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Letters in October 2000 Letters index
Letters sent to The Iranian in previous months

    This months's index:

* Abadan:
- No matter where they are...
- Reminds me of Keith Haring

* Cartoons:
- REALLY suck!
dAyi Hamid:
- Falling off my chair

* Feelings:
- Healthy and wealthy

* Feminism:
- Punk with bad manners -- not feminist

- Devalued argument
- Airing, sharing and caring
- Like Jews in Nazi Germany
- Googoosh's unsightly front teeth

- Discography
- New songs sad, but real
- Foozooli

* Hejab:
- You insulted all of us

- Mind your own business
- Cyrus and the hejab
- Damn ignorant

- You are all sick
* Hostage:
- I was a hostage in Tehran
- Some people don't get it
- MAN-made issue

- Misguided pseudo-intellectualism
The Iranian:
- Love, Beauty, and Hope
- Something to laugh about

- Don't look down on odd people
- Een kojaa o aan kojaa
- What happened to Behrooz Nejad?
Men & women:
- Below the belt

- At least he's a man with an opinion
Middle East:
- Chalking out borders

- Tax dollars wasted in support of Israel
- Palestine has never existed

- Iranians first, not Palestinians
* Moshiri:
- Remains in our hearts
- No Iranian concert -- for a while
- We want more!
- Iranian of the year

- Tactless attention-seeking
- Nobel prize for silence

- Clinton will receive much credit
- Depressing comments
- Taking me to my people
- Near boiling point
- Ferdosi did not write it

- Being Black
- Khejaalat ham khoub cheezee-ye
Sadaf Kiani:
- Beh delam neshast

- I'm a big fan
- Reminder of forgotten things
- Realistic & poetic
- Hadn't read anything this good
- Illusionary images of Iran

- Stereotyping Iranians
- In the eyes of others
- Zoroastrianism: monotheistic
- Zoroastrianism not monotheistic
- American authority on Iran
- No guilty conscience

- Long live the shah
- IRI propaganda outlet
- Shah should be fully blamed
Shirin Neshat:
- Must see, art lover or not
- Unequal in the eyes of America
- NITV no promoter of culture

* US elections:
- Go Bush!

- Head exam
- Clinton-Gore's demonizibg Iranians
- Pragmatic, but not patriotic
- Too much narrow-mindedness

October 31, 2000

* Unequal in the eyes of America

Letter to The Washington Post: I am an Iranian-American living in Washington and was quite upset with the dollar amounts quoted in the article on Sunday Oct 22, "Terrorism Victims Set Precedent".

In one part of your article you state that Terry Anderson and the rest of the families of the former hostages will receive approximately $161 million from Iran for their time in captivity in Lebanon... Once again, based on this formula American lives are always worth more than non-Americans >>> FULL TEXT

Sepehr Haddad

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* You insulted all of us

I read your response ["Mind your own business"] with regard to hejab "Hal-e moshkel-e hejaab". By calling all Iranians who have left the country escapees, you have insulted all of us.

The only reason we left our beloved Iran has been people like you who think forcing women to have hejab is not a problem. We left and stayed away because there are people like you who think it is their God's given right to tell other people what to do, what to wear, what to read, what to listen to, and what to drink. It is because of people like you that our country has been destroyed >>> FULL TEXT


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* Some people don't get it

Some people just don't get the humor in a humorous essay ["Curbing men"]. Mr. Hovayda's piece was both fun to read and reflective of our recent past. His remark about "the general" being a Muslim has more to do with Iranian attitudes toward sexuality than religion as an individual choice. I, for one, enjoyed Mr. Hovayda's wonderful piece and hope to see more like it. We should all lighten up a bit.

Farzan Navab

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* MAN-made issue

Being of the female species, I can relate to your article about curbing men's sexual desire ["Curbing men"]. However, I believe this is a universal problem.

Female victims of rape for example, are put on the defense even in the most liberal cultures. Many movies have been made on the subject in the West. I like to find out when it all started, this inequality!

If one is a believer of the Bible, I guess God started it. But I'm hoping this is a MAN-made issue. Thanks for caring.


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* Iranian of the year

Begoo aks-e Hassan Agha ro dar haal-e jish kardan beferesteh keh Iranian of the Year besheh :-)

Reza F.

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October 30, 2000

* I was a hostage in Tehran

You do not know me but, I am certain that you will know my name and the small part I played back in 1979 as I was one of the 52 Americans held as hostage by your nation. After eighteen years my thoughts are still about the situation that we faced back then. Scared out of our wits, not sure if we would live or die, and wondering why Iran had done such a terrible thing >>> FULL TEXT

William E. Belk

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* Misguided pseudo-intellectualism

This is a response to Mr. Hoveyda's recent commentary about an incident in 1957 ["Curbing men"]. Mr. Hoveyda makes the proposition that one man's idiotic notions of male superiority has to do with his religious faith. He claims that "The general was probably a practicing Muslim."

Mr. Hoveyda, "probably" is not good enough. You draw such a grand and substantial conclusion by reading a piece of an article in some foreign journal in 1957. What wisdom and foresight you must posses! There are very few people in the world that can genuinely conclude that all things stupefying could be examined in terms of a person's faith...

