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Shahin & Sepehr


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

Nov 9-13, 1998 / Aban 18-22, 1377


* Iran Air: Aviation history
* Expats: Blind patriotism


* Persian: What the heck is a "Rahbar"?
* Music: Guy de-you-know-who
* Music: Deep Dish
* Sufis: Great frauds
* Ta'rof: It's a virus

* Minorities: Not an Iranian problem

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Nov 13, 1998

* Aviation history

Very interesed to read your aviation history ["Balloons to Boeings"], especially the earliest years. The early aircraft you describe were probably Dominie (not Domino). These were twin-engined aeroplanes made in England by the de Havilland Aircraft Company. We still have two of these aeroplanes flying in New Zealand as museum pieces.

Peter Lewis

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* Blind patriotism

I think Mr. Khalili ["Farewell cherry tree"] has brought up an interesting point in Iranian history, the Iran-Iraq war. Also, through his story and the response from "Aroosie Khooban," we now have hit an important point.

My opinion on Iran-Iraq war was that it was one of the most unpatriotic wars ever, if there is ever such a thing as a patriotic war. I personally object to wars and don't think I have the capability of grabbing a gun and shooting down people who have suddenly become my enemies. Every person killed at every front, is a humanbeing with loved ones and dependents. Every person killed is a tragedy which we tend to glorify with words such as martyrdom and dying for one's nation.

What made the Iran-Iraq war worse, were the two governments behind them. This war benefited no one but the two governments eventually. This war was a war between the Sardare Qadesieh and spreader of Islamic Revolution and as such, people should not have wasted their lives for two dictators.

The story that Mr. Khalili described only goes on to show the magnitude of the tragedy, the IRI has called, "sacred defense." Not only we lost thousands of our youngsters to a meaningless war, but we also lost thousands of others, who did not want to be part of this show, to foreign lands.

As a last note, I would like to differentiate between the words patriotism and blind patriotism. They are much like love and blind love. You can build a relationship around love but not blind love. Same goes with countries. If those people, who ran over minefields so Khomeini could attain his dream of Karbala, would stand back and question the logic of going to Karbala and Qods, then maybe our nation would not be in the deep economic crisis that it is today.

Jafar Dehghan

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Nov 12, 1998

* What the heck is a "Rahbar"?

Many of you may have already received the first "Iran Report" from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty by A. William Samii in Prague at However what I cannot understand is why they insist in using Persian words, while they are reporting in English. If it is aimed at an Iranian audience, then why not write in Persian using the English alphabet? And if it is aimed for all, then why use words such as "Rahbar"? ... none of my foreign friends understood who the hell was a Rahbar...

Part of the report reads: " The president and the Rahbar..." Of course, we can all understand the president. But none of my foreign friends understood who the hell was a Rahbar. Obviously "rabhbar" is a leader in English, and if the correct term was used, the capital R was not required making it look like part of the name. The same goes for their Farsi service. I wonder if they have a Francaise and Espanole service as well. Maybe this would be a good way of turning English into Persian. As the slogan goes in Iran "Farsi ra paas bedaarim", maybe someone needs to say: " Englishi ra ham paas bedaarim, too"... :-)


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* Guy de-you-know-who

Regarding Guive Mirfendereski's "Giving Batul a chance":

Guy de-somebody? It's Guy de Maupassant, who wrote "The Necklace"!!

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Nov 11, 1998

* Deep Dish

Did you know that one of two of the biggest producers of electronic music are Iranian? The Maryland-based "Deep Dish" is the creation of Ali Shiraznia and Shahram Tayebi. Together they have been producing their own brand of house music (dark, at times trancey) for over five years, and have quickly grown to become the most sought-after producers in the world, cutting up remixes for the likes of "Everything But the Girl" and Janet Jackson. As DJs they circle the globe and are literally worshipped like heroes in the UK, by far their biggest fan base, and by now their home away from home.

This past week they played here in New York for the CMJ music festival, and by Sunday they could be heard in the UK at the Notting Hill Festival. Their latest release, on Deconstruction/UK, is called "Junk Science," and incorporates many Persian elements, denoting Ali and Shahram's special attachment to Iran (unusual for expats who have been living Stateside ince they were young and could have become completely americanized and ignorant of their origin, like so many). One of the cuts from the album is called "Persepolis," and ends with an entrancing playing of the tar by a Iranian artist.

Ali Naderzad

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November 10, 1998

* Sufis were great frauds

The discussion is anecdotal rather than philosophical [Iranica article: "Refusing to bow to Adam"]. The material is tendentious; its goal is to show that evil exists within God; the Sufis who are cited are merely dualist Manicheans disguised as Muslims; they are no more profound than Jehovah's Witnesses.

The premise is actually rather simple minded; it intrigues because it entails a fatal contradiction of good and evil within the Principle, a contradiction which cannot be resolved. It can however, be avoided altogether. One doesn't have to take the bait.

The correct answer to the problem is actually much more mystical and it is the philosophically and logically correct doctrine that evil is an absence of good, or an absence of reality. If evil had a positive existence its essence would be absolute contradiction. Fortunately for us it doesn't. It also means that the great Sufis were great frauds and/or great con-men. something which is corroborated by our everyday experience today.

Dostoevsky fascinates until one realizes that his writing is merely a game, a soap opera, which consists of mixing opposites into one impossibility. Try to resolve the idea of Stavrogin, the mixture of Cross of Salvation and horned devil into one apparent unity and you have a deep, deep mystery; dismiss it as fantasy and you are free.

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Nov 9, 1998

* Tarof is a virus

I really enjoyed the article "War, Iranian style." I don't agree with Reebaha. Tarof goes on all over Iran.

My family is from Azarbaijan and I was raised in Tehran (I don't know if I would be considered bacheh Tehroon or not!) and my husband's family is from Shiraz . I have not seen much difference regarding tarof. This is an epidemic; it's a virus that has spread all over.

I think Mr. Taghavi should have mentioned the "eating war" and the struggle to avoid eating a pastry or something that is not good for you or something that you simply don't want to eat. He could have also mentioned the "Khoda hafezi war" which is just as important and takes long enough to be able to make quite a few moves on the enemy.

Simin Habibian

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* Minorities: Not an Iranian problem

The fact is, in Iran, we have never had the problem of race prior to this. In your article ["Forgiving Salm and Tur"], you point to Persian Iranians several times, and then talk about "Indo-Europeans" and what they are. Well, do you know, or do you not know what they are? How excatly do you define this unusual being called a Persian Iranian? Is he a fictional being or is he real? You refer to "ethnic minorities" of Iran, Kurds, Baluchs, Turks, Qashqayis. Have you ever studied them? How are they ethnic minorities? Do they have different physical characteristics? Or is their blood of a different color than your given Persian Iranian?... FULL TEXT

Khodadad Rezakhani

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