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Letters

October 4, 2003

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* Let's have some positive karma

Helloooooooooooooooo! What's up with this article? Next time Mr. Baniameri [Sick and tired], you are better saving our time and taking some Prozac!

Do you insist on bringing yourself and those around you down with such negative nonsensical words? I hate to sound clicheish but you should try seeing the glass half full!

Let's have some positive karma peeeeeeeeeeeeeellease!
From,

A Proud Iranian-American!

Forough

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* Getting crabbier. I love it.

Siamack Baniameri is getting crabbier and crankier with every article he writes [Sick and tired].  Gore Vidal could learn a lesson or two; Lewis Black (from Back in Black on the Daily Show) can hone his craft reading Mr. Baniameri's columns.  I love it.

Farzad Bozorgmehr
Austin, TX

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* Failing and improving

I read the article by Siamack Baniameri titled "Sick and tired", and I have few comments with regard to several things mentioned in this article:

1) I agree that a person can decide to recognize him/herself as being either American, Iranian, etc. However, I do not think one can say just because a person is born in Iran or America for example, they recognize themselvles as Iranian or American. Suppose a child who is born in Germany while his/her parents were staying there and before they move back to Iran or immigrate to the U.S. That child grows up and goes to school and socializes just like any other child in the country that she/he grows up. He/she cannot speak a word in German and cannot relate to that culture and society at all. She/he may as well be a legal German citizen. Does it mean she/he recognizes himeself/herself as German? The same is true for a kid who is just born in Iran but spend all his/her life in the U.S, or a kid who was born in the U.S but grow up in Iran.

2) I completely understand your frustration from elderly taking money from U.S government without contributing anything. However, their point of view may be different and they may think they have already contributed a higher price for what they are getting back: They may see U.S government as a country who took advantage of Iran for oill and caused/causes the war and all its economical problems in countries like Iran. They may think their kids are contributing a lot to the U.S society and they gave their kids, the result of all their efforts through life, to this country, and thus may feel they are entitled to that little money after all they have been through their life and for what their kids are countributing to this society. I am not saying it is right, just passing another point of view.

3) Iranians may not yet be good in politics, law, etc. But does it mean that we should not try to establish ourselves and make our voices heard as a large community who is living in this society? We definitely have some of the best engineers, scientists, physicians, and buisness men in this country. Their history started somewhere with someone trying, and I think starting and failing and improving are part of the process of getting good at something. It is easy to give up but then we cannot expect to be recognized and heard as much as we would like to in a land we chose as our home.

Nargess

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* Persian: Almost a fashion statement

amen to siamack! [Sick and tired] finally someone said it. i TOO am SICK AND TIRED of iranians going around calling themselves "persian". these sell-outs have reduced their culture and nationality to something of a fad, almost a fashion statement, in order to appease the mostly imagined prejudices of other people.

if these iranians are so fucking ashamed to say that they're from IRAN and that they're IRANIAN, then they should go bury their fucking heads in the sand or throw themselves off the nearest balcony. because if you're ashamed of your very identity and culture, then frankly in my opinion life isn't worth living.

there's even a so-called charity organization out in maryland called "Children of Persia" which supposedly aims to raise money for kids in iran. "Persia???" i mean, get a fucking life you losers.

the ultimate irony is that most americans that i know and who know that i'm iranian actually make fun of iranians who call themselves "persian". iranians who have become "persian" supposedly are trying to deflect attention away from "iran", which they see as negative, and onto "persia/persian", which they see as positive.

what these pathetic sell-out iranians don't realize, because they can't get it thru their thick greasy skulls, is that by using the correct name for your identity, the real or imagined negative image of iran and iranians will fade away once they see that you're a normal looking person, rather than someone who fits their stereotypes.

NN

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* Sick and tired of those who are sick and tired

I'm also sick and tired, and do you want to know why?
I'm sick and tired of those who are sick and tired of the "iranian" car dealers in Southern California but still go back to them. [Sick and tired]

I'm sick and tired of those who are sick and tired of the teenagers who are (at least) trying to speak another language, in this case "Parsi". I'm sick of those who think the only requirement for producing a quality football team is a bunch of un-employed people.

I'm sick and tired of those who don't know "Iranian-American" is not a " man-dar-aavardi" terminology but something that already existed in the literature (take for example, "African-American").

I'm sick and tired of those who do not know US is the land of
" individualism" and expect all musicians to produce "top-40" hits. I'm sick and tired of those don't want to consider that there may be a catch to singing the same old songs. I'm sick and tired of those who are constantly "sick and tired", yet, do not seek medical advice.

