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June 19, 2001

* No middle ground

I've read some of the letters written about Leila Pahlavi. Somebody said: "Why some of us Iranians have to bring ourselves down to such lowest depths of humanity? ... Why do we have to prove that we are still a bunch of treacherous, inhuman and deeply callous characters?"

Isn't hatred one of the features of Irannian culture?

I still remember seeing on TV some people holding & kissing pictures of Valiahd, but look at them now? Can they be trusted? They are full of emotions that can be easily changed over night & explode & cause so much harm.

I remember some Irannian guy saying years ago to his kids "iraninaa hamisheh poshte aadam harf dar miaaran" Once in a park I saw an Irannian father telling his child, who was trying to touch a bird, "nah baabaa joon dast nazan, sang bendaaz behesh."

They burn a cinema full of people to blame the opposition! They start a bloody / savage war & fight it blindly & almost destroy the country. Then they go around blaming each other for starting it (or blame the Brits/U.S. Why were you stupid to be fooled?). They write books later & call each other names, but their 'facts' are so full of bias that you don't know who to believe.

In late 1978 people used to say "come to my house tonight for 'Allaho-Akbar-Baazi'" (going to the roof & shouting AA). As if it was a joke, people going to demonstrations & laughing & not having a clue what they were doing. Same people who used to shout with all their being 'Javid Shah', now say 'Marg bar shah'!?

I have met many who went to 'tazaahoraat', but now live in the West with two passports (which is not allowed) & say "maa nemeedoonestim". All lies / emotion / ego / gheyrat / mardaanegi / fanaticism / hatred / hysteria & no brain! Then they blame the West for manipulating / fooling them for over a century! Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me >>> FULL TEXT


* Come on people!

Are we Iranians ever going to grow up? Are we always going to wish to be something we are not? Our people in Iran are suffering and all we think of is Leila Pahlavi? I didn't even know who she was till I asked a friend.

I was 13-years-old when I left Iran WITHOUT my parents. I haven't sees them now for 14 years. I was living in Germany without knowing the language for the first three years. My parents where not rich.

I mean, I can tell you for days what I went through in my whole life. And then everyone talks about how Leila Pahlavi killed herself because of the loss of her father and living in exile. Come on people!

What does a nine-year-old care about the country she left behind? Yes she may have missed her friends, her huge home, and all that glamour around her. But being depressed because of that?!

And she didn't get killed in the hands of mollas. She was never a threat to them. Neither is her brother. Because the mollas are using our weakness for their own good. We are not united. Cheshme didaneh hamdigar raa nadaarim.

And "Princess" Leila Pahlavi? I don't think so. Ms Leila Pahlavi is better. A princess without a kingdom

I don't think Reza Pahlavi cares even just a little bit about Iran. He left because he knew he wasn't needed. I'm sorry. But if you try to take my home away form me, I die before I give it up. And if I was a king (thank good I'm not) I would fight for my people. But yes, the people didn't want him.

Khomeini had the people on his site because Reza Pahlavi was more concerned about himself and his family than the country. So he forgot the people and their needs.

And Reza Pahlavi will never be the king he wants to be. Without us he is nothing. So please don't give him and his family so much credit. A student in Iran who dies because for freedom for his people has achieved more than Reza Pahlavi has achieved in his whole life.

I just have one thing to say: PEOPLE GROW UP.

Filip Saprkin

* We all make mistakes

I have read all the letters recently sent over to about the tragic death of Leila Pahlavi and to be quite honest, I am shocked to read that some of your readers can be so heartless and cruel.

It is quite a tragedy to see someone so young and beautiful die at such a young age and some of you have the audacity to mock her death and call her a rich spoiled brat? Just because she was born into wealth and royalty doesn't' mean that she is a spoiled brat.

So she was more lucky than some of us but that does not give us the right to make judgments on the type of person she was and make negative comments on her father's reign. So the Shah made a few a mistakes, we all do, but don't say he did nothing for Iran because he did quite a lot.

Granted that the akhounds and the ayatollahs took the country back 300 years, but that does not erase what the Shah did and was trying to do. The ignorance of all Iranian citizens brought the country to where it is today. Don't just blame the Shah, blame yourselves as well.

Panteha Najian

* Callous, don't you think?

I would like to make an observation of the letter from Mr.Ashraf ["It's embarrassing, really"]. With all due respect, what is the point of defaming HM Princess Leila, who has passed away? This is rather insensitive, inappropriate, and very callous, don't you think? Even the Imams of Shia Islam acknowledged respect for the family of fallen-kings.

Plainly speaking, people who are born into similar circumstances don't usually have an opportunity to alter the outcome of their lives. We can all sympathize with the dignified responses which may make claims of rulers, but Princess Leila, like her siblings, was simply incapable of bearing responsibilites of political machinations, or historical questions. Therfore, such derogative statements are tasteless and serve no good.

It is sad that she passed-away at such a young age without realizing her own potential or possibilities. She certainly could have done much, if she had returned to Iran, where she would have been treated with much respect, at least as a curiosity by the youth.

God bless her for at least maintaining some dignity under such difficult conditions. And I think this ought to be a wake up call to all Iranian parents living abroad about unseen pressures the youth face in every community.

Most respectfully,

Cyrus Raafat

* The audacity

I cannot stand the fact that we Iranians are such bitter people. We cannot help but to rain on everyone's parade. We cannot ever sincerely wish for the good of anyone. Even at a time, such as the death of our Princess ["Leila's last ride"], we still find the audacity to hit someone once again when they are down.

