United we shall heal
We are still not accepted as Americans
October 4, 2001
As the shock wears down on such a catastrophic occurrence, I am filled
with anguish. So many lives are lost so many families torn apart. The
pain in my heart deepens because I look further into the horizon and see
an even darker picture. This is not something that will go away tomorrow.
This tragedy of all tragedies can never be forgotten. As I try to understand
the motives behind such a horrendous act against humanity, I am overcome
with even more sorrow.
These madmen, criminals against the human race, are not here to pick
up the pieces of what they have shattered. They are not here to see what
a furious tornado they have unleashed. They have wreaked havoc, destroying
so much. And, here we are; left to clean, to make amends, to right the wrong,
to purify the evil that they have poured into our world.
We as Iranian-Americans are feeling the agony and sheer grief for all
the people who have died. These people could have been family members,
friends, acquaintances, or even strangers. Yet, their absence is vividly
felt in the heart of every one of us. However, not only are we consumed
by this tremendous loss, but we are also faced with another horror: the
blame and hatred of others.
I came to this country twenty years ago. During that time, the hostage
crisis was still fresh on the minds of all Americans. I remember as a child,
being warned not say that I am Iranian, because people would think the worst
of me and my family, assimilating all of us to savage terrorists.
Through the many years, my family and I, along with every other Iranian
living in America, have strived and struggled through hard work, perseverance,
and dedication, to make a place for ourselves in this country.
We are now Americans, just like all other immigrants who have come to
this land, throughout the centuries. Yet now I look around, and see that
once again, we are faced with the same prejudices and injustices thrown
at us because of our ethnicity.
We have worked so hard. We have endured every ounce of sweat, tear,
and pain to become part of this united land. However, now, our years of
struggles appear to be for naught. We are still not accepted as Americans.
My sense of utter devastation is two-fold. I grieve for all the precious
human lives lost because of this monstrous tragedy. Yet, I also grieve
for my fellow Middle Eastern Americans, (be they of Afghan, Iranian, Palestinian,
Egyptian, or other descent) who are wrongly hated and discriminated against
solely because their heritage.
We as a nation are made up of one race, the human race. United we stand,
united we shall heal.