My generation

None of us had mentors, teachers, role models, or leaders


My generation
by Nazy Kaviani

In his photo essay entitled “Bacheh enghelaabi” (Revolutionary child) Jahanshah Javid says: ..”many Iranian youths today commonly turn to their parents and say: ‘We are suffering because YOU made a revolution… Maybe it's time to give a sincere reply and explain why we did what we did.”

Though I was living in the US when the Revolution happened, unlike many others in a similar situation, I don’t wash my hands off the Iranian Revolution and the changes that happened in Iran, disavowing knowledge or admission of contributing to the cause, because whether or not I was participating in them on Tehran streets, that was still my generation who was demonstrating on the streets. It was still my generation who went to War. It was my generation who came to power, or was executed. I belong to the generation those kids may be criticizing. I write this piece, heeding Jahanshah’s call, but really in response to a question my own kids might ask me someday.

All generations have something for which to blame the previous generation. We did it so well to our parents, and we must grin and bear it while our children do it to us. Compared to all the blame we receive and to which we subject ourselves all our lives, the blame from our children is a lot more palatable, as we do truly love our critics in this case, and we won’t harbor ill feelings for them if they question, criticize, or blame us, no matter how harshly or how unfairly.

Our generation was lost and confused. Within a few short months in 1978, our generation went from feeling powerless and timid to feeling powerful and invincible, almost every single citizen a “knowing” revolutionary. In their effort to understand and make sense of themselves, others, and events that were shaping up, our generation was polarized, some turned super religious, some turned red hot communists, some others turned conservative, and many others just tried to keep their heads above the water, to make sense of it, making the best of it. None of us had mentors, teachers, role models, or leaders. Nobody was trained to know what to do.

It was our generation that was captured and imprisoned, summarily dismissed from jobs, and tortured and executed. Our generation was kicked out of their classrooms and told they couldn’t pursue their education, at least not for many years to come. Our generation was promised the heaven and walked the minefields. Our generation delved into the new era, its women bereft of many rights, and its men bereft of their dignity, whether they were aware of it or not.

Our generation could still remember what it had seen before, and was defiant in accepting what it was seeing now, and was alternately fearful and ignorant of what it will see soon. Our generation had also decided to have fewer children and to ensure those children’s safety, education, prosperity, and a better life than that of their parents at any cost.

Our generation paid with its blood, with its hopes, with its dignity, with its rights, and with its life for the decisions it had hastily made during those few feverish months in 1978-1979. Yes, we are probably to blame. We weren't like our parents and we didn't conform. We had seen more joy and prosperity than our parents had seen or our children have seen. We are the generation that saw Iran’s economic heyday, loved Iran, and gave up so much for Iran. That means that our generation probably suffered more, too.

To my children who might say “we are suffering because YOU made a revolution,” I would say: My generation beat you in the “suffering game” hands down! Those are people from our generation sleeping in those nameless graves in Iran. Those are people from our generation who have been missing, maimed, or put to rest in the Martyrs Graveyards across Iran. Those are people from our generation, displaced and exiled to faraway places of the world, seeing Iran again just a huge dream in their hearts.

Those are people from our generation driving those mini-cabs in Tehran and telling anyone who would listen, that they are actually engineers who were dismissed from work, never again able to be employed, because of their political convictions. Those are people from our generation working two-and three-shift jobs to pay for their children's rent, food, tutors, music lessons, clothes, and university tuitions. Those are people from our generation waiting outside police stations and Vozara Complex, trying to get their kids out of jail because they attended a party or went for a drive with their date, putting up with the insults and humiliating treatment of their jail keepers, just so they won’t further jeopardize their children.

Those are people from our generation still remembering the names and faces and smiles and looks of friends and family who were among those who died in the War, or among those hauled en masse to be executed one night. Ironically, those are people from our generation who continue to manage what is left of Iranian industry and trade, the last of a generation of experienced technocrats who were taught well in Iranian universities.

Yes, perhaps our generation is to blame for a lot, and we always receive such blame a lot more easily from our children than from anyone else. But as we face their blame, just like all the others we have faced before it, we also have to look fearfully to our children's future after us, where they can blame their by then deceased parents all they want, but they would still have to be the ones to pick up the pieces, build their country again, raise their children, and maintain hope.

The new generation of Iran must take responsibility for all of that, when our generation has finally ran out of time. Once the blame game has come to an end, will they be ready for that challenge? That’s what I would tell my children.



