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Shahin & Sepehr


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

Feb 22-26, 1999 / Esfand 3-7,1377


* Reza Shah:
- Excellent book


* Smell:
- Ruined my life
- Trash
- Suspicions confirmed
Iraj Mirza:
- Shock therapy
- It's rape
- Get off your butt

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February 26, 1999

* Excellent book

Thank you for your timely excerpt of this excellent book ["Iran and the Rise of Reza Shah"] which covers a crucial, yet hitherto neglected, period in Iran's 20th. century history. The pre-packed "review" by Amazon Books is less inpressive and completely misses the main thrust of the subject.

K. Bozorgmehr

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February 25, 1999

* Ruined my life

You sir have ruined my life. I had lived happily in this country for many years until I read your viciously perceptive article ["Waht's that smell?"]. Having blessed with a hypersensitive nose like you, I had also been vaguely aware of some strange odor, but never associated it with anything in particular.

Since I read your article I have become paralyzed: I am constantly aware of "that smell"; I am unable to interact with people; crowded rooms and elevators are worse than hell; sex has completely lost its meaning; and I spend most of my time away from people. The knowledge you gave me has taken away my blissful ignorance. I wish I had never read your article.

Hossein Samiei

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* Trash

Why are you publishing this trash ["Waht's that smell?"]? What a waster of web space. Most people I know had no problems mastering the art of wiping themselves with toilet paper.

Afshin David Youssefyeh

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February 24, 1999

* Suspicions confirmed

I am not an Iranian, but I am a Baha'i and I am always concerned for my brothers and sisters in faith that live there. Thus I find it quite refreshing and inspiring that your magazine is willing to publish the recent articles on the Baha'i Faith. Thank you. It goes to show that Iranians are the good people I've always suspected them to be.

Stephen A. Fuqua

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February 23, 1999

* Shock therapy

Iraj Mirza was one of very few people in Iran (even to this day) who could see beyond the dark shadow of beliefs that had been forced upon our people for generations. He's talking about "ignorance", he's asking people to resist temptations with an open mind and not for fear. He even tried to shock people with his use of explicit words, to disclose one of the most degrading symbols of ignorance in his society.

I have to admit, even though I had read this poem 20 years ago in Iran, seeing the words written in farsi on my monitor still shocked me, but how can you not see beyond that? How can you not keep on reading?

I'm sorry for the people who read this poem and didn't feel respect for such a great mind. His, was the voice of reason. Not many brave souls (even in a country known for its heroes) ever came out and made their points the way Iraj Mirza did in this humorous / controversial work.

Mojgan Namvar

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* It's rape

Poets and good writers have always been ahead of members of their society and in this case, Iraj Mirza might have opened some eyes. But I am sure it has not be very effective. His poem is very old to me and I personally have not met any woman with the mentality he describes.

Today after I read this poem, although I agreed and admire his points, I did not like his presentation. I think he must have been one of those men who abused women's character by creating a fictional situation and sell his explicit language.

I am more comfortable to take it as a piece of satire, obviously exagerated, to reveal the extreme abuse of women's rights and character in a corupt male-dominated society. These men plant kharzahreh and expect roses.

Whatever the writer's purpose was, even if 10% represented reality, I have to say that was the description of rape. It was rape and nothing else.


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February 22, 1999

* Get off your butt

Iranians talk of democracy as if it is some sort of state of bliss or Nirvana which may one day be achieved [1979 survey]. This is a misunderstanding of democracy. It also portrays an Iranian characteristic of sitting around complaining and bickering while waiting for someone or something to come along and save us from ourselves and our problems, whether it is "another revolution" that some people have been promising each other for 20 years, or another Shah, or Khatami, or the much anticipated "rapprochement" with the U.S.

Democracy is marked by strife and squable and power-plays and intrigue and jostling - much like things are now, it is not a state of peaceful bliss, and it doesn't improve on its own. Iranians would do better to stop waiting for the perfect regime to be handed to us on a platter, and stop arguing over the past and the "what if's" - instead get up and make the necessary sacrifices and put in the effort and the time to do something constructive.

Put your money where your mouth is, go back to Iran, deal with the daily frustrations, teach a course, invest some money, build a road, translate a textbook, write a computer program, take responsibility - that is how things get done. Whining, bickering, self-pity, nostalgia, trading 20-year old jokes, and a longing for American validation or another revolution to come along while sitting in L.A.- they don't help anything or anyone.

C. Safdari

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