April 2005
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Blind to reality

In response to Peyvand Khorsandi's "A Flamenco lesson for Michael Howard":

A Persian Jew who left Iran before revolusion obviously dosn't know what the Arabs and Arab-ass-licking Iranians are being taught in their countries about blind hatred toward western coutries. He dosn't know there are people in Iran registering to become suicide bombers, just becuase they are under 24 hour anti-Israel propaganda and not allowed to read or see anything that shows the reality.  

A people who are lied to constatnly and made to cry for Palestinian suffering!! without ever having seen or heared even one Palestinian in their life. After all, emotions is the only thing that can make stupid illiterate people hate and kill blindly. He sort of knows that the Islamic regime in Iran is opressing women, so he dosn't like it. But does he know anything else?

Palestinians are just like other Arabs, constanly taught that they should worry about Arab nationalism and making sure Israel will be destroyed and in its place there should be just another barbaric Arab country that like the rest of them will be able to clean itself out of Jews. If it was not becuase of Arab nationalism, why would there be Palestinian refugee camps? What happened to all thoes Arab lands? Dont' they have room anymore?

Israel is not made by superpowers, it is made by a people who got tired of having to suffer at the hands of regimes like racist Europeans, Arabs or today's government in Iran, which people like you probably believe was brought to Iran by Israel and America. I hear many times comments like this that Israel brought Khomeini!! How long more will Moslems shit up their own lives and find Isreal responsible?

Just like other Arabs, Palestinians have this "vice and virtue" patrols which is run by Hamas in Gaza and just a few days ago they killed a Palestinian woman who was walking by the beach with a boyfrined. Give palestinians power and they will be worse than Taliban and the Islamic regim in Iran. the same Arabs are harrasing Jews in Fracnce and England becuase their population is growing and they feel powerful enough to do whatever they want, excercise their racism just like they did in their own countries, show their real ideas about the people who ignoranly have accepted them in their country.

Mr. Mazandarani is too blind to the difference between Jews and Moslem imigrants. Jewish immigrants never had a country before, and they didn't have plans like Arabs to destroy their host coutnries. They only contributed to their countries. Today's Moslem immigrants have their own countries and dont' teach their children who are born in England to be royal to it. As they taught us in Iran "we have to use western technology for destroying the west because it is corrupt" they didn't teach us that we should learn and use their technology to make our country better.

Jews going back to their own country is not fair? To whom? To Arabs? Arabs controling Iran and sending its riches to support Hizbollah and Syris? 1400 years of Arab attacks and conquest of so many countries is fair? There was only one Arab country before. Now how many? How did they conquer all these countries? By being fair?

I rather buy Israeli products becuase it will make sure Jews will have a home and won't be at the mercy of any nations, specially Arabs (as if Islam has let any Jew stay in Arabic couuntries) and becuase the poverty in Israel is raging thanks to Arab and Iranian money that support Palestinian by sending them bombs to make them suicide bombers and stay in refugee camps still after 50 years, instead of helping their economic situation.

A woman wrote an article in Iranian.com a while ago, saying how she was proud that her eight-year-old daugther defended Kerry in her essay in school. Such a smart little girl! Like most Iranians and Arabs, she couldn't see that what she was teaching her daughter was to ignorantly and courageously defend what she didn't have a clue about; in reality defending her ignorant mother's ideas. This is exactly what you and this stupid Mr. Mazandarani are, just a bit older than eight but never taught how to think.

Too much Arab and Islamic funded propaganda against Israel in European countries like France and Germany and England can blind anybody to reality. After all they don't have to use their riches for their people, they can use it for terrorism against Isreal. Their people like Iranians can be kept busy with talk of hatred. This guy never lived in Iran after revolusion, otherwise he would become an ardent zionist, understanding that facist Islamists can only shit up the world whereever they go and sooner or later it will be the turn of the people of England to suffer at their hand. America woke up after sept. 11. how will the English wake up only God knows.

