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November 17, 2001

* Rushdie & Hitler

All I ask is why? Why put Salman Rushdie on the cover of The Iranian online magazine? ["A good person"] I don't think this magazine should tailor to anyone's preferences, but this looks like a purpose provocation of emotions. It is disturbing,as Rushdie is.

Rushdie can be classified as one of the several confused immigrants from Asia. His family didn't leave for Pakistan when the nation was formed from India. After his first visit to the United Kingdom, he came to the conclusion that he obviously enjoyed the UK more than India (possibly the food, atmosphere, people, etc.).

He decided to emigrate to the UK. This was his first step in creating his "independence" from what he was. His second step was Midnight's Children where in assessing the first years after the split, he slanders both Gandhi and Nehru, the founders of the modern state of India. His second step was removing previous links to his religious past. For this, he wrote the book The Satanic Verses.

Regardless of his literary abilities, he is of a specific lot of writers over the ages who have renounced their past in order to be viewed as acceptable in their new surroundings.

Most, if not all, Jews have a problem with the work Mein Kampf because of its demonization of Jews and its negative tone toward Jewish people and their religion. Though all Iranians are not Muslims, the vast majority are, and it makes just as much sense in putting Mein Kampf or any other one of Hitler's works as the cover story of a Jewish magazine as it does putting Mr. Rushdie's new book on the cover of The Iranian.

I would honestly consider the appropriateness of some cover stories before posting them on this website.


Arya Abedin

Editor: Emphasis and bold lettering by author.

* Fumigation

From Shahriar Zangeneh's piece, "The R-word"

"... the West should complete the fumigation of the region and in the process earn an eternally grateful ally"!

Commentary anyone?

K. Maghsoodi

* Is speaking up un-American?

I read your response ["How can you bear it?"] to my playful article titled "Under bright lights"]. I don't see the connection between my article and your enumeration of life amenities such as "realization of dreams, sending our kids to college, buying a house, reaching the top of our profession", etc.

I don't know about your background in Iran and your current means but I can assure you that I and a large number of Iranian expats can currently move back to Iran and create the same if not better economic means for themselves. But that's not what it's all about. The reason we've stayed here in the US and became naturalized citizens of this land, and proud Americans I might add, is largely the level of freedom we have enjoyed here and the equal protection that we've had under the laws of this land!

To suggest that speaking up against the current erosion of our social freedoms and the equal protection under the law, is somehow un-American and unappreciative is not only absurd but also dumb! How would you like to be stripped off your right to an open trial with a jury of 12 ordinary citizens and be judged secretly by a panel of military officers who could convict you with 2/3 of their votes?

Your comments group with the same bunch back in the 1970's who thought that speaking against the US involvement in the Vietnam war was un-American and reason for packing your bags and leaving! We know who the history is siding with on that one!

As for me, I plan to stay right where I am and participate in the political process as a freedom loving citizen. And I won't bring myself down to ask another freedom loving American to pack up and leave just because he or she disagrees with me!


Ben Bagheri

* Desperation father of wrong choices

Reply to "Correction":

It is not unusual for one generation to try and correct the mistakes of a previous generation. What would be unusual is if a generation can avoid making the same mistakes. That's when you know you've learned something.

The mistake your fathers made was disliking the regime in power so much, they were not too picky about what replaced it. They proclaimed, "anything would be better than this!" until they fell from the frying pan into the fire. If I read your article correctly, that's exactly the mistake you're about to make.

Desperation is the father of wrong choices.

Haj Mirza Khan

* Look "within"? Where?

I noticed some interesting responses to my article, "Correction". Thank you all for good thoughts, this is the real dialogue of civilizations! (I hope Mr President is listening.)

Just had some comments: To Mr. Talaee ["Do NOT make same mistakes"]: I don't believe I am making same mistake as other generation by following a PERSON. If you read carefully, I said clearly that this revolution is not about Reza or anybody else, it is about democracy. As far as looking within, millions of my generation look "within" every day and ask what can we do with our life? Can we go to some of the best university in middle east? Can we go study in best university in US and Europe?

