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Shahin & Sepehr


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

April 19-April 23, 1999 / Farrvardin 30-3 Ordibehesht, 1378


* Kosovo:
- Christian Holy War
- I had three black girlfriends


* Fiction:
- Amateurs night?
- Disgusting
- Zerangi
- We're not alone

* Prejudice:
- The heart, not skin color
- Noble... but not good
- Righ on
- Will not "marry down"

- I guess I was fortunate

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April 22, 1999

* Christian Holy War

I read Mr. Tehranian's comments about the genocidal war of extermination being carried out by the Serbs ["Why Kosovo?"]. His ability to meticulously manuever around the facts about the horrendous atrocities being carried out against Muslim women and children is a disgusting, yet masterful, example of obfuscation. Bravo! ... FULL TEXT

Ali Sadri

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* I had three black girlfriends

This is a response from a siaah-ookhteh-e-vatani: from what I know, nobody got lynch-mobbed because of the color of their complexion in Iran ["Siaah Sookhteh"]. So please don't compare the Iranian 'battered' sense of pride with the European Supremacy ideology.

In different stages of my life I had three black girlfriends and even to this date my Iranian friends talk about them with envy, so lets not over-dramatize & confuse the issues. As with any other race, it's hard & in some cases futile to change the elders' conservative views. But it's always good to know that your granddad wasn't the Grand Wizard in the local KKK.

Esphandyar Rohrabi

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April 21, 1999

* Zerangi

I have lived in Canada for almost 30 years. I have a few selected Iranian friends and I hardly do any business with the members of our community. This is not because I no longer love Iran or lost my passion for it. This is purely the result of my past expereience in dealing with my fellow countrymen ["Aaberoo reezi"].

We, Iranians, cherish the thought of being "ZERANG" which is a term that can hardly be translated into English. Ideally, Zerang means to be clever and bright. In practice, however, an Iranian who has earned the title "Zerang", is often a crafty liar, a cheat, an opportunist, and untrustworthy. One could say, a huge and dark side of our culture is summarized in one word.

Unfortunately, I am not surprised to hear about wealthy Iranians living in California on welfare. Until we put a higher value on our principles and self-respect over and above our personal gains, a lot of us will continue being zerang without being clever or decent.

Masoud Almassi

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* Amateurs night?

What is this amateurs night ["Midget"]? I hope the author of this piece has another job.

Ali R. Shemirani

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April 20, 1999

* The heart, not skin color

In response to the letter "Won't marry down"

Dear Sara,

Thanks for your response. It is very informative but misguided. Regardless to what you consider yourself to be the truth is, you're not white. I don't say this as a put down just merely stating a fact. Be it White, Black, brown, yellow, or red we are all from God and no one is superior.

Before I met my girlfriend I knew racism existed everywhere but was under the impression that it was more toxic here in America. I have received e-mail from all over the world most from Iranian women but some from Iranian men. Every e-mail that I received was of support and empathy. My girlfriend was the first Iranian women I had ever really spent time with. The fact that she is Iranian had nothing to do with the way I feel about her. The reason I love her is because she is a very good person whom I admire and respect. Thanks to the Internet, I know have a lot of new Iranian friends write me since I submitted my letter... FULL TEXT


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* Noble... but not good

Noghrey writes: Please do not promote the ideas of the woman who chooses Blacks as boyfriends ["Siaah Sookhteh"]. Although tolerance of other races and cultures is a noble idea, it is best not to try to ask the public to accept these ideas based on such isolated cases.

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April 19, 1999

* Disgusting

This story is disgusting ["Midget"]. I think it is inappropriate and misleading to publish this article in the same column where many interesting and well-written articles have appeared in the past.

Yahya Fathi

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* Right on

Shalizeh Nadjmi's article was brilliant ["Siaah Sookhteh"]! I seriously hope that you'll provide us with more of the same astute and poignant writing. She hit the nail right on the head and held a long overdue mirror up to our community. I've never understood some of our bigoted and racist attitudes as it seems oxymoronic!

Why do we as a new minority feel it appropriate to react in such a fashion? After all didn't we leave our home in order to get away from backward thinking? And finally if anything, having been mislabeled and misjudged ourselves in the past 20 years, we should be more tolerant! Kudos Shalizeh!

Banafsheh Zand

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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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