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Letters in our Mailbox

Letters from our Readers

Choose responses to these articles:


Iran's Power Structure

Ashpazbashi (The Soup Guy)

Eat This

Tabibzadeh's Gulf War II

Visiting the VOA

Identity Crisis

Freest No More

The White Balloon

Areh Jooneh Ammat


The Iranian



I hear you, brother, loud and clear. I've been shunned and ostracized from places and by groups, myself. And don't ask how many times, 'cause it's been so many times, I don't even remember. And it doesn't matter.

But I think, as a journalist (a thinker, writer, intellectual... whatever) it pays to plump the depth a bit and try to explain, understand, explore... whatever, the reasons why our lot is so suspicious of everything and everyone Iranian.

Why is it that we trust a "farangi" doctor, for example, more than an Iranian doctor (and a male at that.) While it's true that we, as a group, lack a certain "civilized" characteristics, or shall I say, we share common "negative traits," moping around (not that that's how I characterize your piece) won't do anything either.

After all, complaining about Iranians being this or that way, itself, has increasingly become an Iranian complaint.

Massud Alemi


Like you, I have been living in the States for a long time but unlike you I have never forgotten how Iranians do not have any tolerance for other religions and political beliefs.
This subject has angered me many times and I for one do not know how we can fix it. But it just feels good that I am not alone thinking the way I do.

Fariba Bat-Haee


I read your editorial. Actually, I have to agree with that person.
Although I have also lived in North America for a long time, I still see this as a valid question to know the political view of a publication before affiliating my article or my name with that media outlet.
This is a very common practice among writers, even those in North America.



Afarin and sad Afarin. I appreciate your contribution to our rich culture and heritage. This body will be supportive of you. You can count on it. Do not get upset by Fozouls. Continue your good work with excellent taste.

Hamid Shahandeh, Ph.D
Research Scientist
Texas A&M University


You are right. Your opinions are nobody's business. Everybody is entitled to their own opinions.
There was a time when in my homeland, Iran, you were only permitted to think and express what the state had allowed you to.
I have no idea what the situation is right now over there, since I have not visited home in the past six years, but I can say this much that if you are living in the United States, you MUST respect free speech.

Mahdi Hosseini

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Dr. Amirahmadi's "Iran's Power Structure"


In pure mathematics there have been developments in "Chaos Theory." The theory states that there exists an order in disorder. Although this seems like a contradiction of terms, pure mathematicians have been able to analyze chaotic systems.

Dr. Ahmirahmadi's article is certainly insightful. Like a pure mathematician, he has found some "order" in a khar-too-khar system.


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"Ashpazbashi (The Soup Guy)"


Well, your article on the "Soup Guy" settled an argument that I had with my brother. He was insistent that they were Italians whereas I was asking him, how can an Italian have "Yeganeh" as a last name? Well, I wish I had been wrong.
I watched the same news footage in which Ali Yeganeh's brother claimed that they were Italians. I am ashamed of him. I know for a fact that I will never spend a penny of my hard earned money in a place whose owner is so shallow that he thinks he would lose his status in life if he were to expose his real roots.
I am sorry, but I have to end this letter now because I am too furious to continue on.

Abbas Soltani


I think it is disgusting how some of our people are so ashamed of their homeland.

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dAyi Hamid's "Eat This"


I have tried some of your suggestions, and yes, they tasted good but not enough to remain a vegetarian. CAUTION my fellow Iranians: do not venture down this road. He's right; you can't concentrate. You're constantly looking for more food - if this is what he means by better concentration, I'll pass.


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S.Tabibzadeh's "Gulf War II"


Someone should point out the following to Mr. Rooney:

1) If "The Gulf" is synonymous with "Persian Gulf" then, how does one refer to the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of Finland or numerous other gulfs?

2) Herodotus, the so-called Father of History, refers to the Arabian Gulf when describing the Red Sea. The other gulf in the region is referred to as the Persian Gulf.
I guess Herodotus didn't have the benefit of Mr. Rooney's thesaurus.

Arya Akmal


This reminded me of piece I read in a local Iranian newspaper. In it the author made an analogy where the Persian Gulf was called correctly, when the argument was about "The Persian Gulf Syndrome" or " Terrorism from the Persian Gulf."
However other articles sighted by the author named the region "The Gulf" or even "Arabian Gulf" when the headlines of the articles read "U.S. brings peace to the Gulf " or " The U.S. Seventh Fleet enters the Gulf."

Omid Souresrafil, PhD

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"Visiting the VOA"


What are you trying to convey here? What is your message? That you met Khanom Atefi? What is that got to do with VOA, or the kind of stuff they report or do?

Are you just marking your territory in YOUR paper? This, though legitimate, accomplishes absolutely nothing but take up space that can be occupied with more meaningful pieces.

Seyed Moussavi


I've always thought that technology has a great potential for furthering freedom. I get goose bumps thinking of the day that VOA's broadcasts to Iran could be replaced by internet driven media that not only gives information to people of Iran, but also let's Iranians living outside get information from the people inside.

