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  • #91
    Iranian Refugee Living In Moscow Airport Terminal Finds New Home In Canada

    After living in Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport for 10 months, Zahra Kamalfar is finally home - that is, her new home in Canada.

    Kamalfar and her two children were re-united with her brother and his family in the Vancouver International Airport after spending the last three months since getting refugee status trying to get to Canada.

    The government sponsored the family's Canadian visa application.

    Before getting out of her airport limbo, however, Kamalfar was detained by Canadian police for possibly smoking in the airplane's restroom.

    No charges have been laid after an hour's detention, though it's reportedly still possible.

    Originally from Iran, Kamalfar and her husband were Dervishes who supported the return of the Iranian Shah after he was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution - it was her active role in those politics that allegedly landed her in prison for two years.

    She started passing out leaflets again in 2001, this time in protest of the Iranian president - she was allegedly arrested again in 2004.

    She left prison for 48 hours on leave - just long enough to skip the country on fake travel documents to Canada.

    Caught in Frankfurt, she was sent back to Moscow, where she stayed in a immigration detention centre for over a year before it closed down. Then she and her children relocated to the moscow airport while her refugee papers were processed before finally getting to Canada - legally.



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    • #92
      TEHRAN - The West may be leading efforts to isolate Iran over its nuclear program, but for some young Iranians those same Western countries represent hope of a brighter future rather than a threat.

      Hundreds of thousands of hard-working and educated people have emigrated since the 1979 Islamic revolution, weighing on Iran's economy. Many end up with Iran's arch-foe the United States, denounced by Tehran's leaders as "the Great Satan."

      But those dreaming of a better life abroad often struggle to win entry to Western countries, making work and residence visas a coveted prize.

      Restaurant waiter Hassan, one Iranian aspiring to leave, works from before dawn to after dusk seven days a week for $200 a month. All he wants is to move to Australia.

      "The salary here is very low, but in Australia it is better," said the 27-year-old, clutching a small pile of visa forms and other documents printed from the Web site of the immigration authorities in Canberra.

      "Many Iranians are preparing to get visas to Australia," said Hassan, who like others was wary of giving his full name.

      He is indeed not alone in looking for a future abroad as Iran struggles with double-digit inflation and high unemployment. Moreover, there is the likely prospect of new U.N. sanctions over the country's atomic ambitions.

      Even oil and gas resources fuelling up to six percent growth somehow do not translate into career prospects for many of the two-thirds of 70 million Iranians estimated below the age of 30.

      Precise statistics are hard to find but an Iranian official was quoted last year as saying as many as 180,000 graduates want to join the 3 million Iranians who now live abroad.

      "It would mean that economic potential is being siphoned off," said senior director Richard Fox at the sovereigns department of credit ratings institute Fitch in London.

      In his book The Soul of Iran, American-Iranian journalist Afshin Molavi said it had one of the highest rates of brain drain in the Middle East, with well-educated people leaving in several waves since 1979.

      "It would be even higher if Iranians didn't have trouble getting work visas," he wrote. "A distorted, anemic economy that favors the trader and speculator has sent many of Iran's elite professionals outside the country."

      BRAIN DRAIN

      Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has brushed off concerns about the brain drain.

      "Yes, the young people go abroad, but they come back," he said in a 2006 speech. Man had traveled only to study.

      Some young people are tired of the Islamic Republic's social strictures, like its ban on alcohol and strict Muslim dress code for women. Born after the heady days of 1979, they are unmoved by media railing against a demonic West and drawn by tales of relatives already there, by internet images and pirated movies.

      "I think 20-25 percent of young people want to go abroad for studying (or) living," said Komeil, a 23-year-old computer specialist, sipping coffee in an affluent northern part of the capital Tehran. "Because in Iran ... everything is forbidden."

      Alongside an outward-looking youth, there exists, uneasily, a more conservative, more religious Iran, embodied perhaps by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and imbued with suspicion of the West born of past domination and occupation. For them Iran, is a country unjustly vilified as a renegade, a 'sponsor of terror'.

      As the world's fourth largest oil exporter, Iran has reaped windfall gains from a higher crude price, and Ahmadinejad's government has increased its budget, promising to spread wealth more fairly and root out corruption.

      But critics and analysts say that, while the state may be spending more, businesses are not; so inflation has soared to 17 percent and unemployment remains stubbornly above 10 percent.

      Tehran's northern skyline is dotted with new apartment and office blocks rising against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains.

      "There is a lot of spending going on but it is fairly inefficient spending," said Fox of Fitch Ratings. "The oil price is masking a lot of problems."

      The International Monetary Fund has said the government must do more to create jobs and cut inflation.

      "Every year approximately 750,000 Iranians enter the labor market for the first time, putting enormous pressure on the ability of the economy to create jobs," it said in a report.

      It also warned the outlook could be hurt by escalating tension over Iran's nuclear work, which Western powers suspect is a cover for making atom bombs despite Tehran's denials.

      Hassan, the waiter, said his worries were simple. He wanted enough cash to raise his children and treat his spouse. "I'd like to go out with my wife, but here I can't. I need money."



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      • #93
        9-Year-Old Canadian Citizen and Iranian Parents Arrive in Toronto After Six Weeks in Texas Immigration Jail


        After six weeks in a Texas immigration jail, a nine year-old Canadian citizen and his Iranian parents were released and allowed back into Canada last night. Canadian immigration authorities have granted the boy's parents temporary residency. We speak with their attorney. [includes rush transcript]

        One month ago, Democracy Now! first covered the case of a nine-year-old Canadian boy held in a U.S. immigration jail along with his Iranian-born parents. Kevin Yourdkhani, his father Majid and his mother Masomeh, had been on their way to seek asylum in Canada when their plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Puerto Rico. US officials took them into custody and sent them to the T. Don Hutto Family Detention Center in Taylor, Texas. Kevin was one of an estimated two hundred immigrant children being held there. He spoke to us from the jail in what was his first broadcast interview.

