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October 3, 2002

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* Batebi did NOT escape to Sweden

Reports of Ahmad Batebi's arrival to Sweden have turned out to be false. The confirmed news report is that he is in section 3 of Evin prison. Batebi's one-month freedom has come to an end. As we have correctly reported in the past, Islamic authorities did not grant an extension to Ahmad Batebi's freedom (prisoner vacation).

We apoligize for the incorrect news source of Ahmad Batebi's arrival to Sweden.

Alliance of Students

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* Not for public connsumption

Wow!! Darius! You certainly have something to say, dont you? [More colourful images of my country, please] The truth of the matter is this. Whereas anything (thats right, anything) may be enjoyed by a handful of people, the value of something can be measured by how much it means to the majority of the people and that in turn is reflected in box office receipts or lack thereof.

Occassionally a fine piece of performance gets by that did not get the publics attention and thus the poor box office performance. Such is not the case here [So boring, so pointless], for this piece, without question is for a very tiny minority who can appreciate this the way, say if i were to go to the kitchen and spend a lot of time and energy making something that is not palletable in any way but that my guests would honor me by eating something that is in fact awful and if you were to duplicate and put out there it would not win any favor. Such is the issue herein.

I am absolutely positive that this piece has its appreciators, but rest assured, they are in the very tiny minority. And this brings me to a far more important point.

The purpose of making a film and releasing it publicly is for the benefit of the public. If that cannot be reflected in its box office performance then the truth is out there, is it not? The film Mr. Payami made is a private piece, to be enjoyed privately. He should not have released this movie publicly. Much like a very well known actor, who spent a lot of time and energy making a movie but never released it publicly. He does show it privately but he doesnt think it is in the publics best interest because people 'in the business' have different sets of appreciations others outside do not. His name is Al Pacino.

And much like his inherent wisdom, Mr. Payami should do us all a favor and keep similar performances like this to himself, where all private parties will enjoy it, and the greater majority out there (which films are made for in the first place) does not appreciate in any way, shape or form. Period.

I thank you for taking time to comment on virtues of this film. Even though a microscope, a reference book, not to mention ample lighting with every box office ticket may be necessary. I again say in no minor a manner: Nothing was achieved with this film that a camcorder left on for two hours does not achieve.

Again, i thank you for your comments, and major appreciation of this minor film. You must really like sardines.


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* But where is the Parade?

It took a while for me to begin writing this reply to your photo essay Mr. Davoodi [Attitude]. I first needed to step away and regain composure. Only recently have I become a reader of and just a day before one of my stories, a partial autobiography, was printed there [Mixed and matched].

Your essay touched a nerve. I have long argued that propaganda is a far more effective tool than war. It destroys more nations and reputations with one stroke of a pen, or in your case one click of a Nikon.

I was born in the Caribbean, raised in Toronto, married an Iranian and living in the US. I am heavily involved with the Caribbean community there and I was at the Parade you photographed in a formal capacity as journalist and photographer. Your photos showed near naked females, crowds and raucous dancers. I freely admit that goes on in my parade. But where is the Parade? Where are the stunning costumes? Where are the bejeweled and bedecked masqueraders? I also took photographs at the parade and they showed what the Toronto International Carnival was all about.

Were I to go off to Iran and photograph heavily cloaked women, armed street guards and gun toting youths and have it published in a Caribbean newspaper as "The Iranian Way of Life" would I be faulted by those who know better? Would any Iranian protest my 'take' on your community? Would you be offended by my stilted depiction of what Iran is like?

You and I probably passed each other on the street judging by the backgrounds in some of your photos. I however saw a completely different parade. Or possibly I wasn't looking for shots of barely dressed women.

Our cultures are decidedly different Mr. Davoodi. My husband and I often joke about the fact that the Mideast tends to be cerebral while the Caribbean tends to revel in the five senses. I met a number of Iranians that day. I was proudly flaunting a flag of Iran and a flag of Trinidad & Tobago on my shirt. Your people called me over and hugged and kissed me when I spoke to them in my faulty Farsi. They loved my culture. They loved the music and dancing art that parading through Toronto.

