December 6-10, 1999 / Azar 15-19, 1378
- Hope in future
- Discrimination not limited
* In America:
- Kiss ass
- Thanking Allah for this blessed land
- Long live Iran
- El Al connection
- Rahebe ye Parandeh
- Murder mystery
December 9, 1999
* Hope in future
The Iranian has an interesting collection of letters on its homepage
right now - but one I keep coming back to is the passionate letter by 14-year-old
Rahill Jamalifard called "Long
Live Iran". I remember being 14, I remember the hope that springs
at that age for the future and for full involvement in that future. It
is like waking up from the dream of childhood and becoming aware of one's
surroundings as if for the first time. It is hopefully also a protected
awakening. For the future of Iran - it is that fresh, proud hope that we
must all protect.
I have sympathy for the views expressed by Mr. Shahri in his letter
ass" - it is hard to live in a country that is so wealthy and
so oblivious to the deprivation suffered in the developing world and at
the same time to feel truly thankful for partaking in that wealth. We enjoy
our wealth made in America from a system that rests on the backs of millions
who will never share even a measure of our good fortune. Iran is a country
filled with those people and most of them are young and still hopeful like
Rahill Jamalifard ... FULL
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* Discrimination not limited
I am sure you are aware that the
discrimination mentioned is not limited to Lufthansa or at San Francisco
Airport. Every time I travel to Iran from Washington-Dulles Airport, I
get the same bad treatment.
On September 10, 1999, I traveled from Washingtoin to Tehran with British
Airways and my luggage and an older lady's traveling with me were seached.
They said they had to do this because we were traveling to Iran and it
was for our own safety. I was carrying both Iranian and American passport.
The lady traveling with me had a green card. Singling out only Iranians
is absolutely discriminatory and must be stopped.
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December 8, 1999
I strongly disagree with the assertion that Iranians need and should
become involved in the US political process and that this will somehow
improve the state of things in Iran ["Iranians
in the U.S.: political power" - "Cyrus
meets Lincoln"]. One of the biggest reasons why Iranians have
been so successful in this country is because we haven't wasted our time
with lobbying, politics, and pressure groups.
It has always been the case that those ethnic groups who focus their
attention on education, entrepreneurship, and hard work always always surpass
those that put their faith in politics. Iranians and Indians are prime
examples of this. I need not even mention those groups that are on the
other side of that coin.
Secondly no so-called Iranian lobby group will be able to reverse the
passionate anti-Iran sentiment and bigotry that exists in Congress. Fuggedaboudit.
Not only would you have to go up against the Mujahedeen, but against AIPAC
and all the other Israeli lobby groups. These people will do anything in
their power (and they have a lot of it) to prevent better relations with
Iran and an end to sanctions.
The best we can do is just continue doing what we're doing and hope
that American politicians one day overcome their stupidity and prejudices.
And finally I hardly think I would want to rely on Congress to better
the conditions in Iran. As an Iranian I would just rather (and will rest
assured when I'm in the position to do so) GO BACK and render my services
- build schools, hospitals, clinics, etc.
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* Kiss ass
In response to "More
thankful than Americans"
The fact that our homeland, along with countless other Third World countries,
remain in a state that forces its people to go into exile is LARGELY due
to the foreign policies of the land of milk and honey [USA} over the course
of last fifty years.
To count yourself as lucky and remain thankful for being given the quasi-freedom
to consume (without a care in the world) is not by any stretch of imagination
a valid justification to preach that all of us will have to kiss the bloody
hand of the true incarcerater of freedom and democracy.
"B" and persons of his ilk will do well to remember that any
country in the history of the world that became something achieved their
status not through deserters-com-cheerleaders (A Bud in one hand clutching
a baseball cap in the other and eager to kiss ass) but by men and women
of substance who weren't self-centered and audaciously selfish.
Much as I hate cliches, but one has got to ask these people: ask not
what your country has done for you! Ask what have you done for your country!
(and please leave your uncles, fathers, and mothers out of your excuses-
J. Shahri (Mr.)
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December 7, 1999
* El Al connection
After months of gut-wrenching deliberation, the U.S. is allowing the
Boeing Co. to sell a limited number of 747 engine pod modification kits
to Iran Air [news].
Washington reassures everyone that the waiver on trade restrictions with
Iran involves only seven aircraft and that none of the high-tech tools
required to carry out the alterations will fall into the hands of the Iranians.
Nor will Iran Air's cargo planes benefit from such modifications as, according
to U.S. officials, the airline's non-passenger fleet may have been used
for "nefarious" military purposes.
Ironically, the reason for the modification stems from the 1992 crash
of an Israeli El Al 747 cargo aircraft in Amsterdam that devasted a large
apartment block, killing more than 50 residents and injuring many others.
