Welcome. Khooneh-ye khodetooneh.... consider me a good friend -- or
a kind aunt if you prefer. Tell me what's on your mind. I'll listen carefully
to whatever is bothering you and try to give you some honest advice. Let's
have a chat... email me at email@example.com
This column is updated Monday thru Friday.
August 31, 2001
* Can't find a girlfriend
Dear Kobra Khanom,
Let me start this way : I am the last of a 4-child family. We fled
to America because of the war and stayed in Iran for 4 years. I don't know
why maybe because of me being a foreigner or having older parents compared
to my other friends, I could never find a girlfriend. Until we moved back
to Iran. Again I was used to hearing "no" from girls. It's funny
I never heard a yes from a girl until now that I am 24, I have a lot of
girlfriends, but it's just friendship.
I attended a very good but religious high school. In my high school
I changed totally, I hated hated hated myself for masturbating. I thought
I was doing the biggest sin of all, being frightened I might loose god's
kindness to myself. I couldn't eat bananas saying to myself that the poor
can't afford it, it's not right. In family reunions I would only eat one
kind of food to be ethical. I would wear the cheapest shoe possible which
had bad side effects on my feet. I would only listen to rowzeh and sympathies
of religious leaders. I would only listen to Quran.
And this went on and on. Until I entered one of Iran's best universities
I had the same thoughts. Even once after year and a half of not masturbating,
I did it and I hated myself so much. Until 3 years ago. I having been taking
pills for a long time, not now however when in 9th grade I used Ritalin,
in high school Imiperamin. Sometimes I even used sleeping pills to sleep.
I never had a girlfriend , and I had lost my self-confidence so much.
Let me add that a lot of my friends, boys and girls, find me a fun
guy. However, I have been turned down by every girl I have approached. The
last one was the hardest. I fell in love with her because she was smart
and beautiful. At least I found her perfect. I should add I hate airheads,
so for a present I bought her "World in 2000" by the economist
publications. But she said "no" to me too.
As for my job I am working with my dad in his industrial complex.
I am starting my own trading company being parallel to my father's factory.
He wants me to takeover as CEO, so I am taking care of most of his responsibilities.
I am not shy in business or with the tycoons I have to meet because of business,
but when it comes to girls I just can't. I never kissed a girl on the lip.
I never had an emotional relationship with a girl, I never had sex, and
at this age, masturbating for a need is a turnoff.
I have no problem in terms of making money. I have a car and we live
in a good complex. But I just cant find a girlfriend. I am not a very attractive
man, but not ugly. I am not tall and or very muscular but not short either.
Sometimes I think I should just call up a hooker, but I don't want to loose
my virginity like that.
I have a lot more to say about my background but I don't want to take
too much of your time. What should I do?
You should masturbate. Do not even think about of it as a sin. It is
not. You can never be too old to masturbate. It is fine to do it no matter
how old you are, as long as you feel like doing it. It is a simple handy
way of taking care of a biological need.
It is great that you are so helpful to your father and that you have
a bright future ahead of you as CEO of his business.
It is also great that you are honest and have an ethical approach to
life. You can be a moralist and masturbate every day. As far as I'm concerned
one has nothing to do with the other. You having gone through a darvish/religious
stage in your youth is also very normal for an intelligent boy.
I remember going through a period where I thought I had visions and I
tried to be ultra good. It was just before my atheist stage around the age
of eleven. So nothing about you sounds strange or unfun. Stop labeling yourself.
As to not having a girlfriend, a lot of guys are late bloomers and are
shy and have problems finding girls. This too is normal. Do not obsess about
it. Maybe you can try lowering your standards. You will be surprised at
how much fun less beautiful or intelligent girls can be. Try to find a
friend who is better at meeting girls than you are and see if he can teach
you a few things. Believe me it will happen.
Now if you still feel really depressed you should see a therapist. But
do not make it a bigger deal than it is -- so what that you are a virgin
at 24? It is not the end of the world. Or do you want me to tell you about
the boy your age who has AIDS?
Any way sex is over-rated, but success is not. You have one. Just be
patient and you will get the second.
be omide movafagheeyate shomaa,
August 30, 2001
* I want him to be mine
My name is N. I live in Denmark and it's been 2 years since I moved
here and I'm 17 . I just wanted to talk about something and probably get
some advice as well.
Okay, about a year ago I met a guy called D. He seemed such a nice
guy at first. Then I kind of liked him and adored him as well and it turned
out to be my dreamy guy. Well first I just liked him like others so I always
tried to look good, behave myself and did what I did when the other guys
were around. I always seemed to get nervous when I was with him but afterwards
I'd just forget him and go on again.
Then I went to a new school which turned out to be his old school
as well so everyone knew him. He was very popular in school because he's
really handsome and sexy (that's what I love about him). I talked to girls
there and they all had spent sometime with him. Then I found a girl called
S., from Iraq. She really liked him and I always talked about him with her.
She seemed so interested. We talked and talked every time I was up there
with him and his family because that's how we met. Our families were really
close then. So we talked about his amazing eyes and stuff. Afterwards I
thought wow I think I'm in love with him. Mind you, I have to say I don't
love him though.
Okay, let me tell you something else. When I was 13 I fell in love
with the guy next door. He was nice to me. We never got together since we
were so young. I never dared to tell him how I felt. We were in Tehran (Shahrake
Shahid Mahalati) if you knew that neighborhood, you'd know what kind of
people live there: fundamentalists, and he was one of them. He was always
telling me what to do and what to wear as a friend. He always told me that
if he turns 15, he will never talk to me cause it's a sin. Well I'm the
opposite compared to him. I hardly believe in God, much less the other things.
Okay, when I fell in love with him, I was encouraged by my cousin
because she had a boyfriend and I didn't so I fell in love with the first
one who caught my eye. I don't think he loved me so much but I think he
was kind of confused about me. I don't know how he felt but I know that
he wasn't indifferent, you know. Then one day I traveled to Turkey for vacation
and when I came back he had moved somewhere else. I got him to write something
in my diary and kind of wish me luck. But I told him it was my brother's
diary, so he kind of wished luck for him cause I couldn't tell him the truth.
We had a lot of memories together, things that I will never forget.
When he left my life, I suffered a loss (really). I cried often and was
sad. Well, I was stupid, but so sweet when I fell in love with him. I never
thought of kissing him or something like that -- never -- but now it's different.
After that I got so interested in football. It was 1997 right before the
World Cup in France. So it kind of seemed natural to love football. (I always
love things a lot. As Iranians say, I'm efraati. Well I don't know how to
say it in English. But I'm like that . I don't love when I love, I LOVE.)
Before I never knew what Red and Blue were. I couldn't even tell them
apart. LOL. But then I got to be a Red (Persepolis) fan. First it was only
the National Team. Just them. I loved Abedzadeh a lot, but not that much.
Just normal. Then I was totally in love with football and I forgot all about
him (not totally though). He always will have a part of my heart as my first
I was turning into a fundamentalist as well. But I moved to West Tehran,
which suited my personality better. But I barely took my roosari off when
I was in Turkey. I never showed my hair to anyone except for my family.
I don't know why I did that. But I just did.
Okay, when I was in high school I found some crazy friend just as
crazy as myself and fell so so so so hardly in love with Persepolis because
it wasn't the National Team anymore and I could always think about them
and dream about them at night. When it was time for azaan, no matter where
we were, we would pray for our Abedzadeh to get better. We were CRAZY. I
still am. All the time we were doing something related to them, I mean always!
We were insane and crazy about all these things
Then I moved to Denmark. It was really hard for me to leave my favorite
club and player, and my dear friend F. But I had to do it. I'm still crazy
about football and still cry when we lose, and scream when we win. I remember
when people saw me back then in Iran, they would start to give me advice
-- that I can't be like this or ruin my life and stuff. I never listened
and will never listen since I always get really good grades in my school
and still do.
These things really make be happy, even though my father cheated on
my mother and married my mother's cousin. My mother made life hell for me
'cause I loved them so much. She always told me that I can't buy newspapers
or just one a week, or that I can't buy it by myself cause bad people are
around. Sometimes when I cried or said thing like "I want to die for
you" and stuff, she would punish me. But I always thought I was the
happiest girl on this Earth. Sometimes I think nothing surprises me. Even
my father's second marriage didn't shock me. LOL. Yeah I loved football.
I know it was crazy but I lived in it so much. I even flirted and fought
with guys about Red and Blue.
Anyway then I moved to Denmark. I miss those guys so much. But now
I think I really love him -- I mean the guy I met. I just want to see him
but I don't know what to do. He had a girlfriend. She was Danish and he
got hurt cause she cheated on him. Then he never got another girlfriend.
I don't why. I want to be with him. We have everything in common. He's a
good guy. I know that, and he's so handsome. He's a little big headed, so
am I. He's selfish the way I am. He talks about himself a lot, so do I.
He's open-minded, I think I'm too.
You know, I always think about stuff -- about everything. He doesn't
believe in God. I do, but I'm not religious. I love dancing; so does he.
He's a good fashionable guy, so am I. He's a short guy. I'm short too. I'm
a little overweight though, and that's why I think he doesn't want me. The
problem is our family. How can we get together while we are that close?
