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Over insignificant beef
Fighting breaks out after an Iranian concert

By Arash Shokouh
April 12, 2004

To My Middle-Eastern Sisters and Brothers:

At the April 10th Andy concert at the Double Tree Hotel in San Jose, I had the pleasure of spending the evening with good friends enjoying the music of the popular Persian singer Andy.

After the concert was unfortunately cut short, the audience was moving towards the exit and to my subtle surprise, a fight ensued right outside of the concert hall doors. The tension was then moved outside to the parking lot where four or five different brawls sparked up again.

In the confusion I was a witness to one of my good friends being attacked and beaten on the ground as about 200 spectators watched in amazement. This incident hit me as a tremendous shock. His face was pouring blood like the all too familiar mafia movies we have all seen.

The causes of the fights are unknown and there is no single person that sparked the first bit of tension. However, each and every one of you knows that they start because of meager misunderstandings that can be easily avoided.

As most of you know, fights are becoming increasingly common at Middle-Eastern events. In the current international climate our countries of origin are facing threats on a daily basis and the progress does not seem to be promising in the near future. This fact gives us common ground to stand on together as a community.

Seeing incidents like this hurts because when we should be united, we are busy bickering amongst ourselves over insignificant "beef". Please give second thoughts to your actions when we are all together at these events. We are all enjoying thousands of years of culture, background and heritage that every one of us is proud to be a part of.

Please forward this email to as many of your Middle-Eastern contacts as possible. This is a message that must be heard, acknowledged and addressed.

Thank you,

Arash Shokouh
President & CEO
Associated Students Inc.
San Jose State University

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