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Shahin & Sepehr


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

December 6-10, 1999 / Azar 15-19, 1378


* Iranians:
- Hope in future
- Discrimination not limited


* In America:
- Fuggedaboudit
- Kiss ass
- Thanking Allah for this blessed land
- Long live Iran
- El Al connection

* Hejab
- Rahebe ye Parandeh
- Unsympathetic

* Nostalgia:
- Murder mystery

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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 "Kiss 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 TEXT

Minou Aghamiri

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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.

Max Rofougar

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December 8, 1999

* Fuggedaboudit

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.

Nariman Neyshapouri

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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- Just YOU).


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 crossed.

Kewmars Bozorgmehr

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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 it.

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!

Reza Mousoli

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December 6, 1999

* Unsympathetic

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 TEXT

Poopak Taati

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* Murder mystery

In response to, "Where are Miss Iran 1978 finalists now?"

Roya 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!

Rahill Jamalifard

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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 our glasses.

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.

Kamran Behzadian

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