BBC: Story of the revolution

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Shahin & Sepehr


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

May 24-28, 1999 / Khordad 3-7, 1378


* The Iranian:
- Revolution is maturing
- People are maturing
- Amazing ignorance


* Midget:
- What were you on?
- Japanese food tastes GOOD!
- Fight extremism by improving economy

- Youth true engine of change
- Isfahan or Iran's problems?

* Jews:
- Must learn to tolerate

- Can't blame people
- Must love Iran first
- Turned off

- Jews & Bahais are Iranians
* Scammers:
- Covering up for criminals

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May 28, 1999

* Revolution is maturing

Dear Mr. Sajjadi,

I read with great interest your letter in The Iranian about the death of the revolution, and I just wanted to make a few small points in reply, which I hope you accept as graciously as you have offered your opinions.

First off, I really don't think the revolution as an idea is dead, since it obviously still occupies such vast tracts of the psyche of Iranians inside Iran and outside. Revolutions are only similar to living organisms in that they go through a lifecycle, and I believe that the Iranian Revolution of 1977-1979 is in its maturity stage ... FULL TEXT

Laleh Khalili

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* People are maturing

Dear Ms. Khalili,

... Revolution, by its nature, which is nothing more than war, chaos,terror, etc., never "matures", what you refer to as maturity is in fact the maturity of the Iranian people, who are not looking for another revolution and want to have peaceful change. Credit for a peaceful movement goes to the Iranian people and not to the revolution... FULL TEXT

Ali Sajjadi
Editor, Par magazine

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* Amazing ignorance

Mr. B.M.'s emotional commitment to ignorance is amazing. The statement that not one Bahai died during the Iran-Iraq war or Bahais and Jews don't help during hard times are so ridiculus. What is your proof and how can you substantiate such statments? ["I must be a Jew"]

What is well-documented is what all the minorities in Iran have been and are going through whether there is a war going on or not: Bahais have lost their lives since the begining of their religion, and guess who took these lives? I rather be a Bahai than a blood-thristy nationalist.

Sepehr Sohab

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May 27, 1999

* Must learn to tolerate

In a historic speech given during the "Islamic conference" at Tehran University, Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan said: "Human rights are rights that any person has as a human being. We are all human beings; we are all deserving of human rights.The absence of tolerance and human rights is not only a denial of human dignity. It is also the root of the suffering and hatred that breeds political violence and inhibits economic development."

In order to achieve a civil society we must learn how to tolerate people, your recent articles about minorities "I must be a Jew" and "Siaah Sookhteh" moved me (I am neither Jewish nor Black).

Our country had a much better human rights record 2500 years ago than it does today (relatively speaking). I just want to thank you for paying attention to this very important issue. Thank you The Iranian. Long live CIVIL SOCIETY.

Ali Rajabi

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* Japanese food tastes GOOD!

Your article about sushi ["Well, excuuuse me!"] made me laugh with disgust. So you don't like oriental (Japanese) food? What makes you think everyone jumped on the bandwagon in the 80's and started eating Japanese food because they had a "can't beat them, then join them" mentality? That's a dumb generalization.

I don't know if you've been asleep for more than ten years but Japanese food is not all about sushi! Wake up and smell your sumac! Japanese cuisine has many cooked dishes that include beef, chicken, seafood and steak. And they taste GOOD! Have you ever heard of a Japanese Steakhouse? Hello!!

If you're going to talk about another nation's food, then study about it before you open your naive, onion-scented mouth. I'm Iranian and I love our country's food but I appreciate what other countries have to offer as well. Have you ever sampled Thai cuisine? It's delicious and quite healthy.

Life is not all about chelo kabab. Open your eyes and empty your cup. Look around you. Go beyond the obvious and maybe you'll learn to appreciate what you have yet to taste.


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* What were you on?

I don't know. When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, he was, high on opium or heroin. Edgar Allen Poe also wrote some of his most horrifying tales while stoned out of his mind.

I wonder what the author here is on to write such a brutal scene ["Midget"]? If it isn't drugs then it must be personal experience or imagination. Either of which should be cause for alarm and a general psychological evaluation.

P. Levin

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May 26, 1999

* Can't blame people

I should congratulate you for the story that you have written ["I must be a Jew"]. Unfortunately, people from time to time get carried away and confuse the issue of politics and blame their international problems on religion or religious differences.

After living outside Iran for more than 15 years in five different countries, I've come to the realization that people's logic works the same way all over the world. The difference is mainly around the type of input given to them.

May be, we can't blame the people. In majority of the circumstances, they are taught to look at their surrounding from a single dimensional aspect and think over a very narrow and limited horizon, i.e, the intellectual engine of data analysis. The information fed into those engines; either through the media or educational system; makes the situation even worse.

