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    September 2000

    Letters are posted here a week after they appear in The Iranian Times.


* Sadaf Kiani:
- Truly gifted

- Laughs and tears
- Got a problem with LA-type women?
- Educated Haji Bakhshis

* Religion:
- Gutless
- Literary theft rampant

* Iranians:
- Backward mentality

- Killer article
- Try Prozac

- Tackle your resentments
- Any great scientists before Islam?
* Shah:
- When will we learn?

* Art:
- Creative genius
- Sucks
- I am in love

Letters index
Letters sent to The Iranian in previous months

    This months's index:

* Art:
- Creative genius
- Why do we forsake each other?
- Literary theft rampant
dAyi Hamid:
- Knowledge & wealth

* Film:
- No surprise

- Conspiracy theory -- again
- Tired of films with poor kids
- Ghoncheh Tazmini?
- Eating vegetarians
- Sucks

- Representing an illusion
- Victims of "artistic expression"
- Don't leave day job
- Innovative
- Not ONE clear photo?
- Gay Googoosh
- Right thing
- Under veil of praise

- Resisting temptation
- We forget
- Googoosh, Khomeini & the moon
- Tears for Googoosh, not just Iran
* History:
- Little people's history

- Putting down plumbers
- Democratic tradition

- Satirizing a popular president
- Jokes made to protect Reza Shah
* Iran-U.S.:
- Sarah Wright's granddaughter
- Backward mentality

- Killer article
* MKO:
- Those folks at the airport
- I am in love
* Nude:

- Free expression has no limit
- Some have wider view
- Hope God guides you (or destroys you)

* Race:
- Aryan, German, Iranian "kinship"

- Why are we so rude?
- Persians & Aryans & ...
- Try Prozac

- Tackle your resentments
- Any great scientists before Islam?
- Fooling ourselves
- Arab colonial legacy
- If Arabs had not invaded Iran?
- Narrow-minded chauvinism
- Pride in Arabic Quran and prophet
- Let's move on
- Brought up racist

- Out of context
- Ignorance
* Religion:
- Gutless

- Extreme poor taste
* Sadaf Kiani:
- Truly gifted

- Laughs and tears
- Got a problem with LA-type women?
- Long for home
- When will we learn?

- Happy memories
- Most undeserving monarch
- Many still care
- Be a little less cruel
- Utterly pathetic
- Certainly not brainwashed
- The right to throw up
- Where's your decency?
- Want to throw up
- Educated Haji Bakhshis

* Violence:
- Ansar-e Los Angeles

September 29, 2000

* Truly gifted

Wonderful as expected ["Gisheh-ye shomaareh 2"]. Appreciated as usual I am sure you already know what a great and perceptive writer you are.

If you would allow me to humbly chip in my two cents: It's sad, depressing, and most of all as real as it gets. You have the magic of making the Iranian being so delightful and irresistible that I actually enjoy being reminded of it instead of continuing to fool myself and ignore it.

I have never seen anyone spell out the modern Iranian existence with such honesty. You are truly gifted.


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* Laughs and tears

What a great piece ["Gisheh-ye shomaareh 2"]. It is quite poignant and it managed to make me laugh very hard about your friend who had to sleep "damaroo" for two nights and also made me tearful about the lady who lost her husband -- all in the space of 20 seconds. I really enjoyed it. By the way did you get your visa or not?? :)


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* Got a problem with LA-type women?

akharin kareto khoondam. jaleb bood mesle hamishe ["Penthouse Haj Aqa"]. dar mahale kare ma dar Cisco koli Irani kar mikonand. va ma ba ham interanal connection darim. man kareto forward kardam. nazdike 200 Irani oono khoondand.

dar neveshtehat 1 chizi ke baram soal hast inke hamvaerh be 1 teep zan ya dokhtar be noee tane mizani. Nazali. Negar. va ya dokhtari ba arayaeshe anchenani. ya LA typi. lol. enteghade to az in teep dokhtarha az koja nashi mishe?? nemikham az inha defa konam.

vali test kon, bebin aya too inha ham mishe dokhtare honest payda kard?? aya inha in hagh ro darand ehesasteshoono onvan konad. khob in teep khanooma teephaye mamoolie in donia hastand. va adamhaye zamini. lol. hame ke nabad intelectuel bashand. lol >>> FULL TEXT


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* I am in love

I just wanted to write in and comment on Mr Nikbakht's album, "Synethesia". I am in love with it. Mr Nikbakht is obviously a very gifted artist whose talent should not be ignored or forgotten. I cannot wait for more music by him.

Farnoosh PK

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September 28, 2000

* Backward mentality

I think that your article is symptomatic of the backward mentality present in the Iranian communities in many parts of the world ["Doctor... Doctor..."]. In Los Angeles this mental backwardness seems to be all the more accentuated.

Iranians seem to place an important emphasis on professional, religious, and academic titles as they serve as social identifiers used to distinguish among people. We call people who have been to pilgrimage in Mekka Haji and those who have been to Mashad Mashti. During the Qajar period many people were Shazdeh or Doleh or Saltaneh. Nowadays people strive to establish an identity for themselves by somehow prefixing their names with "Doctor" and thus acquire notoriety.

