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Shahin & Sepehr


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

December 20-24, 1999 / Azar 29-Dey 3, 1378


* Culture
- Not the center of the world
- Sacred marriage


* Discrimination:
- Voter anger
- Stop telling us what we should be
The Iranian:
- Whoever your are
- Good old days

* America:
- Due credit
- Way to go
- Charming Tajrish
- Contradictions
- Arabic names

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December 24, 1999

* Not the center of the world

I truly appreciate Ms. Shashaani's earnest attempt to demonstrate yet another "borrowed idea" taken from good old Persia and enacted in the West ["Borrowed ideas"]. But her idea of Christmas being a borrowed Persian concept is at best questionable.

May I suggest that Persians were not the only ancient civilization that worshipped the sun and celebrated the winter solstice. Most ancient civilizations did! As they worshiped the sun, there was common fear among people that the shorter days during the winter solstice meant that the sun was about to abandon them or punish them with bad harvest....

Ancient Persian civilization was rich in tradition and festivities, but may we all accept that we are not the center of the world and never were >>> FULL TEXT

Ramin Tabib

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* Sacred marriage

I was indeed interested in your summary of Zoroastrian divorce laws ["Zoroastrian divorce"]. I am a Zoroastrian and do believe that marriage is a sacred contract that should not be broken. The majority of times, Zoroastrians do not get divorces, very few. Well, it was great to read your article.


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December 23, 1999

* Voter anger

I truly appreciate the fact that The Iranian Times is providing a forum for the Iranian community around the world in general, and the United States in particular, to voice their opinion and protect their legitimate interests and rights.

A vivid example is allowing people to learn about and petition regarding the discriminatory practices of finger printing and photographing Iranians upon arrival in the U.S.

Well, let's go back to the origin of this practice. It was enacted in 1995 by the Clinton Administration (and I am non-partisan) when it declared Iran as a country supporting terrorism. In the past seven years the Clinton - Gore Administration has consistently and systematically demonstrated their staunch anti-Iranian stand. Their behavior towards Iranians is unprecedented compared to previous U.S. administrations. Mistreatment of Iranian nationals upon arrival is only the tip of the iceberg.

Well folks, there is an election coming up next year and all of us should remember the manner in which this administration has dealt with Iranian nationals. There are no indications that if Al Gore is elected he will make any changes regarding this racist policy. I believe that the Iranian community living in the U.S. should make it known and absolutely clear that they will not support any politician or administration adhering to this racist and discriminatory practice.

Masoud Neshat

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* Stop telling us what we should be

Your letter "Allah knows best" is the very example of narrow-minded people who live in the past. I and many young Iranian boys and girls who grew up during the revolution feel under pressure from people like you because you want us to be as you think we should be.

Fortunately we have found a very good way to deal with people like you and the fascist hezbollahis: WE IGNORE YOU. But I cannot guarantee what would happen if you loose power in Iran. The gap is wide and the hatred deep.

I left Iran 11 years ago. I used to think Islam meant fascism. But I met other Muslims in France and I realize that you can read and interpret the Koran as you want. If your are intolerant you will be like the Taliban.

The main problem is that you always refer to Islam's golden age that ended centuries ago! Be what you are but stop telling us what we should be!

Amin Naraghi

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December 22, 1999

* Whoever your are

The other night my son who has never been to Iran came home and told me that he had met another Persian guy at work. He was very excited. Then he said to me, "You know dad, I don't know what it is, I have never been to Iran, but whenever I meet another Iranian I feel something special, something different."

I still cry when I repeat that story. And everytime I log on to your site I weep uncontrollably. I don't know why. I don't know you, and I don't know what political philosophies you hold. All I know is that you are from the land that I miss so much. I hate what has been done to my generation and to my son's generation. I hope those responsible are brought to justice one day.

In the meantime, I love what you have done and I am so proud of you, whoever you are. Thank you for keeping my childhood memories alive.

