Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Year's wishes

Kamangir tagged me to write my new year’s wishes. He writes that this is going around the Iranian blogosphere. Thanks to my “slow as molasses” Persian reading comprehension skills, I am not even going to attempt to read the wishes written in Persian.

What are my wishes?

1. I wish that we would be paid the money we are owed by one of our clients. The thing is that there is so much corruption in Iran that you have a hard time getting paid if you don’t make bribes. “If I try to get you paid, people will think I have been bribed,” clients tell us. Huh? So I have to bribe you to get my check and you can’t get me my check because I have not bribed you and people will think that I have.

Bureaucracy is the true legacy of the 3000 year old Persian culture. Even corruption is bureaucratic. I am sure they’ll find an ancient version of Catch 22 in the ruins one day.

2. I wish to lead tours for Jewish visitors to Iran and not have people ask if we are Muslims before we are allowed to enter Daniel’s tomb.

3. I wish for a good haircut.

Who is tagged from me? Mr. and Mrs. Behi, my husband, a non-celebrant who has written about his travels in Iran: Sean Paul Kelley, and David Yaghoobi at ddmmyyyy (BTW, why am I crossed off your links list?). DY will have to find the tag online because I cannot find his email address.

7 comments:

Soheil said...

We patiently wait for a Persian post!!

Kamangir said...

Haircut? Why? Do you have no access to a private saloon?

Anonymous said...

You don't wanna get people started on American bureaucracy or corruption... and I'm sure it is less than 200 years old ;-)

Anonymous said...

There IS a tour like that. Ask around. During the tour day, the people in charge keep the moslems out for an hour or two, so that dirty Jews can visit the grave of their prophet without dirtying moselems with their presence.good luck living among 70 million racists.

K said...

Dear anonymous (1)
I wouldn't mind getting started on this, why not?

They are many diffrent levels of bureaucracy and corruption.

1) There is the kind of bureacracy which not only annoys and frustrates you, but also kills your soul.

2) There is the kind of bureucracy which just seems to get worse and worse over time, and we in Iran have had a lot more time for this than you in America. We always say we have a 5000 year old culture and bureacracy and corruption is a big part of that history.

3) There is the kind of bureaucracy and corruption which is considered part of the national identity.

Anonymous said...

Dear K,

I disagree with you about 5000 years of “bureaucracy and corruption” in Iran. Historically speaking, particularly pre-Islam, Iranians (Persians) had to govern a vast Empire; therefore, their “administrative skills” were well developed as a necessity, which later helped the Arab Caliphate rulers of Iran. I believe the ‘soul destroying’ corruption, bureaucracy and bribery you are now experiencing is, primarily, the product of an incompetent and corrupt mullah rule/theocracy. The mullahs’ rule extends beyond politics; it creates the culture and dictates the code of conduct in the society. People who live in any society/environment are bound by the larger culture and adapt their behavior and actions accordingly; most don’t have a choice if they want to survive. That’s a very sad fact about Iran of last 28 years (not suggesting it was perfect before then). Btw, there are far more insidious aspects to mullah created culture and it is not limited to corruption or bribery either. One main difference between American and Iranian corruption is that corruption in America is more discouraged, where in Islamic Republic it is actually encouraged. Therefore, it becomes part of "the way we do things around here".

arthemis said...

eyde shoma mobarak

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