HAPPY FRIDAY! Best. Day. Ever.
I’m going to do things a bit differently tonight, and that’s because it’s been an eventful week.
It all started (for me) last week when I was on a date with this white guy… okay fine, we were in my bed- but that’s irrelevant. We were talking (surprised? me too…), and he asked, “What do you think it means to be American?”
I couldn’t answer, not because I didn’t know how to, but blunt Farrah was out to play and I didn’t want to offend. So I asked him to answer instead, which prompted him to say, “America is great because it provides equal opportunities for people of all different races.”
My response? “Spoken like a true white guy.”
You see if that were the case, then an Iranian AMERICAN would’t have been denied an iPad for speaking FARSI at the Apple store– iDiscriminate? Check it out yo.
I’m pretty sure no one was denied from buying an Apple product because they were speaking English…
If America is all about equal opportunity, then sanctions wouldn’t prevent my mother-AMERICAN CITIZEN- from bringing money that she receives from her apartment rental in Iran to the U.S… her only source of income.
If Americans are innocent from discrimination then why is the first thing they ask me once they hear my name: where I’m ORIGINALLY from?
“What’s your last name? Oooohhh so what language do you speak?”
I love being Iranian… I wear it proud — literally.
But there’s a reason that my dad insisted I erase all the work I’ve done at Iranian organizations and articles I’ve written focused on Iran from my resume when I was applying for jobs.
He was scared that employers would judge me negatively for being Iranian and for being ACTIVE.
Who the hell are YOU to judge me for it or speak on behalf of my culture when you really know NOTHING about it?
NY Times Journalist Nick Kristof recently spent some time in Iran. I think he’s great, really I do– I have nothing but respect for the man and I was excited that he was going to Iran. I thought, “FINALLY, someone is going to go there and see what it’s really like… Nick Kristof will do Iranians justice and show Americans what we’re really about.”
Then his first article about Iran was published where he reported that sanctions were working.
Kristof wrote this, “Yet, with apologies to the many wonderful Iranians who showered me with hospitality, I favor sanctions because I don’t see any other way to pressure the regime on the nuclear issue or ease its grip on power. My takeaway is that sanctions are working pretty well.”
Kristof basically said that even though sanctions are hurting ordinary Iranians more than senior officials, please suffer more so that the international community can reach it’s goals with the regime…eventually.
“Tough it out Iranians– the regime MIGHT take the hint someday. We realize you’re losing money/jobs, subsidies are high, pollution is outrageous, but just suffer some more.”
I refuse to believe that our only option with the regime in Iran is one that hurts innocent people.
As Asghar Farhadi put it, innocent Iranians who are “truly a peace loving people.”
But unfortunately, that wasn’t all Kristof had to say about Iran. His next article came out labeling Iranians in their 20’s as only wanting to have “fun fun fun.”
He wrote about how Iranians in their 20’s are looking to do drugs, have sex, party, etc. … kinda like how Americans in their 20’s are, right? But because it’s happening in Iran, Kristof writes about it like this:
“You wouldn’t think a New Yorker could be made to blush in Tehran, but I was taken aback by the hookup scene of one-night stands: young men with flashy cars troll for women, chat them up and then drive off with them.”
I’m sorry Nick, but how is that any different than what happens in any other country in the world? Britain? France? THE UNITED STATES?
Are you saying that because this is happening in an Islamic country? If that’s the case, then basically the assumption is being made that the Iranian regime REPRESENTS the people of Iran.
It seems that people are forgetting that the hardliners of Iran like Khamanei and Ahmadinejad were not elected through a free and fair election… that the freedom to VOTE in Iran does not exist.
And if we are going to boldly assume that because these people live in an Islamic state– Islam, taken out of context and imposed on people in an oppressive manner by the government — that they all believe in the policies set forth by their rulers?
Then is it safe to also assume that the U.S. government represents ALL U.S. citizens?
Double standards much?
When people are oppressed and are forbidden to do what they please– of COURSE they’re going to rebel… of course they’re going to want to do things that aren’t “legal.” But more importantly… ANYONE in their 20’s is going to experiment — because that’s what being in your 20’s is all about. It’s about pushing out of your comfort zone and seeing what’s out there- learning who you really are through mistakes and yes, sometimes even with sex/partying.
Your 20’s is the time to find yourself and how are Iranians expected to find themselves when they’re constantly being told “no?”
Is it fair to assume that because Iranians DO actually party and participate in actions that are viewed “normal” here in the U.S. — that they are somehow extreme to the point of being labeled as wanting to participate in “sex, drugs and rock n’roll?”
As if partying here in the U.S. is any LESS “crazy” than this:
Or the fact that girls and guys find ways to hang out despite the rules enforced by the regime– Is it fair to say that they are participating in “romantic hedonism?”
I made out with the guy in the picture above in the pool that day– we’d been seeing each other for two and a half weeks. Does that make YOU blush?
I’ve been going to Iran almost every summer of my life. This is the first summer in the past ten years that I will not be going back and I’m devastated because Iran is truly a beautiful country with wonderful people. People who care about you before they even know anything about you.
People who upon finding out that I’m from the U.S. (thanks to my horrifying English accent when I speak Farsi) offer me gifts and shirini because they are so excited to have met me.
Iranians shouldn’t be KNOWN because they like to party and have sex (ahem… like the REST of the world), they should be known for constantly trying to push past the limitations of their government. They should be known for the beautiful culture that they have kept alive despite what the hardliners do to prevent them from celebrating and basking in its beauty.
Don’t judge Iranians for doing things that we do in America. They shouldn’t be labeled because of that– they should be known for fighting against the regime, not succumbing to it.
So what you want to say about that?
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