I don't think you have ever lived in Iran. Even if you did, you would stay an Arab-ass-licking Iranian whose eyes are blinded by the constant Iranian media propaganda anyway. You would probably be a moron justifying imprisoning of student protesters, and banging the scarf on women's heads.  But if you dont' live in Iran, you can still access many web sites not filtered by the Iranian government. I won't ask you to read Israeli websites, after all we Jews are controling the whole world (plus fifty Islamic countries? I can't remember) but I like this website of some Moslem writers: Muslimrefusenik.com

Roya Beny Levi


University of California, for Iranians

In response to Iranian f the day "Paul Merage", and his $30M donation to University of California, Irvine:

Forgive me for sounding so blunt, but what part of his donation effects Iranians or Iran. I kept reading and reading and did not see any reference to Iran except a fellow Iranian, Mr. Reza Moini sending this to you folks. Why, I don't know.

Mr. Fariborz Maseeh's donation however is by an Iranian for Iranian causes at UCI.

Unless we change the name "University of California, Irvine" to "University of California, for Iranians", of course I am being ridiculous here, does not make sense at all.

You had an article by the Iranian Anousheh Ansari who paid $10M for the special air project, that made sense, this does not.



Men who abandoned their families

My family suffered, but not by the physical abandonment to Iran of the father, the husband. I won't go into this mess. But I must say, that all these men who abandoned their families, especially their children, I consider them to be total jerks. With crocodile tears, they say they are sad. They didn't have to do what they did. They loved their Imams, their prestige, whatever, more than their families. They can never repay this. They could never suffer enough. However, they won't; they won't suffer. They'll complain and then get on with their new families as though nothing ever happened.



Multi-color kaboud

In response to Guive Mirfenderski's "When 'kaboud' is not":

Your thorough research on Persian word “Kaboud” is very well-written and splendid. However, I would like to write a few lines about your excellent article that may interest you:

-- As you concluded, Kaboud has different color meanings: And here are some more:

(A) In Chemistry, Cut-e-Kaboud is the Persian name of a chemical compound named Hydrated Copper Sulfate. Copper Sulfate (CuSO4) is the most common copper salt, made by the action of sulfuric acid on the base copper oxide. The anhydrous form is a pale green or gray-white powder, while the hydrated form (CuSO4, 5H2O) is bright blue.

(B) In Agriculture, Kaboudan or Siah-Daneh is the Persian term for Ergot of Rye.  Kaboudar is the Persian name of a type of Poplar Tree (in Persian: Sepidaar).

(C) In Poetry, Kaboud mainly refers to blue color. Blue Tub (in Persian: Kaboud-Tasht) is an allusion of blue sky (in Persian: Assrmaan-e-Nilgoon). In the Art of Simile (in Persian: Tashbeeh) of Poetry, Kaboud possibly means different colors. Late poet, Mehdi Akhavan-e-Saaless entitled one of his books as Love Lyrics and Azure (in Persian: Aasheghaneha-va-Kaboud), and he most likely meant the different colors of love!

-- I understand that the tools of expression are various, and the tastes are different. Wouldn’t you prefer to forget about the perfixes as al-, abu-, ebn-, and so on when you like to recall some famous Iranian scholars? Arabs used and still intentionally using these perfixes to mislead the readers. I think you agree with me to put down Jalal-e-din-Tehrani as in a style which is Persian and it also sounds right.

Respectfully, as always, and Baa Aarezoy-e-Tandorousty-o-Shadaaby,

Manouchehr Saadat Noury
www.Persian.ws/poetry and www.expage.com/firstiranians


They put the mullahs in power ...let them take them down

In response to Saman's letter "Astonishing imagination":


Disagree with me - that's fine. Argue facts and points. But isn't it more stupid to try to humiliate a passionate, caring individual.

I was offended by NIAC's bullshit statistic, and opposition to assistance to Regime Change in Iran - which I think should be welcomed. I am entitled to my view - and you are entitled to disagree.

