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Shahin & Sepehr


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

April 12-April 16, 1999 / Farrvardin 23-27, 1378


* Scamers:
- We're not alone
- No better than others
- Monumental kharaab kaari
- Will not "marry down"

- I guess I was fortunate
- Get out your armor
- No monopoly on prejudice


* Women:
- Taught to be subservient
- Dubbing "Sound of Music"

* Poetry:
- Feminist extremist
- I guess I was fortunate
- Get out your armor
- No monopoly on prejudice

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April 16, 1999

* We're not alone

To single out a few greedy Iranian thieves for fruad is not right ["Aaberoo reezi"]! After all many friends from the South of the Border, many associates from the South Eastern Asian nations, good number of Middle Eastern and African Moslem, Christian, and Jewish brothers, and sisters, and a greater number of blu- eyed European junkies are in active partnership with our Southern California Iranian community of corrupt citizens!

Of course, we haven't mentioned all other American friends whom have been milking the system for more than 50 yeras. To be exact since 1938. So, the system, in most part, is corrupt, and corruption breeds corruption.

What about the guys whose parents are using Social Security checks, even though they never lived in the U.S., or ever worked here, and never paid taxes, and yet live in Iran, and get checks to the tune of a minimum of $654 a month! What would you call this, and how would you characterize it?

Reza Azarmi

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* Will not "marry down"

[In reply to the African American in love with an Iranian woman:] Many Iranian relatives do not want their children, especially daughters, to marry Americans or Europeans, but especially Blacks.

Despite the fact that we are also discriminated against, we like to view ourselves as White and thus superior. This is a complex that exists in our culture. Your friend may be able to tell you that the lighter an Iranian is, the more beautiful s(he) is considered. Class issues are very important in Iran as well as in the diaspora.

Whether or not you are professional, well-mannered, handsome, or from a middle/upper class family in the U.S., in my experience, to Iranians, you will always be considered a lower class person. It is hard for a family to accept their daughter "marrying down".

I warn that you may receive malicious messages from Iranian men. Many of them are adverse to the idea of "their" women being taken away by other ethnicities, but especially by Blacks and Indians (from India). Here is an article that appeared in The Iranian that may be of interest to you ["Siaah Sookhteh"].

Sara Norouzi

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April 15, 1999

* No better than others

Unfortunately, we're no better than anyone else ["Aaberoo reezi"]. Shock to the system! Unfortunate as it may be, there are good and bad people in every country, with every religion, with every skin color, and in all ages. So, why should it surprise anyone to find out that we, Iranians, actually do scam the system? Wake up people. What's the old saying.... "as maast keh bar maast"?

Alireza Shemirani

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* Monumental kharaab kaari

I am not be surprised ["Aaberoo reezi"]. On a regular basis I study the Iranian community in U.S. This is a mild form of cheating as far as our esteemed expats are concerned. I am reminded of a CNN report back in 1997 when they did a minute clip on Iranian immigrants in U.S. A lawyer claimed that they are the best and brightest minority group in California. I wonder in what way are they the best and brightest?

The American immigration is also being cheated by Iranians, not to mention a number of local and federal programs. I am amazed by this talent. I mean I have heard that people get their social security checks right in Tehran. And they live off it quite grandly.

But we should not be embarrassed. I can cite an examples of Iranians abiding by the system as well. Too well that is. One must not blame these people for cheating the system. They often consider the U.S. as a land of milk and honey and assume that everything is up for grabs. It is no aaberoo reezi, it is kharaab kaari on a monumental scale.

Nader Naghshineh

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April 14, 1999

* I guess I was fortunate

I very much enjoyed Shalizeh Nadjmi article that sheds light on racial prejudice ["Siaah Sookhteh"]. It helped to clear up much of the confusion I have had. It began years ago when I was watching an Iranian movie, in which two Persian children were engaged in a heated discussion. One of the child actors turned to the other and angrily stated: "Your father's from Africa!"

Well, I was puzzled by that statement - it didn't make any sense, for it was obvious that both of this boy's parents must be Iranian. Then it occurred to me that the statement about Africa was meant to be an insult. That realization was very discouraging.

To accept some notion of "European superiority", is not only sad, but also dangerous. It would mean that anyone not of European ancestry is somehow inferior - even Iranians. We don't need this kind of thinking in today's society. Iranians are a great people, and should be proud of their Asian heritage.

Being a Black female in the U.S. was not always easy, but at least my family firmly taught me that being Black was something to be proud of. I try to instill that same pride in my half-Black, half-Persian children.

I guess I was fortunate. My Iranian husband knew by marrying me he would have Black children. And he believed that would be wonderful.

