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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


June 7, 2000

Persians should care for themselves first

Let's not get to carried away with the treatment of Afghans in Iran ["Not welcome"]. Iran has been one of the most hospitable countries in the world, accepting the largest number of refugees anywhere in the world in the last decade. This is despite the internal, external, and economic problems that we are all familiar with.

Therefore, comparisons with Germany are a little out of place. Out of the millions of Afghans who have been accepted withing Iranian society, a few hundred, possibly thousands, are being returned due to unlawful entry. These people make good subjects for Ali Khalighs' photographs, although such scenery is not uncommon across, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Turkey.

Hungry people cannot be fed with smiles and a cup of tea. Persians should consider looking after themselves first to avoid adding to the millions who have already fled to Iran. Such an example may possibly be good for what can only be described a 'backward' region, by any standard.

In any case, if Germany and Afghanistan were to be neighbors, you could be sure that Afghanistan would be a small province of Germany (possibly a very good thing). Let's look for solutions, not excuses.

Mehran Mirshahi


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