Shame on such person who belittles what his country and Iranians have to offer to the world and instead chooses to rub into our faces his misguided pseudo-intellectual prowess >>> FULL TEXT

Rasoul Hajikhani

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* Mind your own business



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* Een kojaa o aan kojaa

These days Googoosh fever has spread all around North America and Europe. Another kind of fever has spread around East Asia. President Khatami is visiting Japan and everybody here is waiting to attend his speech.

This reminded me of a poem which says:




October 27, 2000

* We want more!

There was a short note by Esmail Nooriala about a picture of his with Shamlou and Royaei, remembering the events and times around that picture ["Footprint"]. His short explanation ended on a very sad note: "I can write pages about what was going on around the time and content of this picture but I do not think much of it will be of any interest to most of your readers."

Is this the way the readers of Persian poetry are perceived by our poets? ... He just stops exactly where he has to start. I think he owes it to all of us to write about his literary and political experience in those two most important decades of our cultural history...

Nooriala should rest assured that there are many people like me amongst the readers of this site who are enthusiastically looking for his future articles >>> FULL TEXT

Hushang Mansurian
Hacienda Hights, California

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* Illusionary images of Iran

Mr. Entesari, Thank you for your note ["Stereotyping Iranians"] on the silliness that Sciolino's book is ["The twelve rules"]. For some reason, foreign journalists (often of American descent) feel like if they go to Iran, are entertained by the high and mighty of the Iranian society in Northern Tehran, take a few trips around the country, and manage to get in a couple of keenly observed "life-scenes" they can derive anentire exegesis of "Iranian culture."

It's not limited to Iran either. They claim to know the "soul" of India or China or any country that doesn't operate in the way they *think* America operates through reporting on it and comparing it (I think entirely irrelevantly) to the US. As you so keenly pointed out, the image they have of their homeland is often as mythical and illusionary as the image they have of foreign countries.

Laleh Khalili

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* Too much narrow-mindedness

I wish one day people around the world could realize that it is not our differences that seperate us from each other -- it is our unwillingness to accept each others' views of the world in which we live...

Whatever the situation may be for you at this moment, I beg you all to take a step back and try to feel what life is like for your "enemy". I'm not asking for peace... all I'm asking for is empathy -- empathy for your fellow human beings... have we forgotten what that is? >>> FULL TEXT

Kambiz Hamadani

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October 26, 2000

* Stereotyping Iranians

I suppose the main difference between Iranians and Americans (and perhaps Western culture) is that the Americans always use a systematic approach when they analyse a situation. They seem to be very fond of moulding people into categories. This is quite a logical way for breaking down a big problem into very small ingredient to better understand the intricacies of human nature. However, in doing so they go to the nth degree and at times they lose a proper track of their thoughts. The fact is that in this way they generalise things and attach a particular trait to a nation. Possibly the most pronounced feature of Americans is that they like to stereotype.

"The twelve rules" by Ms Sciolino is definitely another attempt by an American 'intellecutal' who has been lucky enough to get a little insight into a very complex society. Obviously for a person who associates herself with what represents America today it is very difficult to understand subtleness of a nation that has gone through different phases in its long history. Thus she purports that "concealment is part of Iranians life" >>> FULL TEXT

Jamshid Entesari

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* Chalking out borders

Mr. Ameli ["Palestine has never existed"] seems to have a case of historical myopia when it comes to the Middle East. First, nation building and the concept of nation-state is a relatively new historical phenomenon. Many countries and their respective borders were created by colonial powers, especially in the Middle East. In fact Israel's borders are one of the latest to be carved up.

Just as there were no Palestinian borders to signify a Palestinian nation-state, there were no borders signifying Jordan, Saudi Arabia and many other countries until well into 20th century, including Israel's borders .

To cite Middle East borders as cause for legitimacy is bad form! It is similar to me entering Mr. Ameli's house, using a chalk to draw circle around his living room and then use a machine gun to enforce my ownership over the chalked area. I suspect he would not like that.

Secondly, last time I checked, Jesus did not visit The Vatican, nonetheless The Vatican is a holy place for Christians. A holy place is holy for its historical significance not for its visitors.

Ramin Tabbib

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* Ferdosi did not write it

For your information, that poem ["Okay. I'm a racist" ]was not written by Ferdosi. It was attributed to Ferdosi in the 1920s-30s,when when pro-German/Nazi like politics was polluting the political culture of Iran.You cannot find this poem in the old versions of the Shahnameh.


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October 25, 2000

* Tax dollars wasted in support of Israel

The current tense situation inside Israel and the Middle East are so grave that many other ripple effects are witnessed that reflect Iran and Iranian nationals around the world ["Crooked wall"]...

As a concerned Iranian American, I am very upset that my tax dollars are not spent wisely and feel it is wasted as a result of mis-management and against unarmed civilian population inside Israel and against Palestinians. Furthermore, the US firmly supports Israel with advanced military equipment. Washington is not capable of controlling the Israelis army and their atrocities against rock throwing Palestinians. Live ammunition has been used for the first time by the Israelis against the rock throwers >>> FULL TEXT

Javad Fakharzadeh, CEO
ATE Corporation

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* Palestine has never existed

Ayatollah Khamenei has just announced that he is planning to dispatch financial assistance as well as one hundred thousand Iranian Basijis to 'Palestine' in order to help the Palestinians regain their 'lands' including Jerusalem (Qods).

