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* Spring as a community of peace
All New Yorkers would appreciate knowing about the holiday described
by Kayhan Irani about greeting the New Year in the spring as a community of
new year is yours]. I hope you can forward the article to Mayor Bloomberg to
include in NYC's recognition of New Year celebrations in the spring.
My French nephew married an Iranian American whose Muslim father had left
married her part-Jewish mother in Germany before they moved to California
and two years ago, to Spain. They merge the celebrations of
many cultures in all their holidays.
By the way, I saw Irani's show, "We've
Come Undone" when she
performed in NYC. The play is itself a celebration of the shared warmth
and concerns of New Yorkers from the Middle East, South Asia - and the
US. I left the one-woman show feeling as if I had met many New Yorkers,
from a litte child from Pakistan to an elderly Seikh woman
from India and many others in between. Remarkable performance. Thanks
* Price of having the ring in our finger
That was a great experience [My
dream coffee with Farah Pahlavi]. For years
I was thinking that was my filling about farah and I have
to keep this filling only for my self even when I was living in
Belgium I was looking at the queen and the king with a very heavy
sad filling every time they use to come to town and they use to
get in touch with people I use to get emotional and cry because
I was thinking once I had this security in my country but then
I lost everything my queen my family my childhood.
and since the day that toufan came to our land very often I wake up
in the middle of the night and I am thinking why? specially since I sow
the lord of the ring I keep thinking did we act like goulom did we get
blind and we paid the price of having the ring in our finger?
I was just checking your sight and I just did click on this part and
I felt that I am not lonely not as much as was thinking maybe that was
another gift of capitalism to put this in our head that we have to leave
individually and think individual gosh I do have so many think to say
I don't know from where I should start.
maybe this being dislocated situation is making me like this specially
when it is happening at the age of 13 in my own country then around the
world and till this they I am still wondering around the world to find
a place to land !!!!!!!!!!
sorry for my poor English I am a dislocated woman in fact single mum
who is confuse between 3 deferent culture who dose not show but in a
big mess physically and mentally anyway I am not even a writer
like you guys I just want share this moment with you!!!!!
* Deserves meeting Empress
I just wanted to say that Mr. Bahmani is such a talented writer
and I particularily liked his latest piece on his "My
dream coffee with Farah Pahlavi",
I don't know if he has met the Empress but certainly he deserves to.
* We fudged up
Dear Mr. Arash Kamangir, [Different
There are some interesting points in your article. I particularly liked
your recount of the demonstrations in D.C. and the fact that no picture
of Khomeini yet existed then. But I was so disappointed to see that you
follow the same illogical, undocumented line of conspiracy theory that
every cab driver in Iran follows.
The questions you ask are indeed interesting
ones. I don't know why "Does anyone wonder how, when all media were
so well-controlled in the Shah's regime, such an article, out of nowhere
and with no prior cause, would appear in Kayhan?" But in answer
to your question, yes. I can tell you confidently that 100% of Iranians
have pondered that very question, and that a huge majority of them already
agree with you.
On the other hand, whether bringing Khomeini to power
was at the top of "West's" interests or not, you shouldn't
foget that we, Iranians, manipulated or not, chose him. How can we blame
the "West" (a
term I don't like to use because it assumes all Western nations follow
the same interests) when they were, at worst, following their own national
interests? Why don't you agree that we, Proud Iranians, actually screwed
up and chose the wrong dudes.
If you believed Mr. Khomeini when he said
that he will be returning to his "hozeh", then you were a sap.
You were naïve, as were I, and you believed the wrong man. Khomeini
was a politician. Wasn't he? Why should we have trusted him to begin
with? He was a mullah too. We now know that this bunch cannot be trusted
at all. We should HAVE known this back then.
Listen dude, we fudged up. Face it!!!!
P.S. Hey, call yourself what you will. But isn't Arash Kamangir, as
heroic a myth as he was, a very old and tired name? Can't we Iranians
be a little
more creative and not always look for old footspets in everything we
* We WEREN'T better off
I agree with Arash Kamangir that the people who fought to
topple the despositic, dictatorial and barbaric government of the lunatic
ridden Mohammed Reza Pahlavi were not from one particular political
camps] I too in my youth was one of the students that took part
in the Washington
DC protests against the Shah prior to the Revolution. In my view the
Shah and monarchy was wrong for Iran. Iran, a 3rd world country can
not support a parasite system known as the monarchy.
