Ramin Ostadhosseini needed to vent, and this gathering seemed the place to do it. Iranian games and dancing sessions are scheduled next to college prep workshops.
Teens at Camp Ayandeh learn how to blend their parents’ history and culture with their contemporary lifestyles.
“I get Raymond, Roman and sometimes Ramen noodles,” he told the circle, describing how non-Iranians butcher his name.
This group felt his pain. Here, sprawled out on a manicured lawn at Emory University were dozens of youths attending a weeklong summer camp designed to generate discussion on what it means to be Iranian-American.
Like many attending Camp Ayandeh — or “future” in Farsi — Ramin has parents who were born in Tehran and immigrated to the United States after the Iranian revolution in 1979. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, six years after the revolution, Ramin grew up with two distinct and, at times conflicting, influences: the American side that met him at school and the Iranian one that greeted him at home.