Letters

June 2007

Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3

June 6

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Not evolved one iota after 30 years

On Javad Fakharzadeh's "Inside look":

After reading Javad Fakharzadeh's "Iran: Inside Look" essay it is quite apparent that I would only be wasting my time if I were to try to reason with him. Having said that though, I will make one comment: he says that he left Iran in 1977 and only returned recently, and yet despite an interval of 30 years having passed he has apparently not evolved one iota.

Life should be about development, improvement and enlightenment, not about retaining our youthful prejudices, biases and ignorance. His thinly-veiled bigotry ("Zionism" is such a quaint, but hateful, word when used in certain contexts) has been revealed for all to see in his discourse. Elevating tyrants, whether it be Khomeini or the Shah, to mythical stature and attributing qualities to them that they never possessed during their lives is dangerous and misguided.

One thing has always puzzled me about people who have found their birth countries to be either so lacking or dangerous that they have uprooted their families and lives to emigrate to what must often be totally alien cultures and societies. Why do they bring their problems with them to their new homes? Please leave the nonsense and strife where it is.

For instance, every week during the summer months in my hometown (I guess that demonstrating loses its appeal in cold winter weather), opposing groups of pro-Israel and anti-Israel immigrant demonstrators congregate on opposite corners of a busy downtown intersection and glare at each other for an hour at high noon while waving their flags and placards.

Not once, however, has any one of them crossed the street to engage in a discussion with the supposed enemy. This is indeed a pity since dialogue might promote understanding. In any case, if you don't intend to attempt to resolve your differences, please leave them in the Middle East (or elsewhere) and don't export them to where they really don't have any value or merit.

"As a footnote", perhaps one reason why Javad Fakharzadeh saw no graffiti on the Metro is not in fact due to the people's respect, but rather due to their realization that some acts committed in totalitarian regimes may land them in jail or worse.

W.K. Angmar

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Iran is thriving (wish it was more democrtic)

On Javad Fakharzadeh's "Inside look":

Kudos to Mr. Fakharzadeh for his insightful and accurate article about Iran. I don't agree, like Mr. Fakharzadeh, with political oppression in Iran but the country economically, including after the US sanction of the past 27 years, is thriving. You can see heavy construction cranes in every city.

People are political frustrated, especially women, but they express their opinions openly in every coffee shops, taxi, metro, family gatherings...etc. This may sound of little importance to those who were not around Pahlavi's oppressive regime. During that time, you were afraid of talking to your neighbors and friends about complete political oppression in Iran.

I was there during the New Year and every shops and restaurants were full of people and I am not talking about northern part of Tehran but southern part like (old names) Ameerieh, Moneereh. Old Shahreno has been turned to a large park, I used to live around there. The best jokes around the city were about Mullahs.

These Neo-Cons and Zionists sympathizer really don't know what they are talking about. On the other hand, I wish Iran becomes a more democratic country and I hope democracy will flourish from within the country.

Foad

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Iranians indeed deserved him

On Javad Fakharzadeh's "Inside look":

I understand Javad's joy on the anniversay of Ayatollah Khomeini's death. What I don't understand is what is difference between the Zionists and the Israelis? Are these two seperate entities conspiring against Iran? By Zionists is he referring to World Jewry? Perhaps by Zionists he is referring to the Freemasons and the Bahais?

Let me congragulate the Iranians on the celebration of the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, they indeed deserved him and my good wishes for them is that they may get even more such leaders they so deserve and yearn for.

Even Rock

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He is the reason that we have become homeless!

On Javad Fakharzadeh's "Inside look":

The problem is that you have been away for too long! Only some idiots might like khomeini who is in hell, I hope! He caused so much destruction including the destruction of our country, the people, and millions of deaths which still continues! He is the reason that we have become homeless!

This regime is criminal, not much different from sharon, only they do it to our own people! in fact, his followers are the ones who killed khomeini's son too, because he opposed them! However, I would never want Israel and US-UK take advantage of our anger towards the regime and bring another puppet government! Now that would be a real catastrophe, since the original intention of the revolution also would be down the tube and we would look like real fools making israleis very happy to screw us up again!