Poverty is as was then
prevelant in Iran. Iran's economy is backed by the sale of Oil. Mohammed
Reza Pahlavi knew that as well as the 2 leaders (Ayatollah Khomeini and
Ayatollah Khameinei) who followed him in Tehran. One thing good about
the clergy in Iran they do not alienate themselves from the masses. The
Clergy wears the same clothes every day. Mohammed Reza Pahlavi wore a
new suit every day! Prior to the revolution people were selling their
blood to get a meal in order to prevent starvation.
I hate the argument that "We were better during the Monarchy".
No we weren't. [Hindsight] There
are different levels of crap. crap and crappier. Why do you people (those
who do argue this) accept the bare minimum?
Don't you want freedom and economic stability? One man rule by monarch
or clergy is not freedom. A constitutional monarch is giving a person
free income for doing nothing. Why are you people so stupid? Feed the
poor, the homeless, the widows. Where is Chivalry?
Why don't you
people just go and drop dead!
New York City
* There was no alternative course
If there was no revolution there
would have been no war
with Iraq? Perhaps [Hindsight]. But if there was no 1952, there would have been
no revolution. And what if the Shah of Khwarzemian had not murdered the
Mongol messengers, perhaps the there would have been no Mongol invasion?
Who knows, but one can play what-if games forever. And yes many died
during the revolution and subsequent war, but they didn't place their
lives on the line for for the sake of the Shah or Farah so lets not insult
their memory by portraying the Shah or Farah as their potential saviours
or protectors. The ultimate reason why there was a revolution which was
so violent is because there was no alternative courses of political development
permitted under the Shah.
Even Farah herself has now admitted in an interview
I heard on NPR, and apparently in her book too, that the Shah was wrong
in not opening up the system in Iran (I guess she has apparently given
up on the conspiracy theory which blamed the oil companies for ejecting
her husband from power, which was the theory in her first book, and can
now just barely
admit that "some mistakes were made". How nice for her.) How long do
you think that system could have lasted anyway even if there was no Khomeini?
And what makes you think Iran would have been better off today - it could just
as easily be like Turkmenistan, with days of the week named after Farah. Lord
save us from those who swing too and too easily from one side of a pendulum to
* No one but ourselves to blame
Enjoyed reading your article. I want to congratulate
you on your insightfulness. [Different
camps] Mundane, rudimentary, basic, commonplace, and oft asked
are some adjectives I
would use to describe questions you've raised. I concur and am amazed that
we Iranians, claiming to be more cultured and smarter than "others",
have been unable to provide an answer. Or perhaps we have chosen to ignore these
The gist of your article appears in one sentence: "IT IS BETTER
TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE DEVIL YOU KNOW THAN THE ONE YOU DO NOT KNOW". I
draw your attention to those turbulent days back in 1953 when our only truly
democratically elected Iranian leader, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, was betrayed
by ayatollah Kashani representing the mullahs in Mossadegh's coalition.
It is true
and verifiable that Kashani was "BOUGHT" by that CIA thug Kermit
Roosevelt and suddenly changed his allegiance to monarchists. By bribing
and the British ensured continuation of their interests in Iran. He was the
devil they already knew!
Khomeini and his cohorts were no different. Generally
speaking what distinguishes
and separates the mullahs from rest of us is their non-stop thirst for
money and power. Events in 1979 were nothing but history repeating itself.
be easy for us to blame "others" for today's mess. Truth of the
matter is we have no one but ourselves to blame. As a cultured, worldly and
Iranians should have learned a valuable lesson from history and prevented
the ensuing disaster.
* Maybe he had a point
I recently read your article "Hindsight".
I commend you for being honest about how and why your political loyalties
in relation to the monarchy and the legacy of the revolution.
Yes, looking at things from afar can change the initial perspective,
many young people esp (students), in the 1970's (compared to today) were
radical idealists and wanted to halt imperialism, and many believed
in revolution as a way of getting rid of injustice and the old order.
Although I am not Iranian, I am a historian and take great interest
in analysing causes of revolutions and consequences thereof , i.e Russian
revolutions of 1905 and 1917. I do sympathise with your conclusion
that in perspective and all we have seen in the last 25 years (the islamic
revolution was an anachronistic throwback), the monarchy - Shah would
have been better.
I think if by today the Shah or the Bakthiar
government had been in power and the monarchy would have been changed
into a constitutional one, Iran would have been quite industrialised,
quite stable and far more democratic . Probably the ordinary population
would have been much more secular in outlook, and disregarded
the mullahs as their saviour. (I think the ayatollahs are big hypocrytes,
they exploit religion - probably drink alcohol themselves, enforce
the hijab to control women and deprive them of their former rights,
they are millionaires and have foundations, so aren't they just a self
enriching religious replacement of the Shah's elite.)