Recently by Nazy KavianiCommentsDate
Nov 22, 2012
Dark & Cold
Sep 14, 2012
Talking Walls
Sep 07, 2012
more from Nazy Kaviani

Anonymously: Amazing Science of Revolution You Have!

by Mehdi on

Revolutions happen every few generations? What science has demonstrated this? Tell me about the revolutions on the past 100 years in Sweden, Swiss, England, US... I think they are falling behind on their revolutions! You are funny!

Nazy Kaviani

Thank You

by Nazy Kaviani on

Dear All:

Thank you for a most vigorous dialogue on my humble piece. Whether you kindly complemented me or criticized my conclusions, or stood somewhere in between, I thank you all for taking the trouble to participate and to leave a comment. I do have things I want to say in response to some of the points raised. I will write them in a different piece soon. Again, I thank you all for making it worth the trouble to write. Whichever generation you are from, you and I converge somewhere and become the same generation: where we love and care for Iran, we are all from "Generation Iran."

Sasha was not my generation..........

by Sasha on

 Eventhough it was not my generation, not my culture, not my ethnic group...........I am truly sorry for what happened to Iran, Iranians and especially your generation which now has the burden to fix the mistake of so long ago. :o(


I am sure that she is listening to what you have to say and by doing so knows how some of her words may be viewed. I don't know her but some how I think she does care.  Why else would she expose herself to pain? Some times as writers we do not always realize the full effect of certain words. At least that is what I have learned.






Mehdi and Jamshid, you guys just go at it.

by Anonymously (not verified) on

You guys just go at it and cut your throats screaming. It is a waste of time to talk to you guys when you are trying to prove the sun and the moon are the same.
Just because you quote some garbage doesn't make it proof. Aftab amad dalil aftab!
Revolutions don't happen every few years, they happen every few generations. 3 or 4 thousand killings in a year is not that big of a deal (that's more than any in those days). Khomeini killed more than Shah. US killed more than Saddam. Shah didn't order killings. Bush didn't order torture. Again aftab amad dalil aftab?! Our revolution is there and history and the whole world calls it a revolution. You are like those who want to change the Persian Gulf to Arabian Gulf. All revolutions are good (out of necessity) and all revolutions have excesses and problems which takes years, generations to correct. In case you are forgetting, people are still demonstrating in Iran against IRI's human rights violations. Most recent pictures are of students protesting. They'll find their way and they could care less if you guys think this was or wasn't a revolution. If revolution was or was not allowed. If pictures of hundreds of thousands marching in Tehran and other cities, was or was not fake.



by Fariborz (not verified) on

I read her story at the first place, thank you for reminding me anyway.

Although during revolution, she wasn't there and she is trying to explain what happend to her generation in Iran but when she said "My generation beat you in the “suffering game” hands down!"
I found it very cocky! it shouldn't be like that.

We are human and we make mistakes, that's right but we should respect ourselves and ask for forgiveness. saying "I'm sorry" won't kill you guys.

As she explained some lost their lives, the problem is still some others don't get it, that it was mistake from the day one! Yes, she should be sorry and her generation should be sorry.

Some killed their friends, brothers and sisters just because of this so-called revolution! They shouldn't be blind! why blind? they should be sorry because they were blind followers. there is no excuse here.

Her approach in writing looks like to me she is trying to justify her gerenation fault which is not right.

I am not trying to silence her. I don't like justification so I respond the way I thought she would understand if she talks to somebody from a new generation.


Unbelievably horrifying..........

by Sasha on

 How could they do this? How could they kill so many people by burning them alive? I don't know what to say. :o(





Re: Mehdi

by jamshid on

Well said Mehdi. You took the words right out of my mouth.


The Cinema Rex incident in which the cinema's door was locked and the cinema was set to fire and where 400 people burned to death was blamed to Savak and to the direct order of the Shah. Amensty International went overboard blaming the Shah's regime for the incident. The shah's regime blamed in on the Islamists.


Then many years later, we had this "trial" in which a few "rogue" Islamists are tried by the IRI for burning the Rex cinema! Of course the real culprits got away and the goats were tried instead. So what happened to Savak?


In the Jaleh Square incident, according to witnesses, a few people from among the crowds started firing at the soldiers, killing and wounding some of them. The soldiers panicked and fired back. In the shooting that ensued 97 civilans were killed, not the 10,000 that was fed to me and others. I did not came up with the number 97. The number, 97, is the number that IRI archivist, Emad Baghi, based on Bonyade Shahid records came up with.