Seven years after the disaster, hundreds of people living in the vicinity
of the crash site, and who continue to suffer damage to their nervous systems,
are blaming the Dutch government for having failed to divulge the true
nature of the Israeli aircraft's payload. El Al and Dutch officials had
for years maintained the fiction that the plane was carrying fresh flowers.
After the cover-up was exposed, it emerged the airline was in fact ferrying
chemicals to be used in the production of the nerve gas Sarin at a secret
chemical weapons eastablishment in Israel. This is the same nerve gas that
was developed by the Germans towards the end of WWII and most recently
used to deadly effect by Saddam Hussein's forces during the Iran-Iraq war.
This time, it appears, the U.S. authorities may have got their airlines
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* Rahebe ye Parandeh
Thanks to satellite communication, you can subscribe to as many as 50-60
channels in Dubai, which include local stations like Abu Dhabi, Sharjah,
Ajman, MBC (Lebanon), Sudan, Egypt, Pakistan, India, CNN, MTV, SKY Sports
and of course the Iranian channels.
Iranian TV, like any other channel, shows spotrs, news, shows, etc.,
but with a distinctive difference: All the female presenters have hejabs
similar to orthodox nuns -- and often black.
What was wrong with our own Iranian roosaree? No Arab female presenter
wears the maghnaeh! It reminds me of the American TV series "Rahebe
ye Parandeh" (The Flying Nun). I do not know if any of you remember
Anyhow there is nothing wrong with variety particularly in the global
village, but even Sudanese TV stations have more entertainment with women
singers. Yes! A women singer called Samira! Why can't Iran have a woman
singer on TV? Sudan is Moslem country too!
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December 6, 1999
I read Hossein Samiei's "A
moon of our own". I asked myself A) What function does this essay
have for Hossein? B) What is the point of this essay? And C) How could
it affect others and their lives?
Let me first explain that the story left me very confused. Because although
on the surface it appealed to me as beautiful, moving, and very engaging,
on a deeper level it left me empty and sad and unsympathetic. I think,
unconsciously, I was noticing a rather self-serving attitude that the story
had portrayed of the boy in question ... FULL
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* Murder mystery
In response to, "Where are Miss Iran 1978 finalists now?"
Aqaie resides in Los Angeles. She was married, has children ( I think
3 ). Her husband was murdered last year. She was arrested as a suspect
in the case. I don't believe she is guilty, but the legal system in this
country works in peculiar ways. Her parents and only brother also live
in Los Angeles.
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December 3, 1999
* Long live Iran
I believe very strongly in where I'm from. Iran. And even though I'm
an American citizen influenced by many American views, that does not affect
my beliefs. I have one hundred percent Iranian blood!
As a fourteen-year-old I have spent four of my summers there. And my
expierence cannot be put into words. It was all just so beautiful; the
people, the places, the food. I know that the love of my country is more
than the love Shakspeare had for writng. And that this bond is here to
stay until the end of life.
What I do not understand is why my country is always being ridiculed,
and why I see so many Iranians hide their true identity. That's the worst
part. It hurts me so much to see the one thing I am so proud of, so cowardly
hidden by other Iranians.
I believe that these people, mostly teenagers, some adults, are afraid.
Afraid of not being what other people want them to be. But it is themselves
they should be afraid of. They can go through life pleasing everyone, letting
them hear what they want, and see what they want to see. But if they can't
look back into the eyes of the person in the mirror then they are no one,
they are a puppet, with no heart or feelings.
And another thing: Long live Iran!
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* Thanking Allah for this blessed land
In response to, "What are you thankful for?"
"What am I thankful for?" the thought came to my mind as I
went through my pile of daily email on Thansgiving day. I couldn't help
remembering the collage of self-pity, searching-for-self-and-identity crap
I had read in the The Iranian Times in the past.
So we all found our way to North America at one time or other. Some
of us were young teens when we called our old country "home",
and some were old and needy. But the fact remains that we did end up here.
And the fact remains that we all chose to live here.
I found myself in south Florida this Thanksgiving. I had to be away
from my tribe and away from our annual Thanksgiving gathering north of
San Luis Obispo, California, this year. South Florida has very few Iranians
but all kinds of people from other cultures. Its culture is one step ahead
of the Third World and not quite America yet. Its people are almost as
diverse as San Francisco's East Bay and its climate is worse than what
I remember of the Abadan of my childhood.
I had Thanksgiving dinner with an American Jewish and Catholic family.
There were people fresh off the boat with a lesbian couple from New York,
an aging cross-dressing couple, a retired US army captain, a few long-haired
people stuck in the 60s, bunch of kids and I - the Iranian guy from California.
We ate turkey and stuffing, partied and drank. I taught them to say "Beh
salaamati " and I said "Lekha'im" every other time we raised
All of us newcomers came here for various reasons and this great country
accepted us with open arms and treated us like its own children. Thanksgiving
to me is all about thanking Allah for this blessed land.
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