If you really believe that the guns, thugs, secret police etc of the Mullahs will allow any real opposition to ferment and topple them - think again, or better why don't I send you a link to the Unversity Student's web site and then you'll see some graphic exanple of blood splattered all over the place in their dorms, with stories of how a bunch of them were simply pushed out the window in the middle of the night, not to mention stories of torture from the evin and other prisons with hot iron rods placed up prisoners asses, women being raped, etc.

I don't represent any political faction or group. I a simple, sole citizen. And if you had a real notion of their brutality you would not encourage any Iranian to take actions against them - like that idiot on television who said I'll be there in October - that led to a bunch of people being killed whenthey took to the streets.

This is the sad reality. The US put the Mullahs (and the taliban) in power ...let them take them down. A singular US policy (versus the confusion caused by bitter disputes between departments and agencies) should be welcomed by Iranians. They have the guns, the airplanes - let them level Qom and then the Mullahs might pull aside. Until then, no one in Iran will or can do a damn thing. Your position is exactly what the Mullahs are advocating. It's what Khatami told Clinton ... look where we are now? If anything their strangle hold on Iran (the Mullah's I mean) is only getting tighter.

The one on crack is you! It's a crack-pot idea to suggest ordinary Iranians can rise against them - when all of Saddam's army couldn't even shift them an inch. They have guns and above all incredible wealth - they can buy anything or anyone.

And let's look at history. America's own so called revolution was financed by the Dutch and their arms supplier was France, who went so far as to send their best gunpowder chemist to the US "E.I. DuPont de Nemours" [the Dupont Company]

There is nothing wrong with outside assistance. In an interconnected world - healthy alliances serve valuable national interests. Would you rather allign with the Russians or the Chinese or North Koreans? Do they have surplus capital to invest in the growth of the country? Can they supply state-of-the-art technology (agricultural, petro-chemical, medical, etc - industries of Iran's future).

B. Bamdad


Skewed stats

In response to Pirouz Azadi's "People power, not American power":


Thanks for the sarchasm, but I did go back and pull a copy of the email I recieved from NIAC. The headline, and then the title explanation just below the headline (ussually referred to in Journalism as a tag line, title line, lead etc) had the following statement exactly:

"revealing strong opposition among Iranian Americans to H.R. 282 / S. 333 (Iran Freedom Support Act), a bill that would make regime change official U.S. policy on Iran."

Their (NIAC's) explanation of HR 282 does not even infer that it is somehow a license to bomb Iran, it simply refers to regime change as the official (or call it singular) US policy. And I think, very clearly, I tried to explain that the US government has been inconsistent (even recently) with regard to its policy towards Iran.NIAC's statement was carefully crafted and in fact misleading about whether Iranian-Americans supported regime change (which we all do, but not bombing which we do not). Their statistical basis was also flawed - and skewed to promote their view point.

I think a singular US policy is good for both the US and Iranian opposition. (State department had one view, CIA another, Pentgon another - so one side was dealing with Iran while the other was fighting the Mullahs, etc ...it has been a policy of convenience, political convenience, defence convenience, ...when it suited them they negotiated with the Mullahs and when it did not they bashed them). Once it is passed, members of the administration can be held legally accountable for their actions/policies etc. Which has to be good.

Hopefully that makes my position clearer.

B. Bamdad


"Khaak bar sareshoon". That's all.

In response to Dario Margeli's "Ding dong! Ding dong!'":

Dear Dario,

A few years ago some people from a church approached and asked me to sign a petition against gay marriage. Since they recognized that I am a Muslim they thought I would hate homosexuals. At the end, I had to stop their preaching.

It would be better to ask which people want to kill homosexuals rather than which countries. In fact, I believe that the numbers of Canadians who hate homosexauls are more than the numbers of the Iranians. Furthermore, hatred is not in the Iranian blood. They do not feel comfortable with gay concepts because they have not had a chance to meet openly professional gay men. They would not miss any gay weddings if they are invited.

