Bloggers' Game

My friend Mana has invited me to participate in the Bloggers’ Game, Vatan Chist?, or what is the meaning of “homeland” to you. My country, my “homeland” is where I feel I belong. It is where I have memories. It is where I understand the language. It is where I have fallen in love. It is where my parents were born and buried. It is where my friends were born and buried. It is where I love every rock, every leaf, and every drop of the water running through its rivers and seas. It is where when things aren’t going well, I make it my business to complain and then try hard to fix things. It is where it matters what happens next. It is where I would bend over to pick up trash from its sidewalks. It is where I obey the laws. It is where I pay taxes. It is where I vote, hoping to make a difference. It is where I worry if it goes to war. It is where I wait for its soldiers to return. It is where I care about its environment. It is where I care about its education. It is where I love seeing its babies, children, and young people. It is where I care how its old people are doing. It is where I would listen to its music. It is where I would watch its dances. It is where I read its books. It is where I would respect its spiritual beliefs. It is where I miss its streets if I am away. It is where I miss its people when I am not there. It is where I hope I am missed if I’m not there. It is where I walk down a street, passing kitchen windows, and am able to associate every single smell to a dish and a taste I know. It is where I understand, appreciate, and love the people around me, and hope that they would do the same for me. Now I would like to invite the following people to the game: Ala Hazrat Haj Agha, Alef Shin, Baloot, Bayramali, Ehsan, FarNice, Jeerjeerak, Neda, Nimeh Shab, Serendip, Sheni, Shobeir, Siah, Tameshk. Please leave me your post link in this post if you accept my invitation and play the game.


بانوي جشنواره زمستان said...

you wrote all things in best method but I'll write about "homeland" too , thx nazy aZz! for invitation.
I know people around us love us too if we love them and miss them when they don't be there...

ا. ش said...

سلام بر نازی همیشه مهربان و دوست داشتنی. ممنون از پرسش شما و مانای عزیز به خاطر راه انداختن این بازی! وطن من جایی است که در آن ریشه دارم و علل و سبب مشترک هر آن چیز دیگری هم هست که در حوزه ی "بودن" و هستی خود می بینم. و از آن جایی که همه ی آن چیزهایی که علت و ریشه ی پیشین شان یکی است هم بسته هم هستند، پس وطن من جایی است که هستی ام را از "من" بودنم جدا می سازد و با کلّی درهم تنیده از هویت های گوناگون (انسانی، هنری، دینی، معنوی، فرهنگی، عرفانی و ...) پیوند می دهد

Siah said...

I woke up for sahary and saw your post.
Cool, thanks nazy jaan, my grandma used to say that if you don't have a spouse you don't have a vatan :) but I'm gonna play anyways.

vatan is were we all complain about at the same time we all say that we missed it, but we don't go back there to live (you know its not for us). its a good excuse to become home sick. its kind of a "zivar allat" it has no value by itself for us, we don't care about alborz and perspolis or anything . Its were we torture people for their belifs and its were religion has more acceptance than the science. a country run by gaavs, a place for rish and atr mash'hadi and Hypocrisy. ever heard of shamloos poem "dahanat ra mibooiand mabada gofte bashi..." you know what! thats my vatan

I'm gonna go back to my nightly prayer. god bless all of you and our faravahar and our country

ا. ش said...

‏... و جایی که افراد ناشکیبا تاب زندگی در آن را ندارند ....‏

شبیر said...

چه غریبانه تو با یاد وطن می‌نالی
من چه گویم که غریب است دلم در وطنم

Nazy said...

Neda Jan: Thank you for understanding me. I can't wait to read your post about Vatan. Be good azizam.

Nazy said...

Dear Alef Shin: A poignant reply. Thank you. Yes, it isn't just one thing or any one identity. It is a series of overlapping things that creates the notion of "vatan" in all of us. The question for me has always been whether it is normal to feel that you belong to two entirely different countries, which among other things have "me" and many other Iranians like me in common! I certainly feel that I belong to both worlds. Be happy Alef Shin Jan.

Nazy said...

