January 24-28, 2000 / Bahman 4-8, 1378
- Distasteful, but valuable
* Christian roots:
- Abandon emotionalism
- Selectively polite
- Sad joke
- What a land
* Iranian of the century:
- Load of bullocks
- Opinions so obviously Iranian
- Fitzgerald's debt to Khayyam
* Robin Wright:
- All political
- Just a game
January 28, 2000
I am alarmed by the disparity between your "feature" pieces.
One high and one like this ["Nice
What can I say? I am not a moralist nor do I oppose freedom of expression.
However, I wonder why such a piece should be included in The Iranian?
What are the informative, investigative, or literary aspects of this piece
qualifying it for publication? How can one generalize about a community
by visiting one brothel and talking to three girls?
No serious editor will find this kind of individual observation worthy
of publication. Please do not allow The Iranian to be brought to
the level of pieces like this >>>
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* Distasteful, but valuable
I do understand your concern. This piece ["Nice
ladies, amigo?"] does not meet high journalistic standards. But
I think it is still interesting as a personal account of an aspect of
Iranian life in America which is never officially talked about. Several
of my friends have told me about how often Iranians go to the brothels
in Tijuana and I have always wondered what goes on there and why. I think
this is a social phenomenon that should be noticed.
Of course I would have preferred an article by a professional journalist
or a scholar. But I think personal stories can be valuable -- even if they
are unprofessional, distasteful or about controversial subjects. Maybe
such crude stories will open some eyes and pave the way toward more serious
discussions and studies.
And another important point, I think, is that Internet-based publications
such as iranian.com cannot be compared to traditional magazines and newspapers.
The Internet is more personal and interactive, and therefore it is not
as polished and heavily edited as the print media. That's why I prefer
the Internet. It is more real, and being real is not always pretty or tasteful
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January 27, 2000
All I want to know is how much was Robin Wright paid to write this ["The
last great revolution"].
Was she actually writing about Iran? It seems like she has written about
a fantasy land that the Islamic government keeps insisting that it exists
but nobody believes them.
Well, now they have found someone that believes in that fantasy.
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* Load of bullocks
The result of your survey is a load of bullocks ["Iranians
of the century"]. The Shah of Iran tried to turn Iran into a normal,
free country and people like you survey religeous freaks and name some
Mossadegh"] as the Iranian of the century.
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* Abandon emotionalism
I am afraid I have hurt Mr Tabib's feelings more than I intended to,
assuming that he is of a more robust stock than is the case ["Blind
patriotism"]. My contempt is not for Mr Tabib's person but for
his opinion. I am sure he is a valuable member of society who contributes
in his own way.
Now to the crux of the argument: there is some talk of patriotism in
the opening passage of Mr Tabib's letter. It amuses me that he did not
get my point last time. Whether Christmas is of Persian or not has no bearing
on my national pride so that his quote, as touching as it may be is superfluous.
As for juxtaposition of my obligation to respond and my perceived harshness,
I merely invite him to look up the difference between etiquette and politeness.
I also invite Mr Tabib to abandon his emotionalism and speak factually
instead of plead for sympathy >>>
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January 26, 2000
* Selectively polite
Since when has it been recorded in the short history of Iranians in
America where a guy goes up to an Iranian woman to introduce himself, and
gets anything other than a rude, arrogant response? ["Most
polite people in the world"]
I should qualify this: since when has it been recorded where a man,
NOT driving a BMW or other expensive car, goes up to a good-looking Iranian
woman and gets anything other than a rude, arrogant response?
This I want to know. Or MAYBE beautiful Iranian women reserve their
haughtiness, arrogance, and complexities only for Iranian men. It's a different
story for those fortunate khaareji men who have a decent look about them.
As for Mr. Guillen, all I have to say is that yes, Iranians are very
polite people, but only to non-Iranians.
My friend, if you knew Iranian culture any better you'd realize how
some Iranians treat their fellow countrymen/women, and it is anything but
'polite' and 'classy'.
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* Sad joke
I read that article on discrimination against Iranians in U.S. border
posts, fingerprinting and stuff like that.
Now, this is a new discovery, they would not only make Iranian citizens
miserable to get all kinds of U.S. visas but they would also keep a spouse
from coming to U.S. to gurantee that his wife would go HOME after graduation.
And this rule does not apply if the husband is the student. YES.. Only
WOMEN have to CONVINCE the consular officer that they need to share their
moments with their husband. Because it's set by DEFAULT that men do...
No questions asked. Equal opportunities...Just another SAD joke.
