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October 23-27, 2000 / Aban 2-6, 1379


* Nooriala:
- We want more!
- Illusionary images of Iran
- Too much narrow-mindedness


* Racism:
- Ferdosi did not write it
- Googoosh's unsightly front teeth
- Tactless attention-seeking
- Remains in our hearts
- Taking me to my people
Middle East:
- Chalking out borders

- Tax dollars wasted in support of Israel
- Palestine has never existed

* Homosexulaity:
- Damn ignorant

* Shah:
- No guilty conscience

- Long live the shah
- Stereotyping Iranians

- In the eyes of others

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October 27, 2000

* We want more!

There was a short note by Esmail Nooriala about a picture of his with Shamlou and Royaei, remembering the events and times around that picture ["Footprint"]. His short explanation ended on a very sad note: "I can write pages about what was going on around the time and content of this picture but I do not think much of it will be of any interest to most of your readers."

Is this the way the readers of Persian poetry are perceived by our poets? ... He just stops exactly where he has to start. I think he owes it to all of us to write about his literary and political experience in those two most important decades of our cultural history...

Nooriala should rest assured that there are many people like me amongst the readers of this site who are enthusiastically looking for his future articles >>> FULL TEXT

Hushang Mansurian
Hacienda Hights, California

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* Illusionary images of Iran

Mr. Entesari, Thank you for your note ["Stereotyping Iranians"] on the silliness that Sciolino's book is ["The twelve rules"]. For some reason, foreign journalists (often of American descent) feel like if they go to Iran, are entertained by the high and mighty of the Iranian society in Northern Tehran, take a few trips around the country, and manage to get in a couple of keenly observed "life-scenes" they can derive anentire exegesis of "Iranian culture."

It's not limited to Iran either. They claim to know the "soul" of India or China or any country that doesn't operate in the way they *think* America operates through reporting on it and comparing it (I think entirely irrelevantly) to the US. As you so keenly pointed out, the image they have of their homeland is often as mythical and illusionary as the image they have of foreign countries.

Laleh Khalili

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* Too much narrow-mindedness

I wish one day people around the world could realize that it is not our differences that seperate us from each other -- it is our unwillingness to accept each others' views of the world in which we live...

Whatever the situation may be for you at this moment, I beg you all to take a step back and try to feel what life is like for your "enemy". I'm not asking for peace... all I'm asking for is empathy -- empathy for your fellow human beings... have we forgotten what that is? >>> FULL TEXT

Kambiz Hamadani

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October 26, 2000

* Stereotyping Iranians

I suppose the main difference between Iranians and Americans (and perhaps Western culture) is that the Americans always use a systematic approach when they analyse a situation. They seem to be very fond of moulding people into categories. This is quite a logical way for breaking down a big problem into very small ingredient to better understand the intricacies of human nature. However, in doing so they go to the nth degree and at times they lose a proper track of their thoughts. The fact is that in this way they generalise things and attach a particular trait to a nation. Possibly the most pronounced feature of Americans is that they like to stereotype.

"The twelve rules" by Ms Sciolino is definitely another attempt by an American 'intellecutal' who has been lucky enough to get a little insight into a very complex society. Obviously for a person who associates herself with what represents America today it is very difficult to understand subtleness of a nation that has gone through different phases in its long history. Thus she purports that "concealment is part of Iranians life" >>> FULL TEXT

Jamshid Entesari

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* Chalking out borders

Mr. Ameli ["Palestine has never existed"] seems to have a case of historical myopia when it comes to the Middle East. First, nation building and the concept of nation-state is a relatively new historical phenomenon. Many countries and their respective borders were created by colonial powers, especially in the Middle East. In fact Israel's borders are one of the latest to be carved up.

Just as there were no Palestinian borders to signify a Palestinian nation-state, there were no borders signifying Jordan, Saudi Arabia and many other countries until well into 20th century, including Israel's borders .

To cite Middle East borders as cause for legitimacy is bad form! It is similar to me entering Mr. Ameli's house, using a chalk to draw circle around his living room and then use a machine gun to enforce my ownership over the chalked area. I suspect he would not like that.

Secondly, last time I checked, Jesus did not visit The Vatican, nonetheless The Vatican is a holy place for Christians. A holy place is holy for its historical significance not for its visitors.

Ramin Tabbib

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* Ferdosi did not write it

For your information, that poem ["Okay. I'm a racist" ]was not written by Ferdosi. It was attributed to Ferdosi in the 1920s-30s,when when pro-German/Nazi like politics was polluting the political culture of Iran.You cannot find this poem in the old versions of the Shahnameh.


