Letters

December 2004
December 15
December 3
| December 4 | December 16


To wake you up

In response to "Not that illiterate":

Dear Ali,

Thank you for your comprehensive response to my short commentary. I have made my counter argument below.

You wrote: The rate of publications might be lower in Iran than most Western countries but that does not translate into a weaker interest for books and knowledge nor a worse quality of reading:

From my observations made in the past few years living in the region I have found that there is definitely a thirst for knowledge among Iranians but only within a very small percentage of the population. As I mentioned in my article, ["The Illiterate Gulf"] in comparison with the rest of countries in the M.E. Iranians in general are better in this regard, HOWEVER, from surveys done in Iran, passive media such as satellite TV and radio and cinema are more favored than books, newspapers and magazines.

You wrote: 1) In Iran copy-right laws are not respected as in Western countries and most people (especially students) resort in copying books.

Here you are referring to textbooks. I am mainly concerned with general interest books written/translated by Iranian authors or translators.

You wrote: 2) The average cost of books in Iran is much higher than what you wrote in your article (2 dollars!!!) and so is the rate of inflation. Many people can not afford to buy books on a consistant base when tying to keep up with the inflation on a daily basis. (which is also one of the reasons why people resort to copying or borrowing books instead of buying them)

I just bought a book by Ahmad Kasravi, Tarikh e Mashrooteyeh Iran, for 5000 toomans. @850toomans/1USD that’s $5.88 and considered a bit expensive. I bought another book for 1800 toomans. That’s the normal price of a new book around here these days which translates to $2.11 and by the way price of books are pre-defined and there are no taxes.

These are new and original books by original Iranian authors. Just to give you an idea of the price of some ordinary consumer products sold in the market currently, the price of a can of Coka Cola is 700 toomans, lipstick is 1500, toothpaste 2000, and 2000 tooman for an hour at the billiard hall. So as you can see the price of an average book can easily compete with any of the above, for what it’s worth.

You wrote: 3) If you had visited the tehran book exibition (namaayeshgah ketab) at least once and had seen the huge crowds it draws and the traffic it causes throughout the city and the enthusiasm it brings to people (especially the youth) you wouldn't draw such a rediculous and insulting conclusion that "Iranians are not interested in books"!! from some statistic you've read.

In fact I attended the Tehran Book Fair just last summer and I was not impressed. I found that most of the people, mainly young ones, were jammed up in the computer/CD section of the fair. The textbook section was fairly popular too but the other areas didn’t seem to attract very many people.

You wrote: 4) -The percentage of Iranian women engineers compared to men is actually higher in Iran than it is in the U.S.

Unfortunately, I don’t see the connection between this and the lack of interest in reading within the general public.

You wrote: - Iranian students always rank much higher in international science olympiads than all Western countries (including the U.S) every year...And this, despite the much lower quality and lesser abundance of educational tools (if that doesn't tell you something about their interests in knowledge and books I don't know what does?!)

Yes there are a lot of clever people in Iran but there are also many in Japan and Russia. Now consider the number of books that each of these groups read in a year.

You wrote: - Persian is the third most commonly used languages among weblogs throughout the internet, mostly writen from inside Iran and despite the much higher cost of internet and slower internet connections.

You must consider the content of the weblogs as well. Many of these weblogs are just used to vent out daily frustrations. They do not exemplify nor guarantee a healthy intake of general knowledge.

You wrote: 5) The huge publication rate in over consuming Western societies does not translate into their bigger interests for books and knowledge nor into their better quality of literature. In fact the quality of books and magazines read by americans is far worse than those read by Iranians: The best-sellers in the U.S are books such as "harry potter", "Dr phil, how to lose weight", "men are from mars..."..etc and other similar publications about diet, sex-battle between men and women, superficial and meaningless novels and erotic stroies... The huge rate of magazine publications is due to tabloids and ranting about hollywood/soap super-stars!!! While most if not all the magazines published in Iran are of a very high quality mainly dealing with art&cinema, social, political and economical issues.

