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September 17, 2003

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* False information to please Arab friends

It's quite pitiful how iranian.comhas become a platform for personal squabbles among the literary Ungifted. I began to read Shadi Akhavan's "Close enough" overjoyed by her claim of having obtained degrees in English and History. I was barely able to maintain my attention span through her lecture of how the writer must harness the attention of the reader.

I was a bit excited to discover that this was meant in criticism of another article. I even diverged from her piece momentarily to indulge in Ali Aliabadi's "rubbish" [Forsaking Iranians] as it is probably the most accurate statement made by Shadi. Having gone back and finished reading the remainder of her essay ? which should have probably been made as a personal email to Aliabadi ? I can earnestly state serious doubt in her claim to having obtained the academic degrees she so flaunts as validation for attempts at a writing career.

Though I have no complaints to make against her stand on Aliabadi's rubbish views, it becomes quite evident through her article that her views are neither any less ?rubbish?, nor any more accurate or enlightening. Abu `Ali al-Hasan Ibn Sina (Avicenna), as well as Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya al-Razi (Razes), were both Persian scholars. At the time, most Persians had to adopt Arabic names and maintaining a fully Islamic image was essential to one's social standing.

To imply that these were Arab scholars would indeed be equivalent to attaching that ethnicity to the large chunk of the Iranian community named after the Arab religious figures. It sounds like a delusion fashioned simply for the sake of pleasing her Arab friend. Many of the so-called "Arab scholars" were actually close descendants of the people conquered by the Arabs. For instance Abu 'Abd-Allah Ibn Musa al-Khawrazmi, the contributor of the concept of Al-Jabr, was indeed an Iraqi, born near Baghdad; and Iraqis were predominantly a mix of Persians and Assyrians.

Her ludicrous claim that Egyptians were Arabs needs serious modification. Egyptians were of Coptic origin, hence the name "Egypt", being a Latin adoption of Al-Qipt, as was used by the Arabs referencing the Coptic origins of the people they had conquered. The Egyptians erected "one of the seven wonders of the world" long before Arabs had a solid grasp on the concept of "civilization".

Egyptians also invented the Beer as well as made heavy contributions to mathematics and architecture. It's unfortunate that these days, their women protest against their government for not being supportive enough of their choice of wearing the Islamic Hijab at workplaces and schools. But, the Egyptians were unfortunate in never having experienced a renaissance as was introduced to the Iranians by Hakim Abu al-Qasim Ferdawsi Tusi and his 'shahnameh?, in which it is nearly impossible to find any words of Arabic origin.

I believe it is exactly this kind of behavior that entices radical reactionist propaganda such as that cradled by the SUMKA. Shadi certainly has the right to assert that she is an Arab or that she prefers to be referenced as an Arab, or that she's especially proud that Persian scholars had Arab names, but with her "degrees in English and History from one of the more respected institutions of "higher education" in the U.S.", I would expect more accurate recitation of history and reasoning instead of false information fabricated to please her Arab friends, as well as, to shoot a snowball at Aliabadi.

Reza Razavi


* Something has to be done

I am writing to you in response to ""Close enough". This article is has so many incorrect statements it is hard to take it seriously. I emailed the Author of the article more than a week ago but haven't had a response from her. So I am asking to do something about this embarrassing article. Everyone has the right to freedom of speech. However I feel like something has to be done when someone abuses that right, at the cost of the Iranian nation and spreads false information.

I would like to draw your attention to these paragraphs by Shadi Akhavan:

Yeah, well while these folks were dining on rotten mutton the Arabs were actually thinking a little. In fact, it was three Arab scholars that were prolific during these times that helped save Europe from the Black Death. As Oxford University's research on Arab society's states; Razi (Rhazes), Ibn Sina (Avicenna), and Abu Ali al-Hasan (Alhazen) were the greatest medical scholars of mediaeval times. Al-Razi was the inventor of "Seton" in Surgery and the author of Al-Judari wal Hasbak, an authentic book dealing with measles and small pox.Avicenna wrote Al-Qanun fil Tib known as Cannon, which was the most widely studied medical work of mediaeval times and was reprinted more than twenty times during the last 30 years of the 15th century in many different languages. Alhazen was the world's greatest authority on "optics". 

First of all this was not form  Oxford University, it's from Cambridge. More importantly this was by no means a "research". It is the opinion of a few people of no particular status who formed the "Cambridge University Arab Society". This link should prove my point.

It is very disturbing to see an Iranian supporting a group of either racist or misinformed people who are taking advantage of the West's lack of knowledge to take credit for Persian achievements. A quick research or a look at this website will clarify any doubts about the background of scientists "Abu Ali Sina" and "Abu Raihan Biruni":

An Iranian website is the last place I would expect to see such nonsense. I ask you to please either remove or correct the article to put an end to the further spread of such bogus information.



* Mordeh parasti basseh!

28th of Mordad arrives again and our intelligensia once again goes into necrophiliac overdrive [Mossadegh]. It is so sad to see (young) educated Iranians wallow in this idiotic reverie of the past. Yes we must know about the past so we don't repeat past mistakes but is it really necessary to so fanatically worship the dead?