Siamak Masoudi

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* Good old days

Thanks for reminding me of the good old days. Where did you find this photo? I had never seen it myself! Name of the film is AATASH-O- KHAAKESTAR, directed by Khosrow Parvizi who lives in Los Angeles. He could give you lots of unique and first hand information about the film.

Vida Ghahremani

Note: Vida Ghahremani also has a web site where she offers jewelry and greeting cards. Thanks to Ramin Tabib.

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December 21, 1999

* Due credit

I often read the letters section of The Iranian with great interest and amusement. No letter has provoked such a reaction as "Semi-detached house". The author describes the Untied States as a "non-cultural" society which seems to have no culture in relation to Iran. This portrayal misses the point.

First, Iranian culture is not particularly unique. Many advanced, creative cultures developed contemporaneously or shortly after Iranian culture. The cultures of China, India and some parts of the Arab Peninsula would argue with the unique position of ancient Iranian culture.

Second, U.S. culture is strongly rooted in the Western and English tradition. The literary heritage of such poets as Shakespeare and Milton, still have a dramatic impact on American culture. On an independent basis, the U.S. has developed a rather complex layer of cultural makers. Literature by Poe, Irving, Anderson, Cather, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck and Tom Wolfe sell widely world wide and have been recognized with Nobel prizes.

The poetry of Walt Whitman and Robert Frost are great. Political philosophy as developed by Jefferson and Madison are accepted worldwide. The drive of invention from Edison to Bill Gates is internationally recognized. All of these accomplishments have common philosophic threads of personal responsibility and initiative, equality, mobility and honesty.

You may not agree with some of the results, but American culture has produced an economic powerhouse, superior technological position and an unrivaled military. Credit must be given when due.


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* Way to go

Loved the poem ["Sipping lattes in diaspora"]. Way to go Shafagh Moeel.


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* Charming Tajrish

I used to live in Tajrish for so many years ["Maydoon-e Tajrish"]. I loved every piece and corner of it. I still do. It had a charm and beauty of its own in the evenings of summers. Could I be fortunate enough to see those streets and "koucheh haa" one more time? I don't know, but I'm hoping. And I say it with the sincierest feeling that we all can travel or stay there in confidence.

Kumar Sahadpour

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December 20, 1999

* Kish contradictions

I have just got back from Kish island in the Persian gulf. It had been many years since I last visited and I was keen to see the changes. I went there for a few days with 14 other colleagues from various nationalities. We stayed in the Shyan Hotel that was built in mid 70's. The decoration, carpets, curtains and everything else apart from few small items were all in the 70's style. But they have not been maintained. I was told that the hotel was closed for 10 years during the war. You could see that the building has many sad stories to tell.

The whole island looks like one big building site. There is a huge development by a private investor by the name of Sabet who is constructing a theme park. I was allowed to see it; he has good ideas. Like all Iran there are few foreign tourists that are prepared to wear the scarf and tolorate other difficulties and travel to Iran. Kish was no exception. But most Iranians go there to buy duty free goods. In the hotel most were carrying goods: TVs, computers, radios, cosmetics, etc. In a beautiful island with a crystal clear sea and corol reef; there's hardly anyone on the beach. It almost look deserted; no swimmers in site, not even with the Islamic dress! >>> FULL TEXT

Reza Mousoli

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* Arabic names

I don't have any problem with "pure" Iranian names and I mostly agree with your article ["No plain Jane"].

BUT what about those Arabic names that got into our history and culture forcefully? Why do we have ABDOLHAMID or AHMAD? Even your last name is MOHAMMADZADEH. Does it not sound strange? Do you find it acceptable? Why is anything that sounds Western so strange to you?

I named my son Cameron but I was criticized by my friends and even relatives. They said why not Kamran!? I think it's just prejudice. Remember: Persian is Indo-European and NOT Semitic like Arabic!


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