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Shahin & Sepehr


Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

January 10-15, 2000 / Dey 20-25, 1378


* Nostalgia:
- My neighbor, Googoosh

* Iranian of the century:
- Not popular, but important
- Just ask in the kucheh


* The Iranian:
- Tacky, sexist
- Too paranoid

- Mithraic roots
- Nice try, Jack
Iranian of the century:
- I am UPSET

- Fair-minded
- Impressed
- No gray area
- Frightening remarks
- Brought down communism

* Nostalgia:
- Behrouz Vosouqi

- Still attractive
- Still see her

- Shahnz Tehrani & Noushafarin

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January 14, 2000

* My neighbor, Googoosh

I don't remember Googoosh in the film "Qesaas". But I was her neighbor when we were kids. We were almost the same age. Back then she was about 11-12 years old and living with her father, stepmother and stepbrother. They had rented an apartment across from our house on Bahar Street, Kouche Saarem, in Tehran.

Googoosh also went to the same elementary school as I did (Dabestan-e Vedadi). By the way our principal from that school now lives in Maryland, where I live.

As kids we were curious and we would go on the roof top to watch Googoosh's house and we could see how she had to do a lot of house work and the stepmother was not nice to her at all.

When I recently asked our principal about Googoosh for an article I was writing, she said that because Googoosh was working at nights and was also bothered by her stepmother, she could not attend school long and could not continue.

For the same reason the school was not that eager to have her as a student either -- She used to sing at night clubs at that age.

Simin Habibian

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* Not popular, but important

The result of the Iranian of the century survey is skewed by emotional tangents. By no means am I a fundementalist or even vaguely religious, but as a historian - I assure you that the Iranian who has most impacted our society, socially, politically and in respect to our future, has been R. Khomeini.

M. Mossadegh is an emotional choice - a man that didn't quite fulfill his legacy. And we all like to dream that had he fulfilled his legacy - we may have avoided the revolution of 1979. Hence, we look at him with much nostalgia.

Like it or not, man of the century doesn't neccessarily have to be the most popular individual - democratically speaking. Khomieni changed Iran like no one before... and that is a fact.

Manou Marzban

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* Just ask in the kucheh

That's great! You have simply showed how BIG is the population of the late Mosasdegh's fans (363 x 0.42 < 160) ["Iranian of the century"].

For sure, you have done your best to get as many votes as possible by sending your questioner to SELECTED people.

However, if you really mind whom the Iranians in GENERAL respect and follow -- and still you don't know-- just go to Iran and ask the people of "koocheh va baazaar".


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January 13, 2000

* I am UPSET

Please take me off your email list. Please. The reason is that I am disappointed that you have chosen Mossadegh as your Iranian of the century. That shows that your magazine is not worth reading.

It's understood that Ayatollah Khomeini is the Iranian of the century -- no doubt . Whether for bad or good, he shook the world. He certainly was the Iranian of the century as well as MAN OF THE CENTURY OF THE WORLD.

I am UPSET . We used to subscribe to your magazine but not any more. Please take me off your email list. My friends are going to do the same.

Mustafa Khan

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* Amazed

I recently read "An American in Iran". I was amazed at how well you understood and appreciated the Iranian culture. But your flawless comprehension of Iranian people, their feelings, and views, was the most impressive.

I am 15 years old, and sitting here with my grandfather who just recently traveled from Iran to America for a knee surgery. We have lived back and forth between Iran and America until I was nine, but finally we were able to "flee" and come to live in the great U.S. permanently.

It has only been a year since my family has settled down and all together again. Through the struggles we went through, I have changed quite a bit. But I will never forget my roots. I actually went back to visit my family last summer, and I felt just as you did. Even though I had lived in this country, everything seemed so unorganized and less than what I had remembered.

I am fascinated that an American is so interested and fond of our culture and country.

Reyhaneh Fathieh

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* Behrouz Vosouqi

In reference to Nostalgia photos:

Behrouz Vosouqi used to live in Los Angeles. He now lives in the San Fransisco Bay Area. Roumor has it that he owns a cafe. Haxamanesh

He became one of the followers of Mr. Angha who has set up his own Khanehghah and Moreed-dom in the San Fransisco Bay Area. Moftaki

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January 12, 2000

* Tacky, sexist

Your "Bucket of Hilary" item [Anyway section of The Iranian Times, Tuesday Jan 11] had under it a note that said "Thanks to ..." I fail to see what there is to be thankful for, either to the person submitting this item, or your publication in choosing to print it.

The same issue that refers to one woman's "small breasts and large thighs," included a letter that described the last sighting of a Miss Iran candidate and informed readers that (Thank God!), she is "still attractive."

