Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ich bin ein Iranian

Are you following what's happening in Iran? Of course you are. Or not. I'm following it primarily because I'm on Twitter and Twitter is all about Iran right now. In fact, since this afternoon, I "live" in GMT +3.30 and my home town is Tehran.

It's to confuse the Iranian authorities looking for twittering  revolutionaries. I can't believe I'm helping Iranians and Iranian students to boot. I've hated Iran and its students since 1979! I agree that that is a long time to hold a grudge but, frankly, they deserved it. Assholes. 444 days is also a long time. I looked around on Facebook but all I could find was a group called "I Love Iran", I couldn't do it. If it was called "I support the people who voted for the other guy" or "I feel those people in the streets" or "Lets go 2009 Iranian Revolution" or even, "Burn Chaders Burn" ,I could get behind it but I can't "Love Iran", it's not possible. My parents must have let us watch too much news back in the day or maybe hanging all those yellow ribbons up outside my elementary school scarred me but I can't see Iran as a warm and fuzzy place or someone I would want to hang out with. Maybe  I could become a fan of "I tolerate Iran".

And yes, I have read "Reading Lolita in Tehran" and I have an old friend who is Iranian. Yeah, I know "Some of my best friends are Iranian...".  His father was a very high up officer in the Shah's army and he had to get his family and himself out of the country very quickly when the revolution happened, they were loyal to the Shah and that made them enemies of the Revolution. It didn't matter that my friend wasn't part of the revolution or a revolutionary or that he was a child when it all happened, he spent years having to tell people he was from Persia because I wasn't the only one holding a grudge, And you know what? Most of the people who asked were so dumb we didn't know what Persia was or where it was or what it was more commonly known as. He could also be Mexican if he had to, although his Spanish was weak, so was his German, French and Italian. He was multicultural years before it was in vogue.

It was through him that I learned that Iran was not a desert and that they have trees and mountains and even snow! And they had swimming pools.  Not a desert, more like Colorado, with oil and access to a deep water port. It was okay with him if I hated Iran. He hated what had happened to it. Wouldn't it be great if we could all stop hating Iran? Wouldn't it be great if we could be friends with them? If we could turn them from an Axis of Evil into an Allie? If you aren't on Twitter I heartily suggest that you go and sign up now. You can watch history happen 140 words at a time, you can see tonight's news as it is being made by the people who are making it. Be in Tehran. Help the Iranians.

Maybe someday we can all feel comfortable loving Iran.

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