Letters

May 2007

PART 1 -- PART 2 -- PART 3

May 22

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Taking notice of enormous potential in Iranian American community

On Minou Akhavan's "Fool us once Goli, shame on us":

Minou Akhavan's misinformed attack on Goli Ameri is an unfortunate example of why, after 28 years, an Iranian American community that can boast the highest education and per capita income of any immigrant group in the U.S. has had a difficult time forming a nationwide organization to further its own interests.

To begin with, I think its safe to say that anyone who followed Ms Ameri's campaign or listened to her speeches would quickly realize that she is not a right wing conservative, but rather a moderate Republican. She was the first Iranian American to win a Congressional primary in a landslide, and the fact that she received nearly 40% of the vote in a losing effort to an incumbent in a predominantly Democratic district is nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary, her candidacy sparked a movement that has caused Washington to sit up and take notice of the enormous potential in the Iranian American community.

The meeting that took place last November (through Ms. Ameri's initiative) brought together a diverse and impressive array of Iranian American talent with the sole intent of creating an organization that will address the needs and concerns of those of us living in the States. To date, the members of this organization include Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, and come from all walks of life. Mr. Bolton was invited to that first gathering simply because he was the American ambassador to the U.N. at the time, and it was important he be made aware of some of the issues that are important to our community.

When Ms. Akhavan says that Goli Ameri betrayed Iranian-American values, she offers no example of what she considers those values to be. The main reason for the inaugural meeting last November in New York, and the more recent gathering in California was to discuss precisely these and other issues pertaining to the Iranian community. Perhaps Ms. Akhavan would like to offer her views at the next scheduled meeting in November.

Arian Saleh

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Real problem

On Sepehr Haddad's "Where have all the honey bees gone?":

I believe that Einstein once made a comment to the effect that once the bees are gone four years later humans will go. See urban legends.

Are we really sure that we can afford to worry about Bushie and crew when there are real problems out there?

Fathali Ghahremani

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Primitive and pagan of reasons for "putting up a tree"

On Shahriar Zahedi's "To tree or not to tree...":

I am an American person, and was brought up in a Christian culture. I wouldn't call myself Christian, but there it is. Anyway: We put up a Christmas tree each year because of our culture, and not because we worship the darned thing. I probably enjoy the most primitive and pagan of reasons for "putting up a tree": I enjoy the scent of the tree (I'd love that scent any time of year!), the colorful lights in the cold, long nights and short days of winter, and feasting and giving of gifts as an expression of love for my family and ones dear to me.

By the way, we have, in the past 7 years, chosen a small, living tree for our home, kept it indoors a week or two, and plant it outside -- I love to watch things grow. Pagan of me, don't you think? I don't send out Christmas cards, but "holiday" cards, to let my friends know I think of them when things look bleakest. A midwinter celebration of lighting a tree, and remembering all of the good things and good times, and charity to the less fortunate, are practiced in some form by nearly every religion, everywhere. IMHO -- have a tree if you enjoy it!

Light it up year-round if you like! Plant it if you like growing things! It is not necessarily an expression of Christianity to celebrate the good times of life in the darkest moments. And if you don't have money or room for a tree... what the heck? Appreciate the good things in life that you do have! If it pleases you more, spend the money that would otherwise go for a tree, on a good work, or donate it to the poor. Many Christians do, by the way! And many Christians (7th Day Adventists in particular) don't even do the tree and gift thing: it's just another day for them.

Sincerely,

Mary B.

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Stop doing Picasso

On Bahman Dabiri's paintings"Coming to Canada":

Please stop doing Picasso. I much rather see original Picasso than imitation Picasso. How can anyone be original doing Picasso? His time has passed, this is your time: Be original.

Parviz Azad

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Who is this stranger in my bed?

On Nazy Kaviani's "Without her, my life would have no meaning":

Dear Mr. Redinecki:

I read your beautiful letter with pride and joy. What a wonderful man you are and how blessed your life and marriage to your lovely wife seems. I am honored you took the time to write so poetically and to tell me your thoughts on marriage and what it takes to keep it going.

If I sounded wanton and insensitive in describing the process of a divorce, I am sorry. I most certainly do not believe that people must take divorce lightly, just as more importantly I don’t think they should take their marriage lightly. Indeed I am aware of the many couples who don’t try hard enough to save their marriage. Human beings, in my opinion, are dynamic creatures, changing day by day, adding to their experiences which makes them richer, and with any luck, reducing their rough edges, becoming more humble and understanding. If couples are not aware of the changes that are happening to each other, however, it is very likely that they will go their separate ways to wake up one day, look at the person sleeping next to them, and wonder: who is this stranger in my bed?

I agree with you wholeheartedly that it takes a lot of work to stay committed to a relationship. For one thing, couples need to talk with one another continually. It is quite possible that over time, even our favorite colors change, let alone our thinking about life, the universe, religion, politics, and a host of social issues. If couples don’t talk to each other, they will miss out on the changes the other person is experiencing on a daily basis. With work, children, and a changing world, it is quite possible to be unaware of the changes which will take our lover and best friend, and deliver a complete stranger to us in a few years. People don’t ignore their children, their yards, their jobs, their cars, and their other responsibilities. Why do so many people think they can ignore their marriage and expect it to still be intact and thriving?

However, I should point out that my piece [What a time it was, it was...] was not about how to make marriages work, Mr. Redinecki. Someday I will have to write a whole book on that subject! My article wasn’t even about how, why, and when to get a divorce. That is a decision only two people in the relationship can make best. My article was about how to allow ourselves to heal and live beyond a divorce, something at which most Iranians are not very good. We tend to hold on to a semblance of a marriage for so long, ignoring all the warning signs and keeping things inside, for them only to explode and erase every vestige of a civilized and acceptable relationship after the divorce. The taboo I referred to in dealing with divorce is so deep-rooted and dark that even our most educated and otherwise enlightened fellow countrymen and women tend to treat the subject with disdain and hurtful rage. Our couples, especially the ones who have been married for longer periods of time, tend to wait so long to go through the divorce that there can never be any friendship or amicable co-existence around their shared children, friends, and happier memories of the marriage post divorce.

“Irreconcilable differences” might be a callous and easy excuse to use for a divorce, but Iranians for the most part don’t believe in the concept at all. Everyone looks for infidelity, treachery, gold-digging, or some god-awful excuse for a divorce as a result. In fact many people seeking a divorce feel they have to present such a horrible reason for their divorce to others in order for it to be “morally acceptable.” This is why many Iranians have driven their mutual relationship so far into the ground, that post-divorce they are unable to conduct themselves in a friendly and acceptable manner with each other anymore. What is increasingly possible in many American families post-divorce--certain family holiday get-togethers, attendance in the shared children’s graduation and wedding ceremonies and such are fairly difficult to manage with divorced Iranian couples. I hold that the reason is that they waited too long for the inevitable decision.

I tried to suggest that we must be kind to ourselves for the decisions we have made; that we must accept them and carry on; that there is life beyond divorce, and the sooner we realize it, the better equipped we will be in building a positive new life, something many Iranians are not very good at doing, because they so deeply and rightly believe in the sanctity and importance of marriage almost to the detriment of all else. This can be an illusive and impossible task at times, leading to the total destruction of all involved.

I am so delighted to know that there are men in this world who see and appreciate the multi-layered efforts an Iranian woman gives her marriage, her man, her children, her home, and her surroundings. I also happen to know that Iranian men can be some of the most generous, loving, and faithful men in the world. But I also understand the bitter realization that despite all these efforts and characteristics, there may come a time when a person is no longer appreciated or that what he or she is and does is not enough for continuing the marriage. That’s why it is truly heartwarming to know that some people have found “the one,” the man or woman who knows they are special and unique, and who would not “change a thing if he or she were to be born again.”

I wish you and your wonderful family joy and happiness, and present your wife with kudos for having managed to capture the heart and soul of a man so. Some of us tried and fought valiantly, but failed. Should we be punished further by others and most importantly by ourselves, too? I don’t think so. I think we should be brave about accepting the past and being optimistic in looking to the future. There is no other way, the way I see it Mr. Redinecki. Live, learn, and love, is what I believe we must do even if we didn’t get it right the first time.

Affectionately,

Nazy Kaviani

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Without her, my life would have no meaning

On Nazy Kaviani's "What a time it was, it was...":

Having just finished Nazy Kaviani's article on the phenomena of divorce, I am left feeling sad and sick of heart. While I'm cognizant of the fact that the phenomena of divorce is as much a reality of modern life as is marriage, it still pains me to think of how easy it is for many young people today to decide on divorce as the first option whenever conflicts are encountered in marriage.

I am not Iranian myself, but my wife is. We have been married nearly thirty-two years and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank the Almighty for bringing her into my life. Having said this, I would be lying if I said that our marriage has not had its ups and downs over the years, for it most definitely has, as have all marriages whether successful or unsuccessful. The problem, in my humble opinion, with many marriages today is that far too many young couples don't really understand that divorce should be reserved for those situations that are truly unsalvageable. It seems that filing for divorce nowadays is almost a knee jerk reaction. Marriage... any marriage... takes work, commitment and love to survive the many adversities that face modern marriages.