So what happened to the helicopter gunships? They were Islamist and MKO lies. I was there participating in the revolution and it was these lies that drew me and many others to the streets.


To see some asshole come here and repeat those very same lies after what happened to Iran, just hits a nerve.


Re: Anonymously... Yes the ALLOWED revolution

by jamshid on

You asked us some questions. Here are the anwsers:


You ask how many were killed during the revolution. The number is not the exagerated number you wish it was. The total number killed during the entire reign of the shah was 3200. Here is what Banisadr the IRI's first president have to say about these numbers:


Search for the number 57 (which refers to the year 1357) to jump to the relevant text. And this comes from Banisadr who was and is against the Phalavis.


The IRI killed more than that in just six months in 1988.


In the Jaleh Square incident, after the Islamists opened fire on the soldiers, the soldiers fired back. There were no helicopters involved. That was a lie among other lies that were fed to me and others. The number of civilian death was 97. The numbers of soldiers killed were less than 10.


After reading the above link you may ask who is Emadine Baghi? He is an IRI archiver. Read about him:



The Shah did "allow" the revolution to succeed, because he did not want more blood to be shed.




The Islamic revolution was the revolution of lies and deceiving people starting with its leader, the greatest lier who ever lived, Khomeini.


Mehdi interesting ideas

by Sasha on

 Would you explain to me about the Rex cinema in Abadan? I am unfamiliar with this and therefore do not see the connection you are trying to make.


Thanks! :o)





Yes They Did Allow It - Heck They Performed It

by Mehdi on

Think about it. The killing in Jaleh Square makes no sense. Why would "Shah" do that? Anyone can see that such an act only pisses people off and makes them more angry. Aha! Now we're getting somewhere. Is it possible that a few traitors within Savak were paid off (by our friends in CIA) to perform this stunt (or maybe they were simply convinced that this would be good for the country)? Could it be that the reason was to get the "revolution" really going? Wouldn't the killing give reason to a lot of people to join in? It does, doesn't it? Otherwise that killing is not consistent at all with the way the regime was reacting those days. Rex cinema in Abadan was another such example. Why the hell Shah would do such a thing? How could he possibly benefit from it? But it fueled the "flames of revolution" greatly, didn't it? It made us all mad. Topic of secret gathering discussions for months!



Shah killed many? Only a ouple of years later a lot more people got killed than during the whole reign by Shah. Then how come people didn't do another revolution? This time we were even more experienced and cocky, weren't we? So how come nothing happened? Something was different this time wasn't it? Somehow magically people had lost the ability to work together for the common cause! The spirit of revolution did not exist anymore.



I don't know. I don't have declassified CIA documents to know if my theory is true or not. But I see too many suspicious signs. Of course most of us do not want to admit that we were possibly played so easily. It goes against our feeling of pride. For some of us that's THE accomplishment of our lives. So we can't discredit that. But if can get past our sense of self preservation, i think we can see too many holes in this plot.



Savak was probably the most feared intelligence organization on Earth. I remember as 16 year old I wouldn't dare think about politics alone in my bed fearing that Savak would find out and take me away and torture me! But funny enough I personally never knew of even one person who had been arrested by Savak. But after the "revolution," within 2-3 years, I personally knew of quite a few people who had been executed. So how come such bigger killing didn't produce a revolution? Well, the only way I can explain it is that it was a fake revolution. It was a revolution that we were supposed to go through. To bring a new regime that served the purposes of those who did it better.


They "allowed" the revolution?!

by Anonymously (not verified) on

They "allowed" the revolution?! It's funny, I remember in the early years of the revolution some of the discussions circled around Shah and US not fighting back and not "killing" enough. How much more could they have killed?? People tend to forget how many were killed during the revolution. In those days the type of killings and the numbers were really alarming. In Jaleh square massacre they opened up the machine guns from a helicopter. Remember?? Do you prefer African style killings, like in Rwanda or Sudan? Back in those days, Shah's killings ranked number one! He killed for 1.5 years before he left it for others to finish it up. He said "sedaye enghlabiyetan ra shenidam". He understood it after his killings failed.

No one "allowed" the revolution, people made it themselves. Perhaps if we go longer some would even doubt that it was even a revolution, some already do. Just understand that it was a revolution by the people and they'll find their way out of it. We are all children of revolution and will find our way, in our own way.


I Accept "Our" Apology

by Mehdi on

Great piece! Very heartfelt. If we all could have half as much honesty as you display here, we would be a much greater culture.



