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Shahin & Sepehr


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

December 27-30, 1999 / Dey 6-9, 1378


* Fiction:
- Celebrate creativity
- Dastmal-e Hareer


* Christmas:
- In Tehran
- Our problem
- Not the center of the world
- Sacred marriage
- Voter anger
- Stop telling us what we should be

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December 29, 1999

* Celebrate creativity

I really enjoy the diversity of features in Ms Afsari's bit on dating was fun to read ["The sixth man"]. Same with Mr. Samiei's moon landing memories ["A moon of our own"]. So it was a bit disapporinting to read letters bashing these creative endavors ["Chossi aamadan", "Unsympathtic"].

Perhaps an unintended function of this web-site is to be an open-laboratory where creative and literary Iranians can post their work, regardless of its "appropriateness" -- whether it is a piece which would ultimately find its "English-media home" in Cosmopolitan or The New York Times.

Let us celebrate Iranian creativity in all its incarnations at home and abroad and offer our opposing thoughts as constructive criticism and fuel for lighting our own creative fires!

Ramin Abhari

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* Dastmal-e Hareer

Referring to the Nostalgia photo on December 27, if this is the same Haleh, who did the commercial for Dastmaal-e Hareer tissues ("Khanooma, Aaaqaayoon, Dastmaal e man Hareere..."), she lives in California.

She used to be a sidekick in Fereydoun Farrokhzad's TV show in California. Then she had her own TV show. At the moment Haleh and her husband run a 24-hour satellite TV company called Pars.

Simin Habibian

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December 28, 1999

NONE. No internet connection.

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December 27, 1999

* Christmas in Tehran

From a friend in Iran

Just wanted to wish you a wonderful holiday season! I can honestly say that I wish I were in the U.S. to celebrate the holidays with you. The sheer absence of Christmas in Iran, is enough to make me desperately homesick. Though today, I took to the streets and visited an Armenian neighborhood, where I lit some candles in an Orthodox church, listened to a beautiful choir and later bought some Christmas lights and decorations -- just like the ones we had when I was young and lived in Iran :-).

Later today, I will buy a Christmas tree and tonight, I will think of each and everyone of you, as I decorate it. Besides missing my family and friends and feeling occasionally homesick, I am having a nice time in Iran. As many of you know, I am enjoying my work here quite a bit. Again, I have been extremely lucky. I have met some of the most remarkable people here and am enjoying some beautiful and meaningful friendships with them.

This indeed is a gift, for which I feel eternally grateful. In some ways, everyday here has been a Christmas of sorts. A time of reflection, a time of discovery, a time of understanding all that I have left behind and discovering the endless possibilities that await. It has been bittersweet. I know now, more than ever before, that I am two people, with two homes, two families, two sets of friends, two realities. Two halves of one heart, torn eternally apart.

But still, there is a peace in knowing this, that cannot be explained with words alone, for which I have no words.

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* Our problem

As I was surfing the Net somehow I lost my way into you site. I am not even sure if what I am writing will be seen by anyone, but here it goes: The problem with Iranians is partly due to our upbringing in Iran.

Between 1978 and 1988, the country went through a revolution and war and the impact of Khomeini was worse than a nuclear bomb. I have always had a problem with that.

Reza Saba

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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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