Sometimes he's so good to me then other days he seems indifferent toward
me. He asks me to have a ride with him and then the next day he doesn't
talk with me.
My friends tell me that I should tell him how I feel. But I'm SO afraid
I might lose my pride. I know it would be the last thing I would do. I really
want him. We really really suit each other. We are both Iranian. Well, I
thought probably he doesn't like Iranians and wants to be with Danish girls
with blue eyes and blond hair and stuff. But he told ME that he hated the
way they think about life and he told me that he likes Iranians.
I'm afraid it's just me. I'm afraid he doesn't feel anything. First
when I felt I like him, I would refuse his family's invitations. I wouldn't
go. And when he was around, I would go somewhere else and not sit beside
him, or something. That made him so uncomfortable with me. I was so goofy.
I decided to show him my feelings and talk to him, to be a good friend.
Then he was supposed to come to our house to fix something . He lost his
way. I found him and he told me to sit in the front seat. We listened to
Rap music. He would call me "dear" and stuff. He was so kind to
me and I was happy and pleased. Then he started talking to everyone else.
I realized that he loves talking about auto mechanics. Naturally, I hate
it. I'm a girl. I tried to talk to him about things I've been through in
coming to Denmark. I thought maybe he's been through the same things and
he would open up, but he didn't. The only moments he would talk was when
I talked about himself. He was always listening.
Then I saw him twice in the street and he told me once that he's busy
and has to go. Then the other time I didn't want that respectful reaction
of him so I just said hi and walked away and once me and my brother went
to say good-bye to him when he was off to vacation. Well, he looked at me
for like 15 seconds, something that he really doesn't do and I looked back.
He has the most beautiful eyes. Everyone knows. It's not just me. He's known
as someone with beautiful eyes. I always refused to look at his eyes when
he talks to me. I would look away. I couldn't bear that look. But that time
I was advised by my friend to look back. And I did.
My brother knows. We both know that our mother knows too, but she
pretends that she doesn't cause I'm not comfortable with it. Now please
tell me what to do. I'm so confused. I want him to be mine. I'm not sad
though, because I think it's good to be in love. I enjoy every minute of
it. But sometimes I want him to be there for me. That's all. Please help
me, help me.
Your letter brought a smile to my tired face. It made me remember more
innocent days when love of a guy could be replaced by the love of a football
team. You are right to be happy and enjoy every minute of it.
I used to love Persepolis and Manchester United, which at the time (here
I reveal my many years) had George Best as its star player. I remember my
room in Tehran adorned with big posters of Persepolis players and George
Best. I also fell in love again with football when our team made it to the
World Cup and was lucky enough to see them play the U.S. in Lyon, France.
Denmark too has a very good football team. Schemichel(?) who was the
best ever goalie who helped Manchester United win a triple cup, used to
be their goalie. Is he still playing?
Unfortunately here in the U.S. it is hard to keep up with European football,
which is a passion of mine. My children used to make fun of me being in
love with Ginola who played with Totenham Hotspurs and became a l'Oreal
shampoo ad guy. He is absolutely gorgeous with that wavy blond hair and
solid thighs, and somehow football makes his natural beauty come out. So
all this to let you know that I hear you about the love of guys and football.
Now as to what to do with your new beloved in Denmark. You seem like
an intelligent girl. You tell me that you do enjoy the suspense of being
in love and not knowing what he feels. So why push it? Watch some good football
now that you are in Europe. See, if the guy likes you, he will come to you.
If not, there is always football. There is no hurry in complicating things.
Concentrate on your studies and the world will be yours to have some day.
be omide movafagheeyate shomaa,
August 29, 2001
* Be more careful
Dear Kobra khanom,
It is great reading your column and your advice to people who need
it. I always think that what you say is very liberationg and caring. But
there is one thing that really bothered me the other day and that was your
response to an 18-year-old girl in Iran who told you she doesn't enjoy love
making out and being touched as much as her boyfriend does. She asked for
It is good to tell people how to enjoy sex if they are asking that
question but she is only 18 and in Iran with a young boy. I don't think
she was asking you how to enjoy sex, she was asking if there is something
wrong that she doesn't enjoy being touched.
I think when it is time, a woman wants to have sexual relationship
as much as a man does and there is nothing wrong with that. But don't you
think telling an 18-year-old girl to show her boyfriend where she wants
to be touched is a little over the edge? You could have told her that if
she doesn't like it, it is okay. She doesn't have to feel obligated, she
can let her boyfriend touch her when she feels like it.
I have been 18, I have lived in Iran and I don't think it is a good
idea to give this impression to a kid that the only reason she doesn't like
to be touched is because her boyfriend doesn't know where to touch her.
These are kids we are talking about, some of them don't even know about
You are great but please be a little more careful with your advice
to young kids. Thanks. I look forward to read more of your advice.
Thank you for reading my column and giving me your insight. From my experience
the biggest problem with teenage boyfriends was that they did not know where
to touch. And the biggest problem with teenage girls was that they were
too shy to tell the boys what to do. This was as true in Tehran as here
Now this girl in question was already engaging in sex with this man.
So her question was not whether she should continue the touching but why
she was not enjoying it when she likes the guy. I wanted her to know that
it was normal for her not to enjoy herself if the guy did not know what
to do -- even if she does like him.
I believe more women should have the courage to demand their pleasure
from men. I really think it is irrelevant whether they live here or in Iran.
Once the bedroom door is closed, the rules are the same.
I do also always recommend that women abstain if their men refuse to
indulge them. Please do feel free to write again. Input from caring readers
is a great fuel for my work. Keep on reading my column!
P.S. Oh and the answer to your question: No I do not think telling an
18-year-old girl, wherever she may live, to show her boyfriend where to
touch her is over the edge. I think it is absolutely necessary that someone
should say it.
August 28, 2001
* Pornography's effects
Dear koobra khanom,
I am one of your new admirers and I have found your articles really
useful. I have a problem with my sister. You know I am like the other boys
who keeps some pornoghraphic pictures. My 12-year-old sister saw one of
them by accident and I was too late in stopping it.
Now I am really worried about her because she is very young and curious.
So I think it will have bad effects on her future. Please help me to keep
my sister away from any psychological or physical problems.
Thank you for your help,
I remember always sneaking up to my older brothers' bedroom in Tehran
when I was around the same age as your sister and looking at his Playboy
magazines. It is perfectly normal for young people to have pornographic
pictures in their rooms. I would not worry about your sister.
You might want to explain to her that these pictures are not so bad and
that they are a part of growing up. Tell her that men like looking at pictures
of nude women and that you are not abnormal for possessing some.
If you engage her in a candid conversation you may be surprised at how
much she already knows. Anyway what better way to engage in talk about sexuality
than with an older sibling. I believe that the best way to solve problems
is openness especially between siblings.
So be candid and tell her how she got you worried. But do not feel bad
or responsible for what has happened. Do not turn it into a big deal. Stumbling
upon a brother's pornography, unless it is something horrendous, will never
damage anyone psychologically.
be omide movafagheeyate shomaa,
August 27, 2001
avval az hame be khatere tame zahamaty ke shoma baraye hamvatanamoon
mikeshid khastam tashkar konam va bad ham mikhastam yek kam az een donyaye
bad ke sar be sare hame mizareh shekayat konam .
man hoodoode 3 sale ke ba yek nafar doost hastam va kheily doosesh
daram. az bachegi mishnakhtamesh va hamishe doosesh dashtam. ta mogheee
ke pedar madaram nemeedoonestand hame cheez khoob bood ta een ke man be
iran raftam va hame fahmidand va kholase roozegaremoon ro siyah kardand.
pedaram vaze mali kheily khooby dare va choon een roozha dokhtere
folan karkhooneh dar bayad ba pesare yek karkhoone dare ezdevaj koneh, ba
mokhalefate khiely shadidy roberoo shodim. kheily ha motaghedand ke oon
pesare man ro be khatere khodam doost nadreh balkeh bekhatere poole babam
va vizaye usa hast. man ham nemedoonam chera doosam dareh vali har chee
hast man deevoonasham.
nemeedoonam cheekar konam. az yek taraf hata roye een ro ke be madar
pedaram begam ke kheily doosesh daram ro nadaram va motmaenam ke tahte hich
sharayetee onha ghabool nemikonand. az yek taraf ham har karee kardam natoonestam
faramoosh konam. man 20 salame, ghablan ham doost pesar dashtam. fekr mikardam
male sene kamame, vali oon ham nist.
Maadar va pedar joz khosbakhti cheeze digari baraaye shomaa aarezoo nadarand.
In raa bedanid keh agar ham eshtebaah meekonand baa hosne niyat shomaa raa
naseehat meekonand. Anhaa dar zendegi tajrobeh ziyaadi daarand va in tajrobeh
baaes meeshavad keh nesbat beh shomaa bad beentar bashand.
Shomaa agar khaili motemavel hasteed baayad movaazeb baashid chon donyaa,
makhsoosan Iran, bekhaater bad bakhtye mardom va va'ze bad eghtesaadi va
bekaari ye ziyaad, khaili poolaki shodeh. Yek dokhtar yaa pesare pooldaar
baayad khaili movaazeb baashad keh sarash kolaah naravad, makhsoosan agar
Green Card ham daashteh bashad.
