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A good example
"You can bend a Persian but you can never break a Persian"

December 18, 2003
The Iranian

The name "Khaton Khanom", the writer of "The photo album", caught my attention because that has been one of my pen names. I sign my letters with it to people I like very much. I had a favorite aunt we called Khatoon and using her name was my tribute to her.

Well, this was the first time I had seen one of my nicknames being used, so curiosity made me read your very short, sweet but touching piece.You should never hope to lose the sense of belonging to the motherland and if one tells you that in time you will forget please remember only those who had no emotions and attachments to begin with, have forgotten Iran.

If you talk to any truly educated, successful Iranian man or woman you would be amazed at how connected to Iran they are. I have been here for nearly 26 years and have not been back home for 20. However, Iran is never a second out of my mind or heart and I state everyday that once my son graduates from college and has his own life I am outta here -- and I will be.

Loving Iran and remaining loyal does not mean to simply sit and wait. You must try and accomplish all the goals you have and try your best to make a difference by being a good example and a model citizen.

You will have the best of both world which would be the love of Iranian community members for your efforts and accomplishments and the respect of non-Iranians for daring to show pride in your heritage and making it your duty to introduce the wonderful aspects of it to people who know nothing about Iran.

I too have few pictures from my college and high school days. They are on display for me to look at them and never forget who I am and to remain grounded and never let my independence or material success deter me from my roots.

An unknown philosopher once said, "As long as you have hopes and dreams and as long as you believe in them and fight for them you will never be dead." A Greek philosopher also said, "You can bend a Persian but you can never break a Persian."

Remember that and never let any negative comments form Iranians who think being Iranian is "not cool" affect you. Intelligent and successful professionals admire those who have taken advantage of the possibilities in the west and yet have remained proud of where they come from and who they truly are.

I work with hundreds of Americans and some Europeans and I can not tell you how fascinated they are to see Iranian pictures and writings on the walls and how attentively they listen to me telling them what Iranian people (not the government) are truly like.

A piece of advise from someone who has tons of experience dealing with your issues: Don't ever stop listening to Iranian music and say, it's depressing! It will be if you do not listen to it and then all of a sudden hear it.

Continue to do all the things that you loved in Iran and made you feel good but at the same time strive to be the best human being you can be and as I say to my own son remember you are representing the Iranian image. Make sure it is one of pride that comes from understanding your heritage and culture by knowing your own history.

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