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October 25, 2000

* Tax dollars wasted in support of Israel

The current tense situation inside Israel and the Middle East are so grave that many other ripple effects are witnessed that reflect Iran and Iranian nationals around the world ["Crooked wall"]...

As a concerned Iranian American, I am very upset that my tax dollars are not spent wisely and feel it is wasted as a result of mis-management and against unarmed civilian population inside Israel and against Palestinians. Furthermore, the US firmly supports Israel with advanced military equipment. Washington is not capable of controlling the Israelis army and their atrocities against rock throwing Palestinians. Live ammunition has been used for the first time by the Israelis against the rock throwers >>> FULL TEXT

Javad Fakharzadeh, CEO
ATE Corporation

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* Palestine has never existed

Ayatollah Khamenei has just announced that he is planning to dispatch financial assistance as well as one hundred thousand Iranian Basijis to 'Palestine' in order to help the Palestinians regain their 'lands' including Jerusalem (Qods).

I feel compelled to ask, whoever said that Jerusalem ever belonged to the palestinians in the first place? Point of fact, in the Six Days War Israel captured Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem. However they did not capture these territories from Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians. They captured them from King Hussein and the Jordanians. I can't help but wonder why the Palestinians suddenly discovered their national identity after Israel won that war, since prior to the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, there was no serious movement for a Palestinian homeland >>> FULL TEXT

Kambiz Ameli

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* Googoosh's unsightly front teeth

Seeing a close up of Googoosh in a CNN interview I realized how unsightly her front teeth are. Being an old dentist and dealing with cosmetic dentistry, I thought through your love for her we might be able to arrange or somehow in a decent fashion make her aware of the services that can enhance her beauty and charm.


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October 24, 2000

* Remains in our hearts


Faramarz Kaviani

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* Tactless attention-seeking

About 20 minutes ago I saw your new feature 'Iranian of the Day' on your website for the first time. Since today October 23rd of the year 2000 (avalle Aban mAh), I am a man of 25 years, the following question came to my mind: "So where's my picture?!"

Most Iranians have mastered the "art" of tactless in-your-face attention seeking behavior. The following joke is my contribution to your website (and Persian culture) >>> FULL TEXT

Vahid Grami

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* No guilty conscience

When are people such as yourself going to stop pointing the finger and accept some responsibility ["Shah should be fully blamed"]. I bet you were amongst those 'ordinary citizens at Jaleh Square' and are now sitting thousands of miles away.

Your letter is sull of factual erros as the petro dollars really started to pour in the early 70's. Please don't insult Iran, past or present by comparing it to Saudi Arabia. I invite you to look back a few years ago, when they couldn't even defend themselves against Iraq!

Whatever the Shah's faults, and of course he had many, some of us don't have a guilty conscience to sometimes remember the good things that he did for the country.


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October 23, 2000

* Long live the shah

I read your letter titled, "Shah should be fully blamed" with amazement and to say that it distressed me is putting it rather mildly.To see that some people are vomiting at the Pahlavi name disturbs me greatly, not for the fact that you feel this way, but it simply reaffirms my concern at the level of knowledge and common sense of a great number of my fellow countrymen and women and some of the reasons why after so many years in exile I have had to face the fact that I have lost the country I once loved and cherished ...

I feel like crying to see many Iranians have lost their self-esteem and are not in touch with reality. They have lost touch with their culture, and follow the mirage presented to them by vested interests of the Imperialistic countries. LONG LIVE THE SHAH >>> FULL TEXT

Lida Sheybani

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* In the eyes of others

Thanks for running the thought-provoking and informative article by Elaine Sciolino ["The twelve rules"] and her analysis of Iranian society. Like the overwhelming majority of Iranians and Iranian-Americans, we are very conscious of how we appear in the eyes of others because we consider this as a major means of improving ourselves. In this case improving the cultural ties between America and Iran...

With all due respect to Ms. Sciolino, I believe that what she puts down as twelve rules of surviving Iran do not only apply to Iran but to every humans society in the world. I see these as common sociological and cultural threads that have their toots in human nature. Further, I do not agree that these are hard and fast rules and written on stones. They could at best be termed as general guidelines with minor modifications as they apply to Iran. In order to be objective, I find it best to go over these rules briefly one by one >>> FULL TEXT

Ali Parsa

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* Taking me to my people

I'm from Fars Province. I was born and raised among the Qashqaies. How I ended up living in California is a long story. I just wanted to say thank you for your beautiful story ["Soghra's tribe"]. I really enjoyed it.

While reading your story I could see women dancing and I could hear the sound of saaz and dohol, or as Ashayer say noghareh. I could smell the rosewater and I felt like siting in the tent around my relatives (although I am siting in my boring office & doing nothing).

Again thank you for making my day and taking me to my people.

Fatemeh Karari

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