Archive Sections: letters | music | index | features | photos | arts/lit | satire Find Iranian singles today!

October 2006

Rewarding disobedient wives
Siamack Baniameri
October 31, 2006

Iranian Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has issued a fatwa that it is legitimate for men to beat their disobedient wives. Shirazi wrote on his website: "The Koran first recommends a man to try and convince his wife to obey him in a polite way and through advice, and then by refusing to have sexual relations with her. Finally, if all these fail to make her come to her senses, proceed with physical punishment."

Did I hear the Grand Ayatollah suggesting that as a form of punishment a man should refuse to have sexual relations with his wife? Are you kidding me? That's not a punishment, that's a reward. How many wives do you know that actually enjoy having sexual relations with their husbands? When was the last time you saw a wife crying her heart out because her 250-lbs hairy husband refused to have sex with her? So, you're telling me that a wife who will not have to fondle her husband's sweaty balls is being punished? I think not.

Another thing I'm confused about is at what point do I stop refusing sexual relations with the wife and move on to knocking the crap out of her? Is it two weeks? Two months? Two years? Additionally, am I allowed to have sexual relations with other men's wives while punishing my own by refusing her the Tower of Power? (Or is it the Thunder Down Under? I forget.) Can't I just skip the part about refusing sexual relations and move directly to the beating? Just a thought. Furthermore, does a quickie count?

Well, I gotta go before my wife catches me writing this stuff and beats the shit out of me. Comment

Manufacturing a phony crisis

Daniel M Pourkesali
October 30, 2006

Leesburg, VIRGINIA -- The writer of "Islam, Terror and the Second Nuclear Age" in The New York Times makes several presumptions which have been promoted by the Israeli government and its hard-line supporters both in the UN and the Bush administration.

First that Iran's nuclear energy program is merely a cover for perfecting their nuclear weapon production capability and the anti-Israel statements of the Iranian president is proof that they're intent on destroying Israel.

Second, Israel may possess several hundred nuclear warheads, but since they have not used them offensively against their neighbors then they can be trusted with such weapons.

And finally, even if Iran does not use its future atomic bombs against Israel, the sheer possession of such weapons by a Shiite non-Arab state will usher a new arms race among the Arab states in the region as they fear Iran might use those nukes against them.

All of the above assumptions by the author who is a Law Professor at New York University are problematic and would not hold up in a court of law where a guilty verdict can not be paseed on mere future intents. Thus, absent any corroborating hard evidence provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the charge that Iran's nuclear energy program is being used as cover for weapons program would be immediately dismissed.

As for the logic used in the second supposition, we must conclude that a country's offensive use of nukes should disqualify it from ever being allowed to possess such weapons. That will immediately disqualify the United States as the only country meeting that criterion and one that is actively and openly seeking to develop a new generation of mini-nukes in clear violation of the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A more plausible explanation for Israel's restraint is that the benefits of deterrence factor outweigh the catastrophic backlash of actual use of such weapons. A much better indicator of future hostile intentions is a country's past behavior. Iran has not attacked any of its neighbors in the last 250 years, and does not occupy any other country's territory. On the other hand, several of the regional states including Pakistan, India, and Israel already possess nuclear weapons and none have signed the NPT. In the case of the latter, Israel has attacked all of its neighbors including Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Jordan and continues to occupy parts of Lebanon, Syria, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip today.

The last assumption that Iran's hypothetical possession of such weapons in the future will trigger a new arms race in the region is also flawed because Iran is not seen as a threat and has maintained peaceful relations with all its neighbors for over 2 centuries except for a short period between 1980-1988 when it was attacked and invaded by Saddam Hussein forces in a bid to take advantage of the post revolution disarray and obtain control of the oil rich southwestern part of that country. Again if past behavior is a good indicator of future actions, Iran's restraint to respond in kind to Saddam use of chemical weapons on innocent Iranian civilians during that bloody and costly war should be self evident.