I feel compelled to ask, whoever said that Jerusalem ever belonged to the palestinians in the first place? Point of fact, in the Six Days War Israel captured Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem. However they did not capture these territories from Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians. They captured them from King Hussein and the Jordanians. I can't help but wonder why the Palestinians suddenly discovered their national identity after Israel won that war, since prior to the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, there was no serious movement for a Palestinian homeland >>> FULL TEXT

Kambiz Ameli

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* Googoosh's unsightly front teeth

Seeing a close up of Googoosh in a CNN interview I realized how unsightly her front teeth are. Being an old dentist and dealing with cosmetic dentistry, I thought through your love for her we might be able to arrange or somehow in a decent fashion make her aware of the services that can enhance her beauty and charm.


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October 24, 2000

* Remains in our hearts


Faramarz Kaviani

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* Tactless attention-seeking

About 20 minutes ago I saw your new feature 'Iranian of the Day' on your website for the first time. Since today October 23rd of the year 2000 (avalle Aban mAh), I am a man of 25 years, the following question came to my mind: "So where's my picture?!"

Most Iranians have mastered the "art" of tactless in-your-face attention seeking behavior. The following joke is my contribution to your website (and Persian culture) >>> FULL TEXT

Vahid Grami

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* No guilty conscience

When are people such as yourself going to stop pointing the finger and accept some responsibility ["Shah should be fully blamed"]. I bet you were amongst those 'ordinary citizens at Jaleh Square' and are now sitting thousands of miles away.

Your letter is sull of factual erros as the petro dollars really started to pour in the early 70's. Please don't insult Iran, past or present by comparing it to Saudi Arabia. I invite you to look back a few years ago, when they couldn't even defend themselves against Iraq!

Whatever the Shah's faults, and of course he had many, some of us don't have a guilty conscience to sometimes remember the good things that he did for the country.


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October 23, 2000

* Long live the shah

I read your letter titled, "Shah should be fully blamed" with amazement and to say that it distressed me is putting it rather mildly.To see that some people are vomiting at the Pahlavi name disturbs me greatly, not for the fact that you feel this way, but it simply reaffirms my concern at the level of knowledge and common sense of a great number of my fellow countrymen and women and some of the reasons why after so many years in exile I have had to face the fact that I have lost the country I once loved and cherished ...

I feel like crying to see many Iranians have lost their self-esteem and are not in touch with reality. They have lost touch with their culture, and follow the mirage presented to them by vested interests of the Imperialistic countries. LONG LIVE THE SHAH >>> FULL TEXT

Lida S.

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* In the eyes of others

Thanks for running the thought-provoking and informative article by Elaine Sciolino ["The twelve rules"] and her analysis of Iranian society. Like the overwhelming majority of Iranians and Iranian-Americans, we are very conscious of how we appear in the eyes of others because we consider this as a major means of improving ourselves. In this case improving the cultural ties between America and Iran...

With all due respect to Ms. Sciolino, I believe that what she puts down as twelve rules of surviving Iran do not only apply to Iran but to every humans society in the world. I see these as common sociological and cultural threads that have their toots in human nature. Further, I do not agree that these are hard and fast rules and written on stones. They could at best be termed as general guidelines with minor modifications as they apply to Iran. In order to be objective, I find it best to go over these rules briefly one by one >>> FULL TEXT

Ali Parsa

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* Taking me to my people

I'm from Fars Province. I was born and raised among the Qashqaies. How I ended up living in California is a long story. I just wanted to say thank you for your beautiful story ["Soghra's tribe"]. I really enjoyed it.

While reading your story I could see women dancing and I could hear the sound of saaz and dohol, or as Ashayer say noghareh. I could smell the rosewater and I felt like siting in the tent around my relatives (although I am siting in my boring office & doing nothing).

Again thank you for making my day and taking me to my people.

Fatemeh Karari

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October 20, 2000

* Obligation to Iranians first, not Palestinians

Iran is facing her most critical of times. But the way our elected and non-elected officials and other self-appointed guardians are viewing the Middle East crisis, makes me wonder ["Crooked wall"]...

In the past twenty some years, we have heard our top officials talk more about the problems of the Palestinians and Lebanese than our own problems. Not a day that goes by without a comment relating to the Palestinians' struggle or Hizbollah's Jihad. Extremists with their papers and loud speakers cry out for them, day and night...

I hope some day soon the Palestinian struggle comes to a fair and peaceful end. I hope some day soon Iranian officials realize, above all, their obligation to the people of Iran >>> FULL TEXT

Hamid K.

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* Beh delam neshast

man dokhtari hastam 20 saaleh va az aamricaa beh shomaa email midaham. chand daghigheye pish maghaalehee keh dar bood be naam-e "Khalvateh paaeezi" ro khoondam va vaaghe'an beh delam neshast. natoonestam jeloy-e khodamo begiram va goftam hatman baayad email bedam va tashakkor konam.

hodoodeh do saal o nim hast keh az iran khaarej shodam va in neveshteh-ye shomaa daghighan mano beh yaad-e doraani andaakht keh iran boodam. va har baar beh khiaaboon miraftam va matalak mishnidam ghalbam az tars beh dard mioomad. kheili vaghtaa ham geryam migereft, beh khosoos az raftaar-e mardom dar taxi.

ghalametoon besyaar aalieh. dar paayan baayad begam man taa beh haal nashodeh beh kasi keh nemishnaasam email bedam. vali inbaar engaar harf-e del-e khodamo shenidam va natoonestam bi tafaavot azash begzaram.

