All that is left is anger
By Anne Irani Abadani
February 18, 2004
I know that I am inviting angry and hate-filled
response from some of the readers of Iranian.com.,
if you publish this. I don't care, though. Nothing
can hurt me
or my children, anymore than we've already been hurt. So
please, print the nasty and hurtful comments which they will
send. Let them tell me that I deserve to have my children spurned. Let
them call me a whore and a bitch for having the nerve to
marry a foreign Muslim. Let them say what they wish, for
no Iranian can hurt me anymore. As far as I'm concerned,
the moment that my baba passes away, Iran will be dead to
me as well.
Iranians, the good ones anyway, need to know
the truth about how our country
rejects some of its most innocent little ones. The
truth must be told about our nation's leaders who
hide behind our religion and hurt little children... little Persian
falsely claiming that Islam sanctions such behavior. Any society should
be judged on how it treats its weakest and most helpless members...its children.
Let the good people of Iran be the judge.
There are few things in my life that
are more precious to me than my beloved Iran. Our religion,
our language, our poetry, our music, our history, our food, our
love of family and friends... all of these things tie our hearts,
minds and souls to the land of our birth. I, however,
have come to a difficult and painful decision in my life, and that
is to soon bid Iran and everything Iranian goodbye forever.
would I do such a treacherous and ignoble thing you may be wondering? The
answer is simple: My beloved Iran has made me choose between it
and something which is more precious than it to me... my children.
I spent the first nineteen years of
my life growing up in the most special place in the world... Abadan. Although
I am well into mid-life now and I have travelled the world over,
no place that I have visited or will ever vist that is more special
than my childhood home...Braim.
Although all the people
that I grew up with are scattered throughout the world now and
the places that are so much a part of me like Roya Girls High School,
and the Golestan Club are now faded memories, I still often dream
sweet dreams at night of my youth in Braim.
How then is it that I would willingly turn my back on our country,
our heritage and our people?
I am not the one that has
rejected Iran, but to the contrary, it is Iran that has rejected
me... and mine, just as it has rejected the children of tens
of thousands of Iranian women who find themselves in my situation. My
husband is a Muslim... my husband is a Haji, no less; One would
think that these are two criteria of importance to the current
masters of our nation, but sin of all sins he is not an Iranian
and consequently according to Iranian law neither are my children.
Is this just? Is this right? When an Iranian
man marries a foreign woman, not only are his
half-Iranian children granted Iranian nationality, but so is the
foreign wife. When an Iranian woman marries a foreigner,
not only is her husband considered an alien in the eyes of Iran's
masters, but so too are her children. Please tell me
if I am wrong, but the Iranian DNA contribution to the children
of a mixed marriage is only 50% regardless of whether the Iranian
parent is male or female.
I have been told that this distinction, this inequity
(the difference in the legal status between the children of Iranian
men and the
children of Iranian women) is based upon Islamic law, but when
I have asked Iranian authorites to show me in the Holy Quran where
God has decreed such a distinction, or where in the Hadeeth of
the Prophet (PBUH) such a distinction has been ordered on Muslim
women, the authorities have not been willing to accomodate my request.
reason is that there is no such Islamically sanctioned discrimination
against women or their children. It boils down to Iran's
leaders punishing Iranian women for having the nerve to marry a
man from outside our nation, even if he is a Muslim man. All
the talk of Muslim brotherhood is a load of bull. Iranian
leaders don't give a damn about Muslim brotherhood. What
they want to do is control Iranian women and if they can't do they
that, then they hurt them in the worst way possible....by legally
rejecting their offspring.
My children, who have visited Iran more
times than they can count, speak, read and write Farsi as well
as their father's lanaguage. They
love Norooz, Hafez, Googoosh, Chelo Kabab, Doogh and everything
else that I have exposed them too over the years. They
feel every bit as much Iranian as I do, notwithstanding the color
of thier passport.
I have endured the indignity over the years
of having to have my father in Tehran formally invite his own grandchildren
to visit him, through the Foreign Ministry in Tehran.
This has been a hardship on him because he is quite old and must
go fill out a lot of cumbersome paperwork each time I want to visit
with my children. Moreover, with each visit
I have to obtain costly toursit visas for my children, since Iran
regards them as "foreigners".
An Iranian father of half-Persian children never
suffers such indignities because his children are considered Iranian "citizens" and
given Iranian Passports. Such a father neither has to
have a male relative inside Iran invite his children for a visit, nor
does he have to pay for tourist visas. It matters not
where he is traveling from, Tulsa, Tahiti, or Timbuktu, he simply
goes to the airport with his children and they fly away to the
Land of Fars.
After accepting so much humiliation for so many
years, I have decided that I won't accept Iran's harsh and cold
treatment of my children
anymore. My children don't deserve to be hurt by the
country that they love so much. Why, you may be wondering,
am now complaining? Well, I will tell you.
my husband and I visited the Iranian Embassy in the country in
which we live to get a Tourist Visa so my son could fly Iran to
spend two weeks with his Baba Bozorg during his Spring Break from
school. Of course, my father had completed all the
necessary documents weeks before in Tehran, so there was no trouble
getting my son's visa, with the payment of over $100 of course.
While there I asked the Consular Officer how my
children could visit Iran when the time comes that my baba will
no longer be around
to "invite" his grandchildren. The Consular
Officer said that any male relative in Iran could issue the "invitation" at
the Foreign Ministry. I then told him that I was an
only child, as was my father and that my mother only had sisters
living. He said that it would be difficult to issue
a Visa in such circumstances.
I then asked him if I
could "invite" my children and he said, "No, you
are a female". I responded, "A female yes,
but more importantly, an Iranian citizen." He said
that under the circumstances, I would probably be allowed to issue
the "invitation", but that I would have to travel alone
to Tehran to complete the paperwork for my children and then they
would most likely be able to follow me after 4-6 weeks.
Then, I asked the Consular Officer if my children
would be able to visit my grave in the future if I were buried
in Iran? (I have
always told my husband that should I die before he does to please
take me back home to where I was born, even if it means that our
final resting places are not together. My husband has
promised that he will do this if he is able.) The
Officer said that my children would never be allowed to visit
my grave since they are "foreigners" and there would
be no left to invite them to Iran.
My blood began to boil. I sharply
and curtly reminded the gentleman that my children had 1000 generations
of Persians flowing through their veins. He calmly stated that
Iranian women who marry outsiders deserve the harshness of the
law. When I asked him why Iranian men married to foreigners don't
deserve the harshness of the law, he said, "That's easy, they're
This man's comments cut me to the core. I understand
now that Iran will never accept my children. I have invested so
much of myself,
and my time in trying to develop my children's pride
in being Iranian...in our langauge, our customs, our music, our
literature...everything. It has all been for nothing...just wasted
time and empty effort. Our nation will never accept my children
or the children of the tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands,
of Iranian mothers in my situation.
I have cried a river tears
since my encounter with the Iranian Embassy officer, but now I
have no more tears left. All that is left is anger. Anger that
my country and my countrymen would hurt my dear children. Anger
that my Persian blood which courses through my children's
bodies is not Persian enough for Iran's Islamic masters. Anger
that Iranian men married to foreigners do not suffer the same indignities
that we Iranian women are subjected to. Anger that I won't know
how to answer when my children want to know why Iran rejects them.
Anger that my children have develped a deep love for a society
that won't love them back.
Goodbye Iran! You don't deserve the love of my children or the
children of the many other Iranian mothers like me.
Goodbye Iran! I love my children more than I love
Goodbye Iran! You have forced me to choose.
Goodbye Iran! They win and you lose.
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