U.S. is one of the worse in the industrialized countries, when it comes to acquiring quality knowledge. Americans are known to be knowledgeable of a lot of nonsense. In fact that’s what drove me out of America. I suggest that you use Europe as a better example, especially UK and Paris, where book advertisements in the subway or the metro is a common thing. Most people in public areas are equipped with reading material when waiting at a queue or while using public transportation. In the Middle East people prefer to stare at walls or each other while queuing up or riding a bus.

You wrote: 6) The "Persian gulf " vs "arabian gulf" issue is completely irrelevant to the rest of your article (which is about "rate of publications" in Iran and in the middle east) and I see your attempt to slip in this sensitive subject into your article, as having for only purpose to provoke and tick off people.

The connection between the two subjects definitely exists but in a subtle way. Just like you, I am concerned about the future of the people in the region and when I raise this issue it is only a form of constructive criticism. I see The Persian vs Arab issue as only a byproduct or a symptom of a more fundamental problem, lack of interest in acquiring valuable knowledge by the population in general.

You wrote: The label "illiterate gulf" is extremely insulting to a nation that has produced the best poetry and literature of the world. The statistics you provided in your article would have been much more helpful if you had used them for a deeper analysis of our country's social/political/economical problems rather than to put down and insult your own nation and fellow countrymen.

If you had read my article a bit more carefully you would have realized that the term "Illiterate Gulf" referred to ALL the Gulf States and not just Iran. And it was to expose the real state of affairs in this part of the world, and to stop feeling superficially comfortable about a stagnated culture. I regret that you feel insulted but sometimes one has to be, in order to wake up and smell the coffee (or tea in this case).

Mahin Bahrami

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Not that illiterate

In response to "The Illiterate Gulf":

The rate of publications might be lower in Iran than most Western countries but that does not translate into a weaker interest for books and knowledge nor a worse quality of reading:

1) In Iran copy-right laws are not respected as in Western countries and most people (especially students) resort in copying books.

2) The average cost of books in Iran is much higher than what you wrote in your article (2 dollars!!!) and so is the rate of inflation. Many people can not afford to buy books on a consistant base when tying to keep up with the inflation on a daily basis. (which is also one of the reasons why people resort to copying or borrowing books instead of buying them)

3) If you had visited the tehran book exibition (namaayeshgah ketab) at least once and had seen the huge crowds it draws and the traffic it causes throughout the city and the enthusiasm it brings to people (especially the youth) you wouldn't draw such a rediculous and insulting conclusion that "Iranians are not interested in books"!! from some statistic you've read.

4) - The percentage of Iranian women engineers compared to men is actually higher in Iran than it is in the U.S.

-Iranian students always rank much higher in international science olympiads than all Western countries (including the U.S) every year...And this, despite the much lower quality and lesser abundance of educational tools (if that doesn't tell you something about their interests in knowledge and books I don't know what does?!)

-Persian is the third most commonly used languages among weblogs throughout the internet, mostly writen from inside Iran and despite the much higher cost of internet and slower internet connections.5) The huge publication rate in over consuming Western societies does not translate into their bigger interests for books and knowledge nor into their better quality of literature. In fact the quality of books and magazines read by americans is far worse than those read by Iranians:

The best-sellers in the U.S are books such as Harry Potter, Dr Phil's "How to Lose Weight", "Men are from Mars..."..etc and other similar publications about diet, sex-battle between men and women, superficial and meaningless novels and erotic stroies... The huge rate of magazine publications is due to tabloids and ranting about hollywood/soap super-stars!!! While most if not all the magazines published in Iran are of a very high quality mainly dealing with art & cinema, social, political and economical issues.

6) The "Persian Gulf " vs "Arabian Gulf" issue is completely irrelevant to the rest of your article (which is about "rate of publications" in Iran and in the middle east) and I see your attempt to slip in this sensitive subject into your article, as having for only purpose to provoke and tick off people.The label "illiterate gulf" is extremely insulting to a nation that has produced the best poetry and literature of the world. The statistics you provided in your article would have been much more helpful if you had used them for a deeper analysis of our country's social/political/economical problems rather than to put down and insult your own nation and fellow countrymen.

