September 6-10, 1999 / Shahrivar 15-19, 1378
- Halloween is Persian
- For brainless Iranians
- Can we contribute anything?
- No melting pot in Germany, Sweden
* The Iranian
- Traveler of tomorrow
- Happy birthday
- Very insulting
- Hold the mirror
September 10, 1999
* Halloween is Persian
Not only words but entire Western traditions are derived from Persian
chambar"]. Take for example Halloween, it is in fact taken from
the old Persian feast of "halvaeen" celeberated around the harvest
time of "kadoo halvaee". Even today the pumkin is a symbol of
the Halloween celeberations.
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* For brainless Iranians
I was checking your website & on your home page and under the heading
Latest Features....Letters..., there was a chap called Amin
who had written his disgusting & shameful opinion using very bad
language (cheshmemoon koor, koonemoon besooze, ...khaak bar sar ...).
He may be an idiot (and I am sure he is), but should you not think twice
about putting these stupid letters & suggestions on your site? A lot
of people will be looking at your site, searching for useful & interesting
How can you display such lavatorial opinions on your first page? Would
you print a letter from some sick people who make fun of others? What kind
of editorial are you running? It's a shame to call your site The Iranian
paper. Better change it to brain-less paper for brain-less Iranians.
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September 9, 1999
* Ten years from now
Your piece was amazing ["I
was once an Iranian"]. It was as though you articulated everything
that I suspect I will be thinking ten years from now, or something like
that. I too, am a product of two cultures. I am Iranian, but was raised
in the U.S.-- we came here beofre the revolution, but stayed here through
it as a consequence of it.
I grew up sort of on the other side of you, where I always wondered
why, in America, they hated Iran so much. So, I took it upon myself in
the midst of my American eduation to discover my roots and decide for myself.
I think you are right in that you don't need roots in America, but because
of my "dream-like memory of the past" I wanted to undnerstand
so badly that I sought out my roots. I think this saved me, and today helps
me define who I am. Even if that is a juxtposition of many things.
Your article was very thought-provoking and made me reflect on similar
things. But, you know, not all Iranian-Americans seem to think this deeply
about bi-culturalism or take the tinme to define who they are. They seem
to stick to one culture or the other, or rather they take the bad parts
of American culture and exploit them, merely because they can.
I have a hard time finidng Iranians I can relate to in all levels. As
a result, it was promising to read your piece.
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* So true
I was going through The Iranian and I read the article "After
all, I am Iranian". It was writen so nicely and so true. Even
though I have only been here for five years I have grown a lot here. Still,
I don't dare call myself Iranian-American cuz I am still an Iranian. I
feel the same pride.
This was so obvious that my roommate this past year called me a complete
Iranian nationalist. He was telling me how excited I got about every news
or event about iran. I guess we all have that pride and invaders have not
had the power to take it away.
I was also moved by the couple of articles you had of Hadi
Farahani and very simple yet so pleasant Sadaf
Abbassian. Really awesome.
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September 8, 1999
* Can we contribute anything?
I very much enjoyed reading your article, on "I
was once an Iranian". It's interesting to see that we all suffer
from the same internal conflicts. It's funny though, life here in the U.S.
brings me closer and closer to home, yet it distances some people like
Maybe my experiences have been different from yours. I am definitely
not your literary equivalent. I went to an international school until sixth
grade, somewhat like you, albeit less rigorous of a curriculum. And, I
am a born citizen of the U.S.
I think part of where our difference may lie is in the fact that my
parents never secretly had any lust for the Western world. They have always
been Mossadeghi and nationalistic. I do also, as you beautifully described,
see how many people like my parents or Iranians in general are so stuck
on our greatness that we have failed to excel and advcance with the rest
of the world.
What is a hybrid? Where does the problem begin? Is it from the West?
Is it our own doing? How do we fix it? Do we contribute to the lack of
progress in our country by turning our back on it, and adopting America's
ideals? Can we contribute anything at all to the growth of Iran? Does "ghatreh
ghatreh jam shavad, vaangahi daryaa shavad" hold true for our individual
I do not have the answers, and don't claim to be an expert. However,
you raise real issues and questions, and that is both inspirational, and
mind boggling. I haven't been able to grasp what the best of both worlds
is, and I fear that my quest and yours may not provide answers in this
Your article was the most enjoyable I have read in a long time.
