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August 14-18, 2000 / Mordad 24-28, 1379


* Humor:
- This isn't a joke

* Iran-U.S.:
- Iranian hospitality


* Humor:
- Racist jokes

* dAyi Hamid:
- Keep rocking the boat

* Politics:
- Final say
- Persian rugs with American designs?
The Iranian:
- To educate, or entertain?
- No documents, no history
- Perfect

* Identity:
- Women are not men, Persians not Arabs

- Wonderful message
- Behkhodaa we're Italian
- True stereotypes
* Googoosh:
- Googoosh's teacher

* Militia:
- War heroes deserve respect

email us

August 18, 2000

* This isn't a joke

In response to Mr. Hossein Tabrizi's letter, "Racist jokes", we are very happy to know that there are people with your point of view out there. Your criticism towards Jokestan.com opens doors to a vast spectrum of social problems/crisis within the Iranian society. Frankly, it is hard to find a starting point for this issue.

We think you would agree with us that many jokes have roots in ethnicity and this is not restricted to Iran. English jokes against French and vice versa, Polish jokes, Red Neck (Southerner) jokes, Mexican jokes, Italians, Jewish, etc. are all examples of ethnic humor and reflection of the fact that no matter why, humor is related to ethnicity. Interestingly enough, a good portion of these jokes are created by people belonging to the very same ethnic background.

In Iran, ethnic jokes have a long history and was not invented by Shahanshah . These anecdotes go back at least 700 years to Obeyd-Zakani jokes. The subject of these jokes are Ghazvinis, Turks, Esfahanis, Khorasanis, Turkmans, Arabs, and even Coptics! Believe it or not, Obeyd's work should be considered as one of the more recent works of Iranians on the subject of humor. Definitely there are older sources that are not available to us for reference.

Ethnic jokes are everywhere. Apparently, people take pleasure in teasing and making fun of each other. But, to what extreme? Why have Iranians pushed the limit so far?>>> FULL TEXT

Jokestan's Self Appointed Board of Directors!

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* Iranian hospitality

I really enjoyed your article "Amazed" by Doug Biesecker and "One planet, one people" by Alan Hale in your August 17, 2000 issue.

It made me very proud to see once again, the hospitality of our people in Iran, from small towns to the big cities despite of all the hardship of day to day life in today's Iranian society still impresses our guests.

Iran is a country filled with rich culture and history and it is a shame that non-Iranians would only see and remember the horrific images of hostages and protesters. In their mind men and women are running around in black chadors and turbans attacking locals and visitors in the streets and it is not a safe place to go for your hard earned vacation or research! >>> FULL TEXT


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August 17, 2000

* Racist jokes

I want to express appreciation for all your effort in creating this excellent Iranian site. There are links provided to most of the available Iranian media, and I appreciate your effort to enabling me to access them.

However, there are many sites full of discrimination and racist materials. It is true that the owner of the site has all rights to create a page and fill it with what he/she wants, but I think we have to decide if we are in the same level as they are.

The web page, "Jokestan" that you have provided a link to is one of these sites. I do not think that you yourself have checked it to read its stupid jokes. This page has nothing to read and enjoy except stupid jokes against Rashtis, Esfahanis, Azarbijanis and other people of our country.

I think it is the time to put an end to such discrimination and racism that was invented by Shahanshah by abandoning them, and providing reasons for such activities.

Hossein Tabrizi

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* Keep rocking the boat

dAyi Hamid! Damet Garm! I enjoyed your article in The Iranian ["Leila ham bad neest"]. You are the only guy who has the balls to write in a "vagheeh" manner and get away with it.

Anyhow with your command of the Iranian community in Los Angeles, I am shocked to see how you can manage being away in Switzerland.

Keep on rocking the boat.


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* Final say

I applaud your fight for freedom in your native country ["No brainer"].

Best wishes for the establishment of a democratic government which is not run by an unelected 'supreme leader' who has final say over everything. Rather, the people of Iran should have the final say over everything, through the medium of lawful elections.