Ali Nasri

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Common ancestors

In response to Farid (Daniel) Parsa's, "Secret window":

1. Sanskrit and Old Persian are both derived from a common ancestoral language. One did not preceed or give rise to the other. They branched off relatively shortly before the Gathas of the Avesta were formulated. As such Avestan and Sanskrit resemble dialects of one language. It is incorrect to say that Persian is derived from Sanskrit (just as it is wrong to say that humans are decendents of chimpanzees. We share a common primate ancestor but did not evolve from them per se).

2. Arabic did not develope out of Aramaic. Again both of these languages share a common Semetic root from which they branched off. The fact that Aramaic words are found in Arabic (and the opposite) is due to the introduction of these words into the lexicon at a later time.

3. Magyar, the predominant language of Hungary is not derived from Proto-Indo-European. The fact that some pronouns found in that language sound similar to their Persian counterparts is by pure chance.

Jamshid Charmchi

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We chose it upon ourselves

In response to Farid (Daniel) Parsa's, "Secret window":

Dear Farid (Daniel) Parsa,

Your essay was illogical in the way it came to a conclusion.

You claimed that since Pahlavi was influenced in Aramiac, then therefore the words we concider "Arabic" today, were more probably from Pahlavi instead.

However, this is not "proof". Arabic is also rooted from Aramiac, and unless you have documents and writings from pre-Islamic eras that used those Aramiac words, you cannot prove it was from Aramiac.

For example, your word "hochma" which you showed the equivelant of HEKMAT in Persian. This is a word from the Qur'an, which is HEAVILY used in the Shar'ia as well. The majority of Arabic words in our language are from the heavy use of Islam in the dialy vocabulary of the people. Therefore it is more probable that the word HEKMAT comes from the Arabic root word "HKM" (HOKM) than straight from Aramaic.

You must remember that for 250 years after the Arab armies came to Iran, the majority of the people (especially amongst the intellectuals) spoke and wrote in Arabic. It wasn't until later that the Abassids re-constructed Persian, and made it mandatory in the kingdom in order to seperate themselves from later Ummayad dynasties.

If you understand, all the SUNNI books of Hadith were written by Iranians (Abu Muslim, Bukhari, etc. were ALL Iranians).

The 4 Sunni schools of thought (Shafe'i, Maliki, Hanafi, and Hanbali) were constructed by Iranians (especially the Hanafi school, whom Abu Hanifa was Iranian himself).

Iranians become heavily "Arabized" (more than Islamicized, for they didn't become Muslim for 300 years after the Arab invasion) and took on Arabic in all forms.

That is why our language is so heavily entrenched with Arabic, because our people chose to adopt Arabic quickly in order to get high positions in the new governments constructed. All the literature in that era was written in Arabic, for it was the only medium for the Empires.

And because all the khutbas in the mosques were given with heavy arabic influence (due to the difficulty in translating certain Arabic words), those words became common use amongst the people.

We should never curse the Arabs for anything. We chose it upon ourselves. We even chose Islam ourselves, never was their any co-ersion on that matter (that is why it took 300 years for it to happen). And I don't regret it. The IRI might do a lot of things in the name of Islam, but those people who associate it with Islam are both reactionary and ignorant.

Khodah Negah-dar,

Dariush Abadi

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Good wishes

From Paul Kriwaczek, the author of , "In Search of Zarathustra":

Dear Jahanshah,

Thank you very much for you message and for your generous words about In Search of Zarathustra. I am very glad that you found my book interesting and that it provided you with food for thought. An author can expect no better praise.

And thank you also for promoting it on the iranian.com website. We BBC Persian service alumni (class of '68 in my case) should indeed stick together.

With all good wishes,

Paul Kriwaczek

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Fight for her!

In response to Abjeez advice column, "She loves me, she loves me not":

Im not sure if im allowed to do this but after reading NY College boys letter I couldnt help but put my pennies worth!

Am I right in assuming that you took so long to tell her your feelings due to insecurities? Only after you were fairly sure of her feelings, (or thought you were) or from fear of loosing her did you find the strength to vocalise how you felt? If this is true there are many problems right there that need to be addressed.

Have you considered that the reason you feel so strongly for her could be because she made you feel you could trust her, if this is one of the first times you felt like this (like you could truely trust a girl, that she really understood you) it could distort your real feelings, make them seem stronger than they are. Obviously i can not speculate on such issues and i hope im not patronising if you are sure you are in love.