Last year the manager of our company invited some people to his gay son's wedding. Two Iranian families and my mother were the first guests who arrived for the wedding.  My mother's only concern was not to be in the pictures. When the groom and groom were kissing, I heard my mother saying, "khaak bar sareshoon". That's all.

About the trip to Iran, in fact, I know many non-Iranians gays who travel easily to Iran and spend a great time with their Iranians friends. Please try another embassy and be calm when you are talking with them. Don't make any assumption before starting the conversation. You might have a chance to gain his attention this time!



Great White Shark

In response to quiz about "Hashemi Rafsanjani":

Well the Great White Shark was just released from Monterey Bay Aquarium yesterday and I had a nice visit with him last Saturday! If you are looking for a symbolic answer; you would have to look under an Ammameh!

Talieh Shahrokhi


Who cares?

In response to Shahla Azizi's "Suffocating charmer":

What is this obsession that you people have trying to portray a normal life under a tyranny that is Islamic Republic Of Iran? Shame on us, Iranian women taking marshal art classes or riding a horse etc. Who cares? How is this progress or even news worthy? Why don't you point out that a female brain surgeon in Iran has only a half of her male patients' rights?

I am just sick and tired of seeing one photo essay after another, shamefully depicting a normal happy life for Iranian men and women. Perhaps Zahra Kazemi should have taken some Karate classes; she may have had a chance against her murderers.




How similar you people feel

In response to Shahla Azizi's "Suffocating charmer":

I read your thoughts and feelings as you were landing in Mehrabad airport. I just finished reading Lipstick Jihad by Azadeh Moaveni and thought you should definitely read this book. You will find it most enchanting as how similar you people feel.

Goli Emami


Will you shed your blood? I wonder

In response to B. Bamdad's "Regime change":

Anyone believing that a regime change from outside of Iran would be beneficial to the Iranian people and successful is on crack and completely unaware of the history of the Iranian people. This idea that an outside body could ever change Iran is absurd.

Any change or reform that would be long lasting and authentic (without ulterior motives of robbing and ruling Iran) has to come from within the country. Now, how many khareji irnuis are willing to shed blood and sweat for this, I wonder?

Pooneh Tehrani


Astonishing imagination

In response to B. Bamdad's "Regime change":

Your NIAC fairy-tale cracked me up. Speaking of which ... how far were you sitting from the pipe when you revealed this "NIAC scheme?" Your imagination is astonishing ... do you live in OZ by any chance? Keep it up ... your articles may soon compete with Harry Potter.



Why kill the messenger?

In response to B. Bamdad's "Regime change":

To suggest such a conspiracy theory is fantastically Middle Eastern and in my opinion far fetched. The thing I love about NIAC is that they serve as a non-partisan organization dedicated to educating, promoting and fighting for the rights of Iranian Americans. What many fail to realize is that NIAC has difficulty raising money because it is politically neutral and does not take sides. Individuals and private interest groups are much more keen contributing dollars to organizations that takes side on issues that affect them personally or as a business.

To the best of my knowledge NIAC merely relies on grants, contributions, volunteers, a small staff of underpaid employees and minimal membership fees to stay afloat. If you think a penny is being spent by the Mullahs in Iran to influence NIAC I suggest you take a trip to Washington DC and visit their humble office. Trust me, they have achieved their voice and influence through hard work, passion and vision; not dollars.

"80% of Iranian-Americans do not want regime change in Iran". Why kill the messenger? NIAC is merely relaying to the public the results of those who voted on the issue of regime change through their site. If unhappy with the results, individuals who are in favor of regime change should become more active in their participation of such polls/action alerts offered by NIAC. The worst thing that can happen is for someone to cry wolf over the results when he or she fails to participate in the process.

