10/02/2007

Accidental Emigrants?

We all know about famous and successful Iranians in our midst. CEO’s and VP’s of big corporations, successful doctors, artists, high-ranking government employees, writers, and gifted scientists, there is always some Iranian somewhere doing something noteworthy for us to feel proud. As a community, however, we tend to lack a common forum and voice. We gather around events and people, but never around issues.
We are, for the most part, law abiding, tax-paying citizens who are assets to our communities, but we tend to shy away from American politics, be apathetic to political developments, and disinterested in local elections. Why is that? Is it because over the past three decades each of us has been catapulted into this new land initially as a “temporary measure,” which turned into a serious, unplanned, and permanent reality? Is it because we see ourselves as “accidental emigrants,” not sure what to do now that we have stayed and have gone on to have children, businesses, and careers here?
Whatever the reasons, the view from the outside in is that we are a fragmented community, unattached and unmotivated to form lobbies to change laws and conditions in our favor. We live in the US now, respecting and loving our new country, abiding by its laws. But we also love and care for Iran and what happens to it and to its people.
Whatever we each think about the Iranian regime, we certainly wish no harm to people of Iran. Then why are we silent when we hear the war drums played non-stop on American media, depicting Iranians as cockroaches, talking about plans to simultaneously hit 10,000 targets in Iran, or speculating casually about striking Iranian nuclear facilities without any reference to the fact that those plants are now located in densely populated areas of Iran, striking each of which will be tantamount to a human catastrophe?
We can and should do more to bring attention to ourselves as a peaceful and peace loving community with intelligence, integrity, and heart. We must find ways to get together and show our strength as a viable, educated, and dedicated populace. Staying silent and indifferent, we will never be heard, recognized, or respected in our proper and deserved position. Accidental emigrants or a community dedicated to a life of integrity in the US, while ensuring a proper and humane approach to a country and a nation we left behind, but will never stop loving—the choice is ours and never as crucial as now.
This
piece was published in Iranian.com today. I also have a blog post there today, reporting on the internet event. Some of you may know that a Robert Gates aide was quoted yesterday to have said: "I hate all Iranians." My post title there is "I love all Iranians."

14 comments:

Ehsan said...

I couldn't agree more. We might have political differences on the Iranian issue. But when it gets to domestic issues and the rights of individuals and minorities, I guess we can and we should be unified. Nothing is accomplished in this country without some political lobbying power.

Siah said...

Hi Nazy jaan I read your post and I'll come back to write a comment soon

you know me said...

Nazi joon, salam, this is Helaleh Farahbakhsh, I saw you in the bloggers’ ceminar in UCSF, it was great meeting you in person and thanks again for your kind and genuine emotions for Ali and all the efforts in your writings. I have been checking your blog regularly and really enjoy the way you write and what you write! Hope to see more of you in the near future.
Here is the blog I started after I heard about Ali’s story, and the experiences I went through, …
www.firstnightmoon.blogspot.com

PS._my email address is helaleh7@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Hello from Europe,

I came to know that one of the greatest problems of iranian at this moment is the role or participation of women in Iran or out of Iran. There are some ladies but still it's not enough to change any law. In Iran it's worse.
In Africa or south America the things change fast and soon. Why first this regime reamained Because as usuall the laidies are passif and they just waitin for men. This ie really related to our cultur and and role of ladies in a society.
Then we left phisically but our heart remain behind. I had chillien friends that they lived the same situation but now they enjoy from their country we are paralised because it's very long 30 years is a life.
We were young the moment we needed affection we did not care about the society where we lived. Do they respect your Origine do they respect your religion ?
There are some blacks in this europe they are present but hidden.
They are the targets of all the racisems what they have to do more ?

Anonymous said...

سلام

وای چقدر قشنگ مینویسی..........بهت افتخار میکنم عزیزم
مرضیه

Nazy said...

Salam Ehsan Jan. We need to keep the dialogue alive, adding participants to it, until we can figure out the way forward. All other immigrant communities have traveled the same path in the US history, until they have found their deserved position in the society, in city politics, and on national seats. Though I value and respect our history, I'm not one to romanticize our history too much, demanding respect and social position merely for our thousands year old history. I know for a fact, however, that MIT did a research last year the results of which showed Iranian community in the US to be the most highly educated immigrant population of America. We can keep Cyrus The Great in our hearts and minds, but we can take this demographic fact to the bank! I believe with awareness Iranians can find their deserved position through representation in time. Already, there are Iranians active in local politics as city supervisors and mayors. In time there will be more. We should try and get in the game if we want the results changed in our favor.