Massalehye shomaa maraa yaade yek daastaani andaakht keh khaaleh am tareef
kard. daastaan in bood: paadeshahi be pesarash goft keh movaazeb baash in
doostaanat to raa bekhaater pool va maghaam meekhaahand. Pesar javaab daad
keh na baabaa shomaa eshtebaah meekonid inhaa doostaane man hastand.
pedar be pesar goft keh emshab goosfandi raa sar bebor va sare khooninash
raa dar kisseh bogozaar va boro khaaneye doostaan dar bezan beheshaan begoo
keh aadam koshti va az darbaar pedar beeroon raandeh shodi. agar in doostaan
to raa dar khaaneh raah daadand meefahmi keh doostat hastand. pesar in kaar
raa kard va kessi dar raa beh rooye oo baaz nakard.
Shomaa ham be aan pesar begooid keh shomaa meetavaanid baa oo vaslat
konid vali pedar be shomaa pooli nakhaahad daad. Agar oo haazer bood shomaa
raa bedoone maghaam va pooletaan ghabool konad aan vaght khaahid daanest
keh oo shomaa raa doost daarad.
be omide movafagheeyate shomaa,
August 24, 2001
* No time for haal
Dear Kobra Khanom,
I am a 21-year-old young man, finishing up my undergraduate education.
Recently, I have noticed that many of my friends, and even my own family,
have been critical of me, because I do not take any time off my schedule
to experience "haal and eshgh", specifically spending time with
Let me just come out and say that I am a red-blooded heterosexual.
Anyway, they say to me that if I don't spend some time with the opposite
sex and enjoy life fuller, then I will slowly ostricize myself from the
social world around me.
As I mentioned earlier, I am finishing up my undergraduate education,
and I have at least four more years of medical education ahead of me, starting
next fall. I am a very serious student and spend almost all of my time and
energy on my studies, and as a result, I barely have any time left for the
"pleasures" of life.
I want to ask you, one who is an objective and keen observer of all
such matters, whether this apparent "obliviousness" on my part,
which everyone has been commenting on, will really hurt me in the long run.
I am not asking for anyone's pity, nor am I trying to gather attention onto
myself. Your kind attention is greatly appreciated.
Dear Bee Haal,
Haal which could be interpreted as joi de vivre, or joy for life, is
a loaded term. What gives you haal or joy may be your studies and the prospect
of being to help others get over diseases in the near future. So tell your
critics that in fact you are baa haal--only not their type of haal.
Now I do think that you should always take seriously criticism that comes
from people who love you and know you because as we say in Farsi, people
do not say many things if there is not a little to be said -- agar nabaashad
cheezaki mardom nagooyand cheezhaa. So maybe there is a little truth in
their comments. Maybe you should try to loosen up and see if you can enjoy
their type of haal.
As a doctor you need to empathize with your patients and the best way
to do that is to experience different kinds of pleasure as long as it is
not harmfull to anyone. The more you know about the intricasies of life
the better a doctor you will eventually be. So force yourself to have light
hearted fun sometimes. In the long run it will pay off and you may even
like it. So do not label yourself and be open to the possibilities that
life puts in your way.
be omide movafagheeyate shomaa,
August 23, 2001
* "Vel matal" in US
Dear Kobra Khanom,
I was vacationing in Iran for the past 8 weeks and just got back to
the US. Before I even drank a glass of cold water or opened my suitcases
, I turned on my computer and checked your page. I did not write to you
from Iran because my accesses to internet was very limited.
I had a great time in Iran. Every night was "bekhor bekhor"
at my relatives' and friends' houses . I think we are "vel matal"
in the US and should really go back. Iranian people within the country need
your advice and help there.
When I was spending time in Shomal, I tried to find your pioneering
counterpart in answering people's questions -- Jenaab
Sarvaan, that is. I wanted to give him your warm regards and respects
and also introduce him to your column. I could not find him. But I had an
opportunity to talk to a retired navy officer, and asked about Jenaab Sarvaan.
I was told that he is living in Germany and is very sick and old.
While I was In Iran everything was very inexpensive to me, because
I sold my dollars in the black market (corner of Khiyaban Shah and Ferdosi,
close to the Turkish embassy). I was spending very well and experiencing
a lavish life style there. Since I have come back to the United States,
I really can not spend money because everything seems very expensive to
I'm having a very difficult time adjusting myself to the prices here.
I really don't want to go to the grocery stores to shop because of high
prices compared to grocery stores in Tehran.
Now here are my questions for you. Please help me as best as you can.
How can I adjust myself to the product prices here in the US? The second
question is, do you know markets in the US that I can shop (with Tehran
price tags on the goods) and pay in rials? My last question is, can I sell
my dollars in the black market in Washington Dc next to the Turkish Embassy
and obtain rials? Please answer to my questions as soon as you can.
Your starving fan
Dear starving fan,
Stop thinking in rials and get yourself a job. I don't know of any place
where you could exchange your rials for black market dollars.
I am happy that you looked up Jenaab Sarvaan and that he is still alive.
I assure you that I would love nothing more than to do this from behind
a computer in Iran but I wonder if I could do it as freely.
If I am not in Iran, Iran is with me every tap of the keyboard.
Hoping that some honest dollars fall your way,
August 21, 2001
* I attract religious men
Salaam Kobra Khanoom,
First of all let me say that I truly enjoy reading your articles.
You are an enlightened and progressive woman and I respect your advice greatly.
I am a happy, successful, educated, 24-year-old Iranian woman whose lived
most of her life in America. Neither of my parents are very religious and
they never emphasized religion in our upbringing. I am personally atheist/agnostic.
My plight has been that I almost always attract and get involved with religious
The problem has been getting more severe lately and I seek your wisdom.
I date men of diverse ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. For the
most part, they are all extremely kind and generous men, which is what attracts
me to them and vice versa. However, at some point or another, we start having
problems over our different religious beliefs. Usually, they are trying
to make me convert.
Now I have studied most popular religions in college and independently.
I've come to the conclusion that although spirituality is an important essence
in one's life, organized dogmatic religion is not for me. In fact, I often
get into arguments because I know more about the religion than the person
I'm dating and they get frustrated when I question certain beliefs or practices.
The worst case was my last boyfriend who decided to embark on a Muslim
missionary in Pakistan. Basically, he left me for god. After him, I've been
trying to be very careful in screening the men I date to make sure they
are not extremely religious. However, it seems that whatever guy I meet,
no matter how educated or liberal he seems at first, always turns out religious
- praising Alah, Jesus, or some other deity.
Kobra khanoom, I try to be open minded and understanding of other
people's views. But honestly I can't get over the fact that I see religion
as very oppressive, specially towards women. I am liberated and at peace
with myself and the world. I am fortunate to have a wonderful family and
a great life. I volunteer w/schools and am very active in the Iranian community.
However when men tell me they are Muslim or Catholic or whatever,
the warning sirens go off. I attract these men, and in return am attracted
to them because they have such good hearts. But I can't let myself get close
to them because I know it will never work out. Is it the religion which
makes them have some good souls? How can I meet someone whose caring and
yet agnostic/atheist like me?
Dear Spirited Fairy,
You sound like you are a very mature 24-year-old. I do think that it
is possible for you to find someone who is closer to you in his philosophy
of life AND is kind and generous too. You should just be patient and make
sure you express your views on religion early on in the initial stage of
the relationship so as to avoid misunderstanding.
But remember it may be your confidence in your beliefs that attracts
men who are seeking answers. Stand firm and keep a sense of humor about
it all. It is possible to be athiest/agnostic and love one who is not. It
would be a stagnant world if we only bonded with people who share our beliefs.
So do not worry keep your confidence and one day you will fall in love
and see that you do not care who he prays to or not. Love is about tolerating,
even cherishing philosophical disagreements -- it does not digest fanatics
Be omide khoshbakhtiye shomaa,
August 21, 2001
* Don't want a wek man
Hello, my dear Kobra Khanoom,
Only God knows how much I LOOOOOOOOOVE you. When I go through your
comments, my heart overflows with a feeling I can't explain. I'm a girl
of 32 living in Tehran. I've got a very good job. I'm highly educated, of
reasonable beauty, from a traditional family, and financially supporting
two families -- both my own family (my parents and my younger brother) and
my older brother's wife and their two children]. And I've got no complaints.
It even gives me a lot of joy when I put their benefits before my own.
So what's wrong? Okay! Let me tell you. I had a difficult life in
my twenties. I had to work hard and study at the same because I was extremely
ambitious and still am! I didn't have enough time to think about boys, love,
marriage and... I saw them all as obstacles in the way of my life. All those
hardships made me develop a very strong personality, which is now considered
a weakness by some people, even my parents!!!!
Dear Kobra Khanoom, maybe they are right. Maybe there is something
wrong with me. I'm quite puzzled now. I've always felt different from the
girls of my age. Even some friends of mine say my attitude is not the norm!!!!
I've never wished for gold and jewels, expensive perfumes, and even an expensive
dress! When I was young and I couldn't afford them, I was too realistic
to wish for them. Now, I can afford them but I don't want them any more.
