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June 12-16, 2000 / Khordad 23-27, 1379


* Journalism:
* Nice way to start a war

* Copyright:
* "Iran Pride" vs. Nike?

* Youth:
* Misguided generation

* The Iranian:
* What the hell?


* Journalism:
- Immediate public apology

* Names:
- Interesting Iranian names
- Don't forget Azar-Yazdi

* The Iranian:
- Why, for God's sake?
- Wonderful way to start a day

* Satire:
- You're free, but not funny
- Meritorious cause? YES

- Need to relate

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June 16, 2000

* Nice way to start a war

Letter to CBS television's "60 Minutes":

I watched your show on the supposed "Iranian Defector", and became very incensed - even furious at the thought of Iran having been responsible for the PanAm bombing ["Iran Defector Talks To 60 Minutes"]. Frankly, I thought it appropriate - even at this late date - for the US to take strong military measures against Iran consequent to the "proof" which you offered.

Lo and behold! It turns out that your supposedly unimpeachable source is a fraud and that the story you presented was - in all significant respects - false ["Iranian Defector Called an Impostor "].

Nice way to start a war.

As for similar stories on your network and on others (e.g. "The Insider", Peter Arnett's several falsifications, etc.) it will be interesting in the coming weeks and months to see how your managers "spin" this one. My guess is that we'll just have to keep an eye on the "Columbia Journalism Review".

Y'all have a nice day out there in infotainment land, and do check out your sources - and your source checkers - a bit more carefully.

Now let's just hear this one read out this coming Sunday.

Not likely.

Bill Phillipson
Woodway, Texas

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* "Iran Pride" vs. Nike?

As a professional graphic designer and someone who has had more than a few battles over copyrights and ownership of images, allow me be the first one to warn Iranians for International Cooperation (IIC) and their visual communication designer, Siamack Sahafi, that their new "Iran Pride" logo WILL most likely draw the attention of Nike.

Adding a green dot on top of Nike's established red "swoosh" is hardly creative enough to be considered an independant work of art and it may result in a lenghty (not to mention expensive) legal case. A case IIC they may easily lose.

Since the intentions are commandable, I strongly recommend they re-do the logo before the large multi-national with hundreds of lawyers on staff picks it up. Perhaps some of the legal minds who read The Iranian Times could also offer some guidance.


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* Misguided generation

I'm not Iranian, but I know and believe that what Aytollah Khomeini did was not something any ordinary person like our own selves can do. He gave Iran its freedom and showed them the light. He made Iran so powerful that today it is one of the only countries that actually survives without support from the superpowers, and only looks up to the Almighty for help.

And today two decades after the revolution, the new generation is a little misguided ["Three years later"]. They says they want freedom, but don't they realize that they got thier freedom 20 years ago, when thousands of Iranians gave their lives? And now they have to maintain this freedom and not let the enemy misguide them with petty things.

The younger generation has to understand that all the sacrifices that were made were for a purpose and that the war is still not over; the war is still on today and to make sure that all the people who were shaheed their blood does not go to waste. It is important that this new generation keeps the spirit of the revolution alive.

Iram Fatima Vakil

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* What the hell?

What the hell is the point ["Sisters"]? Don't waste my time.

Hamid Atabakksh

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June 15, 2000

* Immediate public apology

Letter to CBS television's "60 Minutes" producer:

Dear Mr. Hewitt,

I am writing this letter to protest the biased and inaccurate reporting concerning of an individual (an alleged Iranian spy) who was interviewed on a recent "60 Minutes" program without a background check ["Iran Defector Talks To 60 Minutes"]. Professional journalists like you are supposed to maintain integrity in their jobs and be independent and responsible. Accuracy in reporting is a critical element in responsible reporting.

CIA and FBI officials investigated that alleged Iranian spy ["Iranian Defector Called an Impostor "]... As an Iranian, I request an immediate public apology >>> FULL TEXT

Mohammad Ala, Ph.D.
Professor of Management
Director of Productivity Center
California State University, Los Angeles

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* Interesting Iranian names

I just read your article on Iranian names ["Delband o Delavar"]!! Very interesting. You may like to know that I have two boys names Delavar and Sardar - Delavar is now 8 and Sardar is 7 and when Delavar was born I wanted to give him an Iranian Farsi name and my father chose that name and also for my second son. I have not seen or heard their names anywhere. Everyone always comments on their names.

