It’s been raining in Tehran for two days and the Alborz Mountains have been covered with small amounts of scattered snow. In the U.S. today they held the much contested mid-term elections where the Republicans have taken over the House. I try to stay out of the election hype and now the post-election results because here, in Iran, I am now leading my own political party—The Green Card Party and I have started a new movement: The Green Card Movement. Regardless of who or which party is in the White House or controls the Congress, after much analysis, deliberation and comparison, America remains the preferred place to live—for me. So I am focused on my mission of helping those who want to move to America. And today is the last day to register for the Green Card Lottery program.
My Green Card Movement has been quite a success. For the past month, I have filled out approximately thirty-five lottery forms, a good number of which were for my own relative. They have come over in groups or individually. We have even cooked dinner for them. We have joked about who may win and who will be left behind. I have even made house-calls.
“Take your photos first. Photos must be 600 by 600 pixels and not larger than 240 KB, must be square and your shoulders must show, the background must be white. Adhere to the photo guidelines or your entry will be discarded.” I tell them. “In America, we have strict guidelines for everything, we have rules we follow, there is a system in place. Do as you are told. Better practice this from now so you can get used to it.”
“What else do you need? Copy of my passport?” they ask me.
“No passport. I need full name, date and city of birth, address, phone number, e-mail. And level of education please. Minimum high school diploma.”
Yes America likes educated people.
Take action. Mobilize. Hurry up. There are others who apply on their own because I encourage them to, and because they are capable of filling out the forms in English without my help. It is as if all of a sudden I have become the leader of a major movement, a revolution perhaps. There is a deadline, it ends at 12 noon EST, a time when this ship sailing to America would leave the shore and if you don’t hurry up, you’d have to wait one year before the next one comes along. There is excitement in the air, adrenalin, sweetness, the high that you feel before a graduation, a wedding, or child birth perhaps. Even the local photo store in the nearby shopping center where I have been sending people for their photos is busy and is making good money. One place near my aunt’s house is so busy there is a two-day wait for the photos to become ready. Another place near my uncle’s house is so busy he is making mistakes, mixing up photos of his customers.
Yeah, you don’t want to send someone else’s picture to America. That would not be a good idea.
“How fun it would be if we all lived close to each other in America when we move there?” They would say when filling out the forms. It’s our culture, we like to be in close proximity. We are group people.
People have offered me all kinds of rewards, money, gifts, food and of course their eternal blessings in case they win. They have a feeling that if they win it is because of my good energy—“Your hands are light” is the expression they use in Persian for someone whose actions bring forth good fortunes, positive results, healing and even miracles. I am not so sure about the weight of my hands but I am hopeful for them. I can imagine a few of them winning in May 2011 and calling me with sheer excitement. Then I would know for sure if my hands are light or heavy.
And if they keep winning, we will continue the Green Card Movement every year.
This year and for the first time in its history, there were errors in the Diversity Visa Lottery program results, which came out in May 2011. The new results come out today, July 15, 2011. Please check the website for the new results: http://dvlottery.state.gov/