Sara Abdollahi

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* Damn ignorant

In response to "You are all sick": Okay, first of all, do you have any idea of what you have just said? You don't. You just classified an entire nation as sick, ignorant, and fundamentalist. How many Iranians do you know? If you know any, ask them if they advocate burning homosexuals at the stake. Ask them if they think kissing in public is a bad thing.

Now it is true: Iran's government is retarded in terms of its moral code. But do you think Iranians ENJOY being socially/sexually oppressed in Iran? Think about it before your stupid ass defames the Iranian race, which is full of tolerant and open-minded people.

Instead of suggesting your childish and immature antics as a solution to our problems, look at what is really going on. People in Iran are REALLY being oppressed; not just gays. Show some respect for Iranians worldwide (and have some self-respect too). I don't want to bash you, but don't be so damn ignorant.

Maziar Shirazi

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October 19, 2000

* Punk with bad manners -- not feminist

Maybe the "feminist" Blind date was reacting to a father like the one in your previous piece who wanted her daughters virginity swone up ["A private matter"]!

Plus I can stomach a little exaggeration for the sake of good prose but out right lying in the name of describing a "type", i.e "Iranian feminist" is kind of sophomoric.

Too bad that we can not ask you for any proof. Maybe the should give your date equal time. Then we could at least see if she existed!

Anyway if you were unfortunate enough to date an Iranian punk with bad manners (I think that is what she is if she indeed exists) please refrain from calling her a "feminist". For those of us who believe that feminism is about the right to express ourselves, have the same oppertunities as men and get equal pay.

Your picture of a man- hating punk as a "feminist' is unfair. Especially since all these rights are regularly denied us in our motherland.

In times of crisis, humor should bow to atrocities. Keep poking fun at those who hold onto old prejudices (like your virgin-mending) father. Or maybe you would be happy in an Iran were your blind date would be your wife!


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* Zoroastrianism first monotheistic religion

I can't agree with Mr. Reza Sami objections to Elaine Sciolino ["The twelve rules"] where he tries to prove that Zoroastrism is not a monotheistic religion. I think his opinion comes from the wrong interpretations of Zoroastrism by some Islamic and Western orientalists.

I don't believe he has read any Zoroastrian writings especially "The Gathas" holy book. Actually there is no contradiction between Ahura Mazda and Ahriman and darkness and light. >>> FULL TEXT

Esfandiar Kiani

* Below the belt

In response to ["At least he's a man with an opinion"], There doesn't seem to be anything intelligent about this Cyrus Rafaat whose articles "Real Iranian girls?" and his letter about Afghan refugees all revert to only one thing: his obsession with below the belt.

His political analysis is not serious -- he inevitably comes to prostitution : he probably thinks that the Taliban are part of the conspiracy rendering Iranian women incapable of controlling their purity.

This person does not look at others in a humanistic way- but simply as animals. It appears that with his letters on politics, he is simply trying to make up for a bad reputation from his article on chastity.

To be sure, his articles on women and chastity are much more entertaining than his "meet the press" analyses.

I too am looking forward to find out the rest of his story in 'getting a wife,' and wish much luck to any woman who could put up with this person.

Ravia Basri
Damascus, SYRIA

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October 18, 2000

* Devalued argument

Regarding Mr. Baniameri's piece "Blind date", isn't it better to debunk a stereotype without resorting to another one?

You are absolutely right in denouncing the stereotypes that are expressed about Iranian men, but doing so by way of stereotyping feminism (esp. Iranian feminism) devalues your argument.

Nonetheless, you are right to the point about cliches that surround Iranian men.

Ramin Tabib

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* I'm a big fan

man maghale haye toro dar mikhoonam ["Sadaf Kiani's index"] va bayad begam ke hamishe beomide inke ye maghalye jadid az to bebinam in site ro check mikonam:)

to vagheiat haye jame ro kheyli biparde bayan mikoni. man alan do sale ke az iran kharej shodam. maghale haye to engar mano mibare vasate tehroon ba hameye halohavaye oonja -- ba hameye zibaee hash va zeshtihash.

I miss Iran so badly. Keep up the good work. I'm a big fan.


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* IRI propaganda outlet

How much do we have to vomit to satisfy Mr. Kambiz Ameli? It is hard for me to come out with what I am compelled to write. And that is, by publishing the venom of the famous vomiter Mr. Ameli, The Iranian Times, probably inadvertently, has become another propaganda outlet for the Islamic Republic of Iran! Or is it intended?

Do not hide yourself behind the pretext of democracy or free flow of information. You have given enough of space to this vomiting, mud slinging gentleman. I think enough is indeed enough. Thank you for your other-wise good job.


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October 17, 2000

* Reminds me of Keith Haring

I like Reza Kassi's paintings ["Vacation on Mars"]. They are really nice. Kind of reminds me of Keith Haring's paintings (the artist that did a lot of grafiti looking paintings-started in the New York subways-familiar with him?). Anyway, very nice.

Iran Javid Fulton

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* Something to laugh about

It's good to see stories on the lighter side like "A private matter". Some people take their politics, ideas, and opinions too seriously. And some stories are purely depressing. Thanks for giving the rest of us (non-political) folks something to read and laugh about.