I have seen many charlatans amongst these so-called doctors. They are very good actors. They look at people and are eager to see how dumb people are to squeeze them out of money. It is quite common to see that they make patients come and go to their offices unnecessarily just to charge the government or the insurance companies till they reach their income ceiling >>> FULL TEXT

Mohammad Ali Yamini

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* Killer article

Awsome job at humoring the true spirit of most iranians in Los Angeles ["Doctor... Doctor..."]. Killer article.


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* Try Prozac

After reading "Okay, I'm a racist" and looking at Mr. dAyi Hamid picture for a few minutes, I really had a hard time accepting a person with such facial characteristics AND I tried hard to stop laughing...

How can anyone even say such crazy things about a place and its people? No wonder, a lot of Iranian Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Sistani and others, have some bitterness. It is because of people like Mr. dAyi Hamid who without knowing their country's social formation, throw up garbage from their mouth! AND honestly, I don't blame them for their resentments toward people like Mr. dAyi Hamid!...

The problem is, racist people, like Mr. dAyi Hamid, can not comprehend their own history, culture, literature or country. Iranian racists attack Kurds, and the funny thing is many German racists say that Kurds are among the purest "Arayans" in Iran......they can't even keep their own story straight! They want to use anything and everything to further their racist argument! Just like what Hitler did during WW2, when he tried to use the Bible to further his racist propaganda. The irony is, he was a half Jew who hated Jewish people and others!

Last but not least, I would like to add that MAYBE, just may be, Prozac can help Mr. dAyi Hamid and people like him! >>> FULL TEXT

Daniel Zang

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September 27, 2000

* Literary theft rampant

As one whose doctoral thesis was abridged in Iran and then shamelessly printed and distributed in the United States under the name of another person, I have something to add to Mr. Haddad's story ["What goes around..."].

Literary theft too is rampant in Iran. A traveler recently arriving from Tehran recounted that he had seen the gist of one of my postings on iranian.com translated and published in Bahar Noe, a Tehran newspaper, under the byline of a person writing from the United States.

One of the items on any agenda that leads to the renewed commercial relations between Iran and the United States must be the issue of copyright and other intellectual property protection in Iran for works created in the United States.

Guive Mirfendereski

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* Tackle your resentments

In response to "Okay, I'm a racist", I must agree with dAyi Hamid on the fact that most of us don't like Arabs... Now hate me as you may. I really don't give a damn. Not to feel obligated to explain myself or anything, but the main reason why I still don't like Arabs is because every single one I've conversed with tries to completely justify the actions of their filthy ancestors by giving me a load of crap about the glory of Islam and how lucky we should feel that we were BLESSED with the gift of Islam. Really? Seems more like a bunch of horny Arabs lusting after some fresh "loot" to me...

Pinpoint the emotional hangup and tackle it with some intense conversations with the subjects of your resentment. And if you feel like it takes more than just conversations to settle your disputes, by all means be my guest. Just don't call me from the county house and don't get your ass kicked >>> FULL TEXT


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* Creative genius

Bravo Mr Hoveyda for sharing with us the creative genius of Iranians abroad who are our real heroes for having stretched beyond the walls of exile and diversity and found their inner calling ["Salt desert tree"].

Cyrus Kadivar

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September 26, 2000

* Any great scientists before Islam?

It seems that Mr dAyi Hamid is completely mixed up ["Okay, I'm a racist"]. He explains racism and how bad it is and tells us how he suffers from it in Europe. On the other hand he says "I hate Arabs and admit I'm a racist."

You can not love or hate someone, simply becuase he's from a specific race, but can do so becuase of his good or bad actions. It's very obvious that Mr Hamid is not against Arasb becuase of their race but because of their religion.

He mentions the Persian empire. And my question is "What did this great empire do for poor people?" Go and read the history. Were ordinary poor people allowed to read or write in Daryoush's great empire, or only the elite?

Read the history very carefully. Did the great Iranian scientists like Razi or Abu Ali Sina appear before or after Islam? Wasn't it Islam that encouraged learning for ALL and not only to a specific type/class of people? Can you mention one Iranian scientist before Islam whom the world benfited from?

History can not be writen by building big castles and palaces. I lived with among many different nations. My principle is that irrespective of a race/nationality, a man can be considered good or bad only based on his actions, attitude, thought and teatment. I think the days of racism and descrimination have alraedy passed.

Ahmed Toorani

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* When will we learn?

This is a reply to the letter by Bardia Saeedi ["Want to throw up"]. I suppose this honourable person has forgotten many facts regarding the past and the current situation of our country. Dear Bardia, I don't know where you live or what political faction you support, but you seem far removed from the feelings of the average Iranian back home.

I was recently in Iran and the number of people who praise the Shah, wish light on his grave and sole, is unprecedented. I am no supporter of the monarchy and yet am touched every time I visit Iran and hear the average person sing the Shah's praise.