        After six weeks in the Texas immigration jail, Kevin and his parents are back in Canada. They arrived in Toronto last night. Canadian immigration authorities have granted Kevin's parents temporary residency. For more we go now to Toronto where I'm joined by the family's attorney, Andrew Brouwer.

        http://www.democracynow.org/article..../03/22/1414201



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        • #94
          عدم تسلط لازم به زبان انگلیسی و همچنین نداشتن تجربه کار کانادایی موجب شده تا ایرانیان تحصیل کرده و متخصص در پیدا کرده شغل مرتبط و مورد علاقه خود با چالش های جدی مواجه شوند. بویژه در روزهای آغازین ورود، مهاجران ایرانی نیاز زیادی به مشاوره و راهنمایی های لازم دارند تا بدین طریق زودتر با شرایط کاری و نحوه جستجوی شغل برای خود آشنا شوند . ضرورت وجود مراجع اطلاع رسانی فارسی زبان و تخصصی در جامعه ایرانیان کانادا ، گروهی از ایرانیان متخصص و جوان تورنتو را به این فکر انداخت تا در سال 2005 میلادی شبکه اطلاع رسانی کاریابی را برای مهاجران راه اندازی کند .
          هر چند که هنوز نیاز جامعه ایرانیان به راهنمایی و مشاوره های مورد نیاز پس از مهاجرت به طور کامل بر آورده نشده و مشکالت زیادی در این زمینه دیده می شود، اما " آی.سی.نتورک " به عنوان گروهی داوطلبانه در جامعه ایرانیان، رسالت خود را برای حل مشکل کاریابی ایرانیان متخصص آغاز کرده است و به عنوان اولین برنامه گروهی در نوع خود در کشور کانادا ،موفقیت هایی کسب کرده است.
          این گروه در تلاش است تا علاوه بر هدایت داوطلبانه ایرانیان جویای کار در تورنتو، آنها را به بازار کار کانادایی و ایرانی موجود معرفی کند .
          چنان چه تا کنون حدود 70 درصد شرکت کنندگان در برنامه های این گروه موفق به گرفتن کار در تخصص های خود شده اند.
          تینا تهرانچیان یکی از بنیا گذاران این گروه، در گفت و گویی با ما ضمن تشریح اهداف راه اندازی " آی.سی" گفت :" کار و اشتغال همیشه مشکل اصلی ایرانیان مهاجر بوده است و ما در این گروه سعی کردیم تا با همکاری ایرانیان متخصص و مجرب ، که به طور داوطلبانه با ما همکاری می کنند، به راهنمایی مهاجران و تازه واردین بپردازیم و زمینه های اشتغال را برای آنها فراهم کنیم. " وی افزود : " افراد در گروههای کوچک و سازمان یافته تحت آموزش های لازم قرار می گیرند و در یک دوره چهار ماهه همه آموزش های لازم را برای شغل یابی و یا کار آفرینی و راه اندازی شرکت و سازمان های شخصی در کانادا فر می گیرند. "
          البته این گروه تنها در رشته های پر متقاضی دست به برگزاری کارگاه و دوره های آموزش کار یابی می زند که از آن جمله می توان به رشته های مهندسی و فنی اشاره کرد.
          به گفته تهرانچیان آمار دقیقی از آمار ایرانیان بی کار در کانادا در دست نیست. همچنین حسن حسن زاده ، از فعالان اجتماعی ایرانیان تورنتوبا اشاره به موانع کاری ایرانیان گفت :" مشکلات فراوان است. توقعات هم ممکن است بالا باشد. متاسفانه در رشته های تخصصی کار کم است ."
          وی گفت : " تسلط به زبان انگلیسی در حد محاوره کامل از عوامل مهم در پیدا کردن کار برای ایرانیان به شمار می رود و همین امر اشتغال را برای آنها به تاخیر می اندازد. "



          Comment


          • #95
            Iranian immigrants give
            back to Swedish Covenant


            A family of Iranian emigres has given $4 million to Swedish Covenant Hospital, the North Side Chicago institution where one family member was an orthopedic surgeon for many years.

            As a result of the gift, the hospital, which was itself founded by immigrants 120 years ago, is naming its newly remodeled emergency department after the benefactors, the Yelda family of Chicago.
            Dr. Rami "Sam" Yelda, 65, now retired, had been a surgeon at Swedish and other Chicago hospitals since he and his family emigrated from Iran about 40 years ago. The gift was made in his name and in the names of his wife, Beth, his mother, Jeannette, and sister Flora. Beth Yelda graduated from North Park University, which, like Swedish, is part of the Chicago-based Evangelical Covenant Church.

            Dr. Yelda also is the author of "A Persian Odyssey: Iran Revisited," a 2005 book in which this Assyrian Christian recounts two trips he made to his homeland after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks here.

            Dr. Yelda was said to be traveling and couldn't be reached for comment.

            Swedish's CEO, Mark Newton, noted that the Yeldas also have established a trust to help the hospital meet future needs.



            Grants: Boeing Co. gave $5 million to the National Archives foundation to help make archive material more accessible to the public through the Internet and traveling exhibitions.

            Abbott Laboratories Inc. CEO Miles White and his wife, Kimberly, have made an unrestricted gift of $1 million to the Field Museum. He is chairman of the museum's board of trustees; she is a member of its Women's Board. The Field said it will dedicate a gallery in its new "The Ancient Americas" permanent exhibition in honor of the Lake Forest couple.

            The Hinsdale-based Christopher Family Foundation is giving $1 million to the Chicago Project, an international diabetes research consortium led by Dr. Jose Oberholzer of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The project's focus is treating the disease with islet cell transplantation. The Christophers are the family behind The Pampered Chef kitchenware business.

