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December 3, 2003

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* Joining our neighbors

I am amazed at why A. Shahmolki isagainst Iran joining the Arab league as an observer. [It would be a sad day]

His opposition to Iran joining the League as he puts it is that "Arab league members enjoy tenuous legitimacy with their peoples." By that logic, Iran should wholly give up on its membership in the UN or Non-Aligned League or even OPEC. All these organization have members that are oppressive and by many accounts illegitimate.

Shahmolki argues that Iranian identity is stained or clouded by Iran joining the Arab league. That is as absurd as arguing that Mexico has lost its identity by joining NAFTA or Turkey is lost in the abyss of anonymity by joining NATO. In fact, quite to the contrary, none of these countries lost their identity, and in Iran joining Arab Lague, the only thing that is threatened is our insecurity regarding Iranian image and ?aberoo?. God forbid we may be mistaken for Arabs!

Our image in front of our acquaintences is not a great reason for forgoing strategic alliances on a global level!

Even if Iran were ruled by a nationalistic as opposed to a theocratic ruling group, the country should still be a part of the Arab league, not only to observe and be in tune with its neighbors but also to keep them close either as foes or friends. I cannot think of a more adolescent stance by Iranian government than to sit back in a country that sits on the edge of the Arab world - and has been exposed to Arab culture for centuries - and not take part in its neighbors affairs.

Ramin Tabib 


* Simply good politics

What nonsense! [It would be a sad day] Iran's joining the Arab League as an observer has no effect on "Iranian identity" as you claim.

It is simply good politics which can serve to reduce tensions in the neighborhood. This may come as shock to you but Iran is a MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRY, and the only other nations in the Mideast are ARAB, regardless of whether their regimes are popular with their people or not.

So get over your Aryan-ness aziz and engage in some intelligent criticism instead of this crap. (See reply below)

John Mohammadi


* Losing our voice

Dear Mr. John Mohammadi, (See above)

My criticism had nothing to do with 'Aryanness'.  [It would be a sad day] Iranian identity has nothing to do with 'Aryanness' either mainly because as far as I can tell such a thing does not exist. 

The distinctness of Iran is because of its different historical and cultural evolution.  For example, although Islam is part of Iran's identity, Iran is also the only country in the region which is not a creation of western powers and is itself a civilization. 

The problem is not Iran cooperating with its neighbors.  The cause of concern is Iran losing its voice in the world because of becoming enmeshed in the narrow concerns of a bunch of dictatorships who have numerous problems that Iran would do well to avoid. 

The other concern is that Iran is not joining the Arab League from a position of strength.  Finally, no matter what, the Arab states are not going to allow Iran to have that much influence in what is their private club.  Perhaps Iran should have tried to join the Gulf Cooperation Council first.  It would have made much more sense.

Just a last observation for you:  Not all Middle Eastern countries are Arab.  Turkey and Israel are also non-Arab countries in the Middle East.  A little thought before a snap judgment may be advisable. (See reply below)

A. Shahmolki


* Disguised as patriotism

In reply to Shahmolki's comments above,

Iran's "identity" (whatever that is) isn't compromised by diplomatic membership in the Arab league and Iran isn't being "enmeshed" anymore than by its membership in OPEC or CENTO or ECO or the UN. People who have ethnic/racial problems with "Arabs" shouldn't disguise it as Iranian patriotism or caring about "identity".

As for your observation: Turkey isn't in the "Mideast" and Israel is 3/5th Arab (and the term Arab means only someone who speaks Arabic and can encompass a wide variety of people and places - even the Jewish residents of the Levant were once called Palestinians.)

John Mohammadi


* Human rights activist not political activist

Dear Miss Izadi, [Be fair]
It seems to me, you live in Iran, I am encouraged and happy to see your response to Ms. Kalbasi [Ayatollah Ebadi?], please rest assured that there are hundreds of scholars and university professors and many journalist and university students of all faiths and beliefs are in agreement with you. I know many of them, I talk to them and I hear and read their comments in relation to Shirn Ebadi's wonderful achievement.
Ms. Izadi, you are not alone and we in this side of the world do not all think like Ms. Kalbasi. She definitely is not representative of majority of Iranians abroad, as you mentioned Shirin has been fighting for human right for the last 23 years, we must not mix up a human right activist job with a political activist, many of us abroad out of frustration with inept oppositions and Islamic republic leaders are taking it on Shirin Ebadi and expect her to do wonders as Nobel laureate while we are enjoying the West with all its enmities.
With all due respect to Ms. Kalbasi's and her response to letters she has received for her article"Ayatolah Ebadi"it shows her ignorance about a human right activist role and a political activist, this is a fine line that people like Mrs. Ebadi have to be careful not to cross, Dr. Abdolkarim Lahiji, Mehrangiz Kar or Shahla Lahiji may fit in this category as well.
While many of points may be valid, but she has confused the issues.

My recommendation to Ms. Kalbasi is to do some research or contact Dr Lahiji and ask him to explain the rules of the International Human Right Organization, conditions of membership and many more other details to her. to response to another section of ms. Kalbasi's article I believe strongly that Mrs. Ebadi have no desire to leave Iran, she may be under a lot of pressure, but she is a human with no "FEAR" her efforts got her another human right prize important as well last year. 

