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FAQ
Frequently asked questions about iranian.com

July 31, 2001
The Iranian

* Why did you choose "Nothing is sacred" as your motto?
* If "nothing is sacred" why didn't you publish my article/letter?
* What will increase my chances of being published?
* What subjects do you focus on?
* Do you prefer English or Persian?
* Why are there so many women writers on your site?
* Why are so many articles about women?
* How can you find articles on a certain subject or by a certain person?
* Will an article/art work be removed/changed once published?
* What are your political affiliations?
* What are your political beliefs?
* Do you believe in god or any religion?
* Can someone write about god or religion?
* Who are the people who run iranian.com?
* How does one become a feature writer?
* Do writers get paid?
* How much do you charge to publish a feature?
* How does Iranian.com support itself?
* Are you an agent of the IRI, CIA... ?
* How long has iranian.com been around?
* Is there a print edition?
* How may readers does iranian.com have?
* How can one advertise on iranian.com?

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* Why did you choose "Nothing is sacred" as your motto?

It happened by accident. I was redesigning iranian.com last April (2001) and I needed something to fill the empty space on the right side of the logo. I put "Nothing is sacred" to see what it would look like. When I was about to put the new format online, I forgot to take it out.

Of course, it was not all accidental. I do believe anything and everything can be expressed, written about, questioned, criticized, discussed, or ridiculed. I was going to say "virtually" anything and everything, because there are some things that the law prohibits you from saying, wherever you are -- even in America. And there are some things I won't publish.

However "Nothing is sacred" is, to a great extent, a response to the situation in Iran. In Iran you cannot write an article saying Ayatollah Khomeini was a hateful man who brought misery to millions, for instance. You cannot say Velayate Faqih is incompatible with democracy. You cannot demand the separation of mosque and state. You cannot defend the rights of Bahais to practice their faith.

In Iran, the list of no-can-dos is endless. Why can't you? Because these issues are "sacred", because Islam says so, because the Supreme Leader says so, because ayatollah so-and-so says so, because the hezbollah say so. Because our culture says so.

There are no taboos or sacred cows, as far as I'm concerned. You want to say how great the Shah was? Go ahead. You want to make fun of Reza Pahlavi? Okay. You want to say Khatami is a fraud? Fine. You want to say the Bahai faith is better than Islam? Sure. You want to say the Bahai faith is just like any other organized religion? Sure. You want to write about sex? I have no problem with that.

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* If "nothing is sacred" why didn't you publish my article/letter?

Possible reasons:

-- I haven't seen your submitted article yet. As soon as I get something I drag it into the archive file. Each morning I go and pick three or four articles that grab my attention. The selections are usually at random. Unfortunately many articles gather a thick layer of cyber dust before I even see what they are. (See ways of increasing chances for publication).

-- The article/letter needs a lot of editing because of grammatical errors. Make sure you, or someone with editing skills, correct all mistakes before sending your writings.

-- The article is boring and uninteresting.

-- If an article or letter is full of hatred and malice, it may or may not be published. Depends. Basically, iranian.com is a place for the exchange of ideas. It is not a bulletin board or a place for pointless screaming matches and mean, petty arguments -- although the letters' section often seems that way.

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* What will increase my chances of being published?

-- Write about something that is interesting and personal.

-- Painters and photographers do get special attention. Email as many images of your work as you can in the following sizes: at least 5 x 7 inches, 72 dpi, jpeg format.

-- Send your article in plain text, not as an attachment.

-- If your English or Persian is not very good, give your article to someone to edit.

-- If your piece is in Persian, type it, scan it and email the image to jj@iranian.com. The width of the text should fit a normal web page. (See sample). Handwritten articles will not be considered for publication.

-- Above your article, explain what it is about in a couple of lines.

-- Email reminders to jj@iranian.com once every couple of weeks, unless your article is about current events and needs urgent attention.

-- Those who already write regularly have a better chance of being published because I know I do not have to spend a lot of time editing their work.

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* What subjects do you focus on?

There's no single focus. Although I like good, simple, personal stories more than anything else. And I really like works of art (painting, photography,...).

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* Do you prefer English or Persian?

Doesn't matter.

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* Why are there so many women writers on your site?

Women write more often, they tend to know how to spell and have fewer grammatical mistakes. They also write a lot about personal experiences, which I find more interesting than politics.

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* Why are so many articles about women?

Women's rights is an important issue in Iran and among Iranians abroad. And I find women much more interesting than men in every way.

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* Will an article/art work be removed/changed once published?

If an article/art work has been published with the author/artist's knowledge and consent, it will not be removed or changed. Publishing on iranian.com is no different than publishing in a printed magazine or book. Once published, you're published.

If you write about how you hate the Islamic Republic and then decide to go to Iran for a vacation, too bad. I will not remove your article. If you write about how great your boyfriend is and then he turns out to be a jerk, tough!

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* What are your political affiliations?

None. I used to love the Shah when I was a kid. Then I became a supporter of the revolution in my late teens. I became religious, grew a beard and changed my name to Mohammad. I snapped out of that too and settled permanently in the U.S. in 1990. Here's my bio.

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* What are your political beliefs?

If you see what's published in iranian.com, you'll know. Don't be so foozool.

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* Do you believe in god or any religion?

No and no.

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* Can someone write about god or religion?

Yes and yes. But it better be really interesting. We've all had it up to HERE with religion.

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* Who are the people who run iranian.com?

Only me. These are the main feature writers. They send their pieces via email whenever they wish, on whatever subject they decide, on a voluntary basis. Most of them I have never met.

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* How does one become a feature writer?

Write at least four or five articles and you will get your own index and logo as a feature writer. If I forget, remind me.

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* Do writers get paid?

Not for publishing their work in iranian.com. Not yet. One day, when I can afford it. However if your work is published somewhere else, any royalties, revenues, fees... will be shared equally. See reproduction policy. It's a fair deal, really.

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* How much do you charge to publish a feature?

You can't afford it.

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* How does Iranian.com support itself?

Mostly through advertising, plus individual donations. I am applying for grants.

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* Are you an agent of the IRI, CIA, British Intelligence or MOSSAD?

Unfortunately not. If they're reading this, I'm available.

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* How long has iranian.com been around?

The first issue came out in September 1995.

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* Is there a print edition?

No. Only online.

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* How many readers does iranian.com have?

More than 700,000 unique viewers per month. Here are the stats for March 2006.

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* How can one advertise in iranian.com?

Send an email for details.

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* How can you find articles on a certain subject or by a certain person?

-- Go to the index and choose your topic.

-- Go to the Who's Who section and look for the person's name.

-- Use the search engine

* Send this page to your friends

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