I was born years after the good doctor's failure which we have managed to build into a national tragedy. I look at his legacy with the benefit of hindsight and I really would like to understand why we wallow in such a failure as a nation? Even if he was the saint portrayed by his supporters, then it shows how flawed we are as a nation to have taken foreign money and gotten rid of him, the less said the better, in any event we should let go of him and address our faults.

But I suspect we will never be able to examine his record with reason and coolness. Even his own supporters complained about his stubornness which played into his enemies' hands. Whether you like it or not he was a demagogue who through his actions adverntently or inadvertently caused the split in nationalist ranks and gave the perfect excuse for Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to become a dictator.

It is indeed tragic that we have no credible honest symbols that Iranian students in Iran during their protests last year carried pictures of a dead person. I was hoping that with all the hardship they have had endured and their surprising maturity that they would let go of these symbols of the past and concentrate on the living.

In any event, it's over, let's learn the lessons as a people and move on. But no we are Iranians, even the educated ones are continually looking for martyrs to hold up and organise a memorial ("rouzeh khanie") at every chance. Enough!

Very disappointedly yours,

Mr Fozolie


* One more terrorist

It never cease to amaze me with all that torture chambers and killing spree that you people are talking about during the Pahlavi rulings, there still could be found one more person who dodged death under the shah's regime?  [Saeed Soltannpour]

Your group [Fadaian Khalgh] is the most criminal and immoral group among all the terrorist group.  The treachery that your group committed against Iranian people is all too well known.  So I have nothing to say but to congratulate the civil society who lost one more terrorist.



* Stalin lover can’t be a democrat

I was surprised to read in Mr. Khosravi’s article [Forgotten fighters] that the Tudehis sacrificed themselves for a “better” Iran. Everything is relative and it depends maybe on the definition that one has of “better”.

Is a “better” Iran a copy of the Stalinian USSR in our country? Is it a sacrifice to keep on spying for Stalin and his Comrades who killed between 10 and 20 million people? Maybe that separating two provinces from our beloved Iran and offering them to a foreign country is a sacrifice?!

Unfortunately, and that’s a chronic disease in Iran, we do not have real leftists. Most of them are leftist extremists or anarchists and it’s a pity to read an article in the year 2003 in which someone praises the Tudeh Party of Iran which has been an instrument of destabilization in the hand of the Soviets.

I'm sorry for the thousands of idealistic and good-hearted Men and Women who gave their lives for some mentally sick Communist leaders who craved for Power. Your family has been above all, a victim of that Tudeh Party. History is written and we can’t change it.

Dear Mr. Khosravi, 70 % of our population is under 30 today and I am one of them. Believe me, we want democracy for Iran and excuse me, and with all due respect, a Stalin lover can’t be a democrat.

Aryabod J.


* Genuine people following questionable leaders

Dear Mr. Khosravi, [Forgotten fighters]

Nobody has said or even believed that the ordinary members of the Tudeh Party were all betrays to our beloved land. And nobody has the opinion that they were, by & large, not courageous, dedicated, Iran loving people with a good intentions.

The problem was & still is that all those genuine nice people who believed that, communism paves the road to a better life, 
had indeed to follow their leaders, who were & are questionable characters.

I may share your sympathy for the lives lost for an utopia that never existed. But they chose their road freely & had to bear its consequences.

The out come was & still is sad yet the struggle for better Iran is appreciated by all the Persians.

I request that you read the article of Mr. Hoveida published along with yours in the same issue of the Iranian. It may help you & so many others to understand theprevailing situation of those days in our country.

H. Hakimi


* What does dad think?

I read Amir Nooriala's article, "I am from here", with a lot of interest. Could he be somehow related to our celebrated writer and intellectual Dr. Esmail Nouriala? If so, don't you think that it wil be interesting to have a reaction from the latter? How does an Iranian intellectual who has lived half of of his life in Iran would think about this young man's declaration of identity?

Haceinda Hights, California


* Unity of mankind not with hormones

After reading your article, I realized that in order to have witnessed all that you saw, you probably didn't attend any sessions [Same crowd, same people]. Maybe if you had, you might have a different perspective on things.

The truth is, actions that profit the unity of mankind begin with the minds in the conference sessions--not with hormones in the hotel lobby.

I might have taken your article more seriously if I thought you had made it to more of the actual conference lectures. But as it stands now, I put you in the same category as the people you are writing about.

Look WhosTalking


* By the way, nothing wrong about searching for spouses

I attended the ABS Conference (Association for Bahai Studies) in San Francisco in September [Same crowd, same people]. It was an amazing conference with new high standards set for quality and diversity of presentations by Bahai youth, devotionals, and entertainments, among other things. Quality of speakers was very high and the topics timely.

Particularly impressive was the quality of comments from the youth in the workshops I attended and the youth panels (majority female). If some of these could be broadcast globally, they would have put the leaders of the world (both religious and secular) to shame in terms of their vision, quality, and understanding of the problems of our Age and the solutions that only the Faith of Bahaullah can offer. Bahaullah as a Divine Physician has diagnosed the ills of Mankind and has prescribed "unity of Mankind" as a cure for all its ills.