Siah Jan, I see that I caught you on a bad day! What a sarcastic take on the issue! I know that you are giving us your general view on the matter, and that you don’t mean to be critical of me. I cannot speak for other Iranians, but I can speak for myself. Perhaps what I say will have an influence on you as a young man who has a long road ahead, living between two worlds. Before I start, though, I should like to make a clarification: As I have mentioned on several occasions, I regard both Iran and United States as my homes now. United States has been a welcoming home to me all my adult life. Living here I have been able to honor and keep my Iranian heritage, culture, language, and customs, while learning about American people, culture, and customs. I no longer think Americans to be a nation separate from me. I am an Iranian-American.

I used to think just like you when I was younger, thinking that Iranians abroad thought their “vatan” was synonymous with “noon nokhodchi” and “chai dar estekan-e-kamar-barik,” lacking in substance and sounding shallow. I had come to US as a young student before the Iranian Revolution, hoping to finish my education and return home where my family and my ambitions awaited me. I was here when the Revolution happened and I couldn’t make any sense of the changes in Iran for a very long time. Like many others during the same period, I finished my education, started working in the US, and established a life for myself. I would have stayed on, I guess, if circumstances beyond my control hadn’t taken me back to Iran in the 1990’s. Those circumstances happened and I went to live in Iran for a number of years, initially going back and forth between the two countries and eventually settling in Iran for a few years. During my stay in Iran, I learned and re-learned a lot about Iran, its people, and its circumstances. I worked every day of those years with young Iranian engineers and professionals who wanted to learn about things they couldn’t learn in schools and on the job. I taught them English, documentation methodology, work ethics, teamwork, how to express themselves in groups, how to write reports, and most importantly, how to ask questions and be ready to answer questions, qualities fundamental to analytical thinking which Iranian software engineers are not sufficiently taught in college, as you know better than I do. I cannot adequately express the pain and joy I had in working with young Iranians. Any disappointment I have in the current state of affairs in Iran is because of those young Iranians and any hope I have in the future of Iran is because of those same young Iranians.

I also saw Iran for the first time as an adult. I saw it beyond its tourist attractions and my family there (my Khaleh o Khanbaji). I saw deeper than its “slogan-driven” appearance. I saw Iran’s hidden dimensions. I saw its lost treasures, things which I had not known about. I saw dark corners of Iranian minds, too, which made me sad and worried for Iran’s future, and I saw moments of sheer genius in how some Iranians approach humanity and their world. I read books, attended concerts and performances under gruesome circumstances, traveled its roads, and peeked in its corners. I have been to museums in Iran where I was the only person to walk in all day, I was told. I have been to people’s homes in many cities and villages in Iran, eating their simple meals and observing their awesome customs. I have participated in funerals, I have attended both village and lavish city weddings, I have spent a ridiculous number of hours waiting for a Haji to arrive at the airport, I have sat in the front seat of performances, and I have had to wait in line in pouring rain for hours to get a ticket to the worst seat in the house, feeling ever so accomplished!

I went back to live in Iran Siah Jan, trying to give something back. And what a good life it was, as I didn’t expect to receive so much in return, but I did! In the overall scheme of things, countries and nations remain and political systems and rulers change. Iran will always be Iran, and nothing can and will ever change that. Our identities will never be separated from it, and it will never be separated from us, whether we like it or not. My love for the place is as real as it gets. I can only hope that it is the same for everyone else, and most particularly you, my friend, as I wish you to experience the joy and hope that I continually feel about Iran.

Siah said...

wow thanks Nazy jaan what a great story. well, you invited me to play the game and I played.

It was nothing personal, don't take it personally. you didn't catch me in a bad mood, regardless of my mood that how I feel about my vatan, Iran.

I just wanted to say that I don't understand when people come here and all of a sudden they become vatan doost and start ah o oohing about how they love their vatan, and how Americans are cruel and racist and ridiculous.

those people who are "Iranian" when its good for them to be Iranian and are "American" when it benefits them to be American. those you have faravahar neck lesses while they sell overpriced vehicles to new Iranian (maybe you were lucky and have not seen them here)

next time I'll just leave corny comments :)

Nazy said...