As Iran continues to meet its obligations under the NPT, the hard-liners in the Bush administration aided by their media propagandists like Mr. Feldman are working hard to manufacture a phony crisis and scare the unsuspecting public in preparation for another pre-emptive strike against a sovereign nation's nuclear industry which is fully monitored by the IAEA. Comment

Best, of the worst

Peyvand Khorsandi
October 30, 2006

In the spring of 1997 Tony Blair was elected president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In Britain Mohammed Khatami became prime minister. Both men were voted in on the promise of reforms. Yet Khatami was clearly a disciple of Margaret Thatcher, and Blair of Ayatollah Khomeini. Until recently, Khatami had refused to step down, despite having led Britain into a war that has killed more than 600,000 people. Blair, whose 'reforms' resulted in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stepping on to the world stage, is in Scotland this week to receive an honorary degree from the St Andrews university. Here's that that degree citation in full:


Meanwhile, the University of Tehran has pledged to award New Labour's Mohammad Khatami an honorary degree in his role in the war for a safer Iraq. (Safer, because by the end of the it, there will be no Iraqis left.) Comment

Visit Peyvand's blog, Soul Bean Cafe

Where is the tavern?

Jahanshah Javid
October 29, 2006

A few days ago I got my signed copy of Reza Ordoubadian's "The Poems of Hafez". It is a collection of 202 ghazals translated into English. And I did what every Iranian does with Hafez: tap into his infinite wisdom with a faal:

You hear a discerning voice: Do not confound it.
... You are not discerning: there lies the rub.
My concern is not for this world -- or the other;
... Blessed God! What temptations crowd our heads!
Who resides in my weary heart?
... I remain silent, full of passion and fight!
Discord rules my heart: Oh, where are you musician!
... Sing your tune; bring harmony to this patrician.
Disinclined with the affairs of this world:
... only the beauty of your face open my eyes
Bereft of sleep, heart breaking with empty thoughts
... hung-over for a thousand nights! Where is the tavern?
I have desecrated the temple with my blood:
... if I'm given abultions with the wine, why not?
The reason why our Master is kept in high esteem and dear, is that
... a fire unquenched lives eternally in our hearts.
What air the musician plays behind the scale with his harp?
... My life expires, yet my head is filled with airs!
...... At dusk the voice of your love intones within my heart:
...... the vastness of Hafez's chest still echoes with voices.

I see what he means. I think :o)

See Ordoubadian's introduction and nine more ghazals.

Short visit, long impact

Majid Saeedi
October 28, 2006

The Knowledge Diffusion Network is a non-for-profit organization which aims to promote collaboration of Iranian academics living abroad with the scientific community in Iran. Currently, we organize scientific seminars for those Iranian academics who go to Iran for a short visit. So far we have organized more than 65 talks in Iran. You can find more about us in our website, Most of our quality speakers are going to Iran during Christmas vacation and we would like to spread the word >>>

Wrong resolution
Nema Milaninia
October 28, 2006

The National Iranian American Council has a great review of the current draft Security Council resolution on Iran which states, in part:

... all States shall prohibit specialised teaching or training of Iranian nationals, within their territories or by their nationals, of disciplines which would contribute to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs...

NIAC currently summarizes:

If the draft resolution's academic sanctions provisions are approved, they could apply added pressure to all countries to follow a similar model, affecting certain Iranian youths wishing to attend foreign universities. What is more, depending on the interpretation of the resolution's language, all Iranian students (not just engineers or physicists) are likely to experience added scrutiny and suspicion as a result.

Obviously students studying nuclear science would be affected. But what about those studying material science, aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, or even biology? Clearly all of these studies are essential to a nuclear or ballistic weapons program? What about Iranian students who have dual citizenship and study in these area? How would they be affected? Let me summarize the wide effect of this resolution:

1. For students who have Iranian nationality, but no nationality in the country in which they study, and are studying a field which could contribute to nuclear or ballistic weapons, the country is obligated and required to deny you such education.

2. For students who have Iranian nationality and nationality in the country in which they study, and are studyign a field which could contribute to nuclear or ballistic weapons, the country has the right, but is not obligated, to deny you such education.

The expansive and broad language of the resolution and the potential impact it may have on innocent students and families are breathtaking. This is nothing short of a resolution designed not only to cripple Iran's nuclear program, but Iranians altogether, regardless of their association with the current government. During the recent Iranian Presidential elections, President Bush stated:

And to the Iranian people, I say: As you stand for your own liberty, the people of America stand with you. And to the Iranian people, I say: As you stand for your own liberty, the people of America stand with you.

