The Iranian Times

Tuesday, September 29, 1998 / Mehr 7, 1377, No. 572

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Shahin & Sepehr




    Forgiving Salm and Tur
    A polemic on race

    Some see a geopolitical parable in the legend of Fereydoun's sons. The eternal East/West, and Iran as the bridge separating and uniting them, seems to appeal to that vision which places Iran as the center of the universe, the axis around which the inhabited world rotates. But the myth, many centuries older than the Shahnameh version, also bespeaks of a very powerful unspoken in our culture. The manner in which the brothers and their progenitors squared off against one another in malice and envy attests to the ambiguous and unspoken - yet faithfully obeyed - boundaries that sequester the ethnic groups from one another inside Iran.

    Salm has come to represent the Arabs and Tur the Turks, and our national psyche still bears deep wounds after so many centuries of all the times the Iranian Plateau has been overrun by conquerors from the south, the west and the north. We are particularly wounded by the invasion of the plateau by the Arabs and the Turks. In defense of our national ego and pride, however, we have translated the trauma of conquest into a groundless sense of ethnic superiority. That one of our greatest "national" poets - certainly our most important epic poet - saw Iraj as the innocent and morally superior victim of his two "foreign" brothers also affirms the feeling of suspicion and hostility we have towards the foreigners, institutionalized so long ago in our national epic poetry.... GO TO FEATURE

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    Iran-U.S. relations

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    A 120-man Italian business delegation is due in Tehran this Sunday. Mammamia!


    Revolution: 1979-1999


    More Letters

* Brazen anti-Semitism

Iraj writes: Though I appreciate Ali's passion for his cause ["Such hypocricy"), we certainly could have done without the unnecessary profanity. I am even less appreciative of the brazen anti-Semitism in his last sentence which is so common and still, in 1998, expressed so readily and unashamedly by many of our countrymen.

* You should go to Iran

Jessica Asgari writes: I enjoyed very much reading your article ["American, Iranian too"]. This is the second time that I read it. Both times I was very moved seeing a girl who has never ctually been to Iran, researching to find all the reasons behind every cultural thing. It's wonderful. I went to visit two years ago; it was amazing, exciting and interesting. If you ever get a chance to go, you should. Again, I enjoyed your article very much... FULL TEXT

* Course: Introduction to Hafez, in Virginia

Explanation, Interpretation, and Critical Analysis of Eight Individual Ghazals

Instructor: Reza Ghanadan, ph.D. Dr. Ghanadan is a literary critic. He received his ph.D. in literature from Lancaster University in England, taught at Ferdowsi University and Georgetown University, is the author of numerous articles on Persian literature, including the poetry of Hafez and contemporary Iranian poetry, and is currently working on imagery in classical Persian poetry and a comparison of Shakespeare's and Hafez's treatment of poetic imagery.... DETAILS HERE

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 More news

Nearly 250 candidates rejected for Assembly of Experts election

TEHRAN, Sept 29 (AFP) - Nearly 150 candidates have been cleared to take part in next month's elections for a new Assembly of Experts, a cleric-controlled body which chooses Iran's supreme leader, the interior ministry announced. It rejected 247 candidates, most of them close to moderate President Mohammad Khatami ... FULL TEXT

Baha'i death sentences in Iran

Paris, Sept 29, (Reuters) - The organisation representing members of the Baha'i faith in Britain says the Iranian Supreme Court has confirmed death sentences on two more Baha'is in Iran. A statement released in London says Sirius Dhabihi-Muqaddam and Hedayat Kashefi-Najafabadi had been condemned for their involvement in religious meetings known as Family Life gatherings ... FULL TEXT

Mohajerani says he ''won't back down ''

TEHRAN, Sept. 29, (IRNA) - minister of culture and islamic guidance ataollah mohajerani here on tuesday said that the ministry does not intend to alter its past policies towards the press. ''i said that we won't back down from our principle of defending legitimate freedoms...'' ... FULL TEXT

Albright urges patience toward Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It will take time and patience to establish good relations with Iran, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Tuesday in a low-keyed response to a tough declaration by the foreign minister of the country's Islamic fundamentalist government. ``We are ready to engage in a process in which each side is able to address the other's concerns,'' Albright said at a news conference... FULL TEXT

Soccer players invited to training camp

TEHRAN (Hamshahri) - Fifteen soccer players have been invited to the national team training camp - some names are noticeably absent ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN

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Quote Unquote

First among Third Worlders

Persian Iranian psyche harbors a covert ethnocentrism - even racism. We continue to consider ourselves - the urban Persian Iranians - as the most superior of all the people of the Third World (for we still have an inferiority complex when it comes to First Worlders).

Laleh Khalili
"Forgiving Salm and Tur"
The Iranian
Sept 29, 1998

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