Isn’t it odd how we Iranians sometimes seem to go out of way to knock ourselves down?
Last week we all felt a euphoric pride after the movie “A Separation” won The Oscar. The beautiful heartfelt words Mr. Asghar Farhadi used to accept the Oscar were:
“At this time, many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy. They are happy not just because of an important award or a film or filmmaker, but because at the time when talk of war, intimidation, and aggression is exchanged between politicians, the name of their country Iran is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics. I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, a people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”
“A Separation” is the story of a typical family going through normal life issues, a sentiment any culture would appreciate. The film is about the struggle of a mother wanting the best for her daughter, the struggle of a son taking care of his elderly father. These are the issues most Iranian American families are concerned with every day; kind, upstanding and respectful sentiments.
Enter “Shah’s of Sunset,” produced by Ryan Seacrest. There we go again knocking ourselves down. I would venture to speculate that one of the reasons there was a revolution reportedly was to prevent our children from becoming the Britney Spears or worse Beverly Hills wannabes.
Yes, there are many different Iranian Americans, just like any other culture. But must we sell our souls, our dignified ancient culture to Hollywood? Do we really want to keep in the same rank of “Jersey Shore” Girls or Snookie? Many Iranians try hard every day to represent our culture in a dignified light.
A few weeks ago I attended a presentation by three Iranian American filmmakers. You can see their work on http://www.linktv.org “Bridges TO Iran”. All of them showed the kind of humanity and respect we have been known for centuries.
I watched the preview of “Shahs of Sunset,” and as an Iranian American, I was mortified! Why do we do this to ourselves? In this climate of misunderstandings, talk of war, must we sell our beautiful culture? In the same ranks of cheap vulgar reality shows!? It seems to me most of us have tried very hard to demonstrate who we are, as Mr. Farhadi alluded to in his acceptance speech at The Oscars.
There are petitions being signed all over this country to have this cheap shot at Persians removed. This can affect the lives of many Iranian Americans. It’s important to remember we don’t all live in Beverly Hills. Do we really want to show the world that our deep-seated pride has come to this kind of presentation?
Certainly the title itself portrays the betrayal of our history. The Shah’s?! Are these the same people that used to drive their BMW’s with license plates that read “Persian Prince”? Please consider signing these petitions. Most of us have gone through our share of being misunderstood these last 33 years; we have put up with too much. Most of us are too proud to yet allow another cheap shot being taken at Iranians. This petition has been started by 20…year olds that have never been to Iran. As parents, being older and wiser, I am proud to add my name to this list. We need to support our Iranian-American youth in their pride of preserving their culture. Let’s not knock them down!
Please read and sign this petition. Thank you.