If this was true, why is the administration pushing a resolution that would take away the very liberty it seeks to invest and support in Iranians? In both the short-term and long-run, this will do more to sustain this regime, then destroy it. Comment


Save sex for marriage
Mahnaz Zardoust-Ahari
October 25, 2006

I have read several articles and responses from different people on the issue of morality. And the question that comes to my mind is what is wrong with waiting till you find the person you want to be married to? Then giving it all to him or her. Why do young men and women have to have sex before they are married? What, do they have to taste it first before they buy it or something? I don't understand this. When I married my husband I was a virgin. I am proud of the fact that I was and that I could give this to my husband. Is it so wrong to want your significant other to be that way?

In today's world I would think we would try harder to be conservative in what we do with our bodies considering all of the diseases that are rampant. But what I see it seems that we are on a self-destructive course. Not so much immoral, even though I do not agree I do not judge, but self-damaging. As a woman, I know I can do anything my male counter-parts do -- but do I really want to?

One example is the fact I can work on my car, change the oil, change the tires... etc, but do I want to? No. I am married and my husband will do these things. God forbid, if something should happen to my husband, I know I can do fine for myself. This and other things I am capable of before and since I have been married makes me equal to my male counter-parts, not having sex with different men to 'explore my sexuality.' Whoever put this into women's minds is fooling the female society and it is a shame.

We as females have so much more to offer to the world than sex. Why must our lives be to compete against, yes compete against, our male counter-parts? I am not telling you to give up on what we worked so hard for in all the years past. What I am saying is that you should realize what you are doing to yourself. You are damaging yourself physically and emotionally for no other reason other than you want to prove you can do it.

A saying my mother told me when I was growing up: Why should they buy the cow when they can get the milk for free? This is so true. Once a man has slept with you, and I mean no offense to any male that will read this, you have nothing left for them. They will have what they want then most -- maybe not all, but most -- will go and make sure you are called a "whore" and a "slut"... and whatever else they choose to call you.

We make choices in what we do with our lives because it is our lives. If that means you choose to 'explore your sexuality' be prepared for the consequences and don't blame it on men. It is your choice. You can't make the choice then in the end if the consequences turn out bad blame it on someone else. It is, was, will be your choice.

Guys, I respect any man that can wait till they find the woman they want to be with the rest of their lives. It takes a lot of restraint and control to wait and any woman or man that will make fun of you or criticize you because you choose to wait are not worth being around. I applaud all the men out there that do wait. You will find the woman you are looking for just keep looking she is out there for you. Comment

Let them have fun
Siamack Baniameri
October 24, 2006

In the past few months, I've been hearing a lot about sectarian violence in Iraq where Sunni fundamentalists have been targeting Shia fundamentalists and vice versa. What is the problem? I like to see sectarian violence everywhere in the Middle East. It's good for us. I don't see anything wrong with bonehead religious zealots stuck in the Dark Ages killing other bonehead religious zealots stuck in the Dark Ages.

I will even go so far to suggest a major sectarian violence every ten years in the Middle East where all the morons can go at it and behead each other on the main city square. Just think self-cleaning oven.

Nature has a way of dealing with idiots. Every year millions of them die in accidents, falling from trees and buildings, driving a vehicle while speaking on a cell phone, attempting to cross raging rivers, electrocution, gun accidents, shooting nails in the head with nail guns, etc.

This is nature's way of riding itself from mentally deficient. So why shouldn't we allow sectarian violence purge the bottom of the barrel of the human gene pool in our region?

If Al-Qaida wants to stick dynamites up Mehdi Army's ass... let it be. Encourage it. Facilitate it and let them have fun.

Wouldn't it be great to have a national holiday in the Middle East where the rest of us sane humans stay home for a weekend and let Soldiers of Divinity blow each other up to smithereens? Wouldn't that be cool?

Now I know that often times innocent people are caught in the crossfire and get their asses killed while shopping for cucumbers. That's a shame. But in the grand scheme of things, that's a small price to pay for disposing the region from garbage. I personally am willing to give a cousin or two for the cause.