If this is the case perhaps there is a genuine reason why she cant see you, maybe she is already in a relationship, one that for some reason or another she cannot get out of, perhaps even one she was involved in before she met you? Have you considered that she may have strict parents, but she may feel unable to tell you this, that at 21 her parents would not approve of her boyfriend is not an easy thing to have to tell your boyfriend. Another reason could be that she is not being honest, that she does not feel as strongly for you as you do for her, i hate to say it but ive seen girls use my male friends in that way.

Understandably you're confused, anyone would be but i think the best, and perhaps the only way to resolve this would be to talk to her, speculation will get you nowhere but hurt. This may sound obvious but i mean really talk to her. You need to tell her that your confused by her actions, you need to be honest about your feelings dont make her feel like your accusing her but she needs to know your genuine concern and confusion.

Trust me, i know from experiance if a long distance realationship is going to work you need to be fearlessly honest. Take some time and think, really think about what you want, no barriers like logic or reason attached just what you REALLY want, once you know she needs to know. It seems scary i know but if your feelings are not mutual its better you know sooner rather than later and if they are then what a relief! Then you can work on why she cant see you.

One things for certain, if you dont meet this problem head on and keep on playing games (trying to 'prove your love etc') Its only going to add to the confusion and hurt, if you carry on trying to analyse ambigious actions you could quite easily misunderstand and it could ruin what would be otherwise a beautiful relationship, if you love her, fight for her - talk to her!

SD

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Boo hoo-give me a hankie

In response to Cyrus Kadivar's "English breakfast":

While reading Mr. Kadivar's piece on Farah Diba, I ask myself yet again; why this saccharine nostalgia about the shah and all things royal? For the record, I fully respect Mr. Kadivar's freedom to think and express himself (i'm all for freedom of expression) but honestly people, I just don't get it-can we get over this already?

Am I expected to feel deep sorrow for the poor "Empress" who lives in the most chic quarter of Paris, shops at Chanel, lunches at the Ritz and is regularly featured in France's social columns in Gala and Voici? Oh boo hoo-give me a hankie, better yet, give me a break. Referring to the scene when the shah leaves Iran as "unforgettably tragic"? Please... at least they got a plane. How about the thousands of Iranians who left Iran penniless and languished in Turkey and Pakistan until they could be re-settled to third countries? All those Iranians who had to learn new languages, get new university degrees, work in fast-food restaurants or gas stations to make ends meet and raise families in completely new and alien cultures.

How about all the Iranians whose mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers died in Iran before they could go back and visit for immigration or political reasons?

In a world where 99% of its inhabitants live WAY below the Pahlavi standard, I just cannot bear to hear about the sad, sad tale of the Shahbanou. Maybe if she became a UN goodwill ambassador or helped save baby seals, she would grow on me, but writing her memoirs and supporting her unemployed son's claims to a non-existent throne don't really count as humanitarian work.

"Empress Farah, now in her early sixties looks relaxed and dignified". No wonder. She's never worked a day in her life, has more money than the GDP of a small country and that thalassotherapy in France is truly rejuvenating. Just one moment while I wipe away a tear.

Maryam Manteghi

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Royal Alzheimer's

"English breakfast" by Cyrus Kadivar shows how Farah Diba is a confused women. In the interview she says that she and her family did not loot Iran of money. If this is true, why doesn't Farah Pahlavi please tell us what job did she have during the last 25 years in the United States that has made her able to buy property in America. She says that the comments about SAVAK were exaggerated. Those comments were backed by Amnesty International and many other human rights groups. She tries to say that corruption didn't exist during her crazy husband's reign. Every government in the western world at the time accused the Shah of being corrupt. In the end we come to the conclusion that Farah Pahlavi is confused. For all we know she may have Alzheimer's.

Jacob Cohen

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Really like terrorists

In response to Iranians of the day, "Afshari Family: Fired":

Jeeez... but they really look like terrorists! I am surprised that they haven't been sent back to Iran ... yet.