Mind you though, I am still very aware of the shortcomings if not failures
of the late Palavi regime, and if it had not been for the corruption,
uncontrolled-widening income - wealth disparities, the growing dependence
on the USA for advice & assistance (maybe even mental wellbeing of
the Shah), the Shah's elitism and drive for moderrnisation - westernisation
at high speed, political exclusion, SAVAK, ordinary (esp traditional
minded) Iranians would not have even thought about revolution.
Never the less,the Shah said 2 days before his death in July 1980
in Egyptian exile, some quite remarkable statements, showing that
he already sensed what would happen after his - monarchy's
"I can't believe what has happened to my country, it is very sad. We were
at the peak of prosperity and I tried to realise Iran's great
civilisation, but the people decided otherwise and wanted to have their
revolution. So they shall have it, but not in a so long time from
now people will realise that they have committed collective suicide on
a national scale. But then it will be far too late. "
If a revolution
at least a progressive one,
"I would have preferred if the people had at least chosen a communist
- red revolution, at least these people are secular and educated.
Those who now have power, the black reactionaries, will turn back
the clock with grave consequences, and darkness will descend upon Iran."
insightful statement of the Shah was on democracy made sometime in
early 1970s during an interview with BBC:
"The majority of Iranian people are not educated yet. Democracy
in a country where extremely few people can read or write and where only a
few have PhD degrees, doesn't make sense."
Maybe he had a point.
One can only hope that the Iranian people, haven't
grown too cynical in the meantime, and will eventually topple one
of the worst
of totalitarian regimes that ever existed in modern times. Unlike
the Shah, I think it is not too late yet, if they, the young people
(having talked to some in Iran , I sense there is still some nostalgic
feeling even among them for the Shah and support for a future monarchy)
and everyone else in Iran disobey - sabotage the regime, it will collapse.
* Ploy to bring back chained dogs of forieng
I think your story is uninformed at best [Hindsight].
It is no secret that your story like most that are printed here are political
jinglings in the
to the cronies of the foriegn powers like Farah. I wonder if you consider
the fact that had Shah stayed we would run out of oil by now and would
have no industry and education for our people.
I am disappointed and stonished that media and story telling are used
as a ploy in this site to help bring back the chained dogs of forieng
powers. I am glad that likes of you do not live in Iran no more.
Your political jingling is dispicable at best.
Your story is just another nail in the coffin of our indepence in news
and story telling. Its translated like many others by the translators
of Linguistic Development Program of some forieng power intelligence
office that you are probably in the bed of.
* If only one had a crystal ball
Dear Jahanshah, [Hindsight]
I read your thoughts on where your potential political
sympathies would have lied during the past 100 years of iranian
with great interest.
I don't think you belong to "hezbeh
baad" as you
refer to it. It sounds like throughout Iran's 100 year history
you would have liked to belong to democratic movements of
If only one had a crystal ball to predict the future,
then I am sure most Iranians would have chosen a different path
Perhaps one day we will see true democracy, as we know it in the
West, in Iran.
* Iranians will experience pleasures of freedom
Thank you very much for
still caring to write and think about your people's fate! [Hindsight] Although
you're still 'not' publishing my other 'philosophical' essay about
human desire for endlessness, I am
not that mad not to comment about your article. Just kidding ;)
I have so often thought about democracy and all types of governments
and regimes that may fit our country. But one thing is for sure.
We have to do it ourselves.
The Iranian 'mass' will not awake to the realities those of us
who have experienced the Western societies' freedoms can understand,
unless everyone who does understand takes the charge and gets involved
to some degree. Taking the charge does not mean militancy. In Iran
whoever has ever come to power has sought revenge and has often
been drawn by hatred. And this has always set the path for further
injustice and hatred because no-one can judge and make justice
evoking and applying personal or even public hatred.
Time has to come, sooner or later, when the Iranians will personally
experience the pleasures of freedom not just for their selves but
also for the others. No society can be strong and self-sustained
unless there is a common sense of brotherhood, trust and some sort
of equitability. To start to build such a society we must first
start recognising our own faults, depicted in our past and guilty
for our present and probably future dismays, and then try to avoid
repeating them ever again. I am very optimistic, as I have always
been. I believe that time is needed and reconciliation is one of
the greatest step-stones.
* Dismayed and -- alarmed!
Saw your nostalgic, almost apologetic, article about the Shah's
regime following Farah's appearance on 20/20. [Hindsight] And
I just have one word for you: marriage has truly gone to your head!!