I suggest that the U.S. and Britain use all their resources in Iraq to assist an all out sectarian war. Let's have all of god's assassins go at it. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Comment

Their grass is not greener
Ben Madadi
October 21, 2006

Most Iranians might actually never think of Iraq as a tragedy. Iranians may see Iraq as a neighbour which doesn't really have much to do with Iran, and which can be in any shape or form, from bad to very bad. It wouldn't be much of a deal for most Iranians. Afterall there was even a war between the two countries. So the two peoples mostly feel apathetic toward each other at most. The other tragedy is Afghanistan. These two countries are tragedies compared to Iran. Iran itself is a tragedy compared to America and Western Europe where most of the readers of this website live. And most Iranians, no matter where they live, see Iraq and Afghanistan, as countries that have nothing to do with Iran, so they don't deserve much attention or sorrow.

But this idea, that the tragedies of Iraq and Afghanistan having nothing to do with the Iranians and that Iranians have no reason to do anything about them or at least feel bad, is a complete disregard to history and factual evidence of the huge links between the three countries. Afghanistan is the largest country after Iran where the majority speak Farsi, though a variation of it, as do millions of Iranian citizens, who speak other variations of Farsi. And Iraq is the largest country after Iran where the majority are Shia. Both countries have long been parts of the Iranian empire, especially Western Afghanistan (which was lost slightly over a century ago) and Southern Iraq, where previous to the Qajar, was usually controlled by various Iranian authorities, not the Ottomans.

This apathy is a fact. And it's not just about the regime, which is also trying to use all available means to prevent any sort of democracy from taking hold in its neighbourhood, but also a general reality of the Iranians. This fact was also put into practice when, in the early 1990s, the two newly born republics in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan and Armenia, had a nasty fight over a piece of land, the Iranian authorities attacked the Armenian aggression verbally, though in practice aided the Armenians. Given the fact that Azerbaijanis have historically been one of the two most active Iranian nations (along the Persians) in both building the land and also its social and cultural heritage, that was a complete disregard of any principle of brotherhood or unity.

Just imagine all the facts mentioned here, it's not impossible for Iran, God forbid, to experience what Iraq or Afghanistan are experiencing now. Maybe the remaining Iranians (Western Afghanistan and Southern Iraq were no less Iranians in the past) are somewhat more united than their previous brethren who are fighting each other now. That's just a matter of guessing! Seeing what is going on in Iran's neighbours must be a warning for the Iranian authorities to try to be more careful and start paying more attention first to all Iranians inside in Iran, and also to those peoples who used to be part of the Iranian family in the past.

Maybe Western Afghans and Southern Iraqis never felt anything that would link them to other Iranians, but do many other peoples inside Iran really feel different now?! Do the Arabs in Southern Iran feel more Iranian, or the Kurds, or the Baluchis? Others, Azerbaijanis, Luris and many other smaller groups are much tightly linked to the Persian majority, but even that link may become loose in case of a weakening of the central authority, as is the case in Afghanistan and Iraq. Therefore, just being careful and aware of possible dangers in the future, Iranian authorities need not to ignore the realities in the ground and give more respect and freedom to every single Iranian citizen, no matter where he comes from or where he lives. So maybe Iran can be smarter and better off. Comment

My beautiful gold digger
Siamack Baniameri
October 11, 2006

I asked a gorgeous Iranian girl to consider going out with me. She said that our 20 years age difference concerned her. I told her that my mother is 30 years younger than my dad and they're doing just fine. She said that she does not find my receding hairline very attractive. I assured her that the size of my endowment will make up for that. She said that my bad teeth and awful breath are further reasons for apprehension. I told her that the size of my savings, checking, 401K, IRA accounts, and real estate investments will make up for that. She said that she finds my short height and huge nose unsightly. I told her that my Green Card should make up for that. She said she finds my rather skinny and hairy body overly revolting. I told her that my 4 BMWs and my 2007 Bentley limited addition will make up for that. She said that my lack of education and prehistoric manners are disturbing. I answered that my 3 mansions in Beverly Hills should make up for that.  She said that my aggressive jealous behavior frightens her. I explained that my Yacht at Marina Delray should make up for that.

I'm fast approaching the second base.

Dar rasaaye Emran Salahi
Alef Refugee
October 13, 2006

Erfan as I see it
Arash Sayedi
October 10, 2006

I sit here today and pen my thoughts because of the disappointment of seeing such an all encompassing notion as Erfan be reduced to its parts in many circles by academics, theologians and the common souls alike. This reductionism is perhaps the ultimate irony placed on an Erfan that strives to paint a picture of the whole. It is rather like the story of the three blind men at the circus, explaining what an elephant looks like, having each felt one part of it.

