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Diary Of An Iranian Teacher
  
 
 
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یکشنبه 21 فروردین‌ماه سال 1384
David Letter
Thank you for clearing up the "misunderstanding" regarding the poem. I had to laugh when I realized what you were referring to. I feel stupid. I thought that I had said something wrong, and that you were telling me to be careful what I say.  It made me laugh. Now, to answer some of your questions..........
If I had to choose the most popular music with young Americans, I would have to say that "Rap", is extremely popular here. Rap music  originated in the black communities throughout the country. It was associated with black urban young people. Adults don't like the music as much as the young people do. It's not considered"music" by the over thirty population. It use to be a predominately black thing, but white America embraced it as their own, and now the majority of their fans are white. It's difficult to name the most popular type of music, because we have such diversity here, that there are  countless types of music to listen to.  Rock music, soul music, pop music, country music, are all very popular here. Folk music was very popular here in the sixty's, but has made a return in popularity lately. Now regarding Islam.............................
You are a brave man, my friend............
I truthfully know little about Islam to make an intelligent statement. But I shall try.  I don't understand the "covering up" of women.  I've heard that it's a form of respect for women, but I can't agree with that idea. How does one respect someone that they can't see?  Doesn't it make the women "disappear" in the man's mind? I'll try to explain my thoughts......I was raised to respect women. I also was raised in a family where everyone had to work to make ends meet. The women and men worked together to make a life, and put food on the table.  Education was important to both sexes. The opinions of both genders were respected and appreciated. Women contributed their thoughts and ideas to the household. I can't imagine not seeing a women's face and body. It's such a beautiful creation, why cover it? If it's done for moral reasons, I think that one can lust after a women with or without Being covered, so why bother? This is something that Americans can't understand about Islam. Many feel that it's degrading and sexist to women. It's because we have nothing to compare it to, here. It's not a western custom. I think Americans feel that Islam focuses too much on appearance and not enough on substance. More on the outside, then the inside. In the media here, Islam and the middle east often are depicted as a violent religion, and region. I think that is unfair, because I know better than that. I use to fear Muslims and middle eastern people growing up, because of what I heard in school and from my religious community, not to mention on television. It wasn't until after I met my friend that I realized that they are not the monsters I've heard about. They are the same as I am. This was not taught in my home, but one learns these things from the outside influences. I guess the main thing that I find difficult to understand, is the "Islam" that preaches violence and terror. I wasn't raised like that, nor do I feel like that. How does one love God whom he can't see, but hate his brother who he can see? It doesn't make sense to me. I'm in no way saying that I think that Islam is a violent religion, or that all Muslims are violent. I know that there are good and bad in every religion. Including my own. I will now tell you what I respect the most about Islam. I love the way God is honored in your faith. I love the way God is respected and revered in your faith. I like the way you pray to God. We really are not that different from one another. I love God with all my heart and soul. I pray many times throughout the day to God. I try to follow God's laws and way of life. I also believe in just one God. So we share a love for God and family and values as you do in your country. That's why I was interested in becoming a pen pal to someone from your region of the world. I wanted to learn more about Muslims and the middle east. Islam teaches the importance of "seeking knowledge," and that's what I was doing. I was seeking knowledge about your world. You've taught me a lot, and I am grateful. When I think of you, I don't think of your nationality or your religion, but of my friend Hussein. that is all. All the other stuff doesn't matter to me. Friends matter, and people matter, that's all.  My faith tells me that. Well after all this, I hope you're not mad at me As for your question about jobs that are considered classy....
Doctors, professional athletes, stock brokers, entertainers, are but a few. Soldiers are very respected here. Especially with the war going on. Many families have their husbands, brothers, sons, and even daughters over in Iraq. My nephew is over there now. He came home over a year ago from Iraq for a visit. It was Christmas, and we had a family gathering to celebrate the holiday. We were so surprised to see him! I just looked at him in disbelief, thinking how young he is, and innocent. He was nineteen years old. He still had a little baby face. I couldn't imagine him in uniform carrying a gun. He's just a little boy. It makes me sad to think that our children are dying in some foreign land so far from home. I hate war. When he left,  I gave him a big hug, and told him to be careful, and come back home to us. I probably sound like a sentimental fool huh? I don't understand politics. Now, tell me your opinion of Americans, not the government, but the people. What do you like and dislike about the culture and people? I promise my brother I won't be offended.(I think). What were you told about us in your country growing up? Were we all considered infidels? From our friendship, have you learned anything you haven't known before? Was I what you thought an American would be like? I know, a lot of questions, right?  You see, I'm curious of your opinions also. I respect your ideas and your opinions. I respect you my friend. Well, I'm sure that I talked too much already. I better say good-bye for now. May God bless you my friend. Take care.
 
                                             Tu Amigo, (your friend)
                                             David

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