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Hell no
I see young Iranians gradually loosing their identity

By Babak Nikain
January 16, 2001
The Iranian

I am one of the many children of the revolution. We had the bad luck of stepping into the world after the revolution took place. But that is not the worst thing. The worst thing is that my parents and I, just like many others, where forced to leave their beloved motherland and because of that I haven't had the opportunity to experience and witness all the greatness that I have read in my books about Iran.

It has been more than 20 years since I was born, and I have spent half of those years outside Iran. I still remember the first thoughts when I left Iran: "Don't worry... I'll come back very soon so we can once again play gol-kochik in the streets."

But the years came and went and I am still stuck here in Sweden. Every year I get more and more restless. Every single year that comes I wonder: "How many more years am I doomed to being here?" When I look around me I see that I don't belong here. Is this really my destiny? To grow up and die here? In a place where absolutely no one gives a damn? Hell no.

Every year that passes I lose more and more patience. I hear how Iran calls for me and I can no longer stand out, to listen but not respond. I would give every thing I have to be able to go back. I want to walk in the streets, as long as it is in IRAN. I want to be in IRAN and see the sun rise and set. I want to walk in the forests in IRAN. I want to wake up and hear Farsi. I want to feel the SUN burning my face in IRAN. No other place is good enough. AND I KNOW THAT MANY OF YOU SHARE MY DREAM. I CAN FEEL YOUR PAIN.

Every day I see young Iranians gradually loosing their identity. I see how they act more and more like Europeans. I see how they slowly forget their native language or stop speaking Farsi to each other and start talking Swedish. I see how they deny that their true nationality and claim that they are Swedish and would die for Sweden. When I ask them why, I get the answer: "I was born in Sweden. I don't have any bonds with Iran. I can't see or feel how I am connected to Iran" or " Iran? The country of barbarians? The country of terrorists and mollas? No way. I am Swedish."

I have even met Iranians who (I'll say it in Farsi) too suedi bodan roo dast-e khod-e suedihaa mizanand (are more Swedish than the Swedes). When I hear them talk this way it is like being stabbed in the heart. How can you say such things about Iran? Do you really think that the Swedes will accept you as one of their own? Then you are blind. You don't deserve that Iranian blood in your veins. Oh God! I literally burn inside when I hear this kind of rubbish.

Now I ask you, is it this the destiny of Iranian youth outside Iran? To grow up and slowly lose their identity? To slowly forget how to speak Farsi? Why is it always Iranians who must be the first to take the step towards losing their self-image? Look at the Arabs, Syrians or the Libyan communities. They keep their identity no matter what. I have never seen Arab youth speak other than their native language with each other. But Iranian youth, don't let me get started.

And to all the parents who defend their actions by saying "We want our kids to adapt to their new society" I say DON'T. You are just doing them/us a disfavor. You might not see it now but trust me in a couple of years they won't even know the meaning of the simplest Iranian tradition. I see it every day; don't let our youth get wasted here. We don't deserve i. It is not our fault. We didn't want to come here. Don't let us lose our bond. We don't want to grow up and return to Iran as strangers.

We don't want to return as aliens to our own country. PROTECT US from evil. LEAD US so we can behave as Iranians. TEACH US about Iran and our history so we can be grateful to you for a long time. But don't let us lose our only connection to our motherland because once it is gone we are lost. And we WILL blame you for the "FAVOR" you did us.

Until we ALL meet in Persepolis as one people, one nation under god, united and unbreakable... beh omid-e aan rooz.

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