I commend NIAC, their staff and Board for all their hard work. They are a wonderful asset for our community that is designed to serve our needs. Instead of tearing them down with conspiracy theories let us embrace NIAC and use the tools/services they offer to get involved with the political process; by doing so we will all be doing our small part in empowering the Iranian American community.




Brave stand

In response to B. Bamdad's "Regime change":

Just a simple note of THANKS to B. Bamdad for his braveness to stand against all $$ sniffers in NIAC and for the clear truth in his words.

Sayeh Saidi Sirjani


Long, boring & bogus

In response to B. Bamdad's "Regime change":

National Iranian American Council (NIAC) doesn't take position on any political issues here or in Iran. NIAC provides Iranian-American community an easy electronic access to our elected officials (President, Vice President, Senators and etc.). This is for them to hear what we like to say on any issues that affect us. They provide template letters, both for and against issues in question. You also have ability to draft your own letter and send it out via their site. It is up to any user of NIAC site to communicate his/her feeling to one's representative about the issue, not NIAC.

As a paying member of NIAC, Bamdad's article posted at your site on April 22, 2005 offended me. It is a poorly written piece of crap, at best, or a vicious Iran-Hater Zionist job at worst. I suspect it is combination of both. Although I'm no expert in this field but it appears that B. Bamdad suffers form Mullah-Phobia syndrome. Anything or anybody not contributing to demise of the Mullahs is Bamdad's No. 1 enemy.

He goes to great length to make the whole thing up as he goes along to prove this point. His outlandish claim that NIAC is financed by Mullah money is like rest of his rather long and boring article, bogus. NIAC has posted their annual budget every year. With few dedicated and enlighten staff and army of volunteers, they are doing a far better job per buck than all those ambiguous, secretive and "intelligent-service dependent organizations" out there, that no one can scrutinize their finances or their ideological DNA. NIAC is open and out there, I wish I could say that about B. Bamdad (or whatever his/her real name is) and his ideological cronies.

If B. Bamdad doesn't like work of NIAC, prove them wrong. Set up an organization that "truly" represents you and your ideology. Just be as open and honest as NIAC. Stop killing the messenger, if you don't like the message.

S. Hosseini


Shocking/sad exploitation

I don't know if it makes me disgusted or simply sad to see two very different, but brutally truthful "realities" on your site: the supposed "street show" which is both shocking and disturbing... done out of ignorence and poverty; and, the prostitution of a full-blooded Iranian girl (claiming to be "Norwegian") in a porno, which is done out of shamelessness and greed.

Which is worse no one really could say...




Remember when you wanted a promotion?

In response to Azam Nemati's "Aghadashloo has it all":

In North American culture crying is a crime. It reflects the ultimate weakness of a person. It was frustrating to watch Googoosh begging and crying. However, to gain the attention of Iranians crying is a considerable trick. Googoosh is an actress and lived in Iran longer than all of us; thus, she is well aware of Iranians' emotional intelligence.

Considering Iranian culture, there was nothing wrong with Googoosh's acting. In fact, she took advantage of her popularity and introduced thieves and smugglers to the public.

On the other hand, Aghadashloo should not be condemned because of her role in "24". Some must have forgotten the time they were looking for a job or licking their supervisor's/co-workers ass to get promotion.

Let's hope that Aghadashloo would shut up and would not criticize Googoosh again.



Revered religious values

In response to Zohreh Khazai Gharemani's "Happy medium":

Dear zohreh I admire the fact that you are trying to bring balance to the widely differing point-of-views between these two individuals or any other two for that matter.

However, i would beg to differ with you on one point, namely that merely focusing on the fact that, as those who lived in a country where there was not enough effective education in our lives about our religion, as opposed to what our christian counterparts were exposed to, or even the extent to which some of our own youth were familiarized with other cultures, would not go far enough to justify our shamefully rediculing some of the highly revered religious values and rituals. What Pesare gol ["Hossein hocus pocus"] or any other like-minded commentators would tend to do is to plainly belittling such characters as Imam hussain and others, and you can't simply chalk that up as plain lack of knowledge.