I read The Iranian to stay up-to-date about events in Iran, and to experience the ideas and emotions of fellow Iranian expatriates. I'm not interested in reading about how women's bodies measure up, or fail to measure up, to beauty ideals.

Usually when I read The Iranian I find it informative and intellectually stimulating. With this issue, I wasn't sure if I'd stumbled across a fraternity party or a "dowreh" where a woman's weight and how "shekasteh" she's become or not; are debated over tea.

This was tacky. This was puerile. This was sexist. This was not up to your usual standards.

Gelareh Asayesh

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* Fair-minded

I am a young Iranian who has never visited Iran. I was born in Africa. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful magazine because of your fair-mindness and willingness to tackle issues.

I especially want to thank you for choosing Abdul-Baha, the son of the founder of the Bahai faith, among your Iranians of the century. It is only when we learn to respect each other's beliefs that we can as Iranians enter a new century where peace and harmony reigns.

Sahba Sobhani

EDITOR: The choices made for the Iranian of the century were all made by readers, not The Iranian magazine.

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* Impressed

I was impressed and proud when my fellow Iranians recognized the very notable Iranian, Abdul-Baha ["Iranians of the century"]. His contribitions, love, and service to all Iranians as members of a world family really raised the worth and greatness of our wonderful mother country, Iran. Although there is great hesitation in admitance of this, Abdul-Baha lived his life in the true Iranian spirit. Thank you very much.


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* Too paranoid

I couldn't pass on the opportunity to reply to the man who thought me a new word: Asinine ["Mithraic roots of Christianity"]! Mr. Salardini I presume was so infuriated by me lack of sensible respect for Persia and anything that proves our supremacy that he rushed to my condemnation without carefully reading the few words I had put down.

Let me reply to some of his reasons for calling me asinine (and I love this word!).

Mr. Salardini starts with: "The roots of Christmas in Mithraism is well known and not subject to much debate." Well, not until you have me around. That is the whole point of this forum: to debate.

Then he asserts: "Before 12th century the Christian symbol was largely the fish (PX sounds like the Latin word for fish and PX is the reverse of XP i.e Xi Rho that are the first two letter of Christos in Greek). " To this I have no comment! It is too paranoid for even me! ...

... In response to my assertion that we were never the center of the world, Mr. Salardini corrects me that: "Mr. Tabib is obviously unfamiliar with the history of the Achaemenian empire." To which I have to say that: No, I am not unfamiliar, but I am also keenly aware of a 20-something boy-soldier named Alexander of Macedon who attacked the Persian empire with a small army and outwitted the rulers of the world and laid their empire to waste. Does that make Alexander or the Greeks the center of the world and the spring-board of all civilization? Never! Neither can the Persian empire of the old make that claim >>> FULL TEXT

Ramin Tabib

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January 11, 2000

* Mithraic roots of Christianity

I am prompted by the facile and pseudo-intellectual letter of Mr Tabib who being chuffed by his netsearching skills proceeded to aptly demonstrate the common wisdom that little knowledge is more dangerous than none.

The roots of Christmas in Mithraism is well known and not subject to much debate ["Borrowed ideas"]. The Aurelian Mithramas was on the 25th December. The identification of Jesus with Mithras, the central figure in the Mithraic Mysteries was more than coincidence. Mithras (originally Persian Mithra) was also a messianic figure who was to renew life and redeem all with sacrifice. He, like Yima, would slay the primordial bull Gush Urvan whose blood would revitalise all. The symbol of Mithraism was in fact the cross that happily co-incided with the mode of execution of Jesus himself ...

But what I find interesting is all the half truths that Mr Tabib uses to advance his point. Firstly he asserts that all ancient peoples worshipped the sun. True, but the word Mithra and Mithraism were not Egyptian or Celtic or anything else but Persian. He then enumerates a assinine mixture of historical festivals to no effect ...

He requests that " we all accept that we are not the center of the world and never were". Mr Tabib is obviously unfamiliar with the history of the Achaemenian empire. However in all fairness there is one of his assertions that I agree with and that is that Mr Tabib is not "... an expert in Christian traditions, or any tradition for that matter".

Ms Shashaani was largely correct in her article. I find it interesting that even when the West, in a rare instance of honesty, credits us with something however insignificant, there should be an Iranian who refutes it >>> FULL TEXT

Arash Salardini

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* Nice try Jack

Ms. Shashaani ["Borrowed ideas"] argues interestingly that Christmas may have something to do with shab-e yalda and other old Persian traditions of that period of the year. This is a fascinating and enjoyable article and the author obviously knows her subject matter well.