My own take on what happened is that certain powers, call it the CIA and their criminal masters, decided that the Shah's system was not workable for them anymore. So they "allowed" a revolution. Once the "revolution" managed to dismantle shah's regime, they then identified all those who could possibly "cause trouble" - the mojahed, Cherik, etc. Then then systematically killed, imprisoned, exiled these and transferred the power to the "masses." And who would the "masses" vote for? An "Islamic" regime of course. A regime created out of the most incompetent uneducated group, who had never even been involved in a project never mind knowing anything about running a country. The results were just what these powers expected - a country pushed 20-30 years back, in debt and with an infrastructure pretty much destroyed and with its now new leaders having no choice but to extend a hand out for help. And the CIA did help and more. Cheap oil and other resources and also the threat of the communists averted in the best way, were some og their twisted motives. Of course these powers were insane and there was no real reason for them to do all this but they did what they did. And they played us like a violin very easily. We just didn't know any better. We didn't have such experiences. Our most educated and intelligent individuals were fooled. We were all fooled. We were all full of excitement and ignored all signs. In a country like Iran with all the valuable resources and strategic location a real revolution is pretty much impossible. Only fake ones pushed into play by "powers" is possible. So let's not do it again!


XERXES not all are lost beyond return...........

by Sasha on

 As the Iranian youth get older  they will have a desire to return to their Iranian roots and to learn more about Iran, Iranian culture and Farsi. I don't think all are lost.







What a great piece

by XerXes (not verified) on

I think that the next generation in US will fall crying on the feet of the west to save them, since they are so democratic. Iranians though, I think we are all fine and will be better by time. I have high hopes for Iran because I do see self confidence among youth. I just feel sorry for LA Iranian (or should I say Persian) kids who are absolutely lost to the point of no return.


Revolution is always good.

by Anonymously (not verified) on

Revolution is always good. It is also bad in the eyes of those who were in power but lost it in the revolution. There are excesses in every revolution. LanceRaheem is correct. The new generation is a freak and will loose all Persian remnants in a couple of generations. So are all the other cultures, like Irish, Italians, Hispanics and other cultures who assimilated in diaspora. They are only freaks because in this day and age we call some people freaks. 50 years ago most of the stuff that matters today didn't even matter.


Dear Lance: Most eloquent

by Anonymous1 (not verified) on

Dear Lance: Most eloquent and touching. I was moved into tears. Please blog this entry on the main page. thanks.


Monday Morning Quarterbacking

by LanceRaheem on

Nazy Khanoom,

Unlike some of the previous posters, I shan't engage in Monday Morning Quarterbacking.  I don't wish to blame your (and my mother's) generation.  Few among you could have envisioned the mess Iran's revolution would, over the years prove, to be.  Your generation has, without doubt, paid the highest price for its youthful naivety and unrestrained idealism, but it cannot wash its hands of how things have turned out.  None amonst you can absove yourselves of responsibility by saying every generation blames the one before it for something.  Nor can you diminish the responsibility you must bear by saying that your generation has sacrificed the most for bringing about the tragedy which has befallen our homeland.  Nothing good has come of this revolution, and one immutable fact is that the younger generations had nothing whatsoever to do with your generation's revolution. 

Those of your generation have paid dearly, but so have the younger generations.  The post-revolution generations have paid with their happiness, their freedom, their blood and their lives just as yours have.  The biggest difference is that the ocean of blood paid by your generation was mainly paid in defending the nation from foreigners while the ocean of blood paid by the younger generations has been in trying to free our country from the enemy from within.  This enemy was put there by your generation, and this is a fact that is beyond dispute.

I am sad that your generation and my mother's generation had to flee Iran to find peaceful places around the world to live and raise your children.  I know that living in foreign countries has not always been easy or pleasant for any of you.  You all carry within you hearts a sadness and longing for the homeland you left behind.  You have been forced to endure this, however, because of  events of your own making. 

I am also sad for the millions of our people who were too young to have participated in your revolution, but who have in adulthood had to flee Iran.  While your generation has had anywhere from 15 to 30 years or more to adapt to new languages and cultures in faraway lands, our countrymen to this day are fleeing the terror your generation's revolution brought.   

Then there is the generation of Iranians born in America, Canada, Australia, Europe and other places around the world.  This is my generation and I am sadest of all for it.  We have been robbed of our homeland, our culture, and our traditions.  We are freaks.  We don't fit in completely in the land of our ancestors nor do we fit in completely in the land of our birth. Don't feel sad for us though, for in a few more generations all that is Persian in our characters will be washed away from the characters of our grandchildren.  This will be the direct result of your generation's revolution.    

