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January 16, 2004

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* Passion overtaking reason

Ms. Azizi, in her passion against the regime, is labeling a nation of 70 million as thieves and cheaters [All Bamed out!]. Based on the poll at the end of the aritcle, apparently more than 50% of "" readers are agreeing with her [See poll results].

I consider this a very dangerous trend, because passion is overtaking reason. How can one arrive at such conclusion about a whole nation? I have lived in America for 26 years, and have observed an incredible diversity of morals and behavior among Americans; to the point that there is no way for me to come up with a conclusion about them, at least nothing as cerain as what she has concluded about Iranians. 

Based on a few indicators from her article, it appears that she has left Iran at a young age, probably never had to make a living or raise a family in pre-revolutionay Iran.  What she knows of Iran back then are probably fond childhood memories in a family protected by parents that had to bear what she is experiencing now.  

It is commonly known that urban centers in the developing world, are quite tricky places to work and raise a family. The whole scene that Ms. Azizi is protraying as "Iran" can also be seen, at least as bad, in Taipei, Mexico City, and Manila.

Maybe, instead of all this Iranian bashing, Ms. Azizi should just conclude that moving back to Iran was not a good idea for her.

Mehrdad Mehdizadeh,
Avondale, PA  


* Frank look

I finished reading the eloquent article of Ms. Azizi [All Bamed out!] a few moments ago. It was refreshing to see that my concerns for long, are so effectively addressed there.

We all need to have a frank look at our own, before blame Western conspirators for our economical and moral decadence. We Iranians have an elaborate culture, rich in arts, literature and music to name a few, but that alone will not make us a civilized nation.

Culture and civilization are totally separate concepts. We cannot alleviate our present shortcomings unless we effectively teach civilization, in its true sense (i.e. social order promoting cultural creation), in our educational system.

Those of you, who in recent years have tried to cross an intersection on foot in Tehran streets, know what I mean!

Parviz Hamrang


* Worship "purer and better" people

I usually don't waste my time answering to articles from people who have been living abroad for 2 decades and have the nerves to prescribe "solutions" to the millions of Iranians who stayed in Iran and struggled to make the best of a very unfortunate situation.

But your article "All Bamed out!" was so insulting and disrespectful to my country, my culture and my people that if I had not learnt  "classiness" and  "respect" from the same Iranian "poets" that you labled as "instruments of our very backwardness", I would probably fill this page with vulgarity and profanity and send it to you without regretting one word of it later on.That's how angry you article made me.

But my Iranian culture has taught me to be respectful and polite, especially to a mother. So I will just politely ask you to never go back to Iran again, stay where you are. People like you will never understand the beauty of Iran.

Let Iran belong to people who might not be able to "form a line in front of a bank teller", but who stand in line for hours to donate blood to those who need it when a tragedy like the earthquake of Bam happens. Let is belong to the people who do not see poetry as an  "instrument of backwadness", people who actually DO "master" the language and who DO understand these poetries.

You wrote: "I, myself, too scared to voice my opposition to the regime, remember daily the New Hampshire license plates that brandished the logo: 'live free or die'. None of us here are brave enough to believe or implement that simple principle." Many Iranian people HAVE died for freedom, they have been 'dying' for freedom for centuries and it hasn't stopped yet. Maybe you were so busy admiring the license plates of people in New Hampshire during all these years that you didn't realize that your own people were actually "dying to live free". Or is it that the number of mass executions were not "satisfying" enough to you??

We are not brave enough to implement that simple rule huh?? Where were you when hundreds of thousands of Iranian men and women, young and old, were racing each other to clear the anti-personal landmines of Saddam Hussein at the price of their own lives or at least their arms and legs?

Don't you feel ashamed to look in the eyes of hundreds of thousands of war-veterants who were gassed by the chemical weapons provided by your so "civilized" Westerners and tell them they were not "brave" enough? Or maybe to you the people of New Hampshire are braver than those people for having a "motto" on their license plates!

I suggest you stay in the U.S where your can be thankful to "purer and better" people  for ingerprinting  you and spiting on your  dignity at their borders. Where you can teach the "language of science" to your children and keep them far away from the language of our dreadful and uncivilized poets. 

Stay in your beloved U.S and worship the "purer and better" people who "only" kill 11000 people a year by gun shots,  steal "only" 1 car every minute, rape or mug "only" 1 woman every 3 minutes... Just keep off Iran!!!!

Ali NR


* Inferior culture

The article in the by Shahla Azizi hits the nail right on the head [All Bamed out!]. A self-claimed most religious, and spiritual country in the world has become one of the most corrupt nations in the world. Not a day goes by that Iranian dual identity has given way to Iranian hypocrisy. People in Iran pray to God 5 times daily, and the next moment cheat their neighbors anyway they can.  

