September 13-17, 1999 / Shahrivar 22-26, 1378
- Small town in England
- Rude awakening
- Enough Rumi already
- Go to Afghanistan
- Obscure fluke
- Halloween NOT Persian
- Who needs Einstein?
- Only vegetables have roots
- We are separate
- Subservient and self-depricating
September 17, 1999
* Small town in England
Sitting here reading your excellent piece ["I
was once an Iranian"] in a small town library in England, has
made my eyes swell with tears.
I am partly ashamed to say so, but even though you writing is cool and
sufficiently distant (seeming that you have had much time to reflect on
these issues) it still resonated with a certain emotion much familiar to
However your experience is infinitely more broader and cross-cultural
and therefore must be worthy of a larger non-ethnically specific audience.
A current affairs periodical me thinks.
Anyway I wrote to regeister my appreciation and admiration
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* Rude awakening
While surfing the Net, I came across your website. I just wish to make
the following point about "I
was once an Iranian":
You consider yourself as an ex-Iranian who is now a naturalized Amercian.
Maybe so, as far as your identity papers are concerned, but is this true
as far as your adopted country is concerned? How deep are your roots in
your adopted country? How much did your parents (not to mention your grand-
or great grand-parents) have participated in making your adopted country
what it is now?
You may wish, understandably, to close your eyes on these facts but
your adopted country is most unlikely to do so. If you don't believe me,
read about the story of the Japanese-Americans who were interned after
the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
In brief, when it comes to the national interests of your adopted country
against the interests of your country of origin, you will experience a
rude awakening. Would it not be easier if you accepted your true identity
and left the question of Iranianness to be debated your second, third and
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September 16, 1999
* Enough Rumi already
I enjoy reading The IranianTimes every day but those Rumi poems
are starting toget on my nerves! Is it possible to get a poem from different
poets , even modern ones, like Sepehri or Farokhzad, once in a while?
And anyway, what is this new craze among Iranians out-side of Iran,
about Rumi? I know he was a great poet, but why do we elevate him to a
kind of prophet-like status? Can't we live without these mythical beings?
Thanks for your great work.
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* Go to Afghanistan
In response to the letter "Allah
knows best", if Iran is such a "modern theocracy" where
Allah knows best, may I ask what you are doing in the moral decay known
as the United States which you described as "borderline anarchy"?
I suggest you relocate to Afghanistan where you may be one with the
Taleban and there, you may continue on your way of being an ignorant and
hypocritical individual who shames all Iranians with your backward beliefs
and uneducated commentary.
And for the sake of all Iranian women, we really have no need of you
telling us how to protect our dignity when you obviously have none yourself.
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September 15, 1999
* Only vegetables have roots
First of all,let me congratulate you on your piece in The Iranian
was once an Iranian"]. I think that you have brought up some very
important questions. As a kid raised in Beirut in the thirties, I had some
I also have felt tensions about my "multiculturality" but
I think that all Iranians have some kind of ambiguity in their inner personalities.
This is perhaps due to the fact that since the 7th century we have been
living on a kind of "double" cultural background: Our Persian-Zoroastrian-Aryan
culture and the Arab-Islamic that was added .
But I want to point out that Iranians, as well as others, are mistaken
in searching for roots. I have coined the following phrase which I often
use in my writings and lectures : "Only vegetables have roots"!
I agree with your distinction between migrants and immigrants. But let
me tell you that the U.S. is not a melting pot. It is rather becoming a
keleidoscope in which, as time goes by, all the nations of the world will
be represented. (A kind of United Nations of the people of the world, not
of the governments! I am preparing a piece about this idea of mine) ...
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* We are separate
I very much agree with the
opinions of the gentleman who lives in Australia regarding Mr. Alemi's
was once an Iranian"].
I have seen Iranians in the U.S. with similar beliefs who eventually
feel emptiness and regress 180 degrees.
I would simply like to say "more power to you!" I think that
we should not become part of the homogenous "blob" called Americans.
We are a seperate entity and should be proud of it.
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September 14, 1999
* Obscure fluke
I would like to comment on this matter ["Modern
khaastegaari"]. Most of the people who read my article ["Real
Iranian girls?"] were allowed to effectively use the most insulting
and derogatory language in regards to my motives, life-style, mentality,
and so forth.
