanis as "cunning misers"? 

A Turk once told me the reason there are so many "jok-e Torki" in Iran is because they are jealous of Turks who have ruled Iran in so many dyansties throughout history!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you believe this? Give it up Turks, just laugh at the jokes! You have contributed so much to Iran's culture and literature and history... You are such great people so why are you such babies when it comes to saying a few jokes about you?

A lover of all "baradaran ghayoor-e Turk"

N. Shafiei

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MAD

On Afshin D's "Recruiting Mohammad Attas of the world":

You are a "roshan fekr-e tarik andish". First you agree that IRI government is more catholic than the Pope, then you turn it around one hundred eighty degrees and blame Israelis for the crisis we are in, including Mohamad Atta's madness. But since you a roshan fekr you find such actions to be grotesque, but since you are also a tarik andish you dream of a Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) solution, which is exactly what Atta did when he ran into that building, he mutually assured that the building, him, and everybody else got destroyed. You ask, "... a country of 75 million people... ?"

You are one of those "Nuclear-Urination-Upon-Israel (NUUI)" strategists, or you think like them, or sympathize with them. Israelis are scared of MAD so the 5 million people nation won't pick a fight with the 75 million people, or vice versa, the country of 75 million will pick a fight and piss their way to victory because the 5 million people country has less urine. You don't get it; the 5 million people country has limitless resources (wherewithal), USA, to fight any nation with any number of people.

If you really want to defeat Israel you should figure out how to defeat a nation of 300 million people because they are really the big URINATORS. And by the way since we are not in Iran we don't have to get permission to express our opinion in "irainan.com" or anywhere else, but since you asked I did try to express my opinion of what I think of Hamshahi Newspaper's International Holocaust (freedom of expression) Competition but I don't think they or their leader liked my opinion.

I am not in the business of defending Israel since they are doing a great job themselves, but what I really like to do is to be in business of exposing ignorance. Huh! I wonder if I can make some money off of it since we have so much of it in Iran. The possibilities are limitless.

If Saudis make such threats... , well let's see sand absorbs a lot of urine so urinating on them will not destroy them, yes I would argue the same thing: neither urination nor atomic bombs will destroy Saudi Arabia. 

Mazloom

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Make an offering to Jesus

On Kaveh Nouraee's "A Jewish Muslim for peace":

Kaveh, I was interested to read your objections to the idea that Jesus is the Son of God who suffered and died for our sins. While they're not new objections per se, they were worded in a manner that makes me think you had thought it through and arrived at these conclusions by yourself. Your objections are also known as the scandal of the cross, and they have been a source of puzzlement and outrage to both Jews and Gentiles alike from the very beginning of Christianity. 

You can say that Christianity is a religion that is founded on mystery, but of a different kind of mystery than we are used to. Usually a mystery is just something we don't know the answer to (such as who really killed JFK), and once we find out the answer we yawn and move on. A Christian mystery on the other hand, is known in its bare outlines to all and yet, it is never fully understood. Its contemplation is thus an endless source of joy and enlightenment.

Anyways, I won't attempt to reply to your objections here (you can find them anywhere), but to issue you a challenge:

You say that it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to have a Son, and to sacrifice his Son, and in such a cruel manner. Granted. My challenge is for you to put all your objections aside for a moment, and to imagine, just imagine, that it is all true. Let it sink in. What would you think of such a god? A god who sacrificed himself for us? Would you be moved to love him? To follow him? To lay down your life for him? ... Are you not just a little sad that such a thing is too good to be true?

If your answer to the above is yes, then I urge you to make an offering to Jesus. Tell him that you would believe in him IF you knew FOR SURE he is God. Find a way to say it that does not feel like kofr for you. Don't worry. If he was just a prophet nothing will come of it.

Signed,
Mahsheed

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Best hope: slow change

On Amir Nasiri's "What do we really need":

Amir,

While everyone agrees about the brutality of the current regime, the few of the steps you have mentioned are flawed. I do agree that they have to established full diplomatic and trade with Iran to make the middle class stronger however having CIA gathering data as a second phase would take us back to the 1953 coup. This time we will end up with alternatives that are far worse than the current regime.

At one end you have CIA supported Mujaheddin Cult (headed by nut case Rajavi... in which case I would say god bless Ahmadinejad) or you have former Royalty headed by Reza Shah the second who would be even more eager to sell the country for more wealth. Lets not forget that US is not in a business of nation buidling or democracy expansion. They are in it for their own corporate profit and agenda. The agenda will not include the wellfare of Iranian people or nation.