There were 50,000 Iranian students in US before revolution, the highest number of foreign students! (Now, we are happy if we can study in Ukraine or Armenia or Daneshgah-e-Azad!) Instead of studying and coming back to build their country, some of them spent all their time supporting NOT a democratic movement, but a fundamentalist religious movement! They have high jobs today, and send ansar-e-hezbollah to shut us up when we are upset. I don't know where else to look "within" to solve this.

To Chiva Tafazzoli ["No shades in between"]: I and everybody are aware that this government was put in BY the people-of the OLDER generation. But that is not enough - we are also aware that it is neither OF the people or FOR the people. That is only 1 out of 3 conditions, and therefore fails to be a democracy.

To Samar Shadkami ["Youth in better position"]: I am not sure what you are saying. You are 30 years old, and spent most of your life in Iran, and described the same problems people like me experienced. So are you the young generation or the old generation? We are the same generation I think! It is true, you and I spent the best years of our life under Iraqi bombsand missiles, watching our friends die, and almost dying ourselves.

Watching our friends lose hands and legs and suffer from Chemical attack. We had no future and a lot of akhound telling us what to do. All I am saying is that the previous generation were allowed to get on a plane, go to the US with 1 dollar = 7 toman, and study in the best university. If they wanted to stay in Iran, there were some of the best universities with the best equipment and professors for them, and they could continue later in the US. Many of those people took advantage of that, and still complained by supporting NOT a democratic movement, but a backward Taliban movement, and are now telling us to be "patient".

Like Mr. Talaee said, they went after a PERSON because they didn't like to have a shah?!? They ended up with a worse shah. (How "mature" do you need to be to understand that this was a bad idea??) I am sick of them telling us now to be patient and 10 years is nothing in history. Easy for them to say, because it is not their life. As far as freedom in Iran, I don't know what you are thinking. If you believe there is freedom in Iran, I invite you to go and talk to the people on trial behind closed doors right now. If you can.

And as far as representing Iranian youth's opinions, neither you or I can tell because Iranian youth are not allowed to speak. I only say these things as my opinion, as one Iranian youth. I know many agree with me, and I respect the many of those who do not. But none of us know how many are on which side. Hopefully, we will find out one day- when we have a democracy ! :-)

In the hope of that day,

Ahmad Javan

* The day when we do not need a leader

I, like many others, hate to kick the dead horse again and write about monarchy. But for the sake of Iran and the remote possibility that some may venture fishing in the muddy water , I had to write these few lines.

1- Please read The King and I (YAD'DASHT'HA-YI ASADDOLLAH ALAM) and especially the introductory chapter by Alinaqi Alikhani. Please note that these sons of slaves (GHOLAAMAANE KHAANAH-ZAAD) knew the constitutional monarch much better than you and I.If you do not read it , you may regret it later.

Now , will you honestly accept a permanent and hereditary physician and/or lawyer for you , your children and thereafters without even being able to fire them? Then are the shahs and Valye Faghihs any different?

2- Please remember that the last four constitutional Shahs died abroad with complete approval and jubilation of the people. All four of them had sworn to Koran to uphold the constitution. Fool me once shame on you , fool me twice, shame on me. How many more times shall we be fooled?

3- In regard to the exiled self proclaimed "RAHBARS" , funny , YEKI RAA BE DEH RAAH NEMIDAADAN SORAAGHE KHAANAEH KAD-KHODAA RAA MEYGEREFT.Why do we need a leader anyway ,especially when they have not even lived in Iran for the last 25 years? The day when we do not need a leader is the day that we are mature and free. Electing a campaigning person , yes.

A saviour on a white horse , no.


* Wonderful poem

Dear Editor: I just read the poem "Yaad kon" by Sheema Kalbasi on your web site and I thought it was a wonderful poem. It is unusual to express emotions by simple words. In "Yaad kon", Sheema has been able to project her deep sense of emotion to the readers very beautifully. We would like to see more of her poems on your site.


