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February 27, 2004

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* No cousin of mine

Oh, cousin! A cousin, you definitely are not. [Oscar performance]

I cannot believe you are coward enough to go by an assumed name, yet write for "The Iranian" and have the audacity to write "I, who generally dislike Iran and Iranians to death..."

The reason I read your article to the end, is as graceful as the reason The Iranian had for printing this pathetic reflection of your personal problems. I wanted to know why someone would be so hateful of a place and a people who have done nothing to deserve such outburst.

And, you know what? I should have known better. I should have guessed that if someone hides under a mask, he will remain there for the fear of being discovered. I knew nothing more at the end of your piece than I did at the beginning.

You--who are fortunately no cousin of mine--are neither original nor noble. There is a cruel world out there bashing Iranians, Afghans, Arabs and anyone who is not a powerful bully. I'm sure you are most welcome to that world, heck, people like you RULE that world! 

Fortunately, there are still many who go a bit deeper, think, study, and take their horse-blinders off to look around. They may then see the beautiful land and a loving people in Iran. But I won't bother you with this because that would be like telling our government that Middle Easterners deserve to be respected!

When I reached the end of your article, I realized it was the words of yet another desperate speaker who dreams of being a speech writer and put his own words in a famous mouth. No doubt, MIS. Aghdashloo has received many such suggestions. 

What you forget is that she has worked long and hard to get there. This is her moment, and hers only. Those are HER forty-five seconds. They are hers to do with as she pleases and say what her heart has to say. You have something to say to Khamenei? You go right ahead and say it!

A final note. For someone whose writing style has all the indications of a well educated Iranian, you might as well sign your real name.

Zohreh Khazai Ghahremani


* Aghdashloo vs. Ebadi

Dear Cousin, [Oscar performance]

Interesting opinion piece BUT Aghdashloo and Ebadi are world apart from each other. The former was famous before the Akhund came to existence But the latter was recognised only after the Akhund came to power.

Where Aghadashloo owes NOTHING to the mullahs, Ebadi owes EVERYTHING, from her identity to her Nobel Prize to the same. Where Ebadi declares (just yesterday to the EU comissioners) that human rights in Iran have progressed, and the Islam is the same as demoncracy, Aghdashloo reminds us of the great injustice that has befallen our nation by the same religion.

It doesn't matter whether Aghdashloo wins the Oscar or not, she has made her name in making us proud of our long lost heritage, whereas Ebadi has stood for what we replaced that heritage with.



* Is Iran is a four letter word?

When I first heard Shohreh Aghdashloo was nimonated for an Oscar, I sort of wished I liked her more so that I could be excited about the possibility of an Oscar being won by an Iranian. But it only took me a few days to get over the way she generally tends to annoy me;  her utterly irritating over the top emotional pieces on the even more annoying Iranian TV (LA style!); her painfully labored poetic speech etc. etc.

I actually started to look forward to seeing her on the award show and hearing her name as a nominee. 'Sort of took pride in the fact that "we had arrived" on one more platform even if it is only as frivolous as Hollywood. But then she had to go and spoil it all at the oscar nominees' luncheon the other day by talking again. She kept using the word "Persia"!!! PERSIA??????

Is Iran is a four letter word that might harm her chances or career??? She even said "there's been a lot of discussion on Persian TV and Radio about what I will wear to the ceremony and if it will be a "Persian Dress"!!! Can someone tell me what the Farsi for "a Persian Dress" would be? We're not avoiding another "I" word, are we???

Get over it Ms. Aghdashloo. You are what you are and you ain't no Meryl Streep.



* Amazing gall

To the writer of the article about Aghdashloo [Oscar performance]: It's amazing that you have the "gall" to start your sentence with "I hate Iran and all Iranians" - who the hell are u to judge anyone!

Also, don't worry and don't torture yourself too much - The supporting actress category will be the second item when the oscars start - Get some education and some culture and manners.

Also to the Iranian editor: I have never in my life seen such Ugly, Ugly people in the whole of my life [Faces of Lalehzar]. Why have you chosen the most disgusting looking people for your coverpage?

All the photos are ridiculous and exaggerated and it looks as if they have been photographed to look so hideous - It makes me sick to look at just a group of ugly young men and I hope that Westerners don't judge us by these hideous looking men!



* Unfair comparison

It is not clear what the article "Lost in translation" intends to produce or who is its presumptive addressee. For, I as a translator attended the mentioned gathering too. And should say the Article implies not a genuine impression of the meeting's conclusion. At least the one that I was present at. The talks were bilateral and everyone gave his or her opinion in a very open and friendly atmosphere.

There are those among us who have foreign friends and relatives and been bothered by Iranian personnels due to lack of proper training, not knowing how to deal with people of different cultures. It is always Gov't authorities whom we point finger of blame at in such cases. Now that Ershad (Iran's Government body in charge also for foreign media affairs) is moving toward a quality management, I believe statements like that misleads both people and administrative decision-makers. It is true that Iranian ruling class is not popular, particularly radio and TV in the role of Islamic Republic's voice features a skeptical Iran, it does not necessarily mean that includes all what pertains to Iran and Iranians.