If your readers would like to see what the Caribbean Parade was really about, have them email me.


Nathalie Taghaboni

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* Iranian Ebony

Have you ever thought about making a print edition of the Iranian a la Ebony, Jet, Latina, etc...?

Salman Borhani

Reply: Many years from now, maybe. It costs too much. There's not a large enough population of Iranians in the U.S. who would buy it. I will do anthologies, hopefully.
--Jahanshah Javid

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* Nayer Khoshnoud

I am trying to trace an Iranian friend of mine by the name of Nayer Khoshnoud. She lived in London in the early Eighties and I have been told that she now may be living in Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

Are there any Iranian organisations in that area that may be able to assist me? If not, are there any sugestions that you may have to try and trace her? I do not know her married name if she is at all married. Can you please help me.

Many thanks,

Paul Dorrian

South Africa

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* Sharing files

I like to suggest, if possible for The Iranian to setup a file sharing sevice,, for its readers. This will allow us to come to a common place to share files, music in particular.

I for one have all my music, Persian or otherwise, converted to PM3 and am willing to make them available to fellow Iranians as long as there are otheres out there willing to the same.


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* Everything REAL is divine

Regarding's motto, "Nothing is sacred",

Yes, "sacred" is what "people" think! But EVERYTHING is DIVINE. From The Air we breath, to the bread we eat, EVERYTHING is divine (Man can not spoil this divinity, but can COVER it up!)

The Only EXCEPTION is the Human Mind, which is a product of society (which is NOT a Real thing!) Everything REAL is divine & so we can love & respect the hidden divinity & disregard the forced "sacredness"!

I feel expressing the realities in a POSITIVE way, is more effective that saying the unrealities in a Negative way.

Osho, The Poet of THIS century, the Rebellious Mystic, sheds light on these delicate subjects, much more clearly than i can.

Love you all,


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* Throwing little hints

I tend to disagree with IX (I have no idea whether this is a he or she). [So boring, so pointless] I too saw the movie and so did some of my non-Iranian friends ( I asked them to see it without me). In the beginning it does take a while to realize what is going on. However, in my opinion it showed the brilliance of the director's intention.

You had to think and use your mind to try and find the relationship between the two soldiers (in case you missed the important factor here, one was from South and the other was from Azerbaijan ). I thought it was actually great to show two Iranians from different provinces which not only reflected the difference in their appearance but also in their accents.

I thought the movie had great sense of humor. Did you miss the very poignant and politically daring statement from the lady who wanted her 12 year old to vote? Well let me remind you. The vote collector told her that in order to vote the daughter must be sixteen years old. The lady answered " how come she can be married at age twelve but she can not vote"? That was brilliant.

What about the soldier's statement to the girl who had married a smuggler? He said: is there a shortage of boys in your own neighborhood? What about when the village woman was asked to look at the candidate's pictures and she said that she was forbidden to look at strangers (naa mahram)? The people in the theater roared with laughter. I also thought the director touched a very valid point which we all struggle with. Most of our people have so many problems to deal with and in some cases are not even allowed to think for themselves.

I think for some of us having lived here going to the movies is about entertainment and we forget that lack of freedom makes the artists use their art as a tool to voice themselves. You want senseless humor? Then there is no shortage of them on TV (I do not watch TV but am not ignorant). You want action and plot? Rent a John Wayne movie (I hate and despise John Wayne).

The world needs to know what is really happening and how people in Iran live. The movie makers are fulfilling that demand while trying to express their frustrations by throwing in little hints. Sorry but I loved this movie and look forward to seeing more works from this very talented and promising director.


Azam Nemati

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* More colourful images of my country, please

Reading Mr. I.X. "So boring, so pointless", and Mahyar Etminan "My big fat Persian culture" was interesting even if I do not necessarily share the writers opinion's on Iranian Cinema. Unlike Mr. I.X who should at least have the courage of his opinion by signing his article with his real name, I do not think that a film like the "Secret Ballot" is useless or pointless for it expresses something totally ignored in the West about the difficult appreticeship of Democracy in Iran but also in a region where democracy and secret ballots have often been ignored or manipulated.