R. Javadi

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* Shah should be fully blamed

I believe you have misunderstood why we are all vomiting when we hear the Pahlavi name ["Requiem in Cairo"]. First of all we are all in full agreement with you that Khomeini and his fellow villager mollas, their families and cronies have utterly ruined our nation. However Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi is to be fully blamed for this calamity.

Firstly, the Shah was completely out of touch with "his" nation as he insisted on promoting a Western life style to a conservative Middle Eastern society. Secondly Iran was one the largest producers of oil on the planet, yet the country's infrastructure was similar to a backward African country >>> FULL TEXT

Kambiz Ameli

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October 16, 2000

* Nobel prize for silence

in khabar [President Khatami nominated for Nobel Peace Prize] yeki az bozorgtarin jokehaye gharn bayad ham be khater goftegoye tamadonha?? Agar eshan mitavanest goftegooei bain kasi ejad konad, aval az hameh bayad az keshver khood shoro konad... Aghaye Khatami jayezeh nobel dar "SOKOOT" beh khater sokot abadi eshan dar moghabelsarkoob va beh zendan afkandan va sarkoob roznamehnegaran, daneshjooyan mobarez va azadikhah >>> FULL TEXT

Nik Khodadadi

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* Zoroastrianism not monotheistic

While there is room for much praise for Ms. Elaine Sciolino's astute observations, "The twelve rules", she makes a dreadful blunder when she writes that "Zoroaster preached a message of monotheism."

You do not need me to remind you of the fact that Zoroastrianism, far from being a monotheistic religion, is based on the philosophy of duality that shows the two forces of darkness and light in conflict with one another.

In fact, Ms. Sciolino contradicts her own understanding of Zoroastrianism when she writes that the "central feature" of Zoroastrianism is "a long battle between good and evil. (Good will ultimately win.)"

It may be good to remind Ms. Sciolino that in a monotheistic religion like Christianity or Islam, God is considered to be the author of both good and evil, whereas in Zoroastrianism Ahooramazdaa [God] is the author of good , and Ahriman [Satan] is the author of evil, and these are forces that act independently from each other.

G. Reza Sami' Gorgan Roodi

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* Don't look down on odd people

I want to offer my apologies to Mr. Baniameri on behalf of all those Iranians who can not speak perfect English and still use some Persian words (like "Aghaa joon") in the middle of their conversations ["A private matter"].

Mr. Baniameri should consider the fact that unlike him, a lot of us odd-looking, uneducated Iranians haven't been in the United States long enough to learn the apperopriate manners and haven't had the chance to loose our thick accents (what a big shame!).

There is definitely no question that people who look and act like "jaahels" represent the darker spots of our society either inside or outside Iran. However, looking down at people just because of the way they grew up, or the way they taarof over a restaurant check, or the way they have been taught to think about virginity, is another issue.

It's as stupid to expect people of that social calss to lose those traits in a short period of time as it is to have those traits in the first place.

Just as a reminder, to avoid any misunderestanding, I do not live in California and I don't have any relatives who look like those people.

Faramarz Kaviani

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October 13, 2000

* American authority on Iran

Tonight, as I was driving home from my office -- which is only six blocks away (yes I am living the Los Angeles life), my ears perked up when I heard "Iran" on National Public Radio. I raised the volume and listened intently. The woman being interviewed was Elaine Sciolino an American journalist who has covered Iran for over two decades ["The twelve rules"]... She is an American authority on Iran, if you will.

She has just released her second book "Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran". What I love about her is that she does not go the route (at least in her interview and the parts of the book I have read) of most Western journalists ...

I hope you all have the opportunity to read this book and I look forward to hear your comments. The one thing I must caution is that sometimes journalists and authors may write or say something that you believe is contrary to your observations and beliefs. Don't get angry and discount the validity of the book or report, often people only see certain things and can' get everyone's viewpoint >>> FULL TEXT

Yashar Hedayat

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* You are all sick

I am an Australian gay man who saw your paper on the Internet, and the article by Yek Irani ["Acceptance"]. You people live in a dreadful country, full of oppressed people. Your women are treated as animals, and your gay people are beheaded/burnt at the stake. You are all sick, those who advocate this.

Your religious ideas are indefensible when they demand the deaths of persons engaged in private sexual acts. I engage in homosexual acts, they are great! Maybe thats what you all need? A strong dose of anal sex!?

By the way, there is a thriving Iranian gay community in Sydney! What should happen to them?

Thomas Byrne
Sydney, Australia

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* At least he's a man with an opinion

Mr. Rafat's article on Iranian brides ["Real Iranian girls?"]is astounding and shocking! I can't say that as an Iranian woman raised in Los Angeles whether I am truly offended or mezmerized by his outlandish chauvanistic story, until of course I searched and found his responses to the issues of Afghans!

It goes to show me that while he must obviously be a very intelligent and outspoken braggadocio, he is also a male-chauvanist of the peculiarly fascistic brand.

People who want to repress women often want to do that to the other weaker parts of a society. But I have to hand it to him, he is at least a man with an opinion and not afraid to voice it, and as a very 'feminine' and good Iranian girl,whether he wants to believe that we exist in America or not, I am astonished that such a man still exists, because at least I can respect a real macho man like him.

