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Shahin & Sepehr


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

Feb 8-12, 1999 / Bahman 19-23, 1377


* Tehran:
- Like bungee jumping
* Politics:
- Ruling elite not homogenious


* Survey:
- Church and state don't mix
- Islamic Republic of...
- Mixed feelings

- Islam & democracy
* Civil society:
- Practicing civility

* Angylina:
- More power to her
- Soupy

* Census:
- Good for all of us

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February 12, 1999

* Like bungee jumping

The article "Traffic immitating life" brought back memories of my trip to Iran in 1995 (I am American, BTW). The traffic was one of the most frightening things in Tehran (besides the pollution). Seeing no stoplights and crosswalks, for all practical purposes, I couldn't at first contemplate how to get through the mess of cars. Eventually I learned that a pedestrian simply has to start walking and entrust their life to Allah. Waiting on the curb is futile; the traffic never ceases and you only end up attracting taxi cabs.

There is a certain exhilaration about the traffic though, either as a pedestrian or a passenger, probably not too different than that experienced by bungee jumpers or sky divers (hmmm.... I wonder if anyone has thought about arranging travel packages to Tehran for thrill seekers?).

Brad Hernlem
Personal web site

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* Ruling elite not homogenious

The ruling elite of Iran is not homogenious and many people in the high echelons of power have personal gain in mind rather than the good of the nation . Mr. Khatami's govenment has many opposing factions and groups to contend with . One wishes for their survival at this stage. The serious business of putting the economy right will take a lot more as it will tend to destroy the power of the few at the top who will not give up their lot without fight .

Dr. Ali Akbar Mahdi 's book (Farhang-e Irani, J'ame'eh-ye Madani, va Daghdaghe-ye Demokr'asi )which has been posted on The Iranian deals with all these problems in detail as a book on sociology should do and it is in so simple a language that one must recommend it to all frustrated Iranians.

Finally democracy which has been shown to be a major requirement for social and economical development can not be obtained unless a large group of people in position of power relinquish their position of authocratic power and they would only do so if they are threatened . e.g by popular opinion inside and outside the country, strikes etc. South Africa is an example and the Iranian govenment is no better or worse.


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February 11, 1999

* Church and state don't mix

What you said [about an Islamic republic and democracy] is perhaps one of the most ignorant and contradictary things I have heard in my lifetime. Democracy is based on the concept of equality and freedom, freedom of religon, speech, press etc. None of these freedoms exist in Iran's government. Forcing everyone to go by the laws of Islam is religious dictatorship. As an atheist, I have nothing against Islam or any other religon, or anyone practicing it, as long as they don't impose it on others.

In every religon, there are ideas that are disagreeable and sometimes backward, and Islam is not an exception. This theocracy has made Iran enemies, oppressed the people of Iran, and made Iran a third world country, all as the price of what? Following a religon that not everyone in Iran practices or takes seriously? On top of everything, it is only logical that church and state should not merge. They are two totally different things...

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February 10, 1999

* Practicing civility

Dear Ms Khalili,

[Regarding your article. "Jonoobe shahr"] the irony of our land is in its dichotomy, on one hand we are kind, caring and humane to the point of a fault; on the other hand, we are uncaring, crude and vicious. I for one hold the belief that we can call ourselves a civilized society when we can observe a simple act such as passage of cars in order of their priority, upon arrival at an unmarked and unguided traffic intersection. Would the first car there at that intersection, be the first through? Or would it be the most skilled and aggressive driver that goes first? Would two vehicles arriving simultaneously go head to head as whom will cross first, or that which is to the right hand side of the next, go first, followed by that vehicle which was to the left?

We can make ourselves prosperous, we can organize for a purpose and achieve it, but the welfare of the individual citizen proportionately increases not by wealth or prosperity, but with administration and practice of a civilized mode of behavior that would supplant all other rules of interaction within the society. As such, one wonders if we will ever achieve our dream of a truly progressive nation?

Good article!


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* Islamic Republic of...

I fully agree with Mr. Shakeri that an "Islamic Republic" is a "democratic republic" as long as the two words "of Iran" is not added to the end of it.

Sepehr Sohab

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February 9, 1999

* More power to her

It is not nice or appropriate to call other Iranians names just because we might not agree with what they do. Angylina is a beautiful Iranian girl who like the majority of Iraninan girls (at least abroad) likes to model. But unlike the others, not only she has the guts (and the assets!) to do it but also announces that she is from Iran. I say more power to her.

Kourosh Ahadpour

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* Soupy

Dear Goddess Angylina,

I am as impressed by your letter and your threat to sue The Iranian. I'm very proud to have been born in the same country as a young, intelligent, beautiful, kind girl like you. If this thing was a trick to get more visitors for your adult page, I have to congratulate you, you did it. If it was not, then I have a few questions if you don't mind:

- What kind of soup to you serve to the homeless?
- How much do you charge for the soup?
- What have all those "men" done to you?
- Is your father Iranian and your mother German by any chance?

Looking forward to hearing from your attorney.


dAyi Hamid

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February 8, 1999

* Mixed feelings

Obviously we Iranians still have mixed feelings about the revolution ["1979 survey"]: how can a majority believe that "that peaceful and gradual change is better in the long-run," and still be of the opinion that "revolutions are good if they have good leaders"? Aren't revolutions by definition abrupt, and often non-peaceful? (Also see Angylina's letter)

Behzad Fazel

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* Islam & democracy

[Regarding the 1979 survey:]

If you guys knew anything about Islam, then you would realize that an Islamic Republic is very democratic and carries all the virtues of a "democratic republic." (Also see Angylina's letter)

Sohail Shakeri

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