The gentleman who wrote the article, who by his own acknowledgement knows nothing about the Faith [and his cousins who were there to find spouses and learn about "their" Faith (in that order)], who calls the principle of "unity of mankind" a "fantastic" principle, whose motive is questionable for writing this article, could have perhaps gained some benefit from this conference if he had attended the conference with open eyes and heart to learn something, and perhaps follow in the footsteps of some of the exemplary young Bahai women and men at this conference.

By the way, there is nothing wrong about searching for spouses in conferences. Is there a more appropriate place for a community that has been scattered all over the globe? Would you look in Bars and night clubs??

Mona Mahmoudi-Sana


* Go nuclear!

In regards to my native country of Iran getting a hand on developing nuclear weapons: The fuck with any egg suckin', chicken steelin', good for nothin', gutter trash, son of a bitch who says that Iran can't have nuclear.  

Iran forever and ever.

Issa Hajjizadeh


* Raised royal

Dear Shahzadeh Reza Pahlavi:
I must first apologize for taking precious time off your busy schedule. But I thought you might be able to help me as a hamvatan. There has been a question haunting me for the past few days. You might think it irrelevent but I still would like to know the answer.

As I saw the picture below in Shahrbanoo Farah's site of your brother, Shahzadeh Ali Reza and his gracious newly wedded wife, I noticed that he has raised his feet as to look a bit taller than the bride. I would like to know how tall the honorable Shahzadeh really is and if this is a graphically manipulated photo?

The background looks odd as well. There is a statue head in the fire place and an undesirable looking lamp stand beside the newly weds. Meanwhile, if you could kindly respond to my question, I will be forever grateful.

Leila Farjami


* Manijeh?

Dear Sir/Madam,

A few years ago I met a wonderful Iranian woman named Manijeh. I will like to know the meaning if this name. I think it's beautiful and will like to give my daughter this name when she is born.Thank You.

Vanessa J. Richardson


* Pre-1979 home movies

Working with an award-winning German documentary filmmaker who has just finished shooting in Iran - a television documentary for German/French television to broadcast this October.

We are searching for "stock footage" - home movies of Iranian families vacationing on the coast of the Caspian Sea (either on the beaches or at the hotel resorts or even in the mountains nearby) - pre 1979 (during reign of Shah) to incorporate into the film.

The films can date back very early, but must be before 1979. We can accept any format, and will of course be able to provide both payment as well as film credit to those whose footage we might use. All material is returnable, and in cases of Super 8 or 8mm, we can offer a VHS copy that we will have made of the material back to the family from whom we borrow it.

I can assure you that this project is being done by a very experienced film director, and all material will be in the safest of hands. (for reference, visit website
Any questions or information - or interested in submitting material PLEASE contact Michele via email at

Include email address and any telephone contact information as well as a good time to call you in California.


* Pased away

Last year I read an interesting article in by Dr. G. Motamedi about the name "Bring back Persia".

Not only he pointed out beautifuly the truth, also the article showed Mr Motamedi's feeling about his country. I tried many time to contact him, thank him for his article , invite him to "Persian Gulf Organization". ....

All my e-mails returned I did not know what I have to do... last night I search him and found his phone number in California. I called him but his friend told me just one sentence and shocked me...: "I am sorry , Dr Motamedi passed away a few months ago..."

How can I express my feeling about this event....

Long live Persia and its nation

Pejman Akbarzadeh,
PGTF Tehran Chapter


More letters (September 17, 2003)
Page 4
Page 1
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Page 3

Omid Djalil on "Whoopi"
* Laughing at ourselves?
* Turning funny into fool
* Breaking stereotypes
* Common delusion
* Worst since...
* Terrible writing
* Watch and tell
* I recommend this show
* Teaching Americans
Protest song
* Civil, not vengeful
Mossadegh & Shah
* No political development
* Constituional Monarchist
* Chains and knives
* Executed: regime change
* Far off base
* "Wrong" side of the history
* Igoring other scenario
* Scrutinize Mossadegh
* Truth comes out
* Totally agree
* Mordeh parasti basseh!

Tudeh & Fadiyan
* Stalin lover no democrat
* Questionable leaders
* One more terrorist
* Aftabeh to shilang
* Organized religion, no
* Flee IRI or Islam?
* Open your heart & mind
* It's all ignorance
* If Bush cleans our house
* Iran can stop invaders
Arabs & Iranians
* Pleasinng Arab friends
* Something has to be done
Reza Beyk Imanverdi
* Our Charles Bronson
Farjami's poetry
* From Pakistan, with love
Nemati's articles
* Believe in ourselves
* What does dad think?
* Unity not with hormones
* Searching for spouses
The weak
* Deserve their fate
* Pre-1979 home movies
Too sexy
* Take it out, please
* Raised royal
* Pased away
* Manijeh?
* Go nuclear!


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