Shahriar Etemadi

* Not a new country

The Persia/Iran debate ["Cultural continuity"] is silly, but then some like the same run-of-the-mill clothes only if they bear a pricey marque de maison.

I am not sure what is worse, Mr. Khadivar getting the date of Persia/Iran decree wrong or Peeroz getting the date right but misconstruing the "decree" altogether. For the record: Prior to 1935 and since that time, the Iranians have always called their homeland "Iran." The 1935 "decree" was in fact a circular sent to the foreign diplomatic and consular missions in Iran asking them to henceforth refer to the country as Iran in their parlance. The decree/circular did not create a country without any heritage or identity, it simply brought the rest of the world up to speed.

On the subject, here is a passage from Mission for My Country by H.I.M. Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi Shahanshah of Iran (McGraw-Hill, 1960), p.15:

I still clearly remember an incident when, as a young Crown Prince, I was at school in Switzerland. Our milkman asked me one day which country I came from, and when I told him Persia, he said: 'Oh yes, I have heard of Persia, That's in America!'" Long afterwards [an Iranian visiting an Indian reservation in Arizona] was introduced to a warrior resplendent in feathers and war paint, who asked [the visitor] in perfect English: "What is your country?'" "I come from a far-off place called Iran or Persia," answered [the visitor]. Immediately, the Indian's face brightened, and extending his hand in salute, he said in excellent Persian: 'Salaam alaykum! Hal-e shoma chetore? Greetings, how are you."

Guive Mirfendereski

* Put out the fire they started

A Muslim spokesperson will not have enough clout for the job.The U.S. is the main cause and direct blame of anything nasty happening around the world.The U.S. has to learn to pay for oil , just like every other country in the world.After the ww II,the Brits realised this and pulled out of the middle east and were replaced by the yanks.Since the war they have bombed more than 20 counties around the world.They start the fire and surely they need to put it out.

For the past 11 yrs, the U.S. has been the driving force behind U.N. sanctions against Saddam Hossein and the 22 mil. Iraqi people.Estimates vary, but the World Health Organization and UNICEF studies certify that sanctions are responcible for the death of more than a million Iraqi civilians, including more than half a million children. Genocide is taking place right now , every day, in Iraq, by the very power that claims to set the standard for democracy, freedom and justice.

Attacks on civilians can never be accepted. However, it must not be forgotten that although the era of colonialism has long been over, the U.S. countinues to further its own interests by commercially exploiting developing countries. It has been intervening in the local politics of independent nations not to help them but to secure its own global interests. Arms are supplied to countries in civil war, military groups have trained using U.S. capital and U.S. experts. This is what happened in Afghanistan and with Osama bin Laden. Why are American politicians averse to diplomacy? Violence will only creates more violence >>> FULL TEXT

Farhang Asfarpour

* Opposing Jane Fondaism

Leyla Momeny's opinion piece "Opposing John Wayneism" about anti-war dissidents in America, is in my opinion, a flawed contribution. For one, readers not resident in the USA might well be left with the impression that the supposed "anti war" movement in America is far larger and more influential than it is in fact. Although it is true as Momeny reports that anti war activists have emerged in the wake of the American counter attack on the Taliban and their "guests," their numbers have been fairly small. In the San Francisco Bay Area for example--certainty one of the most left of center spots in America-the largest demonstration against the war gathered around 5,000 people. I can assure you, as a long time resident, that is minor by San Francisco standards whose residents consider demonstrations a hobby. By contrast at the start of the American/British-Iraq war in the early 1990s, around 200,000 people demonsatretaed on a single day in this city against the war. Hopefully this adds some perspective when one considers the level of American opposition to the war in Afghanistan. I can assure you when President Bush gets a majority approval rating in San Francisco, a city where Republicans are an endangered species, it constitutes a mandate from America's liberals and radicals.

