To go or not to go



To go or not to go
by Leyli

Read if you’ve just returned from a summertime visit to Iran and miss home like hell. Or if you’re tired of reading about Iraq.

It’s been a week since I have come back from my annual summertime visits to Tehran. For the first few days, like a lot of people in my situation, I felt depressed, lonely and in total isolation.

You can’t blame me, really. For 2 months and 20 days, I was surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, friends who all spoke the same language as me and now suddenly, I’m back to a strange country with strange people with a VERY strange accent (none other than the LOVELY Scotland) and an empty home with my brother and dad (who aren’t the best people for cheering you up).

Being an Iranian teenager can be really hard when you love your country and equally hate the western country you currently reside in. I mean, I’ve been out of Iran for 10 years now and I still visit every summer, even though I have started University. I also seem to never be able to get used to being outside of Iran, otherwise, I wouldn’t really spend time writing this article for my lovely hamvatans to read.

I don’t know maybe I have some serious mental problems, I mean, there are other young Iranians here who are all too bikhiyaal and haven’t been to Iran for years. When I ask them if they miss it at all they shrug and say the old “I miss my family I guess”. Or maybe it’s because everytime I go back, I have such a good time with baahaal people and then come back here to this boring, soccer-crazy, whisky-drinking freckled-faced, freak of a country. I don’t know.

I asked my mamman about it a couple of days ago and she said the same old “you just think it’s like that because you were there for a short time” crap. Which may be true for some people but not me. I PREFER Iran.

Okay, the government situation is pretty shite and the pollution is too high and so is the population and the number of bikar kids who turn to drugs and crime. Yes, I am safe and sound and free as f*** here but the feeling of loneliness, isolation and horrible, horrible feeling of never being able to belong haunts me every single day in this crap, expensive, cold country to a point where I have been clinically depressed in the past.

And my mamman, babba fail to understand that I JUST DON’T belong here and well, lets face it, they’re not the most open-minded people in the world and that makes it 100 times worse. “Na babba, hala miri daneshgah, doostayeh khoob migiri, hamechi khoob misheh” says daddy. I’m now in university with awesome friends and still think about going back to Tehran everyday. Now what babba????

I will finish my degree and come and serve my country, no matter what the government situation may be....well…I mean as long as it’s not TOO dangerous….and……



I was the same but now I have changed my mind

by Nima (not verified) on

Leili, I used to think exactly the way you do right now. I have been living in UK for several years and traveled to Iran two times a year, sometimes only for the summer holidays. But I recently realized that this feeling of loving Iran and I mean Iran the country, the vatan or whatever you call it not the relatives, is not neither going to help me nor other young Iranians. Its getting worse and worse everyday. Years pass and suddenly you find out you have not stabilize yourself in the country you had resided for years and you are still Avvale Rah....

Jeesh Daram

Lonely we are

by Jeesh Daram on



Welcome to the age of self-discovery, filled with uncertainties, impulses, sadness, triggered happiness, idiot parents, distant lands of dreams and romantic loves... You are simply going through that phase of life.

On your way to happiness and self recognition, make sure you understand that at the end of the day you are responsible for your decisions one way or another, and don't make decisions only to prove to others that you can be defiant if you want to. Try to keep your parents as part of your team and don't corner them against the wall, they will easily get intimidated and that is not what you want to do.

The rest is up to you and it is your life to live,




We will, 10 years after the

by Anonymous1 (not verified) on

We will, 10 years after the Mullahs are gone.(Soon God willing), When civility and honor has returned to our homeland once more.



by Oh Canada (not verified) on

Get out of depressing UK/Scotland. Come to North America (canada). Life is much happier here. Your parents are right, you go back to parties/mehmounies...god forbid if you have to work in that 'zoo' or have admin work in some shitee ministry run by fanatic bearded men you think you are only worth 12 of a man


Dear Leyli, Listen to your

by Mehdi (not verified) on

Dear Leyli,

Listen to your inner soul & go by your gut feeling.
My opinion is to finish the uni first & if yiu still feel a strong about going back, then go back & give it a try. You can ALWAYS return to the west if & when you wante to. You are young and best experiment & experience life. Better to do something now than regret not having done it.
It will all work out.
All the best


East is east, west is west,

by Zsubin (not verified) on

East is east, west is west, home is best!