I agree that both sanaz ["Your loss"] and him belong to one generation and one country, but the fact remains that there are some people who willingly refuse to get educated on such matters and choose to ignore it simply because they would not want to trade the comfort and convenience of Western culture for that of what they perceive as a culture of sufferage and pain and revering those who belonged to the past.

reading your comments i could not help but notice that you probably do not have strong, traditional religious beliefs (correct me if i am wrong) and would welcome a slightly modified and modernized version of it. A certain degree of open-mindedness and flexibility is defenitely allowed in looking and evaluating any of the world religions, so far as it will not culminate downplaying and deinigration. To me that was Pesare gol's intentions.

Kyle Saghafi


Cultural confusion

In response to Sanaz Fotouhi's "Your loss":

Dear Sanaz with due respect to your beliefs I would like to point out a small fact about Iranian culture. Ashoora-Tasooa is neither an Iranian culture nor an Islamic culture; it is a Shia culture which is some kind of hybrid form of Islam and it is a fact that Shia’ism was created not for the love of Islam or Ali or Hossein , but only and only to block Arabization  of Iran.

If you bother to study  and understand Iran’s true history you will realize all this mourning, beating, crying, stabbing is foreign to our culture; even wearing of black clothing was not promoted.  Iranian culture (before Islam) was full of joy, happiness and celebration. Iranians celebrated one day of every month. Our culture is Nowrouz, Sadeh, Mehregan, Chahrshanbeh Soori to name a few.



Unfortunate "f" word

In response to Behrouz Bahmani's "Death to 6/8":

Attn: Mr. Jahanshah Javid
Dear Sir,

I was reading/browsing iranian.com web site, and noticed there was an article under "Death to 6/8" in which unfortunately the author used the "f" word. I know many Persian families who go to this web site regularly and browse/read its content. This is a very good site for us Iranians and as a loyal reader I'd very much like to see its content in clean language.

As oppose to the author's opinion in his reply to me, this web site is indeed a public site because anyone can view it from any public places such as libraries without paying a penny. It is not password protected or requires no membership in order to get into it.

I contacted the author and he directed me to you saying that you are the editor/publisher/owner of iranian.com.

Please take this into consideration so no such offending words would appear in the content of this web site in the future.


Seattle, WA.


Adam & steve

In response to Jordan and Davoodi's "Say no to same-sex marriage":

Traditionally marriage focuses on three aspects: 'a remedy...to avoid fornication', in other words limiting sex to one partner, 'mutual society, help, and comfort' or not being alone in life, and 'the procreation of children'. The third aspect has been the almost total focus by the Righteous Right since they refer to Adam and Eve being able to produce children, but not Adam and Steve. It has reached the foolish point whereby those who cannot for one reason or another have children, are not married!

Same-sex marriages also limit sexual activity to one partner in loving and supportive relations. Children can be adopted, if not supported through charitable donations. In an over-populated world, a church which teaches against or forbids birth control is directly contributing to millions of children esp in the Third World to lives of poverty, disease, economic privation and environmental collapse.

Some of these fundamentalist anti-gay churches and organizations are using this issue to further their own agenda into the mainstream of Canadian religious and political life. It is called "Christian Reconstructionalism" and its objective is the reorganization of society as a theocracy using biblical legislation as its legal system. In this theocracy, last attempted in England and again in Massachusetts in the 1630-50s, all dissent is crushed and the righteous rule their version of a godly commonwealth.

Shawn Sepasi


Rubbish beyond belief

In response to Peyvand Khorsandi's "Tarzan among apes":

Better be Tarzan rather than an Ape. It appears that Peyvand Khorsandi has nothing better to do than make groundless accusations against the Iran Heritage Foundartion.