So what is Erfan? The explanation I have come to love is this: Imagine a piece of paper with a large circle drawn on it with a title that says 'The World'. Inside that circle are smaller circles labeled me, you, birds, trees, religion, laughter, sadness, or anything you could possibly imagine. We all go through this ever changing river of life drawing lines, making distinctions, separating everything from everything else. It is the curse of symbolism, the curse of language. It is a necessary element of living in human civilization but it clouds the mind and distances us from reality. Erfan is waking up one morning and realizing there are no circles. No lines. There is no you, me, tree, bird or the world. There is just the one single fabric that unites it all. That intuitive knowledge of unity is Erfan.

There are two illusions we must strive to break through. One is the false sense of separation from each other, created by the ego, and the second is the prison of time. One must come to realize that time itself is an illusion; a figment of human imagination. A minute is no more real on its own than a centimeter is; it is merely a measurement. We use time to measure change. And change is what this mystic river is all about. There is no past, there is no future. There is merely this moment, and all that exists within it. That is Erfan.

Erfan is me, Erfan is you. Erfan is the drunken old man on the side of the street. Erfan is in his tears of sadness, in the joys he knew. Erfan is looking into the petals of a rose and seeing the universe in it. Erfan is making love to a woman. Erfan is licking the sweat from her naked body and knowing god is in every drop. Erfan is realizing that life is a dream. Erfan is about letting go of control. Erfan is about finding your world. Erfan is about suspending all judgment and seeing things as though for the first time. Erfan is about sitting down with an old man and sipping from his cup of wisdom. Erfan is playing the piano, drinking wine, laughing with children or dancing in the wind. Erfan is Erfan. Comment

Khandan Golmast
October 9, 2006

I spent two long years working at a shelter for battered women. While the women who walked through the doors came from all walks of life, all races, socioeconomic classes, ages, appearances - they shared one unmistakable quality that perhaps only those seasoned in work with abuse and rape victims can recognize: they enter the shelter doors with heads down but as they race their necks, their faces reveal eyes that burn - this is not poeticism but the only way I can describe this very particular look.

There is a contradictory nature to their pain which makes it all the more real and haunting. It is one of immense sadness and at the same time rooted anger. A settled submissiveness cavorts with an equally entrenched rage. Years of abuse and in many cases rape- the absolute violation of a woman in every cruel sense - manifest into a silent scream residing in the eyes of these women.

Growing up, my parents spoke little of the revolution that caused them to leave behind everything - from the house they built together to the blanket in which they took me home from the hospital - to become one of the many faceless of the Iranian diaspora. Yet in a rare moment of raw honesty, as a family friend was speaking of memories from decades ago I recognized a familiar look in the eyes of all the Iranians present in the room old enough to remember his stories- a burning. It was the same look of violation - the getting slapped across the face and being lifted up only to get hit and spit on again.

I still struggle to understand what my parents and their generation went through, but as the men and women in that room lifted their heads up to reveal eyes that burn, I was able to draw a parallel that helped me understand a little more clearly. Every one of the Iranians that lived through the betrayal of the revolution witnessed the rape and abuse of their Iran. As they stepped off the planes in the late 70s and 80s, I imagine they walked onto American soil with that same down-turned heads which lifted only to reveal eyes that burn from a story to painful to verbalize, but which plays and rewinds and plays again inside. Comment

Do we really need another Bab?
Kianosh Saadati
October 9, 2006

In the beginning of the 21st century, while human beings are expected to discover the new boundaries of art, science and technology, when the world still suffers from the threat of international terrorism, people like Ayatollah Kazemeini Boroujerdi step forward and claim to be the promised Imam Zaman, or at least his personal assistant!

Like the Bab in 1844, and Ayatollah Khomeini during the 1979 revolution, now Boroujerdi comes from nowhere to capture hearts and minds of frustrated people. People who are bored with political Islam. But who is he really?

A quick look into his background does not reveal any major difference between him and others. He invites people to a peaceful version of Islam but it is the exact promise we have heard before from others.

Like always, people from undeveloped parts of the world (including our country Iran) are surrounded by religious beliefs and fanatic superstitions. Instead of relying on themselves and outlining their own lives by their own hands, they seek miracles from someone else. Someone maybe an ordinary people like you and me but a propaganda specialist.