And the main problem: My parents pressure me to get married to a gentleman
who has recently proposed. But, I don't love him. He is educated and rich
but I don't find him as strong as myself. In fact, the wealth he believes
he's accumulated belongs to his father. I'm sure of this because he is not
used to working hard!
Dear Kobra Kanoom, Bekhodaa, there is nothing wrong with me! I don't
hate men! But the ones I've met so far have had weak personalities. I have
a heart full of love and emotion. I even sometimes feel lonely and yearn
for love. But I don't want to marry just because I feel lonely. The idea
of getting married because I feel lonely fills me with DISGUST!!!!!!! I
think loneliness is not a good reason for getting married. I've got so many
other qualities & qualifications that I can be loved for them.
I want to be a successful lover, as I've been successful in my family
life, in my education, and in my job. But my parents say it's getting late.
Okay! LET IT BE LATE! LET ME LIVE ALONE FOREVER! I'M SURE NOTHING BAD WILL
HAPPEN TO ME! But they don't understand. I don't know what to do.
Last night that gentleman was here but I was about to vomit! Because
he foolishly boasted about his new BMW given to him as his birthday present!!
I wanted to kill him!!! My parents and I had a quarrel when he left. They
believe my behavior was unlady like. And I said I hated being the lady they
You know Kobra Khanoom, even if I'm not the lady they want, they themselves
are responsible for it because I had to do the jobs which boys of my age
or even older ones couldn't do. My mother has stopped talking to me. I am
thinking of renting an apartment and leaving my family. But I feel worried
about them as well. I truly love them. I don't want them to feel despised
since, as I said, I financially support them. I know they love me as well.
But we don't understand each other. They're driving me crazy!
Kobra Khanoom Joon! Tell me what to do! I even feel guilty about the
quarrel we had last night because my father had a heart attack almost two
weeks ago and he is still in bed. I'm ashamed of myself. Tell me what to
You are absolutely right in not wanting to marry just because it is getting
late. Believe me 32 is considered late only in traditional societies. You
are a very kind and capable woman who supports your entire family (I would
love to have a sister like you). Next time they try to tell you what to
do tell them that if you can support the lot of them then you can make your
own decisions for god's sake.
Do not feel guilty about your dad and mom. Believe me you are the last
person to cause your dad another heart attack. If you are lonely find your
own partner and don't feel like you have to find the perfect man. You will
be surprised at how much fun imperfect men are. If you are financially secure
then you can afford a partner that is not necessarily wealthy but is educated.
I would look into university/scholarly types.
Remember you may have planned your whole life with precision but the
affairs of the heart are best left unplanned. Just open yourself a little
and change your high standards for a mate. You will be surprised at how
many good men are out there once you stop having them pass hypthetical tests
in your mind. Do not feel desperate about your aloneness -- cherish it.
It frees you to do what you want. Travel, find new interests and open yourself
Do not mind your parents -- smile, say yes, and ignore their advice when
it is repressive and pointless. Iranian parents think that nothing but a
marriage, however bad, brings happiness for their daughters. They mean well
but cannot help being old fashioned. It must be really hard to be a 32-year-old
woman in Iran who is unmarried. No one considers you successfull unless
you are married.
But you should leave the ignorant to their opinions and know that to
be strong, motivated and responsible AND without a man is better than to
be weak and with one. The men who are treatend by your success and stregnth
of character are not worth having. If you do not find a man who admires
the fact that you are supporting your entire family and are successful in
your career, you should not feel like you have to marry at all. So please
remain who you are and think of yourself first. If you are not happy, those
you are helping won't be either.
be omide khosbakhtye haghighee baraaye tamaame zanhaaye hamvatan,
August 20, 2001
* He likes it, I don't
ba arze salam.
man dokhtari 18 sale hastam. ba 3-4 pesar dar hade salam va sohbate
mamoli ertebat daram.vali ba yeki hodoode yek sal doost hastam.ba ham be
park, cinema,.. miravim.be khone ham gahi miravim. oo az 6 mahe pish harakate
lamsi mikone va khodesh khaili lezzat mibare vali man lezzat nemibaram.albatte
inkar ra doost daram vali lezzat nemibaram.
chand roze pish ba ham dar khone tanha bodim,inkarha tekrar shod va
oo kheili hashari shod va ba esrar az man sex mikhast.man ham dost dashtam
vali ehsase lezzat nemikardam, va mokhalefat kardam, ta ye tori bedon sexe
jeddi tamoom shod.
mikhaham rahnemae koni eshkal az kojast? az oost ya az man va chetor
bayad kard az ravabet lezzate jensi monaseb bord.
az shoma motashakkeram.
shomaa baraaye lezate jensi bordan baayad khaastehaataan raa be zooje
khod begooyid. khejaalat nakeshid va agar az kaari lezat nemeebareed beh
oo begooid. shomaa baayad be oo neshaan bedahid keh kojaa raa chejoor lams
khaili haa hataa bad as chand saal ezdevaaj hanooz be shohareshaan ham
nemeegoyand keh lezat nemeebarand va shohare bichaareh ham be khiaale khodash
khaili balad ast va dar taareeky meemanad.
lezat jensi moghehee khoob ast keh dojaanebeh baashad. mesl goftegooye
khoob meemaanad -- agar yektarfeh baashad sokhanraani meeshavad, agar do
tarafeh baashad mosaahebat meeshavad. eshgh baazi bedeh bestaan ast va shomaa
baayad be oo aan cheezi raa keh darbaareye badanetaan meedaaneed yad bedaheed
taa oo zabaane badane shomaa raa befahmad.
lezate jensi baraaye zan khaili meetaavanad khoob baashad vali baa khejaalat
joor dar nemeeaayad. be oo befahmaanid keh baraaye inkeh lezat bebareed
baayad be khaasteye shomaa goosh konad. agar nakard az hamkhaabi baa oo
be omide movafagheeyate shomaa,
August 17, 2001
* Don't set new rules
With all due respect I must say I am disappointed and baffled at your
"one-size-fits-all" approach to your online help. The reason is
you don't consider the background of the advisee with regard to culture.
I could not even believe things you said in "First tim"
advice. Iranian culture does not forbid sexual pleasure between married
couples. The culture considers it a sin outside of the marriage. What you
said to that woman was exactly the opposite. Is this the kind of advice
you give to a Muslim woman ??!!
Next time drink less and know the guy more before going to bed with
him!!!!!!!! NO! You are wrong! You are talking to person from Iran and not
Sweden!!! You should have said, don't have sex with someone who is not your
husband!! This is the norm in our culture. You don't have to set new rules,
our culture has already done that.
The underlying message that I got from you is that as long as it does
not hurt anybody such as the one night stand, doing it is okay! Is there
anything in this profane world of ours that is not okat, even though it
does not "hurt" someone ?
Dear Mr. ZA,
I was born a Muslim but do not believe that sex should be had only inside
the marriage. I also think that telling someone they have sinned because
of a one-night stand is not only wrong but destructive and malicious. What
you are talking about is not cultural difference so much as it is a religious
vs. a secular view of a womans life.
I do think we as Iranians have a duty to express our secular views loudly.
Just because a question comes from some one who may be religious -- it does
not mean that I have to change my philosophy to answer her.
Ever since I read Kants "Critique of Practical Reason", I have
agreed with his notion of a catagorical imperative which is absolute moral
law but based on reason. I believe that that which does not harm anybody
is not wrong. This is not moral relativism this is believing in everybody's
right to be who they want to be as long as they do not harm anyone.
This is what is meant by civil society. A society whose laws act as protection
for its citizens and not as moral guidance or judgment. This is all about
civil liberty and freedom and the right of a woman to make a mistake without
someone in a beard telling her that it is a sin.
This is not anything goes. This is Kobra Khanom's philosophy of freedom
of sexual expression and I will defend it till my fingers drop off. I do
not care where the woman in question lives. Sweden or Mashad does not matter.
In fact even her relgion is irrelevant here -- or do you think I should
change relgions with each question?
She felt like her one-night stand was a sin and I believe it was not.
I wanted her to know that another Iranian woman half a globe away does not
consider that what she did was wrong. Stupid maybe but not a sin -- no way.
There are many Iranian Muslims who do not believe that pleasure outside
a marriage is a sin. They are not any less Iranian because of it. They are
Those who think some tenants of this ancient religion are worth keeping
and some not. In a country that has made religion the number one tool of
repression especially towards women, I believe we need as many Kobra Khanoms
as we can get. As many older women who are not intimidated by moralizing
This is to the girl who wrote me about the one-night stand: I recieved
this letter which made me think of another reason for you not to feel bad
-- you can find solace in the fact that what you did -- however stupid --
may have felt the next day is a revolutionary act because in our country
it is illegal and punishable.
How many American sorority girls can boast commiting federal crimes after
To the dear Mr. Reader who is fed-up with the profanity of the world
and not about state sponsored murder in his homeland: May we some day be
able to have this discussion in our own country without the risk of me being
arrested and you just walking off.