But the almost blind nostalgia is nothing I haven't encountered before. Only
I am encountering it more and more. First in Iran, primarily amongst the younger,
post-revolution kids, and now smack in the heart of open-minded intellectual
liberals such as yourself. (That's my labeling of you - you don't have to agree
with it!) And frankly I am dismayed, disappointed and -- most importantly --
Alarmed that you equate the present regime's failings and shortcomings -- even
atrocious conduct -- with praise for the previous regime. One does not infer
the other. Perhaps superficially, comparing the pomp and glamour of the previous
regime with the drab, dreary uniformity of turbans, chadors, and unshaven chins,
might one feel a longing for the past. But only by digging beneath the surface
do we recognize the ails that plagued both regimes.
And while post-revolution
kids blinded by the constricted environment of present-day Iran, and constantly
bombarded with images of glitter and glow of former pompous times, may
be excused for seeing only the surface, the same clemency cannot -- CANNOT!
-- be afforded those of us who straddled both epochs with a clear head and
without an endearing
attachment to either. Thence, my disappointment.
Finally, what dismays me most is the prevailing sentiment that we have
only two choices: live with the present regime or will the previous regime
could be further from the plain truth. We have a better choice, many
Ones that address the ails of both regimes (learning from
mistakes) while espousing genuine concerns for human and individual rights,
basic freedoms (of religion, speech, press, association, etc.), fair judicial
and oversight, socio-economic equity, equal opportunity for advancement
for all, checks and balances of power and political influence,
self-determination, integral checks on corruption and malfeasance and the
like. Even a cursory (yet fair and balanced) study of both epochs reveals
in most of these basic principles in both regimes.
So, the choice is not one of present or the previous regime. Rather
it is a choice between failed practices and malformed priorities
on the one hand, and genuine social, political, judicial, economic
-- even cultural -- redress on the other. Pomp and spectacle, nor
blind allegiance to man and method (be it monarchy or theocracy),
simply do not play a part. Let us not barter these cherished principles
we've fought for for so long for seemingly happier, glittery times.
Here's to hoping we keep our minds sharp and our eyes open during these
formative times and forget not the old adage "beware of Greeks bearing
share your sentiments
I am actually very glad to see that you are starting
to 'repent' for your past support of the IR [Hindsight].
I think most of the people whom
favoured the 'insurrection of 1979' with the belief that they would
have greater freedoms, only to be squashed under the name of religion,
share your sentiments.
If only people would have given the Monarchy
a little more time, and things would have been much different -
I am confident of this belief!
Well, as a 'Bacheh Darbari' (for lack of a better word), I have
been, and will continue to always be, a Monarchist. However, my
views are based on a Constitutional Monarchy, based on history & tradition.
Just take a glance at Spain - HIM Juan Carlos serves as a symbolic
figurehead that bridges the past with today. Just my humble opinion
on this rainy Tuesday in NYC...
* Regret and
blame are irrelevant
I just wanted to express my opinion about time and places of events
that constantly happens [Hindsight].
What we do at a moment in time is justified by our logic and
intelligence. The outcome is the result of that judgment and logic.
Compare it to buying stocks (provided studying the company's performance
and forecasts), lottery tickets (for those that have a SYSTEM and
utilizing the laws of statistics).
The phrase "IF I" and the feelings of regret and
blame are irrelevant.
* Why do you hate the Pahlavis?
Why do you hate Pahlavi family so much. [Hindsight] Are
you doing it for getting more attention? You are representing the
iranian.com and must have
a little more passion / understanding toward your own people. We
must have the ability to forget the past and continue going forward
with hope and love for others.
REPLY: I do not hate them. I believe no individual, no cleric,
no family has the natural or god-given right to assume the guardianship
of an entire nation forever. So whether it's Pahlavi or Qajar
or Khomeini or Khamenei or... it doesn't matter to me. They are
all un-elected and in my eyes illegitimate. -- Jahanshah
* Great idea
Just saw your 96 pictures of Farah's interview I would like to
make a suggestion [Hindsight].
I think Iranian.com should buy you a 46-inche Plasma TV so in
future you can give us better and bigger pictures.
I think you might be able to deduct it on your next year taxes
as business purchase LOOL.
* Islamic Norooz
In response to quiz question "Ripple
Religious people think that at the Norooz saal tahvil time
the fish turn towards "ghebleh" (Mecca).
* aka Shirin Neshat
response to quiz question "Who
She is hungry.
More letters (March 2004)
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