The best hope at this time is for our own young generation to hash things out and slowly bring out the changes. It will be a lenghty process but it is the best alternative. We don't need another Iraq, Serbia, Bosnia or Ukraine at this time.

Farhang D

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As Iranian as anyone else

To the editor of Canada's National Post in response to discredited story about Iranian national dress:

Your recently run fabricated front cover story that Iranian Jews are about to be required to wear "special dress code" identifying them as "non-Moslem" was as abominating and reprehensible as the historical injustices inflicted upon Jews in Europe of the mid-fifties.

In fact, your baseless assertion, as you now confess to it on a less conspicuous second page of your periodical, could have as well resulted in the bloodshed of hundreds of innocent noble people. It is, therefore, imperative that with your bold admission of this inadvertent error on your part and to prove your sincerity to resolve the issue that you will run a corrigendum conspicuously and with proper apologies on the first front page.

Iranian Jews, who have their roots on the Persian/Iranian plateau for almost three thousand years as referenced in the Torah, are as Iranian as any other Iranian. Iran, a country ten thousand years in making with 2,500 years of continuous government and with immense contributions to the betterment of humanity through her arts and architecture, science and technology, and literature, music and poetry, has and will remain an integral nation in the family of nations.

Iran, that at one recent juncture spanned from the Indus River and Oral Lake on the one hand, and to Nile River and Mediterranean Sea on the other, is still the most diverse country comprised of Iranians of Moslems, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrian and Baha'is faith from two dozen diverse ethnicities. Simply because the west is in conflict with certain policies of the Iranian government at this juncture, that in and of itself does not rationalize demonetizing Iranian peoples who have continually struggled for true independent democracy, freedom and justice for at least 100 years since its first modern Constitution of 1906 was enacted.

David N. Rahni
Professor of dermatology, New York

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Ab fab!

On "Bush: Iran must halt production of long letters":

This must be one of the wittiest, well-written pieces I've come across on Iranian. com. It had me in absolute stitches for hours and made loose quite a few calories in chuckles! Ab fab!

ThanX

M Zahed

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Department of State is pleased, I'm not

On Omid Farda's "Please elaborate":

My good friend -- Omid Farda (very unlikely) -- wrote a typically polite but ridiculously long reactive piece  just to get around to asking me this favor -- "I have one request from Mr. Mirfendereski here and that is to elaborate in depth on Democracy and Freedom as start." No thanks, I choose not to and if that is not satisfying then he understands neither about freedom nor democracy. 

In Iran, as anywhere else in the world, the best form of government is benevolent dictatorship, just like the form of despotism that is most familiar in the patriarchal or matriarchal family settings of our beloved Resolute Nation and also in America. That certainly has been the Iranian model for 2,500 years and most countries in the world emulate it. Name me one country where the citizen is truly free or the system is truly democratic, as you subjectively understand these terms to mean.

To leave governance to platitudes like freedom and democracy is like wrapping kaka in crepe. It looks good and might even pass the smell test, but as Omid Farda knows well kaka rolled in crepe does not taste good, just as crap served from a casserole is still crap.

I have one question from Omid and some other like-minded writers on this site -- who usually hide behind funky screen names as if their identity is as sacred as an underground commando (insert here the utterance of "zeki" combined with the sound of shishaki). They constantly besiege us with shallow arguments and exhortations to democracy, secularism and freedom. By their drivel, is this the way they pose as "activists" in order to endear themselves to the Department of State that bankrolls "intellectual" discourse promoting regime change in Iran?

Guive Mirfendereski has a JD, PhD, MALD, MA and a BA and he levitates out of bed.

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Social democracy, better democracy

Here are a few notes by way of clarifying some concerns expressed regarding my recent article, "Kodaam mardom? Kodaam hokoomat?":

1. The Persian language is as strong as, if not stronger than, any other language when it comes to expressing facts and differentiating them from fiction.

2. Disagreement with the policies of the United States' government should certainly not be translated as agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

3. American style democracy is not the equivalent of Western style democracy.

4. Socialism is alive and thriving. Democracies that are founded on socialistic models are doing much better, in every way, than the narrow interpretation of democracy by the Neo Cons here in the US.

5. I certainly do not depend on Fox News and Rupert Murdoch's reading of democracy for my source of information. How can I be a leftist and at the same time get my news and information from Fox News and the like of New York Post? Someone needs to recheck his premises after thirty years of living in the US!

