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October 21, 2002

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* Iranians get caught up in the look of things

Although I appreciate that Mr. Bagheri [Uncharacteristic civility] is writing to report a recount of the new Iranian subway system for the rest of us that can't experience it first hand, I must say that he needs to think a few of his points a bit deeper. First of all, in a country were people's freedoms are so infringed upon, it would greatly benefit some, to give the illusion of freedom by handing out goody bags. I doubt what Iranians need is to have the aesthetic feeling of being in Europe, due to the novelty of a much delayed transportation system.

I am not discounting the importance of this infrastructure for our country, however, I worry that us Iranians, far too easily get caught up in the look of things, for the price of the deeper meaning. Recently I visited Iran, and got a first hand feel of not only Shomal & Joonebeh Tehran, but also the nooks and crannies of most other cities. What I found over and over again was a third world country occupied by first world and first class citizens.

We are a product of 2500 years of civilization and history. This is a nation of people who understand good mannerism, respect, and kindness, not to mention possess amazing amount of intelligence. To classify Iranians as Uncivilized is bit of "Kam Lotfy", and an insult. I agree that we should celebrate this small milestone, and pray for bigger and better strides towards true "khareji" (foreign) human rights, comfort, and freedom for our fellow Iranians.


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* I feel hatred

This is just a thought: I believe in human beings living together in peace and harmony and especially in a stable Middle East for our children, and those after them. But every time I remember what the Iraqi army did in Khoramshahr and how our "osara" were treated under this regime, I feel hatred, sadly not only for the Iraqi regime, but for its people as well. [Can't forget or forgive].

This regime in Iraq and the army has been encouraged by the typical Iraqi familly, the Iraqi mother, the Iraqi sister... As an Iranian woman (who has never lived in Iran by the way) I cannot forgive and forget, try as I might.

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* Helped my research

I just wanted to thank you for having such a great page on the Revoultion. It helped me a lot on my research paper two years ago.

Ariane Goodman

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* This is Islamic Justice?

The pictures of public hangings in Tehran truly chilled my bones. This is not only sad its outrageous. How can it be possible that such actions be still possible today in Iran. This is Islamic Justice? This is a Republican Justice? How can in such circumstances one take pride in this regime and its doings? I could hardly look through the whole thing.

Mr. Khatami talks about a dialogue of civilizations. Well If this is a sign of civilization then I don't recognize Iranian civilization in such a sadistic act. This is a shameful act meant to intimidate public demonstrations. Whatever these people have commited this is no civilized way of delivering justice. Shame on this inhuman and backward regime.

Darius Kadivar

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* Dar madh-e Ali

Khanom Azam Nemati,

man Seyyed Mohsen Emamzadeh az Iran(Tehran) hastam. nemidoonam shoma kojaee. man dashtam Javad Zabihi ro search mikardam too Internet ke avvalin mored 1 siti ro peida kard ke 4 ta tracke Mr. Javad Zabihi ro too ooon site gozashteh boodan va az shoma bekhatere send kardane oona tashakor shode bood.

man 1 khaheshi az shoma dashtam. oonam in bood ke aya CD ya navare "DAR MADHE ALI" e Javad Zabihi too oon track ha bood ya na. man kheili vaghte 2nbale CD ya navare DArMadhe Ali hastam amma khoodam be khatere Moshkele sarbazi nemitoonam kharej sham. vali kheili doost daram in DAR MADHE ALI ro dashte basham... agar shoma ettelaati darid lotfan mano bi javab nazarid....

Mohsen Emamzadeh

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* Shalmu tranbslations?

Could you tell me if you know of any works of Ahmad Shamlu that have been translated into English.

Thank you,

Shara Ammen Nguyen

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* Seeing what is important in life

Mr. Taghaboni, the Iranian husband of Mrs. Natalie Taghaboni (I don't them), is indeed a lucky man [Mixed and Matched]. He has found love in a wise soul-mate. Congratulations to him, and to Natalie for seeing clearly what is important in life. I feel enchanted to have read such a lucidly wise article.

Publishing gem articles such as this one, makes up for his many "sins" of publishing many inane and even trashy articles, which he unfortunately does publish. But as Natalie points out, nothing is perfect. Thanks again Natalie, especially for you heart. Please have more children, if appropriate, because the futue world needs healthy humans.


[Uncle] Moji Agha

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* May Allah protect you

Dear Mr. Zadeh

I read your article on the web today regarding the hanging of Kordieh and the manner and means by which that took place. You are a brave man and clearly special. May Allah protect you.

Henry Page

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* Because they are civilized and we are barbaric terrorists?

When I read this sad news in the media, I became very disheartened, sad and upset. For a moment or two I thought this is the medieval era. How civilized people who have hearts, feelings, emotions, families, and loved ones themselves, could bar hundreds of thousands of other people from family reunion and visitation right. This, in my view, is a gross violation of human rights, and a profound disrespect to all Iranians and Americans of Iranian descent. If breaking a family bonds is not abhorrent, these kinds of laws are not inhuman either.

The lawmakers, it seems, had no idea how causing legal visit barriers for Iranians can be counterproductive, emotionally harmful, and mentally depressing for many Iranians living in U.S.A. as well as for their families living in Iran or other countries. I cannot believe this is the 21st century, where human race claims that man has almost reached a high level of understanding of human's emotional needs.

