The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


March 1, 2001

No poetic rite of passage

I am writing in response to the article, "Not going back". I truly appreciate this author's opinion on what Iran has become. I have read many of the letters sent to this website in regards to Iran now. I feel that those letters have somehow romanticized and "prettied-up" the Iran of today.

I was 6-years old in 1983, when my family and I left Iran. I have such vivid memories of that time, that till this day, I have had no desire to go back. As a young child in Iran, my joy and exuberance for life soon died a short death.

I was five-years old; ready to start the first grade. I remember going with my mother to choose the fabrics for my school uniform. I recall my heart plummeting to the ground as I was presented with the colors of my clothes, the dreary dark shades of blue-black and brown.

As children, attending school for the first time, we were greeted with such dread. Our costumes were well-equipped. A cap that covered every single strand of hair had to be worn prior to donning on the head scarf. We, who were barely girls, had to cover ourselves so thoroughly, with no comprehension to why!

I recall being beaten by my principal for wearing a roosari that had flowers on it. I remember having the palm of my hands slapped numerously with a ruler, because I would not take off my leggings during the cold of winter, in the school corridor for the principal to observe that I had no toe nail polish on!

I recall my heart sinking to the ground and being engulfed with pure terror every time a Pasdar would yell "Halt" in the streets of Tehran. We, the future of Iran, had been so fully brainwashed to truly fear the wrath of the Pasdars.

I recall that even when my family and I got on that airplane flying up, over, and away from the place of my birth, I would still not take off my roosari, thinking, the Pasdar could come and get us at anytime.

So for those of you, who make returning to Iran, a poetic rite of passage, returning to the Motherland, I am afraid I do not share those visions with you. Perhaps we have weaved a new dream of Iran.

Has Iran really changed from what it was during the time of Khomeini? We need to still maintain hope that we will all one day return. But to what? The story "A man without a country" rings a disheartening familiar melody.



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