Without doubt I am biased, but I think that any young man who is lucky enough to have an Iranian woman as his partner in life is a lucky man indeed. Many men seem to live under the mistaken assumption that the "grass is always going to be greener somewhere else." This is false. While I acknowledge that there are situations where divorce is necessary, men ought to think twice about throwing something away as precious as a marriage, especially when it means throwing away the love of an Iranian woman.

Some may think me a dinosaur with extremely old fashioned ideas, but based on my experience in life, it is my sincere, yet humble opinion, that there is nothing on this planet that can compare with the sweetness of an Iranian woman's love. There may be many who disagree with me and that is fine, but that doesn't change the way I feel. To me, there is something special and unique about the love and devotion Iranian women bring into a marriage. It is a kind of love that is rarely seen in many Western marriages anymore. It is the kind of love that never dims and around which the life of the family is centered.

Undoubtedly, every marriage has its own unique dynamics, challenges, problems, and successes. However, for those who are lucky enough to call an Iranian woman, "wife," take a moment everyday and thank God for her, for you are lucky beyond measure. There are over three billion women living in the world today, but only about one percent of those are Iranian women. Iranian women are like beautiful, rare and precious flowers that deserve all the love and care a man can give her. In return, he is most likely to find his life sweetened in a way that other men can only dream of.

I did not always know this, however. As a young man, I was often insensitive and inattentive. I was less than a great husband in my twenties. I provided for my family, but after the period of intense passion of the honeymoon period passed, we could have easily drifted apart because of my shortcomings had my wife not loved me so much. I'm glad that she loved me enough not to simply throw her hands up in the air and give up on me. Our marriage was more complicated than are marriages between people of similar backgrounds. In the early days we often bickered about little things, big things and just about everything, but we never seriously thought of splitting up. As I look back now, I know that it was her unshakeable commitment to me and our two sons that proved to be the anchor which held us together during the challenging times of our early years together.

Over the years we have grown closer and closer. She knows what I am thinking before I do. She is not just my lover and the mother of our dear sons, she is my best friend. The threads of our two individual lives have become so entangled over the years that I don't know where I end and she begins. She is my sun and my moon; my beginning and my end. Her love is more precious to me than the air I breathe. Without her, my life would have no meaning. If I were to lose her after all these years, it would be like losing half of myself. I am not ashamed to say that I love her totally and absolutely and I tell her every day before I go to work in the morning and every night before I fall asleep because if God ever decides to take me unexpectedly, I want her to know that my last words to her were the most important-khaili duset daram, eshgaman. God blessed me when she sat down in the desk next to mine back in 1974 at our UCLA chemistry class. If I could go back and start my life over, I wouldn't change a thing.

Now, our sons are grown men. Their mother has told each of them to marry whomever they wish, Iranian or not. She has said that the most important thing is that the girl really makes them happy. I know my wife is right, but I have let both of my sons know that they can't go wrong if they are each lucky enough to find an Iranian girl who can love them a tenth as much as there mother has loved me. Notwithstanding, all the negative things one reads from time to time about young Iranian women today being gold diggers and incapable of really loving a man, my sons know that this is ridiculous crap for they have grown up with the love of an Iranian woman, their maman. They know that love is a two way street and they are only going to get in life as much as they give and that includes in all their interpersonal relationships of which the marital relationship is most precious. If they expect the love of any woman, especially an Iranian woman then they must give their love unreservedly and always put her first in all things. If they do this each of them is surely going to find that which all of us in life seek, a partner who is totally devoted to them their entire life.

While Nazy Kaviani is right in saying divorce is a sad reality of life, many millions of men, like me, are also right in saying that one of the most beautiful and cherished realities in our lives has been the love of our Iranian women.

Rufus Redinecki

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Nichts für ungut!

On Shirin Vazin's "Sarkozy’s nightmare":

3 things, Shirin:

1. Evidently Sarkozy is something within your psyche - what kind of your "shadows" can he/she represent? Think about it.

2. Fortunatelly not many voters reason like you and vote according to resemblance of the candidates to family members. This would be "droll"; your dream - if you find out what it means - rather not!

3. Sarkozy was a woman - the child you wanted a boy! Interesting!

Nichts für ungut!

Harald

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Keep on making people laugh!

On Jahanshah Javid's "Mack's da man":

Hi Macky Joon,

I have a few things to tell ya so here goes:

1- Why didn't you put your own picture on the cover of your book since you're better looking than the model you've used? (please say Hi to your wife, let her know I'm no threat whatsoever, since I'm happily married and have been for quite some time!)

2- I really like your articles, but haven't bought your book yet -promise I'll do so in the very near future! (as promises go!)

3- I think your interview on VOA-TV [forward to 12:25] was good, but I wish this Behnood jan would get himself a sense of humor from a market someplace! - he almost ruined it with his glum face and his la-di-da questions. I must say you handled it well and saved the day!
- It was good exposure anyway, but a happier interviewer with at least a minimal sense of humor (if not Iranian, perhaps Iranican) would have given you a better chance of expressing yourself much more.

4- Keep on writing, keep on laughing, and making people laugh!

Although times are hard for all of us, a hundredfold or more so for the people in Iran, yet we've got to keep on living. We've got to be able to laugh at ourselves sometimes!

Best of luck,

Mimmim

P.S. You're not writing for us much these days. What's going on?

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Too graphic

On Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

I am wondering why you permit cartoons drawn by Hajiaga in your web site. These nasty pictures are shameful for Iranians who visit your site. The His drawings are too graphic; if he wants to represent his idea he can use some other form.

Drawing the male private part or women's breasts are not even funny and don't generate more viewers but rather feelings of disgust toward the cartoonist.

Saide

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Hajiagha is not about sacrilege. It's about his junk.

On Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

I love the website. I don't think anyone has come close to what you have done for our community. But I am asking, no begging you, please do something about this Hajiagha. Freedom of expression is one thing, but all this guy knows how to do it seems is to sexualize everything. All he does is demonstrate that he lacks even an ounce of class. Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude by any stretch of the imagination, and I have a shoe box full of polaroids to back it up. After all, sex is how we all got here in the first place, (not that any of us would really want to visualize the moment of our conception).

April 21, for example. 3 of the 4 drawings include his obsession with an erect phallus.

The last feature of mine that you posted drew an e-mail response from him that I can only describe as pathetic. His nonexistent command of English notwithstanding, this knucklehead actually blames George Bush for what happened at Va Tech! That is in addition to his belief that this kid killed 32 people because he couldn't get girls to sleep with him, and that he wouldn't have gone on a violent rampage if he had only been laid.

Nothing is sacred. Not only the tagline and motto of Iranian.com, but the cold hard truth and reality of the world we live in today. But, Hajiagha is not about sacrilege. It's about his junk being old and tired, worn out, and simply irrelevant. His brand of garbage has no business being on the same website as the original, razor sharp and truly entertaining material from Siamack Baniameri (for example). It's like selling bacon in a kosher deli. It doesn't belong.

I know I'm not the only one with this opinion, but I can only speak for myself.

KN

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Time to burn their proverbial bras

On women's rights:

In my country we demanded freedom and equality nearly 40 years ago and have been gaining in power since. It is time for the women of Iran to “Burn their proverbial bras”.

This includes all nations who oppress and harass their Mothers, Sisters, Grandmothers, Aunts, Daughters and Wives. The dynamics of Society are changing rapidly and that frightens Men!! No longer do we have to depend on a Man to hunt and gather for us or to provide shelter or protection. I can go to the market and buy my own chicken and buy a dog and alarm system for my protection in a house that I can afford to pay for myself with the education I worked hard to get!

What would the Men of the world do without the Women they so desperately want to control?????? It seems to me that we are and have always been the stronger of the sexes. Men will always be physically stronger... but that’s it. The Mother is the Nucleus of ANY family, think about that... MEN!

Kimberly Cole
Independent, Strong, Woman
United States of America

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Don't you think so?

On Jahanshah Javid's "The brown book":

Time to get a Blackberry! Don't you think so?

Mandy H

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Sex for money is sex for money

On Mahdiyeh Javid's "Legalize oldest profession":

Greetings,

I read your piece and I have to say, I'm not really clear on where you stand. Do you oppose sex-slavery, or not? I couldn't tell from what you wrote. Do you think it's a "myth" or merely exaggerated? If it's merely exaggerated, is there some level at which it would be acceptable? That seemed to be the implication. I read an article in a major newspaper a few years ago by a western Journalist in Pakistan (or Afghanistan, I can't recall) who just happened to come across some 70 Iranian women being sold at auction. Assuming this journalist (who didn't have any apparent reason to make the story up) wasn't lying, it would seem even Iran has a problem with sex slavery. The thing with the "white slavery" - you allocated a lot of time to that, and it's not clear to me why.

Are you trying to imply Americans only object to prostitution when it involves white women? If so, don't you think this argument (the accusation of racism on a moral issue) is itself, a racist argument? Or maybe just cultural bigotry? If you don't have any evidence that Americans are racist when it comes to their feelings about prostitution, I don't think you should have brought that into the discussion. The only time I have ever heard the term "white slavery" it was used to describe actual white slavery, of Europeans, in North Africa. Mostly during the 19th century, in regards to the Barbary Pirates. That wasn't a myth, and it wasn't something to be taken lightly, either. Actually, I didn't "get" any of your arguments about slavery. Is that the topic of your paper? I thought the whole civilized world decided slavery was morally wrong, quite some time ago, no?