Further, as Momeny's article implies much of the supposed anti war protests are actually multi issue affairs ranging from opposition to the death penalty to opposition to globilization. To call them "anti war" protests grants them far more consistency and coherence then they deserve. At best, the war has only been a catalyst for a group of permanent dissidents to vent their favorite causes. And of course there is always the reunion factor: activists from the 1960s frequently show up at such protests to relive the "good old days." Indeed, these veterans of the 1960s have been predicting the return of a mass anti war movement for over 30 years now without I might, add much to offer in the way of proof. But there is the same old reunion every few years, when ever even one American soldier is deployed in a combat role >>> FULL TEXT

William Baker

* Ajami = deaf

In comment to the letter "Dubai: Closest thing to home", in the work, it states that the "Iranians" of Dubai are referred to as Ajami. There must be clarification here. Ajami DOES NOT equate Persian in the Arabic language. Farsi (Arabic) = Parsi (Persian) = Persian (English). Rather, ajami literally means one who is deaf in Arabic. All non-Arabic speaking populations are called Ajami. Hence, Iran used to be referred to as Ajam also. I wouldn't encourage other Iranians to refer to themselves as "deaf", which is a word deriving from an Arabocentric Era.

I have been to Dubai; it's nice, but I wonder where the allegiences of "Iranian" Emiratis stand on, say, for instance, the issue of the disputed islands between Iran and the UAE (Tonb-e-bozorg, Tonb-e-kuchak, and Abu Musa)?


Arya Abedin

* What are we?

"Where are you from?" my students ask when they see me for the first time. Especially Iranian or Arab students. It is "the eyes" I think!

I say to my Arab students (having to answer this many times):"No, I am not Arab". They very promptly say:"Iranian?" and usually follow this with some Persian phrase that I can't understand.

I say to my Iranian students:"I am part Iranian" on which they glow and happily start chatting in Farsi. Words that I most of the time don't understand!

Shame on me! But what is expected of someone like me? Mother Yugoslav, father of Iranian origin who never lived in Iran and me living in the UK, married to an Iranian who calls himself Persian and is a practising Sunni Muslim!

More confusion!!! Arabs don't like Iranians, religious Iranians are not keen on Sunnis or non-religious Iranians, non-religious Iranians are not keen on any religious Iranians but somehow, in my classroom I can see my Iranian student's eyes sparkle when they hear of my origins. And somehow, I feel privileged to have such diversity in my life.

But I ask myself very often when people say "IRANIAN" are they aware themselves at that moment how many different perceptions of what "Iranian" is, exist! My father was Iranian, I am Iranian, my husband is Iranian, my baby boy Ali is Iranian, but all of us have completely different identity with the Iranian culture and the Iranian people. Or perhaps, this is wrong. Perhaps, we are not Iranian, we just wish we are.

We are, in fact citizens of different countries and so, in the process of losing our roots, we are trying to root ourselves back by stating our affiliation to Iran or to a particular religious (or not) movement.

Why can't we just be PEOPLE with memories that make us belong somewhere in our hearts, just like looking in the photo album, but instead this photo album is our heart that has no pictures, just feelings that we KNOW belong somewhere. Far away perhaps, for many of us, but they make us cry and make us sing and make us happy and make us hope that one day we will return.

Return WHERE?

Dr. A. Stones-Abbasi
London, UK

* Positive changes

I read Mr. Yahya Kamalipour article, "Media village", with great interest. All the more as the film industry was never considered as seriously as today with the development of multimedia tools and their applications which allow things such as streaming video on the Net. As for Cinema which I personally like to defend as opposed to other entertainment forms is barely a Century old. Is Cinema an Art form or not is debatable. The United States has certainly most contributed to the development of the Industry. Hollywoods Golden Age dominated by major Studio's such as the Big Five that is MGM, Paramount, the 20th Century Fox, The Warner Bros, RKO, as opposed to the little Three Universal, Colombia and United Artists (the latte sunk to one film Michael Cimino's "Heaven's Gates") marked the Age of Big Studio's and monopoly. It is to the credit of America's Edison (even if France equally disputes the creation of the Cinema as an entertainment due to the frères Lumières) to have raised this Industry to a major Art Form. One of my favorite passtimes as many yougsters was watching films.