Reza Shadmehr
Johns Hopkins University

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B. Jaberi's "Identity Crisis"


What Bahar has written about is more common among Iranians who live in states where the number of Iranians are small. I have a friend who went to school in a remote town in Iowa. He dyed his hair to light brown and changed his name.

But if you come to southern California, you will see that kids and young Iranians proudly flaunt their Iranian heritage and names. Most of them are born here but speak fluent Farsi. It's quite a sight when you see more than 100,000 Iranian-Americans in Irvine Park and many young kids wearing T-shirts with "IRAN" imprinted on them.

When I went to VON's supermarket and Nordstrom department store in San Fernando Valley during New Year's Dat (March 20), they all had tables of Haft Sin prominently displayed with signs of Happy Nowrouz all over.

It is up to every single one of us to be proud of our nationality and heritage.



The section that attracted my attention most was the collection of articles on our Identity. I admit, it took me by surprise. it kinda knocked me off my feet.

So there are more people out there like me and feel like I do. so I am not alone. I am so happy to know that, but so unhappy for them.

Kameron Behzadian
Salt Lake City, Utah

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"Freest No More"


Interesting (and encouraging!) to find your home page and article on the Net! Since we have freedom of speech, any opinion can be voiced! Also we have "fundamentalists" or whatever you want to call them.

But just because some politician is submitting a bill does not mean it will happen. In the end
the poeple (through the courts) will decide what will become law. And the majority is still and will be for free speech and expression!

Support the Blue Ribbon Campaign on the Net!

Markus F. Meyenhofer

H. Tavakoli's "The White Balloon"


Kudos to you H. Tavakoli for your very fine and meticulous review of "The White Balloon." Good eyes, keep it up buddy.

Seyed Moussavi

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B. Bahmani's "Areh Jooneh Ammat!"


I found the article very original and interesting. I really did not expect to read the entire story. Not only did I finish reading it, but I also enjoyed the ending!

Let me tell a short story of my own. Me and my friends used to go to movie theaters during afternoon classes. One time we took some big butterflies inside and set them free in the dark theatre while the movie was playing. can you imagine the size of those wings on the screen!

Majid Movahed

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How symbolic. Things didn't go the way he planned.... Money is everything... Cannot relate to their (American) culture.

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The Iranian


I just wanted to congratulate you on the fantastic job you've been doing with The Iranian, and thank you for the informative and uplifting messages that you send to subscribers.

You provide a very high quality service for Iranian residents of the Internet and are a source of pride for all of us. I wish you the best of luck in your efforts in expanding and improving The Iranian.

Elahe Khorasani


I am the only Iranian in northern British Columbia and reading in Farsi has brought me tons of joy. keep up the good work and god bless you all.

Babak Dabiri


I find the table of contents of your magazine extremely long. It took about five minutes to download.
Also, there is perhaps no need to see the race horse cover twice. Waiting to see the same picture again was quite unnecessary.

The contents themselves are very good, very diverse and well presented.
Mehdi Naimi


I had a few minutes so I decided to look at your Web site. Its content is exciting. However, I think it can be a lot more exciting in presentation.

Masih Madani


Thank you for putting unsurpassed beauty of Iran in cyberspace.

Hossein Emami Kelishadi, Ph.D


Like many other users, I pay for my SLOW Internet connection in Europe. But I think I have found a way around it.
Instead of staying online and reading one page at a time, I download the complete directory structure of an issue including html files and pictures (in packed ZIP format) and read everything off-line when I feel like it.

Bahman Moallem


A few months ago I wrote a letter to The Iranian about having faith in our homeland and hope for return of glory days. Since that time I have received many responses, mainly from your younger readers who speak of the same dream.

The responses do not normally leave a lasting impression except that they all seem to be from the very young who have left the country for one reason or another and may feel that their return is no longer possible.

We must find ways to deal with the emotional roller coaster that the younger generation outside Iran is going through.



You guys are doing a great job. I like the fact that we have finally been able to put our political beliefs/differences aside and concentrate on what we have in common, which is being Iranian.

I would like to see more stuff (i.e. cultural/art/traditions-what makes us who we are) from back home if resources allows.



I'm an Israeli boy living in Israel. If I can travel through the Internet to Iran and explore it, then why can't I do it in life?

All of the people of the world are the same. I know that there is great hatred toward Israel, Zionism, and Jews but I hope that the children of tomorrow could enjoy a better world.

It's not right to hate someone just for his beliefs in what God is because Allah, and our God and the Christians' God are all the same, so why the hatred?

I wish that Iran wouldn't support terrorist attacks against Israel and support terrorist organizations.

My parents are Jews who lived in Tehran before Israel was established. I always think that if there wasn't such hatred toward Jews, right now I would be on the other side of the computer in Iran.



Thank you for all your effort in publishing this magazine. I run the Asia Publishing in Dallas, and had to add your site to my home page. I think every Iranian should be proud to be associated with people like you, and for keeping our heritage ALIVE. As a publisher I want to thank you for providing quality work.

Movafaq va pirooz bashid,

Shahrokh Ataie
Asia Publishing
Dallas, Texas

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Last Updated: 10-May-96
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