برای شبیر عزیز:

زبان خامه ندارد سر بیان فراق
وگرنه شرح دهم با تو داستان فراق

دریغ مدت عمرم که بر امید وصال
بسر نرسید و نیامد بسر زمان فراق

سری که بر سر گردون بفخر می سودم
بر استان که نهادم بر آستان فراق

چگونه باز کنم بال در هوای وصال
که ریخت مرغ دلم پر در آشیان فراق

کنون چه چاره که در بحر غم بگردابی
فتاد زورق صبرم ز بادبان فراق

بسی نماند که کشتی عمر غرقه شود
ز موج شوق تو در بحر بیکران فراق

اگر بدست من افتد فراق را بکشم
که روز هجر سیه باد و خان و مان فراق

رفیق خیل خیالیم و همنشین شکیب
قرین آتش هجران و هم قران فراق

چگونه دعوی وصلت کنم بجان که شدست
تنم وکیل قضا و دلم ضمان فراق

ز سوز شوق دلم شد کباب دور از یار
مدام خون جگر میخورم ز خوان فراق

فلک چو دید سرم را اسیر چنبر عشق
ببست گردن صبرم بریسمان فراق

بپای شوق گر این ره بسر شدی حافظ
بدست هجر ندادی کسی عنان فراق

Nazy said...

Dear Siah:

Ha ha, first of all, you can never be corny! Second of all, I will see a corny remark from a mile away! I want to thank you for accepting my invitation and for writing.

I must have missed the mark completely, because my reply's intention was not to shut you up my friend! It was to tell you that I believe we must all do our best under the circumstances. Yes, I have seen those Iranians you talk about. Some Iranians I have seen have truly shamed me, too. Since I can't change anybody, I can only speak for myself, truthfully and honestly. You are doing the same, and for that, I appreciate you. Please don't leave corny comments! Your own comments are original and welcome all the time. I never take your wry sense of humor personally, and I hope that you won't take mine personally, either. You are a good egg Siah.

مانا said...

نازی جون مثل همیشه زیبا نوشتی.مرسی

jeerjeerak said...

wow, the conversation here is even better than the post itself. I kinda understand what Siah is trying to say...
Chashm Nazy joonam, I will write about this too, soon:)

nimshab said...

Thanks dear Nazy for your kind invitation. I did accept it :)

Nazy said...

Jeer Jan, Salam! Thanks for accepting the invitation. I fully understand what Siah is saying. I met a guy once who said when he participates in elections in the US, he never considers the effects of his candidate's viewpoints about Iran, as "I am finished with Iran," he said. When I saw him at the local Charshanbeh Soori gathering, the Nowrooz celebration and then at the annual Sizdah Bedar event with all those other Iranians, I had a hard time containng myself from walking over to him and asking with what part of Iran he was finished, only the lives of people inside Iran?! I'll come check your post out when you have it up. Be good azizam.

Nazy said...

Nimeh Shab Jan: Thank you for accepting the invitation. I have read your post. It is beautiful and honest. Thank you my friend. I'll see you on Saturday.

Nazy said...

Memorable Mana! Thank you for coming. Thank you for inviting me and my friends to the game. Be happy Mana Jan.

Mehran said...


Nazy said...

Thank you Mehran Jan, for accepting the invitation. I appreciate your candor in your post. You say your home is where you can "sparkle." I had never thought about that. It seems a fair enough expectation for someone who works hard to expect to "sparkle" sometimes. I'm thinking.

ا. ش said...

نازی عزیز می فرمایید که یک آمریکایی-ایرانی هستید. این جمله را پیش از این هم از شما شنیده ایم. اما معنی آن برای من خیلی واضح نیست. پاسخ به چند پرسش شاید به من کمک کند تا موضع شما را بهتر درک کنم: منافع ملّی کدام کشور برای شما اهمیت اولیه دارد؟ در این میان سهم شما از ایرانی بودن چیست و از آمریکایی بودن کدام است؟ در چه مواردی خودتان را ایرانی و در چه مواردی آمریکایی می دانید؟
البته صراحت شما در این جا قابل تقدیر است. پرسش من هم به این سبب است که جداً می خواهم نگرش شما را درک کنم

بانوي جشنواره زمستان said...

تو جهان پاک داری نه وطن به خاک داری

Alahazrat Haj Agha said...