I don't worry about what may foreign Journalists sense by reading the article. First; for their adequate capability to distinguish a part-time translator from an intelligence officer. Secondly; I found them Noble enough to follow their host country's rules and regulations, either being watched or not. What made me comment on this issue is that I think the said translators chose this activity because they thought it must be interesting or perhaps elegant, and not on a compulsory obligation or merely money making basis. Some even serve public and private sectors as high-ranking managers. I personally took the opportunity to meet professionals, which heartily appreciate.

However, I accept there can be some intelligence precautions taken by authorities, but relating such functions to translators and comparing them with Saddam's espionage system is unfair and questions their integrity in the eyes of public conscience.

A. Saremi


* Poker: My father and I

I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for taking the time to post images of a poker match on television. The letters that you received in response to the piece were also very interesting.

The relationship between my father and I has had its ups and downs.

After a very long time, I finally sent him an interesting email. It was about your poker piece and the letters that some of your readers sent regarding Iranians and poker.

When we lived in northern California, my family frequently visited Lake Tahoe. My father, a former professor, consistently wins at poker. One of the classes that he used to teach was statistics.

I appreciate the opportunity that your website has offered my family.



* There are many more

I watched the same poker tournament on ESPN channel several times, and had you watched the show from the beginning you would've noticed a true Iranian poker player on the same table with Farha and Chris Moneymaker... I can't remember his name (Amini??) but he's very famous amongst poker players.

He was actually favored to win that tournament by one of the commentator, but he bluffed twice in a row with a very weak hand and lost it all... He still managed to finish either 4th or 6th. I remember he collected $600,000... He's ranked very high (probably top 10) amongst Professional Poker players. They said he has won similar tournament before...

I watch these poker game shows regularly, as they're becoming everyone's favorite... They even have them on Bravo and Travel channels with a mix of celebrities and professionals playing the game..

I watched another Middle Eastern looking professional player with Iranian last name, finished second or third in another casino... His first name is Antonio and I think his last name is Bakhtiari...The total pot was around 500,000 and he took around 200,000 or so...they also talked highly of him...So don't be so disappointed that Farha is not Iranian!!! there are many more, but not as famous...

Gus N


* A culture that is not ours

Everytime I read your comments on [Abjeez], I feel really sad. I think that you people are encouraging a culture that is not ours. You give "advices" to young people without having any consideraton of the Iranian culture, and act more "liberal" than even most over-liberal Westerners themselves.

Everything seems to be "ok" for you. For you, the "comfort zone" seems to be the only factor that should stop people from doing whatever they want. You tell people that if they are "comfortable" with something and don't "hurt" anyone, then it is "ok" for them to do it!!!! If a young girl (18-19)  tells you that her parents are against her having sex and wants your advice on it, you reply that "it is her life, and she should do what SHE feels is ok".

Some Iranian parents are struggling very hard to teach some cultural values to their children, but these kids also look up to you, when you make them feel that everything (homosexual experiences, loosing verginity, sex games, role playings...etc) is ok as long as they feel "comfortable" with it, you destroy every value that the parents have been trying to raise their kids with. And of course all this exposure to sex, in the media, the internet, at school...etc do not help limiting their "comfort zones"!! does it?

So I would ask you to please realize that as Iranians we have a culture that is much different and deeper than the "over-liberal, individualistic, freudian Western culture" that you seem to be insipired by in your replies to young people's questions. Please consider to refer them to the Iranian culture in your future relies.

Or, at least don't give them your liberal advices by the name of "abjeez", which implies to them that they are getting answers from an IRANIAN cultural source.

Not everything is subjective!!



* Self-defeating argument

I read Maryam Namazie's argument thoroughly and I do not understand how she manages to not lable Islamophobia as racism [False phobia]. She states that racism is only a phobia of race. In today's world, race seems not only limited to biology, but is expanded to culture, belief system, heritage, and even personal characteristics.

She additionally states that phobia of religion is not racism; therefore, she would perhaps not consider Hitler racist, or for the most part, any religious fundamentalist, a racist. Obviously she has a very self-defeating argument.

I encourage all readers to read Khorsandi's article which holds much truth. [Hatred for all things Islamic]

Leila Farjami


* Much more complicated

I read your piece in on Worker-communist Party of Iran (WPI)[Hatred for all things Islamic]. You raise some valid points, but lack of criticism about "US and Israel" by themselves do not validate any position either!

While you correctly emphasize Namazie's straight opposition to "anything Islamic," [False phobia] you also make criticism of US and Israel as the only hallmarks of progressiveness.

I think our world of politics today is much more complicated than before and does not easily lead into polar/clear-cut oppositions.

Elham Gheytanchi


* Open a Kebab shop in Bayswater

In response to Maryam Namazie's "False phobia":

"Madam", if an ordinary person were to speak about women's rights, equality, or secularism, it would be plausible, but you know perfectly well that these are not your priorities, should you ever return to Iran in any position of power, which thankfully is improbable. It is a deceit on your part to associate your left-over Bolshevik party - and what are you but a fascist dressed as a friend of the people - with progressive ideas and pillars of democracy, such as equality for men and women, separation of church and state etc..

