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Letter

Besmellah-e Rahman-e Rahim... Dear Mom
A letter from Tehran, 1982

Jahanshah Javid
January 19, 2005
iranian.com

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 at 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 Khomeini.

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 an understatement. I'm itching to do a feature and show my feelings. It's time.

But all this is just a smokescreen for my current uneasiness: I'm uneasy because I'm posting one of these old letters of mine. I haven't read all 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.

Raastesh I'm just a plain moron :o)

Letter pages
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)

Photos
(1) (2) (3) (4)

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