It is not that everything about Western civilization is superior, but when it comes to humanity, and preserving human dignity, Western civilization is by far superior to anything Iranian, and to anything Islam.

The hypocrisy does not end in Iran though. One of the most decadent and hypocritical aversions within the Iranian exile community is the excessive liberalism (I call it "gonde goozi"). In Iran, Iranians are more Arab than Arabs themselves.

Here in the Western world, the excessive liberalism, not in the real sense of the world, but in cloak of tolerance, religious harmony, and cultural relativism by many of the Iranian exiles have made them more Germans, and Americans than Germans and Americans themselves.

These folks have forgotten that the first pillar of Liberalism is the preservation of human rights, human life, liberty, and freedom at any cost. "Liberals love humanity, but hate human beings" is one of my favorite quotes.

So for the sake of humanity, they put forth this idea of "Cultural Pluralism", they argue for it, they defend it, all at the expense of human rights, and human life. These are the same people that would not survive a day outside of their suburban homes, and black Mercedes Benz.

The tragedy in Bam should have never occurred. The tragedy that is Iran should not have occurred either, and should no longer be tolerated in the name of "Cultural Pluralism".

As Azizi so keenly pointed out, a culture that does not respect human life, that stones women and men to death, that cuts the hands and arms of thieves, tortures, and rapes teenagers, a culture that takes away human dignity, liberty, and freedom is inferior, and should be labeled as such. To tolerate such culture, and accept it is to refute one's own values, and culture as Iranians themselves have done in the past 25 years.

Touraj Touran


* Thank you

I would like to thank all the people who have responded to my article [All Bamed out!]. For reasons beyond my control I cannot answer them individually and would like to acknowledge their support and/or criticism in this way.

Shahla Azizi.


* Defeatist attitude

Shahla Azzizi, [All Bamed out!]

Your defeatist attitude is the main reason why reform is being stifled in Iran.

When I traveled in Iran in July 2002 [The Persian translation], I was treated with the utmost hospitality by the Iranian people. They were very apologetic, and said that they hoped Americans did not hate Iranians.

Sure, they have fear in their eyes; you would too if you could be executed by being buried neck deep in the ground and having stones thrown at your face until you died. But that's no reason for you to be contemptuous of the people over there who, not so fortunate as yourself, did not have the opportunity to emigrate.

Eric Jerpe


* Inflating the West

It was quiet an amazing and yet disheartening experience to read about the so-called realities of life in iran, from the vantage point of someone who has not been to the country in 25 years [All Bamed out!]. That is a lifetime of changes. that is how long the Mullacracy has been governing the country, and that is how long the oppression has dominated over this society. How can one have such high expectations as to walking into a country where people have been devoided of their most fundamental rights and yet expect nothing short of a red carpet treatment?

If the "sense of belonging" was so "carefully nurtured",  then there must have been some basic research as to what one might expect to encounter after almost two decades of absence, to say the least.

This notion of prevalent collusion and stealing and bribery and so on and so forth, has been blown way out of proportion as if we don't witness a much more enhanced version of it in the free country which we happen to live, people slapping one lawsuit after another on each other and accusing each other over some of the pettiest of matters, extending all the way to bigger scale crimes?

And who could ever deny the fact that the majority of marriages abroad, take place solely based on the much cherished "family values" and money and wealth has absolutely nothing to do with it, zilch, nada!!!!

It is such a shallow comparison as she does, when it comes to inflating the Western civilization and how we owe our livelihood and integrity to it. So, is that all it comes down to? We have gotten our truth , penicillin and what was the other thing?... oh yea, the "F" word, freedom and so here we are, a nation of prostitutes and pimps, not knowing what to do with ourselves but to indulge in self-pity and collective mourning? I would dare to think that one of our rulers in general, has more sense in them and could think more on humane terms than our returnee author!

Here is a little weekend project I 'd would like to suggest to her: If she happens to have an "Everything 99 Cents " store in her neighborhood, which I am sure she does, I would encourage her to take a stroll in the store and see for herself how many defective gadgets she can come up with and then see, if she can dare to look me straight in the eyes and repeat her statement regarding the industrial incapabilities and inefficiencies, she described in Iran.

What an outrage to cast oneself as a supporter of detaining innocent individuals, by justifying it as a desperate way in a battle against an army of a puppet that, as it turns out, was appointed some long time ago, by none other than the Western freedom-loving, penicillin-providing and truth-telling government the she so fervently adores.

After being in exile for such a long time, It would be a wise idea to scale back one's high expectations as to what might be waiting, upon returning to the homeland.



