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My Roots in Iran
September 13, 2000



The return to my birthplace, Iran
This spring, I took a trip back to the country where I was born: Iran. I hadn't been there since I was a baby, so didn't remember anything from Iran. When the airplane landed in the city of Tehran, the capital of Iran, I expected to feel very excited. But, instead, I felt calm, like I was coming home to a familiar place.

I had about a week and a half to visit Iran - not very much time! But I did a lot. My parents, who were visiting with me, took me to the house where my mother grew up and the apartment where I was born. We went to the cemetery where my grandfather is buried alongside my great-uncle, great-grandmother and other family members.

I hung out with my grandmother as she cooked some traditional Persian meals (yummy!). I met my great-grandfather, who is almost 105 years old! I celebrated my 22nd birthday with family I had just met.

I enjoyed the sights, smells, and sounds of Iran: the smells of the spice market, the sound of people chattering in Farsi, my native language, and the sights of beautiful mosques and ancient ruins. I enjoyed the taste of ghormeh sabzi, a favorite dish of mine made with rice and spinach.

I learned more about how my family had to leave Iran during the revolution in 1979, and I was amazed by the strength of my parents, who left, and of my relatives who stayed in Iran.

When I left Iran to come home to California, I expected to feel sad. But I realized that I wasn't really leaving. I was bringing all my memories of my family and my culture back with me. Experiencing my roots in Iran makes me a stronger person.


Please email me at: neda@ustrek.org


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