I'm sick and tired of the rest of the things that some are sick and tired of, but, I'm also sick and tired of being sick and tired. Yes, that's right, let's move on ... in the respective directions with some respect!

Setayesh Behin-Ain
Australia

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* Iranian-American, I mean Persian, fan!

Siamack jan, [Sick and tired]

Damet garm. One of your best writings so far. Kheili khosham oomad.

Keep on keeping on buddy!

Your Iranian-American, I mean Persian, fan!

Ben Bagheri

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* Right in some areas

Response to "Sick and tired":

Hold your horses! He is right in some areas!

Farideh Fatima Nejat

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* Omid on "Whoopi" badly failing

Iranians have this new excitement with a proud glare in their eyes now that they see Omid Djalili on "Whoopi" [See poll]. I have received countless emails, links, telephone calls, and have been involved in so many conversations about this new American phenomenon and don't really understand why.
 
Has everyone really looked at the content of this show? I have known of the guy way before he was starring in this sitcom.  He's a good friend of a good friend of mine.  They went to school in UK.
 
First of all, I thought my friend told me that he was born in Iran and moved to UK.  If you have watched the show, his actions and words contradict him constantly.  He keeps repeating that he is "Persian".  What the hell is Persian besides rugs and cats?  I thought we were Iranians.  In the next sentence he makes a reference to "towel-head dictionary!"  Do especially Iranians consider Iranians 'towel-Heads'?
 
All the references he makes about "bomb-making" and being an expert of it, are Iranians expert bomb makers or have been involved in any terrorist activities outside of Iran, ever?
 
Lastly, how many Iranian "handy-men" do you know who do what "Nasim" does in NY?  How many Iranians, not "Persians" do you know named "Nasim"? If his intent, as he claims in an interview with Public Broadcasting, found here, is to broaden American understanding of Iranians and ability to distinguish them from the 'Arab' world, he's badly failing. 

I have seen Omid in many movies and performances.  I have never seen him so contradictory and confusing.  He even confuses me sometimes and I know him, well, not personally. I just don't know if Omid could be funny without those stereotypical ignorant hints in this show or not.  Seen him act and do standup, I think he can.

It just seems like I have worked so long and so hard, trying to make Americans, who don't think there is a world outside of US, understand about Iran and Iranians.  I feel like what I have built in the past 25 years of my stay in the US was destroyed with the action of 19 morons on September 11th and I have to start all over again.  I sure don't need this Omid guy making it even more difficult.

I was listening to KIRN, the Iranian voice from Southern California the other day.  They were talking about the lack of mention of Iranian literature, arts, history, and civilization in any European or American books, museums, or cultural references.  Will this show help?  Will Omid ever mention that the first Bill of Human Rights was carved on stone by an
Iranian King, before there was paper?  Or will he make stupid, 3rd grade non-funny jokes about Middle Eastern, while he passes himself as an Iranian, oh sorry, 'Persian'?
 
You know, I wish if they were to blow up planes, they fill them up with leaflets of history of the region.  Maybe Americans will bend over and pick one up to read about us for God's sake, just read.  But then again where are they going to find the books?  In their libraries filled with 200 years of American history and ignorance of thousands years of other
history?
 
What I see is a clear "selling one's soul to the devil" sort of thing.  The price he has chosen to pay for fame and fortune, even if it comes at the expense of more dumb Americans confusing us with Arabs.  I think this is going to hurt the situation of confusion and not help it.

Hamid 

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* Chelo kabab with Omid in Manhattan

I saw Omid Djalili again for the first time since the late 70s. I remember him to be a shy teenager. Omid's family lived in the UK all his life. The late Mrs. Djalili was a wonderfully jovial and hospitable lady who saw to it that all of us, hungry-for-home-cooked-Persian-food students living away from Iran, were well fed, when visiting London on school holidays.

The Djalili home was always full of guests from Iran that ran the gamut with every colourful type of Iranian. I guess Omid the sponge picked it all up, because I don't think he has spent a day of his life in Iran. Still although he can converse in Persian, (rather shyly)- his humour really come through when speaking English.

In Britain he is a well liked and respected personality, earning him the reputation as the thinking man's comedian.His appearance in a number of quality Hollywood  mega hits seem to have given him the necessary on screen experience.

Over Chelo kabab in Manhattan the other night we heard from Omid, about the complexities of working with writers who know next to nothing about the Iranian character Omid is playing, and how Omid has been able to gain the respect of the writers and the producers of the show, including Whoopi who have come to pay special attention to Omid's talent as a writer and international comic.

