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October 16-19, 2000 / Mehr 25-28, 1379


* Middle East:
- Obligation to Iranians first, not Palestinians

* Sadaf Kiani:
- Beh delam neshast

* Homosexulaity:
- Damn ignorant


* Feminism:
- Punk with bad manners -- not feminist

- Devalued argument
- IRI propaganda outlet

- Shah should be fully blamed
- Reminds me of Keith Haring
- Nobel prize for silence
- Something to laugh about

- Don't look down on odd people
- Zoroastrianism first monotheistic religion

- Zoroastrianism not monotheistic
* Men & women:
- Below the belt

* Sadaf Kiani:
- I'm a big fan

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October 20, 2000

* Obligation to Iranians first, not Palestinians

Iran is facing her most critical of times. But the way our elected and non-elected officials and other self-appointed guardians are viewing the Middle East crisis, makes me wonder ["Crooked wall"]...

In the past twenty some years, we have heard our top officials talk more about the problems of the Palestinians and Lebanese than our own problems. Not a day that goes by without a comment relating to the Palestinians' struggle or Hizbollah's Jihad. Extremists with their papers and loud speakers cry out for them, day and night...

I hope some day soon the Palestinian struggle comes to a fair and peaceful end. I hope some day soon Iranian officials realize, above all, their obligation to the people of Iran >>> FULL TEXT

Hamid K.

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* Beh delam neshast

man dokhtari hastam 20 saaleh va az aamricaa beh shomaa email midaham. chand daghigheye pish maghaalehee keh dar bood be naam-e "Khalvateh paaeezi" ro khoondam va vaaghe'an beh delam neshast. natoonestam jeloy-e khodamo begiram va goftam hatman baayad email bedam va tashakkor konam.

hodoodeh do saal o nim hast keh az iran khaarej shodam va in neveshteh-ye shomaa daghighan mano beh yaad-e doraani andaakht keh iran boodam. va har baar beh khiaaboon miraftam va matalak mishnidam ghalbam az tars beh dard mioomad. kheili vaghtaa ham geryam migereft, beh khosoos az raftaar-e mardom dar taxi.

ghalametoon besyaar aalieh. dar paayan baayad begam man taa beh haal nashodeh beh kasi keh nemishnaasam email bedam. vali inbaar engaar harf-e del-e khodamo shenidam va natoonestam bi tafaavot azash begzaram.


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* Damn ignorant

In response to "You are all sick": Okay, first of all, do you have any idea of what you have just said? You don't. You just classified an entire nation as sick, ignorant, and fundamentalist. How many Iranians do you know? If you know any, ask them if they advocate burning homosexuals at the stake. Ask them if they think kissing in public is a bad thing.

Now it is true: Iran's government is retarded in terms of its moral code. But do you think Iranians ENJOY being socially/sexually oppressed in Iran? Think about it before your stupid ass defames the Iranian race, which is full of tolerant and open-minded people.

Instead of suggesting your childish and immature antics as a solution to our problems, look at what is really going on. People in Iran are REALLY being oppressed; not just gays. Show some respect for Iranians worldwide (and have some self-respect too). I don't want to bash you, but don't be so damn ignorant.

Maziar Shirazi

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October 19, 2000

* Punk with bad manners -- not feminist

Maybe the "feminist" Blind date was reacting to a father like the one in your previous piece who wanted her daughters virginity swone up ["A private matter"]!

Plus I can stomach a little exaggeration for the sake of good prose but out right lying in the name of describing a "type", i.e "Iranian feminist" is kind of sophomoric.

Too bad that we can not ask you for any proof. Maybe the should give your date equal time. Then we could at least see if she existed!

Anyway if you were unfortunate enough to date an Iranian punk with bad manners (I think that is what she is if she indeed exists) please refrain from calling her a "feminist". For those of us who believe that feminism is about the right to express ourselves, have the same oppertunities as men and get equal pay.

Your picture of a man- hating punk as a "feminist' is unfair. Especially since all these rights are regularly denied us in our motherland.

In times of crisis, humor should bow to atrocities. Keep poking fun at those who hold onto old prejudices (like your virgin-mending) father. Or maybe you would be happy in an Iran were your blind date would be your wife!


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* Zoroastrianism first monotheistic religion

I can't agree with Mr. Reza Sami objections to Elaine Sciolino ["The twelve rules"] where he tries to prove that Zoroastrism is not a monotheistic religion. I think his opinion comes from the wrong interpretations of Zoroastrism by some Islamic and Western orientalists.

I don't believe he has read any Zoroastrian writings especially "The Gathas" holy book. Actually there is no contradiction between Ahura Mazda and Ahriman and darkness and light. >>> FULL TEXT

Esfandiar Kiani

* Below the belt

In response to ["At least he's a man with an opinion"], There doesn't seem to be anything intelligent about this Cyrus Rafaat whose articles "Real Iranian girls?" and his letter about Afghan refugees all revert to only one thing: his obsession with below the belt.

His political analysis is not serious -- he inevitably comes to prostitution : he probably thinks that the Taliban are part of the conspiracy rendering Iranian women incapable of controlling their purity.

This person does not look at others in a humanistic way- but simply as animals. It appears that with his letters on politics, he is simply trying to make up for a bad reputation from his article on chastity.