Personally I have no clue how to cure this stereotyping problem. But, one thing I can say is that, understanding the problem area is the first step towards the cure.

A. Boustani

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* Must love Iran first

Let's put aside religion for one minute ["I must be a Jew"]. An answer to your question could be that every time the country is going through hard times, Jews or Bahais don't help at all. In the Iran-Iraq war not one jew was killed. I think the living condition of Jews in Iran is not bad. If they left it was not because of thier JAAN, but it was because of thier MAAL.

By the way I am a Muslim with Jewish and Bahai friends. They are my best friends.

Bahais have had a much harder time in Iran. Like any other situation, in order to be accepted by any group or organization, you must pay a big price and you might have to suffer a lot. I guess in a real world justice is not for all.

If Bahais and Jews want to be accepted by Iranians and Iran they must first love Iran, not their religion. If they do this there might be a chance and this will take a long time.


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* Turned off

I am a Moslem Iranian who happens to have quite a few American Jewish friends (not too many Iranian Jews in Austin Texas). I knew a few when I lived in Manhattan and believe me the iranian jewish community did more to upkeep the traditions (Noruz) etc. than most of the more perhaps apathetic moslem community ["I must be a Jew"].

I took offense to the whole tone of your piece : does anything positive come of "And you're a STUPID, HATEFUL IDIOT! " or comments like "'Hitler should have finished them all off taa az daste een joohoodaa raahat meeshodeem.'". LANGUAGE SUCH AS THIS SERVES NO PURPOSE. If you want to start a thoughtful dialogue, that's one thing but your language offended and turned me off.

F. BozorgMehr

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May 25, 1999

* Fight extremism by improving economy

I was rejuvenated by Mr. Aria Mehandoost article ["From revolution to freedom"]. I wished I was back in Iran in the crowd saying "Marg bar Taleban" to the Ansar Hizbollah. And I'm sure that the great majority of Iranian youth support reforms toward freedom and democracy, which are of course intertwined.

But I believe that in order to mobilize the majority who voted for Mr. Khatami, and fully neutralize all hardline elements in Iran, the economy needs to be fully improved.

State control of the economy in Iran is considered one of the highest world, with conglomorates like the Bonyad-e-Mostazafin causing too much injury to a potentially blooming economy.

When people feel they have enough to eat without having to hold more than one job, then even some members of the crazy Ansar Hizbollah can be converted to freedom fighters rather than just stay on as mercenaries.

Salman Moghaddamjoo

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* Youth true engine of change

I appreciate the writer's first hand experience and the courage of the students ["From revolution to freedom"]. I only want to remind the writer that no generation of Iranian youth in the past 50 years has been without courage.

That every young generation from the time of Dr. Mossadegh to anti-dictatorship movements of the 60's and 70's to the 1978 revolution has been the true engine of change in Iranian political arena.

Even in the dark days of 80's, it was the women and men (really girls and boys) in high schools and universities who were the vanguards. Anybody who remembers the 30th of Khordad of 1360 knows that they did not run.

Asghar Mossombagi

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May 24, 1999

* Jews & Bahais are Iranians

Clearly the authors of this story, do not consider Jews and Bahaiis as Iranians ["I must be a Jew"]. Otherwise why do they confront a Jew with an "Iranian" and not a "Moslem" or other kind of Iranian?

It is about time for all concerned Iranians to realize that being Iranian should not be equated to being Moslem, and non-Moslems have not been foreigners, even though up until today it has been so in the minds of most Iranian Moslems, including Religious ones, Leftists and Nationalists.

Committee for Religious Minority Rights in Iran
Los Angeles

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* Isfahan or Iran's problems?

I read the article on "My city, Isfahan" by Mohammad Ali and I'm still trying to see how "the bad and theugly" that the writer gripes about are necessarily Isfahan rather than Iran's problems. And what about "the good" about Isfahan -- such as food that "are to die for" -- that he briefly mentions and leaves suspended?

I am an Abadani with Isfahani heritage. Both my parents are Isfahanis who spent their adult life in Abadan. When I was a kid, my father used to send us (his family) to Isfahan for the off-school summer months. I cherrish the times I spent there and being an Iranian-American does not change that an iota. I'm not a "shotormorgh."

When I left Iran some 25 years ago, among the country's many problems at the time were noisy bumper-to-bumper traffic, low productivity/high demand for nonreturnable products, lack of customer satisfaction, government corruption, addiction, prostitution, poverty ...

What this article obviously brings out is that, the more things have supposedly changed in Iran during the last quarter of a century, the more they are the same -- countrywide and not in Isfahan alone.

Mahin Witkowski

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