Nazy said...

Salam Siah Jan, I'm waiting...

Nazy said...

Salam Helaleh-ye Azizam. It was good to meet you at the gathering. My heart goes out to your brother and to his family and to yours. I didn't know you when I wrote for Ali Farahbakhsh from my heart. I hope he is released soon and that he returns to his beautiful daughter and wife. I went and briefly looked at your blog. It is full of emotion and intelligence azizam. I will come and visit again. I wish you the best my friend.

Nazy said...

Dear Anonymous From Europe:

Thank you very much for coming and for your thoughtful comment. I often tell young Iranian women that the road to a better future for Iran passes through the hands, hearts, and minds of Iranian mothers. Iranian women can and should raise children who are respectful of genders, human rights, and environment.

I know we get impatient with the slow pace of change sometimes. We must remember that achieving awareness and freedom is not through taking a pill at night and waking up to a better life the next day. Nor is it through arrogant outsiders who believe they can "export" or "force feed" their perceived freedom to other nations. It is true building a robust, deep, and wide foundation of culture, understanding, and education. This does take time, perhaps longer than our lifetimes, but it is surely attainable. Already, there are significant signs that people of Iran have taken small but permanent steps towards becoming an astute and well-grounded nation.

Dialogues and thought processes must prevail, and in time, true and lasting changes will take place.

Thank you again for coming and I hope to see you here again.

Nazy said...

Salam Marzieh Jan.

Thank you for the compliment. Many people have commented to me, and I agree, that my posts are not the most unique part of my blog. Yes, I do write them from my heart, but the really valuable thing that happens in my blog is in the comments section, where my readers come and share their important thoughts and feelings. As you will see, sometimes the comments are longer and more detailed than the post itself, which only serves to provoke thought and stimulate the discussion. I hope to be able to see your participation in the future posts. Ghorbane ghadam-e shoma.

Siah said...

Hi Nazy Jaan, I asked your question from a friend of mine "asghar" who also has a blog, and its his response, (his opinions doesn't necessarily show my beliefs, however asghar express his feelings very aggressively but he has a good heart)

Asghar said:
We Iranians shy away from politics because we already know that we make shitty politician, one can barely name 5 good politicians in our many thousand years of glorious history.

We are good lawyers and CEO's and grocery store owners and car dealers because we already know how to care about our own benefits and it doesn't have anything to do with politics.

that was his answer to why we shy away from politics, but he also mentioned if an Iranian has the guts to run for an office here he will support him for sure.

Shabe ahyatoon ro ham tasliat migam

(I guess you and your gang should start a group to support iran and we all will happily join, seriously.
my problem with the existing iranian groups here is that they all get support from jomhouri eslami)

Nazy said...

Salam Siah Jan:

Thanks for coming back and for conveying Asghar's points of view. There is a profound difference between what is a genetic trait and what is an acquired skill. As a nation, and you must forgive my gross generalization, we are not very good at teamwork. We are simply never trained for it. While our training as professionals gives us immense leverage as solo fighters, in our natural habitat we are not very good team players. Teamwork is an acquired skill, Siah Jan. One must be taught first, before he or she can perform it. Once we are taught, we become excellent team members, my experience tells me. You can see numerous instances of this where Iranians anywhere in the world have joined a team in their workplace, many times proving additional leadership skills which would make them team leaders. Politics is a team activity. If we overcome our apathy, and the requisite training and will are present, Iranians will make good politicians, just like they have made good engineers, doctors, store managers and car dealers.

But the point I was trying to raise was that we must first acknowledge our strength as a significant community with a lot of inherent power. I don't actually have any political aspirations personally. If we stick together and demand our rights as tax-paying, decent citizens of this country, I'm sure in time there will be plenty volunteers to enter the realm of politics to promote our cause. That was my point.

As always, you are refreshing and thought provoking. Be good Siah Jan.

SERENDIP said...

Nazy jan: Let's start working on our goals, objectives, and mission statement. Before doing that we need to the SWOT analysis, right?

Nazy said...

Thanks for your vote of confidence, Serendip! Yours is the right attitude, though I am still baffled about what to do. We must continue to think and be alert. It's serious this time. After your short break, we can start something. Be good Serendip.