In the hope that that day will soon arrive,
August 16, 2001
* I really want him
Dear Kobra khanom,
I have been with this guy for two years now, and we live in different
states. I can not tell you what things I have done for him and how much
I love him. He has basically been my whole life.
During this time, my mom knew everything about us, but my dad didn't.
I was waiting for a good time, to tell my dad. This guy gave me a promise
ring six months ago. So, then I thought he really wants to do this. We would
talk to each other on the phone, maybe 5-8 times a day, we knew where we
would go and what we were doing, and every 2-3 months we would see each
other. His family in iran adores me, at least this is how they are on the
To make it short, last week we were together for a whole week and
we had the best time, and he surprised me with more DIAMONDS! So it was
great. When he left, after four days, he decided to BREAK UP with me, because
he thinks he doesn't wanna be in a relationship, and he wants to be free.
Now, this gentleman is 31-years old, and I am 22. I am dyinggggggggggg
here. This guy is everythinggggggg to me. I love him soooo much!!!!! I don't
know why he is doing this. Why would he do all these for me and then decide
he doesn't wanna be with me and say that he is not happy with me after two
years? He blocked me from emailing him, too.
Please help me. What should I do? I really want himmmmmmmm. I wanna
build my life with him.
Your letter is testimony to the fact that diamonds are not a girl's best
friend, in fact they can fool and be cruelly misleading! I hear your pain.
Being dumped after having been given a ring is incredibly unfortunate and
But let me tell you the sooner you get over it the better. The guy, whatever
his intention might have been, has backed out. I am sure once you look back
after a period of time you will see that you were blind to the signs of
constancy from the begining.
But no use brooding over the past. It is time to move on and you need
to gather your strenght and not let this unfortunate affair eat away at
your youth. I just answered another heart broken compatriot that the best
way to get over a guy is to find another!
If you are very depressed and do not think you can get over this guy
by yourself then do seek some help from a therapist or a trusted friend.
Sometimes after a defeat in the matters of the heart we need to nurture
our soul and get help from those who love us is the best way. Your mother
being privy to your love life is great. Who better than her to help you
mend a broken heart.
Remember a heart which has learned to love once will always love again.
In hopes of your rapid recovery, write back if you need more help,
August 15, 2001
* I can't fall in love
Salam Kobra Khanom,
Man Ye Moshkel`e Taghriban Bozorg Daram . Man Ashegh Nemisham . Hame
Chiz Baram Mamooli Be Nazar Mirese. Kheyli Say Kardam Yeki Ra Doost Dashte
Basham, Vali Natonestam . Ta Inja Ke Mohem Nist, Migzare.
Az Badbakhtiye Man Dokhtari Ahsegh`e Man Shode Va Tebgh`e Mamool Man
Nesbat Be oo Hich Ehsasi Nadaram . Chand Bar Ham Telephoni Ba Ham Sohbat
Kardim Va Say Kardam Khodam Ra Yek (Dive Pedar Sokhte) Neshan Bedaham. Ama
Hich Asari Nadasht`e.
Chand Bar Ham Doostan`e Nazdikesh Baraye Gavahi Dadan Be Eshgh`e Khanoom
Ba Man Sohbat Kardand. Man Khar Shodam Va Dar Park Ba Khanoom Gharar Gozashtam
. Va Moshkel Akhar Man Shoro Shod. Az Chand Roz`e Pish Alave Bar Khanoom,
Dostan`e Samimiy`e Khanoom Ham Be Asheghan`e Ma Ezafe Shodan.
To Ro Be Khoda Rahi Be Man Neshon Bedid Ta Az Sharre oona Khalas Besham.
Pesar joon, ghorboonet beram, shomaa keh moshkel nadaari -- koshgeli!
Man nemeedonam chera, vali khaanomhaaye javaan az mard bee tafaavot khosheshaan
Nassihate man be shomaa ineh keh khodaa raa shokr konid taa nobate aashegh
shodan shomaa ham bereseh. Dar zemn har cheh zoodtar beh aan dokhtar rok
va jedi begooid keh ehssaasa doostaaneh baraaye oo daarid vali na eshghi.
Beh oo befahmaanid keh in bekhaater oo neest balkeh shomaa osoolan injoor
hasteed. Har cheh mehrabaantar baa oo baashid behtar. Vali oo raa beeshtar
az in vassvasseh nakonid.
Be omid inkeh roozi eshgh raa becheshid,
August 14, 2001
* Will he come back me?
Salam Kobra Khanoom,
I'm 27-years old. I got engaged when I was 21 in Tehran with very
handsome doctor who loved me very much but used to bother me a lot. I broke
my engagement and came to America. He came as well. I got in touch with
him (which was a big mistake) but we were talking to each other and sometimes
seeing each other for almost four years.
He went back to Iran and he insisted that I go back just for a visit.
So, I went (the truth is I still love him).
When I went to Iran the next day he came to visit me at my parents'
home and he told my parents that his mother is waiting for me at his home
and he took me there! HIS PHILOSOPHY WAS THAT WE ARE GOOD FRIENDS ONLY.
He called me almost every day and took me to his home BUT in front
of me he talked with other girls and saying that "I have so many girlfriends
and most nights I'm at parties..." I didn't say anything, just kept
silent. I was broken hearted and I told myself maybe I deserve it, because
I left him. But Kobra Khanoom, I did so many things for him and asked for
his forgiveness but every time I did, it got worse.
By the way his mom loves me so a lot, but she stopped calling me too.
Anyway, I stopped getting in touch with him as well as seeing him. I didn't
say GOODBYE when I came back to America, not even to his mom because I wanted
to show him it was enough playing already. Somebody should push the finish
The interesting part is that when I told him that I want to do this
he was insisting in being friends and said he loves me a lot, but like a
sister. I said NO.
The truth, Kobra Khanoom, is that I still love him a lot but I'm so
broken hearted. Do you think he will come after me? Do you think I made
a good decision or not? Please let me know.
Dear Ms. Z,
You did do the right thing. Now just stick to it and do not budge. Any
man who brags about his many girlfriends to a woman is only a boy and does
not deserve serious consideration. He has told you loud and clear that he
does not love you and he only wants to be friends.
It is well known amongst most women of dating age that if a man, or in
this case a boy, says that he just wants to be friends, he is no longer
romantically retrievable! So just cut all contact with him and his family
and get on with your life. Let him go to all the parties he wants and break
all the hearts he wants.
You, if you do not lose your all important, most precious, confidence,
will find yourself someone who does not play games and who will love you.
Even if you never meet another person this guy sounds too spoiled to have
worked out long-term anyway and you are better off without him. You did
the right thing by leaving him the first time.
So I commend you for your decision to break-up completely with this boy
and only urge you to be strong in carrying it out. He, not being in love,
wants to keep you around as a friend. Why not, it is nice to have friends
around who adore you. You, being in love, should be very careful not to
waste any more time on a relationship that seems to have become very one
The best way to get over a guy is to quickly find another. I remember
how my father, who knew I fell madly in love more often than most people,
would often tell me: beh har baaghee meeresi goli barchin va boroo (in every
garden, cut a flower and move on). So you too should not stick around waiting
in this garden anymore.
Try to find a more fertile one in which your youthful passion can bloom.
I know it is easier said than done but you have taken the first step. Now
just make sure you are strong and can keep your chin up and give your youth
other chances. Maybe someday you will find a garden whose flowers bloom
Be omide movafaghiyate shomaa,
August 13, 2001
* Lost parents
Hello Kobra Khanom,
I enjoy reading your column! My name is Denise and I am 35-years-old
and recently married. I have a quick question for you and others from the
Middle Eastern countries.
My husband Ali is originally from Afghanistan but he is of Iranian
decent. He has lived here in the United States since 1978. He was seventeen
years old when he came here as a high school student.
He grew up and went to school in Kabul. When the Russians invaded
that country in the 70's he lost all contact with his family. Do you have
any advice on how to find out if his parents are still alive? I beleive
they are probably some of the thousands of people who have been displaced
due to all the chaos.
His father's name is Safar Ali Mowahed. In case anyone out there has
crossed paths with him.
Thankyou for any advice you can give us!!!!
I will forward this to the editor and ask to kindly post it and that
way maybe you can get some leads. Other than that write to your local congressman
about your situation and maybe he could help you. Also, maybe a relief agency
that works in Afghanistan could also be of help. I hope that you do find
It must be very hard on your husband. Losing a father is bad enough under
normal circumstances let alone like this. Being from Khorasan, I have a
great affinity for the Afghan people. It is an incredible shame what is
happening to that country and its beautifull people.
Read the piece by Mohsen Makhmalbaf on this site about the plight if
of no body"]. It is a very long article but no amount of words
can do justice to the depth of this tragedy. My father always talked about
the pure hearted nobility of the Afghanis.
Please give your husband my salaam and tell him I am almost from the
same khak (soil) and that today I too will pray for his father whatever
that might be worth.
May some day all who have lost their loved ones find them. May you and
your husband be able to go back to his no-doubt beloved motherland in freedom
In the sincere hopes that that day will come with haste,
August 10, 2001
* Should I meet her?
Dear Kobra Khanoom Joon,
I recently, got to know a girl on the internet. However, the way I
got to know her was very unique. All I will say is that it wasn't in a chatroom
but more like an act of fate. We emailed and got to know each other without
knowing about each other's physical appearance.