            The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $287,866 to the Chicago-based Health Research and Educational Trust in support of an international conference on shortages and maldistribution of health-care workers. The conference is Thursday and Friday in Geneva. The trust is an affiliate of the American Hospital Association.

            The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Soccer Foundation is giving $100,000 to Jungman Elementary School toward the installation of a synthetic-grass soccer field at the Pilsen neighborhood school. Other Chicago organizations getting soccer grants for programs or field enhancement are Talcott Fine Arts and Museum, $24,000; Rauner Family YMCA, $10,000; United Neighborhood Organization, $10,000; and Chicago Scores, $4,300.

            The social-services agency Chicago Commons Association received $50,000 from the Chicago Community Trust.

            The Chicago Community Trust gave $50,000 to Northlight Theatre to support the Skokie troupe's production of "Fire on the Mountain."

            Chicago's Art Resources in Teaching said it will use a $25,000 grant from the Illinois Arts Council to send a staffer and two artists to teach for a month in an Ethiopian school.

            The National Endowment for the Arts gave $10,000 each to these small and midsize groups to extend their reach to underserved communities: Chinese Music Society in Woodbridge; Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra in Park Forest; Jane Addams Juvenile Court Foundation in Chicago (for creating a tile mosaic for Cook County Juvenile Court); Lira Ensemble in Chicago; Natya Dance Theatre in Chicago.



            Comment


            • #96
              در بررسی دلایل عدم بازگشت دانشجویان ایرانی دانشگاههای خارجی به کشورمان، یک عامل اساسی را نباید از یاد برد. امنیت ، آرامش و حریم خصوصی فراخ تر.
              واقعا چرا اکثر دانشجویان ایرانی حتی آنها که با گرفتن بورس تحصیلی از وزارت علوم از کشور خارج می*شوند دیگر به کشور باز نمی*گردند. وقتی پای صحبت خود دانشجویان می*نشینیم، می*بینیم که با وجود پرداخت هزینه های گزاف از جمله دوری از خانه و کاشانه خود،مشکلات اقتصادی و اجتماعی و شهریه های بالا، حاضر به برگشت نیستند. خیلی ها می گویند که : "اینجا کسی یه کار شما کاری ندارد."
              حریم خصوصی افراد محفوظ است و در نتیجه آلودگی روانی کمتر و آرامش بیشتراست. برای یک دانشجوی ایرانی که به قصد ادامه تحصیل به کانادا مهاجرت کرده است، محدودیت*ها، تسهیلات و امکانات به مراتب محدودتر از کسانی است که اقامت دایم دارند و شهروند کانادایی محسوب می*شوند. اما به گفته خود این دانشجویان با وجود همه این مسایل هر قدر از مدت اقامت آنان در کانادا می*گذرد انگیزه*هایشان برای ماندن و بازنگشتن به کشور بیشتر می*شود.

              امیر شفقی دانشجوی رشته تبلیغات است که چندی پیش برای ادامه تحصیل به تورنتو آمد. او در گفت و گویی با ما به مقایسه امکانات تحصیلی و آموزشی ایران و کانادا می پردازد . امیر دسترسی به منابع علمی بالا غنی را یکی از جاذبه هایی می داند که موجب می شود افراد مجذوب آن شوند. چنان چه او می گوید : نمی دانم اگر بر گردم ایران چطور می توانم به این راحتی این همه کتاب و مجله جدید و مفید پیدا کنم .
              او اضافه می کند : وقتی برای ویزای تحصیلی درخواست کردم ، هدف دو منظوره داشتم. گفتم بروم هم آموزش ببینم و با مدرکی از یکی از دانشگاههای امریکای شمالی بر گردم و هم این که شرایط زندگی را از نزدیک بررسی کنم و اگر خوشم آمد برای اقامت دایم اقدام کنم.
              برای امیر موضوع مهم و ویژگی اساسی زندگی در کانادا ، آرامش روانی و روحی افراد است.
              او می گوید: حریم شخصی افراد این جا به خوبی حفظ می شود و کسی کاری به شما ندارد. اگر ما هم بتوانیم روزی در کشورمان شرایطی را ایجاد کنیم که مردم به چنین آرامشی برسند و این حق آنها حفظ شود و در عین حال منابع علمی غنی برای کار های تحقیقاتی مهیا شود، شاید خیلی از ایرانیان و تحصیل کردگان ایرانی خارج از کشور به ایران برگردند.



              Comment


              • #97
                Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki claimed in Havana that Washington supported terrorism in various parts of the world, criticizing last week's release of a former CIA operative convicted in the deadly 1976 downing of a Cuban airliner, AFP reported.

                The Iranian diplomat, who was on a two-day visit to Cuba, decried what he called Washington's "support for terrorism in various parts of the world."

                His remarks followed last week's release on bail of former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles, who is wanted in Cuba and Venezuela for a 1976 bombing that killed all 73 people aboard a Cuban passenger jet, the report added.

                Posada Carriles is being held in the United States on minor immigration charges.

                "We condemn the release of Luis Posada Carriles," said Mottaki. "He is a terrorist protected by the United States," the minister said.

                According to the report, Posada was released on a 350,000-dollar bond pending his May 11 trial on charges of entering the United States illegally and lying in his application to become a US citizen.

                A national of Venezuela, the Cuban-born Posada was convicted in Venezuela in 1976 of masterminding the downing of the airliner off Barbados, but escaped from prison in 1985.

                He was sentenced to eight years' prison in Panama in a bomb plot to assassinate Castro during an Ibero-American summit in 2000, and was pardoned four years later.

                Mottaki's statements echoed claims by allied Venezuela and Cuba, which accuse the United States of harboring a dangerous terrorist.