I am living 14 years abroad, originally being from Tehran but the above sentence I heard in an English class in one of the provencial universities in Iran, long before coming abroad.

Dear Leyli, I have this feeling that you are from Tehran too. Have you been living in Shahrestan in Iran? I think it worths the try to make you sit tight where you are..!

Let me tell you that I think what you are missing is not Iran but rather Tehran! Or where you know best. Every body has such an affiliation towards where they are brought up.

The sweetness of its memories will always stay in your mind but by getting older one gets less sentimental.

For me the following concept was always a help in those lonely, foggy days, that Iran is my country and it just takes a decision to get back to it whenever I decide. This thought helped me through difficulties and assissted me in concentrating on what I do so I could proceed.

True, the cultures of every place is different, you really don't have to get out of Iran to realize this. Some cultures one might feel as being colder or nationalistic, religious, and etc.. From each you can learn, and I think this is what Iran really needs.

I think stay, learn as many cultures and differences as you can. Learn the good sides, and point out our bad sides and vice versa. This way we can ensure the beautiful diversity that we have always had in Iran.

Good luck, things will get better for you, I'm sure.


You need more experience

by Lucky one (not verified) on

I agree with some of the comments above. The sense of "erge Irani" is in most all of us. However, there are many more unknowns and by just going for a few months, those we're visiting often hide many of their politics and problems from the visitors. So, many people get nostagic and emotional to get back there and often don't know about the issues and problems that people face on a day to day life. Often those that return have a good time for the first few years, as they are considered expats and they get to meet people of higher level than they would if they were living here, but soon, people start backstabbing and stopping you from living your dream and the idealism of "helping others" soon jades you as the same people you went to help will stop you from making progress. It is the reality of it. I know so many people that returned to Iran in the 1990s and fell into that same stream and are not stuck there because they weren't here to build a career and have no chance of ever becoming successful here anymore, so they stay there and have to live life and take the limited opportunities they have. As for you - sky is the limit. You can always return for a few months at a time in between school holiday, jobs, etc and still keep a parallel life going here. Without lossing it all, keep life going... your heart will some day - make the decision for you.


missing Iran

by tar-o-mar (not verified) on

Just get a degree that is needed in Iran and go back to work for the Iraians. And yes life is difficult in Iran, so what? Someone needs to help.



by ghk (not verified) on




by flovius on






The way the news reports are

by Anonymous1 (not verified) on

The way the news reports are stating, that day is soon coming, according to reports WAR with Iran is only weeks away. Hopefully these vultures we call Mullahs will leave our beautiful homeland before it comes to that but I doubt it.


Shame on you for condemning

by Anonymous1 (not verified) on

Shame on you for condemning her for her expressing her beliefs and honest feelings, she is not the only one who has these same thoughts, what has this country done for you that you so easily judge her, I too feel the same way as she does and I have been out of Iran for most of my life and am very successful at what I do and make a very comfortable living, the western societies are cold and indifferent and only believe in instant self gratification whereas thoughts of Iran of the past is what keeps me going. If the political climate was different even you (If you are Persian) would gladly leave.


sure u do

by Anonymous on

sure u do
We can help u overcome your hate b/f it consumes u. My God set you free from that darksome spirit u got.

shame on you


Dear Leyli

by Majid on

Please listen(and just listen) to what your parents have to say about current situation in IRAN,watch TV.,read some about this and talk to  people a little older than yourself, the best thing you can do is,nurture the love for motherland and prepare yourself with some accomplishments,so WHEN you go back,you have something to offer to people you love and you can lend a hand to people who need you.IRAN needs people like you! but MOVAFFAGH!

I can only hope that some day you can go back to MOTHERLAND,movaffagh,sar boland,pirooz va baa eftekhaar!

