Suicide bomber or CIA agent?
By Megabiz Irani
November 28, 2003
Sometimes, I wonder who am I; a potential suicide bomber or a CIA agent?
Thursday, I decided to start walking the long distance between University of
Florida and my apartment in order to get into a healthy shape again. That day,
when I was about to leave school, I realized an old woman called me from back
asking if I was a native from Miami.
-- "No ma'am, I not not, why?"
-- "Your T-shirt says University of Miami, so I
thought lived there."
-- "Well, my sister used to live there some years
-- "Is it a safe city? I have not been there."
-- "It's safe as long as you don't get into drugs."
-- "Is your sister a drug dealer?"
-- "Not really, she was a assistant professor at
University of Miami."
-- "Where are you from?"
-- "I'm an Iranian."
-- "Oh, so you're an Arab."
-- "No, I am not an Arab; I'm Persian."
-- "How long have you been living here?"
-- "Long enough
to learn your language."
-- "What is your major?"
-- "Chemical engineering."
-- "Are you a Muslim?"
-- "Well, I suppose."
-- "I love your rugs. Do you have
any at home?"
-- "No, I don't keep rugs."
And I am just thinking when she would finish this
conversation at this hot weather
and let me go, but it seemed she did not want to quit talking. I tried to be
as patient and polite as possible and not to hart her feelings. Anyhow, she kept
me for almost 2 hours talking about everything you could imagine in the middle
of college until I decided to end the conversation.
-- "Ma'am, I have to go now. It was nice meeting
When I was about to leave, she said something that
I will never forget.
-- "Are you going to bomb us? Are you going to be
a suicide bomber too?"
I just ignored her and
left, thinking she just kept me for 2 hours to know if I was
This incident reminded me of what had happened to
me right after September 11 when I was still at junior college.
Well, one of my classmates accused me of
planning to bomb my community college. He could never prove it, because I was
so clumsy to even tie my shoelace let alone planning for such a task. Most
my teachers and classmates who knew me personally were laughing
at him, and even
though I tried to be calm about it, it hart me badly for a semester.
incident, one early morning when I was about to pass my social
science professor to attend a class, he said that a good terrorist
was a dead terrorist
with a smile on his face. He also, said something about American Indians,
but I did not hear him. I smiled back calmly and walked away.
Later on when I asked some of my Muslim classmates,
I realized I was the only one who was targeted at college, yet
I still don't have any idea why.
Back in Iran, I can remember the situation was not
so great either. We were still engaged at war with Iraq when I
started first grade, and in that local primary
school whose teachers were mostly our own neighbors, everyone knew I was
an American citizen. As a result, all the words coming out of my
had something to abuse me. I guess he considered me as a CIA agent of the
Great Satan working to overthrow the Islamic Government of Almighty
One day school officials had asked us
to bring donations for our soldiers at war with Iraq, and when
principal said, "You're an
American. Neither you nor your
family cares about our government."
He was right. I never cared about his regime, which
had brought fortune to uneducated people like him. But even as
a child I did care for our soldiers who sacrificed
their lives for our motherland, Iran.
People like my
principal prayed 15 times a day instead of five
to get promoted, while I was raised listening to my father
who would proudly tell me stories about our
great past; our kings like Cyrus and heroes like Babak who kept Iran alive.
Yesterday I was called a CIA agent, today a
terrorist. I know what I am, no matter what people say.
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