جناب اִش عزيز من با اجازه نازي جواب سوال شما رو با نظر شخصي خودم مي دهم

براي ما كه طعم تلخ مهاجرت رو چشيديم واقعا سخت است جواب سوال به كجا تعلق داريم رو بدهيمִ ما ايراني ها آمريكا حالا به هر دليلي ايران رو ترك كرديم با اينكه عشق به ايران در بند بند وجودمون هست ولي در زير پرچم سرزمين جديدمان اعداي احترام كرديم ما براي اينكه در اقيانوس سرزمين جديدمان زنده بمانيم مي بايست شنا كردن را به روش اينجا ياد بگيريم, از خود اينها بشويمִ ما قلب هايمان ايراني است ولي زندگي روزانه مان و يا نقاب هاي روي صورتمان آمريكايي است و اين سرنوشت ماستִ آمريكا با تمام بدي ها وخوبي هايش قسمتي از وجود ما شده است ما همانقدر به ايران تعلق داريم به آمريكا هم تعلق داريمִ ما فرزند ايرانيم وهمسر آمريكاִ منافع هر دو خانواده برايمان مهم استִ

من اين شعري رو كه براي مراسم نوروز در دانشگاهمان نوشتم رو اينجا مي نويسم تا شايد بهتر بتواند منظورم را برساند

اي سرزمين هزار و يك شب

اي ايران

اگر چه امروز تو ديگر خانه من نيستي

ولي بدان كه نامت بر بند بند وجودم حك شده است

چون من

اصالت را از تخت جمشيد

صلابت را از دماوند

عشق را از بيستون

شجاعت را از كارون

استقامت را از نخل هاي هميشه سرفراز بم

و نجابت را از خليج هميشگي فارس آموختم

ما فرزندان شهرزاد قصه گو

گرچه قلب هايمان را در سرزمين آفتاب جا گذاشته ايم

ولي نوروزمان را باخود به خانه هاي جديدمان آورده ايم

نوروز براي ما يعني وطن

يعني تجديد عهد با حافظ و سعدي با ليلي و مجنون با خسرو شيرين

ما امشب در شهر صلح وعشق (سن فرانسيسكو) سنت هزار ساله پدرانمان را بجا مي آوريم

امشب اينجا جشن بهار است, امشب اينجا جشن دوباره نو شدن است امشب اينجا ايران است

مهران نوروز ٢٠٠٦ سن فرانسيسكو

Nazy said...

Dear Alef Shin:

You ask me hard questions again, making me think! Today in the US millions and millions of immigrant individuals live prosperously. They proudly call themselves "Italian Americans," "Irish Americans," and "Japanese Americans," clearly respecting their roots while feeling proud of their identities as Americns. Does there have to be "primary importance" associated with one country's interests versus another? Can I not love both countries? Can I not be vigillant about both? If you are from Abadan and live in Tehran, do you constantly have to make choices about which one you love more? Do you make distinctions about Abadan's interests versus Tehran's? Or do you accept that you were born and raised in Abadan, loving its culture, dialect, foods, and people, but living in Tehran which has its own attractions and interests and amenities for you? If you are from Abadan and live in Tehran and get married there and have children, where are your children from? Whose interests should become your children's "primary interests?"

I am an Iranian Alef Shin Jan. I was born and raised there into a very Iranian Moslem family. I owe so much of the fabric of my character and being to Iran, which continues to fill my thoughts, my senses, and my hopes. I am also an American, living in a country where I received an education and numerous years of work experience, had my children, and lived, making memories. I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had in this country, where people have been kind, generous, and loving to me, and the laws have protected my rights, giving me excellent opportunities to lead a productive and safe life as a citizen with equal rights.

You know by now that I love Persian literature, music, dance, and arts. You know less about my American cultural interests because I talk considerably less about them, but they are there. Not nearly as strong as my interests in everything Iranian, but they are there just the same, as I don't believe in living in an environment and isolating myself from its society by virtue of speaking only my mother tongue and keeping to my fellow countrymen. I get out and touch American life any chance I get. It is a good, respectable lifestyle from which I continue to learn. I do my best to be a good emigrant from Iran, promoting understanding and shared values of the two nations. Nobody mistakes me for anything but the Iranian that I have remained here, but I receive respect and acceptance just the same.

To answer the last part of your questions, I feel myself an Iranian and an American at all times. There is no other way for me, as I don't live an ignorant life for the most part. These days, for example, I am vigillant about what is happening with the war machine advocating a war against Iran. I am worried sick about it. I think about it all the time, as I wish no war on any country by any country, but most urgently, I want no war on Iran and most particularly by US. I do my best to speak against a war on Iran, first and foremost because I speak against any war, and more specifically because I don't want any harm to come to my Iran, its people, its youth, its children.