Well... anyway... I generally agree with you. I've made the observation myself that I didn't see the difference between professional pornography and prostitution. Sex for money is sex for money. And I don't think prostitution should be criminal. Though I don't really favor complete unregulated legality of it, either. I don't know about you, but I've been to countries where the sex trade was completely legal and completely unregulated and I wouldn't want the US to be like that.

It's a good paper. That's why I took the time to write this e-mail. I just feel you need to narrow your focus, and add some clarity to the arguments you are trying to put forward. And the racism allegations really don't belong in the piece, in my opinion.

Craig B

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Please don't keep us waiting too long

On Shirin Vazin's "Sarkozy’s nightmare":

The intellectual complexity of Ms Vazin's analysis of the French politics is beyond the reach of ordinary readers like me. On the one hand she answers some very remarkably relevant questions. For instance we now know that there is a pansion in Rue du Cardinale Lemoine in Paris named Maison Sainte-Genevieve but she leaves her eagerly curious readers to guess the arrondissements in which there pansion is situated. Similarly she leaves us in doubt of her Daddy's lady-killer looks i.e. that of Giscard, but what about her son -- who does he look like? Also, we don't know who she voted for in Iran's first Presidential election and why? Was for Bani-Sadr and because his moustache was the same as her Grandpa or did she vote for Beheshti because he looked like their local Akhund?

But the most intriguing aspect of Ms Vazin's political commentary is the mystery dream she had the other night -- what could be the interpretation of seeing Nicholas Sarkozy as an Iranian woman with French identity? Could it be that Ms Vazin was thinking of her Granny before she went to bed? Please don't keep us waiting too long and let us enjoy more of your family's look-alike political views.

Parkhash

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Invasion of Iran is also LEGAL based on the 1979 hostage crisis ALONE

On Payam Shahfari's "Uncle Sam wants you bad":

*** The specific targeting of Latino youth is OVERTLY RACIST

Yes, it would be. If that's what they did. It's not, though.

*** The timing of the recruitment effort comes when the CSU continues to dramatically RAISE STUDENT FEES

What in the hell does that have to do with the US military? It's a STATE school, right? The US military is a FEDERAL institution!

*** Military recruiters operate on a QUOTA system and will say anything to recruit our youth

I thought you said this was a college? College grads are officers, not enlisted. There is no "quota" for officers, and I think if you'd bothered to do the research you'd find that the military has TOO MANY officers, and it always has! The majority of officers are forced to serve in the reserves because there just aren't enough active-duty slots available. As you would expect in the military, considering the avrage junior officer has upwards of 50 enlisted under his/her command.

*** The war is both IMMORAL and ILLEGAL

Says who? Are you the "moral authority" now? Lets give you a little test and evaluate your true moral character before we allow you to make such allegations, eh? You've lied repeatedly right here in this piece. Do moral people tell deliberate malicious lies, buddy? Whose version of "morality" is that, huh?

Your claim about the "illegality" of the war is also a malicious lie. The war against Iraq was LEGAL based on the ceasefire violations from the first Gulf War *alone* - and I say this as somebody who didn't support the invasion of Iraq. I didn't support the invasion of Iraq primarily because I felt that Iran was a bigger threat. It turns out, I was right!

By the way, the invasion of Iran is also LEGAL based on the 1979 hostage crisis ALONE.

And since you are a college student, I suggest you go study up on the laws of war and the various conventions that the UN has ratified, such as the Hague and Geneva conventions.

Because somebody who says the things you say has NO business using the word "morality" - that should be struck from your vocabulary until you can learn to be a decent and relatively honest human being.

Craig B

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Don't you worry, we love Iran

On Ben Madadi's "Aggressive nationalism":

Ben,

You are missing the point! If we are nationalist, it means we love our country with all of her people regardless of which part of Iran they live and what accent they have! I agree, however, that those who are more religious spend less time talking about history, but that doesn't mean they love Iran any less!

You should be happy that we love our country very much since it would make it much more difficult for the enemies of Iran including israel to divide our country! After all, whether Persian or not so Persian, we are all Iranians coming from the same roots. As far as I am concerned, if you celebrate Norooz you are an Iranian/Persian no matter where you live!

Don't you worry, we love Iran and ALL her inhabitants regardless! We are a very large family and wont allow our enemies come between us!

Long live Iran and all Iranians!

jon goldust

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What can we take pride in?

On Ben Madadi's "Aggressive nationalism":

I have read your article and there are some Iranians who feel this way, mostly because they want attension. But what I'm thinking is that have your ever thought about what can iranians take pride of? I oppose your view of the Achaemenid dynasty because they were truly unique and incomparable to Romans. In short, which doesn't give them enough credit, they introduced human and women' rights, abolished the use of slaves for the government, created the most magnificent cities and used diplomacy instead of violence whenever possible. Just read one book about the Achaemenids.

My main point is, what do we as Iranians can take pride in? Iran now is probably at ONE of its lowest points in history. Iran right now suffers from social and economic issues, in such a way that the majority wants to leave. Im not going into detail but everyone knows what im saying. So is it really wrong to take pride in our history, which is the most unique in the world? Please answer!

Sina K

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How wrong can she be?

On Minou Akhavan's "Fool us once Goli, shame on us":

How wrong can she be? It is amazing how her school of thaught is. I no more will support her regardless.

Thanks,

Shahram

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If I were a grammar nazi

On Elham Atashi's "If I was an Iranian":

If I were a grammar nazi, I would surely poke fun at so many college students, and even the teacher, titling their pieces "If I was an Iranian."

:-)

David Donnell

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Do not spray pesticides

On Sepehr Haddad's "Where have all the honey bees gone?":

He brought up a very interesting subject. Many farmers hire professional bee keepers to come to their orchards or farms and leave bee hives for certain periods to pollinate their crops. The problem occurs when the farmers fail to notify the bee keepers to come and collect their hives before the farmers start spraying their crops. One of the main reasons for hives to be destroyed is due to pesticides. US Dept. of Agriculture requires that farmers notify the bee keepers to come and collect their hives prior to spraying their crops with insecticides, but many fail.

In central and southern part of California avocados need and depend on bees for pollination. Sometimes the mites appear in April when bee hives are in use and farmers spray with disregard, this kills the bees.

I grow and take care of more than one hundred avocado trees and about twenty citrus plants among many other fruit trees in Santa Barbara area. I do not spray any plant. In fact I protect wild flowers so much that all around my trees wild flowers are protected and they invite bees and their presence make the avocados loaded with flowers leading to fruits. I think bees are as fragile as the flowers themselves and they should be admired and teated with care, love and respect.

I do not believe cell phone towers have anything to do with bees disorientation as they find their home and targets by triangulation with the location of the sun. Their mosaic eyes measures and records the location of the sun even on the cloudy days and can find their way home.

Thanks for bringing this subject up, hopefully everyone will plant as many flowers as they can even if they have a balcony on tenth floor of a building. Support and protect the bees. Do not use pesticides. Do not spray plants.

Best Regards,
Farrokh Ashtiani

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I guess what they mean is they fully support IRI crimes

On Mianeh web site's mission:

I read this: "Mianeh aims to fully respect and support the identity, national sovereignty and the constitution of the Islamic Republic throughout" and my immediate reaction is well I guess what they mean is they fully support Iranian political activists being executed, they fully support Iranian women being treated as second citizens, they fully support the religious apartheid in Iran. I e-mailed and told them what I think of them!

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McCain revealed his true agenda

On Roozbeh Shirazi's "John McCain bombs it":

Dear Roozbeh,

I read your article and as much as I agree with you on almost every point, I respectfully disagree with this whole notion of demanding an apology. Rest assured I am not one of those self-hating Iranians.

Your words: "I already know the self-hating Iranians will momentarily jerk their heads up from under the sand to rush to the defense of John McCain and accuse his detractors of 'overreacting' of 'not being grateful for living in America'. From the mouth of the Arizonian himself, he "was joking and critics ought to get a life and get over it."

My dear, first of all we should be happy and even grateful that McCain did what he did. It revealed his true ideals and his agenda if he becomes the president. Knowing how frustrated and tired most Americans have become of this mess made by one war-hungry moron, chances are he (McCain) just destroyed any chances of wining. My argument is over demanding what people can or should say or not to say.

I honestly believe that, that is planting the first seed of dictatorship and the end of free speech which is an essential element for a democratic civilization . If you as an Iranian-American get your feelings hurt or feel insulted, any time you hear or see something derogatory regarding Iran, you of course have a right to protest. Shutting people up however, in my opinion is moving towards repression. Clear example is our homeland where journalists are put in prison because so and so found their article offensive. Or a female moviemaker is sentenced to prison for making a movie to dislike of Islamic- Fundamentalists.