                The Iranian visitor also highlighted what he said were Iran and Cuba's common views on numerous international issues.

                Mottaki's Cuban counterpart, Felipe Perez Roque, reiterated Havana's support for Tehran in the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.

                "We firmly oppose the pressure and blackmail against the Republic of Iran, the threatening language, and express the strong solidarity of our people with the Iranian people," Roque said.

                He stressed that the Non-Aligned Movement, which represents 118 developing countries, recognizes what it calls "the basic and inalienable right of all states to develop research, production and use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes."

                Mottaki, for his part, said "Iran's nuclear activity is continuing along its normal path" under the supervision of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

                The Iranian minister's trip to Cuba follows a visit to Venezuela, a close ally and fellow member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

                Venezuela, Iran and Cuba all are among the most virulent critics of the administration of US President George W. Bush.



                Comment


                • #98
                  Iran has no problem with Americans: Hosseini

                  Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said that Iran has no problem with cultural, economic and sports exchanges with the Americans, IRNA reported.

                  Hosseini made the statement at his weekly press briefing in response to a question about the invitation of Iranian athletes by the US National Olympic Committee to participate in the warm-up camps in the US.

                  The spokesman underlined that Iran has no problem in this regard, provided Iranian sportsmen are treated properly and respectfully.

                  Meanwhile, he condemned the car bomb explosion in the Iraqi city of Karbala, 110 kilometers south of Baghdad, on Saturday in a place close to the Holy Shrine of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Imam of the infallible household of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

                  He added that all the operations targeting innocent Iraqis and holy places are strongly condemned.

                  The Foreign Ministry official hoped that political and security measures should aim to prevent repetition of such incidents in Iraq.

                  Replying to the question about the claim of the Zionist regime's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, on the possibility of attacking Iran, he said that this has been denied by Israel.

                  Besides, he underlined that Israel is not capable of attacking Iran, adding that given the high defensive capabilities of Iranian forces, they will hardly let any party to take such a measure." Turning to Israel's failure in the 33-day war with Lebanon, which was launched by the Zionist regime, he said that such claims raised by the Zionist regime are aimed at the country's internal crisis.

                  In response to the question about the US excuse for installation of missile defense system in Europe, he said that this is the new US pretext for its expansionist presence in Europe.

                  Hosseini underlined that Iran's military and missile systems do not pose threat to any country.



                  Comment


                  • #99
                    ما مهاجران ايرانی پس از مدتی که از اقامتمان در کشورهای ميزبان می گذرد، معمولا اشتياق اوليه ای را که به همنشينی و مجالست با هموطنان داشتيم بتدريج از دست می دهيم. اين پديده در بعضی مواقع چنان ابعادی می يابد که تا متوجه* وجود يک هموطن در حول و حوش خود می شويم، يا ساکت شده و يا به* زبان* خارجی حرف* مي*زنيم* چرا که نمی خواهيم او متوجه ايرانی بودن ما گردد. اين* عمل* حتی باعث* شده* است* كه* بچه*ها نيز هنگامی كه* در يك* مكان* عمومی از وجود يك* هموطن مطلع* مي*شوند، درست* مثل* اين*كه* چيزی را كشف* كرده* باشند، به* سوی والدينشان* دويده* و با هيجان* و التهاب* آنها را از اين جريان مهم! مطلع می کنند، و پس* از آن* بلافاصله* همگی يا تاكتيك* سكوت* را پيشه* مي*كنند و يا از منطقه* (خطر!) دور مي*شوند.
                    علت اين پديده هموطن گريزی را می توان در ويژگی های خاص اخلاقی و رفتاری رايج در بين ما جستجو نمود. توضيح اينکه خصوصياتی چون زود آشنائی و زود جوشی در ما باعث می شود که وقتی يکديگر را در جايی در خارج از کشور برای اولين بار ملاقات می کنيم، نتوانيم فقط به يک سلام و خداحافظی بسنده نماييم، بلکه هر يک خود را مقيد به پرسش سؤالاتی چون*: كجا زندگی مي*كنيد، چند وقت است به خارج آمده ايد، چند تا بچه* داريد و غيره* از يکديگر بدانيم. بسيار اتفاق می افتد که در همان چند دقيقه اول، حرفها به چگونگی خروج از کشور، ورود به کشور ميزبان و نوع اقامت و غيره می کشد. عدم امکان بيان تمامی اين ماجراها در يک ملاقات کوتاه مدت از يک طرف، و تقيد به نشان دادن مهمان دوستی و مهربانی و دست و دلبازی مان از طرف ديگر، باعث می شود که هر يك* خود را ملزم به دعوت* ديگری به* منزل خود بدانيم. اصرار و انكار شروع* مي*شود تا بالاخره* يك* جناح* موفق* مي*شود ميزبانی اول* را به* عهده* بگيرد. رفت* و آمد آغاز می گردد و در مدت زمان کوتاهی با هم* صميمی و يك*دل* می شويم. در اوايل،* اگر ناهماهنگي*های اخلاقی و رفتاری داشته* باشيم، يعنی به* اصطلاح* با همديگر جور نباشيم، به* دليل وجود ويژگی ديگری بنام رودربايستي،* به تحمل* و سكوت* روی آورده و دلخوريها را بدليل وجود ويژگی عدم صراحت بيان که خود از ويژگی عدم تحمل انتقاد در ما نشات می گيرد، در پشت سر يکديگر مطرح کنيم، همان عملی که به غيبت کردن معروف است. اما گاه اتفاق می افتد که يا اين تحمل از حد می گذرد و انتقاد رو در رو مطرح می شود و يا حرفهای پشت سر گفته شده، به دليل وجود ويژگی ديگری در بين ما بنام عدم رازداری به گوش طرف مقابل می رسد و آنگاه است که ناگهان* به* تيپ* هم* زده و جيك* و پك* هم* ديگر را روی دايره ريخته* و دشمن* خونی يكديگر می شويم. به*طوري*كه* اگر پس* از آن* برحسب* تصادف* يكديگر را در خيابان* ديديم راهمان* را كج* مي*كنيم و به*اصطلاح* ساية* همديگر را با تير مي*زنيم. و چنين است که ما ايرانيان يا رفيق* شفيقيم* و يار غار يكديگر و يا اگر اين* رفاقت* به*هم*خورد دشمن* خونی يكديگر مي*شويم*.
                    بسياری از ما مهاجران حداقل* يك* تجربه* از اين* نوع* را داريم. با توجه* به* اين*كه* همة* ماجرا از همان* يك* سلام* و عليك* شروع* مي*شود، بهتر مي*بينيم* كه* از همان* اول جلويش* را بگيريم* و فرار را بر قرار ترجيج داده و از منطقه خطر دور شويم!
                    دليل ديگر که اهميت آن از دليل نخست اگر بيشتر نباشد کمتر نيست، بايد و نبايدهائی است که ما مردم بنا به عادت و تحت نام فرهنگ به يکديگر تحميل می کنيم. اين بايد و نبايد ها که می توان از آن بعنوان فشار اجتماعی نام برد، حاصل فقر و بی عدالتی و ناامنی است که در طول تاريخ بر جامعه ما حاکم بوده است.
                    توضيح اينکه اکثر کسانی که به مهاجرت دست می زنند، معمولا از فشارهای سياسی و اقتصادی و اجتماعی جامعه خويش فرار می کنند. اين افراد پس از ورود به يک کشور آزاد، به آسانی از فشار سياسی و اقتصادی رها می شوند، اما متاسفانه رهايی از فشار اجتماعی به راحتی ممکن نمی شود، چرا که فشار اجتماعی همان ويژگی های اخلاقي، آداب و رسوم و بايد و نبايد هايی است که او آنرا با خود بنام فرهنگ و هويت ملی بهر کجا می برد و خود و ديگران را مجبور به اطاعت از قوانين و قواعد آن می داند. همين الزام باعث می شود که ايرانی نتواند در کنار هموطن خويش احساس امنيت و آرامش کند و بعبارت ديگر "خودش باشد". به ديگر سخن، يک ايرانی در جمع غير ايرانی خود را آزاد از بند و زنجيرهای فرهنگي-سنتی خويش احساس می کند، چرا که او به تجربه دريافته است رفتار و گفتارش تا آنجا که به آزار ديگری منجر نشود، مورد قضاوت و تفسير قرار نمی گيرد و انگ و برچسبی به خاطر آنها بر او نمی خورد. اما همين که ايرانی ديگری به جمع وارد شود، به خصوص که شناختی قبلی از يکديگر نداشته و صميمتی بين آنها وجود نداشته باشد، هر دو بگونه ناخودآگاه تغيير رفتار داده و به بيان ساده تر ماسک فرهنگی خود را بر چهره می زنند و ديگر نمی توانند آنگونه که می خواهند رفتار کنند.
                    نا گفته نماند که پديده گريز ازهموطن فقط در ميان ما ديده نمی شود، بلکه متعلق به تمامی مردمی است که از جوامع سنتی به جوامع آزاد وارد می شوند.