Passage of this bills against Iranian immigrants means we still have a long long way to go in order to learn how to respect each other, how to appreciate human values, how to settle our political problems, and how to minimize our differences peacefully and wisely. I feel this new law is a vivid and clear insult to all Iranians and American Iranians.

I am deeply offended and feel my nationality and pride is heavily trampled by U.S. lawmakers. Is this the way to reduce the differences between the peoples of two countries and, is this the way to offset the existing cultural and social differences with understanding and mutual respect? Isn't this law a form of discrimination and violation of human rights? If no, why is that nationals of 23 countries (mainly European) can visit the USA without visa requirement? Because they are civilized and we are barbaric terrorists? Or is it because they are rich and we are poor? Or because they are one of yours and we are one of THOSE?

Aren't your actions a breach of human rights, at least for those Iranian Americans who live in the USA as citizens? Aren't they entitled to all rights given to a human being or to a U.S. citizen? I do have problem in comprehending why in this country, where human rights is so dearly valued, the most primitive human rights of a specified section of its population would be ignored so easily in daylight, publicly, proudly, and legally. Is it because we are not regarded as humans just like any other group of people in this country?

Human rights and respects should not be disregarded in USA only for those who have blue eyes and are from a particular part of the world? This law in a way says "Even Iranian Americans have visitation right no more" and "All Iranians are terrorist or have the potential to be one". Is this interpretation not correct? Let's pause for a moment. Even inmates and convicted criminals have visitation rights. What kind of beings are we regarded as, subhuman or some kind of human looking animals? Amazingly, this bill was passed in 97 to nil vote. It seems not even one law maker thought or felt or believed or argued against this bill at the time of voting. This is a mind blowing event. In a real democracy, where interest groups are not that strong to impose their views, interests, and policies on the majority, in most cases voting results are a mixture of YEAs and NOPEs votes. But 97 to nil!!!! Against Iranians?

What has happened here? Iranians are the most peaceful, passionate people, rich in culture, tradition history, and manners, with hearts filled with love and kindness and, hands always extended for helping others. Iranians are in love with poems, arts, songs, music, paintings, and tenderness. So how can I accept that in USA Iranians are regarded as a potential danger to the country? Is it fair and just to generalize the whole people of a nation as this law has? This is a very sad story. Iranians are now regarded by this law as some kind of germs and viruses that are to be avoided by all means. It seems just carrying the signs or name of Iran with you, in any way, is enough for you to be considered "Guilty As Charged".

Mehran Payandeh

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* Entirely and totally wrong

Unfortunately you are totally wrong on the issue of Captain Rogers in many many ways [Another misconception]. Your claim that the US offered an apology over the USS Vincennes incident is entirely and totally wrong. In fact the US to this day officially blames the entire event on Iran - this despite (retired) Adm. William Crowe's later admissions in a Nightline interview & revelations by Newsweek in an article entitled Sea of Lies (by John Barry) which showed that the US was the aggressor.

To this day, the US OFFICIALLY claims that whatever compensation paid to Iran was purely "ex gratia" meaning that the US was under no obligation to pay, and furthermore that the whole incident was the fault of the Iranians and not the US.

You can read this on the State Department's official "press advisory" which was issued at the time the compensation was offered. (by the way the US offered 1/3 per Iranian civilian that it demanded from Iraq after an Iraqi missile accidentally killed several American naval servicemen in the USS Stark incident - apparently Iranian lives are cheaper than American soldiers' lives.

Note that they claim the USS Vincennes was acting in self-defense in international waters - though Adm William Crowe later admitted that the Vincennes was in Iranian waters and the Newsweek/Nightline investigation showed that it had initiated the attack. this was a fact that was totally covered-up and lied about by the US Navy.

Was it just an accident? The word accident suggest that no one can be liable because it was not intentional - but in fact there are unintentional acts that are criminal. It may have been unintentional, but that doesn't make it "just an accident" any more than a car wreck caused by a drunk driver is merely an accident (sure, the drunk doesn't "intend" to cause a wreck, but he is still responsible for the consequences of his actions.)

And since there was no real investigation into the VIncennes massacre (Adm. Fogarty's investigation presented falsified maps to the US Congress - and violated the Navy's own rules on the conduct of such investigations) then the facts must speak for themselves: Captain William Rogers III of the USS Vincennes on July 3 1988 did intentionally, knowingly and illegaly enter into Iranians waters to initiate a firefight with lightly-armed Iranian patrol boats, and in the course of this illegal act and due to his own criminal negligence, ended up shooting down an Iranian airliner full of civilian passengers minutes after it had taken off and while it was still in Iranian airspace, when Rogers either knew or should have known that it was a civilian airliner.

The US navy then tried to lie and cover-up the actual facts, and were successful until Iran filed suit in the World Court, and provided documents proving that the Vincennes was in Iranian waters, and then the Nightline and Newsweek interviews came out - but to this day the US has failed to acknowledge its responsibility or that it officially LIED. And for your information, the Iranians did accept the compensation and there is a case on a different aspect of the VIncennes incident and the US role in supporting Saddam's war against Iran is pending before the World Court.

You need to brush up on your knowledge of the facts. I suggest you start by reading Capt' Carlson's letter which was published in the Naval Institute Proceedings (he was there in the Persian Gulf at the same time and obversed Capt Rogers' actions) as well as the Newsweek/Nightline investigation report.

