October 25, 1999
We are American
In respose to the Maryam Hosseini's "American?
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.