BBC: Story of the revolution

email us

US Transcom
US Transcom

Shahin & Sepehr


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

June 21-25, 1999 / Khordad 31-Tir 4, 1378


* Hopelessness:
- Do something about it
- I hope you go to heaven


* Economy:
- Khatami's political priority
- We sympathize, but...
- Universal narcissistic tendency
- You belong in hell

- No excuse
- Thank you
Laleh Khalili:
- Mentally trapped

* Agassi:
- Iranian blood not enough

email us

June 25, 1999

* Do something about it

What really disturbed me about mr Sia M's article ["Son, don't ever do that again"] isn't the poor state of health care in Iran Now and in the past, but his sense of anguish or detachment.

If you look at logically, at least nowadays everyone knows the dire straight position of Iranian economy, so much more than criticism is needed. We need people with vision, funds and the commitment to make a difference, and not tape recorders taping the misery we all know that exists.

Wouldn't it be better if every privileged Iranian (whether in Iran or America or any where in the world) contributed somehow to set up or at least help these hospitals deal with the poor better?

I am sure constructive criticism can help, but not the kind of hopelessness that lots of Iranians tend to chat about.

It all comes down to believing that EACH and EVERY one of us CAN make a DIFFERENCE. And collectively, who knows how many lives and how many jobs we can save and create without the need to wait (forever) until a great government comes about.

S. Marvasti

Go to top

* I hope you go to heaven

Dear Sholom,

I was very impressed by your letter ["You belong in hell"], it proudly displays your open mind and impressive level of intellectual sophistication. Thank you very much for eloquently describing how all 60-something million of us think and act alike.

From your letter I infer that all the Jews think the same, all the Christians feel similarly about everything, and all the Hindus believe in one thing, .....oh, I almost forgot, all the Americans are ignorant bastards, all the Germans are Jew-killing Nazis, all Britons are colonialists, and all the Israelis are ultraorthodox radicals...

I hope you go to heaven, because I hope God (mine and yours are one and the same, like it or not) forgives you, and all the bigoted idiots like you, whether they are Muslim, Jew, Christian, or whatever.

A civilized Iranian
Hamid Salamipour, M.D.,

Go to top

June 24, 1999

* We sympathize, but...

Dear Sholom,

We sympathize with those protesting against the arrest of 13 Jews by Iran's government on espionage charges. We, too, seek justice: If they're innocent, free them and apologize. If not, imprison them and throw the key away.

Your letter indicates that you don't enjoy a high level of education or tactfulness. Your remarkable depth of ignorance about Iranians and their struggle against a despot government in Iran has probably led your underdeveloped mind to stereotype all the Iranian individuals -- an action that I would never commit toward my best friends, who happen to be Jews (Abraham and Shalom), by mixing their actions with many unfair policies committed by the Israeli government toward Christian Israeli's or Muslims living in Israel.

As an Iranian-American, I pray for your enlightenment. Well, at this stage of your mental development, a simple improvement in culture and sophistication will do. Practical advice: Cut back on using the sensational news on TV and/or trashy magazines as the source of your insignificant information. Instead, visit your public library more often.


Go to top

* Universal narcissistic tendency

I am afraid that there has been and will be for the fore-seeable future a malignant strain of anti-Judaism in Iran ["I must be a Jew"].

Those of us who have experienced the deep religious (and other kinds of) bigotry displayed by the typical Muslim Iranian, would likely attest to its universal hostility against non-Muslims including Christians, Bahais, Zoroastrians and so on.

My own feeling is that there is a universal narcissistic tendency in human beings to try to enhance their own standing by denigrating others; "Even though I am a (X) beggar, I am still superior to that rich (Y)."

I recall Israeli Jews telling me how all dirty words in Hebrew have come from Arabic since "Hebrew has been such a pure language" etc. I also recall my sister being denied Hebrew instruction on the grounds that only Jews should learn the Judaic language.

I empathize with those Jews who would like to have their history and their contribution to Iran acknowledged. But they have to take a number since the main contours of Iranian history is still largely unwritten, let alone such interesting eddies as the Jews of Iran.

The most important thing, however, in my opinion, is not whether the two religious communities like each other or don't like each other. The most important thing is whether a Jew can live his life in peace; going about his own business?

Can a Jew trust the state to protect his life, his family, and his property? With the exception of the forced conversion of the Mashhadi Jews in the 19th century; this question must be answered in the affirmative as far as Iran is concerned.

