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Welcome to my blog! True to my name, Shiva the Spy, I will be your eyes and ears in Iran, bringing you detailed accounts of everyday life from my perspective. You'll have a window into the social, cultural, political, and historical aspects of the country. I will bring you the stuff that American media can't...or won't. So, check back regularly for stories, photos, commentary, and anything else your curiosity calls for.

Monday, January 23, 2006

American University of Hawaii, Exposed

Earlier this week, the Ministry of Public Affairs declared that Iran would not recognize any degrees obtained from the American University of Hawaii. This self-purported "global university" has been granting fake academic credentials to Iranians wishing to enter the private and public sectors, without having to actually go to school and earn the necessary qualifications.

The scandal has been going on for about seven years, now, with officials turning a blind eye. This is probably because a significant number (which hasn't yet been specified) of public servants have purchased these undergraduate, graduate, and/or post-graduate titles in order to satisfy the higher education minimum requirement for their positions. People from lower government positions all the way up to the status of deputy ministers have ordered the forged scholarly records. All they had to do was pay about $10,000 to the American University of Hawaii, pick a major, and wait with gleeful anticipation for their graduation ceremony--err, I mean, for their "diploma" to come in the mail.

Of course, these crackerjack degrees were also bought by spoiled rich kids who cannot cut it in any university course, but want to flaunt an education from "abroad". They also needed that appearance of credibility to be able to work in their father's mega construction firm; nepotism disguised as internationally seasoned civil engineer graduate.

Check out the "university's" Iranian office; if this website serves as any indication of the organization's reach and performance, then we can gather that this charade was a complex, tightly structured entity that operated with the efficiency and effectiveness of a multinational corporation. These people are pros!

And the language surrounding AUH's objectives and philosophy are romanticized to what some of us raised in various cultures would scoff at, while pointing out the melodramatic appeal to pity. Here's a sample I couldn't resist:
At this University we have no students; we are here to help learners, regardless of age, origin, color, belief, or creed, achieve a life-long goal toward self-reliance and for serving humanity at large. We have no Main Campus with parklands, marble halls, security guards, playing fields or football and hockey teams with a group of coaches that cost the students millions of dollars a year. The American University of Hawaii’s parklands are the rainforests of the world that have to be preserved from ignorant and greedy destruction. Our playing fields are the back streets of cosmopolitan slums, where we try to replace the syringes of death drugs with life-giving microscopes. Our security guards are our mentors, who bring years of education and experience at a meager charge to help the next generation of guardians of human moral and cultural values in the villages of Africa, Asia and South America.

(Cue tears and violin).

The Ahmadinejad administration has declared this institution of degree peddling illegal, cutting off its successful seven-year stint as a pseudo-scholarly organization. This is another example of the president's continuous efforts to weed out corruption and undue advantage within the government, piece by piece. In relation, the state of Hawaii has pursued its own legal action against smooth criminal Hassan Safavi, the leader of this scam (and an Iranian from the U.S.).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come mullahs are itching for a war


12:04 AM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

I was gonna criticize you for that, anon, but after reading Shiva's archives...

I think Shiva is itching for war. I especially relished her claim that the British were responsible for terrorist bombings in both Iraq and Iran.

I thought you were a spy, Shiva! You seem more like a mouthpiece for the IRI, to me. You should change the name of your blog, methinks.

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think President Ahmadinejad is right on target. It is not fair for some people to have a degree without the knowledge and hardship that makes the degree more valuable and can you imagine the betrayal.
Love your work.

3:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, and to Craig's comment, what was that all about? You're trying to bring some other aspect of Shiva's work into this particular report, which pretty much proves itself as a means to end corruption and nepotism.
Your comment is inane and pathetic, not to mention plain stupid. No one's forcing you to read this chick's blog, if you don't like its skew there are thousands of others that may be more to your "unbiased" tastes.

9:56 AM  

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