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October 30-November 3, 2000 / Aban 9-13, 1379


* U.S. elections:
- Nader helping Bush

- Voters wanted
* Attitude:
- Manzoor?
- Quite didactic


* Shah:
- Primitives rule Iran because of the Shah
- Whole new world
U.S. elections:
- The wrong man

* War:
- Raw destruction
- Iranian of the year
- Unequal in the eyes of America
- I was a hostage in Tehran

* Hoveyda:
- I know because he was my father

- Some people don't get it
- MAN-made issue

- Misguided pseudo-intellectualism
* Hejab:
- We love Iran too
- You insulted all of us

- Mind your own business
* Khatami:
- Een kojaa o aan kojaa

* Homosexulaity:
- Damn ignorant
- Read the book

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November 3, 2000

* Nader helping Bush

I appreciated Babak Yektafar's piece, "The other guy". And Ralph Nader - a long-time crusader for consumers' rights and a clean environment - risks becoming just that: the other guy.

Babak's questions about Nader's motives are right on target. To my Iranian-American left and liberal friends, I ask you to consider the impact of voting for a candidate whose 4-5% will supposedly open up the American political process in a tight presidential race.

Although Nader may lift the Green Party out of relative and undeserved obscurity, he seems oblivious to the concerns of those who might be among his natural constituents - the working poor whose social safety net Bush will shred, and women whose right to privacy Bush appointees to the Supreme Court would likely overturn.

The choices in this contest a very real, as will be the consequences.

Haleh Vaziri

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* Voters wanted

I am a filthy rich businessman. A well-dressed womanizer who loves to give exciting meaningless speeches and understands the value of fine wine and hand-wrapped Cuban cigars. Due to my exhaustion from the enjoyment of an extravagant life and by recommendation of my psychotherapist, recently I have developed an interest in politics and am planning to run for office.

Just a few days ago, I have been informed by my political advisors that my wealth and family connections are necessary but not enough to achieve my goals. Therefore to properly feed my huge ego and fulfill my twisted needs, I am currently looking for millions of qualified voters to help me in the upcoming elections.

If you are physically capable of waving the flag and cheering every few minutes during speechs, specially when you don't understand what the heck I am talking about, you are qualified. Thinking is not necessary but qualified candidates must be naive and gullible voters who love to be taken advantage of and willing to actively participate in our democratic election process.

Saeed Tavakkol

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* Manzoor?

After reading "Positive attitude" in the Anyway section, the first thing that popped in my mind was "manzoor?"

If the piece is a statement about one's constitution, then we are getting into the nature/nurture debate. I've spent the last two weeks serving as a juror in a murder case. I've had the opportunity, or shall I say misfortune, of delving into the psyches of angry young people who seem to have never had a break.

Having a positive attitude is fine and dandy, so long as one doesn't belong to an underprivileged, disenfranchised class. Don't you think?


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* Quite didactic

Well put ["Curbing men"]. Remnants of ancient, phallic nomadic mentality within our culture need to be annihilated. However short, your essay was quite didactic.

Your suggestion for sexual equality as a means of repenting for past acrimonious outlook upon women's rights in Persian culture is reverenced. Thank you for the erudition.


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November 2, 2000

* Read the book

As an Iranian-American who just finished reading Persian Mirrors by Elaine Sciolino I have to say that I am very surprised and disappointed at the letters I have read regarding the book in The Iranian. It seems many have not read the book. For those who are commenting without having read the whole book, I encourage you to read it in its entirety first before commenting on it. The excerpt, "The twelve rules" is a very personal experience for the author and should not be used to judge the rest of the book. I personally found the rules to be accurate myself, whether they are human or Iranian characteristics, but again, this is personal...

Laleh Khalili's letter is even more cliche and uninformed. Her self-righteous and self-absorbed comments are pointless. Somehow she believes that she, or other Iranians, are the rightful owners or interpreters of Iranian culture. This is the most dangerous phenomenon of the Iranian mind. Ms. Khalili, what makes you think your version of reality is not an illusion? What gives you the right to interpret Iranian culture or Amerian culture and then call other interpretations and experiences an illusion? Your arrogant comments are baseless. You may disagree, but at least tell us what you disagree on, unless it's an illusion, of course. Wait, have you read the book? >>> FULL TEXT

Mojdeh Mohseni

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* Primitives rule Iran because of the Shah

Dear and esteemed Lida Khanoom, regarding your rambling letter, I am a successful multinational industrialist with tremendous self esteem who has a nasty habit of always calling a spade a spade and not a shovel ["Shah should be fully blamed"]. I mourn for my country every minute of every day and when I conduct the final calculation of how it all went wrong, logic always takes my hand and leads me to the serious errors of the late Shah, his secular, self-centered and centralized regime >>> FULL TEXT

Kambiz Ameli

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* We love Iran too

Regarding Sadaf's letter "Mind your own business", I am an Iranian teenager who was born in the U. S. Both my parents are Iranian and they supported women's rights in Iran during the revolution. Because of their activism they had to escape by foot in 1982 through the Zagros Mountains and left every single worldly possession they had in Iran.

My parents loved Iran more than you could ever EVER understand... Please think twice before saying a comment like that unless you completly understand what the people you are attacking have gone through >>> FULL TEXT


* Whole new world

I am so pleased to find your translations of Rumi. I do not read or write Farsi, but these translations have opened up a whole new world to me. And the way you translate them, someone who is a novice like me can get a true feeling for the words. I thank you so much and keep up the good work.


