Sehaty Foreign Exchange


  Write for The Iranian
Editorial policy

June 4, 2001

* Understating

Dear Ms. Sohrabi, ["Where do you start?"]

I agree with you that words such as "genocide" and "apartheid", and others such as "(new) Hitler" and "Holocaust" are thrown around quite carelessly these days. However your outrage at Mr. Mirfenderski's article ["Article 64"] seems disproportionate. You say: "How dare anyone stick to segregated buses and beaches and call this situation apartheid?"

But there is more to it than that. You seem very knowledgeable about women's rights in Iran so I will not elaborate for you how the "religious" law has in fact been treating women as non-equals to men especially in the area of family law.

As you say, the problem is cultural as well. The "religious" conservatives's viewing of women as sexual beings whose sole goal in life is to tempt men to fulfill their own sexual desires has affected the interpretation of Islamic edicts on the "modesty" of women, resulting not only in the wearing of the veil but also strong encouragement for the woman to remain in the confines of her home to fulfill her "duties" as wife and mother.

The women you talk about, the courageous "journalists' wives" and parliamentarians who are seeking reform are fighting an uphill battle. That they are striking some victories is a testament to their tenacity against a system that has in fact put in place a legal and cultural structure to render the female population second-class citizens.

You say that the situation of women in Iran is far better than the Blacks in Apartheid-era South Africa because they weren't even considered citizens. You say that what is what actually is going in Iran is a system aimed at reserving freedom only for a small group of people. Iran is simply not "a textbook modern progressive society".

If Mr. Mirfenderskii is guilty of hyperbole, I believe that on the other hand, you are understating, which is not productive either.


* As bad as Affirmative Action

Thanks for a wonderful and insightful article by Guive Mirfenderski ["Article 64"]. It is unfortunate that we need to spend time and effort expounding these issues that, for the most part, have been understood in the civilized democracies.

Article 64 of the Iranian constitution resembles the affirmative action laws in the U.S. that were put on the books to help Black men. They turned out to have the opposite effect. Black men are not any better than they used to be. According to the data, the beneficiaries have been women (White and Black). Black women replaced Black men because they are both women and Black.

Article 64 is supposedly providing representation for minorities. However, in reality, they are shunned as apostates and their representatives in the Majles are relegated the job of providing window-dressing for religious misconduct of the regime as Guive's article shows. This is another regressive article of the constitution that needs to be eliminated in order to put all Iranians on the same level.

Thanks for bringing it to the fore for our needed attention.

Hamid Zangeneh, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
Widener University
Chester, Pennsylvania

* Join the real world

Hamid Zanganeh's opinion regarding permanent politicqal and economic developmen in Iran is a typical opinion held by almost all Iranians ["First things first"]. It is so removed from reality, so vastly distant from one's daily life experience within an Iranian community or society outside or inside Iran.

After the Islamic Revolution, wherever Iranians have gone, they have taken their fascist, authoritarian and absolutist values with them and have been and are right now busy exercising them amidst Iranian communities.

All Iranians, inside and outside Iran, possess the mental ability of a three-year-old child, and unless we start properly bringing up this child within us to face the world out there, instead of spoiling it by favouratism, nepotism and exclusiveness etc., we shall remain the three-year-old child we are and have been for thousands of years, forever and ever and all of us will eventually die / leave this sphere of being the same as we have always been: Three-year-old children who do not like other than sweets and lollipops. Why we are like this? Because we are reluctant to let go of ourselves and let the child within us grow up, let our eyes be opened by the hostile world out there. We must look around us to see the reality.

Our most destructive problem is that we love remaining in our mother's womb forever and ever. We are reluctant to be born in the bigger world where we cannot mannipulte things according to our own wishes, where we cannot be the centre of everything, where the world does not evolve and revolve according to our whims and silly wishes; and so we do not wish to sign the consent order for being born into the real world which is out there and in which we will not be considered the only one, the dearest, the most important being in the world >>> FULL TEXT

Rana Bahar

* Thank you, Ms. Issa

I rarely right letters to any publications, but your publications of certain opinions regarding the recent exhibition of contemporary art in Iran at London's Barbican Centre has compelled me to write this.

First of all I am amazed that you published Mr Ebrahim Golestan's extreme views ["Hormat"] on the exhibition as a review of the event! I managed a brief review of Ebrahim Golestan's rightly-called "verbal diarrhoea" and was astonished at one particular comment where he depicts a wrestler's image on one of the works as coming from weak sensations and feelings of homosexuality!

I am an ordinary Iranian living in London and no art critic, but such demented comments can only come from a sad and bitter character who lives in another era. Part of the concept behind any contemporary art, whether music, film or paintings is to change (or try to change) common perceptions, present new angles and perhaps offer alternative points of view. This is a big subject and not the reason behind writing this letter.

Astonishingly you also published Rana Bahar's letter ["Gold digger"]. I am a full supporter of free speech but I think what gets printed for public consumption should have some substance. Ms Bahar says people like Ms Issa rubbing us Londoners by charging a lot of money for such exhibitions! Well, I went there and didn't pay a penny. It is free admission.

And finally for the exhibition itself? It's nothing to do with the Islamic Republic, some works actually criticise certain aspects of current social conditions in Iran. I've never met Ms Rose Issa, but if I ever do I'll shake her hand and say thank you. I enjoyed the art show.


