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Oct 26-30, 1998 / Aban 4-8, 1377




* Identity:
- Iranians: Type 3 personality
Suffering from adolescent pains
Why insist on being around Iroonies?
- What do I do? I'm Italian
* Book: Booy-e Gand-e Paa

* Events: What's happening in Chicago?
* Spam: No mercy
* Identity:
- Why insist on being around Iroonies?
- What do I do? I'm Italian

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Oct 30, 1998


I am impressed, and happy that these delightful old pictures ["Laid back", "Cheri"] have been posted on the web. On the other hand I am depressed and saddened that our lives have changed so much.

Just a few minutes ago, at the dinner table, my eight-year-old son, who is very much interested in music, sat through three hours of Mr. Dariush's October 11 concert in Dallas. He calls Dariush a superstar and asked me if he held concerts back in Iran. He then asked my brother who has just come from Iran if there are concerts like that in Iran now. Of course his answer was NO.

Then my brother told him that they are not allowed even to play music on the radio that includes a female voice. How do you explain this to a young mind?


Reza Khavari

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Oct 29, 1998

* Iranians: Type 3 personality

Rather than jumping to your own conclusions ["Nargess Shahmanesh: Why insist on being around Iroonies?"], why not ask yourself if there may be some validity to what was said. Unlike you, I have been doing my research; and from that as well as my own experience I can honestly say there is much to be admired about Iranians as well as much not to be admired. That it is so strong both ways is what makes it both intriguing and perplexing...

Each personality-type has both healthy aspects and unhealthy ones. What I have observed with Iranians is that most gravitate around the Type 3 personality which goes by nicknames such as "Producer," "Performer," "Status Seeker" and "Succeeder" According to Jerome Wagner, PhD, author of "The Enneagram Spectrum of Personality Types," positive descriptions for Type 3 are: efficient, successful, get things done, motivator, enthusiastic, pragmatic, practical, goal-oriented, energetic, manager, popular, active, dynamic, multi-faceted, organized, self-assured, marketer, industrious, team-builder, and competent.

Negative descriptions are: mechanical, get ahead, calculating, impatient, expedient, workaholic, chameleon-like, scheming, popularizer, image-conscious, self-promoting, appearances, jet set, success-driven, slick, political, mesrepresenting, oeverachiever, role-playing, and ignore feelings... FULL TEXT

Alex Bettesworth

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* Suffering from adolescent pains

I stumbled upon your very negative commentaries on the Iranian people and have to say that I'm completely ashamed of your publishing of this bogus material depicting Iranians in such a bad light ["People of extremes"]. These come from a few bitter people who tend to generalise, as they also admitted.

I do not share their views and know quite a few Iranians. I live in Santa Barbara where there aren't very many Iranians. I understand where these negative views of Iranians came about, as the culture clashes are extreme and should be taken note of, and the struggle for many Iranians to REGAIN the status they once enjoyed in a country before it began to suffer from closed-minded and primitive tyrant ruling - by this I do not mean to condone the royalty, they were a bunch of naive guys taking all the western lies and so-called promises too seriously.

So not to become political, I just would like to say that you shouldn't take commentary from people who themselves are suffering from adolescent pains of friendship betrayals and blaming the entire race and culture of the one betraying them. And DO take into account real anthropological and social issues backing the actions of the people of Iran. And the people of Iran are not the lost second generation living in LA or San Francisco.

University of California,
Santa Barbara

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Oct 28, 1998

* Booy-e Gand-e Paa

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.


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* What's happening in Chicago?

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.

Thanks in advance.

Mehran Azhar

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Oct 27, 1998

* Why insist on being around Iroonies?

In respose to the articles by eRoTuS, Alex Bettesworth, and C. Mohammadi on Iranians:

After reading these articles and letters the one thing that struck me was just how generalized and shallow they are. And what confuses me is why on earth do these people insist on being around Iroonies if they dispise them as such.

I'm Iroonie, have lived both in Iran, Europe and have spent time in the U.S. I cannot for the life of me understand this intense hostility. We are humans, and like every other race on this planet have tall and short, fat and thin, pretty and ugly, rich and poor, and most importantly good and evil. Just like all other races.

Circumstances, political upheaval, forced geographical relocations, have admitidly changed our people, but so have many other nations been faced with similar, if not worse, historical/political upheavals in the past decade. I'm not sure if these changes are necessarily for the worse. For every LA nouveau riche tacky Iroonie, there are hundreds and hundreds of highly original minds, very exciting and innovative individuals, who are also a lot of fun to have around.

All I can say to those who are so quick to judge is expand your research before finding it in their right to criticize.

Nargess Shahmanesh

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Oct 26, 1998

* What do I do? I'm Italian

Let me start this with a joke I heard from an Iranian fellow named Tony (used car salesman, aka. mile clipper, he agrees with this one). Anyway they asked an Iranian guy what do you do for a living? He said "I'm an Italian!"

I don't know maybe it's only me, but I seem to be bothered by my fellow countrymen who have chosen Western names for themselves and worse for their children ["Why change a name?"]. It seems to happen more in the U.S., where I think Iranians have succeeded to loose more of their culture and "names". They seem to be very Iranian, eat chelo-kabab, go to Persian concerts, and drive BMWs (like myself!) but when you ask their name, you hear: "Tony".

What's worse is when they introduce themselves to other Iranians with names like, Gino, Giani, Sergio,.... I don't understand who came up with these names. Maybe we should look for the first Iranian guy who named himself Tony and give him the Iranian Tony Award.

I can't stop laughing about this Tony name. Is that because many Iranains think that we look alot like Italians? I have never met an Italian guy who calls himself Jamshid. I understand that Iranians are very good at adapting themselves to other cultures, but why change your name?

I happen to have an Arabic name just like many other Iranians, but I don't find it necessary to change my name to a Persian name or to a Western name for that matter. Shouldn't we just respect our parents for having named us or we should all go around calling ourselves Tony?

I have heard from Iranians these horror stories about the hardships that they had to go through during the hostage crisis in Iran. There are no more American hostages in Iran, so I suggest all of these Tonys use their real name.

It may not be so important to many people what your name is. If you want to be a successful businessman you don't have to change your name. Instead be honest with people. Sell good used cars; don't clip the miles. Keep your promises so you don't have to call yourself Tony. If an American girl in a bar is so stupid that she doesn't catch your beautiful Iranian accent, then just tell her that your name is Qoli and you are Italian!


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