Therefore, I am against all outside (crusaders) intervention since it only benefits them not us! They don't give a damn about us! If they leave us alone, the regime would fall by the Iranians themselves!

How dare you even visiting his gold shrine that is built by the blood of our people? You sound as though you are hezbollahi, in that case i don't want to bother writing anymore!

Jon

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How did this Khomeini benefit humanity?

On Javad Fakharzadeh's "Inside look":

I am always boggled by types like you -- ahkoond types -- how on earth did you grow up Iranian? You probably never went to mehmoonies or danced with girls at sizdaeh bedar, hell you're probably still a virgin! Honestly, you along with this entire satanic, godless, and murderous regime are aberrations of true Persian heritage; we are freedom loving and peace loving individuals who respect our brilliant history, but visiting the shrine of a genocidal medieval mullah is frankly unsuited for our kind. How did this man benefit humanity? How has this regime benefitted the people of Iran?

You forgot to mention how Tehran looks exactly the same as it did during the Shah's reign, nothing really has changed or further developed -- except for maybe 2-3 million heroin addicts roaming the streets, but then again just like their leader, they are oddly the most cared for group of people in Iran. Javad, your trip to visit the grave of a man who should be tried for crimes against humanity, was absurd and outrageous -- why don't you tell your litte story to Akbar Mohammadi's mother? or Haleh Esfandiari's husband? or the men today who were manipulated in joining the basiji with only a key at the fresh age of 13? Seriously I wish someone can help you, maybe a hooker?

Sincerly,

Monica Zandi

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Impressed so easily by a clean metro

On Javad Fakharzadeh's "Inside look":

I think you have omitted one important fact about Khomeini's legacy. He killed almost 2,500,000 people since taking over the government in Iran in 1979. It is 100 times more than the number of people killed during Shah's regime, as is told by Khomeini's grandson himself ("if" he has told the truth).

And still I am not talking about the unknown number of people getting imprisoned, beaten and tortured. And I am not still talking about women who have lost their basic human rights. And I am not still talking about other issues like corruption, unemployment, the treatment of minorities and total lack of freedom of speech. And I am not still talking about missing academics, silenced journalists and scared ordinary people (that maybe all they want and all they need is only a litle bit of joy and hope). This list, unfortunately, can go on for a very long time...

Now, if you can get impressed so easily by a clean metro without graffiti to the point of mentioning it in your article about Khomeini's legacy, I wish, while riding in that clean metro in Tehran, you should have also remembered these other legacies of Khomeini and his followers asphyxiating Iran since 1979.

No Regards,

Azarin Sadegh

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Shame on those who glorify this terrorist

On Javad Fakharzadeh's "Inside look":

Don't you know that the former President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Rafsanjani, along with one of the greatest mass murderers in recent history, the Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini Hendi, are directly responsible for the death of millions of Iranians.?

Ayatollah Khomeini was the father of Islamic terrorism. On the occasion of the birthday of Imam Ali, Ayatollah Khomeini said:

"Qur'an says; kill, imprison! Why are you only clinging to the parts that talk about mercy? Mercy is against God. Mehrab means the place of war, the place of fighting. Out of the mehrabs, wars should proceed, just as all the wars of Islam used to proceed out of the mehrabs. The prophet has [had] sword to kill people. Our [Holy] Imams were quite military men. All of them were warriors. They used to wield swords; they used to kill people. We need a Khalifa who would chop hands, cut throats, stone people. In the same way that the messenger of God used to chop hands, cut throats, and stone people; in the same way that he massacred the Jews of Banu Qurazyza, because they were a bunch of discontented people. If the Prophet used to order the burning of a house or the extermination of a tribe, that was justice."

Shame on those who glorify this terrorist. Shame...indeed.

Amil Imani

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Someone had to say it

On Kaveh Nouraee's "Open your eyes":

Great piece... I’m glad someone said it. We we’re all thinking it, but someone had to say it... once again, great piece!

BG

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Can we bring change without outside help?

On Kaveh Nouraee's "Open your eyes":

Dear Mr. Nouraee,

I was quite intrigued by the last paragraph. Your passion and anger were so translucent and closely felt, and while I agree with a lot of the things you mentioned I have one question for you in reference to your last paragraph.

