I've been in the dumps for the past week or so; that is, until today. For days I've felt tetchy and out of sorts. Perhaps, what was bothering me was the sad news that my childhood croc-hunting-hero, Steve Irwin, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly following a freakish encounter with a stingray off the Australian coast.
Then again, maybe it's the fact that 9/11 rolled around again and for the fourth consecutive September 11th since that terrible day in 2001, I've had to “celebrate” my birthday on the saddest day of the year in modern American history Other teenagers look forward to their birthdays, but those of us who happen to have been born on September 11th, now and for the remainder of our lives will have our birthday associated with sadness and grief.
It matters not that September 11th belonged to us long before Osama and company forever blackened the day when they extinguished so many irreplaceable, precious and innocent lives. The truth for those of us whose birthday falls on this day is that we shall, for the rest of our lives, rue the particular day on which we were born. I don't think that those of you born on the other 364 days of the year feel like we do. This week definitely sucked for me personally and for our country!!!
In an effort to rescue myself from the melancholy which had descended upon me, I turned to my always-trusty and sometimes-lusty source of reading entertainment, iranian.com. One of the first things that made me smile again was looking at the photo of a pretty little Iranian-Chinese girl named Kaylie. For some reason I felt proud of iranian.com for displaying her photo under the “Iranians of the Day” section.
While little Kaylie may discover, when she's a bit older, that some Iranians will choose to think of her as not-Iranian-enough, just as they do with the tens of thousands of us world-wide who are half-Iranian, she is without doubt going to find, just as many of us have, hundreds upon hundreds and thousands upon thousands more of our beautiful people who will love her and accept her as a full and deserving member of the greater Iranian family worldwide.
I don't know the editor of iranian.com, but my mother grew up a few houses away from his in Abadan long ago and while they never personally met because of their age difference, she has always said that the Javids were good people. I know she must be right because from what I've seen over the years, Aghaye Javid's e-magazine has always reflected a very inclusive attitude toward all Iranians.
One only needs to click through the pages of iranian.com to see that we really are a remarkable people; maybe no more remarkable than any other people, but certainly no less remarkable. There are so many different kinds of talented writers' continually breathing fresh life into our community's treasure chest of ideas.
Iranian.com should celebrate its good-fortune to count amonst its many talented contributors: intellectuals, philosophers, business leaders, comedians, columnists, health-gurus, religious fanatics, religious apologists' monarchists, republicans, communists, romantics, soft and not-so-soft pornographers, entertainers of every kind, and just regular people, young and old. While we may not like every article published or agree with every opinion expressed we are truly blessed as a community to have access to a site in which so many diverse ideas can be expressed.
While both the writers, and we, the readers of iranian.com, may be very different individually and in the particular circumstances of our personal lives, one thing certainly binds us together and that is our love of our Iranian homeland which many of us have never had and may never have a chance to live in. Whether Persian, Turk, Lor, Arab or any of the many other beautiful ethnicities which make Iran, Iran, and Iranians, Iranians, we all have Iran beating in our hearts. .
I bet that one day little Kaylie will feel the same way I do about our beautiful people. It makes no difference where any individual Iranian may live in the world today because there is one supreme and immutable truth about all of us. This truth is that while it may be possible to take (and keep) an Iranian out of Iran, it is impossible to take Iran out of an Iranian.
Although I've felt blue all week, I'm glad that looking at iranian.com made me stop feeling so sorry for myself. I have seventy million reasons to be thankful… hamvatan!