Born and raised as a Tehranian, with a High School diploma from Mojtahedi’s Alborz High School, I left Iran when I was 18. My father decided that I needed to be educated in the “West”’s university system, even though I passed the “Conkoor” exam to enter the Daaneshgaah in Tehran under the Shah’s regime.
For those readers who are not in their 20s (see "Looking For A Fight"), back in the 1970s, the Iranian parents wanted their children to become either medical doctors or engineers (ya doctor besho, ya mohandes!!), I was sent to a university in Europe where they fully concentrated only in one subject during the 4 years of undergraduate studies. My father refused to send me to the US because he thought the freedom of choosing courses in a variety of subjects was too much of a “wishy-washy” upbringing to focus on becoming a professional Engineer or a Medical Doctor.
So, I went through a rigorous “one subject specialization” of the European university system, all the way to a Masters degree, never having a course in anthropology, psychology, philosophy, politics, cinema photography or basket-weaving/sports. I became so good in my specialized subject that UC Berkeley offered me a scholarship to come to the US for a PhD.
It was a culture shock in my 20s to come to the US educational system where you can actually “freely choose” what courses you’d like to take. For the first time in my life, I became aware of a subject called “Psychology”. It took me a few years in the US to realize what an egocentric asshole I was brought up by my parents.
As I completely switched from my old European specialization to a newly field of study in human brain and neurophysiology/neuropsychology, I began to analyze and recognize what a bunch of egomaniacs and egocentrics were the Iranians like me. I realized that most Persians, while pretending to know DNA, consider themselves as a part of 5000 year history as if that was programmed in their DNA versus the 13 billion years of the history of universe. As a born atheist (both my parents were atheists – unusual for Iran), I began to question the “God-given” pride of Persian nobility, as being displayed even today by the kids that are born in the West from Iranian parents.
Sorry Virginia. You are not so noble just because you can recite some poems of Sa’di, Hafez or Molana. Your cultural take of Iran is displayed by your love for Chelo-Kabab, a chai-ghand-pahloo, a BMW, or what cosmetic products Benazir Bhuto used before she was assassinated. Your culture is also augmented with HUGE amount of ego and fiss-o-efadeh, as if you had fallen from an elephant’s ass (as koon-e fil oftaadeh-ee?).
I am grateful to iranian.com for providing a forum to wake up (if only a fraction with access to Internet) of Iranians who are still deep in comma, full of their pride and ego – with no real reason. I only wish I had access to such a forum 40 years ago when I was a teenager. Maybe, I would have majored in English language – rather than blindly chasing an inherited belief system (see The God Delusion) or the Medical/Engineering schools.
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