Hami Abghari
beeja.blogspot.com

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Only through open dialouge and free expression

On Goldust Jon's "I am Iranian first":

Mr. Goldust Jon,

I understand your concern regarding "Fighting words". Thank you for sharing it with me. I have some good friends who have similar views as yours but they are not verbally insultive when they oppose my views. Overall I beleive I like Iran as much as I like any other country including Russia, Israel, and US thsat you have mentioned. For now Iranian government is opposing the people of my origin, but the US does not, and I have more respect for the latter. What I express is only my personal opinion, which is giving priorotiy to Kurdistan first and then Iran.

Once there is a free Kurdistan, then I could become Iranain. Once there is a free Iran, then I could become a Middle Easterner, and so on. I might even not need to have any nationality at some point! If my views are tribal at this point, let it be. Your view happen to be the opposit and I respect it. I am not hurt by your opinion and hopefully nobody is hurt by mine either. Frankly I do not wish any harm to anybody, even those who have harmed the people of my origin.

Only through open dialouge and free expression, a society can move forward. I beleive iranian.com is an open forum and therefore I send them articles. It is up to them to decide not to publish my views. If they make such a decison, there is no hard feeling and I would continue to send my views to other open forums. Throughout the history many have tried to prevent free expression, but the world has not judged them as the servants of humanity. I have answered to most of your points in my other articles. For further details please refer to www.kaes.us/artin

Kamal Artin

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Sur and Suri

On Guive Mirfendereski's "Suri: A Corrputed Word?":

Initially, I had decided not to discuss the etymology of this word, for I thought by doing so, my note (May 3, 2006) would become too long and perhaps boring. Here's a brief note on the etymology of Suri, and affiliations between some of its meanings with other words in the Persian language (and also, very likely affiliation with some other words), for those who may be interested.

1. Sor, a slight different pronunciation and the equal to sur, means red (since very old times). It is the ancestor of the newer (relatively speaking) centuries old sorkh.

2. The color red, in Iran in antiquity, and through the ages and including at present, is a color symbolically representing happiness, and is a direct inspiration for its other meaning (sur/ sor, sooree/ soree a festivity, a celebration, for any specific purpose). That very old Haji Firouz wearing red clothing, is one definite and direct example. Please note that today in Iran, the color red has another symbolic reference also, which is religiously related for many Iranians and other than what is described above.

3. (From thousands of years ago) Soreeaa/Suriya means sun in Old Persian (equal to the Persian khorsheed, aaftaab). Possibly, its relationship to the color red and later to its second meaning for a festive celebration.

4. The name Soraya (sor-a-yaa) the older and equal in meaning, to the meaning for the name Parvin (parveen) means seven certain stars in the sky, which are visually very closely situated and clustered together, seeming as one star.

5. Sorood (song, a happy and uplifting song or hymn, naghmeh-e shaad, aavaaz, aavaaz-e tarab-angeez).

6. Soraayandeh, now and at present also pronounced sar-aa-yan-deh (meaning a vocalist/singer, and/or creator of musical lyrics, a poet), and sorood-gooy, etc., all have a strong relationship to a feeling for happiness and joy (sur/sor, a celebration, or a joyous festivity and gathering, for any certain purpose, and symbolically related to its older meaning, the color red).

7. Gol-e suri, which was predominantly in the color red since older times, its name is directly inspired from and related to the older preceding meaning for sur and suri (the color red).

When looking into this word (more in depth), I found the following (it is not related to this topic), however I thought some may find this interesting. In ancient times, Iranians had selected a certain species of flower as a symbol for every month of their 12 month calendar (some examples: gol-e Soosan for Kkordaad maah, gol-e Zanbagh for Mordaad maah, gol-e Yaasaman for Bahman maah).

Kaveh T.
Bethesda, MD

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Fashion in Iran

My name is Dr Luca Lo Sicco and I teach management and Fashion marketing at the Auckland University of technology in New Zealand. Last year I prepared an assignment for my students based on Iranian culture. Assignment that was so successful that I intend to repeat it this year. I would like to know if there are Universities in Teheran that teach Fashion and if it's possible I would like to have their address or website.

Dr Luca Lo Sicco
Senior Lecturer Postgraduate Studies
Faculty of Design and Creative Technology
School of Art & Design
Auckland University of Technology
extn.8155

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Violin lessons in DC

I just moved to Washington, DC from Los Angeles and am looking all over for an Iranian violin instructor so I can continue my lessons of Iranian classical music. To date I have been unsuccessful. I was hoping you could help put me in contact with someone -anything would be helpful. Thank you!