Ba Doroud,

Afshin M

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Paint your house and watching it dry

On Jahanshah Javid's "The brown book":

Jahan Joon,

That was very interesting, perhaps next time a photo essay about painting your house and watching it dry. NOW THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT.

Don't mind me, I'm just a kidder and I like to make fun of things. Love your site though... keep it up

Peace

Afshin M

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Petition IRI

On Ari Siletz's "Abdicating authority to the mob":

A petition to the authorities of IRI stating your very relevant facts might be timely.

Fatema Soudavar Farmanfarmaian

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Remember all the hoopla about bird flu?

On Sepehr Haddad's "Where have all the honey bees gone?":

Before you push the panic button and jump to "Global Wraming" conclusion, lets get all the facts. You never know, may be the same thing happens to this Vanishing Bee Syndrome that happened to the the bird flu!! Remember all the hoopla about bird flu couple of years ago!!!!

Reza Baradaran

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Ms. Ameri is after limelight

On Minou Akhavan's "Fool us once Goli, shame on us":

A piece well written. In fact three years ago, when she was running for the seat in Oregon, I warned the Iranian community about Ms. Ameri. I am glad that more people are realizing what she stood for, most importantly, when she decided not to distance herself from undesirable and suspicious members whom I warned her against. It is clear that Ms. Ameri is after limelight and could care less about the plights of those she claims to represent. As the tile of my article was “distance yourself”, it is apropos that the Iranian community recognize the likes of Ms. Ameri and her family and look to other candidates for political representation.

Ghaffari

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The audacity of this guy

On Siamack Salari's "Gher bedeh":

I'm not sure which is more perplexing; the audacity of this guy to think that every little detail in is ordinary life is worthy of global distribution, or the fact that I can't stop myself from watching everything he produces.

Steve

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You Arab-loving asshole

On Nema Milannia's "The Anti-Islamic "Islamic Republic of Iran":

what a fuck are you talking about you shit head, you arab loving asshole. if you love arabs so much why don't you go put up your ass for auction in dubai or meca, I am sure those camel dick arabs would love fucking a pretty gay boy like you up in the ass while you are doing the sojdeh in your fucking namaz.

How much have those mullahs paid you for this etelati koni? huh? ageh giret biyaram yeh hal dorost hesabi be on kon parat midam. bache arab khar koseh. chiyeh? kir arabah to konet hal dadeh? az kireshoon khoshet omadeh. yeh sar qom bezan ta eslamoo nab mohamadi roo ba kir akhondi behet tazrigh konand ta halit beshe akhar khaiyeh mali yani chi. bache arab koni. digeh nabinam az on dahan kir arab suck zanet az in kos shera bedi biroon.

BB

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Goli Ameri-ca

On Minou Akhavan's "Fool us once Goli, shame on us":

Goli America is a disgrace to both herself and entire Iranian-American community. What she ought to do is pack her bags and go back to Iran! I like to see her express her neoconservatism there!


A true liberal;
Kamran Ramyar

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Backbone of the regime

On video "Religious music with disco beat":

Looking at the video really brought home the distance we have until we reach the gates of “civilization” that the Shah once referred to. This is the backbone of the regime, and so long as they breath, Iran will be the third world country that it is. Even the Arabs (Sunnis) look at us with disgust, and frankly I’m quite revolted myself.

Afshin D

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She knows what she is doing

On Minou Akhavan's "Fool us once Goli, shame on us":

I think you are overlooking two important net gains she had as the result of her previous running for office.

1. $$$$$ in her war chest. Have you looked at the final report on her campaign finance records? Maybe you should.

2. She ended landing a peachy position as US Representative on the Human Rights Commission in Geneva. That means her salary is being paid by the US taxpayers, she enjoys carrying a US Government issued service passport and diplomatic visa, travel, housing and meals paid by me and you, and future work in some Republican owned corporation is guaranteed.

So do not lament. She knows what she is doing. Most of the Marin County Monarchists donated to her campaign. Just do your research.

Clister

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She is Iranian by name only!

On Minou Akhavan's "Fool us once Goli, shame on us":

Mr. Akhavan,

Thank you for informing us who Goli really is! She is Iranian by name only! We don't need Iranian-Americans like her! Why should we waste our money and efforts for a person with her caliber, a neo conservative?

We are much better off to support an American-American who cares about Iran and Iranians instead of this selfish person who doesn't give a damn about Iran!

As any politician, she is only using us (KHARAMOON KARDEH!)

jon goldust

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Consistently supported non-violent support for pro-Democracy students in Iran

On Minou Akhavan's "Fool us once Goli, shame on us":

In an article denouncing Goli Ameri we once again witness the deception of certain elements within the political circle trying to undermine anyone who disagrees with their agenda. Unfortunately this inner circle is so naive that they can not even correctly pinpoint their irrational mindset. Minou attempts to portray Goli Ameri as a war-mongering neo-con by linking her with John McCain.

John McCain, of course, is the same person who once was so aligned with the Democrats that he was close to switching political parties, something Minou forgets to mention. Also, unlike most Democrats who either advocate ties with the Islamic Republic or military confrontation, Goli Ameri and the Republicans have consistently supported non-violent support for pro-Democracy students in Iran.

Another fact the deceptive supporters of the far left forget to mention is that Hillary Clinton their beloved front-runner, unlike President Bush, has advocated possible military intervention in Iran.

Democratic presidential candidate and New York Senator Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that it might be necessary for America to confront Iran militarily, addressing that possibility more directly than any of the other presidential candidates who spoke this week to the National Jewish Democratic Council.

Slater Bakhtavar

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Destroying his and our reputation

On Shahin Bamdad's "Taraavoshaate afkaare paleed":

Baa Salaam my friend, I don't know you, but you are saying my words too. This gentleman!!!! Is not even an artist. By calling himself " artist ", he is destroying reputation of, not only the artists but all Iranian as well. After 12 years living in this jurisdiction, he is still not able to write a letter in his local language. Instead of all these "Mozakhrafaat" that he calls them "Honar", he could invest his time to learn more about his local language which is needed for his daily communication.

Seyed Mousavi

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She would definitely have my vote

On Minou Akhavan's "Fool us once Goli, shame on us":

Dear Ms. Akhavan:

I for one am very proud of Ms. Ameri and her achievements. So she got 38% as a Republican where people tend to vote Democrat, I am pretty sure neither you nor I could achieve this anywhere. I sincerely wished she lived in my district, she would definitely have my vote.

Thank you.

Afshin

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I wished WE had army to stop mad Islamofascists

On Amir Rostam Begli Beigie's "How do you defend securalism?":

Beigie is very much right. EU has no business to indulge into the internal affairs of Turkey specially that Turkey is not yet accepted as a member of EU.

The EU must have tremendous cheeks to suggest that Turkish Army has to stay away from politics!

What are the EU countries are after?

To make another Islamic Republic of Terrorists & Murderess of Turkey, as they did in Iran?

As an Iranian, I wished WE have had such army to stop the mad Islamofacists right at its inception.

Pity that we did not have such Nationalistic Army!

H. Hakimi,
Oslo – Norway

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So what the hell is he doing in Canada?

On Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

To whom it may concern,

I am deeply disgusted by the cartoons drawn by a psychopath names "Hajiagha" which his last name truly refers to his character.

However I am surprised of Iranian website policy that publishes his sick point of views that even are not funny at all.

For God sake if somebody translate these garbage for a Canadian or American person what they would think about us? Or at least about your website?

Are all the women in west a whore? Are all the guys a child pedophile? This guy hates Freedom and democracy and western culture so what the hell is he doing in Canada?

He is just a stigmatic Character for Iranian people. Isn't Islamic Republic enough for ruining our reputation in the world?

An untalented person with a lot of inferior complex is not worth it to be introduced in your website.

Regards

Ardeshir Sotudeh

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What, football in Mullah land? No Way!

On Bruce Bahmani's "The way it was":

Mr. Bahmani,

Thanks for bringing back very pleasant memories. Was starting to think it had all been a dream. My brother and I also attended TAS and Community school as grade schoolers, so did not enjoy the same festivities as you and your friends, but I do remember the football team, I do remember playing baseball and softball during gym and going to cheer on the teams.

Nowadays, when I mention American football in Tehran to American friends, they just look at me with an incredulous look on their face. What , football in Mullah land? No Way! I think we must all do our part to remind everyone there was and still can be an Iran other than what you see in the media today. Again, thanks for re-affirming that we were not hallucinating an idyllic childhood. - VFY

Shayla Amini

p.s. If I remember correctly, there were also CHEERLEADERS in full cheerleader uniforms ( not chadors!) , bobby socks , pom poms and for every Football and Basketball team, so it was not unusual to ride the bus back home, with them practicing cheers all the way home:)

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Please consider banning his cartoons

On Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

Dear Mr Javid,

I realize your motto is "nothing is sacred", however, there is a limit to profanity. I believe Hajiagha is a guy with a major complex and many personal issues, who definitely lowers the quality of this web site with his disgusting cartoons. He has no respect for women himself and has the nerve to criticize the west and compare it to Iran as he sits in his safe environment in Canada.

Please consider banning his cartoons.

The guy needs major therapy or his butt kicked out of Canada! Go back home if you are so miserable.

