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Shahin & Sepehr

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August 31-September 4, 1998 / Shahrivar 9-13, 1377


* Language: Farsi alphabet is easy
* Men: Not all are pigs


* Baskerville: Finally, the film
* Privacy:
- Respect the laws of your motherland
- Bamouthing

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Sept 4, 1998

* Farsi alphabet is easy

I noticed several letters in your magazine regarding the question of using transliteration rather than Arabic script for the benefit of those learning Farsi.

In my opinion, it does not take much effort to master the Arabic/Persian characters for the purposes of reading Farsi. The hard part is learning the language and building vocabulary. As the Arabic/Persian characters are inherently phonetic there is no benefit to using the contrived transliteration schemes except for ease of printing documents.

The excellent "Elementary Persian Grammar" by L.P. Elwell-Sutton (Cambridge University Press) pounds the alphabet into the student from the get go.

Brad Hernlem, Ph.D.

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* Not all men are pigs

I was really moved by reading this very emotional article ["Mommy's Boy"]. If Shahin claims he is not a writer, may be he should become one. It was very refreshing to hear an Iranian male admitting to be a "mommy's boy." But the fact is no matter what age we are or who we are deep inside, we all are "mommy's boy" or in my case "daddy's girl." That is if their characters had a big influence in our mind or soul and we have learned things from them all through of our lives.

It is obvious that Shahin's mom had a very strong character and she is going to live in Shahin forever and probably even in Shahin's future children. I am so glad men like Shahin exist. He appreciates her mother's important role in the family and admits even though she was a simple woman, she was able to give him the support and love he needed and taught him the art of living.

If I were Shahin I would leave everything and would rush to Iran too. Because I think nothing is worth more than the time you spend with your loved ones.

I always thought all men are pigs and I thanked god for not having any sons, but today after I read your true and honest emotions about your mother I think differently. May be I shouldn't be so pessimistic about all men. Thanks for your wonderful article.


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Sept 3, 1998

* Finally, Baskerville the film

I am very happy to see that someone finally is considering a film on Howard Baskerville ["Iran's American Martyr"]. I have been pleading for years with filmmakers and have found no takers.

I published a book on the Constitutional period two years ago, "The Iranian Constitutional Revolution" (Columbia University Press, 1996) and the book includes a chapter on the Civil War of Azerbaijan which you might want to read.

Your piece had one problem: the conspiracy theory. Baskerville was an officer of a group of elite young men in Tabriz, while Sattar Khan and Baqir Khan were commanders of the whole resistance army.

No one, to my knowledge (including M. A. Moore) has ever suggested that Sattar Khan and his men deliberately shot Baskerville to get Western attention. This is contrary to all he and others stood for and it is a grave injustice to the memory of these men and women who steadfastly protected the lives of the Westerners among them to the end.

The controversy is that in one of the last battles, when the city of Tabriz was starved, many were dying from hunger, and Russian forces were about to invade, Sattar Khan did not send a second back up force to protect Baskerville and his men and some have blamed him for that.

Janet Afary
Associate Professor of History
Purdue University

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Sept 2, 1998

There were no letters posted today because of technical difficulties.

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Sept 1, 1998

There were no letters posted today because of technical difficulties.

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August 31, 1998

* Respect the laws of your motherland

I'm writting to you regarding Mr. Namazi's article titled "If you must know". It does make it easier to travel with a U.S. passport. Therefore you have a valid point. Personal experience: I visited Iran after close to 20 years in the U.S. All I can say is that going through immigration and customs was much easeir and friendlier at Mehrabad airport than it was at J.F.K (i.e. New York airport).

The forms that are required by the Interests Section of Iran in Washington are very well justified and appropriate. Didn't you have to fill out any forms to obtain your Green Card? Don't we all have to tell our life story to the Internal Revenue Service every April 15th?

Conclusion: If you consider yourself Iranian and love your motherland you should have no problem respecting the laws of that land. I'm sure there are improvements to be made. But we should be fair and objective rather than complaining all the time.

Amir Wagheei

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* Bamouthing

Dear Mr. Namazi, bravo on your article regarding the Iranian Interests Section in Washington DC ["If you must know"]. I'm sure you, like many other Iranians who are ashamed of being Iranian, have once again succeeded to badmouth your own people, your own land, and your own government (whether good or bad) in front of people who really don't give a hoot about you or I.


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