* Bright robbers

Dear Ms. Azizi, [All Bamed out!]

I understand many of your points. I however, see that, at best, the West has done as much negative to the world as it has done positive. What Europe has done to Africa, Asia and what later became America over the centuries is not difficult to see. They come with light and rob better. Bush just said "we supported world dictators for 60 years."

How could you ignore that the west spends tens of billions annually to divert democracy and freedom in the developing countries. Please read and see how the corporations in the US are buying up the media outlets to turn even more than 75% of the Americans into even more ignorant, superficial imitators. They approved dropping 30 000 bombs on a city of 5 million for oil.

Looking forward to reading your articles where you would say we need to be ourselves. Great Iranians have been the target of the West for 2000 years so that we will not become self confident and strong. India did not imitate the West and is doing ok. Gandhi wished the West would become civilized one day.

Mohamad Navab
Los Angeles

PS, too much penicillin is not good for our health. Our immune system is our best friend.


* Most honest

This was the most honest article I have read in a long long time [All Bamed out!]. Thanks for printing it.

Bahman Hatami


* Chador burning ceremonial dance

In response to the Quiz, "What do most Iranian women do once they get off a flight from Iran?",

They rip the veil off their hair, chug vodka (straight from the bottle), chain smoke, and do all of this while smearing on massive doses of makeup (ala Tammy Faye), and dancing around a ceremonial fire that is burning the chador they wore for weeks on end.

Maryam M


* 80% take it off

In response to the Quiz, "What do most Iranian women do once they get off a flight from Iran?",

Actually, as soon as the plane takes off from Tehran International Airport, practically 80% of women regardless of what airline they're on -- including the airline hostesses of Iran Air -- remove their scarf.

I was told this by a KLM flight navigation officer.



* LA or London, but not Qom

In response to the Quiz, "What do most Iranian women do once they get off a flight from Iran?",

They put one hand on back of their head and the other on the bag strapped on their shoulder which holds their chador and underwear saying: "man aamadeaam vaay vaay". Of course, this holds true if they disembark in LA or London or... But if they go to Qom or Mashad I do not think they do that.

F. Azizi


* Sci-fi

In response to the Quiz, "Big mouth",

It depicts the face of an extra terrestrial whose mission on earth is pure evil.

Naghi R


More letters (January 16, 2004)
Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5

All past letters

By subject
January 16, 2004

Azizi's "All Bamed out!"
* Passion overtaking reason
* Frank look
* "Purer" people
* Yes Master!
* Thank you
* Defeatist attitude
* Inflating the West
* Bright robbers

* Most honest
* True to a degree
* Too true to be denied
* All "bummed" out
* Letter to MPs
Bam: Haj

* Not taking any trips?
* Problem not money

* God does not need us
* The key is Wisdom
* Quite offending
* Ataturk did it

Bam: Media

* Americans insulated

Bam: Future

* Demand responsibility
Bam: Israeli aid
* Israeli WMDs
* Israel: No conscience
* Don't care: Palestinians
* Israel helped Khomeini
* Human beings first
* Serpant helping allegator
* Arab aid
* Iran and Israel: Friends
Bam: Relief
* Discounting hard work
* Thanks Reza Joooon
* More concerned
Bam: Poetry
* Politicizing the tragedy

* Mixing Bam with mullas
Bam: Photos

* Enlightening pics
Bam: poll
* Where populace stands

* Asset to Dean
* Cool guide

* No viable link

* Put Bush on trial too
* Recent US strategies

* Where will it stop?
Aghdashloo: Sand and Fog

* They are everywhere
* Too bad if the truth hurts

* If the family was Black
* Shohreh & Benicio
* Not to be proud of
* Reserve judgment
* If it weren't for Persians
* We're not CHRISTIAN
* Yalda & Christams
Donation drive
Ostad Shajarian?!


* Korosh
* Top 10
* Iranian players
* The Magician
* As good

* Want to protest

* Lacks that "voice"
* Child abuse?
* Chador burning dance
* LA, but not Qom

* 80% take it off
* Sci-Fi

* Anti-American

* Thieving family


* How fucking distasteful

* Stuck in "good old days"
* Only tool: Education
* Power of one
* Love your shit
* Mani daring, but...
* Thanks & Kooch
* Swiss kiss
* Really amazed

* Wonderful
* More in Las Vegas

* Ecstasy in Qom
Azam Nemati
* Moshk aan ast keh...

* Lucky daughter

* Motorcycle enthusiast
* Religious questions
* "Roozi ze sar-e sang..."
Lost & found
* Abadani classmates
* Shayan az Shahsavar


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