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September 18-22, 2000 / Shahrivar 28-Mehr 1, 1379


* Violence:
- Ansar-e Los Angeles

* Racism:
- Fooling ourselves

- Arab colonial legacy


* Religion:
- Extreme poor taste
- If Arabs had not invaded Iran?

- Narrow-minded chauvinism
- Pride in Arabic Quran and prophet
- Let's move on
- Brought up racist

- Out of context
- Ignorance
- Long for home

* Shah:
- Happy memories

- Most undeserving monarch
- Many still care
- Representing an illusion

- Victims of "artistic expression"
- Don't leave day job
- Innovative
- Not ONE clear photo?

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September 22, 2000

* Ansar-e Los Angeles

I went to Dr. Kamal Kharrazi's talk today at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), yesterday. Unfortunately due to some major error my name was missing from the invitation list...

However it was not all a waste, although of course I would have liked very much to attend the speech. Instead I saw a demonstation by about 120 Iranians outside the place - real live theater! Sad rahmat be ansaar-e hezbollah! These guys beat at least five or six people that I saw with my own eyes. They cursed and insulted and hit everybody who walked in, including me (mozdoor! khaae'en! vatanforoosh! aakhoond-e bi ammameh! kesaafat! olaagh! ... you name it!) >>> FULL TEXT


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* Fooling ourselves

In response to "Okay, I'm a racist", and it's responses: I read the article and many of the responses and I'm left with the solemn, worried Iranian look on my face (we all know what that is). I have nothing against dAyi Hamid for honestly expressing his views, although I may not neccesarily agree with him...

We would be fooling ourselves to return to pre-Zoroastrian, newly Persian ways, and we would be murdering 4000+ years of struggling to maintain our one common thread (being Iranian) to retard ourselves into dark age fundamentalist Islamic ideals. What would've happened if the Arabs hadn't invaded? It would have been Christian influence, or Hindu, or Buddhist...

So we can all be ultra-proud about our past or fervent about our religious beliefs, but neither one is going to take us anywhere as a whole until we start respecting what we all have in common with one another: That we are all Iranian >>> FULL TEXT


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* Arab colonial legacy

In response to the article, "Okay, I'm a racist", I think we shoud not dislike Arabs for invading Iran. After all, the Arab people suffrered themselves at hand of their repressive rulers. What, we should oppose is the colonial legacy that Arab invaders left behind in Iran.

In my opinion, Arab invaders who came from a slavery-type of society with utter disrespect for women, art and culture in general, left a colonial legacy which was extremely reactionary, inhuman and backward.

The Arab colonial legacy is Islamic Shiism. The colonized version of Islam which became prevalent in Iran, could be compared to colonized version of christianity in the other third world countries such as Philipines, Mexico, or Brazil, where the fanaticism is so strong that some people crucify themselves on Easter Holiday.


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September 21, 2000

* If Arabs had not invaded Iran?

Regarding dAyi's article "Okay, I'm a racist", it never seizes to amaze me when Iranians wonder "what would have happened to us if the Arabs never invaded Iran?"

Well, let's see...

India was not invaded by the Arabs. China and Greece were never invaded by the Arabs, and by any yardstick these ancient civilizations were at least equal to - and in the case of China and Greece far more superior to - Persian civilization.

As far as I can tell, China, India and even European Greece haven't turned into social, scientific or cultural centers of modern world >>> FULL TEXT

Sassan Behzadi

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* Narrow-minded chauvinism

I read the article "Okay, I'm a racist" with a pinch of salt... Being engaged to a beautiful Iraqi of Kurdish-Arab blood I realised how narrow-minded our Persian chauvinism can be. The modern Arab - Egyptians, Iraqis, Jordanians, Lebanese, etc - have a high appreciation of Persian culture and in my dealings with them they have all quoted Hafez and Saadi to me whilst to my shame I was hard pressed to quote any of their great poets until my fiancee handed me Nizar Qabani's (Syrian diplomat) poetry books which in parts was influenced by our culture. In fact despite the initial shock of the Arab invasion, many Persians were to form the cultural backbone of the Islamic empire >>> FULL TEXT

Cyrus Kadivar

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* Extreme poor taste

I find the item in your Anyway section Wednesday in extreme poor taste. What is disturbing is that the humor is lost on me and certainly the title leaves me perplexed. "Good taste in bad taste"? What on EARTH do you mean SIR?! I thought The Iranian was above toilet humor.

An avid reader

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September 20, 2000

* Pride in Arabic Quran and prophet

I don't care if you like Arabs or not ["Okay, I'm a racist"], but put this in your head till the last day of your life: The Holy Quran is in Arabic and we are very proud of this as it is a blessing from God. Prophet Mohammed is from the heart of the Arab world .

Now let's see what your people are doing in my country... Well, mostly smuggling drugs and many of them are illegal workers. Not only that, since Khomeini, your country has been a source of racism. Please teach yourself and your nation how to respect others regardless of their roots.

Amani Al Omani

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* Let's move on

The question of racism in Iran has nothing to do with race ["Okay, I'm a racist"]. The main question is: we treat ourselves worse than foreigners, so what is the big deal with treating them(foreigners) bad?

When people lack self confidence they go around try to put others down so they feel they have something different (not necessary better) whether it is race, religion, language, you name it.