                    Comment


                    • Iranian American scholar Haleh Esfandiari was interrogated for four months by Iranian officials before being thrown into this city's notorious Evin prison, her U.S. employer said Thursday.

                      Esfandiari's troubles began in December when knife-wielding masked men stopped her on her way to the airport and seized her travel documents. When she tried to get a new passport, Esfandiari was instead dragged into the dark world of Iran's intelligence services, according to a statement released by the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington.

                      Her detention illustrates the increasing risk faced by Iranians with dual citizenship, especially scholars, who venture back to Iran. Her case also sheds light on the methods of Iran's domestic security services, a sprawling constellation of secretive organizations, some under the auspices of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security and others answering to more nebulous entities.

                      "She was interrogated almost every day," said Esfandiari's husband, Shaul Bakhash, a professor at George Mason University in Virginia. "Sometimes she would be questioned seven or eight hours in a single day."

                      Bakhash said he and the Wilson Center initially decided not to publicize her case, fearing it would only complicate matters.

                      Esfandiari, director of the Middle East program at the Wilson Center, apparently stands accused of collaborating with Israel, an enemy of Iran's Shiite Muslim regime, although the Tehran government has announced no formal charges.

                      Raja News, a hard-line Iranian news outlet associated with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, alleged that Esfandiari had converted to Judaism and was a "Zionist agent" who worked with the Israeli lobby in Washington. Bakhash derided those statements as fabricated.

                      In recent months, Iranian authorities have arrested philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo, who holds Canadian and Iranian passports, and accused him of collaborating with U.S.-funded groups trying to overthrow the Iranian government. Jahanbegloo was allowed to leave the country after he publicly confessed to the accusations.

                      Parnaz Azima, an Iranian American reporter for Radio Farda, a U.S.-funded station, had her passport taken away several months ago when she arrived in Tehran to visit her ailing mother. Her lawyer, Mohammed Hussein Aghasi, was told that he and his client would be summoned to a special "revolutionary" court for further interrogation.

                      Aghasi said his client was told she had been detained because she worked for "the mouthpiece of the counterrevolutionary elements abroad."

                      One dual national whose passport was taken said such occurrences are far more frequent than reported. "These seizures of Iranian passports of U.S. citizens are common," said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "But people don't make an issue out of it so that they can come back to Iran."

