Before anything else, I want to wish all Iranians a happy “no rooz” and best of health and happiness for everyone and their families, specially Jahanshah who has given us this forum for sharing of thoughts.
One of the reasons the Jews are so successful in what they do is the fact that they have good sense of humor. There are more Jewish stand up comedians, comedy actors/actresses, comedy writers etc than any other ethnicity. Thats right, being Jewish is not only about one's religion; its also about one's culture/ethnicity.
Jews make fun of themselves and other Jews and laugh about it. Most of the time, laugh to the bank. Notable older generation comedians are Jacky Mason, Mel and Brooks; some of the new generation comedy involved people are John Stewart, Sasha Baron Cohen (Borat), Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David. The list is long, believe me. Self depricating humor is a Jewish specialty.
For some reason, us Iranians not only have limited sense of humor, we also are very sensitive about Iran and being Iranian. Our sense of humor is limited to jokes abouts torks, rashtees and Ghazvinis. We generally don't make fun of our culture; we complain about it a lot, but when someone says “balaye cheshet abroost” we get offended. “How dare you insult my culture”?! “my culture is over 2,500 years old” us Persians are this, we are that.
Come on!! Get over it. So what a film is depicting Persians as people with dark skin? I have heard so many people talking about being offended by the shade of the skin of actors portraying Persians in this movie that I want to throw up.
Most Americans can't find Iran on a map. Heck, some can't even find USA on the map. Less than 20% of Americans know about their own history prior to the first gulf war and we are worried about historical accuracy of events which happened thousands of years ago?! Either the person who sees this movie is a total moron who believes the content of this movie as fact or they know a little something about history and can make up their minds about Persians based on what they have read in history books.
The impression Americans (or other cultures) form about us is more from their daily interactions with us than a stupid movie. These impressions come from how Iranian drivers act while driving. How Iranian business owners deal with their customers. How Iranian coworkers do their job. How Iranian students do at school. For the most part, we have a good reputation. We are known as smart, hard working, family oriented, educated and shrewd.
Instead of getting pissed off at this movie and its creators, make fun of it. Make fun of yourselves. Don't think the world revolves around you or Iran. Write to your local newspapers and instead of complaining, be creative and witty. Don't teach people about our culture; do something so they appreciate it.
Most importantly, allow your children to be what they want to be. We have enough Iranian physicians, dentists and lawyers. Let your kids study film making, writing. Don't have a cow if your son wants to be a journalist or a stand up comedian instead of a periodontist. If we have more Iranians in creative fields, we will make a bigger difference in the world.