We found out we have a lot in common and finally exchanged pictures.
She is indeed beautiful. We both agreed that we want to meet. We both live
in another city and therefore the issue of long distance is a big one. This
has made me skeptical.
The whole situation seems to be too good to be true. I am afraid that
if I meet her and like her then a whole array of problems may arise. The
most important of all, distance as well as other issues. I am afraid of
long distance relationships and everyone I talk to tells me they don't work.
I am scared. At one point I think she is my dream girl and by the same token,
I fear that if she is, it won't work out because of the obvious obstacles
and may eventually self destruct.
I am very confused. Should I meet her? or should I just cut off the
relationship and stop emailing?
Khehilee mamnoon az raahnamaayeetoon
It used to be people would travel deserts barefoot for their beloved
now it seems they don't want to take a shuttle between cities? Look, if
you like her and she looks good what in the world do you have to lose? I
mean distance is really not a good reason to stop you from seeing someone
specially in our age of easy transport.
Unless she lives in Iran and/or has visa problems, or you do, in which
case you have to find a non-comittal way of seeing each other. But if you
both live in the free world then why not? As long as she agrees that intimacy
online does not garauntee one offline and that your meeting will be strictly
to test the possibilities of a real life relationship.
If you see her and still love her then move or have her move for heaven's
sake - young people these days are so practical and logical! But perhaps
you are afraid of her not liking you the same way after seeing you? Or you
may be afraid of falling in love?
But remember "fear devours the soul". It is a necessary ingrediant
of youth to abandon yourself to love and lust once in a while! If you ponder
the matters of the heart too long you will lose the beautiful spontaneity
that is a prerequisite of most forms of youthful pleasure. Take too long
deciding to do this or that and you will be an old man before you are one.
So my advice to you is to do by all means see her, but explain to her
that your meeting is in no way a commitment or promise, and that it is strictly
to test the waters. If you see her and it does not work then take it form
there. But do not, never, ever, worry about a bad outcome when you can dream
of the best one.
August 9, 2001
* First time
Nemidoonam chejoori shooroo konnam. esmmeh man "m" hastesh
va baraayeh avalin bar chand shab pish sex daashtam va ehsaaseh besiyaar
gohi mikonnam. rafte boodim club, badesh ziyaad mashroob khordam, kheyli
bikhiyaal shodam, yani aslan khoddam naboodam.
ammaa nemidoonam. pessare ham irani bood.
daaram say mikonam keh fekresho nakonnam. ehsaaseh gonaah mikonnam
badjoor. hashariyam naboodam. ammaa bikhiyaal boodam. maghzam.
Toro khodaa yeh chizi beh man beghin. Namaaz shooroo kardam. Mikhaam
baazham beh khodaa nazdik besham. Eehsaas mikonam yek shok bood keh khodaa
mikhaast beh man beddeh. Nemidoonam. Baavaram nemisheh man in kaaro kardam.
Bebakhshid az faarsim va kalaameh haayyeh bad. Plz write back. Thanx.
Az inkeh yek shab baa kassi hamkhaabi kardeheed nabaayad ehsaase gonaah
kard. One night of bad sex should not make you feel guilty. Unlucky, maybe,
but guilty certainly not.
Albateh baar aval khaili bad ast keh shomaa mast va bedooneh eshtiaagh
in kaar raa anjaam daadeed vali donyaa beh aakhar naresideh. Avaleen baar
osoolan baraaye heech kassi khoob neest. Haalaa baayad yaad gerefteh baashid
keh baraaye lezat bordan az eshgbaazi baayad aval ham raa shenaakht va bad,
ham raa doost daasht. Makhsoosan baraaye zan, chon lezat bordan baraaye
oo beeshtar be mohabat va tajrobehye zojash bastegi daarad.
It is a shame that your first time having sex took place under drunkenness
and without desire -- but it is not the end of the world. Now you know that
in order to enjoy sex, especially for women, it is better to know the person
and maybe even like him!
Pass nassihate man be shomaa in ast keh aan shab raa faraamoosh konid
(agar mast boodid in kaar assaantar ast!) va ehssaasse gonaah nakonid. benazar
man faghat kaarhaayie keh be kassi zarar mezanand va yaa aazaar meedahand
gonaah hastand. Khariyat-e yek shab agar zararri be kassi nadaahsteh baashad
gonaah nist. Lezat jensi gonaah neest. Kassaani keh intor fekr meekonand
yaa maale ahde boogh hastand yaa faashist va mardom aazaar.
Shomaa, khaahare aziz, faghat movaazeb baashid keh dafe digar fagaht
dar soorati keh vaaghe'an meekhaahid, sex daashteh baashid, na bekhaatere
beetafaavoti yaa masti. Baraaye khodetaan arzesh ghaa'el baashid va ghadre
khodetaan raa bedaanid. Beekhodi rooh va badanetaan raa be kassi nadahid.
Va kamtar mashroob bokhoreed, makhsoosan agar baa mard morede allaaghehtaan
beeroon meeravid! Vali ehsaase gonaah nakonid.
Agar namaaz be shomaa aaraamesh meedahad hatman bekhaaneed. Yaadetaan
naravad keh kaari keh shomaa kardeed heech ajeeb nist va 100% gonaah neest.
Ghadre khodetaan raa bedaanid va aassaan khod raa be kassi nadahid.
If praying brings you peace, by all means do it. But know that what you
did was stupid but not at all a sin. know your own worth and do not give
yourself to anyone easily.
Be omide shabhaaye behtari baraaye shomaa, wishing better eves,
August 8, 2001
* Confused love
Dear Kobra Khanom,
I have faced a big dilema in my life and I am hoping you can give
me a broader prospective on my problem I have fallen in love with an Iranian
angel who has a pure and lovely heart. She is new to U.S. This angel has
some problems which have changed her destiny and brought her to where we
She was in love with a guy in Iran and her parents did not like this
guy at all. This guy left her after couple of years of relationship and
went to Europe. She became very sad and heart broken and lost her contact
with her boyfriend.
She then decided to come to the U.S to forget her boyfriend. Her parents,
who are financially very established in Iran, found her an Iranian man from
the U.S. to marry her and bring her to U.S. This gentleman marries her and
brings her to the U.S, but very soon she finds out that this gentlenman
has lied about his education and age. To make it short, they agree that
they would live together in a house like a friend, without any relationship.
Then she meets me. I did my best to help her and make her happy at
every possible time. She initiated our relationship, and I am so happy that
this happend, but I am so afraid to lose her. Sometime she says that her
husband is a good guy and loves her so much. Meanwhile her first boyfriend
is back in Iran with no money or job, and is desperately asking her to forgive
him and get back to him. But she has told him that she loves me, but this
guy keeps calling her from Iran.
Anyway, it is a mess. I have no idea what she is up to, but when she
is with me she says that she loves me. Once she told me that her life is
very complicated and she does not want to ruin my life, but on the other
hand when I ask her if she wants me to forget her, she says "NO".
I am in a stage that I have to decide about my life, and I don't want
to see my love growning while she is with somebody else. I know this is
a bit confusing, but I hope you can figure it out.
Thank you again and hope to hear from you soon,
Dear Pesare Confused,
As complicated as this woman's life might seem to you, it does not seem
that way to me. It seems that your angel is not so. Angel's are by definition
innocent and untouched. Your beloved has three men that she is puppeteering
at the same time. If you were my son I would tell you to stay as far away
Now I know that you are in love. And that love blinds, but take a look
at this woman's way of dealing with defeat and you will have an insight
into what is awaiting you if you stick around and make a career of making
her happy. The first time she was dumped, she upped and married someone
to get out of Iran.
I do not care how prevalent or necessary marriage-in-order-to-emmigrate
is, or how bad things are in Iran, I think it is dishonorable for a young
woman to marry only to change her situation in life and her place of residence!
It is a sign that she is a user of people.
The fact that she has all the three men, the ex-boyfriend and the quasi-husband
and you, the lover, all on a string, still hoping that she will choose them,
is a sure sign of her ability to seduce and manipulate. Why is she in touch
with the first guy, if he made her have to marry someone she does not love
and move continents?
I think it is because it gives her a sweet feeling of revenge to keep
him around and begging. It also acts as a challange to you and keeps your
love on fire. It is the oldest game in the book of seduction to keep all
interested parties aware of each other's interest. Nothing is more of a
turn on for the lover than the scent of competition.
I suggest you read Marcel Proust's "Rememberence of Things Past"
(I think you can get the short version, "Swann's Way"), and see
what dynamics go into making poor, respectable Mr. Swann fall in love with
the career seductress Odette. Young, pure-hearted men should stay away from
Odette types and leave them for the more experienced women who are worthy
of their sex.
I suggest that you tell her that you can only be serious with her if
she leaves both other men and stops all contact with them. Stop having sexual
relations with her until she does this. It will only confuse you to sleep
with her and wait for a decision on her part. You are in love. You need
an exclusive commitment that is not just verbal, and in order to get on
with YOUR life you need a peace of mind.