Whatever the consequence, the question is whether we really need so many saviours and pre-fabricated Imams and religious leaders?

I hope Bahais will not be offended by this posting, but I am still having problems calling the Bab and his movement, a religion.

The same thing applies to other religions like Islam. What kind of miracle, peace or comfort have they brought us except hatred, hypocracy, violence and of course terrorism?

What Ayatollah Boroujerdi has done shows how poor our people's religious beliefs are: they need something new to be inspired, but not necessarily something like a religious cult. We do not need another Bab! Comment

Please join me
Taghi Amirani
October 7, 2006

I'm running the New York Marathon on November 5th. Getting into the NY Marathon is very very hard, but those lovely people at the UK charity Shelter offered me a guaranteed place in return for raising money for them. Shelter is a great charity doing amazing vital work for the homeless and people with bad inadequate housing. What they do is very close to my heart and your donation will mean a lot to them, to the people they help and to me.

So please take a moment and visit my fundraising page and help me keep my promise to Shelter. It's really easy - you can donate online by credit or debit card.

All donations are secure and sent electronically to Shelter. If you are a UK taxpayer, Justgiving will automatically reclaim 28% Gift Aid on your behalf, so your donation is worth even more. Please join me in supporting Shelter and a fabulous cause. Comment

Technical difficulties!
Guive Mirfendereski
October 6, 2006

The London gabfest (from the Old Persian gap, meaning talk, chat) about sanctioning Iran is off -- delayed for a week -- because the slithery forked-tongued Condi Rice's aeroplane has developed technical difficulties taking off from Baghdad! You've got to love the irony in this. Here is the Secretary of State of the almighty United States of America who cannot get to a meeting on time because her plane, a US-manufactured Boeing, I suppose, had technical difficulties.

Maybe the good secretary should buy some spare parts from Iran and fix the bird and fly off. Or maybe, she should have not engaged in yet another "dropping by" visit to Iraq, which no doubt gives the impression to the locals that the place has turned into a khaaneh-ye khaaleh, to which people come and go with no amount of formality. Maybe the threat of a terrorist attack on the aeroplane around Baghdad airport delayed the trip, so she had to wait for the dark to fall before taking off!

Whatever the technical reasons for her delayed departure, the political reasons for not attending the London conference is more compelling. Previously, the Russian foreign minister has stated that his government was not prepared to go along with sanctions just yet. The Chinese foreign minister had stated that he did not favor sanctions on Iran. Instead of showing a disunited front, Condi canceled the trip for now.

To save face, the Russian foreign minister and his Chinese counterpart then announced that each has domestic commitments. Maybe Condi herself had a domestic commitment with her new beau-friend, the Canadian foreign minister! Meanwhile in Tehran, motor-mouth Mighty Mouse Ahmadinejad keeps making speeches about the Resolute Nation's inalienable right to peaceful nuclear technology -- this at a time when when it was disclosed that Iran had been thinking about getting an A-bomb during the Iran-Iraq War.

As an aside -- does this guy -- Mighty Mouse -- busy himself of any domestic matters? My guess is that the supreme leadership has made him spend all his time on touring the country, giving speeches and conducting foreign policy so as to keep him from busying with all those radical reforms that he was gonna institute on the social and economic fronts! Comment

Pope, Islam & protection
October 6, 2006

In a speech, Pope Benedict XVI quoted 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus who said: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached".

Now, it is not a big secret that the sword was used quite effectively to spread Islam from the desert that is Arabia all the way to Morocco and Indonesia, as that was the only form that the early Arab could communicate, (not that much has changed). I mean the man who was allocated to Persia, Ali the "Amir of Momenin" had a sword which was blessed with two blades!! which was absolutely necessary as the Persians were showing more resistance.

But coming from the leader of the other Semitic religion this is quite debatable. The clear difference is that it wasn't the early Christians who used violance to spread Christianity, but the later ones!! I guess the early Christians were too busy being fed to the lions!

But, you've got to hand it to the Pope. Being German and a former Nazi he has his cunning abilities. By using quotations from someone who is already dead he masterfully neutralized the famous Islamic Fatwa, which would have been declared had emperor Manuel II Paleologus been still alive. (Clever ha!)