Did I answer your questions? If I haven't, I can try again tomorrow, as it is really late now and I must go to bed. Thanks for coming and for making me think, again. You are always welcome in my space my friend, as I continue to learn so much from you and your friendship and that of your young and intelligent friends. Be good Alef Shin.

Nazy said...

Thoughtful Neda Jan: Thank you. My brains are tired now. I am so grateful for your visits.

Nazy said...

Ala Hazrata: You grace my humble space with your majestic presence! Thank you so much for that heartfelt comment. Amazing. I wished I had heard you deliver it in person. Be good.

ا. ش said...

به اعلی حضرت حاجی آقای و نازی بسیار عزیز:
منافع این دو کشور هیچگاه هم سو نبوده. چطور ممکن است که منافع هر دو برایتان مهم باشد؟ آمریکا دولتی ملّی را در ایران ساقط کرد و حتی در دوره ی حکومت پهلوی نیز دوستدار پیشرفت واقعی ایران نبود و وقتی متوجه شد که قدرت و توان این کشور قدرت خودش را تهدید می کند، پیش از آن که شاه بتواند جایگاه خود را در میان عموم مردم از نو ساماندهی کند زیر پای او را خالی کرد (مراجعه بفرمایید به خاطرات فرح پهلوی و مرحوم فردوست و نیز اسناد به جا مانده از سفارت پیشین آمریکا در ایران). حتی برای لحظه ای هم نمی توانم تصور کنم چگونه ممکن است منافع ملّی این دو کشور با هم سازگار باشد.
پاسخ شما زا به دقت خواندم. می توانم درک کنم که چه می گویید. اما این پاسخ ممکن بود این گونه باشد که: ما جماعتی ایرانی هستیم که به هر دلیلی اینک در کشور آمریکا زندگی می کنیم. به مردم این کشور، سنت ها و آداب و آئین هایشان احترام می گذاریم، با آن ها نشست و برخاست داریم چون تمایزی در نهاد و سرشت بشری وجود ندارد. پس زیبایی ها را در هر جا که هست تقدیر می کنیم و با آن هم آوا می شویم. اما هر آن چه می کنیم برای آن است که روزی به دانش و شناخت و تجربه ی میهن مان بیافزائیم چون ما زاده ی ایرانیم و همواره قلبمان برای ایران می تپد. به فرزندمان توصیه می کنیم از هویت خود غافل نباشند و حتی اگر روزی شرایطی پدید آید به ایران بازگردند تا به آبادانی این کشور کمک کنند. ما به این کشور متعلق هستیم و در پیمان خدمت به آن، و همه ی علم و تجاربمان نیز در اختیار آن است. در این جا کسب می کنیم تا به هر طریق ممکن در اختیار هم وطنانمان در ایران بگذاریم و .....
ولی پاسخ شما این گونه نیست. من آن عهد و پیمانی که ضرورت ایرانی بودن و ایرانی ماندن است در پاسخ شما نمی بینم. آیا اساساً چنین پیمانی وجود دارد یا توهم من است؟
در خاتمه اجازه دهید نکته ای را روشن سازم. این صحبت ها به این معنی نیست که قصد تخطئه ی شما را دارم. فراتر از این که خود را متعلق به کجا می دانید، تعلق به آرمان های پاک انسانی مهم است. شما انسان های پاک و ساده زیستی هستید که شیوه و روشی خاص خود در زندگی اختیار کرده اید. خواستم کمی به آن شیوه ی زندگی نیز بیاندیشیم، وگرنه مهمتر از هر چیز نهاد و باطن شماست. همین که به همچو منی با چنین افکار کهنه و غبارگرفته اجازه ی صحبت می دهید نشانه ی کمال حسن نیت و بزرگواری است. همیشه دوست داشته ام مهمترین رکن از باور هر ایرانی در هر نقطه ای پایبندی او به ساختن کشورش باشد؛ به هر روش و طریق ممکن. اما بار نگاه مهاجرین عزیز ما به این مقوله دلگرم کننده نیست. می دانم که حرف های افرادی چون من این روزها هیچ خریداری ندارد و شاید حتی به دور از بسیاری واقعیت های رایج موجود باشد

اعلي حضرت حاج آقا said...

