Rahman-e Rahim... Dear Mom
A letter from Tehran, 1982
January 19, 2005
I picked up my daughter Mahdiyeh from
the airport today. She's visiting for a few days -- we're going
to Disneyland this weekend. When we got home I showed her an album
my late mother had made, full of old pictures, mostly of
me and Mahdiyeh. These were pictures and letters I had sent while
I was in Iran in the early 1980s.
Mahdiyeh began reading one of my letters from 22
years ago and made a few comments. "You start
with this big 'Besssssssmellllllaaaaaahe Rahhhhhmaaaaane Raheeeeeeem'
(in the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful) and then...
'Dear Mom'... What the fuck was that all about?!"
Pardon her language, but I think what she means
is: how could you be such a devout Muslim and be American/Western
the same time? Back then, that was me: A 20-year-old Iranian with
more than a touch American, seeking freedom and justice and equality
(and all other good things) for my country of birth through revolutionary
religion. I was a convert to Islam and my leader was Ayatollah
Speaking of the devil, we are nearing the 26th anniversary
of the revolution and very few people are discussing Khomeini himself.
There's no denying his central role in igniting the radical Islamic
movement. In fact Bin Laden is in many ways Khomeini's child and
yet little is written about the Imam these days. He deserves a
lot more attention, considering the
giant mess he left us with.
To say I have very
little regard for
the old man is
I'm itching to do a feature
and show my feelings. It's
But all this is just a smokescreen for my current
uneasiness: I'm uneasy
of these old letters of mine. I haven't
of it but the parts I read provide ample evidence that I have some...
umm ... issues ranging from serious language deficiencies to odd
and questionable personality traits. So I can't even blame Khomeini
for my blunders.
just a plain moron :o)
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