Reza Moini, PE


* VERY unfair

Ms. Kalbasi, [Open criticism]

While I respect your right to voice your opinion, and appreciate your passions, in my opinion, you were VERY unfair to Shirin Ebadi. She is a rare commodity: an accomplished authority on both Western and Islamic jurisprudence, as well as a tireless activist.

How are you at all qualified to comment on her struggle, let alone criticize it? Correct me if I'm wrong, but so far you are accomplished only in the art of "I say what I want, as loud as I want, until I get what I want- from a safe distance". There is no parity between you and Ms. Ebadi.

There is a doctrine of Persian culture that applies to all matters of leadership and social activism: raw (khaam) vs. mature (pokhteh). That is the difference between yours and Ms. Ebadi's approach. It wouldn't hurt for you to tone it down a bit.

Mahmoud Shahbodaghi


* Get off Ebadi's back

I find it amazing that someone like Ms. Kalbasi thinks because of her few so called poems she is a representative of Iranian women and the rest of us should follow her [Open criticism]. She is desperately trying to get attention (no doubt to sell her poems)so she resorts to attacking real Iranian women who have real agendas in making a difference in women's lives.

Check out the site and see how many times she has tried and copied pages of history and sugar coated them to make us think "wow, there is a woman who knows her stuff"!

Ms. Kalbasi, as an Iranian woman who works hard to make a difference everyday on behalf of Iranian in general, I have no claim of being an expert despite all the love and support I get from Iranians and non-Iranians who encourage me. Why?

I consider it my duty to myself to be productive and empower other women who are trying and making progress no matter how small in your opinion. Get off Shirin Ebadi's back. I have no doubt you envy her because she is famous and she did not even try to be.

You have tried unsuccessfully for years and nobody is buying your kind of "intellectualism". There is a beautiful expression among us that says" what comes from the heart, influences the heart". You are trying too hard and Iranian are too intelligent not to recognize the attempts of people like you who are unsuccessful and try to bash those who are.

That is sad. Do not insult your own intelligence because we do not need debate about Islam. That is a waste of our time. It seems like you a have a lot of time for this kind of unproductive debates.

For your information I worked at "Sazemane Zanan" or Women Organization when I was 14 years old (1969). I volunteered for the family planning program to educate women. Do you think with a western approach we would have been able to tell these young uneducated women that having too many kids was not a good thing? I bet you would have not even considered talking to them since they did not read poetry in English and could not debate religon.

Get off your cloud and see the world of good Mrs. Ebadi would do for women. The fact that she has become world recognized would now encourage other Iranian women in Iran to go after their dreams no matter what the limitations.

Please find some other unsuccessful poets like yourself and have a bashing session of others. But please do not waste precious space of Too many of us educated, dedicated, successful Iranian know the value of a leader. Ebadi is one of them and I do not care who she worships as long as she does a good job in helping others and does not try to convince others to convert to her beliefs. That is what you are doing.

You and another unsuccessful Iranian so called poetess want so desperately to be recognized. A piece of advise from an older woman who gets recognized (in writing) by Iranian and non-Iranian all the time, just do what you like and truly believe would benefit others. The recognition will come. If you continue the same approach you would lose the handful of people who may actually think you know what you are talking about (I am not one of them of course).

Azam Nemati


* Savage life style

It only takes a conscientious grandson of a Qajari Kelid-dar to open a small window into the deprave and savage life style of the Qajar rulers [The game at Ghamishlou]. The most chilling insight into their brutal practices is in the passage:

"Up to the 1979 revolution, the area was the exclusive hunting ground of Zell-e Sultan, Sarem-e Doleh and their Qajar clan. One story is that a person from Tiran, a village nearby, was caught hunting in the area. He was captured and brought to Ghamishlou where Zell-e Sultan had tied him in the stable among the livestock to teach him a lesson for his intrusion."

Do we need to say more?



* Some people will stay OMMOL

Apparently 25 years in exile and a learned lesson or two later have not helped "elevate" the backward mode of perception of certain of our fellow compatriots, such as Heresh Rezavandi [See his response "NO!" to Nazanin Pahlavi's photos "Why not"]

Alas, some people will stay OMMOL, OGHDEHYEE and execrable till the day they die.  Thank God there are people who compensate for this archaic and boring mentality among our fellow Iranians.

Banafsheh Pourzand


* Khaili zaeef

Regarding Nazanin Pahlavi's photos "Why not",

Motasefaneh khaili aks haye zaeefi bood. khaili! :(



More letters (December 3, 2003)
Page 2, Page 3

All past letters

By subject
December 3, 2003

Arab League
* Joining our neighbors
* Simply good politics
* Losing our voice
* Disguised as patriotism
Shirin Ebadi
* Not political activist
* VERY unfair
* Get off Ebadi's back
Iranians in America
* The right you don't deserve
* Keep leaders in check
* Brilliant
Iqbal Latif
* Speaking for silent majority
* Smearing t Muslims
* Shame on Britain!
* Avowed enemies
* Mollas running really scared
* Idiots running my country
* Depicting Iranians as humans

* Also in Boston


* Khaili zaeef

* Savage life style
* Intentions count for little
* Reasonable men
* Primate assumptions
* No one is clearly Iranian

Iranians of the day
* Significant (!) Iranians?
* Strangers in the night?
* Dametoon garmmmm


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