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Reza Varjavand (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma) is associate professor of economics and finance at the Graham School of management, Saint Xavier University, of Chicago. He has been an avid participant in many professional organizations and active in the areas of research and presentations. His research interest includes economics of healthcare, pedagogy of teaching, and economic development especially in the developing countries, economic crisis, and economics of religious practices. Varjavand is a regular contributor to the iranian.com, one of the most popular electronic journals dedicated to the issues related to the Iranian expatriates worldwide and in Iran. He is the author of a newly published memoir entitled "From Misery Alley to Missouri Valley" He has as received the Excellence in Scholarship Award in 2004 at Saint Xavier University and the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2005 from the Graham School of Management.
SHARE Monday, March 22, 2021 Praying in Public
I believe praying is personal and private. It is between you and the God you believe in and must be done in the privacy of your home or in your faith places of worship, just as dancing is performed in studios and gymnastics in gymnasiums. Performing religious rituals in the public sphere may create adversarial reactions from people who think Muslims are doing it for publicity or personal gain.
SHARE Thursday, August 13, 2020 Behaving to Please Others
Capitalism and popularity of social media have turned people into discerning, selective consumers of what is being sold. The art of selling requires likeability, which becomes a sought-after commodity under capitalism. Just like politicians, businesspeople and others wish to become popular and sell themselves, so as to attain fame, status, and possible monetary gain.
SHARE Wednesday, July 1, 2020 Arranged Marriages or Love Marriages: Which one Last Longer?
In the old days, especially in Middle Eastern countries most marriages were arranged by family and they remarkably lasted for a lifetime. Today, however, marital life must be based on love even if it leads to an easy separation. Most people believe that the quality of a marriage must be important, not the quantity.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 19, 2019 Is Capitalism a Problem or a Panacea?
Capitalism can be brutal at times because it is based on the survival of the fittest. It is not, however, a losing game. Free trade coupled with incentives and competition guarantee that if an entrepreneur misuses his or her power, collective forces of consumers will kick in and react.
SHARE Friday, July 27, 2018 Hijab: A Symbol of Domination or a Symbol of Freedom?
I am really flabbergasted by the fact that, while many women in Iran and other prominent Muslim countries where hijab is mandatory are struggling to free themselves from the hardships they have to endure stemming from this oppressive imposition, in America, hijab is being advertised by some apologists, so-called Muslim feminists, as a sign of liberation and freedom.
(9 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 3, 2018 Aging, a Problem or an Opportunity?
No one wants to get old. We routinely resort to every possible tactic to postpone old age or to camouflage its appearance. However, even all such measures enable us to live a few extra years, is that necessarily worth it. We still don't know whether a prolonged life means a happier or a more fulfilling life.
(5 comments) SHARE Monday, January 29, 2018 Trump Is Our President
I am one of those tens of millions of people who were disappointed and taken by surprise by the outcome of the presidential election. I believe, however, that democracy is like a competitive market; it works best in the long run if it is left to its own devices. This corrective action may not happen quickly, but all we need to do is wait.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, December 29, 2017 God, A Human History
We have depicted gods like humans; they possessed all the attributes of human beings. The reason gods were depicted as human beings was because human beings were the only intelligent beings known to them. Aslan argues that we need to dehumanized God in a pantheism approach, think of him in terms of the forces and laws of the universe and not restricted to being like a human
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, December 13, 2017 It Is All in Your Head
In this book, the author, Dr. O'Sullivan, shares her long-term experience with some of her patients who thought they were suffering from serious diseases. She explains, however, how medical tests showed they had no serious disease but only illness, in how they respond to emotional situations.
(13 comments) SHARE Thursday, January 12, 2017 Should America Phase Out Cash to Curtail Crimes?
There is approximately $1,500 billion currency in circulation, nearly 84% of it is in the form of $100 and $50 bills, making illegal transportations of cash less toilsome for criminal purposes. Some economists suggest that phasing out large can serve as a deterrent to the illegal activities facilitated by cash.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, November 4, 2015 The Role of Social Media: Judge and Jury?
The social media has become an extremely strong court of public opinion that seems to be jeopardizing the long-held principle that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, August 21, 2015 Heretic: Don't Demonize Ayaan Hirsi Ali Because She Tells It Like It Is
Although there might be other reasons for the violence perpetrated by some Islamists, Ayaan Hirsi Ali argues that the root cause of this violence is the Islamic texts and hadiths. Without the proper reformation of Islam, we cannot effectively deal with global terrorism and its related ills. Despite all the opposition and resistant to changes, she argues that reformation is imminent.
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, November 18, 2014 Is Fear of Islam Irrational? Ask the Victims of Extremism
The recent appearance of Reza Aslan on CNN and his flare-up during an interview has created a public backlash concerning the treatment of women and violent actions in Islamic countries. He overreacted to the CNN interviewers' claim that women in Islamic countries are mistreated by calling their claim "stupid."
SHARE Monday, September 1, 2014 The Value of Big Gods: Are They Here to Stay?
As societies grow larger, anonymity becomes a problem that undermines cooperation and compliance with social norms. Thus, the monitoring of individuals becomes complicated, thus, the need for a supernatural policing arises and consequently, so does the need for big gods.
In advanced countries, the secular democratic institutions have eliminated the need for organized religion. As he puts it, these prosperous nations "climbed
(6 comments) SHARE Monday, August 25, 2014 Bringing Heaven Down to Earth
If we need to do good deeds, if there is a purpose to life, and a wisdom at play in how things turn out in our life, why do these things have to be imposed from the above with a predestined blueprint of where we are heading?
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, July 20, 2014 Book Review, Capital in the Twenty-First Century
The distribution of wealth/income is a dynamic mechanism that has been shaped historically by both divergence and convergence forces. It is too consequential to be left to the market forces alone. Inequality is a threat to the world economy and the best solution, according to this study, is a universal tax on capital and wealth supplemented by a state-of-the-art regulatory system.
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, July 12, 2014 Do We Need Another So-Called Holy War: Religion vs. Science
Just as there is no reason to accept scientific phenomenon based on mere faith, there is also no reason to believe that religious stories are scientific fact. We should not emasculate proven scientific theories simply because they are at odds with religious theology, nor should we aggrandize religious establishments simply because they have power, the financial backing of some organizations, or have a large adherent base.