However, I must say that I find the notion of attempting to relate Christmas to the astrological/astronomical basis of shab-e yalda rather far-fetched. Maybe she is right, I am no expert, but sometimes things are just simple coincidences. Would anyone, for example, try to connect the Islamic Republic's day (Farvardin 12) with April's Fool's Day in the West? ...

For example, did the Persians really make much significant contributions to astronomy, as opposed to mainly borrowing concepts from the people that they forcefully brought under their rule, such as Babylonians whose civilization reached its height before it was invaded by the Persians?

Also while the word Magi may have been derived from Mogh (Zoroastrian preacher), the origin of the three wise men is a lot more uncertain than the article suggests. I am puzzled, in particular, how the author claims that they came from the religious city of Qom when this city gained its religious status only many centuries later and in the context of a different religion, namely Islam.

In summary I would thank Ms. Shashaani for her very interesting article but cannot help say nice (and enjoyable) try Jack, but let's not push it, not everything has its origin in old Persian traditions >>> FULL TEXT

Hossein Samiei

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* Still attractive

In reference to 1978 Miss Iran finalists:

Nazila Alasti: She used to be my classmate at Northeastern University in Boston. She got her BS in electrical engineering and went to Cornel University to get her masters. After that I have no clue.

Roya Pegahi: I had seen her in Egypt. Her father was the military attache at the Iranian embassy. Four years ago when I went back to Iran, I got invited to a party at her brother's house. She is married with children. Still very attractive!

Fereshteh Golesorkhi

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* Still see her

In reference to Nostalgia photos:

I know Haleh used to be a commentator in one of the Iranian TV stations down in Los Angeles and she even used to live in the same apartment complex that we lived in (Oakwoods Apartments) in San Fernando Valley where she videod her programs from inside her apartment. Later she moved to a bigger place I heard and you still see her occasionally on TV.


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January 10, 2000

* No gray area

In response to NS's letter:

No one said that Khomeini was LOVED or reveered ["Runner up: Iranian of the century"], although he did change history and therefore -- and unfortunately -- he is an important personality.

The meaning of democracy IS: tolerating, accepting, respecting what someone else is, eats, breathes, thinks, wears, reads, watches, does. The reason why Iran is in this pathetic state is because people don't understand how to be tolerant, accepting, respectful...

If someone IS different, Iranians either worship them or dump on them. There's no happy medium, no grey area. Iranians will ALWAYS be damned because of their hot heads and unwillingness to stop JUDGING. I hope this is clarified a few things.

Banafsheh Zand

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* Frightening remarks

I was astonished to read the comments given about Khomeini being the most influential Iranian ["Runner up: Iranian of the century"]. Some people went as far as saying that the late Ayatollah gave Iran freedom, dignity, and independance. The absurdness of this statement is indicative of what a legacy Khomeini has actually left behind for the Iranian people. It is the apathetic complacency of these remarks that are so frightening.

The reality is that Ruhollah Khomeini was a maniacal patriarch who politicized women and religion. As an emigre Iranian woman who left Iran more than twenty years ago, I can honestly say that these remarks saddened me beyond belief. The only thing that Khomeini did to and for the Iranian people, was to break them mentally, spiritually, physically, and economically.

I distinctly remember the day that he died. My mother and father threw a huge dinner party that evening; we had a party in his honor. I was only about eleven years old than, just young and naive enough to believe that once he died, so would his policies with him. But the legacy continues >>> FULL TEXT


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* Brought down communism

I cannot find anyone else who changed the course of the 20th century as effectively as Ayatollah Khomeni. The West got such a SHOCK by his rise that it took years for it to recover. Khomeini made Zbigniew Brzezinski to conclude that a green "Islamic" belt around the then Soviet Union would contain communism.

Khomeini had this exact picture in mind. This is clear in the letter he wrote to Gorbachev. Only a shot time later, the 20th century, which began its journey with the October Revolution and continued through the Cold War, experienced the shocking collapse of the Soviet Union. This was Khomeini's contribution to the past century.


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* Shahnz Tehrani & Noushafarin

In reference to Nostalgia photos:

Shahnaz Tehrani, is living in Los Angeles and used to be very active. Lately I have not heard or read anything about her, but she always takes part in the Tanin TV show for Noruz. She has lost a lot of weight and looks a little better than she used to.

Also, the singer Noushafarin lives in Los Angeles and was married to the actor, Saeed Raad, who lately has written a play in which he himself & Kambiz Ghorbani (Googoosh's son) play the main characters. When Noushafarin left Iran years ago she lived in India for some time and can speak Indian. She then lived in Canada for a few years before moving to the U.S.

Simin Habibian

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