I am not going to get into a pissing match with ignorant people, such as Omid Ashraf ["It's embarrassing, really"] & others, with regards to the Pahlavi's & their riches. The point is that Princess Leila died with an enormous hole in her heart: she knew she would NEVER see Iran again in a safe manner!

This is the story of many people of my generation: We cannot return to our motherland! Why you ask? Because of ignorant people like Ashraf that threaten our safety for who our families were! How pathetic!

We Persians need to learn to move on life, as life is too short to dwell on events that have occurred in the past. It is people like him that give us Persians a bad name!

May Princess Leila, as now she has joined her beloved father Mohammad Reza Shah in heaven, eternally rest in peace. I have a word of advice for all negative Persians regarding Princess Leila: Give it a rest!

Babak Kalhor

* Keep your perverted opinion

Mr. or Ms. Blevins, ["Sympathy, disgust"]

What a name? Are you Persian or non-Persian? If you are non-Persian & some soul from the West, you are shallow, ignorant & full of prejudice. You better keep your perverted opinion to yourself. We have had the touch of your inhuman counter activities concerning our country. Please leave us alone.

Persians do not need your comments about our affairs or our past history. You say "Pahlavis did nothing for Iranian people -- without their own gain in mind." This statement is outrageous & completely contrary to the truth.

1- How could you possibly read the Pahlavis' mind? Are you a prophet, fortune teller or a kind of pervert magician?

2- I am not going to point out all the industrial and material achievements the Persian people in general, gained from the Pahlavi era. If I confine myself to the subject of EDUCATION only,

A- How much did Reza Shah gain by erecting the first independent university in Iran after 1300 years after barbaric invader Arabs destroyed JONDY SHAPOUR university?

B- How much did Mohammad Reza Shah gain by erecting SHIRAZ UNIVERSITY, graduates of which are among the best physicians in the world?

C- How much did Mohammad Reza Shah gain by establishing ARYAMEHR UNIVERSITY, under the very able man, Dr. Mojtahedi? The graduates of that school hold very high positions all over the world.

D- How much did Reza Shah gain by erecting the first ultra-modern primary schools? The list can go on. But then; HOW MUCH DID THE PERSIAN MASSES GAIN BY THESE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS?

To refresh your prejudiced mind, I can recall that in the year that Reza Shah came to power, 1929, the entire students in the secondary schools, all over Iran did not exceed 1,500 souls. When there came the infamous destructive so-called Islamic Regime in 1979 we started the scholastic year by sending 8.5 million boys & girls to the classes! Amazing is not it? Is this a tremendous gain for the Persian people? Or lining up the pocket of Pahlavies?

When are people such as yourself going to stop your prejudice & be constructive? Probably NEVER. If you are Persian then you should understand the following verse: BAA SHIR ANDARAAN SHODO BAA JAAN BEDAR SHAVAD.

I wished that Mr. Jahanshah Javid would put aside his own prejudice & publish this letter for the benefit of all the others like you, who ignore the apparent facts. By the way, have you read the rest of the letters in yesterday? Do that it will open you blind eyes.


H. Hakimi,

* References

I enjoyed reading Mr. Mirfendereski's piece about Hengam Island. On the positive side, he displays how much he seems to know in many fields, such as geography, history, and linguistics, etc... and backs up his assertions with deeper context. This is good because it presents a good example of how an informed and responsible person should speak, especially in today's Iran.

On the negative side, I really missed finding any references in this piece. In the absence of references, it appears that he actually made a trip there and made direct observations -- at least in his geographical data. Was this true? As to historical and linguistic facts, I would have appreciated to know his sources.

I note that in my own recent opinion essay after the June eight elections, I did not give any references either. The reason was that the information I was giving was common journalistic data and the essay was an opinion piece, as opposed to a research essay.

Given all the above, I think that this essay would be good for the site

Moji Agha

* Challenge: Erotica in Farsi

I sent my more extensive comments on Nooneh's experimental pieces yesterday ["Really do not give a damn"]. Today I did not even read Nooneh's latest story ["Nader"]. A quick scan was more than adequate. That's all a trivial piece of non-consequential work deserves.

This is the final reaction of a reader who was amused by the first couple of stories and recognized the motivation behind why someone, anyone, would place enough value on them to be published -- and I supported it. Only from Berkeley -- a wild guess on my part -- would arise such narrow stream and self-centered vision of who is a liberated woman writer!

Good luck! I am not reading another line of your experiment in what amounts to masturbating with words! Like masturbation, it is a perfectly great waste of talent and only an insignificant and passing relief.

If you really want to advance the art of writing erotica for Iranians, I challenge you to write it in Farsi. There is a magnificent heap of cheap soft porn writings available in English. Start from pondering which word in Farsi better translates "Penetration". Not so easy... huh? : - )

Culture and language accompany each other on the road of evolution. You know full well you can only force this work out in English. Alas it is really useless and desperately in search of a clear purpose other than short-lived controversy.

Fatigued and bored with your experiment in San Jose,

Farzin Forooghi

* Jahangir

I am trying to find the whereabout of a friend I lost contact with some 227 years ago and you are my lost hope. His name is Jahangir and I can not remember his surname. He is from Shiraz. At that time he used to live near 'jaadeh zyre qoraan'. The name of the street has probably changed.

He must be about 48-50 years old now and he had a brother who worked for the Bank Sepah in Zand Street. In 1972/3 he was in the army and then he was teaching in one of the villages as part of his army duty.

I now that I don't have much information but someone might recognize him.

Yours in hope,


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