                      Esfandiari, who was born in 1940, is described by colleagues as cautious in her dealings with Iranian officials and balanced in her views toward Iran's 28-year Shiite regime. Her 1997 book, "Reconstructed Lives: Women and Iran's Islamic Revolution," chronicles the Islamic Republic's failures and successes in providing opportunities for women.

                      According to the Wilson Center, Esfandiari arrived in Iran late last year to visit her 93-year-old mother. On Dec. 30, as she headed to the airport to leave the country, her car was stopped by men who took her baggage and her passports. The interrogations that began several days later were usually conducted by a man later identified as an employee of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security. The questioning dragged on for weeks.

                      "Although Dr. Esfandiari went home every evening, the some 50 hours of interrogation were unpleasant and not free from intimidation and threat," the Wilson Center said in a statement posted to its website.

                      The questions centered on Esfandiari's activities at the Wilson Center, where she organized conferences for prominent Middle East scholars and policymakers. During the interrogations, she was in regular contact with her husband, Bakhash, and the staff of the Wilson Center, who would help her fill in the blanks in her memory for her interrogations.

                      According to the center and Bakhash, she was pressured to say that her program was involved in efforts to overthrow the Iranian government. The center's statement said that she answered that she brought together critics and supporters of the Iranian government to foster dialogue.

                      The interrogations ended Feb. 14, but Esfandiari was not allowed to leave the country. About a week later, former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), president and director of the Wilson Center, sent a letter to Ahmadinejad via Iran's diplomatic mission at the United Nations, calling for her release. There was no response.

                      Earlier this month, she was asked again to confess to taking part in anti-government activities. She refused. She was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence on Tuesday. There, she was placed in a car and driven to Evin prison, where she was allowed to make one phone call to her mother.

                      Back at home, Bakhash said, Esfandiari's grandchildren are worried. "It's difficult for us and it's very difficult for her," he said. "It's all very frightening."



                      Comment


                      • Iranian family is granted special residency permit

                        KOFU, Yamanashi Pref. (Kyodo) Immigration authorities have issued a special residency permit to an Iranian family of four who have been living in Japan without proper papers for a number of years, family members said.

                        Saeid Partow Helal, 49, his wife, Mitra Keshavarz, 41, and their daughters, Anahita, 9, and Bita, 8, were seeking to remain in Japan, citing the children's medical needs.

                        "I am very happy and don't know what to say," the father said at a news conference Friday in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture. The mother said, "All four in the family can finally live happily in Kofu, the hometown of our children."

                        This was the family's fifth attempt to get a special residency permit. This time, the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau had requested detailed documentation and the family presented a statement citing the need for the daughters' medical treatment.

                        In March, they submitted a petition with about 3,000 signatures calling on immigration authorities to permit them to stay.

                        The two parents came to Japan in 1991 after having two stillborn babies in Iran. They overstayed their visas, hoping to raise children in Japan where medical standards are higher, they said. Their two daughters were born here.

                        The father was detained by immigration authorities in September 2002 and was released provisionally after about two years.

                        News that the family's application was successful came just days after another Iranian family of four who overstayed their visas in Gunma Prefecture for more than 10 years was split up. Three members of the family left Japan on April 26 by order of immigration authorities, while a daughter has been allowed to stay on to continue her education at a junior college.



                        Comment


                        • SANTA ANA, California (AP) — An Iranian-born man has been sentenced to two years in prison for illegally exporting U.S. military aircraft parts to Iran, authorities said this week.

                          Reza Tabib, 52, of Irvine, pleaded guilty in June to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which prohibits the export and re-export to Iran of certain items of U.S. origin.

                          As part of his sentencing Monday, Tabib also must complete six months of home confinement.

                          Tabib, a U.S. citizen, was arrested along with his wife, Terri Repic-Tabib, in February 2006 after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents intercepted and seized maintenance kits designed for F-14 jets that the couple sent to Iran via Germany.

                          Authorities said they found 13,000 aircraft parts worth more than $500,000 at the couple’s home. The search also turned up numerous aircraft parts list that were provided to the Tabibs by an Iranian military office, federal officials said.

                          “One of ICE’s top enforcement priorities is preventing terrorist groups and hostile nations from illegally obtaining U.S. military products and sensitive technology,” said William Hayes, assistant special agent in charge for ICE’s office in Orange County, in Southern California.

                          “These items are controlled for good reason. In the wrong hands, they could be used to inflict harm upon America or its allies,” he said.

                          Repic-Tabib pleaded guilty to providing a false statement and was sentenced in March to two years probation.



                          Comment


                          • The team is registered in the FBD Insurance Rás but six of its members have not been seen since arriving here on Tuesday and Thursday.

                            It is believed the Iranians are not cyclists at all and race director Dermot Duignam said their entry into the race was an elaborate smokescreen.

                            “As of now I don’t know where the six are and I don’t know if anybody knows where they are.





                            “It appears that this was an elaborate plan to use the race as a means of persons entering the country,” he said.

                            Following contact with people claiming to be the Iranian Cycling Federation he was led to believe that they were staying at the Iranian Embassy in Dublin.

                            “I have discovered that they are not there and apparently were never there,” he said

                            The five-man team and four officials were not scheduled to arrive until yesterday but four arrived at Dublin Airport on Tuesday.

                            Mr Duignam said he became suspicious when agreed procedures were breached by the Iranians.

                            After the four arrived in Ireland on Tuesday he rang their home federation to ask what the position was with the other five.

                            He was told that they did not have visas and if they did not get them then there would not be an Iranian team in the race.

                            He immediately got on to immigration and was told that all the visas had been left at the Irish Embassy in Teheran.

                            “Following discussions with the Iranian Embassy and Immigration officials we immediately cancelled arrangements for the team’s participation in the FBD Insurance Rás,” Mr Duignam said.

                            Two more members arrived on Thursday and also went missing.