J Mohammadi

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* Great affection for African Americans

I am dumbfounded! This is a quick response to a letter that you published [Disgusting], with shameful comments on African Americans. Please put this email right next to that; let it be clear who we truly are and what culture we are representing.

I am out of words to describe how I feel about this miserable pathetic piece of nothing, who dares writing such dirty words about another minority group. It doesn't matter which one but in this case the one that has been victimized the most in the United States. And now another minority member assumes to carry out the dirty job of insulting the Black man. This is coming after it became known that one of the cops who hit a Black boy in California had a Persian name. What makes it unbearable to me is that the writer calls himself a Persian! What made this pig to make his announcement as "a Persian guy"?

What culture did he grow up in, that taught him to discriminate against a color or ethnic group? Are we all representing the same culture? I am as Persian as it gets, very nationalist and for that matter with very white skin. But I never learned such dishonest attitude about the Black man. In fact we all grew up with a great affection for African-American social movements partly because some of our heroes were Mohammed Ali, Malcolm X and for those who were raised politically aware Mandela even from the days he was a prisoner. We have very dark skin people in our country with no discrimination against them because of their color of skin. This is the proud of are background.

This "disgusting" anti-Black attitude here in US is just a result of the so-called Trans Atlantic trade that established slavery centuries ago. That's why you can't find similar race issue --at least of this magnitude and so mixed with all aspects of life -- in other societies even in Europe. This is an unfortunate American phenomenon. People like this "disgusting" guy are just repeating something that's the product of another culture and deeply non-Persian. Shame on you. Allow me, on behalf of myself and our cultured fellow countrymen, congratulate Daryl Pendelton and Maryam Ovissi for their marriage with best wishes.

G. Motamedi

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* I admire your every brain cell

I immensely enjoyed reading every word of your article [Lost passport] . The one element that attracted me most was your sense of realism and honesty. I like your writing style which is quite rare among Western educated Iranians. It seems many of us become quite proficient in the language of this land as you have become, however we can't shed the styles thought at school in Iran.

You definitely have developed your own signature style of writing. I admire each and every brain cell that produces this type of writing. I hope you someday solve your passport problem and can travel freely again.

Don't let hormonal changes take over your life as to where you need to live. Shit smells the same in every country. The difference is that in some countries they use the bidet, paper, shelang, and in others they use kolookh and aftabeh. All are free to choose their method of cleansing.

Thanks for putting up with my Bull. I am also suffering from my version of hormonal changes at this time in my life.



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* Dickens, Steinbeck & Sayar

You said it so eloquently. Well done! [Lost passport] Charles Dickens or John Steinbeck could not have been able to express this dilemma and your feelings so movingly. Thank you very much.

Abbas Atrvash
Toronto, Canada

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* I can relate

I really enjoyed reading your article. Have you ever considered writing? [Lost passport] I was recently in Iran after 28 years and can relate to what you are feeling at this point. Any way good luck with your passport search , who knows may be a reward and adds in the paper would bring it back to you. Take care...


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* Tarafeh moghaabel ra dark konim

man chand saal ast keh mehmaaneh stie-eh shomaa hastam. va az khaandaneh maghaalehaayeh, khaandaneh daastaanhaa, naameh-haayeh digaran va gheyreh lazat mibordam--va mibaram. beh tavajoham resideh keh zaavieyh-ee keh shomaa az ghazaayaayeh mokhtalef neshoon midahid, mamoolan az nazareh siyaasi, "liberal" va "Democrat" hast. [Opinion]

baraayam kheyli sakht ast agar bekhaaham keh yek maghaaleyeh hesaabi keh masalan tarafdaareh jang baa araagh ast peydaa konam, yaa keh maghaaleh keh az khatami tarafdaari nemikonad, yaa isreal-i haa ra nemikoobad... een keh kasi tarafdaareh aghaayedeh masalan "liberal" haa baashad, dalil bar een nemishavad keh neveshteh-haayeh tarafeh moghaabel ra nakhaanad yaa nabinad. ziraa hengaami aghaayedemaan mohkam mishavand keh tarafeh moghaabel ra besyaar khoob dark konim. agar naa, faghat harfeh khod raa tekraar mikonim bedooneh eenkeh bedaanim tarafi keh baahaash bahs mikonim che aghideyi darad.

dar zemn tavajoh farmaayid keh nagoftam "aslan" peydaa nemishavad--goftam kam peydaa mishavad. manzoor nadaaram keh "generalize" bekonam. lotfan be een janbeh deghateh bishtari befarmaayid.

baa tashakoreh besyaar az zahamaatetaan,


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* Saddam

Please tell mr. (small for a reason) hussein to kiss my ass.

Ed Crossley

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* Afsaneh Fal Ghayumi

I am looking for Afsaneh Fal Ghayumi. I don't know if her name is spelled correctly or not! She lived in Isfahan and was born in Munich. I don't know how I can find her email address.

Ehsan Alirezaii

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* Death threats?

I heard from a reliable source close to the Billy Graham family that an Imam in Iran called for the deaths of Jerry Farwell, Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham for blasphemy during a public radio address. Can you confirm this or give me any details?



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* Shah Abbas died hundreds of years ago

Dear Mr. Rezakhani,

What was your real intention by writing that comic piece? [Chenin konand bozorgaan] You can also work on some subjects which are related to our recent problems. Shah Abbas died hundreds of years ago.

Good luck.