In an ideal world, when a country requires a change and or an improvement it is best for that change to come from within and without the interference of the outside world. However, when you are dealing with a government such as ours whose so brutal and inhuman with absolutely no mercy or humanitarian believes, how can you stand up to their guns and prisons!! 

We have had the most number of protests and demonstrations over the last few years. More than ever before, recently we have had protests organized by WOMEN an indication on how much things have changed internally and how fed up and ready people are for a change... but what came out of all these protests??

And now, even our American Iranian citizens are being arrested with wrong accusations in Iran. Having said that I am not trying to say that people should sit back and do nothing, but my point is do you truly believe that we can bring the required change all alone without an outside help????

I certainly do not want to sound skeptical, and therefore would love to hear some suggestions as to how we could possibly bring these changes on our own?

Shah was not as brutal as Khomeini and in fact he was quite hopeless in many ways, yet if it wasn't for the help of UK and USA that revolution would have had never taken place!!!

In my opinion, we need a few and not even one, educated, open-minded, democratic Muslim candidates to give our people hope and energy to fight and to move forward. We need for people (perhaps such as yourself) who reside outside of Iran with diplomatic/ political interest to make themselves known and to nominate themselves. With the right help and good candidates I think a change would be more achievable.

AR

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Obvious anger

On Kaveh Nouraee's "Open your eyes":

"Open your eyes " was the cause for me to read the earlier letter "Inside look" by J.F.. Here is my view: "Open your eyes"  was written with hate and anger, where the other "Inside look" was simple observations noted by a visitor. 

In my view  Mr K.N. needs to broaden his thoughts and views, and get rid of his anger before commenting on other's views. An Anger, so obvious, which totally shells and controls his thoughts. I wonder how many others share this view with me.

Hasan Sadri

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Majority accepting the rule of minority

In response Hasan Sadri's "Obvious anger":

Dear Mr. Sadri,

Thank you for your message and expression of your view. Indeed, in "Inside look" my point about Khomeini was purely my personal observation as a visitor to my motherland Iran. In fact, if I had an American or European name, I would not have received numerous hatred and threatening letters from a few compatriots objecting to my view point.

In regards to my statement that there's a national holiday spanning to the full week; I feel this must not be the norm shutting down universities, schools, offices and businesses nationwide for the full week causing economical pressure to the already depress economy and social pressures.

They say there're three classes of people: those who know what's happening and get involved (in minority); those who are aware of the problems, but shy away form doing anything (and add to the mounting social and economical problems); and those who have no clue what's happening; and follow what's been given to them; accept the events at all costs and don't have a clue what to do.

It is believed that the minority is running the show in Iran and the majority of the people seem to accept; or forced to accept the ill-policies being played for them. General public have no say on issues because of the lack of democracy and afraid to get involved. I was amazed of the apathy in all levels/ages of people to care about social problems.

As an example: there are millions of pot holes in the streets of Tehran as well as in side walks (fell down in pot holes several times and hurt my foot); and when I ask the people why don't you do something about this problem by calling the authorities? they replied: "it won't work, no one would listen to you!!!!"

So I started calling myself w/o worrying of imprisonment or to get beat up! And it worked in a few instances; One "Modireh Kol" thanked me for reporting a mechanical problem in bus we took from Chalus to Tehran and gave me his personal phone line the next time we use his company's bus line.

What today's Iran needs are to rid 'apathy' which is mixed with ignorance and illiteracy. We need to fight back with this problem as our ultimate goal to fix the social ills of our community. That's the best medicine we all can work together for a healthy society.

Javad Fakharzadeh

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Bon Voyage!

On Abbas Soltani's "Safar bekheyr":

Thank you for the advice! However, if you spend a little money ($50) and get a VIP ticket, you need not to worry about anything, since they take care of everything for you! From the time you get off the airplane they come to pick you up and you enjoy the SHIRINI and tea while you are chatting with your family who can come and visit you in a beautiful room with friendly people! I loved it!

Bon Voyage!

Jon

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Where's the justification for recounting a story so profoundly personal?

