Reza T. Saberi
December 22, 2005
The country I am living in is the most powerful country in the world, economically, culturally, and militarily. It also has the greatest diversity of cultures, languages, and religions. For this reason those who wrote the constitution of the country set certain rules and regulation to prevent the government to take sides of any specific culture, religion, or philosophical point of view. In fact they prevented the government to promote any of these.
So it is said that people who come to this country or live in this country do it in pursuit of happiness. And what is happiness? I do not know. Everybody has his/her own definition of happiness, but I know one thing for sure and that is people talk a lot about money in this country. Everybody tries to have, to make, and to get more of it. It seems there is not enough for anybody and there is no end to it.
There is no figure which you can say is the stopping point where that figure satisfies the thirst of the seekers of wealth. The rich people who want to buy a house fly in helicopter over it to inspect it, because the estate or the ranch is very big. I still do not understand why a man with a family of two needs a house with 112 rooms and a ship with crews of 17.
The city I live in is like any other city in this country with highways, hotels, high rises, restaurants, and banks. Cars are the main vehicle of transport and there are many highways in this country. Everything is done in or by cars. People do not need to come out of their cars to purchase food, cash a check, or buy something. They can do all these through the window of their cars.
Everybody in this country strives for more, better, and faster, so do most Iranians. The Iranians mainly are those who came as student, then after graduation found a job or a wife, so decided to stay. Iranian families are the professional class and most of them are educated and are amongst the highest paid and highly educated nationals. Once a Chinese friend asked me why so many of the professors of the main university are Iranians. I did not know what to tell him, except that this job is much respected in our society.
There are about 500 Iranian families in my city and most of them are professionals like doctors, lawyers, surgeons, dentist, computer scientist, engineers. Although they look like Iranians, most of them sound and think like the rest of people in this country. They all want Iran to be like this country. Why? Perhaps this is because this country is role model for the rest of the world. Perhaps because it is powerful, perhaps because it is beautiful, and perhaps quality of life is better than the rest of the world. Or perhaps because of other reasons I still do not know.
Iranians always compare Iran with this country and always regret for why the things in Iran is not like this country without even thinking for a moment about different cultural, political, and historical development path the two countries took. The most common word Iranians use is democracy, but none of them can agree on what democracy is and everybody has his own definition. Iranian families stress a lot on education and almost all Iranian students are accepted in the best and most prestigious universities. Iranian families usually speak Persian at home, so most children can speak it.
Although the children whose one parent is not Iranian rarely can speak Persian. There is one lady teaching Persian in our city and no library with Persian books, therefore the Iranian children have no chance of learning or improving their language skill except at home and with their parents. Since most Iranians are educated and belong to middle or upper middle class, there is no Iranian grocery, or Iranian butcher, or Iranian bakery to make a Persian community, like the Chinese.
The only exception is a cheokababi which can be found at least one in most cities of this country. For this reason there is not a viable Iranian community in the country I am living in and I think in a generation or two the Iranians definitely will be absorbed in the main stream population of the host country, like other immigrants.
In the city I live Norooz, Mehregan, and Yalda is celebrated every year with fruits, food, nuts and Persian music. In the home of most Iranians you can hear Iranian music or see Iranian miniature and handcrafts and when Iranians travel to another city they always visit chelo kababi restaurant. For many Iranians these two activities seems to be the symbol of being a real Iranian.
Unfortunately, some of the other good thing of being Iranian is forgotten or is not practiced. In Iranian gathering the most talked about subject is politics. I have never gone to an Iranian gathering where they are not talking about politics and it seems that all Iranians have one thing in common, they do not like their government, no matter who governs. I think if Cyrus, Mossaddegh, or Thomas Jefferson or any other popular king, president, or ruler of the past rules Iran, most Iranians will still oppose them.
You guessed it right. I live in America.
I am missing something I don't know
I never thought I will end up in a land
where the sun shines while it snows, and it rains while sun shines.
I never thought I will one day live in a land
where the most talked about subject is the weather
and the most practiced manner is a forced smile with a hello.
I never thought I will drive long hours in rain to work
with my radio talking 24 hours about weather and traffic
and drivers drive slowly, orderly, and quietly
while sipping their coffee and reading their newspapers.
I wish someday I go to a place where I can
talk to everybody, and talk about everything
while sucking a cube of sugar and drinking brown tea in a clear glass.
I wish I go to a land
where I can shout and I can shake a hand
when I go to a long line for a bottle of milk
and talk about everything but weather and traffic.
I wish I go to a land
where there is little rain and plenty of smile and sand.
you never know, I might, one day
I will let you know then, even it was for a day.