One question, jenab-e aghay-e doktor-e Rafaat, did you find a bride in Iran willing to put up with your eccentric antics or not? You left a cliff hanger for us! I like a bold man so audaciously tell me if you succeeded in sweeping some damsel from that garden, Iran.... If you haven't then where is your next 'adventure,' Afghanistan?


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October 12, 2000

* Near boiling point

Thank you for your article ["Meeting Faezeh"]... This year clearly marks Mr. Rafsanjani's last golden opportunity to allow democracy to fully bloom by convincing the ruling clergy to unconditionally release the country to the democraticly-elected president and parliment in harmony with a neutral and just judiciary branch...

If, however, he makes the same tragic error in judgement as the late Shah made by insisting on an absolute rule, he will be remembered by history as the true leader of the hijackers of the revolution and the true enemy of progress in Iran. Indeed the water is near boiling point >>> FULL TEXT

Kambiz Ameli

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* Reminder of forgotten things

I read your last article ["Khalvat-e paaeezi"]. It made me cry. It reminded me of things that I have forgotten, but their effect will always be with me.

Back in Iran I always hated taking taxies, but lately I couldn't remember why, I just knew that I hate it. Now I remember. And that afternoon walk in autumn, I love it.

I loved the sentence where you said for you to feel good the blue sky and wind and... are enough. I wish I was there; we could go together, pretend to be young school girls and laugh at everything, including guys! This is what me and my sister do sometimes when I am there.

I wait impatiently to see more and more of Tehran through your sensitive eyes.


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* REALLY suck!

Your cartoons and cartoonists REALLY suck!


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October 11, 2000

* Must see, art lover or not

I was fortunate enough to see Shirin Neshat's exhibit at the Berkeley Musuem of Art with some friends recently ["Personal/Universal"]. I'm somewhat familiar with Ms. Neshat's work and in my opinion this is one of the best works I have ever seen by any artist.

I also saw that non-Iranian visitors also found this work exhilirating. Some visitors skip the galleries and walk straight in from the entrance to Neshat's exhibit. Art lover or not, everyone must see this.

Nima Faghihi

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* Realistic & poetic

I am one of your many readers having had the privilege of reading Ms. Sadaf Kiani's articles . I like most of her works and specially her recent article "Khalvat-e paaeezi". I like the display and colorfulness of the realistic and poetic words she uses in describing matters and problems. I wish her more successes in her artistic works.

Sheema Kalbasi

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* Hadn't read anything this good

neveshteh-ye khanom-e Sadaf Kiani Abbassian kheyli khoob bood ["Khalvat-e paaeezi"]. modat-haa bood neveshteh-ye khoobi dar site shomaa nakhaandeh boodam. lotfan az ishaan baaz ham estefaadeh konid.

M. Moghaddam

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October 10, 2000

* Like Jews in Nazi Germany

A friend called and said Jafar Panahi's "The Circle" is only showing for two days in a cinema in Quartier Latin in Paris. I said okay, I will go with you.

During the movie I was suffocating from the lack of hope. Being a woman in Iran is like being a Jew in Nazi Germany ["No more kids stuff"].

After the movie I was so nervous I didn't eat anything. I had to drink seven beers to be able to speek. I was ashamed of being an Iranian, especially as an Ianian man.

I lived in Iran until 1987, so I know very well what is happening to women but this movie is like a slap in the face. It shows you what is really happening to them.

Ironically, the only bright light was the girl who became a prostitute. She of all people was the hope of the film.

Thank you Mr Panahi for making such a realistic movie about women's life in my country.


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* What happened to Behrooz Nejad?

I have a story of one of my first martial arts instructors. An Iranian named Behrooz Nejad. He was living here in this area from 1979 til approx 1986(?).

The story is a sad one, but interesting nonetheless. You see, Behrooz came over with the Shah in 1979 after the revolution. He was a member of the Shah's elite guard, tasked with the Shah's protection. After arriving here, not needed in his former capacity, Behrooz settled in the St. Clairsville, Ohio...

Things took a terrible turn. While on a business trip to Saudi Arabia, Behrooz was arrested for murder. You see, in addition to the schools and consulting work with the local sheriff's dept, Behrooz was also an arms dealer >>> FULL TEXT

David McDonnell

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* Foozooli

As a duty to fellow Iranians, I feel I have to clarify a certain point in dAyi Hamid's recent article: "Khob... digeh chetori?" dAyi Hamid suggests that when Iranians ask "digeh chetori?" five minutes after they have already once asked you "chetori?", it is so that you will end up saying "Babaa ahhhhhhh I am not good!" And he also points out to the valid point : "as if in the last five minutes some new development has taken place!"

The reality though, I believe, is that when Iranians ask you "digeh chetori?" (sometimes more that 3 or 4 times in a conversation) they are really asking you to tell them what you haven't told them the first time round (or the second or the third time round). This concept, namely "konjkaavi" or to put it more bluntly "foozooli", is common practice amongst our compatriots!


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October 9, 2000

* Go Bush!

This article in itself ["Go Gore"] gives unconditional support to the fact that we should all vote for George W. Bush and NOT for Al Gore.

To summarize: Gore has an Orthodox Jew as his running mate, Dick Cheney has repeatedly called for better relations with our homeland, IRAN.

The one point that has been totally ignored is that the majority of Iranians living in the United States are professionals who enjoy financial stability. This has been gained primarily by hard work and is a tribute to our genius and has had nothing to do with the government.

