Response to Roya Hakakian's Blog

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek
by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

I know there are people who love to pick on the sentimental - FEMALE - Iranian authors. Personally, I think there's something else that's bothering these men who choose to target these writers (mostly because their criticism lacks anything other than jokes about their hair, nails, and makeup). Anyway, one of these female targets, Roya Hakakian, has written a blog for the Huffington Post, which has a VERY large audience inside and outside the USA. 

She raises a great point: Thank you for supporting Iranians during the feast (the recent, major and incredible events that have unfolded in Tehran!), but also be with us when the shiny news stories disappear. Personally, I hate this phrase "feast and famine", but it serves the purpose here.


So, I want to thank the non-Iranian people on (and elsewhere) who have been sticking with Iran, following the stories, and doing boring research about AYATOLLAHS and VELAYAT-E-FAGHEE even when it wasn't chic to know what the hell these terms meant. Specifically, thank you to Rosie. She has been patient and supportive with us, through the days of terror with ZION and she told us about the labor purge when most of us were probably just clicking video playlists in itunes. 

That's just my personal thank you. You should thank your friends and supporters/spies too :)


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ACCEPT One Another

by b. (not verified) on

Hatred is a strange occupation. Revenge slithers in hehind its ragged heels. These gripping impulses have destructive results that are perpetrated by people against other people. Only people oppress other people.

I know I sound simplistic, but bear with me.

The future of Iran (and the rest of the world) depends upon our abiltiy to find some other overriding impulse that is stronger than hatred, stronger than the desire for revenge. We are all people. We won't fix the wrongs of the world, of Iran, or Israel or the US by perpetuating prejudice, lies, and old stories.

Recently an Iranian friend who is a marvelous chef brought some amazing Persian-style "pirougies" to a public gathering. Although we stuffed ourselves to the point of nausea with them, many were left over. The next morning I took them to my office where they were taken up with enthusiasm except by one man who asked what they were.

I explained. His comment was, "I don't want anything from "that" country."

Amazing, isn't it? The "pirougies" were made in America by an Iranian man who is a Baha'i refugee. This man, member of a persecuted minority finally left Iran for the US where two of his children live. You might expect him to feel a kindred sort of antipathy for "those people" as my co-worker

What I know is that he just longs for Iran, a place where he was mistreated.

I wondered what I could say to my coworker who probably believed at the time, (maybe not now) that Iran is a monolithic population of fanatical Muslims who chant "Death to the Great Satan" every morning with breakfast?

I explained to him that most Iranians in the US are here because they also don't support the IRI, that even peopl in Iran passionately love thier country but want a different government. (My coworker is good man whose understanding of Iran is limited).

My story came to mind as I read this blog and the comments in it about Israel, Jews and about Iran. Hating Israel will not set Iran free or bring about a just government . . . anywhere. Revenge by Iranians against other Iranians for the recent ugliness will be one more unmitigated disaster.

We are all people. We all have children, we all have dreams, we all want something better. Couldn't we choose this time to help one another and let go of the shame-blame habit? Can't we give up our need for revenge? We must.

I ask because I believe nothing else will work . . . no bright philosophy, religious teaching or political system will work unless we ACCEPT one another.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Thank you Ari

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

Your specific observations are appreciated Ari. Not many people had ever imagined what a Jewish household in Iran was like, until Roya. 

I am loyal big patron of these memoirs, and I think that to dismiss them outright ignores what the texts produce: perspective and resolution. 

I can't tell you how many times I have said to myself while reading these "sentimental, exaggerated" books, "oh my god. that's exactly how I felt. someone has articulated it." It's a bit like therapy.

I am a very jaded and cynical woman. For me to admit to these things, without having anything to gain, is an indication to me that these books are not trash at all. 

Ari Siletz

Yes, thank you!

by Ari Siletz on

I can't vouch for how others use or abuse Roya's writing for political ends, but here are my comments to a friend who gave me Roya's book, Journey From The Land Of No, as a gift. "Roya stands out for her sincerity. She obviously has a deep love of Iranian culture. Reminding us often of Persian literature and customs, she projects a long term desire for healing rather than a short term indulgence in anger and vengeance. Her father's view of Jew vis a vis Muslim society is thoughtfully complex. Also the fact that Roya doesn't hesitate to point out misogyny in traditional Judaism, suggests she maintains her intellectual integrity in the face of Western political pressure to divide Jews and Muslims into the good people and the bad people. I sense She is narrating an entirely Iranian point of view of the revolution." Give her a chance; the book is good.  


grow up Nina1

by Mehran-001 (not verified) on

I read the article by Ms. Hakakian that was posted here and I thought it was a reasonable and well written article. If that makes her to be an Israeli agent, then more power to her and I wish we had more of her on their payroll...

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Nina, you just wasted a bunch of comments

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

People might click on this (most wont anyway), and they'll see all these baloney comments about Israeli agents and no freaking evidence about it. At least give us some evidence. Anyone can be an agent, sure. But don't just say it and tease me like this. Show me the smoking gun!


Roya Hodge-podgian= Faezeh Rafsanjani

by nina1 (not verified) on

You want me to show her Likud membership card? I don’t have it. Just read a couple of her so called “writings” and if you have common sense you will know what I mean. Do you need to see Rafsanjani’s daughter (Faezah) membership card to know who she is? As I said this is the waste of time and she does not merit more to write about. Have a nice day.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

Nina! Can you be more specific?

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

What are you charging her with? How is she an Israeli agent? I'm allegedly an Hamas agent, so I'd love to know.


Don't change the subject

by nina1 (not verified) on

She is a so called “writer” with a very clear agenda as many others like her. The fact that she is not a carrier politician does not change anything. Talking more about agents like her is the waste of time anyway but specially in the current situation. Let’s ignore her and come back to the real subject while our youth is killed by IRI.

I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek

I have my criticisms of Ms. Hakakian

by I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on

But she deserves credit for this blog. Also, when you say "NO TO IRI" that's very different than saying "NO TO ROYA". She's just an author, not a politician. The two aren't always different, so who knows.


No to IRI,No to Israel

by nina1 (not verified) on

No to murderer IRI,
No to opportunist pro-Israel agents like Roya Hakakian.AZ aab-e gelaalood nemeetavaanee maahee begeeree, just shut up.