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Remembering our own
We can only belong to one country

By Zal Bameri
September 27, 2001
The Iranian

Given the recent developments in the U.S., this site has neglected what its name, THE IRANIAN, stands for. So let us redirect ourselves to Iran (just for a moment), and spare the "inner turmoil" the American-Iranians feel with respect to the tragedy in the U.S., and the dilemmas on whether to buy an American flag or not. After all if we can spare so many tears on the Americans, shouldn't we remember our own martyrs? Because if we do not then no one will!


The concept of belonging to a country is not simple. It is like belonging to a religion or faith; one cannot have two faiths. A country is a culture, a belief, and a way of life. It is the standard of values. We can only belong to one country. My country is Iran.

It has been around 21 years since I last saw Abadan. I was 10-years old. The airport had no flights to Kuwait so we had to first fly to Tehran. I could remember the swoosh in my stomach as the plane was taking off. It was the last time I saw Iran, the country that has always given me something no other person or country can; its majestic name, its history, and most importantly my identity. I bask in its glory, and I am sure as Iranians we all do .

Two weeks after our flight, Iraq attacked Iran. Given the situation of the country, and the revolutionary zeal, we looked like an easy take. Arab-Iranians were asking for autonomy, the Baluchis had started to become uneasy again, the Kurds were demanding their fare share of the revolutionary loot as well as autonomy.

Our country was invaded, but it did not succumb, not by any means. What the foolish Iraqi leadership took for granted was this was Iran. Yes Iran -- revolution or no revolution, you cannot come and take our country. History bares witness that this nation has always had people to defend it. You as a reader may be in Europe or the U.S. I am in Kuwait (I was called the "Persian Majus" in school).

But there were Iranians of all backgrounds that fought for our land for eight years, and still do. They did it with zeal, faith, and pride. They gave their lives for Iran, and their faith; they protected you and I, they protected u. They protected our dignity. The tiny city of Khorramshahr withstood the Iraqi onslaught for 24 days with a mere 3,000 civilians and soldiers who were equipped with basic machine guns, and RPGs. The city of Abadan was surrounded but Iraq did not have the guts to move in. They thought "political and ideological" differences would break and divide Iran. It did not, and it never will.

I do not agree with the present Iranian regime nor its practices, but I can never lose focus on loving Iran. Our nation lost around one million soldiers, and almost double that in injuries and casualties. They were Iranians; they deserve to be remembered. It is their right and our duty.


The tradegy in the U.S. will be kept up for generations, because Americans will keep the memory of the incident alive. We as Iranians should keep the memory of our brave men and women alive as well.

I thank our martyrs, and take pride in them, all of Iran does.

May God bless them, and their families.

We shall never forget them or what they did for this nation.

Javeed Iran ... Javeed Farazandaane Iran.

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