Nevertheless I believe that without rejecting Iranian Cinema or Filmakers like Kiarostami, Panahi or Makhbalbaaf which have after all imposed a style recognized and admired worldwide (in the same degree as was the French New Wave of truffaut or Godard) It is also legitamate to question the image that most iranian films tend to vehicle on our country and culture. I think this is related to the fact that Kiarostami or Makhbalbaaf have been overly copied by other iranian directors who have found a niche in this type of realistic filmaking.

I would like to note that Makhbalbaaf with "Gabbeh" has nevertheless also shown another aspect of our culture and people in a film which is visually beautiful and is intellectualy stimulating flirting between a documentary style film and a fiction. Nevertheless beyond the difficulty of filming in a country where strict islamic laws impose creative restrictions, I think that it is undeniable to recognize that Iranian Cinema lacks variety.

That Iranian Cinema is in a process of self determination and self observation is a fact but this should not become a pretexte not to evolve beyond a style largely imposed by two of our greatest filmakers. In many ways Iranian cinema has become like a Carpet artisanry where one motive is repeated similarily by different directors. As any true iranian knows, their is not one single carpet that is identical and one will always find nuances, this should also become the case for Iranian Cinema if it wants to evolve.

It should be noted that if people think that making a Kiarostami style film is easy, let me just say that nothing is more difficult than making films with non professionals. Kiarostami tries to capture the innocence of the eye as in the way children discover the world around them. This is not given to any director.

It is however true that as an Iranians who have also witnessed a different Iran, I would also like to see a more colourful image of my country and countrymen and woman. Some attempts have been made by directors like Rafi Pitts who made a comic film on life in an Iranian village, which was an attempt to show a more optimistic view of life in Iran. In addition our History and culture are rich enough to illustrate in movies while attracting a larger international audience.

I am often frustrated not to find images of our blue mosques or palaces in Iranian films as much as the wide ethnicity of our country. Cinemascope is rarely used to film our countries large landscapes be them deserts, forests or snow covered mountains and lakes. I find this more often in documentaries on Iran and not enough in iranian films.

Contrary to the writers of both articles mentioned above, I believe that the filmmakers are aware of this but probably they find that their are more important issues to be dealt with in Iranian society. Iranian Cinema has become an engaged cinema for better and for worst and from this point of view it is also legitamate to encourage change without rejecting what is good in a style invented by confirmed filmakers.

Darius Kadivar

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* Boring, pointless REVIEW

The review of the Secret Ballot is as dull, boring, pointless, repetitive as the movie itself according to the reviewer since I have not seen the movie myself. [So boring, so pointless]

Mahvash Shahegh

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* Trash is easy to find

I am writing this to express my great disappointment with your inclusion of IX's review of "Secret Ballot". [So boring, so pointless] This critic is obviously an aggressive person who has no shame is insulting the director or those who go see the movie.

One can criticize a work of art (and obviously IX does not consider this to be a work of art) without being rude. A decent critic could express a negative review in a far more proper language. Although by reading just about any line of this review I can tell IX is not capable of that.

Every line of this article is loaded with putting someone down, be it the director, a bureaucrat, Persians, or hicks. Just who the hell does he think he is. I am glad that he suffered through seeing this movie. From his e-mail address [] it seems like he practices reviewing movies, labels them "rotten," then insults anyone who had anything to do with the movie. My message to him is simple: "Get a life!"

Trash is easy to find and disseminate on the internet. I wish the "Iranian" upheld a higher standard.



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* Clever protest against what is expected from women

in reply to "Demeaning to women IN Iran",

i saw those pictures too. and now i'm confused [Ms. Cookandclean]. maybe i don't have good eyes after all (always assumed i did, ha!). i found them amusing and loved the sense of humor behind them. to me, they didn't represent the mentality of the artist towards women in iran, it was more like a very clever protest against what is expected from women in iran (and some other societies as well), and how they are seen as basic household tools whose face and personalities don't matter an nothing more.

i know how you feel though. i too am fed up with all the chauvinism BS, but let's not get carried away and let's not go to the extreme and jump at anything that may sound or look like chauvinism. anyways, i loved the photos, simply because they revealed the image that some men have of women and showed how ugly and tasteless that image is. wished there were some more. and oh, yeah. thank you Shadafarin Ghadirian. Jahanshah Javid is right. the least we can do is a simple thank you for such beautiful works. keep it up. looking forward to more of your brilliant works.