Babak T
Disappointed viewer

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Sick point of view of a sick person

On Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

HI, PLEASE RECONSIDER PUBLISHING HAJIAGHA'S CARTOONS DUE TO THE FACT THAT THEY ARE VERY MUCH TASTELESS AND IT IS A SICK POINT OF VIEW OF A SICK PERSON.

THANKS
MASOUD

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Very familiar

From author of "Memories of an American boy":

I've had a chance to begin to look at some of the other Abadan stories at the Iranian (I had seen some of them before) and looked at the Torch of Abadan (not all issues). I'm sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. The particular tendencies between parents and children are a mystery. I've been noticing certain things in our daughters, who are in their early 20s now, that strike me as being "very familiar."

I don't know if you are interested, but I have an almost complete set of issues of Abadan Today published during our stay.

The connections that are happening from our photo essay are amazing -- will fill you in at some point.

With best wishes and appreciation,

Paul Schroeder

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Only because you hate Islam, you are willing to defend a fascist secular entity

On Amir Rostam Begli Beigie's "How do you defend securalism?":

In your article on Iranian.com you said the following: "Islam is a fascist movement and under the guise of democracy it has managed to gain power in countries like Iran and trample on human rights."

Wouldn't you say that Secularism plays the same role in Turkey, that it has become a "fascist movement under the guise of democracy to gain power in countries like Turkey and trample on human rights?"

Why the hypocricy? Only because you hate Islam, you are willing to defend a secular entity that is the same with a different name? Secularism is a religion, with a set or rules and "morals", and in the case of Turkey, it is spread by the sword.

Dariush Abadi

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Worthy of nothing but the sewer

On Shahin Bamdad's "Taraavoshaate afkaare paleed":

Well said Mr. Bamdad,

This "Hajiagha" character, has no taste, manners, nor wit. His work is full of hateful, racist, stupid sexual remarks and perversions. I see no taste in the type of garbage he puts out which are shameful and degrading expressions worthy of nothing but the sewer. However, we live in a society with freedom of speech which allows one to show how primitive they are.

This is clearly the sign of a person with significant sexual frustrations who desperately needs psychological help with his demons. It makes me worried that such perverts can use a forum such as Iranian.com to spread their message of hate. Enough is enough though, he has made his point of being the village idiot.

Regards,

Barzin

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Erdogan government is not a fundamentalist

On Amir Rostam Begli Beigie's "How do you defend securalism?":

Mr. Beigie,

You really have it backwards. It's the "colonizing" Europeans who for 50 years have backed Turkish fascists against their own native population. The Turkish army is modeled after the European army. This is the same Army that conducted the Armenian genocide and forcibly relocated Greeks, openly slaughtered Kurds and enforced a paranoid form of fascism (called "secular") were native populations are not even allowed to speak their own language and being Muslim is practically outlawed in a majority Muslim country.

The Army has already conducted 3 coups, overthrowing democratically elected governments with Europe and America watching from the sidelines protecting their NATO strategic investment and cashing in on the sale of advanced weaponry that is turned against the Kurds in the region. The Erdogan government is not a fundamentalist government by any stretch of the imagination. But forcibly removing it will probably cause a fundamentalist movement to gather more strength. Next thing you know, there's an Islamic revolution.

If you're willing to throw away the will of the great majority of the Turkish population in favor of "secularism," then you really should have no problem with the Islamic Republic doing the same thing in favor of "Islamism." That is after-all one of the founding values of the Iranian Republic. At the time Hitler was elected, he was not killing Jews and attacking other nations. It's only after he engineered the overthrow of the German democracy, and stopped elections that he became a fascist dictator by definition, and thus was able to do horrific things with legal impunity. So, as I said, you have it exactly backwards.

Q Bolourchian

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Inappropriate content

On Hossein Hajiagha's cartoons:

I am with you when it comes to FREEDOM of SPEECH, but since your site is open to all ages, you may want to consider separating these types of content, while adding a disclaimer to identify that the content may not be appropriate for -18 or something along that lines. I know that you consider this as part of freedom of speech, but you also must agree that most of these are truly tasteless and disgusting content that don't belong to a prestigious and reputable site like Iranian.com. Just a friendly input!

Thanks,

Bita M

REPLY: What you find in iranian.com is nothing compared to what children have access to on the internet. It's the parents job to monitor that. iranian.com is not for children and its content will not be changed to fit the maturity level of a child. It is impossible to put warnings on everything. Yes, Hajiagha is disgusting and disturbed. Don't look at his cartoons. But there are a lot of Iranian men who think like he does and the only way to change this terrible view of women and sex is to bring it all out in the open and make them see how repulsive they are. -- Jahanshah Javid

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When will Mack's film be released

On Jahanshah Javid's "Mack's da man":

Thanks again for the pictures of your meeting with Mr. S. Baniameri and willing to share them with us. He indeed may call himself one of the most attractive Iranian men (as there aren't that much around unfortunately, lol) and he is indeed one of my most favourite writers. I couldn't believe he is an IT-Engineer. I always have thought he is a writer and he surely may use this unique gift en skill to educate some Iranians ( in Both US and Europe)

I have a question dear Mr. Javid, what is this movie he is going to help being realized? I am so anxious to find out more and hopefully you will be able to share that information with us too. However, for us, who live in Europe, most of these movies are not available and with a bit of luck, we can find them online and purchase them. (Especially those Iranians like us, my family, who have no connection what so ever with Iran and Iranains and are living abroead for 4 decades)

Would you please let me know which movie it will be so I can buy it online once it is released?

Aside of that, I have been told that there is this joint Persian/American movie about the life of Omar Khayyam!? And I 'd love to find out more about it and to see it. If you have any information, please do share it with me.

Thank you very much in advance for your help,

Greetings from the Netherlands,
Charlotte

* About the movie 300, here in the Netherlands, this movie hasn't been a succes and actually nobody has been interested in seeing it, except for some fello Iranians themselves! I have done my own research. lol ;-)

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One guy you should pay

On Jahanshah Javid's "Mack's da man":

This [Siamack Baniameri] is one guy you should pay.

Love his articles.

S Ghalamzan

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How easy and wonderful it is to share your life with your other fellow human beings in the most honest and simple way

On Siamack Salari's "Gher bedeh":

I wish Siamack and his family good health, more fun and more happiness. Siamack has shown us how easy and wonderful it is to share your life with your other fellow human beings in the most honest and simple way. I respect him and like him very much. And the boys, you wish you could "MUCH" their "LOPS".

Thanks Sia, I am sure there are a lot more who, like me, appreciate you.

Abdy

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Talented man with an awesome sense of humor

On Jahanshah Javid's "Mack's da man":

Dear Mr. Javid,

Thanks so much for the article on Mack Baniameri. I've been a big fan of his writing since his first article on your site. It's so cool to finally know more about the talented mystery man with an awesome sense of humor and superior creative writing skills. I'm really happy for his movie deal and wish him the best success and hope he continues to make us laugh with his hysterical articles, looking forward to the next one:)

Shirin

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Ashegh sher shoma shodam

On Mahasti Shahrokhi's "Feminizme maa bee norooz ast":

salam ba shoma nazanin,

man ashegh sher shoma shodam (femenism). daste shoma dard nakone. besiar besiar ghashang va vasfe hale.

ghorbane shoma

anis

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Gave me a renewed energy

On Iranian Alliances Across Borders' International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora:

This past weekend I attended the Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) Third International Conference on the Iranian Diaspora held at NYU. Needless to say, it was an amazing event. I have never seen such strong organization amongst 2nd-generation Iranian-Americans in this country. To think that this organization was started by university students just 3 years ago is exceptional. I really congratulate them on their outstanding level of professionalism, teamwork, and vision.

This event had phenomenal speakers, thinkers, writers, scholars, professionals, business people, entrepreneurs, community organizers, amongst others, from not just all over the United States, but all over the world. They really did a great job, and once again, I not only commend them, but I also want to thank them for all their hard work, dedication, and determination. The students at my school, Rutgers University, and nearby NJIT, just started two student organizations that are affiliated with one another – the Iranian-American Civic Association (I.A.C.A.).

It is really refreshing to see people my own age bringing the community together – it gives me a renewed energy and motivation to work even harder. I suggest everyone check out what this group is about at their website: www.IranianAlliances.org. Support our youth!

Mokhleseh Hamegi,

Arian Nakhaie

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The kindness of the American family will never be forgotten

On Paul Schroeder's "Memories of an American boy":

Thank you for sharing great photos of your adventure at a tender age in a foreign land (mine). I can especially relate to your experience as twenty years later I, at a tender age of 12, found myself transplanted into a foreign land (yours). My brother and I, who was only a few years older, did not have the luxury or privilege of a controlled compound environment. Rather we had to fend and blend into a very alien, albeit welcoming, environment. The kindness of the American family in a sleepy college town on the Oregon border of N. California who helped us get settled, find a apartment, even throw a birthday party for me, will never be forgotten.

Thank you again for sharing.
Moe Maleki

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A lot of times your behavior and choices are questionable

On video "Jim Carrey in Persian":

Your choice of uploading subjects and video clips are amazing!!!