Mr. Kadivar ["Requiem in Cairo"] has every right to feel the way he does and is entitled to write about it if he wishes. I suppose most of us in that situation would have felt similar emotions. Likewise, you too have the right to feel disgusted at those sentiments and tell us about it on a free forum as you like.

But just consider this, don't you think our people have had enough of someone telling them how they should feel and how they should think? When are we going to learn and respect other people's feelings and opinions, I ask you? Let's not be like the Hezbollahis and the Mojahedin who in desperation to dominate have taken ordinary people's rights away and have lost support among ordinary Iranians.

B. Khorasani

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* Sucks

Your work sucks man ["Googoosh live!"].

Sina Rassam Haghighi

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September 25, 2000


I have been reading The Iranian for almost for four years. I look at it almost every day. Your articles and pictures are well chosen and you are a good writer.

I am usually very quiet and do not mention my views to every one. But some articles during the past few weeks have promted me to write you this note.

First of all., one of the front page images was a nude painting, a good painting. But my terminal is faced to the hallway. I was worried that some of my co-workers would see that and would think I am on a XXX web page.

I am not against these kinds of images, but it would be nice, if you would put a warning like "Do not open this page if you are offended", so I know I should not open it at work. I am sure, you have received a lot of comments about that image.

The other thing is about the short story, "Karin". I did not like it. My Farsi is not very good, but "Karin" has a lot of grammatical errors and it is bad. Who cares if somebody's friend's girlfriend spends a night with him? Who cares what happens in the bedroom?

You have Massod Behnoud's articles, which make me read each article a few times and think about it for days. But it is not nice to select essays like "Karin".


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* Educated Haji Bakhshis

After reading "Ansar-e Los Angeles," I felt how much the Iranian opposition outside Iran is similar in its actions to people like Haji Bakhshi in Iran. I don't understand them.

Somehow, I can understand Haji Bakhshi. There are reasons why he became "vahshi." He is illiterate, he is not exposed to any other culture or way of life and probably has a low IQ.

But what about "Ansar-e Los Angeles?" They are supposed to be educated and intelligent. They are supposed to be pro-democracy. They are supposed to be the leading Iranian intellectuals.

For those of you who are in Iran and read my comment here: Prepare yourself for another kind of Hezbollahis. In case of any change in Iran toward a more democratic society, these new haji Bakhshis are ready to beat you up: MKOs, radical communists, Cherik-haaye fadaayi Aghaliyat and monarchists.

They haven't learned anything about democracy here. They haven't learned even one percent of what we learned in Iran during the last 20 years.

Sourena Mohammadi

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* Gutless

I am extremely disappointed in the Iranian for featuring this inane piece in the Wednesday's Anyway section. I guess the editorial board of The Iranian has thrown in its lot with the rest of America and determined that the only religion unprotected by the politically-correct banner is Christianity.

The gutless thing about it is that you know your Christian readership is nearly non-existent. I dare you to run a similar piece on the holy prophet of Islam peace be upon him.

Elizabeth Dourley

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September 22, 2000

* Ansar-e Los Angeles

I went to Dr. Kamal Kharrazi's talk today at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), yesterday. Unfortunately due to some major error my name was missing from the invitation list...

However it was not all a waste, although of course I would have liked very much to attend the speech. Instead I saw a demonstation by about 120 Iranians outside the place - real live theater! Sad rahmat be ansaar-e hezbollah! These guys beat at least five or six people that I saw with my own eyes. They cursed and insulted and hit everybody who walked in, including me (mozdoor! khaae'en! vatanforoosh! aakhoond-e bi ammameh! kesaafat! olaagh! ... you name it!) >>> FULL TEXT


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* Fooling ourselves

In response to "Okay, I'm a racist", and it's responses: I read the article and many of the responses and I'm left with the solemn, worried Iranian look on my face (we all know what that is). I have nothing against dAyi Hamid for honestly expressing his views, although I may not neccesarily agree with him...

We would be fooling ourselves to return to pre-Zoroastrian, newly Persian ways, and we would be murdering 4000+ years of struggling to maintain our one common thread (being Iranian) to retard ourselves into dark age fundamentalist Islamic ideals. What would've happened if the Arabs hadn't invaded? It would have been Christian influence, or Hindu, or Buddhist...

So we can all be ultra-proud about our past or fervent about our religious beliefs, but neither one is going to take us anywhere as a whole until we start respecting what we all have in common with one another: That we are all Iranian >>> FULL TEXT


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* Arab colonial legacy

In response to the article, "Okay, I'm a racist", I think we shoud not dislike Arabs for invading Iran. After all, the Arab people suffrered themselves at hand of their repressive rulers. What, we should oppose is the colonial legacy that Arab invaders left behind in Iran.

In my opinion, Arab invaders who came from a slavery-type of society with utter disrespect for women, art and culture in general, left a colonial legacy which was extremely reactionary, inhuman and backward.

The Arab colonial legacy is Islamic Shiism. The colonized version of Islam which became prevalent in Iran, could be compared to colonized version of christianity in the other third world countries such as Philipines, Mexico, or Brazil, where the fanaticism is so strong that some people crucify themselves on Easter Holiday.


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September 21, 2000

* If Arabs had not invaded Iran?