Pope Benedict XVI has later said he is "very upset" that his speech on Islam offended Muslims and caused such reactions and expressed his respect for their faith"! In other words he is sorry about the way Muslims have reacted!!

Which makes me think, maybe the Pope isn't as clever as I thought. He must have read what Manuel II Paleologus, had said centuries before him, and with such accurate documentations and the recent reactions to the Danish cartoons, he must have had some idea.

Well all in all, this latest clash between two of the three leading Semitic holy religions, may have upset the followers and their desire to prove that violance has nothing to do with religion by burning a few churches and attacking a few nuns and threatening to decapitate the Pope unless he converts to Islam. It also made something unthinkable happen... It was announced that the Vatican has decided to use extra protection.

Who would have thought... thanks to Islam Catholics are now willing to use protection! Comment

What has happened to Iranian men?
Faramarz Fateh
October 4, 2006

Los Angeles -- Most of us agree that majority of men in Iran enjoy a so called higher station in the "mard salar" society of Iran. For example, women can't go on a trip without their husband's permission. The men (fathers) get custody of children in case of divorce. Women can't get bank loans without a male cosigner. The list goes on. Believe me, I am the first to disagree with this situation as I fully support equal rights for the sexes.

But, I am amazed as to what has happened to Iranian men here in the U.S. We have become a bunch of "zan zaleels" and "zan shaheeds". I look around me, and most men I know are under total control of their wives.

I give you some examples: Farshid, a good friend of mine used to play soccer once a week with his friends. He would do this religously. Playing soccer with his friend has become a distant dream for Farshid. Why you ask? Well, his wife doesn't want him to spend a couple hours a weeks doing something he loves. Instead of soccer, Farshid has to go to Ikea to buy furniture or he has to take his wife's car for oil change or detailing or drive to San Diego to visit his wife's sister and her family. Last time Farshid played soccer was in 2002 when his wife had gone on a "girls only" vacation to Italy for 10 days.

Bardia, another friend has not been able to go biking ever since he got back from his honeymoon 14 years ago. He used to bike with a bunch of friends every weekend, from LA to Santa Barbara and back. Bardia's wife has him so tightly warpped around her pinky finger that he doesn't breathe without her permission.

Behind Bardia's back, some of my friends jokingly say we dont know at nights, "ki kio mikoneh?"

When my wife and I go out for dinners with other couples, men do not say anything about where they want to eat. It's the women who select the restaurants. God forbid if a man mentions chelo kabab as a choice. He gets hung by his balls on the spot. The 3 or 4 women in the group choose where and then sit in the passenger seat of the car and give orders to their men on how to drive, which route to take, where to park, when to brake, what speed to go at etc etc.

When I talk to these guys, they all tell me the same thing: They are either afraid of not getting sex that 1 or 2 times a month, or they say that if they don't do what the wife says/wants, they will most likely end up in a divorce and they don't want to risk half of what they have worked for most their adult life.

Damn! That really sucks. What a miserable life. I think pussy-whipped Iranian men of U.S.A. need to unite and put up a fight for fairness and justice. Are we men or are we a bunch of "lor-e kos nadideh"? Comment

Close to Everest
Cara Weavy
October 1, 2006

This September at the Toronto International Film Festival, I met a young and talented Iranian filmmaker/ cinematographer. He was the cinematographer for one of the festival's best documentaries, titled Blindsight. I met him at the film's opening. The sold out audience loved the film.

When the director (Lucy Walker) introduced the cinematographers, I noticed one of them may be Iranian. His name is Mahyad Tousi. My son and I said hello. He was very gracious and we were both very impressed by him. My son told all his friends about the Iranian filmmaker that he met and about how high he climbed up Mount Everest to make the documentary. It is about a number of blind Tibetan children that attempt to climb a peak close to Everest.

I looked up his name on the Internet and to my surprise I found articles written on They were beautiful and insightful. I also found a video by him on I thought that you and your other viewers might enjoy it as well. I am sure Mahyad will be very successful and a source of pride for other Iranians living outside of Iran. Comment

>>> Shorts archive

For letters section



The Pursuit of Pleasure
Drugs and Stimulants in Iranian History, 1500-1900
by Rudi Matthee

Copyright 1995-2013, Iranian LLC.   |    User Agreement and Privacy Policy   |    Rights and Permissions