جناب اִ ش بزرگوار شما امشب خواب را از سر ما برده ايدִ من با علاقه اي كه به شما دارم و عاشق نوشته هايتان هستم امشب مكاتبه با شما را به استراحت ترجيح داده ام

استاد بگذاريد مسئله را طوري ديگر بگوييم

اولا ما عاشق ايران هستيم, ما نفسمان به ايران بند استִ لحظه اي نيست كه به فكر خانه مان نباشيم, باور كنيد كه الان اين ها را براي شما مي نويسم اشك در چشمانم حلقه زده است چون دلتنگ خانه ام, دلم براي آسمان پر ستاره كرمان تنگ شده است دلم براي بازار مس گرها تنگ است دلم زيره پلو مي خواهد ولي چه مي شه كرد راهي بود كه خود انتخاب كردم

دوما سياست هاي خصمانه آمريكا در مقابل ايران براي هيچ كس پوشيده نيستִ چه از زمان كودتا چه از زمان زير پا خالي كردن شاه, و چه از زمان جنگ درحمايت از صدام, ولي شما فكر مي كنيد ريشه اين خصمانه بودن چيست؟ چرا آمريكا در مقابل ايرلند, ژاپن, يونان و يا ايتاليا چنين سياست هايي ندارد؟

مهاجران ايتاليايي, يهودي و يوناني در آمريكا با تشكيل گروهاي متفاوت خودشان را آمريكايي خوانندن و با اتحاد چنان وارد هسته اجتماعي سياسي آمريكا شدن كه در تمام محافل سياسي آمريكا نماينده دارن و خود قانون گذار شدن به اين علت آمريكا حتي جرات ندارد به اين كشور ها بگويد بالاي چشمتان ابرو هستִ

ما هم بايد چنين كاري را بكنيم بايد وارد عرصه هاي سياسي شويم و باشناساندن فرهنگ عميق ايراني سو تفاهم ها را بين دو كشور از بين ببريم و اولين شرط چنين كاري آمريكايي بودن ما هستִ

من فكر مي كنم كه اگر در زمان دولت اصلاح طلب ايران ما ايراني ها در آمريكا چنين قدرتي را در مجالس قانون گذاري آمريكا داشتيم خيلي از مشكلات امروز حل شده بود

گذشت زماني كه ايراني ها به فرنگ مي رفتن كه درس بخوانند و بعد به ايران برگردند و به كشور خدمت كنند, چون امروز سطح علمي دانشگاه هاي ايران آنقدر بالاست كه به راحتي با كشور هاي غربي رقابت مي كندִ امروز ايران به نيروي علمي ما احتياج ندارد بلكه به سفيران فرهنگي خود در تمام دنيا احتياج داردִ و اولين قدم براي اين كاراينست كه ما در خانه هاي جديدمان صاحبخانه شويم تا حرفمان به كرسي بنشيند

يكي از مهم ترين دلايل اينست كه خود را آمريكايي مي دانيم خدايي ناكرده نمي خواهيم بگوييم كه شرم داريم ايراني خالي باشيم

Anonymous said...

Dear nazy
thank you for your nice invition
I 'm going to write about that but just give me more time.
Absolutely there are a lot of nice cimments here, but I will write!

ا. ش said...

اعلی جان عزیزم، این کشور به شما نیاز دارد بسیار بیش از آن چه تصورش را می کنید. کشور به به توانایی و دانایی شما نیاز دارد. اما من راه و منش شما را محترم می شمارم و نمی خواهم خاطر ظریف یک ایرانی دور از وطن را بیش از این آزرده سازم. هر جا هستید عزیزید و دوستتان دارم

Ehsan said...

Thanks for the invitation Nazi. I will do my best to post something as truthful as I can in response. An sorry I cam to notice the invitation so late.

Nazy said...

Alef Shin-e-Azizam:

I don't see where our disagreement is! I believe that all Iranians should go back and help Iran if they can. I have also "practiced what I preached" when I went to live and work in Iran for close to 14 years at different times. My children were born in Berkeley, California, but they consider themselves Iranians. The poem I have posted of my son was written before the "Vatan" game came about, which of course wouldn't have mattered that much to him anyway, as he doesn't really read my blog or more importantly, my children are not the type to ever do anything to impress me! If he had let me put his poem up as my post the other night, I wouldn't have written anything myself, as the poem would have been sufficient to show how our family regards Iran. Alas he only agreed to it last night!

I so agree with you that Iran does need its professionals and scientists and intellectuals and businessmen, to help it stay alive and thrive and excel. That's why I tell all young people in Iran to go abroad and to get education and experiences if they can, but to make sure they return to Iran and to help Iran through their learnings.