Regarding dAyi's article "Okay, I'm a racist", it never seizes to amaze me when Iranians wonder "what would have happened to us if the Arabs never invaded Iran?"

Well, let's see...

India was not invaded by the Arabs. China and Greece were never invaded by the Arabs, and by any yardstick these ancient civilizations were at least equal to - and in the case of China and Greece far more superior to - Persian civilization.

As far as I can tell, China, India and even European Greece haven't turned into social, scientific or cultural centers of modern world >>> FULL TEXT

Sassan Behzadi

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* Narrow-minded chauvinism

I read the article "Okay, I'm a racist" with a pinch of salt... Being engaged to a beautiful Iraqi of Kurdish-Arab blood I realised how narrow-minded our Persian chauvinism can be. The modern Arab - Egyptians, Iraqis, Jordanians, Lebanese, etc - have a high appreciation of Persian culture and in my dealings with them they have all quoted Hafez and Saadi to me whilst to my shame I was hard pressed to quote any of their great poets until my fiancee handed me Nizar Qabani's (Syrian diplomat) poetry books which in parts was influenced by our culture. In fact despite the initial shock of the Arab invasion, many Persians were to form the cultural backbone of the Islamic empire >>> FULL TEXT

Cyrus Kadivar

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* Extreme poor taste

I find the item in your Anyway section Wednesday in extreme poor taste. What is disturbing is that the humor is lost on me and certainly the title leaves me perplexed. "Good taste in bad taste"? What on EARTH do you mean SIR?! I thought The Iranian was above toilet humor.

An avid reader

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September 20, 2000

* Pride in Arabic Quran and prophet

I don't care if you like Arabs or not ["Okay, I'm a racist"], but put this in your head till the last day of your life: The Holy Quran is in Arabic and we are very proud of this as it is a blessing from God. Prophet Mohammed is from the heart of the Arab world .

Now let's see what your people are doing in my country... Well, mostly smuggling drugs and many of them are illegal workers. Not only that, since Khomeini, your country has been a source of racism. Please teach yourself and your nation how to respect others regardless of their roots.

Amani Al Omani

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* Let's move on

The question of racism in Iran has nothing to do with race ["Okay, I'm a racist"]. The main question is: we treat ourselves worse than foreigners, so what is the big deal with treating them(foreigners) bad?

When people lack self confidence they go around try to put others down so they feel they have something different (not necessary better) whether it is race, religion, language, you name it.

It's time for Iranians to wake up and realize they have missed the boat. We should be proud what we have achieved in our own life time rather than sit around and show off our predecessors as though they were inspired by us!

The key word is human rights and "human" by definition is what we all are. Let's move on.


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* Brought up racist

Fine article ["Okay, I'm a racist"]. I too am a racist. At times it just comes out without thinking. Often I remember saying to myself "Arab dar biAbAn mlahk mikhorad, sagheh Isfahan Ab-e yakh mikhorad."

All of us are products of our environment and we have been brought up by our parents and culture to be racist without knowing it. Our parents did not know that they were teaching us to be racist eihter. Let us hope by knowing that we have racist tendencies we will be more careful not to act racist. I enjoyed your article and thanks for sharing.


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* Out of context

In the article "Okay, I'm a racist" the author has a claim that the president of Iran is as racist as himself with respect to Arabs. I think this is a good example of taking words out of context.

It is amazing how people, when they don't understand the intellectual and social context of a perspective, might interpret it with their own "common sense." Unfortunately, this happens too often. Most teachers and professors can relate to these types of simplification of their ideas by students.

To understand any type of talk, one has to understand the social context within which the idea has been presented, and also have a shared understanding with the speaker about the meanings implied.

As someone who was present at the U.N. talk, I can attest that Mr. dAyi Hamid's ideas have very little to do with Mr. Khatami's.

Poopak Taati

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* Ignorance

Your ignorance is repulsive ["Okay, I'm a racist"]!


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* Representing an illusion

In reference to the letters regarding the Googosh photographs: Am I missing something? Don't the photographs represent an illusion of a time in Iran now lost and longed for?

Perhaps they would have been presented clearly if the country of Iran wasn't now experiencing a lack of understandable image to those listening for hope for a better tomorrow.

Just possibly, this lady is attempting to simply bring joyful memories and not offer a definitive photograph. All of those admired by others don't always present definitive images by which to view them.

Personally, I like the photographs.

Charles Roberson

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September 19, 2000

* Victims of "artistic expression"

I am not exactly sure what is happening as far as the photos of Googoosh's concert are concerned ["Googoosh live!"]; either my computer is having problems displaying anything useful or we are victims of "artistic expression".

Although I found the idea of the garish photos to be interesting, I for one would have appreciated at least a couple of viewable photos. Thank you for the effort.


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* Don't leave day job

These pictures are terrible ["Googoosh live!"]. They are neither artistic nor real. There are bound to be better pictures than these somewhere on the Web. Please tell the photographer not to leave his day job.

Mohsen Asadi

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* Innovative

The photos you took of Googoosh and then transformed ["Googoosh live!"], were very innovative and eye-catching. Impressive.