                            The Iranian team was named as Mahdi Fathi, Mohammad Rastad, Amir Shakeri, Mobin Bagherzadega and Mahoud Talei and the manager was Abbas Talei.



                            Comment


                            • With the heated, reinvigorated debate on immigration reform, WE, as Americans of Iranian heritage, would like to share our Community’s views in anticipation of its accommodation in the current legislative process, as follows:



                              Whereas we empathize with the plight of the 12 million “illegal” immigrants and their employers and the public at-large relying on their labors, we nonetheless, stress unequivocally the need for this Country’s continuing prioritized commitment to the repatriation of families of Americans as stipulated in the federal legal codes. The notion of rewarding those who arrived via Entry Without Inspection, at the expense of penalizing family members, i .e., parents, children and siblings, who have anxiously awaited for the LEGAL adjustment of their status overseas for 15-20 years, is ludicrous, absurd and un-American. We, therefore, oppose any restrictions on the current family-based immigration laws.



                              Moreover, our current laws providing adjustment of status to permanent residency and naturalization for immigrants of outstanding scholarly abilities on whom our country has so heavily depended in the past fifty years, as well as the same stipulations afforded to legitimately verified political asylum seekers, must continue.



                              Finally, we must put an expeditious legal mechanism in place, so that family members of Americans overseas, who do not seek permanent residency in the U.S., but would very much like to periodically visit their close relatives here, are accommodated. Specifically, after a careful expedited security check, such family members should be granted Multiple Entry Visitor visas to travel to the U.S. without the need to secure tourist visa on each sojourn. This predicament, contrary to the principle of free family travel rights, has particularly become financially burdensome and emotionally taxing for Americans and their relatives aboard, especially after September 11 and the enactment of the Patriot Act. They are denied, in many instances with no appeal rights, the American temporary tourist visas.



                              James Irani, Esq.

                              David Rahni, Ph.D.





                              [To be printed on your personal, professional, or business letterhead]

                              [date]

                              Sample

                              Senator Hillary Clinton

                              476 Russell Senate Office Building

                              Washington, D.C. 20510-3204



                              Senator Charles Schumer

                              313 Hart Senate Office Building

                              Washington, D.C. 20510-3203



                              RE: Concerns with the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2007



                              Dear Senator Clinton/Schumer:



                              I write today to express [my/our/my company’s/my organization’s] concern with several provisions of the proposed Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (“the Act”).



                              It is not that this proposal is completely without merit; we applaud certain concepts contained in the Act: there must be a pathway to legalization available to the approximately 12 million undocumented individuals whose presence here is essential to their U.S. citizen families and to the U.S. employers who depend upon their services to remain competitive. The effort to reduce the long backlogs in the family-sponsorship categories is a well-received expression of the importance of the family in the American value system.



                              Similarly, the DREAM provisions offer a much-needed solution for undocumented young people, brought here innocently as children only to find themselves without prospects for college or employment upon graduation from high school. Of course, the agricultural worker provisions are a long overdue relief to our nation’s farmers.

                              However, much of what is proposed in the Act will not solve the problems which face us, will not have the intended deterrent effect, and will not ultimately benefit America.



                              1. The Act Dramatically Harms the Ability of Families to Remain United



                              By eliminating all of the current family preference categories and limiting future family-sponsored immigration to spouses and minor children of citizens and permanent residents, the Act sends a mixed message about our commitment to families. By capping at 40,000 per year the number of parents of citizens permitted to obtain permanent residence, we call into question the value we place on our elderly. The ability to sponsor adult children (those already over 21 years of age) and adult siblings would be completely eliminated, further separating once-close families.

                              The justification for reducing or eliminating these avenues for family sponsorship is apparently in part so that these immigrant visas may be allotted to the employment-based categories. While certainly true that not nearly enough immigrant visas have been reserved in this area, and while maintaining the competitiveness of American businesses is certainly a worthwhile goal, this should not come at the expense of families.

                              The changes to the family preference classification system send the wrong message to prospective immigrants and to the world about America’s values at a time when our character as a nation is already questioned on the global stage. It is imperative that we make a strong statement that we value keeping families intact.



                              2. The Act Inadequately Serves the Needs of America’s Business Community to Remain Competitive



                              The proposed “point system” contained in the Act fails to take into account the dynamic requirements of the global marketplace in which our nation’s businesses must compete. By accommodating only a very few (about 40,000 per year over the next five to eight years) and favoring only those with the highest degree level, the new system continues one of the worst features of the current strict H-1B visa limits: it encourages many of the best products of America’s system of higher education to take their degrees abroad to benefit the global competition.

                              Further, many of the categories upon which American employers depend would be eliminated: the Extraordinary Ability category for proven high achievers who might not have advanced degrees, Outstanding Professor and Researcher petitions for our best academics and innovators, Intra-company Transferees to ensure the companies can deploy the best executive talent to where it is most needed, and National Interest Waivers for those serving the vital needs of the U.S.

                              The point system also eliminates the labor market tests conducted under the current system to protect native-born workers. The system now in place was completely revamped only two years ago at the considerable effort and expense of the U.S. Department of Labor. The new streamlined, web-based process is more effective and efficient than ever before, with stronger enforcement measures and more significant penalties for violators while also substantially reducing processing time (quite literally from six years to six months for New York cases).



                              Comment


                              • The point system leaves U.S. employers without a way to respond to a rapidly changing and highly competitive global economy, and leaves U.S. workers without protection where the U.S. labor market can meet employers’ needs – all while setting too low a numerical limit on employment-based immigration.