On Esmail Nooriala's recollection of Forough Farrokhzad's funeral: "Tadfeene yek shaaer":

I value such efforts to cronicle the lives of our giants. Mr. Nooriala has a nack of reaching to the depths of his memory and bringing to life his observations from the past for the benefit of those who would not otherwise know.

But, two reservations: firstly, how does he think he has helped by relating the story in the cafe or restaurant about a confrontation with an old aquaintence of Forough. I have searched deep within to find a justification for recounting a story so profoundly personal to a public figure of Forough's stature. I am not against such slavery to truth, but the context should be bourne in mind.

Secondly, Mr. Nooriala deviates from his claim that he aims only to portray what he has witnessed when he writes "I don't think Golestan has even paid a visit to the cemetery". Settling what seems to me to be personal accounts in such informative article devalues it and damages its integrity.

Afshin B

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Rights of Iranians subordinate to hatred of US and Israel?

On Sergei Etonhurst's "Disciple of political expediency":

A) Mr. Sergei Etonhurst or whatever his real name is have all his facts wrong. Sergei starts his attacks by first claiming that he is "hardly a supporter nor an apologist of the Islamic regime". Reading through his piece makes it evident though that he has decided to be untrue to his readers at the get-go: he seems to be both an apologist and a supporter of the Iranian regime. As silly as it is to get into the legalese of Iranian regime's actions as far as its nuclear ambitions are concerned (a path that Sergei has chosen), I should remind him that the Iranian regime had kept Natanz and Arak facilities hidden from international surveillance in direct defiance of the IAEA rules. The regime admitted to their existence only after revelations by an opposition group. Countries like Israel or India never signed the non-proliferation treaty. This means among others that they are not eligible to any help from other signatories of the treaty as far as developing nuclear infrastructure is concerned. Iran is a signatory. You cannot sign a treaty that makes you eligible to its benefits at the same time as hiding facilities such as Natanz and Arak, admitting that they exist only after you are busted! Please go and have your facts straight. Read Hasan Rohani's (regime's former chief nuclear negotiator) memoir. Your knowledge seems to be limited to what you hear from your drunk buddies during your weekend bar-hopping trips.

B) Sounds like that a tiny dose of facts has turned Mr. Etonhurst to Mr. Etonburst. Etonburst again chooses the path of stupid legalese to defend regime's "rights" (that Natanz and Arak were infractions not violations), missing the whole point in the process. Mr. burst may be an Iranian agent turning into a Sergei to hide his/her true identity. If he is indeed a Sergei (meaning that he is not an Iranian), I advise him to hold his breath when talking about apartheid at the same time as defending the "legal" rights of a regime which has established the biggest apartheid system in the world based on gender and adherence to its backward ideology. And again if he is a true Sergei he most likely doesn't understand that there are Iranians in this world who care about their country more than Sergei's of the world hate Bush or Israel. To me it is about well-being and security of the Iranian people who have to see their potentially rich and cultured nation impoverished, threatened, and oppressed as a bunch of mad men pursue nuclear ambitions. To Sergei's of this world, on the other hand, the rights of Iranian people are subordinate to hatred of US and Israel. Sergei's of the world have to silence all voices they suspect may play into the hands of the Bush administration or Israel. Go and play your stupid anti-American anti-Israeli game somewhere else.

Sheema Kalbasi

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Iranians should do more to reclaim Molana

On Shahriar Zahedi's "Mowlana ye Rum":

Ghashang toozih dadid -- mamnoon. Would make a good subject for a short play. Iranians should do more to reclaim Molana... not just from the Turkish onslaught but from the American bastardization of his lyrical poems and westernization of his philosophy. (Did he really have a philosophy? Sufism is more a way of life than a doctrine of philosophy.)

Our greatest claim to him is really our common language, not where he grew up or what he ate or whom he prayed to. And his greatest legacy is his writings (masnavi, which is more of historical, cultural-anthropological value) and his poems -- which like Hafez, Sadi, Khayyam, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, etc. -- have pleasure-value even today.

How do we, as Iranians, enjoy Molana today? Not when eating cholo-kabob, as he might have done, or sipping chai or praying. But when we read his words, laugh and cry with him over a lost love or a new-found one, and at the sheer beauty of the entangled waltz of his words.

