You Know You Are NOT an Iranian When…

or I Was A Khareji in Blogestaan

I was a khareji in Blogestaan. As some of you know, not long ago (but what is time in Blogestaan?) I was a regular voice on this site. And now the time has come to share with you some insights that I gleaned.

This blog will explore historical and political aspects of non-Iranianness on For a social and cultural perspective, please see HONEST HASSANs exhaustive study, “YOU KNOW YOU ARE IRANIAN WHEN…” Just add “Not” to the title, and “You don’t understand why anyone would” to each item. It is easy and fun to do. For example, Hassan writes: ”You know you are Iranian when you divorce your wife, but still don’t let her date anyone else.”

You read: “You know you are not Iranian when you don’t understand why anyone would divorce his wife, but still not let her date anyone else.”

Other substitutions are also possible. But enough about Hassan. Now on to me. YOU KNOW YOU ARE NOT IRANIAN WHEN…

1) no matter how hard you try, you cannot find a shred of evidence to suggest that Persian civilization is 9000 years old.

2) you feel you should apologize for reciting the U.S. Post Office motto in the third grade without giving due credit, but you’re not quite sure how or where to begin.

3) you are still surprised when the same person who just raved about that 2500 year old cylinder as the paragon of Persian tolerance dismisses the Abbasids as an example of Islamic tolerance because it was a thousand years ago.


4) you figure that if some people say Islam came to Iran by bloody sword and others say 500 years of gradual acculturation, that the truth probably lies somewhere in-between.

5) you wish more people would say things like “Mongols, Tatars, Suez Canal” when bemoaning the demise of Persia and less things like “Arabs, Qajars, CIA”, if only for the sake of variety.

6) No matter how many millions of dollars he wasted, you will always have a soft spot for the Shah because of how glamorous that Life Magazine issue on the party at Persepolis seemed when you were twelve years old, and no amount of sensible reasoning can convince you it was cheesy.

7) you figure that if some people say the Shah was like Adolph Hitler and others say Mother Theresa, that the truth probably lies somewhere in-between.

8) you know the debates on Persia/Iran and Persian/Farsi are endless, excruciating and ultimately pointless, and you spend endless, excruciating hours trying to make your point.


9) you spell “Blogestaan” with two “a’s” out of a subconscious fear that if you don’t, something terrible is going to happen (but never Shaah, Iraan or Tajikistaan).

10) you keep on telling some people “Silence is consent” every time a minor gets hanged from a crane, and you keep on getting answered with silence, but not once have you felt the urge to say “IRI stooge” or “toady.”

11) no matter how much crap comes out of his mouth, you still find Ahmadinejad’s interview style entertaining (and anything but stupid).

12) you have a feeling that calling an American “khareji” on a California-based, English-language website just might be an oxymoron.

13) this has nothing at all to do with the topic, but 13 seems to have once been a lucky number under the 13-month lunar calendar, which was possibly related to the menstrual cycle, and supplanted by the 12-month solar one during the rise of patriarchy, and you know you are going to get creamed for mentioning this, and someone here is going to call you a“digressive, self-promoting intellectual dilettante,” which you suspect may be code for “patronizing neo-Colonialist missionary”, which you knew you were going to get called anyway (but at least no one ever patronized you here and that meant so much more… ;o)

14) no matter how many people immolate themselves for her, for you Maryam Rajavi will always be the Coco Chanel of the Desert.

15) a popular featured writer on once called you “Our Rosie”, and you don’t know if he remembers, but you will love him till the day you die.



(PS I couldn’t help but notice on the home page that my name is now shared by a dog. How serendipitous…but I believe that that Rosie is an Iranian dog).

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