Sheila Dadvar

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* Good to see you looking happy again

I was overjoyed to see the picture of Farid, his wife and daughter relaxing on the beach (Kish maybe? or the Caspian Sea?).

I recall his photo essay "Can't forget or forgive". Like many it was not easy to share his bitter views on Iraqis, but I felt that it was his way of spilling out all the pain he had felt because of the war. I think Farid's testimony is important. Many of us have been lucky to have avoided the Army during the Iran Iraq war, I had a friend who came to France to study art and he had similar stories.

This war was totally ignored by the West and no one until quite recently acknowleged the heavy price paid by Iranians in their war against Iraq. The Same Iraqis also paid a heavy price because of their bloody leader. In anycase it was good to see Farid looking happy again with his beautiful family.

Darius Kadivar

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* Ashk-haa va labkhand-haa

I just have to say that the "Sound of Music" page on your site is simply fantastic. Thank you! I have been waiting to hear those awesome translations for years. I wish you could put more from other movies, (like My Fair Lady).

Shahrzad Sepanlou

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* Never felt hate for Iraqi soldiers

Farid Jan,

I read your piece [Can't forget or forgive] and saw your pictures on the web page and they brought many of my own memories back as I also served in service during those years (1360-62).

During those years, I lost many of my good friends as we all had been drafted during same period and fought in the same front. However, I got to say that I never felt any hate for the Iraqi soldiers not then and not now, as they were just as innocent as me and my friends, fighting a political war, a war that was imposed on both Iraqi & Irani young kids.

I blame and dislike our leaders (hate is too strong of a word for me) for starting that war and allowing it to go for as long as it went for. Later on, after service, I went to Germany to study and there was an Iraqi who helped me finding a place to stay and later we became friends knowing that we had no hate for each other.

Hope you learn to forgive, as I know forgetting is near impossible



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* OVER your head

Dear Ms. Nemati,

It has been brought to my attention that you get a kick out of criticizing almost every one whose work you read in I don't know what makes you so qualified. Even in praising another poet's work [Thank God for young talents], you have to put down some one else's (you seem unrivaled in nasty sarcasm, of course).

You don't have any understanding or appreciation of what obviously is OVER your head. If you think you are really a poet! why do you write at such an elementary level? And why is your writing comparable to that of Andy's or Leila Forouhar's "ultra-romantic and devoid of meaning and imagination songs"?

I invite you to sumbit your "clean and beautiful" work to Keyhan Bacheha.



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* I am the undisputed queen

In reply to "Be more selective"

I happen to be answering my e-mails from people (intelligent ones that happen to be educated, cultured and do not care what I look like then it occurred to me to view the letter sections of Iranian to see once again a woman (I bet a hundred dollars she is ugly, short and a nobody looking for acknowledgment) who has complained about me.

It is okay for this little nobody who is studying Nutrition (wow, I once met an Iranian Nutritionist in San Jose who was 30 pounds overweight) and her accomplishment consists of insulting me by asking me to have a beauty contest. It is not okay for me to answer back and call these women shit heads because that is what they are. Is it a coincidence that (3) e-mails I have received through the short span of time I have been writing for , are from kiddies? They are nobodies with no accomplishments to mention and yet they give themselves the right to criticize me.

Well I have received an e-mail from a bald, ugly man who thought it was okay to say "freedom granted to women has let them open their thighs mouth and let things come out of it " then called me uncivilized. So I answered that being a Monarchist he has somewhere dear opened for the pro-Shah's to stick it to him.