Kamran Mirshahi

* The "migan" factor

Ms Fassihian's article, "Break the cycle", is a typical example of the Iranian woman's continued struggle in establishing an identity for herself, often at the expense of demolishing that of the Iranian man.

The flaw at the root of Ms Fassihian's argument lies in her generalization of a few cases that she may have been closely involved with. The funny thing is that she goes through a series of conflicting assumptions in order to justify her generalization. This is an extract of her twisted arguments, the so-called disclaimer:

"I am making a generalization, and I think it's okay to do so since I am qualifying it up front. I believe some generalizations can be useful if they are based on a large enough group of people. I realize that not everyone fits into this framework, and I accept that each Iranian family is different and has its own value system. I also think there might be many different variations of this framework."

This is the trouble with the misguided Iranian mentality, male or female. Years and years of exposure to American, European, Russian, Asian, etc education and upbringing has failed to teach them one fundamental lesson: Rational thinking.

While she accepts that "each Iranian family is different and has its own value system," she still goes ahead and claims that "generalizations can be useful if they are based on a large enough group of people"! I leave it to the readers to draw their own conlusions from the rest of the aformentioned paragraph.

Every single point made in her article, whether about Americans or Iranians, is based on her own limited experiences and observations. There is no evidence of any credible research, or any research at all, and it lacks supporting data.

The arguments remind me of term coined by one Professor Ansari, of an American university, who presented a very well-researched survey of the Iranians in the States a couple of years ago. In the statistics that he presented, there was also a column of data labelled as "the MIGAN factor" [or hearsay]. The "migan" data is based on the popular method that we Iranians try to report our observations of the events: "Migan shish million Irooni to Amricast" or "Migan mardaaye irooni tond mezaajand" and so on. Ms Fassihians arguments can best be classified under the "migan" factor.

Until such time that the Iranian men and women who are living or being brought up in the West can stop imitating their host country men and women blindly, there will be no end to the unsuccessful partnerships between them. If either of these groups marry the American (or non-Iranian) partners, it is most likely due to prefering the genuine material to the fake ones.

Parviz Khashaki

* Really have a sense

Dear Mitra Faalgir,

Thank you for the Horoscope. It's great. By great I mean that it was very close to the problems that I have. I think you really have the sense for this. I wish you success in your work in the future.

Good Luck!

Flora Rashtchy

* Realistic, gentle

The story written by Sheema Kalbasi ["Tak savaare jaadeye abreesham"], looks very realistic in theme and gentle in language, to me. The story could have a better finish but it really takes the reader to the depth of times past and makes them feel the story character's anxiety and feelings.

I hope to see more of these realistic stories in this site.

Thank you for your kind efforts.


A. Momeni

* Not ALL trash

After all, NOT everything published in the Iranian is trash. I enjoyed this one ["Nap time"]. As for some of the postings or short stories, as some call them, such as the ones by Nooneh, plenty of such writings could be found in porn and the like publications.

I read your publishing policy and could not figure out how Nooneh's writings are original, refreshing, interesting, etc! It seems is trying too fanatically to be liberal!

Ahmad Taheri

* Beautifully written

Congratulations on a beautifully written article about your father and Iran ["Under the shade"]. The presentation of your sensitive feelings was excellent. I hope we read more of your writings.

Manouchehr Houshmand

* Climbing a mountain

Dear Mr. Sheibany,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us ["My flag"]. As a fellow Iranian, I'm very proud of you.

I've been trying to find my path for years. I've tried many different things and I'm still searching. Most of my effort is to get from detours to the path that's right for me, and I'm not there yet. But maybe it's the journey and not the destination, as you said. Or perhaps I should climb a mountain (not a high one) to find myself.

You've given me food for thought. Thank you and I wish you all the more success in life And I wish for more men and women like you for our nation


Homa Assar

* Amazing

I saw your painting in the web site ["Lost words"]. I think they are amazing and very very thoughtful. I really enjoyed looking at them. I spent hours looking at them.

I am myself an artist and painter and I am studying at Chelsea College of Art in London.


Ahmad Chassebi

* American ball player in Iran

Here is an old story on Eric Kubel, the American guy who is playing for Zob Ahan basketball club in Iran. Story

Currently, he is the leading scorer of Zob Ahan in the Asian championships. Zob Ahan has one win and two losses, so far in the tournament.

Emad Saeidi

* Old friends in Tehran

I'm looking for old friends I knew in Tehran between May 1973 and November 1974: Roosevelt Edwards, John Lane, Florence Ives, Bill McNichols, Steve Kriegish, Mohammad Taghi Lavaf, Manoucher Shaffie, Minoo Bakhtiari, Simah Ardashesmasimian, Virginia Diehl, Cleo Diehl, Eber Diehl, Auta Diehl, Maria Spinos, David Olson, Gerald Ladymon, Tom Kingsbury, Dwight Dancy, Dan Chubb.

Any help in getting me in touch with these folks would be appreciated.

Mark D. Dunn

Comment for The Iranian letters section


June 2001
Archived letters

Letters index
Letters sent to The Iranian in previous months

Email us

Flower delivery in Iran
Copyright © All Rights Reserved. Legal Terms for more information contact:
Web design by BTC Consultants
Internet server Global Publishing Group