Hamid Nazari

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* Happy memories

I have found your articles in The Iranian so very interesting ["Requiem in Cairo"]. I was married to an Iranian, and have many happy memories of my life in Iran during the reign of the late Shah. I was particularly interested in your story of Tea with with the Former British Ambassador, Sir Denis Wright,whom I had met during my many years in Iran.

I was deeply moved by your article "By the Pale Green Stone", and the more recent "Requiem in Cairo". I, too, was anxious to know what had happened to the Shah and his family after the Revolution, and found answers in "The Shah's Last Ride", by William Shawcross.

I loved Iran and its people, and lived in Abadan from 1951 until 1958. My husband then took an early retirement, and we came to live in England, to be near our children who were studying here.

Sadly, my beloved husband is no longer with us, and I am now a widow. I do miss Iran very much, and hope that I can return one day. Meanwhile, I enjoy reading news of Iran in The Iranian and I look forward to more of your interesting articles.


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* Long for home

I have been reading your pieces [Sadaf Kiani Abbassian's features] and always enjoy them immensely. They always make me long for the home, the sounds and scents that you so much bring to life in your writings.


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September 18, 2000

* Most undeserving monarch

I happen to be a strong opponent of the evil regime which is now ruling our land. However I fervently believe that the Pahlavis are the main cause of the calamities which has gripped Iran today ["Requiem in Cairo"].

The late shah was the most undeserving monarch to ever sit on the Peacock Throne. Underneath his public grandeur he was a frightened and weak individual who on several occasions packed his bags and abandoned his land at the first sign of a storm. Indeed he should have never been allowed to return the first time he fled in 1953...

Do they really believe that Farah would dare return to a public life in Iran? Can Reza ever dare to believe that the young generation would allow an uneducated, inexperienced son on Mohammad Reza to ever call himself monarch? >>> FULL TEXT

Kambiz Ameli

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* Many still care

I read your article ["Requiem in Cairo"] with a lot of enthusiasm and have since sent it to anyone I thought would have an interest. It brought a few tears to my eyes and to many others who have since read it.

It is refreshing to know there are still a lot of people out there who truly care about Iran as a country and believe in the traditional values we once had and try to preserve.

My father especially wanted to congradulate you on your efforts to bring to the masses an experience many of us would have liked to have had. We wish you great success in your endeavours.


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* Not ONE clear photo?

I was there at the Googoosh concert in Washington DC and I'm glad your site is the first one to put any pictures from that night on the web ["Googoosh live!"].

But weren't there any better, clearer pictures? I mean these are nice too but how about at least ONE good, focused, clear picture of her?

A devoted fan of The Iranian web site who's kind of disappointed, let's say!

Negar Tehrani

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September 15, 2000

* No surprise

It is no surprise to me that Jafar Panahi won the Lion D'Or at the Venice film festival, given the make-up of the jury. I have not seen the film; I am sure it is worthwhile. But in the picture showing Samira Makhmalbaf amongst other members of the jury, their is also Jennifer Jason-Leigh who happens to be Reza Badii's step-daughter.

This is the same Reza Badii who directed many TV shows including the "Six Million Dollar Man" with Lee Majors, "The Incredible Hulk" and "The Magician" with Bill Bixby. I wonder whether The Iranian Times could get hold of Reza Badii for an interview on his career. It would indeed be very interesting to hear from him.

Darius Kadivar

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* Those folks at the airport

And to think that I thought those folks at the airport with their 3-ring binders of 8 x 10 glossies were really trying to help the oppressed ["Millions lost in Iranian charity black hole"]. Man, was I naive.

William Phillipson

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* Gay Googoosh

Letter to Googoosh.Com: I am writing on behalf of the large Iranian gay and lesbian group in Los Angeles. Your concerts have been great and seeing you was long overdue. We hope that you are happy and in peace and that we will continue hearing from you from now on.

We know that everyone wants a personal glimpse of you, but we thought to ask you to consider coming to a party in your honor whenever you are in Los Angeles. We promise you that you will have a good time. We also promise you we will not bother you with any questions nor will we expect you to perform. We just want to have the honor and pleaseure of your presence.

We have a gay Iranian man in our group whom we have nick-named "Googoosh", since he always impersonates you with your old songs/dancing and style. His impersonations of you were the closest we could get to seeing you again.

Well, our fantasy came true. Finally seeing you again, in concert in Los Angeles. If you want to get in touch with our group, please call ...

Best wishes and love from all of us.


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* Right thing

I applaud your kind and generous gesture in trasnferring the ownership of Googoosh.Com. I think you did the right thing and I think Googoosh-e aziz will do the right thing as well by allowing you to carry on the good work on Googoosh.Com.


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September 14, 2000

* Be a little less cruel

In reply to Bardia Saeedi ["Want to throw up"], My dear friend, it seems we have also lost our compassion and sense of occasion. Be a little less cruel. I never liked the Pahlavis but the fact that some guy still gets emotional about it ["Requiem in Cairo"] is really not worth throwing up.