Best wishes.  


Dear Majid Don't you think

by Kamangir (not verified) on

Dear Majid

Don't you think that this Brits, might in fact be a fellow Iranian fooling around? In any case I assume that whoever this person is, has nothing against fair and blue eyed middle easterns, as there are many in Iran itself. This would be equivalent of a scandinavian subject saying I don't want any dark haired and dark eyed brit here, Sean Connery for instance shouldn't go... We shouldn't pay the slightest attention to such redneck attitudes, no matter where they are from




by sheyda (not verified) on

I moved to IRAN in 2002 after living in the states for 18 years. i had gone back for a visit in 2000 and felt great pain upon my return to NY ,My heart goes out to u ,the first 3 years went by incredibly ,i traveled and did all the fun things u get to do in IRAN. My advice to u is that dont go there without youre degree becasue every iranian teen is desperate to get out since there is no future for them ,u are a living dream for every young iranian,as happy as u might remember the people there ,underneath there is great sadness and a sense of hoplessness, im now planning my return to NY ,and im very greatful for the experience i had.but i need to do alot more with my life and i dont feel i have the chance to do them in IRAN .I have an apt in TEHRAN where i can go back anytime ,and i hope the same for u azizam
best of luck ,be strong


Being Realistic it's not always easy

by Kamangir (not verified) on

Following this subject I would like to refer to something a good friend of mine told me once, he said: I think you are seeing all the bad things here (vancouver)and you're only seeing the good things in Iran... I think he was right, I have come to the conclusion that we as humans get tired of our life and enviroment no matter where we are, specially if our economic and/or social status is not what we desired.

We tend to imagine ourselves in all those good and cozy situations elsewhere (in this case Iran) but will all those good situations always come by?

In my case, I always felt a foreigner, tired of saying where I am from, tired of clarifying I am not Arab (as if this made any difference!) I have experienced various forms of racism in three different nations where I have lived and worked and because my socio-economic situation has always been very average, I have been even more vulnerable. I visited Iran after 18 years and stayed there 3 months as a guest. I loved almost everything about our country (except for the government and religious culture that is in other words the arabic way of life imposed) I think in overall the Iranian population has mantained a very unique social politness now less visible due to heavy daily social problems. It's true that Iran has always been and has become very materialistic, this along with extreme importance to appearance makes it very a classist society, this is mantained even outside Iran by our comunities. However, I know deep inside, that that's my home.I know that Iran will undergo a series of very deep changes in the next decade, mainly because its current government is about to expire definitely. There's an Iran before and after the change. Our country deserves a government that
represnts its people and culture, not this bunch
of thugs that are just anything but Iranian.


Dear kamangir !

by Majid on

Please read the the comment "We don't need dark people from middle east"  by" A Brtis" !

And as for  "miserable sites" that I'm used to  ? have some gheirat , my friend! I can only hope that you don't agree with "A Brtis", or do you? I think I WILL reserve the right to use my "very low and ugly language" when ever some JOE BLOW  dares to use his or her "very low and ugly language" towards my "hamvatans" !

warmest regards, 


Please Behave yourselves!!

by Kamangir (not verified) on

Dear Laeyli

Many Iranians feel the way you feel, including myself. I have lived outside Iran for 22 years and I have always felt that I belong there. However, you need to bear in mind that you'll only find out if you want to be there if you really spend couple of years living, working studying there. You seem to be young, so if you really need to go back, do so and give yourself time. As we grow older we see and feel everything differently...You need to like the city you're living in. Tehran despite its caotic trafic jams and pollution still offers you a lot culturally..As for the government there,I personally think we should never get used to it as it does not represnt us as Iranians at all. Just a note to this guy called Majid, who has used a very low and ugly language. Dear Majid grow up!! This is not one of those miserable sites you are probably used to.



by gol-dust on

Go Leyli! but first finish your masters, or phd! the regime would be changed by then. you want to be useful to the people whom you love! I was like you, but idecided to devote my life after college to the poor and orphans. have been doing it for decades and love it. when i retire i will go back and live and die for my iran and among my loved ones! good luck and keep the love of iran in your heart alive!



by Majid on

At the very least, for her, there is a place which she can call HOME !! without kissing the ASS of THE most useless piece of shit on earth, called "QUEEN".

