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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


October 25, 1999

We are American

In respose to the Maryam Hosseini's "American? Yeah right":

I immigrated to the US 22 years ago. I do love our culture and most of my friends are Iranian as well. But few years ago I realized that one reason we feel so isolated and disconnected from the American society was exactly what you prescribe in your article.

The emptiness you feel inside is not because you're so far away from your homeland as you say in your article. It is because you don't realize that this great country you live in is your homeland. This country is a piece of land which was discovered a while back by some Spanish guy.

Some people came here a few hundred years ago, some arrived few decades ago and few managed to hop in just few years ago. The problem with most Iranians is that they feel inferior to those who arrived here few decades ago. They don't realize that we have as much claim to this land as those who immigrated here few hundred years ago.

Start thinking American and you will feel much better; you will feel that you belong to something, that you are a part of a community and then the emptiness will go away. Otherwise, you will feel like a guest in a stranger's house for the rest of your life.

As to what you depict of Iran, I also miss the faloodeh and the meydoon. But I don't think you have heard the whole story nor seen the whole picture. For a true perspective you must actually live there and get involved in the day to day struggles of life (a mere one month visit or vacation would be very pleasant even in Biafra, specially when you take some green back with you, courtesy of the United States as well).

I will not get into the many deficiencies and miseries of life in Iran. But sit with your parents and ask them why they left Iran in the first place and why are they not going back to live there now.

At the present I am a father of two children who speak fluent farsi. I do teach them the many beautiful aspects of the Iranian as well as the Western cultures. But not for a second would I brainwash them into thinking that they are Iranians. We came to this land and decided to live here and benefit from its civilized society , economic opportunities and democratic system. We are Americans and very proud of it.

Mohamad Vaezi

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