|I stood up
There are so many things I still need to learn
By Negin Shadaram
February 4, 2002
My name is Negin. I wrote the letter "Scared
out of my mind" for the innocent reason to just share with others how
I feel due to the catastrophic events this past couple of days. I have received numerous
emails from Iranians and Americans about my letter. A lot of Iranians told me how
much they admired the fact a young person like me said how proud I am of my country.
I knew writing to this web site I would be speaking out to the Iranian peopl. I also
know that Americans read this web site too and I think that's awesome. Let alone,
my main point for the letter was to say how much I love Iran. Some Americans informed
me that it sounds like what I'm trying to say is I disfavor America, and unfortunately
some people told me to go back to my country if I'm not happy here.
That was not my purpose at all.
I'm so happy here. American people have treated me very well. I have so many things
here that I know I wouldn't have in Iran right now. Being a teen girl who doesn't
have to cover up is a very good thing. I have been involved in many sports, school
dances, going to football games or even getting my license and having my dad buy
me a car ... would I have that in Iran?
I think if I were to be in Iran right now, what would I be like? What would my friends
be like? Would they judge me by my clothes or what I look like? Would I have different
ideas? Would I have experienced things I experience here in any shape or form? I
guess most of my questions' answers are No.
I wrote my letter to Iranians who might take in what
I'm feeling, and when this is an Iranian web site my intentions were to say how much
I care for Iran. And putting up an American flag was not something I would like to
do. Why can't I put an Iranian flag outside my house to show I'm standing by my country
for whatever might happen due to the attacks?
I have been in America for 10 years. I'm 17 now. My Mom said to me that she still
cannot believe she is a citizen. She told me there are so many people out there who
wish to come to U.S. to live a better, easier life.
I know everyone has different definitions of being an American. But what is it? Is
there one? Would it be okay if I say I'm American and I'm Iranian? Does it make a
difference? As an Iranian girl, I have tired many ways to keep up with being Iranian.
I have learned verses of Koran. I celebrate every Iranian holiday. I LOVE Iranian
Many Iranians also told me things that really helped me understand more. Lately I've
been looking for a motive. Since high school is almost ending for me. I have to start
looking into college so I needed a motive. And I found it. My motive is to perhaps
after college my education and background will help our beloved Iran.
Unfortunately, my school doesn't have much diversity. Out of 2,000 kids you may find
less than 10 kids from different countries. I took a huge step and shared my article
with my friends who are American and their reaction was so awesome, that I shared
it with my teachers, especially my English and History teacher.
My teachers loved it and decided to talk about this
with the class. First everyone thought Iran is an Arab country, so did my teacher!
My history teacher didn't know a lot about Persians. I was puzzled to hear that and
than our topic led on to what is going on in this world and the Middle East. I stood
up in class and explained with my knowledge what Middle East is feeling.
In this little tiny way I feel as if I stood up for my country. Even though my country
is in so much trouble right now. But just standing up and saying a few things in
class gave me an incredible feeling.
I would just really like to say thank you to all of you Iranians who read these articles
and respond to them, if it wasn't for you, right now I wouldn't have stood up in
my classes and talked about how I felt. I think Iran is a great country but I am
very confused about so many things. And at my age I know there are so many things
I still need to learn about my motherland Iran. And I will NEVER deny my heritage.
Thank you for letting me speak out again.