Varshasb Broumand, MD
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* No melting pot in Germany, Sweden
Guive Mirfendereski, in his article "Cucumbers
& tomatoes" raises interesting points about immigration and
assimilation. As he rightly pointed out, the reason behind the move to
exile is highly reflective in the assimilation process. But so is the geographical/cultural
location of the host country.
For example, immigrants in Germany (using the example of Iranian refugees
rather than the Turks) have not joined that salad bowl for a variety of
reasons possibly outside their control. Germany has geographically (intentionally)
located refugees in housing projects outside cities. The isolation has
had an alienating influence on the second generation as well.
Sweden's examples are even worse, whereas England has had a successful
rate of assimilation as has France (to a lesser degree). The U.S. being
historically a migration pot, is a different case and has had the most
democratic and successful case study so far (& possibly Australia).
But one thing is for sure, the more varied the cultures, the more tasty
It's good to have access to such a range of opinions published in The
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September 7, 1999
* Traveler of tomorrow
To be honest with you, I see a reflection of my younger days in what
you do. I am now 57 years old. (I cannot believe it but it is true.) And
you remind me of my days when I was 22. When was that? A good 35 years
ago. How old are you? Were you born then?
I and a few friends of mine -- a bunch of students at Tehran University,
people like Bahram Beizaie, Mohammad Ali Sepanlou, Ahmad Reza Ahmadi, Nader
Ebrahimi, Nasser Shahinpar, Akbar Radi, Dariush Ashuri -- had decided to
publish our own periodical. Like yours, it was a self-imposed crusade.
We had decided that our periodical should be called "Torfeh"
meaning "new". Selecting a name reflects the necessities of the
time as you conceive them.
And what came out of that venture a few years later? The "New Wave
Poetry" (Mowj e No) was born, the new cinema of Iran was established,
the modern Iranian theatre was enhanced and the new ways of Farsi novel-writing
was experienced ...
I write this to make you aware of a future that is not far from us.
What will you and your readers will think about these present days? Who
will remember you and appreciate what you did? I am sure your endeavors
will be a part of the history of our life in exile.
You live in today but you are a traveler of tomorrow. That is why what
you do in every hour of your present life will be weighed by the people
of another day, when you are turning into an old man and your computers
are no more considered to be the most advanced means of communication ...
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* Big fat hairy happy birthday
I have received several emails congratulating the 4th anniversary
of The Iranian. I am offering this one from dAyi Hamid because it
includes a bit of history. My sincere thanks to all for being so kind and
generous, especially dAyi Hamid. JJ
I used to be a regular subscriber to Soc.Culture.Iranian (SCI), the
most visited Iranian usenet newsgroup. Sometime in mid 1995 there was a
strange message from an unknown silent reader called Jahanshah Javid who
announced plans to start a new Iranian magazine and asked SCIers to contribute
Ah, I thought, another single-page magazine with articles talking about
how the Iranian government is blah blah and how America is tati tata. Not
everybody thought the same way. There were some flamers who started belittling
the guy's magazine and calling him a "mozdur" of the regime:
"He used to work for them, he must be a spy or something." ...
Like everything else in life, The Iranian has changed over the
past four years. It has transformed from a shy, careful magazine to a taboo-breaking,
freedom-fighting frontier, and I'm proud to be one of its first contributors
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September 6, 1999
* Very insulting
I believe that this "work" of pseudo-Iranian Western cooking
is very insulting ["Rice,
It has been twenty years since the successful changing and reshaping
of our society, and there are still reactionaries who believe that the
British caused a revolution in which two million common people (not 10,000
college students) poured out into the streets demanding rights and liberties
Being an Iranian of the non-LA community, I find it interesting how
the Iranian and Western society has molded into this comical mess of customs
and everyday living.
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* Hold the mirror
You are right on the money when you say Iranians do not like Jews ["I must
be a Jew"]. But you should remember most of this nonesense has
religious roots which is being fed by hard-core Hezbollahis and repeated
by brainless stupid people who really don't mean it.
Iranians as a people have never been bigots or hate-mongers. But religious
intolerance is basically driven by the mollas and their supporters who
unfortunately these days rule Iran and carry on their self-declared religious
war all around the world.
Keep up the good work and continue to hold the mirror in the face of
all Iranian Jew-haters and let them see how ugly and criminal their thinking
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