Shabnam

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Safe to say he's delusional

On Amil Imani's "He's no dummy":

Dear Mr. Imani,

Bravo for your article about the Iranian President. I agree he is no dummy but he might have a severe pathology. According to some experts distinction between sanity and insanity is not always clear. While overvalued ideas are thoughts in the border of sanity to insanity, delusions are clear indication of insanity.

In contrary to people with fanatic overvalued idea who have some doubt in the truth of their belief, people with delusion have a false and fixed belief excessive to their cultural or religious background. The severity of delusions depends on their affect on the affected individual or the people around them.

Based on your comments he has no doubt in the imminent emergence of Mahdi (savior), views himself as his vassal, and has made bizarre statements about historical facts such as holocaust. For such reasons it is safe that he is considered as delusional and evaluated by international experts before it is too late.

One could argue that that he might be suffering from a collective delusion, since only a small minority of 6 billion people in the world support his ideas. The fairest and safest option is that he is referred to an international court and while there, he can be evaluated by a team of independent forensic psychiatrists. Such an intervention might also lead to evaluation of other world leaders who have other pathologies such as xenophobia, psychopathy with no remorse for their crimes, paranoia etc. For more details please refer to an article of mine on this matter here.

Hataw Sarkawt

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Kudos from jomhoorieh eslami

On protests in Azarbaijan over cartoons:

I am terribly disapointed of Iranian.com lagging behind all in touching on what is happening in Iran. This shows Iranian.com's true respect for democratic values. It is treating news and happenings of utmost important in a discriminatory way. Iranian.com deserves kudos from jomhoorieh eslami. Wake up Javid aziz.

jigati tatato

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Do I look like a sigaar-foroosh?

My name is Behyar from New York.

I was interested in purchasing few cartons of Iranian cigarettes, 57 or Bahman. Do you sell any or maybe you can recommend me where do get it from.

Thanks you very much,

Behyar

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I am an Iranian first!

On Kamal Artin's "Fighting words":

Artin,

Don't stir the pot! I am a Kurd, but I am an Iranian first! I love kurdestan as part of Iran, not apart from Iran! You only love kudestan, and hate Iran! Iranian.com is for the IRANIANS, not the separatists who are working indirectly for israel and other states who want to tear Iran apart. what does hating the current government has to do with hating Iran? Governments come and go, but we make sure Iran stays the same!

Let's be clear here, I am not one of those who has written to you and threatened you in the past, but I read your articles, and I think you should stop using this site for your separatist movement! It seems as though you belong to the kurdish democratic party who tried to take over the army garrison in Sanandaj right after the revolution and killed many innocent soldiers. However, they were defeated! If you are a former communist why didn't you flee to the Soviet Union? You don't love America, you're only using it for convenience, as you're using Iranian.com, to dismantle Iran! If that's not being a traitor then what is it? Imagine someone in the US wanting to separate California from the US? Wouldn't he be considered a traitor?

Create your own site with the kurdish flag which has the Iranian color. I love kurds! They are wonderful people, with whom I have spent many years of my youth among them in Sanandaj. But you, with your tribal mentality, just sit in the comfort of your US home and create problem for others, preaching hate rather than love among people of the same origin! Just pick up your soviet, or israeli weapon and go fight along the israelis and spy against Iran and hopefully you're going to be successful in bombing Iran and getting rid of mullahs. Of course, as you know the israelis are already buying land in kurdestan and are very active in their conspiracy against Iran. They need you! Join them, and overthrow the government! Stop Using this site, if you hate Iran!

Goldust Jan

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No such thing

On Nicole Pajoohi's "Irooni-baazi":

I enjoyed reading Nicole Pajoohi's piece largely because it had nothing to do with soccer, nukes, or admiration of freedom and democracy. I am not sure of the comedic value of the piece, though, as I found it more a foray into self-discovery than humor. Be that as it may -- I could not understand why the anecdotes that she related in her diary should necessarily or exclusively be labeled "Irooni-baazi."

Would Nicole have characterized the conversation between the two Irooni guys differently were they girls? What she casts as Irooni-baazi replays as a scene the world over in different places and cultures every day. There is nothing typically Irooni about two guys talking about "chasing skirt" (an English term, not Farsi) or "getting wasted" (another English term, not Farsi). Booze and girls -- hardly an exclusive Irooni thing.

