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Shahin & Sepehr


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

October 25-29, 1999 / Aban 3-7, 1378


* Culture:
- No Disney, no communication


* Iranians:
- New generation
- Fury does not help
- No girls?

- World citizen
- Raise the bar

- Distilling an identity
- We are American
- Miss kick ass
- Worst weakness

* The Iranian:
- Cutting edge

* Religion:
- Intolerance

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October 29, 1999

* No Disney, no communication

I am a fan of Dr. Naficy's work, and I have admired his writings and his observations esp. on Iranian cinema over the years, but his article ["Crossing boundaries"] made assertions that were too tempting to pass up, so here is my response:

1. The globalization of American pop culture is the globalization of consumer culture, and two persons communicating through American pop culture therefore cannot communicate unless it is by way of a capitalist communicative medium (a product of some sorts, namely a movie or a doll), and in this case a Disney animated product. No Disney product, no communication. This means we are mute and completely subject to a breakdown of any discourse without a infrastructure set-up by the American/capitalist culture industry. This is loss of freedom ... FULL TEXT

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Octrober 28, 1999

* New generation

I think that if anyone would like to read the opinion of the new generation of Iranians, they should. I have lived in England for 10 years, I only lived in Iran up to the age of 4. There are many things I love about my country and many things I hate; my hate has come from the contrast I have felt from living in a country run by religion and so-called "order" and living in a country where there is a freedom of speech, of action of independence ...

I love my country; the smell, the air, the mountains, the people. But I can not "respect" my country. I hope one day me and others will be able to overcome our fear of death and stand up for our rights and others' rights! My dad's best friend was killed simply because of his beliefs and my dad was shot in the leg when he was a young man because of his communist friend! I do not believe in communism I believe in democracy and freedom to live life in the quality which the individual wishes! ... FULL TEXT


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* Fury does not help

I have been reading every article Ms. Khalili has been sending to The Iranian. When I read her furious letter in response to "Basheh digeh" by Mr. Rad, I could only go back and read it for the first time. It was an amazingly well thought-out article by Mr. Rad.

I Find Ms. Khalili's observations superficial and rather dogmatic, even though her love of Iran is obvious. It astonishes me that people like us who have left our vatan with all its problems to find a better life abroad, give ourselves an absolute right to criticize our embattled countrymen and women and their traditions.

It is like Ms. Khalili has swallowed the stigma the West attaches to Middle East (although she may not be aware of it) and now she is throwing it up in the cyberspace. I do not know just what kind of people she is dealing with in Iran, but her statements of how women supposedly behave and what is expected of them, is not my experience of Iran. No, Ms. Khalili, women where I come from do not do "eshve-gari" or any other mispresentations you have attributed to them.

By the way there is nothing wrong with having "veghaar" when you are dealing with the public, even though it is not a practiced virtue in the West. As Mr. Rad mentions, try to look for the real causes of the social ills of our country and at least try to mention them as a balance to your Iranian-culture bashing. Hiding behind a furious response to a logical and well thought-out criticism will not help.

Alireza B.

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Octrober 27, 1999

* Raise the bar

Mr. Alikhani writes an admirable piece on one's perspectives of how we impact our society.

It is worthy to mention that one has to be a good human being first and foremost. So often we try to categorize ourselves by using so many different issues. It doesn't matter if one's an Egyptian, an Icelander, a Cruzan, or an Iranian. What matters most, when reflected upon, was how this one individual impacted his/her society.

Mr. Alikhani's grandfather certainly did significant things to impact his neighbors and friends. However, everyone, in one shape or another, directly or indirectly has an impact on society. That is how U.S. has become such a melting pot with a diverse--some may argue-- socio-economic background ... FULL TEXT

Ali Shemirani

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* Distilling an identity

I keep checking out because, every once in a while, hidden among record promos and not-so-funny conversation bits, there is an article that completely brings me to tears. These unprofessional articles, often written in less than perfect English, move me more than any well-researched study or master reporting from Iran. I guess, as they say in Persian, if it comes from the heart it reaches the heart (ageh az del biyaad, beh del mishineh).

And so it was with Mr. Alikhani's recent article "Stop or go?". I think it moved me because it dealt with a subject that I have wrestled with many times since leaving Iran -- the search for one's identity when living away from the source of identification.

Here are some of my thoughts about how our generation of Iranians in America can distill an identity which is completely in tune with the values of our parents and grandparents without ending up alienated from the host society and ineffective as a result ... FULL TEXT

Ramin Abhari

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Octrober 26, 1999

* No girls?

I was pleased to see your nice photos of Iranian kids ["Moving along"]. But I had one thing on my mind: Aren't there any girls in Iran ? Why did you only take pictures of boys?

Youth make up a major percentage of our people and half of them are girls. And we should feel responsible toward their future as much as the boys. This is more important because of the way girls are treated universally and domestically.

Parham Gharagozlou

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* World citizen

I had the pleasure of viewing Bahieh Khamsi' s photographs of Ecuador ["Red orange black blue"]. As a 25-year-old, I found myself excited to see that an Iranian student had spent a year to serve humanity!

Her pictures capture the spirit and the radiance of those that she encountered. Here is an example of an Iranian who has shown herself to be a world citizen.

Jian Khodadad

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Octrober 25, 1999

* We are American

In respose to the Maryam Hosseini's "American? Yeah right":

I immigrated to the US 22 years ago. I do love our culture and most of my friends are Iranian as well. But few years ago I realized that one reason we feel so isolated and disconnected from the American society was exactly what you prescribe in your article.

The emptiness you feel inside is not because you're so far away from your homeland as you say in your article. It is because you don't realize that this great country you live in is your homeland ... FULL TEXT

Mohamad Vaezi

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* Cutting edge

I have to congradulate you guys for show casing the cutting edge Iranian arts [A. Reza Rowhani's "Reconstructing dreams"] in your web magazine. There are many great Iranian web sites but you are the best in my Explorer Favorites.

Mr. Rowhani's pictures can make a great postcards.

G.H. Massiha
Tab-edy in Louisiana

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