Now, someone tell me why anyone or particularly any Iranian should vote for someone who wants to overtax and basically take away a bigger portion of this hard earned financial stability?

Way OVER Taxed

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* Head exam

With all due respect, the person who authored the article "Go Gore" needs to have his head examined. Mr. Gore will most probably be the second worst disaster since that sinister man, Mr. Jimmy Carter.

On another note, watching the goings on in Belgrade, I found myself praying to god for a similar incident in Iran. Could the kind lord possibly bless us with such gift after 22 years of imprisonment.

Ramtin Diba

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* Khejaalat ham khoub cheezee-ye

I found your Sep 20th "Anyway" section patently offensive and distasteful.

Could it be that you published it because you were oblivious to your Christian readership's miniscule size? Or you were just following the "sensationalism sells" formula, in which case you managed to lower your otherwise respectable and first-rate magazine to the level of "Hustler".

I've lived most of my life in both pre- and post-revolutionary Iran and cannot recall a single instance of desecration of other religions of this magnitude.

Khejaalat ham khoub cheezee-ye.


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October 6, 2000

* Clinton-Gore's demonization of Iranians

I totally disagree with your position of separating the current (Clinton-Gore) administration's demonization and denigration of Iran and its nationals (past or present) from the upcoming election ["Go Gore"]...

Shouldn't this administration answer for these past years and not take for granted the Iranian community's support for reelection? Iranians living in this country should stand up and ask why our relatives, athletes, thinkers, artists, etc., who come to visit are treated like criminals. The fingerprinting of an 80-year-old woman visiting grandchildren, or a director winning international awards for his work, cannot be a positive action to any rational person. This constant humiliation did not happen prior to the Clinton-Gore administration >>> FULL TEXT

Masoud Neshat

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* NITV no promoter of culture

I would like to ask National Iranian TV CEO Zia Atabay, what exactly is he talking about when he says he's promoting Iranian culture, with his broadcasting [News].

Showing old films and videos to fill time and generally having a hollow program does not constitute a worthy cause.

I fully agree that his program should not be stopped from airing, but don't buy the claim that there was some social/cultural cause associated with his TV station.

Bardia Saeedi

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* Falling off my chair

Just wanted to let you know that your articles are great ["dAyi Hamid"]. I don't agree with everything you say, but admire your honesty. Most of your articles are smart and witty, and some are funny. If you were not meaning to be funny, I am sorry to let you know that some made me laugh. Sometimes, I sit at my desk and laugh so hard I fall off my chair.

Maryam Moussavi

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October 5, 2000

* Pragmatic, but not patriotic

Articles like this ["Go Gore"], as well-thought out as they may be, neglect a critical perspective. Regardless of how much we assimilate, there will continue to be a negative reaction to Iranians as our nations' relations remain this negative.

Even as a 21-year-old student, I have felt discriminated against numerous times simply based on the impression many ignorant individuals have toward Iran and the Middle East. We are Iranian and we cannot, nor should we, desire to change that. To assimilate is reasonable, but to ignore our brothers and sisters in Iran is unacceptable >>> FULL TEXT

Danesh Mazloomdoost

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* Googoosh discography

I'm happy to discover that people other than myself are interested in the copyright issue ["What goes around... "]. Long ago, before anyone knew about Googoosh's comeback, I was searching into her musical career and finding little information...

In order to make a little sense of Googoosh's musical carreer, I'v created a "Googoosh Original Vinyl Discography" . My intention is to find people that will contribute to the Googoosh discography (with scans of 45's and information) so that the information missing from all these horrible CD's released by the Tehrangelesian record companies becomes available to everyone >>> FULL TEXT

Dario Margeli

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* Cyrus and the hejab

I would like to comment on the excerpt from Ms. Sandra Mackey's book "The Iranians" ["Cyrus the (not so) great]"]... The veil or the "roosarri" was probably common among Persian women, but they were also common among Greek women.

The reasons mentioned by Ms. Mackey are debatable. I believe that other factors could be linked to the presence of the veil in the Middle East which unfortunately the excesses of religious and male autocracy have probably turned away from their initial purpose: and that is the climate. The extremely hot climate as well as the dust and wind in many areas of the middle east may also be a reason why women wore the veil. But if Mrs. Mackey was to visit Russian peasants today, she would be surprised to see them wearing the "roosari" while conducting their trucks in the fields >>> FULL TEXT

Darius Kadivar

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October 4, 2000

* Googoosh's new songs sad, but real

I beg to differ with Mr. Bagheri's judgment about Googoosh's new songs and Babak Aminis compositions ["Houston, we have a diva!"].

I had the pleasure of meeting and spending some time with most of the talent traveling with Googoosh both before and after the concert in New York. The day after the concert, over lunch and a good deal of humor, punctuated by discussions about life in Iran, religion, music and politics; I learnt a great deal about Babak Amini, his background, influences and his compositions.

Having heard of the five new songs at the concert, courtesy of Napster, that same evening, I was able to form an opinion. The new Googoosh material can only be judged against the backdrop of post-revolutionary Iran, the lives of Googoosh, the people, their experiences and the life of present-day Iranian youth >>> FULL TEXT

Faryar Mansuri
New York

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* Airing, sharing and caring

Oooo! Tears in the middle of the day. A very fine story indeed ["A big beautiful lamb"]. Interesting to think that just by being there, you are making good writing happen -- just a certain degree of airing and sharing and caring about it, and the yeast spreads and suddenly all these loaves are rising, popping in and out of the oven, and writers are being read and everyone gets to feast. Be proud. (Not to mention the lamb squiggle, one of the best... :-)

Zara Houshmand

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* No matter where they are...