That point was highlighted in a LA times article, where he also made it clear,that "what I do not want to do is to put my people in a bad light. To me lines that are off limits are anything that puts my people and culture in a bad light. I am very conscious that the character should not be painted in a way that reinforces negative stereotypes.".
 
As many have voiced, Omid Djalili's appearance on the American sit-com scene is surely to create a more positive effect on not just how people perceive Iranians, but hopefully through comedy highlight the absurdity of rampant stereotyping in America.

Faryar Mansuri

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* 15 minutes to 15 years of fame

wait a minute everybody... even you my fellow Iranian . Let's get off our high horse and just enjoy the [Previous letter on Omid Djalili on "Whoopi"] show for what it is for and don't take life too seroiusly.

What have we done for us lately that now we have expectations from Mr. Djalili to make us Iranians look better for everybody else? AM I RIGHT? 

We want to be looked at positively by the rest of the world.. Let's pull up our sleeves and actually grab someone else's hand instead just seeing ourseleves time after time.

BRAVOOOOO MR. DJALILI. Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame which I hope it turns into 15 years and just do your thing. you don't owe us Iranians anything and you have no responsibility toward anybody, just toward yourself.

matt

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* Come on now!

What gives you the idea that girls who live in Iran want to leave Iran therefore they would marry anybody? [Grow up] That's a myth. It is not true. I am a very educated man, neither ugly nor old. I went to Iran. Met two girls through family and friends. Both of them wanted to marry men who lived in Iran, and were not interested in leaving Iran at all. Come on now!

Living abroad is hard, a lot of people in Iran know that. Take a look at the pictures of the Iranian girls from the inside and outside of Iran posted on the Internet. The girl from the inside looks younger or about her age. However, the girl from the outside often looks older than her age. What does that tell you? She is not having an easy time here. Stress !!

SJ

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* Old feministic BS

This article is a joke [Beat this]. It is a very old feministic BS. At least see the new feministic literature. No one gain from this stereotyping.

Cyrus Afghahi

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* Anxiously waiting

I would like to first of all thank you for your very unique, informative, entertaining and varsitile site. I sipmly love your site.

I  loved reading Awi's Diaries every week, but you've seem to have stopped it for 2 weeks now. I was wondering if you could put it back on again, because I am anxiously waiting to read the rest of her diary.

I have similar experience to  hers and that's why I can totally relate to her story.

Mina Ghoreishi 

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* Smartest but also most idiotic

OK...  All I want to know is, who's idea was it to put the article entitled "Why I'm not a Muslim" on the Iranian.com website...  The guy that wrote that has to be the most ignorant mongol I have ever come across...  This is just what we need... 

An idiot like him saying that Osama is the real Islam...  you guys should seriously think before you put stupid shit like that on your site...  Like I always say...  Iranians can be the smartest people in the world, but they can also be the most idiotic people as well... 

I hope I get to talk to the guy that wrote that article one day...  On second thought, it would probably just be a big waste of my time... 

M.H.

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More letters (October 4, 2003)
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Ocotber 4, 2003

Nuclear
* Only deterrent to nukes
* Surrounded by hostility
Hossein Khomeini
* Shahzadeh and Emamzadeh
* Done being gullible yet?
* To achieve what?
* Gone mad
Zahra Kazemi
* What the hell?
Omid Djalili on "Whoopi"
* Badly failing
* Chelo kabab with Omid
* 15 min to 15 years of fame
Weblogs
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Siamack Baniameri

* Come on Siamack, Cheer up
* Failing and improving
* Sick-tired of sick-tired
* What are you?
* Meant to be satire
* Adam nemisheem
* Getting crabbier. I love it.
* Don't take it so seriously
* Stuff of teenage webforums
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* Persian: Fashion statement
* Who is  American anyway?
* A lot dumber than me
* Be more sensible and polite
* Some positive karma
* Right in some areas
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Islamic Revolution
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Unity
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Tudeh
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* Come on now!
* Old feministic BS
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iranian.com
* I will not bother (perhaps)
* Never hear "other side"
Wedding
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* Paint thrown on a canvas
Writing: Vossoughi
* Smart and creative
Poetry
* Nice not a poem

Photo
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Awi's diary
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* Need home, art director
Islam
* Smartest/most idiotic
Mullahs
* ... will never leave
Community
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Play: World Music Festival
Film
* Volunteers "Arusi ASAP"
* Need home, art director

 

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