No country needs a workers' communist party for any of these: it needs a liberal democracy. Do not try and market yourself as a friend of democracy, though anyone with a minimal historical memory knows that lies, deceit and propaganda are standard components of the communist armoury. Since when have you been worried about "real human lives": what did your political antecedents do to "real human lives"?

Have you heard of Pol Pot, Mao and Lenin? Are you pig-ignorant or just a deceitful manipulator of words? You and your scummy Mojahed cousins will hopefully never come to Iran, not even as private citizens. Communists after all have no country: their ideology is their country. I suggest you do something sociable and constructive: open a Kebab shop in Bayswater.

Alidad Vassigh


* Same old gibberish

In response to  Maryam Namazie's "False phobia":

Do you people still have the NERVES to talk?? Haven't you damaged Iran enough for the last couple of years?? Wasn't it enough that you SECT members of Hekmat worshippers, damaged the popular movement of reforms in the Berlin conference by stripping naked and yelling like primates?? People are sick and tired of you thugs babbling  the same old gibberish of Hekmat over and over again at every Iranian gathering.

People don't want you, people don't need you, people are tired of you uneducated sect members of the "workers communist party" prescribing your half-fascist half-communist solutions to them and labeling them "Islamic republic agents" if they agree with you.

Khodaa roozitoon ro jaayeh digeh bedeh!!



* Just as bad as communists

I totally agree with Peyvand Khorsandi [Reverse extremism], and disagree with Maryam Namazie [False phobia]. Maryam, you might have some valid points on number of isues, regarding imperialism in today's world.

The problem with you and all other raticals is that you can see faults in all other systems, but you don't see any fault in your own communist system! Islamic leaders are not the only authoritarian. Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Sikh ... leaders are just as much authoritarian as the Commies!

The reason you are criticizing the Mullah's government is that they are just as bad as communists like your organization, if you had their power. You guys are any better than them, you would be even worse!

So, don't go after Peyvand, by trying to shut him up! He is just as much free to express his opinion as you are! That's the problem with the radicals in any religion or political parties, they do not want to hear an opposing view!

I think you would be better off if you just strait Namazien, then you might come to your senses! Even better, go fall in love, then you might calm down!

God bless you! Oops, sorry, I forgot that you don't believe in one!

Jon Goldust


* Clear judgments difficult

I understand what Hoda Fahimi says in "What if I wore the hejab?" She is right about Prejudice amongst Iranians but my only suggestion for her is to try to understand those Iranians too.

Just imagine being under pressure, being beaten, being send to jail, by women wearing Hijab. Imagine being forced to wear Hijab by women wearing Hijab.

I understand what you say, but you can't open a charity with Swastika as its logo and expect people to go beyond the sign and judge your actions.

It is very difficult for a nation to clear its judgments from its horrible memories.



More letters (February 27, 2004)
Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5

All past letters

By subject
February 27, 2004

* No cousin of mine
* Aghdashloo vs. Ebadi
* Amazing gall
* Iran: Four letter word?

* Super K
* Political back pain
* Self-defeating argument
* Much more complicated
* Open a Kebab shop
* Same old gibberish
* Just as bad
* Clear judgments difficult
Prince Charles
* Washinton tomorrow
* Lincoln and Mossadegh?
* Moral grounds alone
* IRI takling English
* Zealously anti-Jewish
* Constantly indignant
* Plenty of reasons
* Nothing to fear
* Leftist interpretations
* Justifying hatred
* No excuse for aggression

* Always peaceful options
* Mr. Nuclear Iran, sir
* Eliminating Saddam
Howard Dean
* Echoing George Bush
* Cheap speech
* Don't ever give up
* IRI takling English
* Unfair comparison
* Safe with Pahlavis & ...
* Thorn in humanity's eye
* Time is overdue
Shala Azizi
* Deception and ignorance
* Really nailed it

* We CAN fix it
* Room for ALL
* Seriously offended
* Where's the data?
* Why inevitable?
* Poker: My father and I
* There are many more
* A culture that is not ours

Women ice skating
* For me it was a disaster
* Must go back to roots

Pride & Prejudice

* Victorian blunder!
* Victorian Iranians

Janet Jackson's breast
* Nothing is sacred?
* Serious apology
* Decent/indecent breast
* Dignified?
* Very complicated site
* Cheap speech
Mortazavi's Project Misplaced
* Too repetitive
Goodbye Iran
* Distinctive Irans
* Beesharafaa
* Just a bad experience
* Islam and Iranian society
* Two weeks is enough
* Why marry a Moslem?
* Yuck! We will pray for you
* Don't know the difference

* Heartened
* Real life images
* Amazing gall
* Low-class


* No prince
* Honorary prince

* What a pleasant gift!
* Magnificent voice
* Khodaa roo koolet
* Tashakor
* People will respect
Azam Nemati
* You feel entitled to mock
* Congratulations
* Wonderful romantic style
* Small business


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