David F Mayer, PhD

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August 16, 2000

* To educate, or entertain?

I have been an avid reader of your news magazine for last two years. Lately, I have noticed a disturbing trend in your feature stories. Some features are informative, educational and some leave the reader with void and wondering what is the point?

As you know The Iranian has become a medium for the diaspora community across the globe. Has Iranian.com become an entertainment magazine? Or are you dedicated to inform and educate the readers about Iran.

The younger Iranians are at risk of becoming shallow-minded and superficial.

Morteza Loghmani

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* Women are not men, Persians not Arabs

What a beautiful letter written by a young son of this old country. There is obviously nothing wrong with being Arab and I personally have a lot of Arab friends whom I am really happy to get the chance to meet with and I honestly respect them for who and what they are.

However, there is an issue called identity. If you are not an Arab you are not and if you are, you are. This is like being a woman or a man, there is nothing wrong with being one of each but if you are a woman you don't wanna be called Mr. --- and vise versa >>> FULL TEXT


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* Persian rugs with American designs?

After reading the article on rug merchants in Tehran, I was deeply saddened to learn how some merchants who obviously are not thinking of anything else except their own profit, are so naively and superficially ruining one of the most precious aspect of Iranian heritage and culture which has been manifested in carpet weaving , by trying to find out what the Americans want or like and changing the carpet industry in Iran by implementing those "American" designs >>> FULL TEXT>>> FULL TEXT


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August 15, 2000

* No documents, no history

I just read Khodadad Rezakhani's article "Not too deep", and would like to add a few of my own thoughts on why there seems to be no in-depth study of Iranian history in today's academia.

One very important fact to remember is that in order to get a detailed insight and understanding into the hearts and minds of Iranians in the past, you need to have access to the written records of the period. I've only recently begun to study Iranian history on my own, but I quickly learned that in some cases Iranians may have been their own worst enemies in preserving a written record for posterity >>> FULL TEXT

Parviz Ghavamian

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* Googoosh's teacher

Dear Googoosh:

Welcome to America! I am so proud that an Iranian has brought her talent to this height and that everyone knows her. I hope to be at your concert in Washington D.C. and that there would be an opportunity for me to hug and kiss you.

Your middle school teacher,

Gitty Shahidi

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* Wonderful message

I just read "Vacationing American style" by Bahar M. Jaberi . I found her story by accident but am glad I did. I enjoyed reading it and the wonderful message it contained.

Russell Burgess

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* Behkhodaa we're Italian

This is in reference to the emails that my family has been recieving from you. I have no idea who you are or what you are. I am offeneded that you assume that we are Iranian because of our last name. We are Italian and have no Iranian relatives whatsoever.

Sheri Zandi

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August 14, 2000

* War heroes deserve respect

Najmeh Fakhraie's latest scribbling ["At war with your people"] leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, for the very reason that her mocking tone should not go unchallenged.

Unlike some readers, I do not dismiss her writings as childish rants, because they open a helpful window into the mind of young Iranians inside Iran, who have the country's destiny in their hands.

But her tendency to heap scorn on the memory of the revolution and the war are insulting for anyone, like my family, who lost loved ones, giving them often willingly, to preserve the sovereignty of Iran >>> FULL TEXT

K. Husseini

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* Perfect

I very much appreciate your great online magazine. I will appreciate it even more if you tell Javad Montazeri that his photos were perfect ["Cheers & fears"]. They show that he is a real photojournalist. Can we see more of his work?


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* True stereotypes

While reading your article "Get real real", I realized that most of my STEREOTYPICAL friends would not read it at all. Unfortunately Iranians are one of the nations that nagative stereotyping about them is absoulutely true. I can not give you reasons, but everyone knows it.

The last extreme transformations in our society, specially among youngsters in Iran, are the fruits of this negative stereotyping. You may see fewer dAyi Hamids among them and more Poopak Taatis because negative things force them to study their unpleasant situations and cope with them (that was a joke :-)

Mandana Asadi Tadayon

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