As I said before, I do not want to minimize the general bigotry of the Iranian Muslims against non-Muslims (they were still restrained in expressing their hostility by their religious beliefs, in my opinion.)

I personally believe that Islam may be viewed as Judaism for Gentiles; the second surah of the Qoran is a recapitulation of Jewish Haggadah. I also believe that there is a place within Islamic Iran for various religious minority with full citizenship rights.

As the panelists observed, Jews have a long history in Iran and in Islam. At the moment; the world Jewry has its faith in West. It is useful, in my opinion, for Jews to keep their ancient ties to Iran; in spite of the present difficulties. History has been full of unpleasant surprises.

Babak Makkinejad

Go to top

June 23, 1999

* You belong in hell

I cannot believe how you Iranians can be such a barbaric, anti-Semitic, hate-mongering, blood-loving people. To take 13 innocent Jews and cook up a false story of espionage, and then have thousands of people demonstrating and shouting "Hang the Jews!", just goes to show that the place where you Iranians belong is to rot in hell forever and ever.

Sholom Din

Go to top

* Khatami's political priority

I read your article with interest on the Iranian economy ["Sleep-walking economy"]. You make good observations and make some very valid points. I was in Iran just a few weeks ago (after 13 years). The economic situation is not very good and people don't have the feeling that the government is doing much to fix anything. These are general observations from talking to various people.

It also seems to me that Mr. Khatami's theory is that before the economy can be fixed, political and social freedom must be expanded. While some may disagree, my observance of his presidency leads me to believe that this is exactly where he is placing his bets.

Also, I couldn't quite follow your argument on hard currency and why more of it would not alleviate some problems. For example, one reason that U.S. dollar exchange rate is high is that there simply is not enough of it.

Thanks and again, your article was done very well. I look forward to reading many more pieces.

Piroz Mohseni

Go to top

June 22, 1999

* No excuse

Enjoyed reading "I must be a Jew" in The Iranian. I agree with the assessment that anti-Semitism is alive and well in the U.S., although not as overt as say anti-Iranian, anti-Arab or anti-Black sentiments.

This of course does not excuse those of us in the Iranian community who express their hatred towards Jews. This is simply wrong and if enough people stood up and complained it would go away, at least in the way that it is currently being expressed.

I do however reserve my dislike for Zionism, because it is an ethnocentric and racist movement which a lot of Israelis and some American Jews subscribe to.

Shahram Mostarshed

Go to top

* Thank you

Thank you for reminding us about our poets and literary figures - this time Shamlu. I hope we appreciate their contribution to our heritage.

Farhad Ghassemi

June 21, 1999

* Mentally trapped

This morning I read Laleh Khalili's account of her trip to Abadan and Khorramshahr ["Palm groves survive"]. It was very well written. Of course the things she is describing are awesome, but there was also the style and the economy and precision that served the telling.

Twice I broke down reading that part where she tells of the veterans taking off their shoes to observe heart-felt respect they feel for those killing fields when they visit their baked salty dusts. Compare this purity with the mercenary posture and utterances of the vacuous "intellectuals" and despicable "poets" etc.

Mentally trapped in a world of spent customs and habits, we are, all of us, sleepwalking on a tight rope, that is also worn out, when we think and talk about our society, its politics and culture.

Parviz Kuhkan

Go to top

* Iranian blood not enough

I visited the Iranian web site and I saw Andre Agassi's pictures ["Andre the great"]. They are really nice pictures. However, I don't ever recall Agassi talking or mentioning anything about his Iranian background. As a matter of fact, I don't think he has ever acknowledged that.

Keeping that in mind, my question is why should we, as Iranians, try to relate him to ourselves. In my opinion, to being Iranian has nothing to do with having Iranian blood, but it has everything to do with one's love and interest toward Iran, its people, its culture and its history.

Unfortunately, I can't see this interest in Andre Agassi despite the fact that his father is an Iranian and, if I am not mistaken, served in Iran's national boxing team. I think he is a great tennis player, but I just can't picture him as an Iranian.

Cyrous Jame

Go to top

Copyright © Abadan Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved. May not be duplicated or distributed in any form

 MIS Internet Services

Web Site Design by
Multimedia Internet Services, Inc

 GPG Internet server

Internet server by
Global Publishing Group.

Letters archive

email us