But, since none of us talked about this, Alef Shin Jan, perhaps it is time for us to briefly talk about "the elephant in the room," as the English expression goes. Nobody is talking about why and how we all ended up on this side of the planet, and what has kept many Iranians from going back. No one is talking about the "Brain Drain" which has plagued our country for the past thirty years, and most profoundly in the recent years. We have all had to adjust some of our idealism and to seek more pragmatic approaches to the realities of our lives away from Iran. It isn't that we have "replaced" Iran with another country, Alef Shin Jan. It is that Iran could not keep us employed, engaged, educated, and prosperous, so we left (or never went back), and hence we built the "most highly educated immigrant community" in the United States, according to recent studies. Are we any less Iranian because of it? Like I said, I can't talk about others, but for me, the answer is no. I am as Iranian as I would have been if I were living in Iran right now.

Be good Alef Shin Jan.

Nazy said...

Bayram Jan! Welcome back! Yes, please get over your jetlag and get to it! I look forward to seeing you on Saturday my friend.

Nazy said...

Ehsan Jan, you're not late at all! Thanks for accepting to join the game. I look forward to reading your post soon. See you this weekend!

serendip said...

Nazy jan: I have to think about this one. Give me time.

serendip said...

Nazy Jan; This is from mollah.blogspot.com and I pretty much agree with him about vatan:
وطن من کجاست؟

وطن با زادگاه فرق دارد. زادگاه جایی است که در آنجا بدنیا آمدیم و یا بزرگ شدیم. ایران زادگاه من است ولی وطنم نیست.

وطن جایی است که بدان تعلق داری. بدان افتخار میکنی و او نیز به تو افتخار میکند.
وطن جایی است که برایش حاضری جان دهی و او نیز به تو جان می بخشد.

وطن من آنجا نیست که جایی برای ماندن و نفس کشیدن ندارد.
وطن من آنجا نیست که جرات نزدیک شدن به او را هم٬ گرفته‌اند.
وطن من آنجا نیست که وقتی در آنجا بودم مثل یک بیگانه با من رفتار میشد و وقتی از آنجا خارج شدم به چشم یک دشمن.
وطن من آنجا نیست که فقط مرا به هنگام جنگ و جانفشانی میخواست.
وطن من آنجا نیست که بین شهروندانش مرز خودی و غیر خودی کشیده باشند.
وطن من آنجا نیست که من را غیر خودی بدانند.
وطن من آنجا نیست که فرزندانش را بخاطر نوشتن یک مقاله به زندان بیاندازند و مجبور به اعتراف به هرچه کار نکرده کنند.
وطن من آنجا نیست که بیسوادانش حکمران آن باشند و دانشمندانش در سرزمینهای بیگانه آواره و غریب.

وطن من جایی است که مرا بعنوان یک انسان بپذیرد و آزادی‌های انسانی را محترم شمرد.
وطن من جایی است که برای رشد و ترقی‌ام مانع‌تراشی نکند و سد راهم نشود.
وطن من جایی است که در آن آزاد باشم چگونه زندگی کنم٬ چگونه لباس بپوشم٬ چه کتابی را بخوانم٬ چه فیلمی را نگاه کنم٬ چه موزیکی را گوش دهم٬ چه دین یا مذهبی را داشته باشم و یا نداشته باشم.
هرجای این کره خاکی که با من رابطه انسانی ایجاد کند وطن من است و انسانهایی که احترام و رفتار متقابل دارند هموطن من.

ایران زادگاه من است ولی وطنم نیست. آرزو میکنم و تلاش میکنم که ایران دوباره وطن‌ام شود. وطن همه ایرانیان شود. با هر عقیده و مرام.
آن روز دور نیست.
اینها حرف عقلم بود. بگذارید یک جمله هم از دلم بگویم:
با همه تلخی‌ها و کمبودها و سیاهی‌ها و در به دری‌ها باز ایران را دوست دارم. به یاد او نفس می‌کشم و بهترین رویاهایم را در او و با او می‌بینم.


ا. ش said...

