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June 4, 2004

* Focus on all the good things

I always love to read articles written by the members of the next generation and of course the issue he brings up is one very close to my heart. [Like I'm from Pluto]

I adamantly oppose marrying an outsider (although I was married to an American I never regretted being divorced despite the fact that everyone loved him). I have told my son from the time he was in my stomach that if he marries an outsider he will be "disowned". He makes sure to tell everyone that his mom has threatened him! However, my heart goes out to kids who are in your situation because many times they have identity crisis.

I feel if the Iranian parent has done her/his part in teaching you about Iranian heritage and speaking Farsi then you should have no problem being accepted by the Iranian community (I have a 20 something year old friend in similar situation as you are and he is very well received and accepted because he speaks Farsi and is very well read and aware of his heritage).

As for your relatives or people surrounding them I suggest you start right this minute and ignore their reactions. You do no need relatives or family members who hold a grudge against you because your mother is married to a foreigner. That is her choice and you should not be held accountable. I am sure she has had her reasons to marry a non-Iranian. I have a few of them as my friends. Their Iranian husbands/boyfriends treated them like second class citizens yet their American husbands treat them like Goddesses.

I can really understand an Iranian woman marrying a non-Iranian but for the life of me I can not understand why Iranian men marry outsiders (of course some of them I would personally pay them to marry and not ruin our class). Your family must be a bit backward because I have a friend who was married to a black man and the child is black yet Iranians and her family absolutely love the child. I assure you that most Iranian do not mistreat the children of mixed marriages (unless of course you come across as one of those who thinks being half American is better, then I would unleash my wrath on you and make you feel really small) and treat them as any other kid.

Do not be too occupied with the negative situations you confront but try and honestly define who you really are. Even though you are very young this advises will serve you a lifetime. My kid is of two Iranian parentage but raised only by me and has been with American sitters since he was 5 weeks old. He has never been to Iran and attends a few of the functions a year yet he is more Iranian than the kids who live in Iran. Why?

He is proud of his heritage (reads about Iran all the time) and knows that we are truly a smart bunch and his essay for university entrance reflects the influence of "his Iranian mom" having motivated and inspired him. He is well adjusted and although he really does not have any Iranian friends all his American friends watch Iranian movies with him, eat Iranian food at the restaurants and listen to Iranian music in my car when he drives them around.

It is nice to see that you do not sound bitter and that is great. So focus on all the good things your mother's culture is offering you and ignore the ignorant people and their conducts. One more advise, talk to your mother because she should be your lightening rod and help you beaus no matter that your father is not Iranian but what matters is that your are her "flash and blood". That is all that matters and you should remember that son!

Azam Nemati


All past letters

By subject
June 2004

June 4

Half-Iranian identity
* Chip on your shoulder
* Be patient
* Focus on good things
Shah or sheikh
* Lost for ever

Azam Nemati

* Just to get a date?

June 3

* We need new ideas
Shah or sheikh

* Condemn both
Men & Women
* Monsterous dating

* Be proud human
* Nobody left out
* I'm a big fan

June 1

American democracy
* Do not need your support
* Democracy of mudslinging
* Prophetic Christianity
* Trying to "sanitise" Islam
* Persian vs. Iranian
* Touching words
Azam Nemati
* Taught him how to woo

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