Now a little seduction game is not bad but one that goes on and on will
become obssessive and destructive to you. So tell her that you need stability
too and that you cannot wait forever for her to finish flirting with everyone.
She should take steps to assure you that she reciprocates the feelings you
have for her. Living with her "husband" and corresponding with
the ex-lover only shows that she is keeping her options open. Tell her that
if she loves you, she should give up those kinds of options. If she does
not, leave her.
There is a fine line between love and obsession. I think we love those
who are good for us but become obssessed with those whom we know, deep down,
are not good for us. This is because short of obssession, we cannot logically
justify our blind devotion for the harmful beloved.
A word of advice on angels: they are very few of them these days, man
or woman. Yours may look like an angel but she surely does not sound like
one. So ask for the assurances you need and stick to them.
Be omide movafaghiyate shomaa,
August 7, 2001
* Older girl, younger boy
Salam Kobra Khanoom,
Moshkeleh man az dideh khodam kheili bozorgeh. Man aashegham, aasheghe
dokhtari ke nemitoonam daashteh baasham, yani mitoonam vali nabaayad!
Een kas, khaahare dooste samimi maneh, va az man 4 saal bozorgtareh
va yek ezdevaaje naamovaffagh ham daashte, va yek bache daareh. Man 18 saalameh,
oon 22, va fekr konam bekhaatereh senneh kame man hast ke pedar maadar joftemoon
hattaa aba doostimoon (relationship) mokhaalef hastan, vali khodemoon hamdigar
ro kheili doost daarim va az har forsati baraaye didan ham estefaadeh mikonim.
Man baayad chetori pedar maadaram va yaa oon pedar maadaresho raazi
Moshgel shomaa va doost dokhtaretaan baa zamaan dorost meesheh. Ya pedar
va maadar in raabeteh raa ghabool khaahand kard yaa shomaa eshghetoon aatishesh
meesoozeh taa khaamoosh besheh.
Chahaar saal faaseleye sen'niye ziaadee nist vali 18 baraaye ezdevaaj,
yaa zeeyaadi jed'di shodan kami zoodeh. Shomaa baayad ghabl az inkeh vasslate
abadi baa kassi bokonid aval khod raa khoob beshenaasid.
Agar ham keh vaagha'an hamdigar raa doost daashteh baashid zamaan neshaan
khaahad daad, ham be shomaa ham be vaaledeyn, keh shomaa va eshghe beyn
shomaa dotaa jed'di va davaam avaardani ast.
Pas nasseehate man be shomaa in ast keh bogozaareed hameentor zamaan
bogzarad taa vaghti keh aanhaa shomaa raa ghabool konanad. Gaahi zamaaneh
behtareen hallaal moshkelaat ast, makhsoosan dar seneene javaani.
Aasheghi zibaast vali vaghti keh bee mane' shod, lezatash kam meeshavad.
Haale haazer raa ghaneemat bedaareed va ajaleh nadaashteh baashid. Eshgh
baa ajaleh joor dar nemeeyaad.
Be omid movafagheeyate shomaa,
August 6, 2001
* Chat marriage
Salam bar Kobraye azizam, khobiin?
Aval begam ke man aasheghe kalaame zibaaye shomaa hastam. az khodam
baraaton begam ke dokhtare 27 saale hastam va mesle khaili haa tabe chating
mano ham gerefte.
Seh maahe pish dar chat baa aaghaaii 31 saale aashenaa shodam va email
zadan raa aaghaaz kardim. az hamoon ebtedaa baa ham gharaar daadi bastim
ke na az zaahere ham beporsim na az vaze maali na az khaanevaadehaaomoon
va na khaili chizaaye dige va faghat va faghat tabaadole afkaar konim va
chat partner baashim.
Kholaase mitonin hads bezanin ke chi bar sare maa aamade? Ishoon chand
vaghti hast ke bedoone inke mano dide baashe, faghat bekhaatere aghaayede
man va inke maa khaili tafaahoom daarim, az man taghaazaaye ezdevaaj karde
va khaaste ke hamdigaro bebinim. Maa hardo dar Tehran hastim.
Haalaa moshkele man chi hast? To ro khodaa fekr nakonin ke khodkhaah
hastam. Man haghaayegh raa baraaton migam. Man dokhtari hastam ke khodaaro
shokr az baabate zaahery va baatenidaaraaye emtiaazaate ziaady hastam. Khaanevaade
man ham besiaar fahmide va tahsilkarde hastand. foghe lisaans va daraamade
besiaar baalaaii daaram, va mohemtar az hame chizi ke behesh mibaalam in
hast ke besiaar paak va manteghi hastam.
Man sharaayeti baraaye ezdevaaj daaram, mesle tahsilaat, khaanevaadeye
fahmide, daraamade maghool va shaayad khaandatoon begire: ghade boland (ghade
man 170 cm hast) va cheshm paak mikhaam. Man mitonam baad az didane in aghaa
agar sharaayet motaabeghe mayle man nabood, tamoom konam maajeraa raa, valy
masale injaast ke khaili delam misooze baraash. Nemikhaam ke beranje va
raabete paaki ke maa dashtim baraaye oon khaatere bad beshe.
Haalaa soaalam az shomaa yaa ehtemaalan kassi ke ashenaaii be computer
daare in hast ke aayaa man mitonam be tarighi aadress yaa shomare telepone
in aaghaa raa az email aadresesh paidaa konam? Midonin cheraa? Chon agar
paidash konam, khodam yavaashaki shoroo mikonam be tahghigh va dar soorate
javaabe mosbat, gharaare molaaghaat mizaaram va bad in forsato be oon midam.
Dar ghaire in soorat khayli mitarsam ke bekhaatere hamoon masale zaahery,
yaa chizaaye dige, javaab manfi beshe va baese aazaare ensaani besham. Chon
oon midoone ke man ham behesh alaaghemand shodam valy nemidoone ke taa hadi
nist ke rooye khaastehaam paa bezaaram.
Haalaa shomaa dooste khoobam chi migin? Aslan ghadam be in masir begzaaram
yaa na? Va aayaa mitonam taghalob konam va bedoone inke azash beporsam,
aadressesh yaa shomaare teleponesho dar internet paidaa konam?
Rooye maahetono miboosam.
Chat Girl aziz,
Bad az khaandane naameh shirin ghalam shomaa meefahmaam chetor in aaghaa
aasheghe internety shomaa shodeh! Shomaa baayad baa oo rok baashid. Tamaam
hosne in email in ast keh aadam meetoneh baaham beereeyaa va sameemaaneh
va rok sohbat koneh.
Taa jaaee keh man meedaanam nemeesheh esm o telephone kassi raa baa adress
email paydaa kard. Vali agar ham meeshod, in kaar dorost neest. Hamaantor
keh gofteed taghalob ast. Vali shomaa be oo begooid keh meekhaahid oo raa
az door bebineed va yaa esm oo raa meekhaahid bedaanid. In khayli manteghi
ast keh agar meekhaahid baa oo vaslat konid baayaad oo raa beshenaasid va
darbaareh khodash va faamilash aagaahi daashteh baashid.
Oo nabaayad tavagho daashteh baashad keh shomaa nadeedeh oo raa doost
daashteh baashid. Pass khejaalat nakeshid va be oo begooid keh heech no
gholi neemtavaanid bedahid taa oo raa roo-dar-roo beshenaasid. Momken ast
oo ham az shomaa khoshash nayaayad. Shomaa agar az oo khoshetaan nayaamad
aanvaght baa kamaal zeraafat raabeteh raa beham bezanid. Shomaa be oo begooid
keh taa oo raa nabinid beeshtar az yek doost nemeetavaanid baashid.
Be omid movafaghiyate shomaa,
August 3, 2001
* Breast hair
Baa arze salaam,
elate rooyeshe moohaaye zaaed dar atraafe noke pestaan chi mitone
baashe va aayaa raahi baraaye az bain bordane aan hast?
Az raahnamaaei shomaa khaili motshaker mishavam.
Maa zanhaaye irani messle inkeh nefrinemoon kardeh baashan az hameh jaamoon
moo dar meeyaad. Ay kaash keh pool yaa mohebat ham be hamin asooni dar har
goosheh kenaari sabz meeshod.
Yek khanomi benam Niki Tehranchi dar hamin site darbaareh-ye moo va zan
irani maghaalaate khaili jaalebi daarad ["Vezvezee","Super agent","Abroo
Kamoon"]. pass in raa bedaaneed keh dar massaleye moo, khaahar
Va ammaa javaabe shomaa. Man az yek tabibe hamvatan keh messl shomaa
yeki as khaanandehaai maa ast porseedam, oo goft keh in moo dore sineh daraavardan
'normal' yaa tabi'i ast. Vali messl hameyeh moohaaye nakhaasteye digeh,
democracy saresh nemeesheh va rooye bazihaa beeshtar dar meeyaad, rooye
baziyhaa kamtar, va rooye deegaran aslan.
Dr. aziz farmoodand keh baa epilation (moochin ya moom) ya laser moo
haa raa bekanid.