To be sure, his articles on women and chastity are much more entertaining than his "meet the press" analyses.

I too am looking forward to find out the rest of his story in 'getting a wife,' and wish much luck to any woman who could put up with this person.

Ravia Basri
Damascus, SYRIA

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October 18, 2000

* Devalued argument

Regarding Mr. Baniameri's piece "Blind date", isn't it better to debunk a stereotype without resorting to another one?

You are absolutely right in denouncing the stereotypes that are expressed about Iranian men, but doing so by way of stereotyping feminism (esp. Iranian feminism) devalues your argument.

Nonetheless, you are right to the point about cliches that surround Iranian men.

Ramin Tabib

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* I'm a big fan

man maghale haye toro dar mikhoonam ["Sadaf Kiani's index"] va bayad begam ke hamishe beomide inke ye maghalye jadid az to bebinam in site ro check mikonam:)

to vagheiat haye jame ro kheyli biparde bayan mikoni. man alan do sale ke az iran kharej shodam. maghale haye to engar mano mibare vasate tehroon ba hameye halohavaye oonja -- ba hameye zibaee hash va zeshtihash.

I miss Iran so badly. Keep up the good work. I'm a big fan.


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* IRI propaganda outlet

How much do we have to vomit to satisfy Mr. Kambiz Ameli? It is hard for me to come out with what I am compelled to write. And that is, by publishing the venom of the famous vomiter Mr. Ameli, The Iranian Times, probably inadvertently, has become another propaganda outlet for the Islamic Republic of Iran! Or is it intended?

Do not hide yourself behind the pretext of democracy or free flow of information. You have given enough of space to this vomiting, mud slinging gentleman. I think enough is indeed enough. Thank you for your other-wise good job.


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October 17, 2000

* Reminds me of Keith Haring

I like Reza Kassi's paintings ["Vacation on Mars"]. They are really nice. Kind of reminds me of Keith Haring's paintings (the artist that did a lot of grafiti looking paintings-started in the New York subways-familiar with him?). Anyway, very nice.

Iran Javid Fulton

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* Something to laugh about

It's good to see stories on the lighter side like "A private matter". Some people take their politics, ideas, and opinions too seriously. And some stories are purely depressing. Thanks for giving the rest of us (non-political) folks something to read and laugh about.

R. Javadi

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* Shah should be fully blamed

I believe you have misunderstood why we are all vomiting when we hear the Pahlavi name ["Requiem in Cairo"]. First of all we are all in full agreement with you that Khomeini and his fellow villager mollas, their families and cronies have utterly ruined our nation. However Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi is to be fully blamed for this calamity.

Firstly, the Shah was completely out of touch with "his" nation as he insisted on promoting a Western life style to a conservative Middle Eastern society. Secondly Iran was one the largest producers of oil on the planet, yet the country's infrastructure was similar to a backward African country >>> FULL TEXT

Kambiz Ameli

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October 16, 2000

* Nobel prize for silence

in khabar [President Khatami nominated for Nobel Peace Prize] yeki az bozorgtarin jokehaye gharn bayad ham be khater goftegoye tamadonha?? Agar eshan mitavanest goftegooei bain kasi ejad konad, aval az hameh bayad az keshver khood shoro konad... Aghaye Khatami jayezeh nobel dar "SOKOOT" beh khater sokot abadi eshan dar moghabelsarkoob va beh zendan afkandan va sarkoob roznamehnegaran, daneshjooyan mobarez va azadikhah >>> FULL TEXT

Nik Khodadadi

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* Zoroastrianism not monotheistic

While there is room for much praise for Ms. Elaine Sciolino's astute observations, "The twelve rules", she makes a dreadful blunder when she writes that "Zoroaster preached a message of monotheism."

You do not need me to remind you of the fact that Zoroastrianism, far from being a monotheistic religion, is based on the philosophy of duality that shows the two forces of darkness and light in conflict with one another.

In fact, Ms. Sciolino contradicts her own understanding of Zoroastrianism when she writes that the "central feature" of Zoroastrianism is "a long battle between good and evil. (Good will ultimately win.)"

It may be good to remind Ms. Sciolino that in a monotheistic religion like Christianity or Islam, God is considered to be the author of both good and evil, whereas in Zoroastrianism Ahooramazdaa [God] is the author of good , and Ahriman [Satan] is the author of evil, and these are forces that act independently from each other.

G. Reza Sami' Gorgan Roodi

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* Don't look down on odd people

I want to offer my apologies to Mr. Baniameri on behalf of all those Iranians who can not speak perfect English and still use some Persian words (like "Aghaa joon") in the middle of their conversations ["A private matter"].

Mr. Baniameri should consider the fact that unlike him, a lot of us odd-looking, uneducated Iranians haven't been in the United States long enough to learn the apperopriate manners and haven't had the chance to loose our thick accents (what a big shame!).

There is definitely no question that people who look and act like "jaahels" represent the darker spots of our society either inside or outside Iran. However, looking down at people just because of the way they grew up, or the way they taarof over a restaurant check, or the way they have been taught to think about virginity, is another issue.

It's as stupid to expect people of that social calss to lose those traits in a short period of time as it is to have those traits in the first place.

Just as a reminder, to avoid any misunderestanding, I do not live in California and I don't have any relatives who look like those people.

Faramarz Kaviani

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