WHEN!! if ever,you have such an opportunity,you'll understand what she's talking about,for now? SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!


Darket mikonam

by Ardeshir_P (not verified) on

Leyli jAn,

Darket mikonam.

Although I wasn't born in Iran and I've only been there 3 weeks of my entire life, I would give anything to go back and hope to live there one day. Maybe it is our age and not being familiar with the day to day difficulties of life in Iran but if nationalism has given us one good thing its that even if the older generation has given up on Iran, the seeds of hope have not been planted amongst the youth diaspora for nothing.

agar irAn bejoz virAnsarA nist, man in virAnsarA rA dust dAram.

agar tArikheh mA afsAneh rang ast, man in afsAneh hA rA dust dAram.

navAyeh naye mA gar jAngodAz ast, man in nAyeh o navA rA dust dAram.

agar Ab o havAsh delneshin nist, man in Ab o havA rA dust dAram.

beshuq khAr sahrAhAyeh khoshkash, man in farsudehpA rA dust dAram.

man in delkash zamin rA miparastam, man in roshansamA rA dust dAram.

agar bar man ze irAni rud zur, man in zur AzmA rA dust dAram.

agar Aludeh dAmAnid agar pAk, man ay mardom shomA rA dust dAram.


I've been in your shoes

by Morvarid (not verified) on

when I came back from my trip to Iran 3 years ago, I felt very much so like you, although I was born outside of Iran. When I came back, I wrote an article and it's posted on, here is the link //
You might enjoy reading it.
Hope you figure it all out.
take care


Iran is fun only as long as you are a guest!

by farrad02 on

It doesn't help that you are in an often drury and cloudy looking part of the world! Where we live full time (in United States - I'm in Iran now) it's warmer and you generally feel like less of a foreigner, but we still feel that homesickness a few days after returning from Iran.

But let me tell you. If you live in Iran full time, things will not be as nice as you have experienced as a guest (even for 2-3 months). As soon as you have to deal with the government and God forbid having to earn a living in Iran, you will quickly see the ugly side of contemporary Iran.

The worst thing is that people are no longer nice to each other in Iran. Because of the rulers using religion and Godto justiify their deeds, a lot of kindness, respect and God-fearing qualities have mostly vanished from the society. Social standards have been lowered significantly in the past 10-15 years. Honor and loyalty is a thing of the past and money is the only standard in which people deal with you and measure you. You can not trust anyone, not even your family!!! This is sad but very true!

If you can find happiness where you are in Scottland or wherever, then be happy with the annual visits to Iran and continue enjoying it in 2-3 week/month doses as a guest.

Iran is not a very nice place to live full time, unless (1) you have a whole lot of money, (2) do not have to jack with government for anything and (3) seeing people in pain, powerty and pain around you does not make you miserable!

Good luck!



your feelings are true!