Mikael Moradi

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* Very poorly written

With all due respect sir/madam,

This article on the bob Dylan concert, is truly a very poorly written article. [Just like a woman]

A Bob Dylan fan,

Foad Vafai

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* Nose job: Info

I have read your article about plastic surgery in Iran which was very interisting [Eat, sleep, nose job]. I have a friend who had asked me to look for plastic surgions over the internet in Iran because he would like to have one for his nose.

He is a 28-year old Kuwaiti man who had heard about how successful are such surgeries in Iran. He is ready to pay all the costs for such a surgery. Can I ask you please to provide me with some contact numbers of hospitals or surgions who may help my friend? And if you think you can help us please reply as soon as possible. Thanks for your efforts.


Dr. Mehrez Jadaon,

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* Why do Iranians condemn their own?

I don't understand some Iranians! Many Iranians and their families have been troubled by political turbulences. For a variety of reasons they may want to hide their identities or national origin. Many have become Americanized or Europeanized, said in vague terms, which is completely fine.

The part I don't understand is why so many see themselves and other Iranians from the eyes of the non-well-rounded Americans or Europeans! This has a huge impact on their demeanor and treatments of other Iranians. Some Iranians literally feel they have put themselves in a more superior position if they automatically condemn or ignore their own countrymen. The benefit of the doubt they often give to the Anglo-Saxon or even other Xeno-groups, is comfortably deleted from their minds when they encounter other Iranians.

Many other cultures experience or administer xenophobia whereas the new Naturalized Iranians embody the xenophilic approach and repel the idea of embracing their own people. How many times, have I not heard women, men and even young people screaming how they are happy or even proud that they don't have Iranian friends. "I stay away from them" is the classic proclamation, we are all familiar with.

Iranians with American or European passports are at the top of this pseudo-societal pyramid. They are followed by those with permanent residency cards who ask each other if they have yet satisfied the qualifications for naturalization and at the bottom are those poor Fresh Off the Boat people.

Why don't we all give each other the benefit of the doubt and categorize ourselves as humans rather than foes? And NO - I am a not a FOB! Peace be upon you all and humanity.

Sean Donrad

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* How many Iranians in the U.S.?

Hope all is well. I am trying to locate some scientific and somewhat accurate count of the Iranians in the United States. All I have found, is some old 1990 Census data which is probably way undercounted. Can not find any from the 2000 Census.

Do you have any source, web or otherwise that you could point me to. I am hearing that there are over 600,000 people in Southern California (LA and OC area) alone. The only real figure I heard was from the IR Dept. of Foreign affairs in some media quoting a spokesman that 'there are 2.5 million Iranians living abroad'. One could imply that may be 1 million in North America?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Need to this for a marketing project in the Greater LA area.

Good wishes,

Hossein Hosseini

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* Demeaning and disgusting

These pictures was truly disgusting! [Ms. Cookandclean] Now I defend your right to Publish anything you want openly. But it doesn't meat that we are suppose to like it! I found it demeaning and disgusting to the women who are IN Iran at this time and this is what they do, weather they like it or not! It was also very cold - uncaring and insensitive towards their situation!


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* What some Iranian writers are up

In case you're curious about what some Iranian writers are up to or you do any travel writing... check out this site: //

I'm the content/managing editor and we got voted 4th place to get published on the web in Writers Digest (last January).


Farnoosh Seifoddini

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* Cycle of stupidity

Couple of my successful girl friends in Tehran have saved enough money to buy their own apartments, yet they are bound by social norms to stay within their parents' prison. They end up marrying guys they do not know just because those same supposedly wellwishing parents prohibit them from mingling with boys
at the right age and instead fill their minds with a lot of crap about what is right.

Girls complain about men who are not willing to make a commitment and those same girls actually eliminate any possiblity for young boys setting dear prices on themselves!! I was wondering when this cycle of stupidity is going to end.

I wish you could elaborate more on this subject. A lot of people read your magazine. Might be a good start to shake off so much dust off these lousy social norms.


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* Produce something cheerful




Changiz Domiray

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* Fantastic pieces of ART

Dear Armand, [Living canvas]

What fantastic pieces of ART, canvases as well as the photographs. Thank you very much for sharing your art with us.

Wish you well & more success.

H. Hakimi,

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* Simply kitch

Mr. Armand's works [Living canvas] are simply kitch, childish and sensless and technically very badly done!

Dariush Radpour
Rome, Italy

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* She wanted it. End of story

I am writing in reply to Mona Shomali's "Zapped" feature discussing the great social pressures driving her to undergo laser hair-removal. With all due respect to Ms. Shomali, I think she is undergoing hair-removal treatment for only one reason: because she wants to. That is all.

Blaming "the West" or "society" for her decision ignores her personal accountability in the matter and amounts to incredible victimology. If she personally saw no aesthetic liability in her having facial hair, then, by all means, she would, if she were half as independent-minded as she purported to be, stick to her guns and look the way she saw fit. Instead, we see her voluntarily conforming to social dictates then blaming society for her own decisions.

The fact of the matter is that there's nothing at all wrong or immoral or culturally degrading about doing anything you see fit to enhance your appearance. Many people in this day and age, including Ms. Shomali, find excessive hair on women unattractive. This may or may not have been true in the past, and there may not be any "objective" rationale behind it, but it is what it is.

