It all began on November 3, 2001. It was a night that I will never forget and it changed my life for the better. So far anyway. I can tell you that I have had my ups and downs since then but I sure have lived it to the fullest. Rather than sitting on the side lines of life and just watching others I have decided to challenge myself a bit.
So what am I talking about? Let me give you a little history before diving into this story.
I was born in Abadan, Iran, at the tip of the Persian Gulf, in 1973. My dad worked for the Iranian oil company and my mom was a home maker. Life was good. And I can say I surely enjoyed life during those days. At least until I had to go to school. That wasn't too easy. I remember my classmates having a hard time staying up (after lunch). But who can blame them? It was hot down there. I still don't know how I survived those years.
Anyway I digress. So 1980 rolled around and Iran was invaded by Iraq. Abadan was one of the first cities attacked and we were one of the last ones evacuate. My parents believed the war was going to be done in a day or two. Alas that was not the case. So we set out for Ahvaz, less than 100 miles to the north, with thousands of others. Our neighbor was a nurse so we took her kids to safety while she and her husband stayed behind to help the soldiers.
Being kids we didn't really understand what was happening, all we could think about was the fact that five of us (my brother, the neighbor's kids and I) were behind my dad's Buick and were having fun. We get to Ahvaz and just as we stop to say hi to my great uncle, two Iraqi jets try to destroy the bridge we needed to cross. Luckily my dad's wish of stopping to say hi was a good decision. We then realized that Ahvaz was not the best place to stay either.
At that time they were evacuating women and children from the city and thus my mom, two of my uncles and us five kids were on our way – by train to Arak, closer to Tehran. Being on a train was very exciting. It was my first time and I intended to explore it to the max.
I kept going up to sleep on the bed which I thought was the coolest thing ever. Except by the time I would get up there, I would look down and notice how much fun everyone else was having below. So then I would ask for help and climb down. Five minutes would pass and I realized I really needed to be on the bed. This routine (unfortunately for my uncles) continued all the way up to Arak.
We finally got to my uncle's house in Arak and realized that some 30 people, also refugees, were jammed in there. Apparently his house had become the central relocation unit for all of my mom's relatives. We sure had a fun year ahead of us >>> Go to index for next part