نازی عزیز از پاسخ شما ممنونم. حالا من می توانم بهتر درک کنم که منظور شما از ایرانی بودن چیست، اما هنوز نمی توانم بفهمم که چرا خود را یک آمریکایی نیز خطاب می کنید؟ به نظرم در این خصوص هنوز پاسخ درخوری داده نشده، هرچند شاید شما گفته اید و من از درک آن عاجزم.
نکته ای را هم از سر ضرورت باید اشاره کنم. این تمایز بین وطن و زادگاه دردناک ترین انتزاعی است که تاکنون با آن برخورد کرده ام، انتزاعی ساخته و پرداخته ی روشنفکر امروز ایرانی. حتی یک متن در تاریخ کهن فرهنگ و اندیشه ی ایران وجود ندارد که به چنین تمایزی اشاره شده باشد. و این در حالی است که ایران تاریخی سرشار از هجوم و غارت داشته، از ترک و عرب بگیرید تا افغان ها و مغول ها. همه جا صحبت از ازخود گذشتگی و شکیبایی و درایت و پاک باختگی بوده، ملامت ها را دیدن و برای اصلاح آن قدم به قدم با ایثار تلاش کردن. حالا آن تفکر تبدیل شده به تمایز وطن و زادگاه. با این گونه تمایزهای کاذب به دنبال اثبات چه هستند؟

serendip said...

Mr. Alef, Shin: The concept of Zadgah vs vatan is not a made up concept by intellectuals. It's an ephiphany, a devine revelation; It orginates from the heart and seeing humanity as one without any borders; all living on one planet and all connected to the source. We are all citizens of the world. The concept of Nation-state in our history as homosapiens is a very new one. And in my opinion, it has caused many wars and arbitarary division that can be exploited by corrupt religious leader and polticians alike; divide and conquer has been the motto of elite who amass fortunes at the expense of sending others to do the conquering for them.



serendip said...

Imagine by John Lennon

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Nazy said...

Dear Serendip: Thank you for coming and thanks for sharing a similar representation of your feelings. I understand what that blogger is saying, the unfulfilled expectations of so many Iranians. You may have heard a poem in the past, part of which says:

وطن آنجاست کازاری نباشد
کسی را با کسی کاری نباشد

However, I find it amusing that so many people say that where they were born is not their homeland! I love Iran precisely because I was born in it! Why else would we have any nostalgia about the place? I mean "Zadgah" is a dear and special place, because we opened our eyes into it. I hold that leaving one's "zadgah" is one of the hardest things anyone will ever have to do.

This has been a most energizing discussion Serendip! Thanks for joining it my friend.

Nazy said...

And a beautiful, timeless piece of music from John Lennon to eternity, Serendip. Thank you.

Nazy said...

Alef Shin Jan: I appreciate your concern about seeing brand new definitions developed by Iranias living abroad. Perhaps you underestimate the pain Iranians in diaspora have had to endure to make sense of the choices they have made. Everyone is trying to find solace, everyone is trying to find an answer to the situation that has been haunting them. Many are homesick, lost at times. Everyone tries to make sense of what is at times senseless, the parents that die without seeing their children for the last time, the whole generation of nieces and nephews that grow up and start their own families without having ever met this aunt or uncle who lives so far away. New definitions and concepts are developed to help some people cope. Though I my not subscribe to the same definitions, I do understand others' need for having and hanging on to them.

The "American" reference in my identity comes from the realities of my life abroad. Too many Iranians have become US citizens but never talk about it to other Iranians. Many see Americans and never talk about their Iranian identities, calling themselves "Persians" or from other countries of the world. Those omissions and fudgings of truth don't change the facts. I have found that accepting our choices and circumstances empowers us. Denying our circumstances weakn and diminish us. I am a US citizen. By accepting and announcing that choice proudly, I am not denouncing Iran. I am merely being honenst with my personal choices. Choices which have offered me numerous opportunities for personal growth and experience. To leave the word "American" out of my identity, as many others do, I have been less than honest. I have been related to this country for close to three decades. Any attempt to eliminate that piece of information from my identity would be disingenious. That's all it's about, Alef Shin.

This has been an invigorating, yet draining post to handle! The range of emotions and issues have been vast. I would like to thank you for having stirred us to speak up and to share our opinions. Be good A.Sh.

Ehsan said...

Dear Nazi,
As you had wished, I wrote on this topic and here is the link:

serendip said...

nazy jan: Bravo! please write your comment to Alef shin on Iranian.com, if you have time. Have a fabulous one, fabulous.