It seems that there is some bias either with the readers which have
shown overwhelming support for the this copy-cat story from a woman's perspective,
or my many attempts to respond to the accusatory-insinuations by others
commentators simply did not warrant -- in the eyes of the staff -- my effective
retort, because of subjectivity. We won't know?
Let me point out that while Halima's article was interesting to a point,
it does not show any of the depth and serious condition of the male population
or the normalcy for khaastegaari, in my opinion, with the expatriate Iranians.
The reason being is that NO MAN in Iran, legitimately, from my observation,
seriously considers girls in the West to be equals morally, or conversly
So cases of Iranian men inside Iran marrying girls from overseas are
very rare proportionally to that of expatriate Iranian guys getting nice-girls
from Iran. This is expected because the value is not in the mundane issues,
but in the ability for the future spouse to truly satisfy the wishes of
the future family.
So in all honesty, Halima's article, is of no credible value in whether
it is "modern khaastegaari" or not, because it can never be considered
a trend or norm. In my case, I have now added nine Iranian-American guy-friends
who have since gone to Iran and gotten engaged or married girls. Her case
is an obscure fluke!
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* Halloween NOT Persian
Just a line to explain: the word Halloween is a Gaelic derivation of
the middle English expression "All Hallow's Eve", which conotes
the night before November 1st which in itself is the druidic day of the
dead or in other word, all saints day. Just so you know.
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September 13, 1999
* Subservient and self-depricating
My intention is by no means to insult Mr Alemi ["I
was once an Iranian"]. I am sure he is an intelligent man who
will appreciate honest criticism albeit criticism in a rather robust tone.
Mr Alemi has written a self-indulgent piece in the worst tradition of orientalism.
He reminds me of the line " Goftaa ze cheh naaleem keh az maast keh
He wants to be American. What is that exactly? Sure, there are flowery
slogans like "the American Dream" and "the American Way
of Life", but these are merely verbose masks for a migrant country's
inability to define herself. Unless you are a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant)
, preferably one whose ancestors arrived on the Mayflower, you can not
be "American" only. You are an Italian American, a Jewish American,
a Black American, an Irish American.... So why does one's Iranian ethnicity
in conflict with being American?...
Mr Alemi reminds me of the Indians and Pakistanis who go to GPS schools
in Sydney. They try so hard to be more British than the British. They are
all obsessed with cricket, they are staunch monarchists (Last night I was
nauseated when one toasted "Gentlemen, the Queen!"), they glorify
the Westminster system and all the while they speak of how their respective
countries were better off under British rule. The only time they acknowledge
their Indian heritage is to impress someone who is fashionably into eastern
mysticism or the like. Yet they are rediculed by all. Afforded no more
than the vilest contempt. I hate to think that our most educated will similarly
end up subservient and self-depricating ... FULL
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* Who needs Einstein?
Could you please expand further on your research [Halloween
is Persian]? Particularly on the "tunneling technique" used
to link Anglo-Saxon traditions through the satanic/pagan undertones of
Halloween to Kadoo Halvaee? Could the candle in the pumpkin be attributed
to the Zoroastrian tradition of reverence for fire?
Through the ground-breaking "lexicography" of Masoumeh Haqshenas
and Kaveh Bayat [Khiyaar
chambar] - we are witnessing the dawn of a new science: "Cultural
Tunneling"! Although they missed another scientifically well-established
parable: Hitler was Iranian and from Kerman - Hitler Germani aka Hitler
Kermani!! Most effectively explained as a "genetic remnant" of
Timur's famed invasion and slaughter of Kerman!
Recently another publication from Iran claimed that Molavi's usage of
the term "Zarineh" alludes to his understanding of "quanta"
- i.e. quantum mechanics and the physics of elementary particles. This
is quite interesting, since the Sufist non-deterministic interpretation
of life and nature relates well to the dualities of modern Physics.
Perhaps Cultural Tunneling can be classified as a subcategory to the
"Certainty Principle", the counterpart to "uncertainty principle"
- the cornerstone of modern physics explaining the tunneling of particles
through insurmountable barriers! The Certainty Principle proves that most
(if not all) scientific, cultural and folk traditions "tunnel back
to" Iran. Honar Nazdeh Iranian Hasto Bass!!
Who needs Einstein?
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