Dorothy Nowroozian

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* Taught to be subservient

Dear Laleh Khalili,

I have read both of your articles relating to women in Iran ["To live or to be alive?", "Not their fault"]. I have lived more than half of my life in North America. I am not in a position to comment strongly on the life of women in Iran, but I should have more say than another Iranian man since I have experienced how a girl is treated in Iran.

I was haunted by images of losing my virginity when I was a girl, since to lose it was to take away the honor of my family. I was taught to be subservient. Thus I hid my true desires like many did.

You might think my family has a low class status. On the contrary, my father is an engineer and my mother a teacher. Class and education does not matter. I was not alone. Thousands of girls in my school and my class, in streets, on TV, thousands everywhere heard what I heard and saw what I saw.

This sort of treatment is not unique in Iranain culture but many others as well. Not long ago a friend of mine came to Canada with his wife and demanded her to follow him and SERVE him. She still had no power. She had NO SAY. You might wonder if I followed the dominant culture like sheeps:

Did I follow them? NO
Did I bring shame to them? NO

Now that I am a woman, a proud woman, I have followed no one but my own wisdom and heart. I have brought honor and continue to do so. I can only praise what Iranain women are doing in Iran fighting the unfightable. I admire their courage and hope they never give up.

Gloria Malek
Computer Analyst

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April 13, 1999

* Dubbing "Sound of Music"

We (Film magazine in Iran) published a special issue on dubbing in August 1993 and I wrote an article about dubbing musical films in Iran.

[In regards to the Sound of Music, ashk-haa va labkhand-haa] I believe Ms. Soudabeh Safaeiyeh sang for Maria, Nazila Zand-e-Karimi for Liesel, Rashid Vatandoust for the Captain and Homayoun Moezzi-Moghaddam for Rolf.

Other singers for secondary parts were: Simin Ghadiri, Azita Azarmi, Shamsi Shadmand and Nasrin Azarmi. The translator of the lyrics was Firouz Falahati, the poet who rewrote the lyrics was Touraj Negahban and Ali Kasmai was the dubbing manager .

Houshang Golmakani

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* Feminist extremist

In response to this so-called poem ["Reborn"], I echo the concerns of one of your earlier readers who wrote a letter complaining why The Iranian has such a one-sided stance on things. I would have to agree with that reader that this magazine presents too much of a liberal perspective on issues, amply exemplified by the posting of this "poem".

I support showcasing literary and artistic works by Iranian artists and poets, but this poem attempts to be more than justa literary piece: it touts an extremist feminist viewpoint. This kind of extremist ideology is by definition dangerous and I don't think it deserves the attention it's getting by being posted in this forum, especially given that most readers would likely be hostile to such an extremist agenda.

Or if the editor of this magazine is going to post such trash at least he could balance it by posting some other trash, say an advertising for the Iranian-American Republican Party, or somthing like that.

Nariman Neyshapouri

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April 12, 1999

* Get out your armor

I loved Ms. Nadjmi's piece in The Iranian ["Siaah Sookhteh"]. This was as good as it could get. I salute her hopeless bravery and intended martyrdom, and I hope she has a strong armor ready. I can already imagine her boycotted wedding, the pointed fingers in the streets and the whispers and skewed glances of all the iranians. But I hope she will always remember that there once existed the house of Capulet and the house of Montague, and a revolution can start with only one kiss!

Ramin Tabib


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* No monopoly on prejudice

I read with interest the piece on prejudice towards non-Europeans ["Siaah Sookhteh"]. A few points:

- To my knowledge the Staten Island never has served as an immigrant entry point; perhaps she meant the Ellis Island; though the last immigrant admitted to the US through the Ellis Island was probably no later than late 1940s. Can we please have some fact-checking at The Iranian?

- I don't know if the average Iranian has "engraved" prejudicial images into his/her inner beliefs. But certainly we don't have a monopoly on prejudice. Tribalism seems to be ingrained in all cultures. Certainly skin color didn't play a big role when the Hutus were massacring the Tutsis in Rwanda to the tune 800,000.

- If there are Iranians who modify their appearances to look more European, it is an attempt to fit in, which in and of itself is not negative. In fact, it seems to exist in many other immigrant communities, even well-established ones; just ask the occasionally blond and very much Jewish Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand.

- I find it somewhat ironic that the writer seems to be using the terms "Iranian" and "Persian" interchangeably (even though the latter effectively eliminates 60% of those living in the land known as Iran) yet has sharp criticism for those Iranians pre-occupied with the their so-called Aryan past.

N. Behzad Fazel

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