by shirin (not verified) on

Hi Leyli,
I have returned from a 4 weeks trip to Toronto, Canada. My husband and I have been invited by one of my relatives. We had a 3 months visa and could add our stay there up to 6 months. I am 49 and have three children by the ages 15, 24 & 26. The last two have university degrees, my daughter is a pharmacist and my big son is studying engineering and my second son is in grade 2 at high school. Maybe you are at my daughter’s age! She was interested to continue her studies in Canada. As you know embassy don’t give visa to a family because of immigration intentions. Therefore we went to this trip without our children. I wanted to confront with reality there and get first hand data. In my view Canada was a country which people from different countries and by different skin colors, live together in peace. I talked with a Jamaican girl in a bus station, a Filipinos woman in the bus, with a Hindi woman in my relative’s apartment and a Lebanese woman who had a shop in the shopping center… I asked them some questions; as do you like Canada? The first two told me it depends on! It’s a good place because they had a job but they preferred to return to their own countries. The Lebanese woman must be there because she should obey her husband. And the Hindi woman was trying to understand Canada after her 5 years of residence in Canada and did not accept it yet. The Filipinos woman whom was at my age was worried about her children and their belief. She was a Christian and schools in Canada train her children and she preferred to raise her children in her own country. Iranian whom I met, live mostly in one area near each other and buy from Iranian shops while talking Farsi. They wear western clothes. Everybody there is free to wear whatever she likes, Pakistani girl who works in CN Tower in Toronto had head scarf and was not ashamed of it and her job there showed that Canada has a tolerance towards immigrants’ customs and seemed it is a democratic country. BUT those Iranian whom I met there had the same Estebdad-e fekri (dogmatism) as their counterparts whom put people in pressure in Iran. Ya Roosari Ya toosari is the same motto it can be heard by both of them. The way they treated with me because of my headscarf was the same as in Iran by revolutionary guards on streets! I have been a political prisoner when I was 23 in Cultural Revolution era in Iran and lay off my job as a teacher. But I did not left Iran and I continued my studies in University and didn’t give up and do not bow under pressures in or out of Iran. I wanted to tell you that live the way you like. The Feminists believe that no one should decide what they wear. Women should be free to follow their interests. Then don’t give up and return if you love to live here! The day before my departure, I met an Abadani woman whom lived in Canada for 18 years. We were shopping in Square one shopping center in Mississauga. She was very interested to see Iran again and asked me to send her Salam to her Hamvatan in Iran. It shows there are lots of Iranian like you whom love their hometown. When I was leaving that shopping mall a young man came toward my husband and told him sir, I want to shake your hand. I respect you. You have a respectable wife,… I hope there will be a time which we Iranian could understand freedom and practice it in our own country. We need a long time to overcome our own Estebdad-e fekri and let young generation chances to live in peace!


To Leyli

by sj (not verified) on

Dear Leyli,
Your parents must be very proud of having such a smart girl. I am a little older than you are, but I exactly understand what you are saying. That feeling of belonging never goes away. Just like you, I moved away from Iran about ten years ago, but I still call my house in Tehran Home.
My advice to you, if I may say something, would be to finish your degree, then go back with your head high up and help the people and the country that you love the most.
I wish you the best of luck



We don't need dark people from middle east

by A Brtis (not verified) on

Good bye. Don't come back!

Long live the queen.


Follow your heart!

by Anonymous on

If you really feel so strongly about it, then go and live there for a while but leave some ways open for returning, in case if you changed your mind.
I have been away for longer than 20 years. I went to Iran about two years ago. Yes, seeing your family members and friends is nice, but you don't see the reality behind it, which they try very hard to hide from you. Seeing the oppression striken people with sad and faded skin colors wasn't what I wanted to see. I was broken hearted that I couldn't help them. Unfortunately,the Iran that I remembered wasn't there anymore!

Wish you the best



ey khodaaaaaa

by chalousroad on

Leily jan harfe dele mano behtar az khodam gofti!!! you writing is great!! I am an international student in london. I went to Iran on 8th July and came back 28th August. I was in the underground when my depression started, I wanted to burst into tears, but there was just so many people there so i was embarrassed. But when i called iran and talked to my father and mother, I cried for the first time in like more than 4 years. I didnt know I am gonna come to this point, its really true!! I feel exactly like you, doroste adam mitoone havasesho part kone, vali hichi Iran khodaeesh nemishe, bavar nemishod yeh roozi biam va yeki harfe daghighe delamo bezane , manam pedar madaro hame migan hamin ja bayad bemooni va badan havaset part mishe, The only bad thing is, there is only one life and it makes you always feel you are missing quality time in iran with your family and enjoying iran, shomal .... whereabouts are you in uk??, maybe we can get to know each other and harfe del bezanim bekhoda!!


I'm sorry mate, I thought

by Mohammad-Ali (not verified) on

I'm sorry mate, I thought you said you live in the U.S. , didn't realize you were in the U.K. But all the same, my advice stands.