Who will remember us?
March 17, 2003
Teens on the verge of adulthood, adults clinging to the last years of innocence.
The generation before mine, that of my parents, was multi-faceted, controversial,
fill in the blank with any adjective you choose. They lived in the days of the Shah;
some loved him, some were eager to see change.
My mother tells me about the beaches that mirrored high-end European summer resorts,
the bikini clad women who were replaced at the slap of a mullah's sandal against
the pavement by women dressed head to toe in the color of death. The handsome soldiers
with starched collars who gave way to dirty beards and empty glares. The streets
paved with promise that were forever stained with blood the color of pomegranate
juice and charred flag remains.
Thanks to the generation before mine, I am not a resident of Tehran. I was born an
American. But I was raised an Iranian.
There are many of us, those born after 1979, who
live in over 134 different countries around the world, speaking languages from English
to Spanish to French and maybe even Swahili. But our other language, our mother tongue,
will always be Farsi.
But who are we? Iranian youth in Iran have made a name for themselves. They fall
into two main camps, I suppose. The brave students who work hard for knowledge, knowing
it is the one thing that no form of oppression can take away from you. And the soda
pop-drinking, MTV-watching soldiers of globalization who have turned their backs
on goals and futures and only care about taking what little safe escapes they can
as long as it temporarily helps them feel better about the sad hands that they've
been dealt in life.
But who are we? Iranian-Americans? Persians? The lost generation of Iranians with
passports that don't contain those beautifully crafted Farsi letterings. The ones
whose ears prick up whenever they hear the words from the language their parents
How will history define us? If things go on as they are now, history won't even remember
us. We will be those insignificant flies on the wall that no one ever notices in
the first place, let alone remembers.
Why would anyone want to remember a group who have all the rights
in the world, who can take advantage of all the education that the Iranian daneshjoos
would kill for, and yet, we listen to rap music all day, highlight our hair, and
call ourselves "Persians"?
Our history, the history of our country, dates back to cradles of civilization. Our
first leaders were men who exemplified the true meaning of power. Our poets talked
of love and belief, our parents were raised to values. Our grandfathers prayed towards
Mecca, our grandmothers nurtured us as children until we were clutched away from
their tired grips by fate and circumstance.
Our parents, right or wrong, no matter whose side it was they were on twenty-plus
years ago, had an opinion. They were either this or that, not standing on the fencepost,
quiet and unresponsive. But who are we? What do we stand for? What do we believe
in? How will Iran remember us?
Does this article have spelling or other mistakes? Tell
me to fix it.