I disagree that it is merely a matter of mimicking Western notions of beauty. It is no more a matter of ethnocentricity than European-Americans tanning their bodies to look darker. That is, unless Ms. Shomali believes that blondes in California who obsess over their tans are just conforming to Greek or Persian or Punjabi notions of beauty. To criticize or otherwise blame Persian women for wanting to remove excessive or unsightly hair under racial / cultural auspices, is as ridiculous as blaming European women for wanting to undergo cancer-causing tanning treatments under the same rationale.

The bottom line is this: Since Ms.Shomali finds no aesthetic purpose for removing her facial hair, then she should make an example of herself for all the poor, brainwashed, masses of Persian womanhood, and show her stuff!


Agha Bijani

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* Why was Amanpour denied entry into Iran?

I am living in the United States and a watchful viewer of CNN. Can anyone shed any light as to why CNN's Christiane Amanpour has been denied entry into Iran with the group traveling with Jack Straw? It has been reported that it is due to Ms. Amanpour's previous coverage (approximately 2 years ago) of social changes there.

Ms. Amanpour is a highly respected (and trusted) journalist, though viewed by some as controversial, here in the United States. We would like to understand the decision by those who chose to deny her entry with those accompanying Jack Straw's group (if in fact this is true).

My own personal family has had ties with Iran, and as Americans, in general, we are most concerned and most interested in affairs abroad.

If anyone could reply, it would be greatly appreciated.

Denise L. Kreps
United States

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* Good to have you back!

So good to have you back!!! [Nazanin's great leep] I missed your stories a lot :)

Sharareh Shirazi

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* Indonesia: Iran revolution

i am from indonesia. by the way, i have an interest in iran and its history especially the iranian revolution. and i want this book 'iran revolution'. if u have that book please give it to me or the copy of that book. thanks a lot.

anityo nugroho

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* Shahyar bekhan

salam be to shahyar,

ma az inke to goftei digr nemikhahi bekhani vageaan narahat va afsorde shodim. ma trane haie to ra doost darim. ma dar tarane haie to azadi ra lams mkonim. parvaz mikonim. khoob mishavim. mikhandim. migeriim. ashegh mihsvim. (be to ke fekr mikonam az hamishe behtarm). caset doostat daram ha. vageaan oj rahaii ma dar mian kalamat ahseganeyev to bood. ma too ra doost darimm.

shahyar jan haman behtar ke mardom adi to ra dark nemikonand. geshr tahsil karde va honari iran alageye shadydy be to darand. to expercionism bozorg hasty. to maanaie tarane ra be ma fahmandi.

felan khodahafez. khahesh mikonam chand kalami baraye ma benevis.

Amin Saleh

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* Tried to portray him as an enemy of the West

I had not read this "The coming Oil War" by Paul E. Erdman, the author of "Crash of '79" [Making history]. The latest was to be adapted for the cinema, but finally abandoned given the complete turnover of the situation in 1979. In some ways Erdman's novel was visionary in that it truly depicted the power of Oil and the geo strategic importance of Iran by the mid seventies and the Shah's power. It nevertheless was totally wrong on the Shah's intentions and personality. It tried to portray him as an enemy of the West, which was not the case as the true events that followed were to prove.

A number of books were to be written on the Shah which like crash of '79 were to deter his image in the West. Gérard de Villiers bestselling author of SAS books "L'irresistible ascention de Mohammed Reza Pahlavi Shah d'Iran". His book is very well informed and researched for the time and he even mentions Khomeiny and his revolt back in 1963. Read today it gives a gloomy look at the Pahlavi reign which seems quite out of proportion.

Some other novels were to be written on the Shah in the years that followed the 1979 revolution like "The Horse of Darius" by Justine Cartwright an exciting thriller that takes you from Saint Moritz to Teheran. The main character is a German proffessional killer who befriends a beautiful so-called Ashraf who is supposed to be an un recognized daughter the Shah had with a German mistress. The assassin is to kill the Shah in return for a great deal of money. Will he succeed? That is the plot of the story.

Another fictionous book was written by a certain "Michael Kir" or "Kirr". As funny as the authors name would seem the novel was nevertheless an interesting story of how with the help of Iranians in the diaspora the son of the Shah Crown Prince Reza is reinstated on the Peacock throne and Shapour Bakhtiar once again takes office. Unfortunately I cannot find the book's title but in anycase it was quite entertaining.

The interesting thing about these books in retrospective is how much reality surpassed fiction. They nevertheless say something on the paranoia of World politics in the Cold War Years in regard to Iran and vice versa.

Darius Kadivar

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* When are we going to wake up?

Dear Mr. Bayegani,

I truly believe that most of my fellow Iranians are educated not only in terms of having attended college but in terms of natural intelligence. I am so disappointed that you really believed in this portrayal of the crowned cannibal's wife [Regal grace]. Don't you see that this is put together by a highly paid group of people as a great public relation campaign?

Let me tell you about a 7-year-old Brownie who had to attend a ceremony in Abadan in a freezing morning to offer a bouquet of flowers to this queen which she despised. All the girls who had lined up where shivering because of the strong wind and the queen in her warm knee length fur coat walked by and took the flowers from her and simply put her hand on the little girl's head.

That little girl wanted so badly to spit in her face and tell her she had been forced to do this but she remembered that her family could be affected and kept her mouth shut). Would you not think that this supposedly compassionate (far from it) lady should have expressed concern about these kids catching pneumonia? Not a chance. She did not give a shit (pardon my French because the memory fills me with anger) and did not even look at the other girls. Were you aware that many Iranian artists were committing suicide for being impoverished or rotted in her husband's jail while she gave money regularly to American artists?

