U.S. citizens’ views on Iran shaped by Western media: Iranian scholar

TEHRAN, July 12 (MNA) -- Iranian professor Mohammadreza Ghanoonparvar, who teaches Persian literature at the University of Texas, believes that most U.S. citizens’ views on Iran are greatly influenced by the Western media’s depiction of the country.

The negative image of Iran created by the Western media causes people to shun books authored by or translated into English by Iranians, he told the Persian service of ISNA on Saturday.



“Iran, along with other countries, is the target of a media propaganda campaign. In spite of this, we can view it from a positive perspective in that at least Iran has been spotlighted, and such an attitude forces people read something about Iran,” he noted.


“But, unfortunately, if they read something that is contrary to the image created by the Western media, they think they have been tricked. They like to see things according to the image created in their minds,” Ghanoonparvar explained.


“For example, if someone writes a story introducing an Iranian as a terrorist and imperious -- as they have been programmed to think -- they will say ‘Aha! That’s correct’, but if another author gives a positive image of an Iranian in his/her book they dub him/her as liar,” he lamented.


Ghanoonparvar hopes that the second generation of Iranian immigrants in the United States, who speaks English, will be able to create a more positive atmosphere for Iranian literature.


English versions of Jalal Al-e Ahmad’s “A Stone on a Grave” and “By the Pen”, Davud Ghaffarzadegan’s “Fortune Told in Blood”, Simin Daneshvar’s “Savushun”, Shahrukh Meskub’s “Translating the Garden”, Sadeq Chubak’s “The Patient Stone”, Sadeq Hedayat’s “The Fable of Creation”, Gholam-Hossein Saedi’s “Honeymoon”, and Bahram Beizaii’s “Four Boxes”, all translated by Ghanoonparvar, have been published in the United States.


He is also the author of “In a Persian Mirror: Images of the West and Westerners in Iranian Fiction”.


“There is a reason behind each choice. I have observed the U.S. public’s negative image of Iran. They believe that Iranians are dogmatic. I have put a great deal of effort into translating Persian literary works into English in order to prove that they are wrong.”


“I’m trying to modify the negative view. We are the survivors of a great empire named Iran, a country with a vast diversity,” he said in conclusion.


Ghanoonparvar and his American wife Diane have recently traveled to Iran. They attended unveiling ceremony of “Fortune Told in Blood”, which was held at Tehran’s Art Bureau in late June.





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