I wonder if Nicole would have written her piece differently if the two interlocutors were Iranian girls deep in conversation on the way to the dressing room? As for the boys playing doctor with the attendant so that they be let inside the dressing room, well, hardly Irooni-baazi. It is boy-talk and not exactly quintessential Persian behavior. If this stuff constitutes Irooni-baazi then, I guess, it should take a certain level of knowledge of the esoteric that escapes me.

I am sorry that George Mason occupies such a lowly station vis a via an equally lousy place like the University of Virginia. I can say this though, Mason has a better basketball team. So what if some mother thinks the world of her daughter's school choice? I expect Nicole to be better than the Irooni-baaz whom she deplores and not be bothered by any of this.

Irooni-baazi is just the act of Iranians being themselves, no different from other people being themselves. If there is such a thing as Irooni-baazi, I suppose its epitome is the very sense of az-ma-behtaran that I hope Nicole did not mean to conveys of herself.

I like her style of writing and wish her great success in this forum.

Guive Mirfendereski

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One poor bastard

On "Chaotic traffic reminds me of home (sniff sniff)":

Call me sadistic -- I was hoping that toward the end of the video, the intersection would be deserted except one poor bastard walking across the street and then -- ZAP -- gets hit by some truck out of the blue! How ironic, no?

Guive Mirfendereski

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Typical Iranian leftist

On Homayoun Abghari's "Kodaam mardom? Kodaam hokoomat?":

Dear Mr. Abghari,

I read your article in Iranian Website, it was interesting and very personal understanding from American democracy. I have been living in US for 30 years and I have not experienced American society and democracy the way you described in your article.

Your article is a personal description of American democracy reminds me typical of Iranian leftists. Some Iranian leftist intellectual that I know are very ignorant of understanding the Western democracy and its limitation (specifically American). I don't know where did you get your Information about American Democracy (hope not just FOX News).

I hope you have lived or still living in US? However, you are missing the point about democracy of US in large and falling into the trap of perfectionism, which is comparable to zealously of any ideology. In addition your article was in Persian it did not help you much (Persian language has tendency to take you into path of dreaming not reality).

Esmail

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Tarof and lying

On Ben Madadi's "Culture of lying":

I really appreciated the article about Iranian lying. There is, though, the difference, between Tarof and lying for its own sake or to gain advantage. Many Iranians stop at a little Tarof and are honest. Unfortunately, some wouldn't know the truth if it bit them, so to speak. The habit of lying can grow until it does all kinds of damage, including to the liar,who doesn't know he or she lies to herself as well. In the end, they don't know who they are.

Nancy

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Eshghe man

I'm dying to know what song these lyrics are from... can u at least help translate them?

eshghe man yadam kon gahi
ke be del daram ahi
to ke az dardam agahi
ye donya ye donya ashegham man
bedoon ke be eshghet sadegham man
maste khisho man maste eshgam
age nabashi mimiram
bia ke omar az sar giram

thanks :)

maryam

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A smaller Persia

On Little Bird's cartoon, "Shrinking Persian empire":

The splendors of the past, of Persia, of the Silk Road, of Andalusia (700 years!), of Baghdad’s Abbasid glorious times, of Saladin’s Jerusalem and his Ayouybee’s Egypt-based Islamic empire.

But maybe not so sad. Could small not be beautiful & delightful, too?  Could small not be cultural and interesting, too? Imperial bigness of a nation, especially modern empires, have not always done much good either for itself or for the nations it controlled.

Let’s remember the stagnant and corrupt Soviet Union, the British Empire, the French Empire... In our modern United Nations times, maybe the world would be better off with diversity and equality of opportunity for all nations, cultures, languages... France, Holland, Italy... etc are all smaller... yet they enjoy and export their splendid cultures to the world.  A smaller Persia or Turkey or Iraq - allowing the right of self determination for their so called minority nationss - could do the same for a smaller, more focused Persia.  

Or:  Iran and Iraq could go me federal of many states like the United States or Canada.  Still, small can be delightful, like France, or civilized, thriving and stable like small Sweden or Norway to which tens of thousands of Third World nationserisk their lives to immigrate to, including Turks escaping their forced “big” Turkey, and Chinese, also escaping their huge land. Just some random thoughts from New York- the capital of the Third World - so not to be taken too literally please!

JJ Newroz

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Source schmource

On "Imam Zaman: Alive and kicking (for now)":

Would you please let me know the source of the following story on your site?