We who understand him in his native tongue, should do more to bring more of that to the world.

Moe

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We should count on the support of our American government

In response to "you just prolonged their captivity" comment on news about President's Bush demand for the release of Iranian-Americans held in Iran:

I think It's great that Bush is saying something on this subject. We are all Iranian Americans and if our life is in danger we should count on the support of our American government. Please do not mix politics with the captivity of the Iranians. We have seen that silence does nothing, as the British stayed silent and nothing happened So they started to raise their voice and the sailors became free eventually. It's great that Bush is saying something on this subject. Again Please don't mix politics with the detentions of the Iranians.

From a fan of iranian.com.

Ardy

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Did nothing for Abu Gharaib, Renditions, Guantanamo, Habeas corpus ...

On Ari Siletz's "Works like magic":

Mr. Siltez,

"The collective stare of humanity awakens the sense of decency in human rights violators" did not do anything for Abu Gharaib, Renditions, Guantanamo, Habeas corpus ...etc.. Did it Mr. Siltez?

I am sorry to say that we are setting the humanitian standards here.

Foad

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Good chefs don't make good businessmen

On Faramarz Fateh's "As good as sex":

Seeing that Mr. Fateh is Middle-aged, fund of calorie-rich, high cholesterol foods (especially if he piles on the butter and the egg yolk on his kebab), I would recommend that he doesn't visit most of Iranian restaurants in London. The sight of the bill will certainly be no help to his cardio-vascular health, aside from which it is very hard to find decent chelo kabab in London nowadays . I guess good chefs don't make good businessmen and vice versa.

Heating,

Borzou Aram

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Chelo kabab in Sacramento

On Faramarz Fateh's "As good as sex":

We have three Persian restaurants in the Sacramento area, Famous Kabob in Sacramento, Shahrzad in Rancho Cordova and Kolbeh Kabob in Orangevale. All three have excellent food as well as excellent atmosphere and all three have very reasonable prices. I am a red blooded Persian male but my kids (half and halfs) and their spouses (Mexican and Portugese) seem to crave the food more than I.

Soroush

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Zole is a professional

On Sophie Saviour's "Zoleikha!":

When reading Ms. Saviour’s article, I was stunned that Zoleikha was referred in such a negative manner. Zoleikha (or Zole) is currently my personal trainer and I started training with her three months ago.  I always tell my friends, if you want a trainer “you go to Zole or save your money and go to Hawaii”.  She is a unique and powerful trainer and anyone who has worked with her have experienced amazing results, including myself.  I agree with Ms. Saviour, she is “good-looking” and I like to also add that she is a beautiful person on the inside. 

What I admire about her is that she is committed to the success of her clients.  Strength-training (and becoming physically stronger) can be challenging however it is a rewarding experience.  Zole’s program is not a quick fix but essentially creating a lifestyle which requires a long-term commitment.  I’ve been fortunate to meet most of her clients before and after my workouts, most are women, not all are “middle-aged Iranian men.”  Though, I am not clear why it would be an issue for her to have male clients. 

Zole is a professional when she trains her clients, and both men and women should benefit from her fitness program.  Zole empowers her clients to become physically, spiritually, and mentally stronger.  I think it is pretty impressive to hear that Zole receives comments like “she is amazing” from both men and women. It’s the truth, she is amazing!  She is motivated to educate herself in order to be an effective and powerful trainer.  As a client, I am making the right investment.  Her knowledge and passion has helped me jump over the many hurtles I experience in my fitness and health journey.   Whether you pay her in cash, credit card, or cheque, she is worth every penny. I guarantee it!

Leila Pejman

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You have absolutely no class, lady!

On Sophie Saviour's "Zoleikha!":

I believe that Saviour has very poor judgment against someone like Zoleikha. She has no idea who Zoli is & how hard she works & what a fantastic inspiration she is to every man & woman whom she works out with.

Please pass this on to Saviour from me, If you have anything personal against Zoli, you don't have to waste everyone's time with your BS. Just call Zoli & find out first hand what she's all about.

As far as I'm concern you have absolutely no class lady!!!

Thank you

Sanaz

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Do you have her number?