I'd like to draw attention on the following website //www.reelclassics.com/ dedicated to Hollywood classic films which nurished me and in that I am much debted to Iranian television and movie theaters before the revolution. Films notably American have influenced generations worldwide. However to this day may it be remembered that the first film producer in the World is India with no less than 300 films per year. The films are nevertheless unequal and hardly exported, though recently with new coming Indian filmmakers "Bollywood" is if not replacing Hollywood establishing its reputation in the Far East. As for Iranian Cinema it has most probably acquired its highest reputation paradoxically under the current Islamic regime. Mohsen Makhbalbafs latest film "Khandahar" is probably the first Iranian film (Though on an Afghan subject) to have attracted no less than 800 000 seats in the first two weeks in Paris. Cannes film festival no doubt was the first International film festival to have privaledged films worldwide and despite its excesses has been a formidable trampoline for Middle Eastern and third World Country films. Other film festivals have raised attention such as the Venise Lion d'Or as well as the Berlin film Festival (even if the German film industry has not made a major comeback since the seventies). It should be noted that the Kish film festival has also made a certain echo and it is to the credit of todays Iranian Cinema Industry.

Positive changes were made in this respect thanks to the work of Iranian film makers and co-productions with foreign distributors despite the strong degree of censorship which must have contributed to a creative challenge on the part of the film makers. Mr. Kamalipour raises the question of globalisation American media and thus the "American way of life". This is not new however the reverse is also true with film festivals held in America. "Sundance" independant film festival as well as Canadian film festivals have contributed to the viewing non American Films. The succes of "The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain" a rare French film directed by Jean Jacques Jeunet have proved that small budget films with subtitles can have their audience even in North America.

What has certainly changed in the West however is the transition of what was considered as an Industry to an independant Art form. Obviously not all productions are masterpieces, nevertheless the Cinema industry has evolved especially with the introduction of video on the Web which allows broadband broadcasting to private homes. This is certainly a technological breakthrough that can represent a threat for the traditional Cinema Industry. The pleasure of going to movies and sharing emotions with others is a unique experience that cannot be felt on television or home Cinema. The excesses of this trend are seen with the multiplication of channels as well as shows such as "Cast Away" which now have their derivatives in Europe with more or less success. I believe that traditional Cinema must continue even if Television and tomorrow private Media networks can contribute to publicising films in general and encourage the urge of going to the Cinema.


Darius Kadivar

* Uplifting

Susan Warda's article, "So Iranian... So American", was very uplifting in a time of great confusion. Please publish more like that.


Ian Forry

* Disgraceful and distasteful

The picture of Mr. Mahdavi-Kia that has been dubbed by Hadi Khorsandi is a disgraceful and distasteful attempt at making humor. At the same time he is putting down one of our best athletes for his personal agenda.

I would suggest that you act more sensitive with regards to our heros and remove this from your site.


Tourang Birangi
Houston, Texas

* Keep Blasevic

Iran lost this time but in every loss there is a lesson to learn. This time we started the qualifiying games with having practiced only for 6 months. Although we had one of the best coaches in the world, but the reality is that he is a human like others. He can not do miracles. I think 6 months is not enough to prepare a team for important games such as WCQ games. When France was eliminated in 1994 world cup games, their coach said, "Give me four years and I will take France to the final and we will become a world champion." And they didit through four years of hard working along with a good plan. What I want to say is that let's not loose Mr. Blasevic. Let's keep him. This man can prepare our team for world cup 2006 and I will promise you that Iran can get unbeleivable result in those games. Let's not forget about the team and then hire a coach and try to put the team toghether in 6 mothns. This approach will never get us the results that we want and deserve.

Although this campaign was unsuccessful, it was not neither the players nor the coach's fault. They both did a good job. They did more than what was expected from them. We, all Iranians are proud of you. We love all of you and will be our heros for years to come. Blasevic built up a fantastic team within the time period that he had.

