Sunday, May 30, 2004

An American Goes to Iran

An American Goes to Iran:

"Iranians have a lot in common with Americans. We both tend to be generous, open to strangers, and proud of our respective histories. We in the U.S. are aware of accomplishments and strengths that do not appear to have attracted the attention of our Iranian friends. On the other hand, Iran's cultural pride encompasses a period of over twenty-five hundred years, including extraordinary waves of creativity about which Americans know virtually nothing. Iranians who have not lived in the United States surely can not see all of our better qualities, in part because of their exposure to aspects of American culture that do not put our best foot forward. They see us through our films, which appear to exploit women in frivolous, disrespectful ways. They see lavishly produced American television, but the programming strikes them as fundamentally pointless. Are they wrong? Is their government wrong in limiting access to these 'accomplishments' of the West?"

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