Well we have a beautiful expression " kolookh andaaz raa padaash sang ast". The era of playing second fiddle and staying quiet is over. Looser and idiots do not pay my bills so I do not have to be polite. I am not Narcistic. But I know some of you homely, unattractive and raggedy looking women get all pissed off so I make sure to remind you that I am beautiful and nicknamed Sunshine.

I received a graduate degree when most of my counterparts were attending community colleges and I am well respected and loved by the people of my community and I have commendations in writing attesting to my hard work to promote Iranian culture and greatness. So of course I loose my temper when a little rag eddy and homely kiddie dares to challenge a might and larger than life person like me.

I do not need a beauty contest because I am the undisputed queen. Beautiful, intelligent and awe inspiring. So get used to it and I might have mercy on you and introduce you to some people who might give you a sense of being somebody and then perhaps you can keep your ugly mouth shut because you are are not worthy of addressing someone like me.

And one more issue. All those ugly, homely and raggedy women please do not read my comments. I get enough praises from Iranian and non-Iranian educated, cultured and successful people that I do not need illiterate nobodies like you to address me.


Azam Nemati

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* Seek non-Iranian women. They like assholes

Mr. Baniameri has done it again [Zan zalil]. How truly ignorant to categorize "Iranian women" as people who like to have their men on a leash like dog. I am convinced that he has never been the subject of an Iranian woman's affection so he sits down in his empty world and fantasizes like he is the "man".

What intelligent woman would talk about plastic surgery specially with a pig who is interested in implants? He probably likes blow up dolls as well. Iranian women do not "interview" men because most Iranian men show their true character shortly after you talk to them and it really does not matter how much money they have if they are ignorant and boring.

Men who consider themselves raw and rough should seek non-Iranian women. They like assholes. We like intelligent, kind, spiritual and cultured Iranian men and there is nothing wrong with that as long as we have the same qualifications (not to mention the fact that we are successful and financially independent too so we do not need a loser). If this date really happened he lucked out. The lady should have smashed the glass on his head so the little brain he has left would have been damaged permenantly.

One more point I guarantee Siamack that nobody with an ounce of intelligence would want to have a child with a man with his type of mentality (retarded). For the record, Iranian women have too much class to talk about a man's performance in the bedroom. Even for a pig he should know that.

We would never put all Iranian men in the same category and calling them lazy in the bedroom. If an Iranian man loves his counterpart he would worship the temple called body of his Iranian woman. Then again Mr. Siamack has never been blessed with having experienced such awesome feeling.

Azam Nemati

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* I want the world to know I am Iranian

It infuriates me when I see a writer lumps all of us Iranian together [Blending in]. Why is it that when we have personal shortcomings we assume all Iranian people have the same problem? I don't feel hyphenated and despite having been here 24 years I consider myself Iranian and nothing else.

For business reasons I had interaction with people who created programs for Spanish TV programs. However, I never found watching over made-up women in tight and trashy clothes makes me connected (whatever the hell that means). If anything I find it appalling and insulting.

What does Ms. Rassi means the way we dressed twenty years ago? We dressed like we walked out of European fashion magazines and we still dress that way. Many of us are not missing anything because we never lost our heritage and identity.

Ms. Rassi for your information most of my best friends are American but they have grown to love everything Iranian from the music and customs to the food. They consider it an exotic and rich culture. I live my life the way I lived it in Iran "proud". I want the world to know I am Iranian because I have so much to teach. I know my cultural heritage and keep in touch by getting involved in community projects.

I listen to Iranian music without crying all my waking hours and continue to read and discover about the contribution of my fellow Iranians around the world and I send e-mails to hundreds of people on my list informing them of our people's sucesses. Next time you decide to write about how you feel please leave us "Iranian" out of it.

Azam Nemati

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* We are still Iranians

Dear Termeh,

In general I do not comment on an article unless if hits me emotionally and in particular after a good glass of pinot noir! I read your article "Blending in" and it persuaded me to respond. I agree with you, and your statements made so much sense.

But please remember there is one difference between being a Persian, an Iranian and the rest of the world's cultures and nationalities and I say that with a substantial degree of selfishness that I do not use in other parts of life: An Iranian does not need a feedback, a Persian is a survivor not a follower, being a Persian is what is imbedded in your genes and regardless of what happens around you and what your eyes sees, your heart is at the heart of Persia and Iran.

