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Shahin & Sepehr

 

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

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Letters
September 27-October 1, 1999 / Mehr 5-9, 1378

Today

* Habits:
- Far from it
- We're not lazy

Previous

* Abadan:
- Memory lane
*
The Iranian:
- So proud
*
Politics:
- Why support Republicans?
*
Abyaneh:
- Chic?
*
Religion:
- Abusing Allah

* Relationships:
- Trash should be published

- Lost hope in humanity
* Homosexuals:
- Right to be homophopic


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Friday,
October 1, 1999

* Far from it

What dAyi Hamid fails to realize ["Persian work ethics"] is the real reason why the office clerk loses his stamp and tells you to come back next week. The reason for this is not that clerks are "lazy". Far from it. The real reason is that they are being paid very little for carrying out the job (average office salary 30,000 tomans per month), and with the high prices for necessities, they are left with no choices but to supplement their incomes with bribes.

The documentary you mentioned ("Divorce Iranian style") was notable as it showed how people not familiar with the pay-off system were sent running around and told to come back later. The moment you take out a couple of "Greenies" (Hezari's), the lost stamp suddenly appears, and the file, which could not be located in three weeks, has suddenly turned up.

You go on to state, "Do you think any program of any politician could lift an economy where any tohfe-ye natanz gets the title of doctor, engineer, or architect just because his brother is dead? ". Unfortunately, you fail to realize that there is a difference between getting into university and graduating. Just because you have conned your way in it does not mean that you are automatically going to pass the exams and qualify as a professional.

Many of the people killed in the war were not there as a matter of choice and if the system tries to compensate them in some way, then the families can not be blamed for accepting. Having read your article may I suggest you devote more time towards looking after the "dead animal", which you call a hair style.

Sadri M.

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* We're not lazy

I just finished reading dAyi Hamid's article about zerangi ["Persian work ethics"] which I think deserves a response. Let me first congragulate your staff on your online magazine. dAyi Hamid's article brings out another characteristic which he may have already treated: The Iranian habit of ridiculing ourselves. I think this comes from our habit of hiding personal means and wealth.

We are not so lazy after all. Iranians in America are usually hard working, and they need not be so, and the unproductive work in Iran is due to our bad management which is another cultural problem. We should face the fact that our culture has signifanct structural ills. This was apparent in works such as Sadeq Hedayat's Tup-e Murvarid or by Ali Shariati (he said half our people are sleep and the other half are running away).

We all remember the growth of our economy and standard of living when the late Shah (I am not a royalist) brought Western reform by this useless oil. The sickness in our culture is not unique, It is far worse in India and Pakistan. Things like zerangi, chaaploosi and bazle guie are our historical baggage. Lets not forget mohabat, vafaa, doosti, erfaan mardaanegi ... do these have translations in English or japanese?

Shar Zori

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Thursday
September 30, 1999

* Memory lane

What a wonderful collection from Abadan. Your photos bring back lots of memories. Only now one realizes how special Abadan and its community was. I left Abadan for England in 1972 and I haven't been back since.

Although I never lived in Tehran, I still had a shock when I returned there for few days just after the war in 1990. I can imagine it would have been even bigger shock if I was allowed to go to Abadan.

One correction to the pictures called "Deffteery" -- these are pictures of the local clinic for Braim area and the correct name is "Dispensary". Pictures that you are calling them fields, first few look like grass area opposite Hotel Abadan.

Also if you remember with the exception of the bazaar area, none of the "Sherkat e Naft" areas had official street name or numbers. There were only distinguished by their house numbers i.e. "Shesh-sadiaa" (600) or "Chaarsadiaa" (400) and so on, plus the area name.

Despite that some areas had unofficial names like "Chaarbaagh", "Falakeh Alfi" and so on.

I don't know whether you are aware that there is another site dedicated to Abadan, Khoramshahr and Ahvaz. Here is the address: http://www.abadan.com/

Once again thank you for the lovely trip down memory lane.

Armen Khachaturian

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* So proud

As an Iranian who has lived most of his life away from Iran, I am so proud to see so many talents who have blossomed in my homeland that it makes me feel exceptionally proud. So many artists, writers, poets, photographers, film makers, scientists and on who have changed the cultural scene in Iran and abroad.

Their contributions to literature, music and so on has enriched our culture and the world's understanding of our heritage. I don't know of any other nation or country with such a wonderful resource.

Undoubtedly people like you should be commended for introducing most of these brilliant minds to us. Thank you for your efforts. Thank you for doing what you are doing.

Iradj Sooudi

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Wednesday
September 29, 1999

* Why support Republicans?

The Republican Party is an anti-immigrant political organization why do they expect us to help them to win an election [Iranian American Republican Council]? Have they forgotten the atrocities they commited against elderly immigrants?