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January 25, 2000
* Iran. What a land
Iran. What a land. What a people.I have lived away from it for almost
30 years, but, have visited frequently. I love the country, the people,
the desert, the brick walls, the trees, the crows, and the trenches of
water that run in every direction.
I am so saddened by the conditions in Iran. The pollution, poverty,
dirt, illiteracy, lack of medicine and medical facilities. At a time when
the world is accelerating toward technology to better human's living conditions,
Iran is holding back the people in the dark ages.
"Internet" is sold by Kilo-Bytes, making it expensive and
impractical for many. What do you think would happen if Iranians got educated?
Tehran is drowned in its smoke. People are dying at ages of 40 and 50 of
heart attacks and strokes due to stress and over-exhaustion by working
two jobs >>>
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* Opinions so obviously Iranian
It is interesting to have seen this survey and the myriad of results
of the century"]; as well as the different opinions so obviously
Iranian in the fact that they are heated and opinionated!
Being a polisci-major during my undergrad I debated with several Iranian
classmates on this very issue about 10-years-ago: "personality cults"
versus "media attention" versus "real results" (whether
for good or for bad on any particular nation-state, such as Iran) are the
real questions when deciding on who is a man-of-prominence deserving the
title, "man of the century".
For Iran, it is interesting on the one hand to note that there isn't
anyone prominent in the arts or sciences during this turbulent century,
unlike the Iran of bygone-eras with names like Abu Ali Sina, for instance
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January 24, 2000
* All political
I went to two soccer games -- Iran vs. Ecuador and Iran vs. USA. There
was a huge difference. Both in players and audience. However, it was all
about politics and our lives in the U.S. We started our lives here because
of politics and now we somehow want to sweep our past under the rug so
we can justify our lives here and ease our conscience.
The games in general were representative of our dual lives, a paradox
of being semi immigrants. One foot here and one foot ready to move. Or
maybe now both feet are planted here but our past haunts us. The audience
was so determined to be civilized and not to appear political . Was that
for the benefit of American brothers or for the Islamic Republic brothers?
Did we want to show that we are not terrorists? That we are apolitical
soccer-loving immigrants? We were also determined not to put the seal of
approval on the Islamic Republic in a obvious way.
Yekee bood..Yekee nabood >>>
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* Just a game
Let me start by saying that what a well written .....Reflection ["All
tied up"]. I never thought one could read SO much into a soccer
match. I suppose you can also foretell the weather by the way your bunions
The Iran-USA soccer match was a friendly game. I wasn't there but watched
the game on TV. I wish I'd have been there to celebrate it with the other
Iranians and Iranian-Americans. My face would have been painted with both
the Iranian and US flags AND I would have been waiving one of those double
In case you have forgotten, we're NOT living in Iran. This is the USA
where one can participate in demonstrations at lunch break, and head back
to work afterwards without a stopover at Evin prison. SAVAMA or Passdaran
don't have much bearings on our daily lives here. So, even though you feel
that the battle for our individuality as Iranians is lost, and we are disillusioned,
how have you won this battle?
You should feel rather content, since I know you're not happy, that
you can write out your "reflections" and not get hauled into
Evin for high tea! Obviously, no nation is without faults. While one brach
of the US government/society is trying to extend ties to Iran yet another
is building attack/strategy scenarios in case Iran comes in possession
of nuclear arms. One hand washes the other. It has been like this in the
US for quite an extended period of time.
However sometimes a game is just that.....a game. This was a GOOD game.
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* Fitzgerald's debt to Khayyam
I enjoyed the enthusiasm that emanated from Mr. Kadivar's article "Great
Omar" and subtitled "Khayyam's debt to Fitzgerald".
I too agree that Fitzgerald's translation is a masterpiece which will remain
the very pinnacle of the art of poetic translation.
However, Mr. Kadivar is wrong, for Khayyam owes nothing to Fitzgerald.
Khayyam's poetry survived hundreds of years prior to Fitzgerald, and will
survive many more. In iran, many are able to recite a few of the Rubaees,
but only a few know Fitzgerald. Therefore it is incorrect to suppose that
"with no Fitzgerald there would have been no Omar". Despite assertions
by some English authors, Fitzgerald's never surpasses the brilliance of
the original. And brilliant it is.
Khayyam's poetry is a jewel that will last for as long as there is humanity;
Fitzgerald made this jewel available to more humans. It is much more likely
that Fitzgerald would have been forgotten had he not been so inspired by
the Rubaees, and so one can say that perhaps with no Omar there would have
been no Fitzgerald.
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