That is why no matter what dialect we speak what accent we may have and what province of Iran are we from nothing can belittle us as Iranians and as Persians and I have seen many Afghans that still have that love of Persia in their talks and their expressions and their eyes. That is the love of a misplaced Persian. We are misplaced Persians and darn it we made it to be the cream of the crop in foreign lands. No geographical boundaries and no axes of evils can penetrate what is imbedded in our hearts, in our minds and our genes and we are proud of it.

Never get side-tracked by the noise on TV and the attempts to stereotype the morphology of cultures as good or bad. What counts is self-respect, and we have a lot of that but we need to be reminded from time to time.

I am Persian in the middle of the Board of Directors meetings and I am a Persian when in the crowd, I am a Persian when I get a compliment and I accept the defeat if I have to face it, but nothing will take away my identity as only a mishap in evolution can take that away from me. We are that Persian cat that in reality is a tiger appearing as a cat and puts up with the underestimations. Don't corner a cat and don't push a Persian too far (who am I talking to?) and I will live and turn to dust as a Persian.

I am proud of you without even knowing who you are, how old you are and your background, but the fact that you expressed the nostalgia for Iran separates you from the rest of the crowd. You are a Persian today, tomorrow and forever, the ones that do not have that love in them, I am sorry to tell you that their genes have been diluted, not unpurified, but just diluted.

In closing, I apologize in advance if this may seem pretentious, but let me refer you to read my article "The night on the silk route" where I talk about the same subject, about you and other Persians who will bounce back as they did for thousands of years. That is the life of a cat, a Persian cat.

Keep your chin up, as you are a Persian and we keep an eye on you because you and your children will turn Persia to what it was 7,000 years ago and beyond. We count on you. Share your love with fellow countrymen and we need to encourage and support each other. And when and if you ever have any doubts, listen to a solo tar, or a seh-tar (but with no tonbak)just pure solo tar and close your eyes and you will realize who you are. Please do not allow the impurities of life effect your mind. We are still Iranians.


Farrokh A. Ashtiani

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* Buddha from Ghandahar

Dear Dr. Abbas,

I read with interests your excerpts on "Persepolis at Pataliputra". I agree with you on origin of Buddha, if we include today's Afghanistan as the greater Persia. By research I found out that Buddha was originally from Ghandahar in today's Afghanistan. From there he migrated to China. Please visit at your leisure my website where I discuss migration of Persian Paradise Garden to the world. In the Persian section there is brief reference to Buddha.

Farrokh A. Ashtiani

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* Is being "shy" a disability?

Dear Abjeez, hope you are well and thank you for the hard work. I must say I was extremely disappointed in your last advice entitled "The first time I saw him". IT doesn't take a Ph.D psychologist to figure out that this young lady is quite inexperienced in the area of "Love".

Instead of giving her BALANCED advice i.e telling her what to do but at the same time, supporting her.and telling her we have all been throug such circumstances, you start telling her what her mother or father would have told her with a tone that was at best, harsh. She obviously could have got this advice from just about anyone. But she thought to ask you since you are believed to be understanding, mature yet sophisticated and would not disappoint the hell out of a poor girl.

In the middle of the response you are practically telling her that she has a disability for being "shy". Did either one of you act maturly te first time you like a young man?

Please abjeez, I don't know what has happened to the kind, yet wise abjeez who could put a smile on the face of everyone with a problem. If you don't have time to read the requests carefully and put in some CARE in your responses, may be it is best to CLOSE SHOP.


Pesare Gol

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* Demeaning to women IN Iran

These pictures was truly disgusting! [Ms. Cookandclean] Now I defend your right to publish anything you want openly. But it doesn't mean 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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* Defies verbal expression

Your collection of scanned ads in Iranian magazines from before revolution is fascinating [Business as usual]. In a way, the totality of them represents a work of art in that it defies verbal expression. I find myself at a loss when I try to put in words what hidden messages they convey, what they have to say about the cultural atmosphere and what tastes a certain segment of Iranian society had had and what they could afford back in those days.