I emailed you a clip from Ahmadinejad's interview before election about hejab or hair covering ,no you don't see that but then their is this cheap shallow and offensive clip from Jim Carrey's movie that god knows kodam adame bikar o bivojdan in vagt talaf koniharo dare dubbed it you know as woman or even as human necessarily you do not have to be raped physically these kind of language in a site like yours is the same, do not believe it ask your daughter, sister, mother or wife. you know a lot of times your behavior and choices are questionable. One wonders you may be like the same male chauvinists that has never come out the suit that patriarchal society of Feudal Iran has put on you.

Mitra

REPLY: The Ahmadinejad video has been featured twice in iranian.com. The last one was in this feature [Nazy Kaviani's "Plan B"]. Thanks. -- Jahanshah Javid

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You can not call this freedom of speech

On the selection of material published in iranian.com:

Mr. Jahanshad,

What is wrong with you lately?

Don’t you have enough materials to cover your site. You can not call this freedom of speech.

First, the stupid offensive comments of Azam Namati.

Second, the tastless and disgusting cartoons of Hajiagha.

Now these really horrible sickening translation.

I saw your child’s picture on this site, once. Aren’t you worry, one day she will reapid these ansty words. “Is this a way to keep our Persian haritage?"

I always think of you highly. Please respect woman and children who love your site and check it every day. Please be more demanding on your request for materials that get prove to be candidate for publication.
Best Regards,

Sara,
Miami

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Today's Iran is not ruled by Persians

On Yashar's "If the Persian dominant class is not careful they will end up like the Sunnis of Iraq":

I do agree with the point you make in your comment to a letter in iranian.com, but I do not agree with your arguments.

Although it is hard to find where exactly it began you can find the name Iran in Ferdowsis Shahnameh which was written around 800 AC. As I have read in different encyclopedias the name Iran does not mean land of Aryans but land of the wise.

The turkic tribes are offsprings of Huns starting from central Asia passing Iran reaching turkey long after Arian tribes settled in what is Iran nowadays. Turkey itself is very proud of this matter. The tribes you mentioned were pretty much abosorbed by the aryan tribes.

Since Seljuqis almost all of the court houses in Iran of turkic decent. Even Pahlavi dynasty, Reza Shah was part of Cossack forces in Iran. He took the name Pahlavi when claiming the power. The Persianisation of Reza Shah was in an era when England decided each ethnic group has it right to establish its own country(but themselves of course, no free scottland or Wales). Ata-Turk had started to turkify all Ottoman empire and stated all the languages have their roots in Turkish. His politics resulted in death of many ethnic minorities (armenin and kurds) and forbidding people talking their own language. Now in Iran Reza Shah centralized the power and started to rule by an iron fist. And his son continued with that. They made their picture of Iran what is in the mind and hearts of many Iranians today...

Today's Iran is not ruled by Persians. Actually I think they have the least to say. Azaris have the economic power and I think the arabs run the intelligence service and army (Shamkhani, his friends and the arabs beating up students some years ago). And if you look into the power structure in Iran you see may different ethnic groups (Khamenei from the village Khameneh in azarbaijan for example). They rule by creating the tension between different people. By setting one people over the other. Divide and conquer. And many Persians have fallen into this trap, feeling false superiority over others.

Oh one another thing.. Before Arab invasion even Iraq was not an Arab country so to mention south of Iran as an Arab area is wrong. Indians can start moving to England but this does not make parts of england Indian. And Talysh, Gilakis and Mazandaranis all living next to caspian sea are either Persians or people culturually/Linguistically very close to Persians.

All this said I think you are right in criticism of Iran and that it should respect all its ethnic groups.

An Iranian friend
K.H.

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Those who do not have a past will not have a future

On Homayoun Abghari's "Delam raa mabadi misaazam":

Dear Homayoun,

First of all let me congratulate and commend you on your patriotism and the devotion that you show to your nationality, country and culture. It is always a breath of fresh air to see that after 28 years of oppression by traitor, Bee Vatan, Arab ass kisser mullahs and their cronies, still our people and especially the younger generation have managed to keep their loyalty to their country culture and identity intact. It is so comforting to know that Iranian patriotism going as strong as ever.

I do totally agree with you that the only way for our nation to salvation is to go back to our own roots and find out about the ways of our ancestors and what let them to triumph and glory instead of trying to copy cat every unworthy Tom Dick and Harry around the world.

We need to stop apologizing for our past and start putting it into good use by learning from our errors and getting inspired by our achievement. Preserving our history culture and identity is our job and if we are not prepared to do it or sell our identity to every new trend in the market (being Western or Arab), then we really should not and could not ask others ( i.e. Hollywood) to do our jobs for us

It has always been my belief that "Those who do not have a past will not have a future". Having said that, I do also believe in assessing one's past, they should be rational honest, realistic, and well informed. Otherwise it will turn into another pointless deceiving practice just to satisfy their own eager and with no valuable outcome.

Although I enjoyed reading your article and I agree very much with most of the points that you have raised in your article, I could not help to see a few fundamental and unapprised errors in your claims and references. As a friend I do suggest that you should do more investigation before publishing such claims on a public firm such as this. Otherwise you will damage your own credibility and the cause you are fighting for.

I try to point to some of these errors and I hope this would not lead to any misunderstandings. Before anything I would like to let you know that by doing so I am not trying to patronise or discredit you. The information I am giving you is the result of my own intense investigations and assessment of these events both far and near. I have come to these conclusions trying not to let any political favouritism to prejudice to influence me and by trying to stay neutral and fair to all parties.

The first error that I found in your article was about the naming of our country. Name of Iran has always been Iran. Even in the writings of tablets of Bistoon and Perspolice the country was always referred and Iran or Ariana (Land of the Aryans) this name was given to our country by the first Iranian King Jamshid in over 3000 years ago and has noting to do with the Germans, Hitler or Reza Shah. The story that you came across was simply a myth created by the British conspirators and their cronies.

As the most credible evidence to my claim I can direct you to Ferdosy's Shahnaameh where our country have always been referred to as Iran, unless you might think that Ferdowsi was init together with Reza Shah and the Germans (Just Kidding J).

The name Persia was given to Iran by the Romans and Greeks. This was because that the Iranian Kings of that era were from the Persian ethnicity which was one of many ethnicities and groups who occupied the central Asia Plato. Nevertheless, We Iranians do love, respect and identify with both these names as they reflect our identity, heritage and parts of our history.

Secondly Army of Khashayaar Shah was never defeated by Leonidas. Even Herodotus was not stupid enough to make such a claim. They did not even endure any major casualty. However is widely accepted that Leonidas and his men succeeded to stop advancing of Persian army for a few days and it was mostly because of the topographic features of thermopile straight which made mass engagement for the much larger Iranian army more difficult. However Khashayaar Shah was quiet fair to Leonidas even by the accounts of Herodotus who states in the end although Leonidas have killed the Persian messenger, but Xeroxes fought him fairly and when he was killed in the end he ordered for Leonidas and his men to be buried with honour and dignity.

Thirdly When Second World War started Iranian government announced neutrality and wanted to stay out of the war. We never wanted anything to do with that war however the location of our country made it a very strategic target for the Allied forces and they would have never let us stay out of the conflict.

The reason that the British were interested in Iran was the fact that it was the quickest and safest root to send supplies to the Russian Red Army which at the time was fighting the German army on Europe's Eastern Front. In fact the occupation of the country was so vital to their plan that later on, war historians called Iran country the bridge to victory.

However the reason for the construction contracts with the Germans was simply because that at the time German Engineering was the best. Furthermore with the track records of British and Russian in Iran and the shameful treaties such as Golestaan and Turcoman Chaay forced by then upon incompetent Ghajaar kings, there was really no interest in engaging with them at the time

Even considering that your claim is right and Reza Shah was indeed an allied to Nazi Germany then it strikes ones mind as very odd and strangely incompetent of the normally resilient Germans that with such vast and efficient war machine, they left such strategic allied alone and did not station a few panzer divisions in Iran, to stop the Russian attack from north in order to protect their own interest, or why a few U-Boats were not dispatched to Persian Golf and Hormoz Straight, to stop British Navy from getting into the country. So as you see the claim of this alliance simply does not add up and I am afraid I must tell you that you have fallen for another British propaganda.

It is also only fair to say that when Reza Shah took the country over from over 200 years of Ghajar incompetent backwardness and destruction, the country was in a very bad shape. We had no roads no schools no railways to hospitals no modern medicine no universities and not even any electricity or running water for our capital city let alone the rest of the country.

The country's economy was a shamble, there was no security in the country as all the passenger and trade ruts kept being interrupted and pirated by criminal gangs, bandits and road thieves whose arms were interestingly enough supplied by the British. Also issues like women right and social freedom was long forgotten. These are only a few problems highlighted here

Considering the above facts and comparing it with the state of countries economy and social life in 1979 it is only fair to say that Pahlavis have not done so badly after all.

Now do not get me wrong I am not saying they were all good and no mistakes happened during their reign. In fact on the contrary, when it comes to not tackling problems of corruption or running a police state or suppression of democracy I am one of their biggest critics. However it only fair to mention achievements along with the failure. One the other hand the next person coming along would not be interested to lift a finger for the good of the nation as they know that they would only be remembered and criticised for their failures and the achievement will be downplayed or forgotten totally so why bother at all.