On Sophie Saviour's "Zoleikha!":

By sheer coincidence, my doctor recently told me to lose some pounds and get in shape. Zoli may be just the motivation I need. Do you have her number by any chance?

Seriously though I don’t see anything wrong with it. The very “elm” you are using today – the internet – a major factor in its rapid development before commercialization took over was that of sharing pictures of beautiful bodies. I know it was a welcome break on occasion during my own quest for “elm.”

We should teach our children core values like respect, honesty, truthfulness, compassion and kindness, rather than what profession to pursue. This world is full of charlatan doctors and lawyers, engineers and feigned do-gooders.

Now where did I put my spandex shorts.

Moe

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You said it, brother!

On Siamack Baniameri's "Good hair day":

Siamack, brother! You said it. That's probably the most accurate take on the game I've heard so far.

SK

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Depends on values and passions in life

On Sophie Saviour's "Zoleikha!":

My immediate reaction to your piece is: Yes, parents' position should always be to encourage and support their kids in what they have passion for and have shown competence in. This results from quality of parent's connection with that child all along; ie. knowing that child's temperament, learning style, motivations in the context of their family values, etc.

So whether an individual likes to become a competent personal trainer or a scientist, depends on what he/she can invest in with heart and soul; aside from their parents' ego- pleasing/narcissistic tendencies. To sum up, "Elm or Body": All good depending on that person's values and passions in life.

By the way, there are lots of attractive scientists with great bodies out there, who have their fellow students and department faculty drooling over them! If some of them don't have Zoleikha's body, they sure have sexy minds to compensate for it.

Enjoyed your article,

Monda

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The secret to our survival as a nation is our cohesiveness

On Ben Madadi's "Republic of Intimidation":

Dear Mr. Ben Madadi,

Read your article. I can see your frustration, and it is unfortunate that you are insulted in such a manner. Being Iranian is a state of mind. It is in our blood and our genes. No other country in the world can claim the unity that we have enjoyed for thousands of years. Indeed, no other country in the world can claim the same name, geographical location and culture for about three thousand years. As far as those who claim Persian superiority to other ethnic groups, if you analyze their ancestral roots you will find that they are not even ethnic Persians, but rather they are Iranians.

I recall a friend years ago who kept boasting about being Persian during the same conversation wherein he declared that he was related to the Ghajar dynesty, which clearly made him an ethnic Turk. I mentioned that to him and also advised him that I, with both parental ancesstory being from the ancient Persian settlement / city of Kazeroon (there are Sassanid coins that have Kazerroon as the minting city and the Shahpour cave is around Kazeroon along with various other ancient Persian ruins), was probably more Persian than him without boasting about it. Persians where only one, albeit the dominant, tribe of the Iranian territories.

Incidentally, the word Azarbijan relates back to the name of its post Alexander Macedonian ruler of Atropat who ruled the satrapy called Media Atropatene, which included Azarbijan. Iran and Iranians are comprised of a multitude of races, ethnic groups and cultures. Even the original Achamenid kings did not think twice about taking wives from various Iranian (and non-Iranian) tribes.....which meant that their successor sons were often of mixed ethnic and racial backgrounds.

It is true that Iranian Azeris have contributed a great deal to the Iranian culture and history. To that end, our culture is such an amalgam of the various tribes that make us "Iranians" that it is virtually impossible for us to separate and / or distinguish what custom of tradition originated in what part of the country. The secret to our survival as a nation is our cohesiveness. Notwithstanding the ethnic jokes in Iran, racism and ethnocentrism is a Western concept that is unfortunately seeping into our culture through the information superhighway. As I am sure you are aware, unlike the West, intermarriage among various ethnic groups (or races if you wish to call them that) is normal and quite common in Iran, and is a concept that most often is not even taken into consideration by Iranians.

In sum, going down the ethnocentric path will only lead to a dangerous outcome for our nation. People who advocate ethnocentrism need to realize that it is one thing to make a statement for a momentary feeling of false and self induced superiority, but is quite another to advocate a notion that will cause division in a beautiful, multicultural nation that has lived, for the most parts, in harmony, with pride, for thousands of years.

DK

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Inappropriate song

On Persian Mafia's rap song "Miti Joon":

This is such an inappropriate song. I cant not believe u post it.