What are we supposed to make of the following claim? "However, in the eyes of IHF and its managing director Farhad Hakimzadeh, (Parviz) Sayyad is a non-entity..."

I suggest that Mr Khorsandi (Jr) should quit his self-serving contributions to Iranian culture which are neither witty or well-informed. He should perhaps give IHF a call to see how he can make a more useful contribution.

IHF is run by a group of individuals who have dedicated considerable time and energy to furthering Iranian culture. I am sure mistakes have been made, but for an Iranian to rubbish such an important effort is beyond beief.

Soroush Kordestani


Pretending to preserve heritage

In response to Peyvand Khorsandi's "Tarzan among apes":

During the year 2002 when Iran Heritage Foundartion (in collaboration with Artangel) was organising seminars and an exhibition around Persian mysticism, the organiser at the Union Chapel in London who knew my work, recommended that I contact IHF in order to get a slot for a performance in their hugely subsidised project.

I phoned IHF and talked to a kind lady who was enthusiastic and asked me to send my CV to Mr Hakimzadeh.

The next communication I got from them was their programme of the event with Rumi's picture on the cover appropriately crying. I e-mailed a letter to Mr H. with "sex discrimination?" as the subjects title, complaining about the fact that the coordination for the music section had been handed to NAVA group, which does not in principle promote women who sing.

Mr H. replied -- having deleted the subject's title -- using phrases full of right-on words like "him/her" claiming that NAVA had nothing to do with it, however revealing at the same time that he had never seen my CV in the first place.

There may have been Persian mystics in the past but all get these days in London are the great Iranian mystifiers. Considering the fact that I did research/perform on Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi and Rumi's life in 1989 in London and Warwick Uni. long before Rumi had become a fashion in West and a benefactor to opportunists, I was obviously hurt.

However when I mentioned this to a friend, she said don't worry IHF is a cover for rich Iranian shareholders who needed a charity's name to "dodge UK taxes". My hurt was instantly healed.

Now I believe it is useful the way they are promoting more and more visual artists and writers. However it is important to be aware that IHF is not there to promote local artists who crave acknowledgment of their work as their country's heritage but a pretender which needs to attach itself occasionally to the already famous and established in order to promote itself and justify its existence.

As for Kiarostami's exhibition, I truly love his films, but I wish he had mentioned Sohrab Sepehri's name (sohrahsepehri.com) as his inspiration for his "pilot instalation of Forests without Leaves". I was shocked to see the picture in the BFI's (the British Film Institute) publication, as it instantly brought back memories of Sepehri's paintings in an exhibition I had seen in Tehran in 1990.

I was shocked to see the picture in the BFI's publication, as it reminded me of the exhibition I had seen of Sepehri's works in Tehran in 1990. Obviously imitation has never been a taboo in the Iranian culture. The great Hafez himself for instance -- and many others not so great as well -- used freely the metaphors which had been initially used by Khayyam.

In the most recent years on the other hand we have witnessed how since Forough Farrokhzad planted her hands in her garden, so many look-alike hands have been growing in the gardens of the poetically inclined Iranians throughout the world (Any stand-up comedians quoting this please mention my name!).

However for an internationally established artist imitation is bad news and risky. Or is it the fact that the main dream of every Iranian artist -- in whatever discipline -- is to be a poet/painter (or anything coming closest to that), no matter at what cost? Of course I would love to be filmed by the great Kiarostami. Those wonderful trees have been looked at before. Look at me before I perish, and I might prove to be a much more interesting subject than Makhmalbaf after all.

Vida Kashizadeh


Judging Bolton

In response to Fereydoun Hoveyda's "Ambassadors vs. Ambassador":

With all due respect to Ambassador Hoveyda, I disagree with you on the Bolton question and I believe that your argument is very weak. You begin by simplifying the various criticisms against Bolton and reducing them to one, namely that he is not sympathetic towards the United Nations.