A. Sadegh

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Not that regime change

In response to Siamack Baniameri's, "XXX Revolution":

In reference to your observation in iranian.com that you will support an overthrow of the IRI regime in Iran only with the qualified understanding that:

"... And I'll be willing to participate in the next Iranian revolution only if the leader is a delusional cross dresser who aspires to be a crack-addict-rock-star with bad inflammation, violent temper and a knack for inserting sharp objects in his ... throat. That's my kind of a leader.

"I'll not participate in velvet revolutions. That's gay. I also refuse to be a part of any kind of sit-ins, hunger strikes, passive resistance or nonviolence movements. I'm sorry but I do not sing Kumbaya. I would like the next Iranian revolution to be sexy and bloody. I have a few people in my shit-list that I need to pay a visit. I envision the next Iranian revolution as kind of like MTV meets Aljazeera: hardcore avant-garde rap yet politically incorrect and traditional.

"I would like to form a revolutionary party with militant prostitutes and activist pimps. I also like to merge the party with fundamentalist drug addicts and radical panhandlers. I will form a military wing for the party and outsource it to the former members of Taliban who left Afghanistan due to the lack of adequate five-star vacation beach resorts. I also would like to eventually elevate the party's status to Code Orange.

"I will charge a twenty-dollar annual fee for all party members except those who are willing to participate in an experiment to study the affect of suppository chemical weapons. The party leaders will be selected among members who can survive a weekend of hardcore orgy with a group of pissed off lesbian grandmothers."

We are both on the same team in wanting a new regime in Iran. However I advocate the use of fully dressed, monogamous heterosexuals who like Ike Eisenhower, watching Vic Morrow on Combat!, and listening to the great American country music star Eddy Arnold.

Translation: No Fags, Cross-Dressers, Kerry voters, Commies, Tree-Huggers or modern American poetry readers. Hafez and Khayyam are OK by me, however. And an American advisory post for my friend, Pat Buchanan, in the aftermath.

Mark (Dankof)
MarkDankof.com

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Apologize you small man

In response to Moe's cartoon, "Opportunist of the day":

Why do you make fun of the nicest, the best, and most passionest man of the world Mr. Reza Pahlavi? When I saw the fake pictures you had created from Mr. Pahlavi I became angry and very upset with you. You have to apologize from all Iranian and be shmame of yourself. You are so small and nothing to understand what a great man is Reza. Shame on you.

Mohamad A

Moe's reply: A thousand apologies to you Mr. A. I certainly did not mean to offend anyone. That is a bad thing to do, and since i am iranian from birth-place of human rights by Cryus the Great, i should not do bad thing. Yes, you are right, i am small man. very small compared to his majesty. But i only trying for fun... you know to smile. I hope you smile and not be angry at me. Please, please to forgive me.

PS: My name is really Moshtasp... long live the king.

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Sense of irony

In response to Sheema Kalbasi's "Hezbollah":

Dear Sheema,

I'm an American woman, old enough to be your grandmother probably, but still aware and educated in world affairs. Also a poet of sorts.

I read your poem with interest and appreciation. I do have a question, however: At the end of your poem you mention the Arab/Israeli war in conjunction with Friday Prayer. Do you mean to indicate that this war is something to pray for in the Mosque, or that it will never end (I think it will)? I am in need of an explication. I sense a note of irony, but perhaps I do not understand Iranian politics well enough to really get the meaning.

Barbara Wolf
Suquamish WA

PS - I have a close Iranian woman friend who sent me your web site. Also, my daughter is going to make a trip to Iran and Afghanastan to visit friends of those countries whom she met in Mexico while photographing a conference there.
My daughter is a women's activist, writer, photographer. I'm wondering if there is a safety issue for an American woman in those countries. She will wear appropriate clothing and a chador.

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Persian, Sanskrit: Cousins

In response to Farid Parsa's "Secret window":

You can only teach the truth if you get your own facts right. For example, Sogdians, Khwarazmians and other eastern Iranians were not Persians, but they were Iranians. Or re Aramaic, it was not used as a language, but as a script that could be written in one language and read in another. This was an innovation undertaken by Darius I and a very ingenious one.

Finally Persian is not a descendant of Sanskrit, but a cousin. The Indo-Aryans moved south before the Iranians. Sanskrit is closer to the dead Avestan language of the Gathars and they both descended from 'proto-Indo-Iranian' which was probably used in the Urals or the Andronovo culture in the Altai.

