February 21, 2000
Is there a solution?
I am a sixteen year old student in Seattle, Washington. And, "beh
omid khoda", I will go to college next year in New York or Washington
My family and I have visited Iran eight or nine times since we first
came here in 1985. Until this past summer, Iran was heaven to me. All my
cousins and family would surround me when I visited. We would go to Shomaal
and eat balaal kabaab shodeh by the Caspian or play takhteh in my uncle's
comfortable villa. And of course, my girl cousins and I would go on our
daily pesar-bazai adventures : )
But this year, I experienced a different side of Iran. My cousins and
a couple of our friends were walking in the street when we were confronted
by the Komiteh. They harrassed us for almost an hour, threatening that
the minibus was on its way to take us to the Kalantaari. At one point,
I started crying, which was even more humiliating.
For the first time, I realized the daily struggles that my family, my
friends, and each Iranian living in Iran has to deal with. I felt so hopeless
to do anything. After the komiteh incident, I refused to go out of the
house for a day (and trust me, I am a pretty strong individual). But the
problem is that I can't just ignore it. It's like knowing that the people
you love most are in pain while you live an extremely comfortable, extremely
priveleged life. I can't deal with that.
After reading your article on the lazy work ethics of Iranians ["Persian
work ethics"], I realized that you are a level-headed and intelligent
Iranian who also has concerns about our hamvatans ; ) My questions has
to do with a solution: does one exist? Is there anything that we can do
that will change things? Or is this a completely hopeless situation that
we will have to deal with for the rest of our lives? I understand that
a solution will not be like a 12-step program, but even an idea of how
to begin a social reform in Iran would be a miracle. I'm soo confused.
I just want to help.