It's time for Iranians to wake up and realize they have missed the boat. We should be proud what we have achieved in our own life time rather than sit around and show off our predecessors as though they were inspired by us!

The key word is human rights and "human" by definition is what we all are. Let's move on.


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* Brought up racist

Fine article ["Okay, I'm a racist"]. I too am a racist. At times it just comes out without thinking. Often I remember saying to myself "Arab dar biAbAn mlahk mikhorad, sagheh Isfahan Ab-e yakh mikhorad."

All of us are products of our environment and we have been brought up by our parents and culture to be racist without knowing it. Our parents did not know that they were teaching us to be racist eihter. Let us hope by knowing that we have racist tendencies we will be more careful not to act racist. I enjoyed your article and thanks for sharing.


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* Out of context

In the article "Okay, I'm a racist" the author has a claim that the president of Iran is as racist as himself with respect to Arabs. I think this is a good example of taking words out of context.

It is amazing how people, when they don't understand the intellectual and social context of a perspective, might interpret it with their own "common sense." Unfortunately, this happens too often. Most teachers and professors can relate to these types of simplification of their ideas by students.

To understand any type of talk, one has to understand the social context within which the idea has been presented, and also have a shared understanding with the speaker about the meanings implied.

As someone who was present at the U.N. talk, I can attest that Mr. dAyi Hamid's ideas have very little to do with Mr. Khatami's.

Poopak Taati

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* Ignorance

Your ignorance is repulsive ["Okay, I'm a racist"]!


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* Representing an illusion

In reference to the letters regarding the Googosh photographs: Am I missing something? Don't the photographs represent an illusion of a time in Iran now lost and longed for?

Perhaps they would have been presented clearly if the country of Iran wasn't now experiencing a lack of understandable image to those listening for hope for a better tomorrow.

Just possibly, this lady is attempting to simply bring joyful memories and not offer a definitive photograph. All of those admired by others don't always present definitive images by which to view them.

Personally, I like the photographs.

Charles Roberson

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September 19, 2000

* Victims of "artistic expression"

I am not exactly sure what is happening as far as the photos of Googoosh's concert are concerned ["Googoosh live!"]; either my computer is having problems displaying anything useful or we are victims of "artistic expression".

Although I found the idea of the garish photos to be interesting, I for one would have appreciated at least a couple of viewable photos. Thank you for the effort.


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* Don't leave day job

These pictures are terrible ["Googoosh live!"]. They are neither artistic nor real. There are bound to be better pictures than these somewhere on the Web. Please tell the photographer not to leave his day job.

Mohsen Asadi

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* Innovative

The photos you took of Googoosh and then transformed ["Googoosh live!"], were very innovative and eye-catching. Impressive.

Hamid Nazari

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* Happy memories

I have found your articles in The Iranian so very interesting ["Requiem in Cairo"]. I was married to an Iranian, and have many happy memories of my life in Iran during the reign of the late Shah. I was particularly interested in your story of Tea with with the Former British Ambassador, Sir Denis Wright,whom I had met during my many years in Iran.

I was deeply moved by your article "By the Pale Green Stone", and the more recent "Requiem in Cairo". I, too, was anxious to know what had happened to the Shah and his family after the Revolution, and found answers in "The Shah's Last Ride", by William Shawcross.

I loved Iran and its people, and lived in Abadan from 1951 until 1958. My husband then took an early retirement, and we came to live in England, to be near our children who were studying here.

Sadly, my beloved husband is no longer with us, and I am now a widow. I do miss Iran very much, and hope that I can return one day. Meanwhile, I enjoy reading news of Iran in The Iranian and I look forward to more of your interesting articles.


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* Long for home

I have been reading your pieces [Sadaf Kiani Abbassian's features] and always enjoy them immensely. They always make me long for the home, the sounds and scents that you so much bring to life in your writings.


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September 18, 2000

* Most undeserving monarch

I happen to be a strong opponent of the evil regime which is now ruling our land. However I fervently believe that the Pahlavis are the main cause of the calamities which has gripped Iran today ["Requiem in Cairo"].

The late shah was the most undeserving monarch to ever sit on the Peacock Throne. Underneath his public grandeur he was a frightened and weak individual who on several occasions packed his bags and abandoned his land at the first sign of a storm. Indeed he should have never been allowed to return the first time he fled in 1953...

Do they really believe that Farah would dare return to a public life in Iran? Can Reza ever dare to believe that the young generation would allow an uneducated, inexperienced son on Mohammad Reza to ever call himself monarch? >>> FULL TEXT

Kambiz Ameli

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* Many still care

I read your article ["Requiem in Cairo"] with a lot of enthusiasm and have since sent it to anyone I thought would have an interest. It brought a few tears to my eyes and to many others who have since read it.

It is refreshing to know there are still a lot of people out there who truly care about Iran as a country and believe in the traditional values we once had and try to preserve.

My father especially wanted to congradulate you on your efforts to bring to the masses an experience many of us would have liked to have had. We wish you great success in your endeavours.


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* Not ONE clear photo?

I was there at the Googoosh concert in Washington DC and I'm glad your site is the first one to put any pictures from that night on the web ["Googoosh live!"].

But weren't there any better, clearer pictures? I mean these are nice too but how about at least ONE good, focused, clear picture of her?

A devoted fan of The Iranian web site who's kind of disappointed, let's say!

Negar Tehrani

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