When are we going to wake up and accept the fact that the mullahs came to power because people were fed up with this queen and the rest f her greedy relatives wasted our resources and killed our educated minds. Have you ever been in a desperate situation that anything seems better than what you have? I lived among those people long before there was a revolution and am proud to have participated in gathering against the crowned cannibal (may he rot and burn in eternal hell). I hate the mullahs too but I vividly remember what the last Tyron did in Iran.

I hope you asked your beloved queen to cash in some of those priceless jewels she wears while frolicking with the rich and famous away from the Iranian media and donate it to poor Iranian. Then again where are the 50 some billion dollars of Iran's stolen assets? I pray that like her husband she suffers except I want her to live in exile for ever and die homeless and not be able to take anything to grave.

Please don't be influenced by such a theatrical bullshit. I had a boyfriend (in the early 1970s) who hung out with these people and drank and did other things with them. I used to think his stories were fabricated to make me curious and wanting to go with him but I have since found out from Americans who attended those parties that the stories were all true. She is not the innocent and gracious lady you think she is. As a matter of fact she is far from gracious.


Azam Nemati

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* Iranian organizations in Spain?

I am currently in Spain and thouroughly enjoying the experience. I am taking classes here at the University of Salamanca which is located a couple of hours NW of Madrid. My semester lasts until mid December and afterwards I am going to take a semester off and stay in Spain until about the end of May.

I am trying to get an internship here, anywhere in Spain, and I was wondering if you know of any Iranian organizations where I could be an intern. I would really love to work with Iranians and get a sense of how we are in other parts of the world, not just in the US. If you know of anyone or have any contact information that you could provide me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Khayli mamnoon,

Arezou Raeisghasem

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* No lander

Ms. Katayoon Hadizadeh's recent work truly expresses what most of us have been experiencing. [The land of no land] I want to thank you for your words on the world of 'No Landers.'

With Kind Regards,

Sheema Kalbasi,

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* Two plus two is not four

Saddam hussein has just won one hundred percent of the vote in Iraq. This ridiculous assertion violates among other things physical laws. Voting machines in this country are not one hundred percent accurate; that is if one hundred percent voted for him because of inaccuracies slightly less would register. Also every voter showed up. Not a single one was sick or had an accident on the way.

Hussein is claiming he is above physical law. George Orwell in describing an ultimate tyranny said it must state that two plus two is not four. The whole notion of truth must be cast aside. Here we are much freer. We know what two plus two is but considering the education system not much more.

Sh Mahmo

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* Corrected: Mahmoudi-Khansari

We don't have such singer named Mahmoud Adib Khansari. we have Adib Khansari who was a prominent singer and another singer by the name of Mahmoudi-Khansari. Azam Nemati has mixed-up these two singers. Of-course she is not to blame since she admits that it has been long before her age.

The songs played is sang by Mahmoudi-Khansari who passed away a few years ago.Fortunately Mr. Adib Khansari passed away before Islamic Republic and was one many lucky people who did not experience this ruthless regime.

F Rafat

Reply: It was my mistake and I corrected it. Thank you. -- Jahanshah Javid

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* The "hairy face" comes with a package!

Dear Mona,

I enjoyed reading your article on laser hari removal [Zapped]. This is just to say that you certainly have a good sense of humor but misssing the point by looking at the issue as Iranain women's issue (altoghugh not all Iranian women are very hairy as you depicted!).

It is not only our problem, living in Britain I noticed many European women have hairs (all over their faces, ok it's blond or colourless) and majority think that they look better removing those hairs! Not to mention British old ladies who have a special talent in growing culry white or slightly dark beard or mosatch! If you are in doubt come here and see it for yourself! But we tend to only crtitices Iranian culutre because it's easier, it is non-western or non-American therefore it is legitimate to be frowned upon!

There are good and bad things in Iranian culture just as any culture. Moreover the "hairy face" you described comes with a package! We as a nation have the most beautiful eyebrows in the world. When I first came to UK, an English painter told me that she thought Persian eyebrows were so pretty in their paintings, having seen me then she relised where the inspiration for the painters had come from.

I took it as a mere complement but many young Iranian girls and women and certainly yourself have lovely dark beautiful eyebrows and eyelashes (your picture). Look after yourself and belive me you look much better without mostach! best Nazy

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* Jajarm alumina plant?

Can you confirm the startup of the Jajarm alumina plant? What is the current operating rate and when is it expected to reach capacity levels.

Also, I would be grateful if you could send me any recent news article on the plant. Thank you very much.

Ralston Johnson

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* Piano teacher: Emanuel Melik Aslanian

I'm trying to find my beloved piano teacher, Mr. Emanuel Melik Aslanian. He should be in his mid-80's. I would like to find out any information about him. Does anyone know him? He plays classical piano and has studied in the Hamburg Conservatory during the World War II.

He used to be my piano teacher since I was seven years old and is one of the greatest Iranian pianists to date. Many of the greatest Iranian pianists to date inside and outside of Iran used to be his students.

Please e-mail me any information you have. Thank you!


