War, Iranian Style
Ta'rof is, in fact, prepartation for major battle
The age-old Iranian tradition of ta'rof can be loosely likened to the
various stages of a war.
Greetings start with the inevitable exchange of an array of compliments
and the ensuing battle to convince the other party of their relative higher
status. This is similar to diplomatic efforts preceding a war.
"Hi. How are you?"
"I'm barely alive. How are you?"
"Not terribly bad. How's your mother? How's your father? How's
your dog? How's your spare tire?"
"Fine, all thanks to you. May your shadow not be reduced. How about
you? How are your distant relatives? How's the brother of your regular
bus driver? How's the tombstone on the grave of your great grandpa? How's
the vegetable garden? How's your dog's tape worm situation?" ...
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Laleh Khalili writes:
Of all strange things, Iran and being Iranian has become the subject
of a well-respected, well-watched, Emmy-winning TV show. One of the cases
shown last Sunday on the ABC lawyer-drama, The Practice, was the case of an Iranian woman being
fired from her job for no other reason than being Iranian.
One of the characters said, "I am not over the hostage thing."
Meanwhile, the Iranians were defined in relation to terrorism, the World
Trade Center bombing and links to Sudan.
The jury (no surprise there) finds in favor of the man who fired her
because this is a time of "war" and heightened emotions. And
of course, this being American TV and everything ending with justice and
happiness for all, the judge sets aside the jury verdict and rules in favor
of the Iranian woman.
And to top it all off, the lawyer for the man who fired her asks her
out! How twisted is network TV?
* Booy-e Gand-e Paa
S.T. writes: When I first saw the title for the Book of the Week in
The Iranian Times, -- Scent of Saffron -- I thought this must be another
book on Iranian cooking. Then the full title sunk in "Scent of Saffron: Three Generations of an Iranian Family"
I laughed so hard, I though I was going to have an accident.
I'm sure it is a fine a book, but the title could sure use a little
help. What's next in this perpetual attempt to capitalize on the superficial
understanding and appreciation for whatever deems to be ethnic?
I think I might write my own memoir about the intricate interplay of
religion and the extended family in Iran. I will call it "Booy-e Gand-e
Paa: How Religious Activity Works to Reinforce or Squander Family Ties.
* What's happening in Chicago?
Mehran Azhar writes: I
have yet to see an event -- either cultural or political -- held in Chicago
mentioned in the Community section of your magazine . For those of you
subscribers who live near the Windy City, are there any Iranian organizations
in Chicagoland that promote such events? Any information with regard to
Iranian "kanoons" in or about Chicago is highly appreciated.
The Second International Non-Renewable Energy Sources Congress and Exhibition
December 12-17, 1998, Tehran, Iran... DETAILS
Book of the Week
Scent of Saffron:
Three Generations of an Iranian Family
By Rouhi Shafii
New! Books on Rumi
Rial freefalls on open market
Oct 28 (AFP) - The Iranian currency dropped sharply in value this week on
the open market after months of steady decline, but the central bank pledged
Wednesday to maintain a freeze on the rate of the rial against major foreign
currencies. The rial fell from 6,200 to the dollar at the start of the week
to nearly 6,700 on Wednesday after hints from the central bank early in
the week that it may allow the currency to freely float against major currencies...
* The dollar now offered at up to 665-66880 tomans
Rial stabilization policy will continue
Tehran, (HAMSHAHRI) - The Central Bank has issued
a statement saying its rial stabilization policy will continue through 1378
(March 2000) as planned ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN
Egypt upgrades diplomacy in Iran
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Egypt has upgraded its
diplomatic mission in Iran in a sign of thawing ties, Egyptian and Iranian
diplomats said Wednesday. Egypt and Iran severed ties after the 1979 Islamic
Revolution. Egypt maintains an interests section in Tehran, which works
from the Italian Embassy... FULL TEXT
U.S. rights group backs jailed Iran cleric
DUBAI, Oct 27 (Reuters) - A U.S. human rights
group expressed support for a Shi'ite Moslem cleric jailed in Iran after
he published articles supporting women's rights. The New York-based Lawyers
Committee for Human Rights, in a statement received by Reuters on Tuesday,
urged lawyers to write on behalf of Mohsen Saeidzadeh to Iranian head of
judiciary Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi and Iran's envoy to the United Nations
... FULL TEXT
Wooing foreign investors
Tehran, (HAMSHAHRI) - Government plans for attracting
$7.5 billion in foreign investment ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN
"Naneh Jaan" win Frankfurt film
TEHRAN, (Hamshahri) - Kabouzia Partovi's "Naneh
Jaan va Farzandash" has been awarded at a children's film festival
in Frankfurt... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN
Tehran, (HAMSHAHRI) - There are no grass fields for
the national soccer team to practicew on; plus the latest news on top first
division games ... FULL TEXT IN PERSIAN
dollar now offered at up to 665-668 tomans
Source: Sehaty Exchange (U.S.) Tel: 602-595-0777
Hundreds and hundreds of alumni contacts. If you're looking for old classmates,
the names and photos here will give you a high-voltage nostalgia shock.
web sites... & the Web site of the day - beyond Iran
"Aroos balad neest beraqsseh meegeh otaaq kajeh."
(The bride does not know how to dance but says, "The room is
crooked." = A bad workman blames his tools)
From Simin Habibian's "1001 Persian-English Proverbs"
Photo of the Day
Big big smile
Musician of the Week
Five more tunes from the hugely successful "World Cafe"