When the Islamic Revolution happened in 1978-1979, I was a student abroad.I couldn’t make any sense of what was happening all over Iran, and my parents’ cryptic telephone reports those days were not helpful in explaining what was unfolding in Tehran. By now I know that they didn’t know that much more than me. My only access to information and analysis was through television news and real newspapers, devoured daily at the library. Still, I couldn’t make any sense of things.
Without understanding very much, I had to give up the comfort zone of my middle class upbringing and start working to support myself when my parents could no longer send me money from Iran.I am glad for that.But I am not glad for never being able to have the life which I had planned to return to in Iran, more out of an unanswered curiosity than anything else.I don’t begrudge the changes and the chances used and missed, and have managed to build myself a pretty good life around that “change of venue,” which brought me the unintentional emigrant status.
But I have wondered more than once about what my life would have been like had the Revolution not happened.Where would I be now? How different would my life be?Would I be successful?Would I be super rich?Would I be a nicer person?Would I still have broken some hearts and have had mine broken even more times?Would my marriages have lasted?Would my relationship with my siblings be just as strong as it is today?Would seeing and being close to all those cousins whom I never saw again after I left Iran have made a big difference in my life?Would my cousins in those strange spots of the world, buried under tons of snow most of the year, have had a better time living in Iran?
And what would Iran be like without a revolution?Would it be a better country? Could we have helped it become a better country if we had been given a chance?
Have you ever wondered what would have happened to you if the Islamic Revolution had not happened in Iran?