Hadi M

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Ignorance leads to disaster

On Little Bird's cartoon, "Shrinking Persian empire":

If we ignore the fact that Amerigo Vespucci years before Columbus had explored the America, Christopher Columbus is widely known as the first man that stepped into the new world. So, why Columbus is known to be the first one? Because he was the first one that had ideological and economical plan to transform the new world into a supporting source for revitalizing Spanish Empire.

As a result, Christopher Columbus has a legacy that can be recognized with its two unique identifiers. Firstly, despite that he perfectly knew his new marine path to India was most likely a misleading slogan and would not take him to India, still he took the path and named his journey as “A New Path to India”. The second one is when he arrived in “India of West” and was greeted by the people that were totally different from Indians, still he insisted to call them Indians.

Choosing a new path to India was not logical or justifiable by economy. All the well known passages to India at the time were economically adequate and did not require a need for identifying any new marine path. Columbus voyaged out his way towards the new world because he was simply curious. As all of us know, having a sense of curiosity is good and it is the source of creativity but moderation is the key. His curiosity turned out to be much more costly beyond the value of queen Isabel’s gold and his sailors’ lives, not to mention the lives of thousands or millions of natives of the so-called new world. I would like to call this legacy of Columbus as “Blind Curiosity Legacy”.

Furthermore, when Columbus arrogantly named the natives of the new world the Indians, he contradicted his first legacy, the blind curiosity legacy. In his first legacy there is a small trace of science involved. A man without having any pretext or prejudgment is in search of facts and he is exploring the available alternatives more or less blindly. But in the second legacy, he goes against the grain and insistently ignores the fact. The fact that the people of the new world did not look like Indians, nor they lived, talked, cooked, eaten, and had sex like them. Let us call this legacy as “Arrogant Ignorance Legacy”.

Looking back into the history, one can find no solution when curiosity gathers with ignorance, while the result becomes a disaster. As we later see, the outcome of exploring the new world was neither in favor of Christopher Columbus nor the Queen Isabel of Spain. Because after massacring the natives, Columbus’ reputation as a man of science and exploration sharply dropped and he was exposed as a ruthless in nature. On the other hand the wide expansion of the Spanish imperialism exponentially spread thin that later resulted in the Spanish Empire explosion from the within.  

Christopher Columbus ran the idea of voyaging towards the new world on religious and economical platforms. In the meantime these two, religion and money, were perfectly serving the purposes of his curiosity and arrogance.

Accordingly, one of the main factors that were holding the Spanish monarch’s head above the water was the support of Catholic Church. The Spanish monarch needed that support in order to cover ugly face of the reality of what was going on in the new world. The reality of invading/exploring the new world by reading religious mumbles into people’s ears. Remember that Spaniards massacred the natives of the new world in the name of God and perhaps democracy.

In addition, the religion was also directly supporting to Columbus’s idea whenever he was in shortcoming of the facts for convincing his men to take extraordinary actions that would not make sense otherwise. You imagine that the sailors had to paddle their tail off for thousands of miles with no planning, no adequate equipments and nutrition, no map, and most importantly no women for a year or so.

On the other hand, Columbus was facing another challenge. He had to convince the other crowd in the Spanish court yard, the bankers who were not taking religious crap as a business plan. Columbus justified his economical reasons of invading the new world by promising them with gold and spices. After all, he was going to find a new path to India, the land of gold and spices. Therefore, shortly after El Salvador became the first victim in the row of Columbus’ invasions.

Columbus chose the name El Salvador, The Savior in English, for two reasons. One that to show his loyalty to his Christian believes and the second, to emphasize that that piece of land saved his ass and his reputation and also royal families’ face for funding the project.

However, the history proved both, Columbus and Queen Isabel were wrong. Spain failed to revitalize the Spanish Empire despite of genocide of the natives, funding tremendous amount of money, and applying gigantic diplomatic efforts to legitimize their invasion. As a result soon Spanish territories were disintegrated to the smaller countries and a whole lot of other invasions started by other European countries.

Bottom line, ignorance and curiosity are two main ingredients of making a perfect disaster by consuming money and religion. I hope we don’t ignore the history otherwise we are condemned to repeat it.

Mohsen 

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Good chunk

On Jahanshah Javid's "Born again in the USA":

Funny I was thinking "like father like daughter" when I read your genes comment - respectfully disagree...  a gooood chunk of what she has, she has from you.

Aref

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