I cannot stop thinking of it. I cannot focus on work and life. I haven’t experienced this feeling in a long time. Feeling powerless, lost, and confused.
In my desperate search for passion and purpose in life, I have always debated on the famous question.
What are you most angry about in the world?
Unfortunately, I could never stick to one topic. So this question alone could not determine the basis of my future interactions with the outside world. But, it surely invited me to reflect on the topics that I am sensitive to. It varies from child labor, work environment, to freedom of thoughts.
But among all these different subjects there is always a word in my mind. Iran. As an Iranian, I am mad at the world for treating me the way it does. I am exhausted to find myself in situations where I have to justify my identity. I feel powerless sometimes to undo everything media has left on people’s minds. The stereotypes that are far from being a reality. We speak Farsi and not Arabic. Women can drive in Iran. We have coffee back home! and we don’t ride camels! Starting my career years ago in a traditional American corporate promised me of the dark days ahead.
There is always an unfair inner voice which asks me to shine more than others because of my background. And that is what I am angry about in the world. Like many other Iranians, I am the worst critic of Iranian culture and politics. I am not one of those blind lovers who sees nothing but the beauty, and perfection. But 10 years living in Canada taught me two lessons. There are so many things we have to change in our culture and mindsets back home. And there are so many point of views in the motherland that not only we need to cherish and be proud of but we have to be the ambassadors to spread them around.
So as I am growing more and more into an Iranian-Canadian identity, I feel more blessed for the baggage and the history I am carrying on my shoulders. Yes, It might be a burden sometimes. But I couldn’t have the variety of experiences, and the diversified stories not being an immigrant.
These days I am striving to redefine my identity in a new career and lifestyle. But in the last couple of days I am challenged by the American government to reflect on my Iranian identity. The whole emotion turmoils in the last 24 hours reminded me and my husband of the book “Maus”!!
In different chapters of this comic book Jewish families during the Nazi era are struggling to imagine their new realities. Some are in denial and some are shocked. But in no time they are adapting themselves to a lifestyle much worse than their imaginations. Yes, we are shocked and we are drowned in disbelief, but we all know what humanity is capable of doing. So I guess it is better to refresh our memories. And to study our history lessons to have a better understanding of what we are going through. Meanwhile, I can’t stop repeating Elton John’s song “I am Still Standing”!