We all have our cultural baggage we carry. So what if the author has someone in the family who has influenced him. Is it a crime not to be a-political. Or has all the TV we watch here numbed us to the point that we can not harbor any ideology or any sence of history? Are we to only get emotional about pop singers? Ex-kings are somehow too old fashioned to be icons.

Anyway please save your vomit for those who are at the moment depriving our sisters and brothers their basic human rights on a daily basis. Those same people who sent little children to war. And murder people without explanation.

Maybe Mr. Kadivar remembered all this when he stood before the tomb of a man who many believe was the lesser of two evils. Maybe he was crying not so much for the Shah but the country that we (or at least some of us) lost. In fact if the people in Iran read this they would find Mr. Kadivar's emotions proper. Because they at least have not lost their emotions.


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* Utterly pathetic

In response to "Where's your decency?" by Hojabr, I must also admit that I also truly felt like throwing up when I read "Requiem in Cairo". That article was so utterly pathetic that I even felt ashamed of wasting my time reading it!

Babak Aminian

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* Aryan, German, Iranian "kinship"

Regarding the article "Qaziyeh-ye nejad" by Mohandas, and the letter by Nick, I think Nick missed the point. Mohandas didn't say that Germans don't think we are Aryans--just that they don't believe we Iranians are related to them.

Mohandas and the Germans are right, since Germans aren't Aryans but Nordic. This notion of Aryan superiority was propagated by the likes of Hitler to make Germans feel special and different from the rest of Europe. It was a political ploy pure and simple.

Most Germans are ashamed of their behavior during WWII and are made uncomfortable by any mention of Hitler and his ideology. One can hardly imagine what they must think of us when an Iranian tries to ingratiate himself or herself by bringing up this notion of our "kinship"!


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September 13, 2000

* Certainly not brainwashed

I am sorry that one of your readers felt like "throwing up" after reading my article "Requiem in Cairo". It surprised me to receive such a crude response from someone who has never met me. I too can say that the events I witnessed during the 1978-79 revolution and the tragic waste in human and economic potential suffered by Iranians in the last 20 years also make me physically ill...

Freedom of expression is a luxury of Western democracies and I exercised it. I am certainly not brainwashed nor did any member of my family persuade me to write my feelings about an event which in my view was both personal and necessary >>> FULL TEXT

Cyrus Kadivar

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* The right to throw up

In "Where's your decency?", Hojabr wrote: "Don't we have the right to express our emotions without some pervert THROWING UP?"

I think you have got the meaning of freedom wrong. We have the right to express our emotions, but we don't have the right to tell other people how their reaction to our ideas must be.

The same way that you are free to express yourself, others are free to throw up! (It is another way of expressing emotions).

What you suggest sounds like what is going on in Iran! Many of the people in prisons are the ones who threw up....


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* Under veil of praise

I wish to commend you for "resisting temptation" to undergo a lengthy legal battle over googoosh.com which you most certainly would have, at great expense, lost... To me Mr. Golbabai's condescending message is, "Hey fool, you had the chance to make a buck and you blew it!" >>> FULL TEXT

Omar Iam

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September 12, 2000

* Conspiracy theory -- again

It's very interesting to read the letters in response to the article "Not THAT good" ["Bubble gum cinema", "Film du jour"]. Ah the conspiracy theory again. Those bad Westerners exoticizing Iran, robbing us of our cultural riches, etc. etc. And of course if European and American film festivals had not paid any attention to Iranian films, there would have been another conspiracy at work, that of silence...

A big part of this is the decline of European cinema's presence in North America, caused in large by the emergence of the so-called Indies in the United States. It's very hard for foreign films to do well in the U.S., hence marketing the exotic, the unknown is essential. And remember that this is a niche market, consisting of urban intellectual and other chance taking souls, not the stuff of suburban movie complexes >>> FULL TEXT

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* Democratic tradition

In reply to Changiz Tavakoli's "Satirizing a popular president", I would like to point out this site and show you that it is the tradition of those who call themselves "honarmand-e baa farhang va demokraat" to do cartoons such as Saman's.

Ramin Tabib

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* Where's your decency?

You indeed did THROW UP by what you wrote for The Iranian Times ["Want to throw up"]. How can you permit yourself to act as a spokesman for the entire Persian nation? Don't we have the right to express our emotions without some pervert THROWING UP ["Requiem in Cairo"]?

If anybody has escaped any sort of a camp, I am afraid to say, it is your self. How long do you have to live among Western people to learn to respect the opinions of others, rather than THROWING UP?

Neither Internet nor The Iranian Times is a place for anybody to THROW UP. Are you Persian? If you are, where is your traditional decency?


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* Eating vegetarians

Yet another (perhpas more important) reason Zagros is a gross place to eat: Some people may find eating kabobs gross but I think EVERYONE would object to eating VEGETARIANS.

Pedram Moallemian

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September 11, 2000

* Want to throw up

I have an unusual habit of becoming physically affected by emotional and intellectual confinements and restraints. Every time, I find myself trapped in situations where everything about the situation is against my beliefs, emotions and my whole being, I start to sweat and itch and want to throw up. Unfortunately that's how I felt when I read "Requiem in Cairo" >>> FULL TEXT

Bardia Saeedi

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* Resisting temptation

As much as this (transferring googoosh.com to Googoosh) to a lot of people might seem like the right thing to have done, I know many others would not have done it.

