Um-ree-ka-yee = American
Iranians have had a love affair with America for over seven decades. If you’re Umreekayee, you will receive the most generous, hospitable and joyous reception almost anywhere in Iran!!
I know, it’s hard for most Americans to believe this. I’ve had to explain this to everyone I know for over forty years. The best reaction to this hospitality was Rick Steve’s in his travels to Iran.
It has stayed true through many of America’s foreign policies that has slowed Iran in its progress into twenty-first century. Perhaps starting first with the toppling of a beloved leader in Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh. He was a great thinker, lawyer, and the great citizen of Iran who nationalized Iran’s oil after at least four decades of the British sucking the oil out of the country for almost nothing. He was democratically elected in his country by his own people as the prime minister of Iran and held office from 1951–53 until the British and the CIA carried on a coup d’etat that overthrew his administration. After what we’ve gone through with the potential meddling of Russians and others in our elections, I think most Americans would understand the depth of loss which was felt by the progressive Iranians of the time. My father-in-law and my own dad were two young men at the time, one a lawyer and the other a mechanical engineer. They both came from typical traditional Iranian families enmeshed in Islam and family. Both were supported and admired for pulling themselves through their respective universities as exceptional students. Both continued their education in Europe and America as they knew they would find more knowledge there. They both returned to Iran to practice and felt the loss of their Democracy with what happened to Mossadegh and his administration in 1953. They both knew there was nothing anyone could do.
So is the plight of being a ‘third world’ country.
If you practice the core values of a democratic way of living, any meddling of any country in another nation’s health and wealth is undemocratic and manipulative.
Liberty, equality and justice. These are supposed to be the core values of democratic nations. Not just for themselves, but also for helping other nations find these values. These are values that develop from within cultures, they cannot ever be imported by others. Manipulative politicians will always create narratives that will somehow make a case to their people that ‘others’ can’t value liberty, equality and justice like they do. As if somehow, they are the big brother and know better. We’ve witnessed this with our policies all over the Middle East. Not only have we not brought liberty, equality and justice to these countries, we’ve also destroyed their resources, leaving them destitute. Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria are just a few examples.
Iranians still love all the Umreekayees who enter their land!
Even today. A dear friend of mine was in Tehran while I was there last month. She’s from Wisconsin and has fallen in love with the people there. Their reception of her has been generous while the country is falling apart due to extraordinary harsh sanctions on their country.
Just to give you a sense of how their money has lost its value, last year when I entered Iran in April, the trade value of my dollar was $4,000 toman. When I left Tehran in May it was $5,000.00 toman. This year, when I entered Tehran on April 9th, my one dollar was $14,000.00 toman!!
Iranians have loved America through our media’s depiction of Iranians as barbarian-hostage taking nation. Indeed for 444 days 52 American hostages were taken in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. It was an act that was deeply regrettable by so many Iranian citizens. However the conditions of that country were explosive and the new revolutionaries committed much harsher crimes than taking hostages. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed execution style. Amir-Abbas Hoveyda who was Iran’s Prime Minister at the time could have left Iran. He stayed and turned himself in. He stated that he would volunteer any information and that he had nothing to hide. He had a sham trial and was executed. There was no reflection on what was going on. Much happened quickly and human beings sat as judges and acted as an extraordinarily unforgiving god. It was a very dark chapter in Iran’s history. In the meantime there were regular citizens who helped many to get away and foreigners took refuge amongst these citizens.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m not a politician. I am above all a mother and a community builder for my family. I am an avid observer and a truth seeker. I have worked hard for most of my life to look at all sides of events when it matters to me. I’ve found this to be a most challenging task when it comes to Iranian-American political relationship while living in Minnesota. I’m not interested in politics, however, I am interested in showing my American friends the other side that often isn’t shown mostly because it is an impossible task in America. We must have immigrants from over eighty different countries here in America. How are Americans supposed to know the history of each and every one of these countries? So, I will try to share the stories and real events that make the history of Iranian-American dance a bit more transparent.
It also makes it hard to make an enemy of a people when you get to know them, their heart and know their aspirations!!