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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


July 6, 2000

I worship you

In reference to "Good news" in the Anyway section, I visited South Korea in 1983. When I contacted the Iranian embassy in Seoul to get some paperwork straightened out, the clerk was practically shocked to see and hear from another Iranian. According to him, at the time a total of 13 Iranians lived in South Korea and he knew every one of them by first name. "Six belong to the same family and the rest are scattered all over the peninsula" he said.

Later he confided that almost all were there to purchase military and other supplies for Iranian troops during the Iran-Iraq war. Even the "embassy" itself was nothing more than a purchasing office, inadequately equipped to handle my passport problem.

Seveteen years later, I see "Pastor Oh" has three Farsi-speaking churches running in South Korea.

Maybe I should be happy about this. Maybe I should celebrate my people and culture reaching every corner of this planet. Maybe it is nice to see my fellow Iranians attend church in Farsi. Maybe it's an honour. Maybe it's a miracle of sort. Then again, maybe not.

My homeland's most valuable national treasure is not it's oil, natural gas, or copper. It is the millions of intellectuals, experts, academics, artists and thinkers spread across the globe in search of a safe haven, an opportunity to flourish, an opening to prosper, a chance to create.

To all those in exile who constantly crave a tiny taste of home, even if it comes in the shape of unfamiliar words in a familiar tongue, I worship you.

Pedram Moallemian


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