As a telecom marketing consultant and someone who spends a lot of time on the Net, I know first hand the great potential this site had for making money.

Unfortunately a lot of our fellow Iranians, if in your position, would have seized the opportunity of Googoosh's tour to exploit the name to no end. You resisted the temptation.

I commend you, Mr. Ardalan, and Mr. Bahmani for a wonderful job, and a very very special encore (forgive the music pun, I could not resist!).

Kamran Golbabai

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* Satirizing a popular president

Hich honarmand-e baa farhang va demokraati baa president montakhabeh aksariat-e ghaate' mardomash kaari keh shomaa dar safheye kaartoon kardid raa nemikonad [Saman's cartoon].

Changiz Tavakoli

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September 8, 2000

* Why are we so rude?

Regarding the article "Qaziyeh-ye nejad" by Mohandes: I have so many questions but I can't come up with any answers! I just want to know why we think that we are the best, and nobody is like us? Why are we proud of what happened 3,000 years ago, while we have nothing now?! I mean just look at us now! What happened to that huge empire? And what are we now?! If we are the best, and the rest of the world is nothing, how come we are all refugees in America, Europe...? Has anyone ever thought of this? The pride we have for 3,000 year old things has made us so blind that we can't see our present situation or think about our future FULL TEXT

Sara S.

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* Persians & Aryans & ...

Regarding the article "Qaziyeh-ye nejad" by Mohande: intoor ke az maghaaleye shomaa daryaaftam, shomaa bishtar dar in soe`tafaahom gharaar daaarid taa digaraan. nemedunam ke cheraa in maghaale raa IRANIAN ejzaseye chaap daade az anjaa ke in eshtebaahe shomaa, meetune baraaye deegaran ham olgoo baashe!

inkeh mardoome aam dar in baareh che megooyand hamisheh baa hagheeghat hamsaaz nist. zamaani bood ke mardoom, khomeiny raa dar maah didand va hamaknoon ham in eshtebaahaat meetune rookh bede FULL TEXT


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* Knowledge & wealth

Thank you for dAyi Hamid's article "Elm behtar ast yaa servat?". It brought back a lot of memories from many many years ago, when I was in 4th or 5th grade in the Jahanbani elementary school in Tehran.

In those days life was very simple and specially people were more simple and innocent. What a shame that those days have long gone and will never will be repeated.

Just like you, I obviously chose knowledge over wealth in my essay. I agree with you that in this capitalist society we need money to have a comfortable life. The bottom line is that we need both knowledge and wealth together.

Ahmad Poudratchi
West Palm Beach, FL.

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September 7, 2000

* Free expression has no limit

In reply to the comment made by one of the readers regarding nude art on the cover of The Iranian ["Hope God guides you (or destroys you)"]: As an artist and scientist I believe in freedom of expression, art has no limit!

I would like to remind the reader that we came to this world without the hejab. Why should women cover their hair? Just because men can not control their sexuality and get aroused easily by women's appearance?

Try wearing a scarf on a hot summer day and then see if you can say: "I ask God to guide you and if not destroy you!"

God should not be feared. God does not destroy.

Morteza Loghmani

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* Little people's history

Regarding Mr. Khodadad Rezakhani's view of how Iranian history should be studied in the universities ["Not too deep"]:

First off, I certainly hope that "every midwife and plumber" *DOES* come up to you and give you the reasons why an historical event took place. History -emphatically- *IS NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE* the bastion of elite historians and researchers who get bogged down in the minutiae of a war that took place 25,00 years ago.

History is lived everyday by all of us, we each have our own version of it, and frankly no amount of "historical documentation" makes the lived experience of the "midwife or plumber" down the street any less valid than the recorded version the scholars proffer >>> FULL TEXT

Laleh Khalili

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* We forget

I agree with Nicole Radmand's comment about Shahyar Ghanbari. Unfortunately we always forget the people behind a successful singer. In Googoosh's case, nobody denies her talent, her voice, her appearance and the emotion and feelings she puts in her songs.

It is interesting to know that Ghanbari started his career as a song writer at 18 years of age and he wrote"Deegeh ashkam vasseh man naaz meekoneh" for Googoosh. Before that, she used to sing other singer's songs. Ghanbari wrote about 25 songs for Googoosh. Coincidentally, "Hejrat" was the last song that Ghanbari wrote for her >>> FULL TEXT

Simin Habibian

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September 6, 2000

* Sarah Wright's granddaughter

To Robert Burgener, author of "Iran's American martyr": My name is Laura McDowell, the granddaughter of now-deceased Sarah Wrigh who grew up in Tabriz during the early 1900's. She was the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries John and Mattie Wright. She was also a personal friend of Howard Baskerville's.

I've had the great fortune to read a diary she wrote when she was 15. In it, she details the news of Baskerville's death and his April 21 funeral. The diary is a very interesting portrayal of the rich events and mosaic of personalities and cultures in the area at the time.