Mariam Nahavandi

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June 14, 2000

* Don't forget Azar-Yazdi

I read the story "The donkey's gone!" I also checked the book on the Amazon website. I believe the story is a word by word translation from one of the stories in a book written by Mehdi Azar-Yazdi. Mr. Azar-Yazdi wrote a series of books titled "Gheseh-haaye khoob baraaye bacheh-haaye khoob" (Good Stories for Good Children).

As far as I know, he wrote seven such books, each of which is adapted from a classical book in Persian literature and re-written for children in an easy- to-understand prose in Persian. Two or three of the books in the series won UNESCO prizes, and in my opinion, each of them is a masterpiece of children's literature.

It is curious that Mr. Azar-Yazdi's name is not at all mentioned on the cover of the book you have on your website. I believe that Mr. Muhammad Nur Abuds Salam is committing a fraud by claiming that he has translated and adopted the stories from Persian.

Nima Aryan

Editor: The introduction to the book does mention that they are based on Mehdi Azar-Yazdi's adaptation. The excerpt has been amended to include this fact.

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* Why, for God's sake?

In your latest issue you have a feature about "women" titled "Sisters". What for God's sake are you going to say by showing two women in their pajamas! I impatiently followed the links to read the main article! But surprisingly I saw the phrase "Page one" at the bottom of the last picture.

I think readers of The Iranian expect you, as a well-recognized Iranian online magazine, to publish articles or pictures that make some sense, not a private photo album of two sisters before breakfast! The fact that the pictures were taken by the publisher makes the issue especially more annoying.


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June 13, 2000

    * Wonderful way to start a day

    As I eat a bit of breakfast and look over the latest news in my daily issue of The Iranian Times, you won't be surprised to know that I'm often saddened and disappointed by the latest turn of events as the forces of democracy and change face yet another obstacle.

    Sometimes the setbacks are so great that I ask myself why I care about what goes on there anyway, since reading it sometimes makes me angry and ruins a perfectly fine morning.

    But then I read the Rumi ghazals and the magnificent translations by Ms. Houshmand and it's like sunshine warming my body and lifting my soul.

    I can't help but smile at the beauty of the poems, especially as I read the translation to help me with a word or two that I didn't get and then re-read the Persian original. It's really a wonderful way to start a day.

    Reza Shadmehr

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* You're free, but not funny

Making fun should make sense, shouldn't it? Your cartoon [of President Khatami] didn't make any sense. The only thing we have learned from freedom -- especially the Western kind -- is to make fun of key people and officials.

As a pro-2nd-of-Khordad person, I believe the freedom we fought for and achieved was meant to help us focus all our constructive forces to build the millennium we have been longing for for such a long time.

This isn't in line with aimless destructive forces which tend to deteriorate the situation or mock sincere, understanding individuals who are trying to lead us to our sanctuary.

You are definitely free to express your ideas etc., but your cartoon was not funny; and I expressed my idea because I am free, as well!


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June 12, 2000

* Meritorious cause? YES

Whereas, having carefully and repeatedly read Poopak's Taati's piece with enthusiasm ["Long way to go"], I do find several points as presented therein that reflect the truth; nonetheless, I must disagree with her tone of despair and absence of specific recommendation for improvement with respect to those activities that pertain to the promotion of Iranian Americans in the US.

Yes, she is correct in characterizing Iranian American associations as young. Such associations, are, however, quite numerous and dynamic, and each with a sustained level of momentum, supported by hundreds of compatriots who provide their expertise, experiences, funds, etc. on a pro bono, in cognito basis to benefit the rather young Iranian American community, a community that has just begun to feel the taste of diaspora.

Are they each perfect? Absolutely NOT. Are they striving to follow a meritorious realistic cause? YES, absolutely >>> FULL TEXT

D. N. Rahndi, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
Pace University
New York

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* Need to relate

Professor Taati is right in saying that organizations dedicated to advocacy for Iranians have not been able to gain enough legitimacy among the Iranians abroad ["Long way to go"]. This is only partially due to the inability of these organizations to come up with an agenda that attracts all Iranians.

The problem is that Iranians are a heterogeneous population divided along several lines of ethnicity, class, politics, language, religion, and gender perspectives. Even our common denominator, i.e. the love of homeland (nationalism), is not immune to this diversity of affiliations >>> FULL TEXT

Akbar Mahdi
Associate professor of sociology
Ohio Wesleyan University

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