Ziba

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Even in a free society, there are rules

On Lance Raheem's "Perverts have rights, too":

Your article was an excellent analysis of what censorship is and why it is important in an open and free society for us to support the rights of other, even though we may not agree with them. I agree that limiting the rights of others has a direct, negative impact on my rights. As a matter of fact, I found myself agreeing with pretty much everything you wrote. I do have a concern, though.

Let me start by saying that I am one of the ones who wrote a letter expressing my disgust in Hajiagha’s cartoons. I, unlike many others, did not call for his removal off the site. I believe that he has as much right in sending in his cartoons as I have the right to criticize them. Iranian.com has provided a forum where we, Iranians who have been living and are educated in the west/free-world can test our “freedom skills”. I am, however, saddened that his cartoons take up space that can be used by some excellent articles and wonderful literary pieces, but that is the price I am more than happy to pay to maintain the spirit of freedom on this site.

My one concern is, even in a free society, there are rules. Some of these rules are called decency rules or guidelines. For example, you cannot publish a children’s book and put pornographic pictures in it. That is an extreme example, but where is the line? At what point do you tell me that exercising my freedom to do whatever it is I want to do, needs to remain within some guidelines? I will use a physical example: I cannot use my freedom to swing a baseball bat in a crowded shopping center. I am infringing on other people’s freedom to walk around.

So what about Haji’s cartoons? Do you not agree that if some readers find his material offensive, their freedom is infringed upon? What if this group becomes a majority, is it then “Kosher” to have Haji’s cartoons banned from this site? Would that be a blow to freedom everywhere? What if we find out that a percentage of Iranian.com readers are young Iranians under the age of 18? Would that change our stance on his pornographic cartoons? I am not sure what the answer is. Personally, I don’t like his ideas, his cartoons or what he stands for, but I am still OK with him doing what he does, I just won’t “press the left button on my mouse”!

Here is another thought, what if a contributor sends in a pornographic picture? Would we be OK with it being published? Would we allow him/her to “exercise his freedom” so not to jeopardize ours?

Kaveh Niakan

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Perverts do not have rights

On Lance Raheem's "Perverts have rights, too":

Perverts do not have rights. I will give my life that you can talk freely but not profanity, that is not expression of freedom of speech.

Saide

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I rather be honest and get punished

On Lance Raheem's "Perverts have rights, too":

Yet, when I write something expressing my personal views (whch by the way, I have always done and never give a damn who gets offended because I do not have to live with them) then this very individual assaults me with the worst language.

I think my articles are a hundred times less offensive than the cartoons but I guess to Mr. Raheem, a cartoon is less offensive than me saying that Iranian men should not marry low class and uncultured non-Iranian women because they will have ignorant and stupid kids (not to mention the wrath of the educated and cultured Persians). Not that I give a shit about what he has to say about me but, I just could not resist the temptation to point out how some people are still pro men.

Men can do anything and say anything but God forbid a woman dares to be who she is (and by the way, my college and high school classmates and teachers will tell you that I have always expressed my true opinion knowing full well that many would disagree with them but to me that was honorable). Yes, I rather be honest and get punished than kiss up to be liked and then feel like shit inside.

Azam Nemati

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Fuck that son of a bitch

On Lance Raheem's "Perverts have rights, too":

Here is another form of free speech, fuck that son of a bitch. He is an unhappy, miserable, and one track minded piece of shit. As they say in my neck of the woods, if you don’t like the system here, get the fuck out of here and go back where you think you might find happiness. On the way back, stop forcing your opinion on the rest of us by using the new found freedom that you hate so much. Go ahead Hajiagha, hide behind the freedom of speech that other people died for and abuse it as much as you can by showing your true shameless self.

SR

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Don't give me that shit about freedom of expression

On Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

Hey Guys,

I was wondering when you are planning to get your heads out of your hairy asses and throw this idiot Hajiagha out of your website. Iranian.com comes across as a democratic open minded webzine where one can read many different sides to almost every issue. Infact I have recommended it to many non-Iranians who have viewed and enjoyed the site.