Or what is especial about each one of them and what is so blatantly, but still inexplicably common in them all. Or in what ways are these ads different from or similar to the ads that we are exposed to these days in America? Will today's TV commercials look stranegly simple-minded and nonetheless somehow shining of nostalgic ardor in the future?

Anyway, my favorite ad was the one about a flick the screening of which had to wait until the end of Ramadan. All in all, I bet there is material enough in the ads of old papers, like the ones you put in front of our eyes, if you look closely and carefully and critically at them, to make writing a little Masters thesis on the issue an intriguing idea -- a monograph titled something like "A semiotic analysis of the advertisements in Iranian papers of the '60s and the '70s"!

Ataollah Togha

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* "I will survive" -- in Persian

I was wondering if you could help me. I heard a song, sung by a Persian male artist, it was a cover of the English song 'I will survive'. I have tried everywhere to look for it, if you could be of any help or know who it is by, then I would be really grateful.

Thank you so much

Aashiyana Shroff

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* What can Mackey be thinking?

Someone who knows a little about the REAL Iran, should speak with Sandra Mackey about her idiotic racist worldview that is now being quoted in the mainstream. She is currently commenting on the "tribalism" of Saddam Hussein's government.

Meanwhile, we here in the US don't think we're tribal? WASP's in the US are essentially the tribe of Anglo-Saxons that continues to rule worldwide. What can Mackey be thinking?

Furthermore, Iran is, as far as I can tell after being married to an Iranian woman for 14 years, a matriarchal society. It may give the appearances of a Patriarchy, but that would be the shallow interpretation.

Peter Capell

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* Dying without seeing iran

its sad to see all of our good singers like farhad [To happier times], farzin, maziar haideh died or dying without seeing iran again because of the black cloud hovering over iran for the past 23 yrs. its a shame. my prayers to farhads family and friends. they live in our hearts for ever.


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* Appreciated

Saturday, August 31, 2002 10:51 P

Farhad died last night. Your tribute was timely, and much appreciated. [To happier times]

Zara Houshmand

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* Don't put down hardworking people

In response to "No tears here",

Even a Finnish film director has more sense and respect for a great film maker like Kiarostami, than you do.

When are you people going to learn to not identify intellectuals, artists, film directors, etc. with the Iranian regime? People who even get persecuted if they simply express how they think and feel! People who work in the most difficult and toughest situations and half of what they do or say is censored and may not even get to the stage of international recognition!

And when one does, what do you do? You thoughtful fellow countrymen and women- you put them down, that's what you do, you criticize them and insult them. That's how you treat someone who represents your country's art, culture and heritage.

You're right, while people are suffering, this may not help them, but the more we allow them and their situation to be seen and heard and internationally recognized, the more we put the ones causing their suffering under international pressure to stop what they're doing and allow artists, intellectuals, film directors, etc. the freedom to do what catches the world's eye time and again.

The more we allow the ones who need to be seen and heard to do their job, the more we show the world what those who don't allow them to do it, are. Please be more considerate and understand that the support of every single one of us goes a long way in helping our country get where we aspire it to.

We must try to get every one of our professionals (single or in groups) internationally recognized. And if you can't support them, don't put these hardworking people down. The people who do great things with what little they've got.

Azadeh R. Rassaf

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* No balls

If someone is going to write a diatribe such as the one you ran by I.X [So boring, so pointless]. about Babak Payami's film which has only garnered international praise so far, they need to at least have the balls to sign their actual name to their review.


Dorna Khazeni

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* Stick to your Hollywood

If you really believe in your review "So boring, so pointless", why don't you write your full name and not be afraid to stand by what you say? I think you've watched too many Hollywood productions to know how to appreciate Iranian films.

You can either start watching more Iranian films to learn to be able to fully appreciate them, or just stick to your Hollywood themes of money, sex, and violence so you won't fall asleep. The special effects and simple themes should be exciting and understandable enough for you to able to follow and comprehend.