Dameton garm for this site. It reminded me of Abadan and all the good people of that city; all the Abadanis I have seen since the war. No matter what they do, or where they are, one thing is for sure: they all miss their city, and their freinds. People see themselves in these pictures and we can find some of our lost freinds.

Mehran Jahromi

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October 3, 2000

* Healthy and wealthy

I enjoy reading most of dAyi Hamid's articles. When I read his recent one, "Elm behtar ast yaa servat," I felt compelled to comment on it... Iranians are very reserved people. In the past, maybe more in the villages or small towns, parents, especially fathers, would kiss their kids only while they were asleep. It was not common for people to talk about their feelings and dreams. You were considered a good kid if your head was down while walking or talking to your parents or teachers. Married couples barely talked about their feelings. It is said that this is why Iranian girls have beautiful eyes, because they transfer all the feelings in their heart to their eyes. Of course, time has changed and so has the ways to raise the children and communicate feelings.

In those days, for the school writing assignment, elm was always said to be better than servat... Those days are over now, and as I grew older, I came to the conclusion that there is no doubt that one needs education or "elm." But there are a few more things that I now think are also very important in life. These have become my motto, which I like to put on a sticker one day,"Happiness is being healthy and wealthy." Later on someone asked me to add "... and in love!" and I thought, why not? But on the other hand, I believe if you are healthy in mind and body, you will find love too >>> FULL TEXT

Simin Habibian

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* Being Black

I enjoyed the cartoon about saving the White hand and ignoring the Black hands ["Discrimination"].

I am a Black man who is a Muslim born in America. Everyone knows that Blacks were the first Muslims in America. They (Americans) beat us, chopped our limbs, hung us, raped our women and did not allow us to read. If you read, you lost an eye. They would not let us pray to Allah (SWT).

Now some of them are trying to study Islam. But Anglosaxons can never be Muslims because they will never say we are equal to them. I have seen it myself in the mosque. The only reason they are studying Islam is to keep them from being killed in prison. Or they want to rebel against the Baptist belt or their parents

Americans have made things right for everyone that they mistreated except the American Black people, the people who built this country. And also won their wars, and won the most medals.

Please do not let this fall on deaf ears. Being Black in America today is worse that 30 or 40 years ago.


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* Love, Beauty, and Hope

It is with a sense of great pride that I thank you on behalf of millions of Persians around the world for your continued efforts to provide our fellow compatriots with significant information and updates, on the well being of our dearly beloved Googoosh.

I was about three years old when my family left Iran, so it has always been difficult to feel like I am a complete Iranian. God has surely blessed you and your staff with wonderous talent, skill, and determination to bring our community together (regardless of the turmoil that may occur in our motherland).

The first time I chanced upon your site, I was in awe of the amount of dedication my fellow Iranians had placed in creating a site that would become an emblem of all Iranians seeking a unified front. A site filled with Love, Beauty, and Hope.

As I embarked to see Googoosh at the MCI center in Washington, deep in my heart, I knew I owed that beautiful moment to the hard work and dedication of people like yourself. I am truly proud to be Iranian.

Mitra Gholam

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October 2, 2000

* No Iranian concert -- for a while

My wife and I went to Ebi's concert in London last night - billed as "aasheghaaneh-tareen konsert-e saal". It was supposed to start at 8, after the doors opened at 7. It was not until 9.15 that Ebi and his band came on.

The venue was not right. A seated concert hall would have been better, but it was in one of London's bigger discoteques. We had managed to position ourselves upstairs in the balcony area overlooking the dance floor and stage.

Within 10 minutes there was fighting at the front of the crowd by the stage. The floor was jam packed (sineh-be-sineh). Ebi was saying "be jadetoon ghasam, ye nim metr berin aghab, aakheh man ghorboonetoon beram ..." >>> FULL TEXT

Farhad Nikkhah

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* Clinton will receive much credit

Thank you for your insight ["Clinton's legacy?"]. If you look back on the previous U.S presidents you shall notice that many of them had extra marital affairs. In fact FDR, Eisenhower and JFK were openly carrying on with their lovers.

However, the legacy of all former U.S presidents are about what they accomplished during their terms in office. I strongly believe that Clinton will be remembered as a shrewd politician and a pragmatic manager. I further believe that he will receive much of the credit for his relentless efforts towards the upcoming peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Kambiz Ameli

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* Depressing comments

Reading Mr. Kadivar's reminiscing his trip ["Requiem in Cairo"] and observing the 20th anniversary of the death of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi was very heartwarming and enjoyable...

While Mr. Kadivar's article was enjoyable and impartial I was so disgusted and yet depressed to read some of the responses from the distinguished visitors to this wonderful site. I was astonished to see how after twenty years Mr. Bardia Saeedi, Neda and Babak Arminian can find it so easy to "throw up" at Mr. Kadivar's trip to Cairo. Immediately after reading their letters, I began to think about all that has bothered me through the past 21 years both in Iran and in the U.S. >>> FULL TEXT

H. Jalili

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