While I may not agree with some of things written or dicussed on your site, this "cartoonist" character really rubs me the wrong way. No wonder his wires are so crossed the guy has been dating "rosy palm" there in Canada for the past 10 years. Almost every stupid thing he draws has either a hard dick or a bare ass in it. He blatantly insults Iranian women by insinuating that Iranian women want regime change and freedom so they can become "jendes". Hey Hajiagha just because your mom and sisters where jendes doesn't mean every Iranian woman is.

I personally believe he is a closet gay man (no disrespect to our honorable gay Iranian community). Hajiahga needs to go toss someone's salad and sit on his pole. I bet you he will FEEL much better after that and will stop insulting everyone and everything with his childish drawings.

Not only should you get rid of this jackoff, but also you should apologize for having exposed us to his insults in the first place. Almost single-handedly he is turning Iranian.com from a classy publication into a yellow rag I wouldn't wipe my dog's ass with (I know it would have to be printed first but you get the picture!).

And don't give me that shit about freedom of expression. Freedom of expression does not mean that every Tom, Dick and Harry can say, do, write or draw whatever they want without facing the consequences of their actions. And don't forget a lot of non-Iroonis read your site. Is he the kind of character you want representing us to foreigners?

Wake the fuck up and get rid of his ass,

Shahrum (and yes I am just as hairy as you are!)

Xiao Oolong

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Let's find him a whore

On Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

It seems to me that this fellow needs a good, hearty sex, to get his mind off it at least for a while. Can we all chip in a dollar or two and find him a good looking and willing whore? At least we may have a bit of a reprieve from his pornographic bullshit.

Cam Garry

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Looking for good home

From cartoonist Hossein Hajiagha:

I am 40 years old , nice good looking man, single, location in Canada, Victoria best place in are earth, but I have one problems, here are women here are so selfish because they thinks Victoria is a best city in are earth they like date a man like supper man, or rich like Bill gate....now I give up go out and look for female, because I never had xxx in my life and I am worry became crazy stay lonely, now you have chance to take me like cat or dog's in your home and let me like cat chuck's your pussy,I enjoy the democracy in Canada by to be so lonely, any female age 18 years and older welcome to e-mail me on Iranian.

Hossein Hajiagha

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Selective memory

On Nahid Husseini's "Pedar nemikhaaham raees jomhoor baasham":

I wasn’t sure what this piece tried to do. But for sure, the writer has a very good selective memory. She only remembers, or even knows the “needed to know for this piece” information of each president she mentions.

Soheil Samouhi

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Half-truths

On Bruce Roshanravan's "Let's be fair":

There seems to be a lot of half-truths here. Most of the article was good. Any extremism is bad especially in the name of God.

The Balfour Declaration was the beginning of the 'return' most religions expected to happen...

S. Pulera
Kenosha, WI

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Made me cry

In response to Paul Schroeder's "Memories of an American boy":

I was born in Abadan in 1954 and left there in 1973. These photos brought back so many memories that made me cry.

Thank you for sharing them.

Masood Taheri
Tennesse, USA

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More Rock bands

In response to quiz, who is he? "Political science":

Please add more Rock bands links on your website's music part (such as miragetown.com, hypernovamusic.com & ...), as you have many visitors and this genre has a lot of fans these days in Iran.

Thanks,
Bardia

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Source: Israeli intelligence

On Meir Javedanfar 's "Meet Mahmoud Saborjian":

I understand and fully support your slogan of "nothing is sacred" but I don't understand why you have to publish this useless profile which is possibly written by a person at best a free lancing collaborator or at worse an agent of Israel intelligent services. In either case he could not have written this profile by himself without a great deal of help from the agency. In such a case he should have identified his source (s) and since he did not I assume he simply is plagiarizing the agency's report.

In any case publishing a foreign intelligent agency profile under some one else name does not solve any of the problems that Iran faces today.

Foad

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That Seinfeld guy

In response to quiz, who is he? "Political science":

George Costanza.

Pooya Z

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Best piece of radio

In response to Jahanshah Javid's interview with BBC Persian's Siavash Ardalan:

Wanted to let you know that I listened to the 100 second interview, and it was the best piece of radio I’ve heard in a long time.

Afshin D

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>>> More June 2007: Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3
>>>
All past letters

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