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The Iranian Features
Dec 7-11, 1998 / Azar 16-20, 1377


* Travel: Paris heartbeats in an orange glow


* Persian Gulf: Tonban-e Abu Musa
* Internet: Cyber clash
* Loss: The magician
* Cover story: Beyond words

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

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December 11, 1998


    Paris heartbeats in an orange glow
    She is still in glorious excess

    Written and photographed by Rose Ghajar
    December 14, 1998
    The Iranian

    I walked for 20 miles a day wearing my black coat from Saks and my Kmart leather white tennis shoes like a shadow through the streets of Paris.

    I would start from Rue de la tour d'Auvergne, near the Gare du Nord and down Boulevard de Magenta to Place de la Republique where the statue of a French women of Liberty stood with a wreath on her hair and her hand outstreched in victory under a blue sky in November with white clouds. In spring, chaliced poppies flame to red in the palm of her hand ... GO TO FEATURE

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December 10, 1998

Persian Gulf

Tonban-e Abu Musa
Squeezing a laugh or two from the Iranian foreign ministry's secret files

By Guive Mirfendereski

In the summer 1976, I visited Tehran to begin research for my doctoral thesis on the legal status of Great Tonb, Little Tonb and Abu Musa, three islands located at the strategic entrance to the Persian Gulf and subject of a contentious debate first between Iran and Britain and since November 1971 between Iran and the emirates.

One very bright and very early morning, armed with a letter of authorization, I descended on the ministry with a great and purposeful appetite for information, with a hunger which had been whetted in part by the secrecy which the topic commanded at the time. The prospects of research soon turned into a process of begging for information ... GO TO FEATURE

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December 9, 1998


Cyber clash
Conversations with Iranians in cyberspace on the clash of civilizations

By Dokhi Fassihian

Almost twenty years later, the world is witnessing a thaw in the Islamic Republic's propaganda machine, not because the regime has lost interest in maintaining the status quo, but rather, because the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic, its value system and its practical success, have failed to attract Iran's newest generation-the 75% of the population which consists of the country's youth, aged 25 and under. This is an alarming demographic statistic for any government and even more so for the Iranian leadership, which for all effective purposes wants to remain in power and must appease this large constituency to do so. It is precisely this generation of Iranians, which will determine the political future of Iran. The success to which their demands are met and they, themselves, are integrated into the system will decide the political future of this regime and of the country as a whole.

I was encouraged to learn that a group of university students in Iran today have access to the Internet and often join the various chat rooms associated with the Internet. I actively sought to become acquainted with some of these students and bought computer software that is used in Iran to chat with people abroad. In a chat room simply called "Iran," I met eight students who were connecting directly from Iran. My initial interest was to get to know them, gain their trust, and become more familiar with their ideas ... GO TO FEATURE

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December 8, 1998


The magician
He made up grand stories and I believed every one of them

By Shahrzad Irani

It has been twenty years since I last saw my Pesar Daayee. When we were kids, I used to follow him everywhere. He used to make up grand stories and I believed every one of them. Every summer, we used to go to Tehran to visit our relatives. I loved visiting my uncle's house. At nights, they would put several beds side by side in the balcony so all of us kids could sleep under the stars.

My cousin and I used to sneak away from the dinner party, lie down on the laahaaf and hold hands, watching the stars. He would, very scientifically, describe each star and say their names. It was like a magic show and he was the magician. He would look intensely at the sky and suddenly yell: "There it is! The RED Star" and proceed with a story as to how the star got its name.... GO TO FEATURE

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December 7, 1998

Cover story

Beyond words
Will there be a response to growing attacks against the press?

By Abdolkarim Soroush

In the last three months, Iran's judiciary has closed down more than a dozen moderate newspapers and magazines. Meanwhile a number of liberal journalists have died under mysterious circumstances or been imprisoned for their critical views.

Abdolkarim Soroush wrote the following letter to President Khatami after the closure of Toos newspaper and the imprisonment of its top editors some two months ago. Although the editors have since been released, Soroush says threats against other moderate newspapers promted him to make the letter public.

Excerpts from the letter were published by some Iranian newspapers last week. Here's the full text (in Persian) :... GO TO FEATURE

 Cover Story

Beyond words
Will there be a response to growing attacks against the press?

By Abdolkarim Soroush

Cover stories

 Gol Aqa



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