Fatemeh Soudavar Farmanfarmaian

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What did they wear?

I am working on a feature film for Columbia Pictures which is a romanticized fantasy of Persia past. The production designer has been looking at examples of Persian art and architecture from 600 AD to 15th c AD to design an aesthetic that transcends a particular time but is authentic to Persia. I am trying to gather information about Persian dress and foods to use as a basis for the film. Do you have any materials about Persian dress and traditional cooking or could you suggest a source which might have such material? Thank you in advance for your help.

Jude Jansen
Santa Monica, CA

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Not very nourishing

In response to Simin Habibian's "Too much information":

I enjoy the Iranian.com every day on a regular basis. I believe that this is serving the Iranian community in a very positive manor. I would like to remind you that the viewers of this site are mostly adults; we like to read something that would nourish our minds. Unfortunately, I am noticing articles that are not worthy of being printed.

In today's articles there is a piece on FART. This is truly not the type of material that I would want to see and I could speak for my circle of friends; they feel the same about some of the very recent articles that you have printed. I hope that you would give this matter some thoughts.

Many thanks

Aki H

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Name one good thing Islam has brought

In response to Azar Majedi's "Tolerance towards that?":

I like your judgement on Islamic government. I also believe that Isalm is a backward religion that has got mixed up with ancient tradidion and has become this ulitamite unhuman and cruel way of living. To teach their young about avoiding young non-muslims or infidels, an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. Pray five times a day bullshit, keep women veiled and inside and give no room for free thinkers.

Some people tell me to open my mind and understand Islam and I think I understand it little too well, that's why I criticize it. Name one good thing Islam has brought. More freedom? NO. More tolerance? NO. Economic growth? NO. More human rights? NO. It has brought nothing but poverty, ignorance, fanaticism, neglected human rights and wors of all it has brought terrorism.

Ali Reza

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Share the love

In response to Faramarz's "4 out of 5 prefer phone sex":

FOR CHRIST'S SAKE Faramarz, what is this site you speak of????

Sina D

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Stereotypes, smugness & stupidity

In response to Jahanshah Javid in "Bad ideas, good argument":

I read your email communication with K. How was that animation racist? It's not a stereotype of Arabs at large, it's a caricature of an Arab tyrant. I fail to see how both of you justify your position, and honestly found your smug umbrella definition ("They're just as juvenile towards Jews...") to be quite offensive.

Kaveh D.

REPLY: In the opening frame, the cartoonist reduces the entire Arab race to a wretched barbarian with a clear reference to "soosmaar khor" with the lizard on his stick.

At a time when all Iranians are unfairly treated as potential terrorists by most nations of the world, including the U.S., you would think that our commentators would focus their criticism on specific actions and policies, rather than resorting to base feelings to demean an entire race of people.

It's as if whenever an African country does something wrong, we would draw a cartoon showing Africans as primitive cannibals. That can and is done all the time by some. But how intelligent is it? -- Jahanshah Javid

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Anti-Iranian vs. anti-Arab

In response to, "Bad ideas, good argument":

Can you please tell "K" to go fuck himself?

Where was this pussy, who doesn't have the balls to use his real name, when Al-Jazeera was showing anti-Iranian cartoons?

If some people mistake us for Arabs it's because of mother-fuckers like "K" who want us to Arab... I'm not a racist and there is nothing wrong with defending Iran's heritage.

Cyrus Parsi

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Perhaps being blond gives them confidence

In response to Maziar Shirazi's, "What makes us":

Dear Maziar,

I really enjoyed reading your article. You seem to be as wise and zarang as your description of the Persian character. Perhaps one other thing I missed along with the hair gel comments is that an increasing number of Iranian women dye their hair blond.

It may be a superficial thing that can improve on a person's looks. However, I find it disturbing that most Iranian women I see in Europe or Iran have dyed their hair some shade of blond. More than the obvious beauty make-over. It appears as if they want to hide, alter or deny who they are.

Perhaps being blond gives them the confidence to appear more "modern", "western" and not one of those dark haired people from the middle east! Or as in the case in Iran, women may be frustrated with their social rights and their hair is the one thing they have control over.