                                3. The Act Fails to Provide a Path to Permanent Residence for the Future Flow of Essential and Highly Skilled Workers, and So Fails to Provide a True Deterrent to Remaining in the U.S. Without Status



                                While the Act provides a much-needed temporary worker option in the Y visa classification, the Y visa option is problematic on several levels. The Y-1 provides little continuity to U.S. employers or the temporary workers, providing only two years at a time and then requiring the foreign national to spend a full year abroad before coming back in Y-1 status. A foreign national can bring a spouse and children or can renew the Y-1 visa up to two additional times, but the individual cannot do both: the foreign national must choose between future opportunity and family unity. Of course, the Y-2 category is limited to 10 months – with no possibility of extension.

                                There is no pathway to permanent residence in the Act for most foreign nationals in Y visa situations - they would hardly qualify under the point system as highly educated workers, and even the existing preference system provides no real option in most cases. While a miniscule 10,000 immigrant visas per year are allotted for 'essential' Y workers (compare this to the 400,000 Y-1 visas allotted per year), it appears that even these could not be sought while the temporary worker remained present in the U.S.

                                Without a realistic pathway to permanent residence, there is little incentive for a foreign national to use this program – or to depart the U.S. at the end of an authorized period of stay in Y status. This provision of the Act therefore does little to solve the problems which have plagued this area on a long-term basis, or to discourage future undocumented immigration. These provisions need to include a way forward to permanent residence for Y visa holders.



                                4. The Act Simply Does Not Allocate Sufficient Immigrant Visas In the Family and Employment Categories to Meet Known Demand, Thus Ensuring Continued Backlogs



                                After the initial eight-year period during which most immigrant visas will be allocated to clearance of the current backlogs, the legal immigration program contemplated in the Act calls for a mere fraction of the immigrant visas needed: 380,000 employment-based immigrant visas and 127,000 family-based immigrant visas, plus a certain number of refugee-based immigrant visas – slightly over 500,000 annually.

                                Current economic projections and assessments of family unity requirements indicate that actual immigrant visa needs will be over three times this number: at least 1.8 million visas per year. New backlogs will therefore begin to form almost immediately, and with unreasonably long waits for families to be together undocumented immigration will almost certainly continue.

                                If the Act is to offer a real solution to the current backlog problems, it needs to provide for a realistic number of immigrant visas in the employment-based and family preference categories.



                                5. The Act Includes Barriers to Legalization Too Difficult to Overcome, Thus Rendering Many Proposed Benefits Practically Useless



                                While the Act finally addresses the issue of a real path to legalization for the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants and does so without a much-dreaded “amnesty,” some of the requirements are so onerous as to make the program virtually impossible to use. If the Z visa and the ensuing legalization provisions are unusable for most of the undocumented, the problem of the 12 million will not be solved.

                                In its current form, the Act requires undocumented immigrants to obtain a Z visa and wait a significant period of time (eight to thirteen years) before becoming eligible for permanent residence. As proposed, the Act contains a “touchback” provision requiring the undocumented immigrant to return to their home country and process through the U.S. embassy or consulate there – an extremely frightening prospect for many given the unpleasant and often negative nature of interaction with U.S. posts abroad in the past.

                                In the course of the legalization process, significant fees and fines would need to be paid (exclusive of any legal fees) - the cost for a single undocumented immigrant in Z visa status to legalize would be at least $9,000, and could go much higher. Spouses, children, and other relatives not already present in the U.S. as of January 1, 2007 would not be eligible to get permanent residence along with the principal undocumented immigrant.

                                The fear of the touchback provision, along with the unreasonably high fees and inability to obtain permanent residence for family members not in the U.S. as of the beginning of 2007, combine to make the legalization provisions an unrealistic option in many cases. Further, given that certain enforcement triggers must be met for this program to even come into being as the Act is currently written, the entire legalization section may be somewhat illusory. We need a usable legalization provision, with reasonable fees, no touchback provision, assured legalization of at least the immediate family members of those here by January 1, 2007, and certain implementation independent of enforcement triggers.



                                6. The Act Unduly Burdens American Small Business



                                In several ways, the provisions of the Act place a serious and disproportionate burden on small business.

                                The new Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS), even if designed as a simple-to-use, web based system, will be difficult to implement for trade, agricultural, and other non-office based businesses such as those likely to use the new Y and Z classifications. The need to re-verify all employees using the EEVS system will be difficult for smaller business entities without dedicated human resources staff, not to mention the overall difficulty of keeping up with the increasingly complex regulatory framework.

                                When a small business makes simple and honest mistakes in documentation or statutory interpretation, it will face dramatically increased fines under the Act. In some cases, fines increase 25 times per occurrence over the current amounts – easily enough to bankrupt a small business with minimal cash reserves, and likely placing several U.S. workers in the unemployment line.

                                On a grander scale, the substitution of a point system favoring the most educated for the current preference classification system eliminates the ability of smaller professional firms to employ the workers they most often need, and deprives them of a voice in determining which workers are most critical to expansion of the American economy. These businesses will be left without a way to retain qualified and talented workers – often educated by American schools – who they have already trained and who have become essential to their success.

                                We need a system which considers the needs of America’s small businesses by excepting (or granting longer lead times for) EEVS compliance and graduating fines based upon business size and by retaining the current employment-based preference classification system.

                                In fact, not only do our businesses need access to qualified immigrant labor to perform jobs which citizens won’t do or can’t do (at least not in sufficient numbers), but our businesses often need immigrants to create them: a January 2007 study by the Weiser Group entitled “American Made: The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Professionals on U.S. Competitiveness,” determined that immigrants have started one in every four venture-backed U.S. companies which have gone public since 1990, representing a market capitalization of more than $500 billion (Google, Yahoo!, Sun Microsystems and eBay are just a few of these). The study found that 47% of current venture-back startup companies have immigrant founders.

                                Thank you for taking the time to review these concerns. We trust that [my/our] views as constituents will inform your positions on the Act as the Senate continues to debate this proposal and its various amendments. [sign]



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