Have they forgotten that under their leadership food stamps and welfare payments to the needy immigrants were discontinued? (meaning single mothers, childern, and the elderly). Have they forgotten the anti-immigrants hysteria they helped to create?

We as Iranians who live and raise our family in this country will not be fooled by their propaganda. Yes, Mr. Rob Sobhani is an Iranian decendant but so what? So is Googoosh, Khatami, the Shah, and Asghar Ghatel!

Where was Mr. Sobhani when all these atrocities were being commited against the Iranian immigrants in this country? Whose rights was he defending? It is not enough to say " I am Iranian give me your money; give me your support!"

And how about the destructive opposition of the Republican Party to gun control legislation? How about Republican insistance to give back $800 billion to the rich while cutting the budget for schools, teachers, housing and other important programs that affect everyone's lives? Why should we support such policies?

Iranian Americans have matured during the last twenty years, we won't be fooled again.

Mehdi
San Jose Ca

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* Trash should be published

I fully agree with S. Smith that Cyrus Rafaat ["Real Iranian girls?"] seems like a rotten leftover of the Stone Age, and as a woman, I find his opinions so unbelievably stupid, backwards, disgusting and hypocritical that I cannot take it seriously at all. His article is nothing but the evidence of an empty-headed blowhard and as such, I don't bother to dignify his writings with a response.

However, I disagree with you on whether The Iranian should publish this article or not. Airing one's dirty laundry helps kill the parasitic bacteria resident therein! By bringing this article to light, The Iranian does the Iranian-American community a great service: it puts a mirror in front of it and magnifies the warts that need to be burnt off.

I declare - LOUDLY- that in fact, such trash needs to be published on occasion, if for no other reason to keep those of us who hope for more open minds and thoughtful ideas, forever vigilant. We cannot and should not assume that just because it is 1999, idiotic chauvinists (of whatever creed and background) are on the wane, even in the United States.

Laleh Khalili

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Tuesday
September 28, 1999

* Right to be homophopic

This is in response to the article about Iranian attitudes towards homosexuals ["Acceptance"].

Just like those people made a decision to be homosexuals, the rest of us have the right to make our own decisions about our own opinions and actions. If we wish to dislike homosexuals it is our right. If we are homophobic it is our right to be. You can't tell us how to be.

I hold the opinion that homosexuals are destroying society with their actions and those who accept them and welcome them with open arms are helping them do that.

I don't believe homosexuality is right or should be accepted. However I don't believe cruelty is right either. So therefore I personally, don't ask, don't support and don't want to know if a person is homosexual.

Freedom of opinion seems to apply to everybody except those who wish to practice it these days.

Sultan Mehrabi

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* Chic?

So, now I have seen everything! I mean every door in Abyaneh ["Doors wide shut"]. Chic? The beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

Morteza Anvari

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Monday
September 27, 1999

* Lost hope in humanity

After reading the article written by Cyrus L. Raafat ["Real Iranian girls?"], I have lost all hope in humanity, dignity, decency when it comes to men and women ...

I do not pity Mr. Rafaat, nor do I feel sorry for him. I am embarrassed for him and am quite offended that your online publication would cater to the unrealistic and delusional ramblings of a man that seems to possess little if any scruples about how the world we live in works. But, alas, I am an advocate for freedom of the press. You may publish any article you desire and I trust you will keep doing thus, however, don't expect a great deal of respect from the public when you ignore objectivity, good taste and logic by publishing Rafaat's nonsensical whims and sexual appetites, then call it a legitimate article. It parallels the pulp-tabloid-drivel that we balk at upon standing in line at the supermarket. I can see the headlines now: "Iranian-American Man Will Only Marry a Virgin!" ... FULL TEXT

S. Smith

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* Abusing Allah

In response to "Allah knows best", while there is no doubt that in the 12th century Islam was a religion that governed lands from Tajikestan to Spain with tolerance, that is certainly not the case today. It is obvious that today Islam is utilized as a means to control and suppress people, thus it is not being utilized in its intended manner.

Nowhere in the Koran does it say women should not drive vehicles, should cover themselves head-to-toe in blistering weather, need special permission to travel, or get medical attention. Certainly the Koran does not oppose couples holding hands or buying some ice cream together. Sorry, those are modern, patriarchal, repressive attitudes.

A positive clean-cut reading of the Koran shows us love and acceptance, not torment and injustice. Kadijeh was a successful business woman, who obviously "drove" horses or the like, and women were merely advised to dress "modestly".

Oppressors interpret the Koran as they like to take away personal liberties and boost their own lacking self-esteem. Do not tie Allah to your dogma. Allah does know best and those who have abused his name are the ones who need to be most concerned with their after-life.

Hamila Asad

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