At any case, every time I see a fake blond Iranian in public, I'm reminded of how lost and troubled we are with our own cultural identity.

It is also ironic that most Iranian or western men are more intrigued by a dark haired woman.

Farah

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There is a seat for every kind of ass

In response to Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani's, "Make or break":

I really enjoyed reading this article and absolutely agree that this site provides something for everyone.

As a reader, I also do not like what some contribute such as what I consider totally garbage but the writer calls poetry and thinks she is embodiment of Foroogh Farokhzad! So I simply do not bother to waste my precious time reading that rubbish and do not even bother to acknowledge her because God forbid if you criticize her! You better be ready to have her boyfriend, cousins and everyone else in her entourage attack you and send you threatening e-mails and call you names (she does the same to everyone).

Now, do I think this site should not publish her garbage? Absolutely not. There is a seat for every kind of ass. If some morons likes those horseshit then good for them and that is perfectly fair and balanced.

I am one of those who strives for many things but being politically correct would never be one of them. I share my thoughts and my stories without trying to sugar coat or come across as a person that assumes everyone should like her.

Amazingly, I ruffle the feathers of the same handful of angry, frustrated, looking for battle individuals. They have the most amazing perceptions about me which make me laugh really hard.

They range from assuming that I am a lonely middle-age to a racist just because I declare over and over I love everything Iranian.

As a teen-ager I was told by my father that "God despises ignorant believers" which I later found out was a quote from Nahjolfasahe. That has been the key for me to push myself to constantly learn and make the best choices in everything after I have learned about my options.

I have politely ask these handful of "Azam haters" to refrain from treading my stuff yet they can not resist taking a shot at me. These same people sometimes do not like my comments in the music I post either. The amazing thing is that I get e-mails from around the world from all range of ages and education and they all say they love my comments and look forward to seeing them.

Last week a very conservative (and filthy rich) Iranian told me that on his recent trip to Iran he had been amazed to find out how many people in his family were iarnain.com fans and many of them had asked him if he knew me since he lives where I live. That tells you that Iranians in Iran are sometimes more tolerant than those caught in the time capsules everywhere else.

Contrasting point of views are the greatest and most healthiest ways of expanding one's mind and intellect. How boring life would be if we all liked the same things?

A friend of mine who has all the right credentials from being a handsome and highly educated Iranian heart surgeon to belonging to the right family recently complained about an article at the site (not mine of course) and had taken the time to write to Mr. Javid protesting that "children" visit the site. I told him how sorry I was to know someone as backward as him!

Iranian.com is not your child's baby-sitter and teacher (or yours for that matter). If you are like those evangelicals and are offended by other people's expressions then do not read them. As for iranian.com, I see nothing but great future for it and if I were Mr. Javid would feel great about what I am doing.

Why?

There are enough educated, liberal minded people to support the site that a few miserable, never happy, frustrated, looking for fight people should not matter.

I am unanimous on that because for four years I have been getting e-mails that bring joy to my hear ( even people advanced in age now go on computer to listen to classical music and read materials on the site and tell me) and tears to my eyes from "my kind of readers". I get the same e-mails form the same few troubled souls wanting to pass on their bad Karmas to me. Fat chance!.

Azam Nemati

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Too dark

In response to Manesh's, "Savage darkies":

I liked reading your article; it has some good points. But I think your assessment is too dark and sinister to be true. Or let's say I hope you're wrong!

Ben Bagheri
Dallas, TX

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Make money, be happy

In response to Manesh's, "Savage darkies":

In your eloquent article, you state: "I realize now that the only way I can continue to live here and raise my family is to get used to a life without dignity."

Let us not forget that even White Americans have a tough time living with dignity. These natives have an increasingly tougher time finding good jobs, long term stability, and health care.

The United States is still the country with the most accessible wealth for those who live here. Let's take a moment to look around us here in the U.S., without getting emotional and depressed, and simply clean house: make as much money as we can (usually involves operating one's business and staying in shape).

After all, I cannot think of a better way to coping with the situation which you have so eloquently described.

V

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Laughing in the library

In response to Manesh's, "Savage darkies":

i wanted to let you know that somewhere out there is a law school student studying for finals and who had to leave the library because she was laughing so hard. hilarious!

Persian Lady

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