From now on, don't watch films that require a little concentration and understanding. Remember, the less upfront and simplistic something is (unlike your all-American, Hollywood produced forthright, and simple productions), the more depth it has, and so should the person engaged in it.

Even American film critics so used to Hollywood movies have written fantastic reviews about this and the many other brilliant and spectacular Iranian film productions. But that would probably be beyond the scope of your understanding. Also, note that a critic's job is to analyze, not insult. Good luck on your future reviews.

Azadeh R. Rassaf

P.S. That soul-less, life-less, flavorless, and colorless seaside desert that you describe has more flavor and color than you can imagine and a soul and life deeper than any root you can trace back to. That's what motivates these film makers and makes them and their work so admirable, especially in the extremely tough and difficult situation and environment they work in- their love for their work and that desert which is, "simply put", ... indescribable.

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* Will not see the light of day

Dear Mr. Tehranian,

I agree with your argument [The seventh oil war]. It is civilized and thoughtful and therefore it will not see the light of day.

I like to correct one fact. You wrote "The second oil war occurred in 1967 when Egypt, Syria, and Jordan pre-emptively invaded Israel." In fact pre-emptive strike was by Israel with generous intelligent help of the US. The ship that was used by the US for gathering intelligent information on Egypt was also later identified.

The saying was that Nasser was just doing (hart o poort) rhetoric of war until it was hit by Israel. Almost all the Egyptian airplanes were bombed parked on the tarmac. Thanks.


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* Bring them on

It did not take long to hear back from the "an anonymous coward with a funky screen name, obviously a pathetic sort given more to braying than intelligent and civil discourse." His recent vituperations [That, they respect] simply confirm my initial estimation of him. For the record, the Pahlavi foundation did not pay for my education, entire or otherwise -- to wit:

The Pahlavi regime crumpled in 1978, I did not graduate from my studies until 1985 (Ph.D.) and 1988 (J.D.). Also, for the record, I was not a "C student with slim chances of admission to the Fletcher School."

I graduated from Georgetown cum laude and with an average above 3.5, hardly a C performance! I do not believe that I was recommended to Fletcher by Mr. Zahedi. I did have the recommendation of many, as recommendations go, and the School admitted me for its own reasons which, I am afraid, was even less glamorous than anything that Mr. Zahedi could have done. I graduated from that institution with an A/A- average.

"Should you insist," he threatens, "I will ask some of your classmates in Fletcher to come forward and elaborate." Bring them on.

Guive Mirfendereski

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* Evolution from within

The barrage of criticism that greeted my earlier writings on the issue of republicanism, "Of kings and cylinders", "Keeping an open mind", "Give this republic a chance" and "The company you keep", suddenly has engendered a few unexpectedly tolerant pokes at my right to express myself (M. Beheshti's "Audacity on your part" for instance)!

I must congratulate their like for evolving not in their political thinking, but at least in the literacy department. It has taken me several postings to get these "thinkers" to learn how to read a text in the spirit that it is written. The nuances of "Give this republic a chance" was lost on all of them. Alas, I doubt if any one of them would go back and reread the piece from start to finish with an open mind, to discover the point that they missed.

Much has been said about my lack of making the distinction between a republic and this republic, notably that this [read: Islamic] republic is no good so republic as a form of government is no good either. The confusion lies in my detractors' inability to separate the essence of the systemal attributes of my preferred mode of government (republic) from the character of the present government of Iran, a collection of individuals, with a reputation for bad government.

As a long-winded reader has pointed out recently [Amir], the French republic went through a few constitutional/republic reiterations before resting on the present form. Likewise, my contention is that the Iran's Islamic Constitution and the republic that it established needs/will undergo several changes before it moves away from enabling a de facto theological kingship into promoting an enlightened secular and constitutional republic. To get from here to there, evolution and momentum must come from within the established republican order and its citizens.

If the Pahlavists and other oppositionists would like to do all the "human right" things that they keep promising, they would do it by helping the republican constitutional reform movement inside Iran, and not preach for a "regime change" from outside and installation of a monarchy or council as the only way out of the perceived "misery" of the Iranian citizen.

Guive Mirfendereski

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