Be omide beheshti keh dar an mooye nakhaasteh baraaye zan irani voojood
August 2, 2001
* Doodool Talaa Syndrome
Can you enlighten me as to the dynamics of a relationship I am involved
in? I am an American woman who has been dating a 37-year-old man for the
past eight months who was born in Iran but has lived his life in America
since the age of 5. His father passed away 10 years ago. His mother is a
very successful realtor, and is 55-years old.
His older brother moved another state because of their mother's domineering,
demandingness, and interference in his relationships with women. She lied
about the woman he was in love with and broke them up. Soon after he realized
the lies, but it was too late; his love was gone. He then moved away to
keep his mother from further ruining his life. He is considered the bad
The mother has latched onto the younger son, my boyfriend, and demands
he do everything for her. On his days off from work, (which are very few),
she TELLS him to come over to do things for her. He just says. "Yes,
Maman" even if he has plans with me. He either brings me along or breaks
plans with me.
I have been patient and explained that it is unfair that he dumps
me for his mom. It is rude to stand me up, and that as a man he should tell
his mother he loves her, and would be glad to help her WHEN he has some
spare time, but to stop telling him what to do. Also to tell her to stop
DEMANDING he do these things, and ASK.
She is very wealthy and can afford any help she may possibly need.
she is still a young woman in good health and can do many of these things
herself. For example: When she needs the oil changed in one of her cars,
she TELLS him to do it. If I need the oil changed, I pay someone. I am a
very poor, single mom with no child support, living in orange county. I
have a hard time buying groceries and paying my utilities. I do everything
for myself or I go without. I don't even feel I can ask for his help because
his mom has him all used up.
Last week I invited her to my family dinner which we have once per
month to celebrate all of the birthdays and anniversaries of our family
members within that month. We never invite anyone outside the family to
this function, except serious boyfriends, or girlfriends. Because it was
also my boyfriend's birthday, we did make an exception and invited his mom.
I explained what the dinner was for and who would be there, specifically
no one outside of the family. His mother had the nerve to invite a guest
who also brought a date! When she found out the next day that I was upset
about that, she made up a story to tell her son, that I had asked her for
something and when she handed it to me, I flung it across the room! He was
furious with me and told me never to disrespect his mom again. When I asked
him what he was talking about he told me the story. I flipped! It was 100%
fabricated. He now claims to believe me and admitted the story about how
his mom used to lie about his brother's girlfriend and split them up. He
claims to have made a decision to respect our relationship and put me 1st
in his life.
Because of how his mother treats me and now this lie she told about
me, I do not want to interact with her. she does not want to see me either.
He spent his birthday with me on the actual date of his birthday. His mother
through him a party a few days later. Somehow it just felt so wrong that
he was at a party she threw after lying about me.
If we are a serious couple, and he always talks about wanting to marry
me, it doesn't feel right for me to be left behind. Yet she tries to boss
me around and lies about me so I don't want to see her.
Should I just give up and leave the two of them alone? As much as
he hates it that she treats him like a little boy, he keeps letting her.
He now tells me it is their culture and he was raised this way. On one hand
he hates it and furiously complains. On the other, he defends it and protects
his mother's behavior.
Although he says he has decided to honor our relationship and live
in the American culture with the dynamics of the mother/son/girlfriend,
I am doubtful he can do this. And even if he can, what will happen on Christmas?
Will he leave me for her half way thru the day? She completely lives as
a liberated American woman except where it suits her to use her son as a
slave. Then she reminds him of their Iranian culture.
After reading this, it seems to me I should just run! I really love
this man and think he is the most honorable man I know. He is perfect for
me, but his mom could ruin us. I think she already has.
Knowing the Iranian culture, do you have any advice for me?
The Other Woman
Dear Other woman,
It is very hard to deal with an overly possessive mother-in-law especially
if you are not yet married. What you describe is nothing new to me. It is
the exaggerated up shot of what we call the Doodool Talaa (golden penis)
Often Iranian mothers, when raising their little boys praise them in
motherese for their little "golden" penises. All the Freudian
connotation of this aside, Iranian mother's are not alone in manipulativeness
and over indulgence of their boys. Here you have the same stereotype about
Jewish or Italian mothers.
It seems that in traditional societies where women had little social
or legal and economic standing of their own, they had to in some ways assure
their securtiy through their son's unbending loyalty to them. Old habits
die hard even if oceans and years seperate them from their original purpose.
Now what you should do about this situation is greatly dependent on how
deeply you love your boyfriend and how much he loves you. If you do love
him deeply and he reciprocates then maybe you can come up with strategies
to limit the mother's power over him.
This is what I would do if I was in love with a boy with Doodool Talaa
Syndrome. I would first of all tell him he has to marry me. There is no
way you can compete with the mom if you are battling from the weak position
of "girlfriend". In traditional Iranian culture "girlfriend"
is very low in prestige and can never really compete with Mother. But if
you are a wife and then a mother of your husband's children yourself, then
you are elevated in the hierarchy of the extended family and can hope to
exert some influence.
So my advice to you is that you tell this man that if he really loves
you he should marry you. If he resists then move on and forget about this
mommy's boy. Hopefully next time you will meet an Iranian with a more mentally
Imagine an American realtor and a possessive Iranian mother all rapped
into one! I do not envy you! Like if the wife character in "American
Beauty" was also a Jewish mom! Because, if he is hesitant to commit
and his mom hates you, you have very little chance of making him change
his mind and her's -- you will just increase your own chances of heartbreak
Being a single mom the last thing you need is to be humiliated and hur.
You have to think of your own child first and make sure that you are in
good shape for him/her. Too much of this kind of crap with the mother and
boyfriend will drain your energy and leave very little of you for your child
which should, after all, be your first priority. If he is not madly in love
with you and is not willing to show his mom his commitment to you by marrying
you, then he is too much of a package to work on.
The mom, having lost one son, will only be more possessive of this one.
So tell him that at this point he is really only worth staying with if he
loves you enough to marry you and help you in handling his rude and manipulative
mother. But stick to what you say and do not turn it into a meaningless
threat. Maybe if he sees that he will really lose you he will see that he
needs to be more assertive with his mom.
Also next time you need an oil change tell your boyfriend, Iranian or
not, to help you. Men like feeling needed.
In the hopes that all will work out for you and your boyfriend,
August 1, 2001
* Wait four years?
I am a 21-years old boy in Iran, a university student in software
programming and one of the three top students in our class. I also work
more than the university and try for extra knowledge like MCSD.
My father has bought a house and a car for me, but as you see it is
my father who has bought these things for me not myself and I am not happy
Although everyone in the computer field has told me that after university
I will find a good job and can build my own life, I am not sure things would
go well like this forever, as I would describe it below.
Three months ago I met an 18-years-old girl who is exactly the one
I want. We talked a lot I became more enthusiastic and now I believe that
she has everything that I want . She has also agreed to wait 3 or 4 years
You know at first 3 or 4 years seems easy but in reality nobody knows
what would happen! There are problems . First of all I think that I am too
young and inexperienced to think about things like marriage even for 3 or
4 years later. I think marriage and love might slow my studies and affect
my progress. I love my studies and don't want to see slow down.
Also she is a girl who would agree to be my friend only if I promise
it ends with marriage! Certainly she is the one who I want for marriage
but I don't know what would happen in those years and whether I or she would
change or not.
Please give me advice because it is an important decision which affects
our future. I really don't know what to do
I do not see how your engagement to this young woman will jeopardize
your studies. I think it is wise of you to wait three or four years till
your studies are completed and you are financially independent before you
marry. Make sure she does not get pregnant before you are ready! If you
do change or if she does then that was meant to be. No one can really predict
But before you commit to this young woman you should make sure that you
too want to wait for her. It would be dishonorable of you to make any promises
to her if you are not one hundred percent sure. She may be upset now but
it would be far worse if she waited a few years and then found out! So take
a little time, weigh things out and see if she is the one that you want
as a life-long soulmate.
If yes, then make a commitment to her, plan out your studies and goals
and set a hypothetical date to get married and let that inspire you to work
harder and with even more focus. Tell her that she has to give you the time
and space for you to get to the point were you and her can unite. If you
are not sure that she is the one, or that she will remain the one for you
after several years, then be honest with her and ask her for more time under
Tell her that you need a mid-point date like a year at which time you
can both review the situation and then decide. Explain to her that at 18
it is even more important for her to be sure of her love for you and your
compatibility with each other. Explain also that three months is a very
short time, especially at such a young age, to get to really know each other.
If I were either of you I would wait at least another year before an
engagement on the grounds of age alone. If she is mature she will understand
and respect your reasoning. I am very proud when I hear of young compatriots
who excel at their studies or fields of expertise. Please keep up the good
work and remember that love can help one's work but obsession hinders it-except
maybe for poets. So make sure that you will not get too involved in something
that you will later regret.
Once an uncle, who is a good business man, told me that whenever you
negotiate in business, and the buyer or seller is too insistent on you making
a decision quickly, you should stop and take your time because acting in
a hurry will lower your negotiating ability.
In my experience in applying this advice I have found that most negotiators
are willing to wait. Now, do not get me wrong, I do not want to lower your
relationship with this young woman to the level of a business negotiation
but I think big decisions should be taken with the luxury of ample time.
Wishing you clarity of heart and mind, and be omide movafagheeyate shomaa,