We have Asian cup coming up in two years and the next world cup in four years. Let's keep Blasevic and give him all that he needs to build a good team. Let's try to put them in a relaxing environment away from side perssures. Then we will have a team that has something to say in international battles. They can be one of the best in the world and this comes from the bottom of my heart and i believe in it.

Please think about this. It will give the result we want.

At the end I wish the best for every one of our players and Mr. Blasevic. Mr. Blasevic please don't leave us. Stay and help us to build a strong team. Even if you leave us, which we don't like at all, just remember something, we all love you. You will remain a hero in our hearts.

Thank You

Best wishes for "TEAME MELLI"

Lets just say it one more time, "MELLI POOSHAN PIROOZ BASHID."


Babak Monajemi

* Mage meeshe vel kony?

salam koby joon, ["Kobra Khanom"]

eeeeeeee,,mage mishe ke vel kony bery?? mage daste khodete?ma hesaby aadat kardim be to,,be harfaat,,be nasaayehet,,hala beryyyy?? man taze ba harfaat ehsaas mikardam ke aamaadegy baraaye ezdevaaj va moghaabele ba moshkelaat daram,,,,eeeeeee,,,yadam rafte bood ,,man shohar daram,,heheheh,,,bebiiiiiin az esghe to ,,paak shoharamo yadam rafte bood. bayad begy be ma ke chy shode??? khodaii nakarde moshkele khaanevaadegy baraat pish omade?? az ma khaste shody?? hoghoogh behet kam midan?? chy shode akhe?? kholase bia va dobaare ozvy az khaanevadeye ma besho... jaane man bargard...goftam jaane man,,,,,,



* Ease the loss

I like to notify the friends and fans of Moji Agha, that he recently lost his mother. A message of sympathy to <mojiagha@qwest.net> would help ease the loss, as we all have to go through loss of our loved ones, while we live away from homeland.

Mojgan Rahmani M.D.

* Promote jaffari faith

Yesterday while i was searching the web about mumin brothers and sisters in different parts of the world i came across your address so i thought of mailling you.before going any further let me introduce my self. i am R.SAJAD HUSSAIN 26 year old engineering graduate from kashmir(INDIA). i think we should know as well as keep in touch with one another so as to know what all we need to do to protect as well as promote fiqa jaffari from attempts that are being made to distroy us.time and again i had been writting to different leaders of our community perticularly to mujtahid's in iran about different hardships that our brothers and sisters have to face perticularly through the hands of hardliner sunni's. but i have come across a little sucess.

see for yourself how our brothers are treated in pakistan, how talibans in afghanistan are masacerring our brothers,take the case of iraq although we are in a majority there but still tourtured, have you ever thought about all this? why this is happenning ? what measures we need to take to stop all this? take the case of jews see how isreal is helping them through out the world,i shouldn't say but still i salute them for their concern for their community.compare their concern for their community with our's. we stand no were. hope to hear from your side very soon.

With regards,


* Ali Reza Ghaderian

I am hoping you will take time to reply to this email. I am trying to locate a person by the name of Ali Reza Ghaderian. His father was mayor of Isfahan about 20 years ago. Ali came to Maine in the United States to attend the Oak Grove Coburn School. I was his English teacher and he lived with our family for three years. Our boys have considered him an older brother. Now that our children are married and have a family they have inquired about him. We were in touch for quite a few years but I think he moved. His family owned a kitchen cabinet company.

Any help you can give concerning how I can locate him would be helpful.

Thank you so much,

Susan Morris

* Ahmad Moradkhani

My name is Mehdi and i am looking for a lost friend , Ahmad Moradkhani who lives (lived?) in Germany. Anyone with information about him please let me know.

Mehdi Moradkhani

* I just want to know

I have been searching for twenty-three years to find out if my husband is still alive.Is there any anybody can help me? Please, I have had enough crap from both counties. I just want to know. I will never stop looking for him. Death is the only way I will stop!


Marilyn McQuilkin

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