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The Iranian Features
March 8-12, 1999 / Esfand 17-21,1377


* Media: Radio days


* Rights: 160 degress
* Rights: Molla or not
* Elections: All is calm. For now.
* Fiction: A new destiny
* Cover story: Common sense

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March 12, 1999


Radio days
Serving the "Finglishy" community in Virginia and on the Net

By Babak Yektafar

It started slowly as a one-hour, once-a-week show about three years ago. The first few shows where truly fun. I had no idea what I was doing, but I didn't care because I had no listeners. Aside from producing the content and performing, I had to run the audio mixing board as well. I was going to be irreverent and wild. I would speak perfect Finglish (Farsi-English) since this was to be a program for the Finglishy generation. I would play cool, on-the-edge music of the world. I would talk about Morad Barghi, Live Aid, Motel Ghoo, Lesbian Dial-A-Date, Chattanooga, Planet Hollywood, Gol Gov Zaboon and Chai Latte. I would be the Iranian (albeit less controversial) Howard Stern. Little did I know ... GO TO FEATURE

March 11, 1999


160 degrees
A reversal of sorts in attitudes towards human rights

    By Hossein Bagher Zadeh

The pivotal themes of the ongoing debates ... are civil society and the rule of law. Both these themes are used by their proponents as instruments to discredit violence - the latter being a hallmark of the revolutionary power since the foundation of the Islamic Republic. And the remarkable thing is that they seem to be actually winning the argument. Today, even the most hard-line elements inside the regime are trying to forward their positions by resorting to the principle of the rule of law, and rejecting violence in words - though not in deeds.

This in itself is a major achievement: the language of violence is being discredited under the Islamic Republic. Today, not only the reformists, commonly known as the "2nd of Khordad Front", condemn violence and lawlessness but also their opponents are increasingly trying to distance themselves from any act of violence ... GO TO FEATURE

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Molla or not
Concern over Mohsen Kadivar's arrest, even though he's a clergyman

    By Emami

    Could [the] lack of sensitivity [towards Kadivar's arrest] be attributed to the penchant for the dead and the martyrs which is so engrained in our psyches that even after many years of living in the west one would still react to injustice and brutality when someone is actually killed? Or is it, perhaps, the anti-religious, modernist outlook of so many of us that militates against defending a molla and getting unduly involved in some "in-fighting" that is going on out there? ... GO TO FEATURE

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March 10, 1999


All is calm. For now.
The council elections showed a desire for change

    By Laleh Khalili

    Something is simmering under the surface. The recent Council Elections and the extraordinary campaign period leading up to it has been affected by the quiet and not so quiet gathering of forces unseen. While the Tehran elections were a major reflection of the politics at national level, once one steps outside the capital, the election in other cities and towns and villages becomes far more interesting not as political events but as sociological or anthropological ones. I have been keeping in touch with the Tehran elections from afar via the increasingly more brilliant and chaotic "lefty" newspapers, but these papers ("Khordad", "Sobh-e-Emrooz" and "Neshat") take a day to get to Shiraz from Tehran and as such, the temporal distance allows some emotional distance as well, which in turn leads to me paying much more attention to the local elections here in Shiraz ... GO TO FEATURE

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March 9, 1999


A new destiny
"I was the real exile ... the traveler who would never find her destination."

Excerpts from "Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith" (Harcourt Brace), Gina B. Nahai's new novel. Her previous novel, "Cry of the Peacock", received high praise in The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications.

    watching my compatriots and how they had brought with them not only their sense of home and community but also their pasts loaded with failed hopes and lost expectations -- on these occasions I would remember what Mercedez had told me and think that perhaps she had been right -- that Sohrab might have done me a favor by sending me away. He had taken away my hope and my family. But he had also taken away the fear I had of being haunted by greedy ghosts, the anxiety of having rabid dogs at the window, the anguish of wondering of Roxanna was buried under the concrete in our yard. He took from me the sadness that had tainted my mother's life, and the limitations of a destiny I could not have avoided in Iran ... GO TO FEATURE

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March 8, 1999

Cover story

    Common sense
    No one has chronicled Iranian events quite like Masoud Behnoud

    Masoud Behnoud was born in 1947. He has been writing articles for various journals since 1964. In all he has 300 interviews and more than 1,000 articles to his credit, as well as at least eight documentaries, 50 TV programs and seven books.

    What's so impressive about Behnoud's body of work is his uncommon common sense and ability to grasp and convey current events in a balanced way. He reflects the mood of a nation; a true journalist, an endangered species in a country that badly needs the likes of him to quench the thirst for reliable and balanced news ... GO TO FEATURE

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Common sense
No one has chronciled Iranian events quite like Masoud Behnoud

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