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November 1, 2000

* I know because he was my grandfather

Although Fereydoun Hovyeda's opinion piece titled "Curbing men" makes a good point regarding the need for men to curb sexual desire, he has distorted some facts in order to strengthen his point.

The International Herald Tribune article he cites about General Hassan Akhavi's "order" to ban pretty secretaries was not an attempt to deny work for attractive women, that is ludicrous. It was an attempt to encourage these so-called lusty men to hire a woman on her abilities and not solely on her looks...

For the record, I know this General was not a provincial and chauvinistic man obsessed with stymieing women's liberation and struggle for equality. I know this because he was my grandfather >>> FULL TEXT

Negar Akhavi

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* The wrong man

Ramin Tabbib's article ["The best man"] in support of Al Gore strikes me as naïve. Gentlemen, you have picked the wrong man. Ramin Tabbib gives us a long list of Gore's credentials in support of his so-called great wit and fitness for the office. But don't be too impressed. The guy is as phony as hell. I won't be even surprised if we later learn that he cheated his way through the college. Surprisingly, Mr. Tabib failed to mention Al Gor's opportunistic exploits.

Al Gore's obsession with the Jewish vote and power is nothing new. In 1988 Al Gore run for the president for the first time. This was just a few months after the beginning of the Palestinian uprising (Intafada). Because of the worldwide publicity around the Israeli atrocities toward the Palestinians hardly any politician dared to publicly support the Israeli policy. Al Gore was the first politician to do so >>> FULL TEXT

J. Namazi

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* Raw destruction

For those of us who were out of Iran by the time the war wit Iraq had begun, I don't think it is possible to imagine what must have been happening there in the early 1980's. It was a period of chaos and terror, and one which we were wholly absent as we were beginning lives here and around the world.

For the Iranian who left, hearing about the war with Iraq was an unreal, distant atrocity reported by cold, distant American journalists who often made no mention of gravity of the situation, nor gave us the images to understand what exactly was going on over there.

These photos of Khorramshahr ["Rape"] end any kind of doubt as to what transpired in Iran during the war >>> FULL TEXT

Roozbeh Shirazi

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October 31, 2000

* Unequal in the eyes of America

Letter to The Washington Post: I am an Iranian-American living in Washington and was quite upset with the dollar amounts quoted in the article on Sunday Oct 22, "Terrorism Victims Set Precedent".

In one part of your article you state that Terry Anderson and the rest of the families of the former hostages will receive approximately $161 million from Iran for their time in captivity in Lebanon... Once again, based on this formula American lives are always worth more than non-Americans >>> FULL TEXT

Sepehr Haddad

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* You insulted all of us

I read your response ["Mind your own business"] with regard to hejab "Hal-e moshkel-e hejaab". By calling all Iranians who have left the country escapees, you have insulted all of us.

The only reason we left our beloved Iran has been people like you who think forcing women to have hejab is not a problem. We left and stayed away because there are people like you who think it is their God's given right to tell other people what to do, what to wear, what to read, what to listen to, and what to drink. It is because of people like you that our country has been destroyed >>> FULL TEXT


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* Some people don't get it

Some people just don't get the humor in a humorous essay ["Curbing men"]. Mr. Hovayda's piece was both fun to read and reflective of our recent past. His remark about "the general" being a Muslim has more to do with Iranian attitudes toward sexuality than religion as an individual choice. I, for one, enjoyed Mr. Hovayda's wonderful piece and hope to see more like it. We should all lighten up a bit.

Farzan Navab

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* MAN-made issue

Being of the female species, I can relate to your article about curbing men's sexual desire ["Curbing men"]. However, I believe this is a universal problem.

Female victims of rape for example, are put on the defense even in the most liberal cultures. Many movies have been made on the subject in the West. I like to find out when it all started, this inequality!

If one is a believer of the Bible, I guess God started it. But I'm hoping this is a MAN-made issue. Thanks for caring.


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* Iranian of the year

Begoo aks-e Hassan Agha ro dar haal-e jish kardan beferesteh keh Iranian of the Year besheh :-)

Reza F.

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October 30, 2000

* I was a hostage in Tehran

You do not know me but, I am certain that you will know my name and the small part I played back in 1979 as I was one of the 52 Americans held as hostage by your nation. After eighteen years my thoughts are still about the situation that we faced back then. Scared out of our wits, not sure if we would live or die, and wondering why Iran had done such a terrible thing >>> FULL TEXT

William E. Belk

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* Misguided pseudo-intellectualism

This is a response to Mr. Hoveyda's recent commentary about an incident in 1957 ["Curbing men"]. Mr. Hoveyda makes the proposition that one man's idiotic notions of male superiority has to do with his religious faith. He claims that "The general was probably a practicing Muslim."

Mr. Hoveyda, "probably" is not good enough. You draw such a grand and substantial conclusion by reading a piece of an article in some foreign journal in 1957. What wisdom and foresight you must posses! There are very few people in the world that can genuinely conclude that all things stupefying could be examined in terms of a person's faith...

Shame on such person who belittles what his country and Iranians have to offer to the world and instead chooses to rub into our faces his misguided pseudo-intellectual prowess >>> FULL TEXT

Rasoul Hajikhani

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* Mind your own business



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* Een kojaa o aan kojaa

These days Googoosh fever has spread all around North America and Europe. Another kind of fever has spread around East Asia. President Khatami is visiting Japan and everybody here is waiting to attend his speech.

This reminded me of a poem which says:




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