It is also fair to admit most of the problems in Iran, such as corruptions, intolerance to other point of view or lack of productivity in the work place (public or private) are the result of our own irresponsible behaviour and until we decide to change, no government can force use to otherwise.

In the end if we want a democratic and responsible government we should start acting democratically and take responsibility of our actions and its consequences

Areyo Barzan

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Hope our countries tie their friendship again

On Paul Schroeder's "Memories of an American boy":

Dear Friend,

It was delightful to read your memories of Abadan. Hope our countries tie their friendship again, and we all can go back and enjoy those beautiful cities, together.

Sara from Miami

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Ebadi has lost it

On Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich's "Referendum or capitulation?":

Bravo Soraya! I could have not said it better myself! You are a brave, inteligent Iranian woman who loves her country very much!

I was surprised to see what Shirin had said, it was as though she was either brain washed or her status has impaired her judgement! I am sure Israel, US, and UK love to see her saying that! After all, she gave that speech in the US! Well, she is peace woman, not a politician even though she is acting as one! She has all the good intentions but she has lost it!

JUST SAY NO THE FORMER MASTERS!

jon goldust

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Loved it

On Azarin A. Sadegh's "Taste of hatred":

A wonderful piece. Loved your article and what you've exposed...

Fariba Mostarshed

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What do you suppose Golesorkhi would be doing now?

On Homayoun Abghari's "Meekh o na'l":

Agha Homayoun:

Your observations on Hossein Derakhshan is right on the point!? I often wonder how these guys manage to afford jetting all over the world without holding a steady job. Maybe he is independently wealthy or maybe as you pointed out he is related to the Imams!? More of the latter than the former.

Now, on your hero Golesorkhi.

I am 46 years old. I recall Golesorkhi's trial when I was about 12-13 years old. The other day I saw it again on youtube. With all due respect and I know you won't like what I am about to say but his statements were as random, nonsense, and mambo jumbo as they appeared to me 30 some odd years ago.

I vividly recall Golesorkhi's statement that he discovered socialism through Molla Hossein or Ali. Did he mean Hossein, Imam Hassan's brother who also got fvcked by Yazeed or our good old Hossein Derakhshan!?

Now, consider this. I wonder if Golesorkhi was NOT executed and was still alive, what do you suppose he would be doing now? Would he be living in US or Western Europe like the rest of the left-over Marxists-Leninists colleagues of his? Or, maybe like other comrades who stayed in Iran, he would go on TV and declare that he converted to Islam!? Now, seriously what contributions did these people make to the betterment of life Iran or the world for that matter. The only contribution they made was to instigate a bunch of ignorant Goosfands and force them to follow Khomeini!?

Golesorkhi, Jazani, and the rest of the subversives were put on trial and received sentences according to the law. The question is why the rest of them weren't executed!?

I was there in Tehran the during 78-79 when thousands of your ex-comrades followed Khomeini around like a bunch of two-legged Boze!?

Hey, if the Shah was going to be criticized for violating Goosfand's rights and eventually toppled for it, he might have as well killed all the SOB's the same way Pinochet did!?!

The reason Shah did not do it was because he was too smart. He simply responded to your calls. He knew that once Mullahs tookover it would be a one long-term butt-fvcking time for you guys.

So, Homayoun, why are you complaining? I'll send you some Vaseline or Doonbeh so you can lubricate yourself to handle mullahs with less pain and grief!?

I am not a Monarchist. I am just a born-again-Shahi,

Rostam Irani

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The only place on earth where life was easy

On Paul Schroeder's "Memories of an American boy":

Dear Paul,

Thank you so much for the rare and precious photos that you posted on Iranian.com, of my beloved hometown, Abadan, together with the vivid description of it, and the way you experienced your life there. They brought back so many wonderful and happy childhood memories to me. Those were the times that I have always cherished, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

I was about 6 years old at that time (1959), and had just started going to the Ferdowsi elementary school. The following year, we moved to Tehran and, from then on, not only me but the rest of my family (my parents and my two older sisters) always talked about our happy days in Abadan with some nostalgy. Life has never been quite the same ever.

Now, after all these years, as I never got a chance to return to Abadan, it has become a sort of a myth to me. The only place on earth, where life was easy and beautiful and people were warm hearted, happy and kind, or at least I thought so.

My gratitude also goes to Mr. Jahanshah Javid, for his efforts to keep the memory of this town alive. Let's always remember Abadan and the place it has in the hearts of so many Iranians, and I can see now, Americans, thanks to your photo essay!

Flora Kaschani
Paudex, Switzerland

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Young & old

On Nazy Kaviani's "Wonderful and hilarious":

Nazy, I don't know how old you are, but we are 50, 53, 32, 28, 23, 14 and 15-1/2.... all looking forward to the Kiosk/Abjeez concert. Hope to see you there too!

Monda Sbolci

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Fascinating tale

On Paul Schroeder's "Memories of an American boy":

Thanks, fascinating tale, interesting photos.

Behnam A. Rezaei

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Face it or not, Iran is an enigma to most of the world

On Nazy Kaviani's "Reconstructing the East, Western style":

Since I am neither British nor Iranian, my views on Peter Hitchens' article may be somewhat more objective than those of Ms. Saeidi. I enjoyed reading Hitchen's excellent article, not only because he challenges many stereotypes about Iran, but also because he does so in an engaging and accessible way (which is more than can be said for Ms. Saeidi's piece, which uses academic jargon to make a mountian of a molehill; as a doctoral student of history myself, the uses of self righteous jargon to obfuscate issues is an all too familiar strategy). 'Personal narration', with which Ms. Saeidi has such problems, is a long accepted way of providing insights in to complex, and therefore easily misunderstood cultures. Surely it is better than relying on secondhand sources!

Face it or not, Iran is an enigma to most of the world, not least because of the censorship policies of its rulers, which ensure that minimal information about the country leaves its shores. I am not arguing that international world media does not have a certain 'take' on Iran, which is linked to political agendas. In fact I am saying that the reason why Peter Hitchens piece deserves to be read and commended is precisely because it challenges stereotypes about this rich and diverse country. If visiting a country, interviewing people across the board, and analysing it with reference to its past history and present dilemmas is an 'orientalizing' project, then I wish many more 'Orientalists' would pay attention to Iran! As for the multiple references to Iranian women in Hitchen's article, would Ms. Saeidi prefer an article written entirely with reference to Iranian men

Devika Sethi

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So poetic, so Persian

On Nazy Kaviani's "Plan B":

I really liked the way you pictured the reality in Iran in words. The horizon of your imagination and creation is so poetic and so Persian in charactristic.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, compile them so that our next Iranian generation will understand what we went through.

God bless and good luck

Faramarz Karimi
Greece

By the way my sister is also Fariba!

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Taking good memories to another world

On Paul Schroeder's "Memories of an American boy":

Dear Mr. Schroeder,

The pictures were absolutely wonderful! Seeing part of your country during the time when you were not even born, was very amazing!

The years between the time that you left Iran and the revolution were the best years of Iran. I am sure all those villagers in vicinity of Abadan, either still remember you and rest of the Americans or they have taken the good memories to another world.

Iranians are kind and very forgiving people especially towards the foreigners. Unfortunately, these kind people have lived terrible lives in the past thirty years. They are tired, wounded, sorrowful and disrespected but they are still loving and caring. I hope someday the wonderful people of Iran and US find friendship and love in their warm embraces. Every human on this earth deserves freedom, love and peace.

With outmost respect

Parsua

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Why McCain's ads?

In response to google-generated ads on iranian.com:

Shame on you traitor. Obviously you are a CIA agent (or some other USA organ like tthat), and cannot be expected to do any differently for money.

Ali

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Whatever happened to personal accountability for your own actions?

In response to Doug Soderstrom's "Behind the mask of evil":

I, for one, am sick and tired of being asked to "try and understand" or "place myself in the shoes" of Cho Seung Hui or any other person who takes the life of another human being, whether they number 1 or 32.

Whatever happened to personal accountability for your own actions? This country has adopted the ideology of seeking root causes for a shooting spree or some other large scale act of violence, and frankly, it's getting old. The related "love your enemy" is past its sell-by date as well. It's not the guns, it's not society. nor is it any other multi-faceted rationale that inspires TV special news programming on the subject. It is the person. There's "is" and there's "isn't". Too much time has been wasted looking for the so-called "gray areas" and even trying to manufacture them, when there is only black and white. Right or wrong. Dead or alive. Pregnant or not pregnant. There are no "sort ofs", no "kind ofs", no in betweens. People have been sitting on the proverbial fence for too long.

This way of thinking has only served to create some transparent shell of justification for these acts. And while Mr. Soderstrom states that he is not looking to justify the Cho's actions in Blacksburg that ugly Monday morning, trying to explain it away as a result of his isolation, humiliation, mocking and ridicule throughout childhood by his peer groups is just that... ..an attempt at justification.

