The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


February 13, 2001

Culture clash

You have definitely been in the hot seat lately with all the controversy you stir up ["Power of one", "Persian Watch Dog"]. Something tells me you actually love it though... right?

You know, I can't help but think much of the antipathy towards Mr. Mirfendereski stems from a basic culture clash. His thought processes and use of language are very Western. Almost no one else that contributes to your journal exhibits the same level of skill in language usage or logical thinking.

His arguments are very clear, concrete, and lacking in emotion. Exactly the opposite of the style of expression many Iranians value, let alone display.

We can't forget that as a lawyer, his living comes from his ability to argue successfully. To gather and analyse information, formulate strategies and deliver opinions.

Because his use of language is superior, it is easy to feel he is being condescending... especially if you are insecure. If you are unconsious and insecure, he is really infuriating. I think people are reacting to this as much as to what he actually says. I can understand why his style is threatening to others.

If you cannot compete on the same level and yet have a deep need to feel superior, Mr Mirfenderski's articles and the tone of his delivery are really grating.

I suggest that Mr. Mirfenderski submit his articles in Farsi so that his detractors will misunderstand him less and perhaps feel more competent in their ability to respond with equal eloquence.

(Dr. Kalantar really should not be writing his own letters in English ["Shocked and saddened"]. I have no doubt that he is an erudite thinker with admirable intentions and would have no trouble demonstrating this in his maternal language, but in English.... ouch!).

Another idea is for Mr Mirfendereski to continue writing in English but with the addition of a Rashti accent. That way people would feel less intimidated by his intellect and perhaps be able to comprehend the gist of his argument without needing to turn him into an unpatriotic villain. Afterall, everyone loves a good Rashti joke.

Of course my comments are a bit tongue-in-cheek, but only a bit.



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