Only vegetables have roots
First of all,let me congratulate you on your piece in The Iranian
was once an Iranian"]. I think that you have brought up some very
important questions. As a kid raised in Beirut in the thirties, I had some
I also have felt tensions about my "multiculturality" but
I think that all Iranians have some kind of ambiguity in their inner personalities.
This is perhaps due to the fact that since the 7th century we have been
living on a kind of "double" cultural background: Our Persian-Zoroastrian-Aryan
culture and the Arab-Islamic that was added .
These two never melted in a harmonious mixture. But then, all educated
people of the world , no matter what their nationality, are more or less
in the same predicament because of the estrangement of scientific and literary
cultures since the early years of the 20th century!
I transformed my personal experience into a novel that was published
in Paris in 1962 . I it I tackled the poblem of multiculturality and "identity
" tensions; of feeling at home nowhere and yet everywhere!
I agree with what you say about our fellow Iranians in the U.S., and
the "two" Irans existing side by side. Also your asssessment
of intellectuals "still bound" by fundamentalism and nationalism
makes sense. I have not enough time to go into all your remarks.
But I want to point out that Iranians, as well as others, are mistaken
in searching for roots. I have coined the following phrase which I often
use in my writings and lectures : "Only vegetables have roots"!
I agree with your distinction between migrants and immigrants. But let
me tell you that the U.S. is not a melting pot. It is rather becoming a
keleidoscope in which, as time goes by, all the nations of the world will
be represented. (A kind of United Nations of the people of the world, not
of the governments! I am preparing a piece about this idea of mine).
So don't be afraid of your "hybrid" background. To the contrary
it helps you to see the situation more clearly. You can help your fellow
Iranians both here and inside the medieval "trap" in which they
have fallen, by sharing your experiences and opening their eyes on the
true meaning of the Western culture.
Again congratulations and, please, continue to write.