There is nothing noble in violence, nor is there nobility in these societal parasites who commit such acts. A crime is just that... a crime. There is right and there is wrong. There is good and there is evil. The only time that the taking of a human life can possibly be justified is when your own life or that of your child or loved one is in grave peril, and there is no alternative ending. There is really nothing more to understand.

I wrote about this shortly after Cho committed his crime, and it bears repeating that the bloodshed at Virginia Tech was at the hands of someone who simply wanted attention. There are kids of all ages from kindergarten through the 12th grade who are picked on, bullied and harassed. It is a part of life. One of the more unpleasant parts, but a part nonetheless. I couldn't care less that Cho was picked on or bullied, as it relates to what he has done. I can think of at least 32 other families who probably don't care as well.

By using this "he was humiliated and isolated" explanation, as has been done repeatedly by the media and worse yet, by the so-called intelligentsia, other defective people will use Virginia Tech or Columbine as their inspiration and justification.

Mr. Soderstrom, your idea that 9/11 is even partially the result of how we conducted ourselves as a nation is a stupid one and shows profound ignorance as well. If you carry any residual guilt whatsoever, perhaps you can assuage it by personally kissing the ass of every Arab you think you may have had a hand in offending, culminating with the tuchis of Osama bin Laden. I suggest taking extra Chap-Stick with you for your journey.

kaveh nouraee

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Beyond FUCKED UP

In response to video "Don't get in a cage with a lion":

I just finished watching something on your site and I'm really disgusted but more than anything else I am disturbed and shocked. It actually seems rather ironic to me given that only a couple of weeks ago I asked you all about this "right" and "wrong" in what you publish.

Believe me I am all for maximum freedom and lesser restrictions, but you seriously (in my opinion) went to far by posting a VIDEO of a man being eaten by a lion. My goal is not to lecture or tell you what to do, but even if you think it is appropriate for you to put up something so aweful and traumatising, you should at least consider putting a warning. I think you know that your site is not only viewed by adults but also children. This was really beyond FUCKED UP and in my opinion it went too far. Would you show a video of a rape scene too if someone sent it?

M

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Stunned by great imagery

On Cameron Batmanghlich's "Hitman":

Wow, I'm stunned by the great description and imagery. I love the whole concept of a hitman, and how it was described as something destined to do, assigned to you by the angels. These by far are my favorite lines:

I never choose my enemy.
They are always assigned to me.
They are always given to me and put on my path by my contractor.
As the matter of fact they are not even my enemies.
I have no personal enemy anymore.
I have already overcome my own enemy.
My enemy was pain.

Great job on it, I really enjoyed reading it.

Alejandra

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Forgive him for being dumb

On Senator John McCain's "Bomb Iran" song:

Which part of it doesn't make sense? McCain was speaking in a state famous for it's racial prejudice in the past 100 years. An ignorant redneck from the crowd of rednecks asked him why US doesn't do anything when they "Know" many of bombings and murders in Iraq are done by Iran!

A correct response to please a redneck by a politician is to make an agreeable, smartass, funny-to-rednecks, continuance comment, which he did. Remember this, the man is a soldier, 90% of Americans become soldiers because they are too poor or too dumb to do anything better, 5% do because their father did it, and 5% do because they think shooting none-Americans is patriotic.

And the man became a hero by getting trapped, arrested and imprisoned by the enemy, another sign of his poor decision making and lack of intelligence. So forgive him for being dumb and let him try to get elected. As all stupid people will learn, there is no space in this world for them, definitly not as a President, at least not unless 2008 votes are manipulated again as they were in 2004 and 2000.

Heasam 1

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Let's concentrate on more important issues

On Mahasti Shahrokhi's "Esteaareh dar she'r jorm neest":

Khanome Shahrokhiye gerami:

1. Este'aareh daarim taa Este'aareh. shorte cherke yek zane mobaarez va sheerdel dar zendaan beh az hezaar romaan va sh'ere nevisandegaan va sha'eraane khaareje zendaan (menjomle khode bandeh!) The ultimate poem is living according to one's authentic self and my god! do these activist women possess inexhaustible will and courage to actualize their own truths and struggle to achieve their purpose. You may say that you yourself have experienced prison, great! So now you may empathize more effectively.

2. I think Ms. Shadi Sadr is perhaps busier than what Ms. Shahrokhi assumes; in the light of the severe crackdown on the women's rights movement in Iran and all the arrests and imprisonments, I doubt Ms. Sadr would have time to care about a few depricating lines written by the aformentioned author.

3. Let's concentrate on more important issues such as the fate of the sentenced activists (Parvin Ardalan and Nooshin Ahmadi Khorasani).

4. To ease further concerns, I humbly suggest that Ms. Shahrokhi purchase a box of laundry detergent and donate it for women's cause in Iran.

Leila Farjami

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Islam chera mitarsi? Zan-ha kaarit nadaaran

On Human Rights Watch's "Iran: National Security Laws Used to Jail Women’s Rights Activists":

I remember an old cheer we used to chant at our high school's volleybal and basketball games with other highschools. Here is an updated version:

Islam chera mitarsi?
Zan-ha kaarit nadaaran,
Sar-be-saret mizaaran...


Sima N

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Shah's constitutional powers were nominal

On Alphazero's "Ploys to demean the Iranian people":

You say: "Shah's constitutionally mandated power to dismiss the Prime Minister that he 'appointed',"... "it must be remembered that there were no elections for the office of Prime Minister in Iran, and that Dr. Mossadeq's refusal to step down as demanded by Shah was, in fact, an illegal attempt to maintain power at any cost."

This is incorrect. Only the parliament -- the democratically elected parliament -- had the right to dismiss him according to the Constitution. Shah's powers concerning appointments made in government, according to the same Constitution, were only nominal. Shah's complete lack of respect for the Constitution, which is after all, supposed to be the people's will, is what gave our country its banana republic allure, not the correct (and documented) fact that the CIA staged a coup to overthrow Mossadeq and bring back the Shah.

Parham N

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Enjoyed Abadan

On Amir Parstabar's "ABADAN 27 years later":

Dear Mr. Parstabar:

Enjoyed the 63 photos of Abadan. Any now & then photo of Abadan Technical Institute?

Best,

Adibi

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Senator McCain still can't make the connection

On Senator John McCain's "Bomb Iran" song:

How can you tie VA Tech.'s tragedy, Iran and Don Imus into one? Senator John McCain!

I would have thought in light of the human trauma at VA Tech., those of us who can distinguish between "here" and "there", have also been awakened to the fact of the trauma of violent death of innocent life, anywhere in the World.

Not so Senator McCain. He still can't make the connection. For him, loss of life "here" and "there" are clearly separate entities. There's no other way to fathom how he could have watched coverage of the innocent VA Tech. victims on the same day as joking about taking away the innocent lives of more.

If IMUS had asked for the bombing of a nation, on the heals of these 32 innocent victims of violence, he probably would be out of a job.

Afsaneh Mirfendereski
Chevy Chase
MD

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Utterly disapointing

On Azam Nemati's "My home my soul":

Ms Nemati,

Though I have always liked your taste in music. I could care less for your writting and social skills. You have proven what an arrogant, self idulgent, fool you are by publishing your hatred of isphahanis? Were have you been living abroad. Your point of view toward your countrymen are worse than the thugs who are running that country.

Your article has been utterly disapointing, please do not go back to Iran and keep your opinion to yourself.

Habib F

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Zarathushtra's teachings has not diminished

On Sanaz Samali's "Three thousand years of civilization":

The glorious 3000 year history of Iran was achieved by the people who followed the teachings of Zarathushtra who the Greeks called Zoroaster. The civilization that spawned great Kings like Kourosh (Cyrus), Khashiyar (Xerxes) and Darius was Zoroastrian. The decline of Iran began with the advent of Islam. Indeed when people talk about the contribution made by Islam to Science, Mathematics, Poetry etc. was not based upon the Islamic civilization but the Zoroastrian Civilization.

In order to have a civilization there has to be a settled and peaceful society. The Arabs were nomads who were constantly fighting amongst themselves. They did not have a civilization. They superimposed their views upon established civilizations that fell to their sword and usurped their achievements as being Islamic.

Although Zoroastrianism has waned in Iran, the light of Zarathushtra's teachings has not diminished. Indeed it is still spreading effortlessly around the globe and will in due course once again shine gloriously in Iran after the dark shadow cast by Islam is dispelled by the Light of Truth.

This is already happening in Tajikistan which has declared itself as a Zoroastrian nation.

Please go to: //www.ancientiran.com
//www.pbase.com/k_amj/image/75491085
//www.pbase.com/k_amj/image/75491780
//www.pbase.com/k_amj/image/75490904
//www.pbase.com/k_amj/throughout_iran&page=2

Much Love

Bahram R. Shahmardaan
Author: Love and Hate: Manifesting Love and Transforming Hate The Journey of Life Eternal: From the Source Unto the Source

Website: www.lovechannel.info

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Lacking proper updating process

On iranian.com:

Iranian is a fairly good website. I like it mostly because of the collection of musics and other informations you can find there. But it lacks the proper updating process I guess. It is unfortunate for such great website not to be frequently updated. I hope the administration will put this friendly recommendation in their consideration to come up with a better web design and more frequently updating.

Narvan

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