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* Ms. Khorsandi: Don't make political statements

Perhaps Ms. Khorsandi should stick to writing in a light hearted and irrelevant manner she has been doing, rather than start making political statements. Perhaps someone needs to tell Ms Khorsandi that turning up to one peace demonstration does not make one, an expert in politics. Her remarks in "Taking to the streets" are ample evidence of her ignorance.

She says of a Muslim group she saw on the demonstration and I quote" On the banner they had drawn the Star of David, the 'equals' symbol, then a Swastika." Well my dear Ms. Khorsandi did this Star of David happen to be blue on a white sheet, with two blue line going across it on top and bottom?

Well if you don't know, that is the flag of Israeli, incidentally a fundamentalist state, same as the group whose actions offended you. And yes many people on this plant, human rights activist included, believe and rightly so that the actions of the Israeli government have been similar to the Nazis and the fascists, at least ideologically speaking. I do not think the "scary bearded guys" you bump into in the demonstration where being racist to Jews. However they were making a statement the behaviour of Nazi politicians are not dissimilar to those of the fascists.

There is no rule in the rule book saying that if a race has been subjected to fascist atrocities, then the same nation can not in turn become the aggressors themselves. Any person who kept an eye on the atrocities committed by the Israelis in Jenin, and Neblus earlier this year not to mention the killings of Palestinian people in the refugee camps in Sabra and Shatila in 1982, could be under any illusions about the ideology of the Israeli government.


Azad Rahnama

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* Are you joking?

Dear Cyrus,

Let me start with answering your very badly posted question and your closing statement: one thing is to marry a non-virgin girl, wherever from, another thing is the fact of she having sex the night before the wedding. [Real Iranian girls?]

Are you joking, or what? The fact that a person, male or female, had other experiences shouldn't be a condition for a future good, loyal, and happy marriage, at least for any fair and reasonable person, w/o double standards.

Having sex the night before the wedding is totally another situation and indeed is not acceptable by either parts; and then is not a matter of *letting* her. But these are concepts that I guess you'll never get since you seem proud of your cave age thoughts ... ! In your shoes I would just be ashamed.

And please let me tell you, that the "piece of cake" you are referring to is very gros, and definitely not chivalrous; I really wonder how, with such kind of language, thoughts, and behaviour you ever did get to date a decent "self-respecting" girl, not to mention anything more!!

Will you please tell me if your mom was virgin or not? In case how would you judge that? Or you think that is ok only for western girls to be like that?

I just believe you talking like that because the girls you are referring to just didn't want to date you, bc they know they can get much better deals out there. And let me tell you that there are iranian virgin girls that have had sex w/o total intercourse, so how would you know? Which one is better, an honest girl about her life, or one that preserves her virginity for guys like you?

Did it ever cross your mind that those girls in Iran wanted you bc they were hoping to get out of Iran, and being free, even at the cost of marrying you?

I personally believe chastity is good for both male and female, but with one's own faults is not fair to judge others. So please grow up and be a real man. Instead of getting the worse of the iranian and american culture try to get the best of them.


Mine Same

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* Artificially ethno-centric

With increasing amounts of articles from "minority" groups (which, when added together, make up a large segment of Iran) complaining about how their special status has been oppressed by the IR, I'm beginning to wonder what these individuals wish to achieve by distinguishing their plights from those of the rest of Iranians?

If you, as a Balouch, Bahai or Azerbaijani feel that you are the only victims of the current madness that passes off as a governement, you are being not only artificially ethno-centric, but you're wrong. Iranians in general are the victims, not just some particular part of the population.

I believe there are opportunists eager to use the current state of Iran to advance their own separatist causes, which can hardly result in anything positive. The dismantling of Iran will not serve the interests of any of its citizens, no matter how much they would like to think so.

Let's hope that brighter days will eventually come for our country, and let's support ALL Iranians that are fighting for this.

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* Elburz, Nevada

I read your comments about Persia and Elburz [Persia, Iowa]. I know that there is a mountain range called the Elburz Mountains in Northern Iran. What does the name Elburz mean?

If you would have followed that gravel road in Nevada just a couple of miles you would have seen one of the most beutiful valleys in Nevada, with several ranches and a railroad siding. Yep, just like Persia, Iowa.

Elburz, Nevada was named by the railroad. Elburz was originally called Peko but the railroad changed the name because Peko and Elko which is 17 miles west, sounded to much alike on the radio.

Just thought you would like to know,

Ralph Allen

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* "Aghd" & Persian parties

I was wondering if you knew or had a copy of the verses of the Koran that are said during the "aghd" part of the wedding. I'm Persian and I'm writting a paper on the difference between a Pakistani wedding and a Persian wedding. Since I'm half and half.

I was wondering if you had a copy of it in English (translated). Please let me know if you do not have it where i could find that, but if you do have it can you please send it to me as soon as you can? Thank you!

If you ever know of some good Persian parties please let me know of that too. I just moved to the L.A. area and I'm not adjusting very well. Thanks!


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* You've put it out of context

Dear National Iranian-American Council,

I have read the article posted to your web site, which states in part: "Washington DC, October 10, 2002. Representative George Gekas (R-PA) has introduced immigration legislation that would ban all visas to Iranians (except diplomatic visas). The legislation, Securing America's Future through Enforcement Reform (SAFER) Act of 2002, H.R. 5013."

And further: "The bill will prohibit visas to all Iranian nationals. The bill singles out Iranians since Iran is on the State Department's list of terrorist-sponsoring nations (Section 811). It will prohibit visas to all Iranian nationals or residents, although the State Department can make exceptions on a case to case basis."