Next, you claim that this line of criticism suggests a rule (i.e., Ambassadors should be sympathetic towards the countries and posts which they are sent to.) which if followed would have bad consequences. Then you give a few examples to support the claim that this is a bad rule. Finally, you suggest that a better criterion for choosing the U.N. ambassador would be that the nominee has the ability to impose the implementation of basic reforms.

One of my main problems with your argument is that it is based on a kind of simplification. I think that generally in life and particularly in politics when there is a problem, disagreement, or controversy, we are usually dealing with a wide variety of concerns and worries from many different quarters. I am cautious about simplification because it usually means ignoring and overlooking many concerns and worries and treating the concerns and worries of others as trivial and without worth and merit.

You seem to argue that the reason former ambassadors and officials oppose Bolton's nomination to the U.N. is simply because of his lack of sympathy towards the institution. I agree with you that this is in fact one of the main criticisms against Bolton's nomination to U.N., but I think that the way you deal with it is odd and questionable. Your dismiss this criticism by claiming that it suggests a rule and you give a few examples to show that adopting this rule is not without difficulties.

I think that your examples at best show that Ambassadors should sometimes not be sympathetic towards the countries which they are sent to. But, as you know better than me, the U.N. is not another country. It is a world body made up of all the countries on earth.

Undoubtedly, the dynamics of working as an ambassador to the U.N. has not only similarities but also many important differences with working as an ambassador to some particular country. These differences merit that we should use a different criterion for judging the qualifications of the nomination for the ambassador to U.N. than we use for judging the qualifications of the nomination for the ambassador to some particular country.

I agree that an ambassador to some particular country may under certain circumstances lack sympathy towards the government of the country where he or she is sent. But I wonder and fear what it would be like to have an ambassador to the U.N. who has repeatedly expressed contempt for the U.N. and other major international bodies and institutions. This, I believe, is the main concern of Bolton's critics.

Rather than looking at what rules follow from this concern, it may be a good idea to look at the particulars that surround it. Bolton has a track record of saying inflammatory and belligerent things about the U.N. and international laws, treaties, and institutions, in general. Bolton has a very right-wing idea of what is in the interest of the U.S., i.e., he is a unilateralist hawk whose aim is to put America's interests first. He has 'the world is against us, so it is us against the world' mentality. Those who oppose Bolton's nomination believe that U.S. interests are best served if we also look after the interest of other nations and that we should whenever possible make and keep friends rather than alienate them and drive them away.

I do not object to the fact that Bolton is a leading hawk on Iran and North Korea. But I fear that because of his over obstructionist and unyielding ways he would have an antagonistic and unfriendly attitude toward nearly all other U.N. ambassadors and toward any kind of change which would involve power-sharing or any attempt to hold the U.S. accountable for its actions in the international realm.

Even if we take your criterion for choosing the U.N. ambassador (i.e., the ability to work on UN reform), it is difficult to see how could someone like Bolton handle such a task which requires some degree of qualities such as, poise, tact, delicacy, and subtlety.

Sasan Seifikar


Very witty

In response to Saman's cartoon "Blowing smoke":

Hi Saman,

While I disagree with some of your cartoons with regard to American politics, I have always been a strong admirer of your art work.

I was looking at the latest today. Not only did I laugh for quite some time, I also forwarded it to all my friends. Very witty, indeed!




Lost & found

Looking for my father, Hassan Ashtari
Hi to all. It is the first time that I write such a personal letter on the web.  I am an Italian woman of 37 years. I am looking for my father. He is Iranian of Tehran and this year it would have to turn 60 years old. His name is Hassan Ashtari and was a soldier of the harbor [navy].

I have known him when I was three years old then. I don't have him/it more visto, pers you motivate that don't depend of it from me of it from him.

I still have her letters that show his love to me.  But they are 33-years old. I don't have news anymore, not even if he is alive. He had a brother in Tehran and his father worked at the university. 

I beg whoever can help to do it. 

I will be eternally grateful,

Lara Fiorini


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