Sarah ultimately married Phillip McDowell, who was also from a long line of Presbyterian missionaries in Iran. They raised my father, David, in Iran along with their other children: Martha, Phillip and Ed. I enjoyed your article. It has helped me put my grandmother's diary in context.

Laura McDowell

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* Why do we forsake each other?

What I found most interesting about Mr. Mosadegh's piece ["Love at first click"] was not even of his own doing. His piece is so arrogant and egotistical that I was forced to laugh a little bit as I was reading -- but it did make me think about the idea of human interaction.

What really makes this piece an interesting read is how Mosadegh characterizes his marriage as "a happy marriage." He found a beautiful, humble and submissive wife whom he sees as perfect -- yet he falls in love with an anonymous confidante via the Internet. Technology is his culprit -- the cause of isolation and what drives us expose ourselves from the safety of a modem connection.

I guess I'll leave this letter with a final question and thought: I don't understand why we forsake each other in person and seek each other from the safety of distance. And why choose a partner to build a life with if that person does not engender your trust and rouse your emotions? Food for thought.

An Iranian javan

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* Putting down plumbers

Mr. Rezakhani's article ["Not too deep"] is anything but deep. And isn't it a little insecure to put down midwives and plumbers in an effort to obatin identity and make a confused and incoherent point?

If Mr. Rezakhani is a historian, no wonder why "every midwife or plumber" feels free to express views on the subject matter--while not wasting time carrying out the necessary "research" of the type that in any case apparently only Mr. Rezakhani knows how to do.

I also advise Mr. Rezakhani not to envisage lecturing an electrical engineer (let alone a midwife) how to do their job! Signal processing (not to talk of bringing people into this world) is too valuable for him to pester with.

Hossein Samiei

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September 5, 2000

* Googoosh, Khomeini & the moon

In the midst of all the hyper-adoration of the legendary Googoosh ["Baptized in tears"], undoubtedly the most influential and mimicked Iranian cultural icon in the past century, it may be relevant to remember that at the time of the Iranian republican revolution she is said to have seen the likeness of the Ayatollah Khomeini on the face of the moon and eulogized the leader of the revolution, only to be sent packing, shut up and left to sing in private, as she has said, for her husband. On the occasion of her second coming, the irony should not be lost that the future that she promoted robbed her of twenty years of artisitic life, for which we are all the more poor.

Guive Mirfendereski

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* Tears for Googoosh, not just Iran

In addition to the "Malaagheh" letter, I would like to respond to "Baptized in tears" gibberish as well, point by point, and more. I was also at the New York concert. Yes, everyone was crying but every tear shed was out of joy. Rozeh khooni is a melancholic event. The comparison was absolutely irrelevant.

I have never known an artist being able to make 15,000 people cry at the same time. All the tears were shed for Googoosh and not just Iran and nostalgia of good old days. If Iran had never experienced a revolution and was still under Pahlavi monarchy and Googoosh had still decided not to sing for 21 years, the same tears and wave of emotions would have existed in her concert >>> FULL TEXT

Fariba Behnegar

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* Some have wider view

In reply to Mehdi Payravi's letter "Hope God guides you (or destroys you)": You should not assume that you can speak on behalf of all Iranians. Some Iranians have a wider view that doesn't exclude any aspect of human experience from the realm of what art can legitimately address.

Zara Houshmand

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September 4, 2000


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September 1, 2000

* Hope God guides you (or destroys you)

I surf your site every day. But this week you had a so-called painting of a naked woman on your front page. Shame on you.

You are not Iranian. Iranians have "hojb o hayaa". You are a disgrace to the Iranian people. I ask God to guide you and if not destroy you!

Mehdi Payravi

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* Tired of films with poor kids

If we really think about movies like "Children of heaven", "Apple", etc. , you see all these miserably poor kids, doing incredible things so that they can buy a god damn "shoe" or "watch". I'm sorry but I can't sit there and watch a movie where all women are covered by a chador all the time and you hardly can see their faces. I'm also getting tired of seeing misery and suicidal people...etc.

It doesn't represent my reality and it doesn't inspire me... it just reminds me how awful things still are in Iran >>> FULL TEXT

Dario Margeli

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* Ghoncheh Tazmini?

I wonder if you can help me. I rented a movie The 13th Warrior with Antonio Banderas that came out in 1999. At the begining of the movie, there was a brief appearence by a beautiful Iranian woman. Her name was Ghoncheh Tazmini. Could you tell me about her; where she is from and is she a popular actress?

Floyd Gadd

Editor: Never heard of her. But there's a poem by a person by that same name (very uncommon name) in the Iranian women's web size, zan.org.

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* Jokes made to protect Reza Shah

I just want to mention that there is a research that shows that jokes against Turks and Rashtis were part of a strategy to prevent protests against Reza Shah. Unfortunately I have forgotten the reference but I hope if someone knows about it will provide information.

Also I should remind you about the famous poet Ostad Shahriar who said about this subject: Beh rashti kaleh maahi khor, beh turki turke ... gofti

Ali Moradi

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