I have read the latest version of HR5013 (draft) and am unable to determine that the above statements reflect either the intent or stipulations of HR 5013 (draft). A copy of HR 5013 (draft), plus a summary, is attached hereto, as are links to their source. A word search on these documents for "Iran" and "Iranian" failed to come up with any matches. See this & this

While it is true that you include the qualifier statement, "...although the State Department can make exceptions on a case to case basis.", you do not attempt explain the import of this statement in terms of what it means for ordinary Iranian visa applicants.

Moreover, by using phrases such as "...ban all..." and "...prohibit all.." you make it simple for quotes to be lifted out of context in order to create a false impression of an absolute and unreserved prohibition when in fact none exists.

I have already received messages from Iranians who have been misled by your efforts into believing that visas will in future be impossible to obtain. Keep in mind that the new selection (or de-selection) criteria contained in HR 5013 (draft) apply to all visa applicants - not just those from Iran.

There is nothing new to Section 811, or to its application to Iranian visa applicants. Please therefore point out to me those portions of HR 5013 (draft) which you feel support contentions that: 1.) Iranians are specifically being singled out for special and disadvantageous treatment under HR 5013 (draft); and that 2.)

But for exceptional and extraordinary circumstances, consulates are prohibited from issuing visas to Iranians. False, misleading, and inflammatory statements (e.g. "...will prohibit visas..."), coming from a organization such as yours and widely circulated among the Iranian community here and abroad, further contribute to the sense of paranoia and to the wildly improbable world-views based upon conspiracy theories (the British, the Arabs, the Jews/Zionists, the CIA, ad nauseam) that are so harmful to Iranians attempting to come to grips with their world.

On the other hand if you've made an honest mistake for whatever reason (misreading of the legislation, excess of hyperbole, poor editing of web site copy), one would expect NIAC to generate a correction of a prominence equal to that given your original statements.


William H. Phillipson Texas

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* You are rebelling against mom

I admire Miss Benvis's courage to express her feeling [Mom & marriage]. Although mothers have best of intentions for their kids but the ultimate decision is yours. If you are convinced you know what you want in life and "not being married" is one of them, sooner or later they will accept and respect your wishes.

Part of the problem is her Iranian culture and friends because to us marriage matters. Things are changing and we are slowly learning that marriage does not necessarily bring happiness and of course being independent does not mean you can not be married (provided you marry an intelligent Iranian man that truly treats you as an equal and respects your opinion and takes them into consideration).

But, please do not ever let someone's pity for a condition you have become a factor in convincing you to marry that one. As a matter of fact that should be a deterrent. A person should love you and accept you as you are and no demands for changes should be placed on you.

Tell your mother that by pushing you to get married she is actually discouraging you because in a way you are rebelling against her. Perhaps if she leaves you alone to make your own decision you would view marriage differently.

Azam Nemati

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* Your site is getting more silly and aimless

The more I read your site, the more I am convinced that your site is getting more stupid by the day. Bunch of stupid short stories, some not so artistic paintings. It seems that any one throw a splats of paint onto canvas is now an artist. Some idiotic theme you call arts or photography of a donkey.

If you want to be an elite site that really discuss intelligent topics then your site is welcomed, otherwise you are wasting my time and yours. For a few years now your site is getting more silly and aimless.

And by the way please spare us from your big fat friend with an Indian wife who goes all over the world but back to his home country and comes up with some B.S. pictures of his dog and wife.

And please spare us from those primitive paintings from Iran you call ART, it is more like FART.

Oh I forgot that you folks are from California. In California every thing goes-including your site. Do Good work for the sake of an honest and intelligent journalist.

S. J. Jowkar

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* Iranians will like this site

I would like to share some links for the conspiracy theorists among the readers. Iranians historically are more akin to be in this category as our history was never made in the open. If you like to hear some convincing (as much as a conspiracy theory can be) arguments that the 911 attacks were monitored and not hampered by the us government I suggest you check out

I just like to mention that the editor of this site who is a former police officer (highly decorated) once won a debate with the former cia head which most likely unseated him. He incidentally has written on the relation on savak's activity in the us drug trade. Did you know that the Canadians have given an american refugee status as he claimed to be a former us intelligence operative with foreknowledge of 911?

It gets more interesting as he wrote and sealed his warning naming wtc in a jail cell prior to 911. How about a picture of Osama bin Laden's U.S. government ID without a beard. The guy looks much better with it.

Mustafa "Mike" Ansari

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* "Father of Iranian cinema" dead at 77

Mohsen Mahdavi, Persian film star and much loved husband and father, passed away at the Royal Free Hospital in London on Thursday 17th October 2002. He was 77-years-old and had been fighting cancer. He leaves behind his beloved wife Vartoush, three sons, and seven grandchildren.

His renowned acting career, which spanned several decades, earned him the title of "the father of Iranian cinema". He was also much respected for his translation of Americaln and British films, as well as writing books and poetry.

As a father, his kind and gentle character ensured that his three sons were not only his greatest fans, but also his closest friends. He will be sadly missed and in our hearts forever.

Hossain Mahdavi

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* Why only American liberals?

Why is it that your organization always has American liberals having their articles published [Opinion]. You should be ashamed of promoting a bunch of lieing lefty's. God bless America and George Bush.

John Sarraf

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