At least you have memories of life in Iran; we do not because we never had the chance to live there!  Many Diaspora-born Iranians cannot speak the language of our people, and many more can't read the beautiful language of our ancestors.  Your revolution cost your generation much, I admit, but the price of you foolhardiness will be paid for generations to come by Iranians both inside and outside Iran.  There is no place for blame after this many years; there is only room for tears...tears for your generation, for mine, and for those that are yet to come; but most of all there ought to be tears for what might have been.


Fariborz you need to read her essay again.........

by Sasha on

 Don't you get it? Don't you understand what she is saying? She is trying to explain the reason it happened.  Trying to explain the price her generation paid for their mistake. Some lost everything they had even their lives for their mistake.



She wasn't even there, just read this paragraph from her essay:


"Though I was living in the US when the Revolution happened, unlike many others in a similar situation, I don’t wash my hands off the Iranian Revolution and the changes that happened in Iran, disavowing knowledge or admission of contributing to the cause, because whether or not I was participating in them on Tehran streets, that was still my generation who was demonstrating on the streets."



What makes you think that you have a right to silence her voice. If you do not like what she has to say  then don't read what she writes. No one is forcing you to do so.

Natalia Nadia


I am sorry! is appropriate

by Fariborz (not verified) on

Don't be cocky! your generation made a mess and you hope for next generation to build it up!!

Probably you forget something crucial in your article, there is no hope for your children generation anymore, just because they are paying the price that you and foolish parents like you that don't have enough courage to say "I'm sorry, I made a mistake" made for them.

Balme game?!! Is it Iranian personality in you or just can't you admit it is a fact, not a game! grow up!

Your generation made a mess and you believed it's a revolution because your generation wasn't knowledgable enough and your gerenation blindly went after that and running around and shout "Allah o Akbar" without knowing what the hell are you talking about?

Yeah, your generation went to war but will you tell to your children that your generation made an stupid mess at the first place and after that Iran-Iraq war came after us? don't you tell to your children that, even your responsible for that war?

Grow up!

FYI: Don't get me wrong, I am not saying past was romantic and glorious but if your generation was knowledgable instead of being blind follower, then my generation and your children generation wouldn't be hopeless and wouldn't blame you for the current mess.

So shut the hell up.

Rosie T.


by Rosie T. on


Circumstance has estranged my friend.

He has bolted the door

but I will enter the portal and knock despite my enemies.

I will shatter locks with words.

I will break bolts with my songs

and will persuade myself that nettles are sprigs of balsam.



I will dance and shout to their bitter juice

as if I were drunk on wine

and humble myself and pretend that hell stream is icy

if it will get me through the darkness into his light.



Go now, my song, take this message to my beloved,

for song is a faithful messenger


 --Moses ibn Ezra, 11th century Jewish poet

of Al Andaluz of the Abassids



The article is touching upon

by LostIdentity (not verified) on

The article is touching upon a very basic issue; Unfortunately, it's more sentimental take on the issue than a rational and analytic one. In this world, everything is relative. Youth of revolution has issues. They are not the only social class having issues. Try to look a this as a movement in a broader timeframe than one generation or two. We always inherit from our earlier generations. It's no different than getting some mutant or defective genes from parents and great parents. We usually do not raise our voice about it, Why? It's hard to corelate perhaps? But, the effect is more detrimental than social issues, since we have some freedom to change our status but at genetic level, we're bound to accept it!

So, this movement 30 years ago, for some reasons we started.We started because we thought our ancestors were pilingall the issues up and up for past 200 years and they were just too irresponsible to do something. he level of knowledge eached critical momentum and, there you go!

A least we achieved one positive accomplishment: We got off of our "butts" and did something genuine. We felt responsible to start moving. Unfortunately, e are a good starter but a lousy finisher! This was the major flaw - Leaving the revolution to some ambitious politicians!

Any change is painfull; Just take a look at your own life. People who are ready to deal with change,are usually successfull.

Another note, We usually equate "Iranian youth" with those who are around us (usually in contact with outsid world and usually middle class or upper class) those who are usually vocal and fascinated by western lifestyle. Well, perhaps this class of youth are the small part of Iranian youth.

As the saying goes:
The bird is going to die; Remember the fly?


Re: Nazi Kaviani

by jamshid on

Very nicely said! There is a lot of truth to what you wrote.


I think that when talking about this subject, we need a clear definition for the word "generation". There were four generations that were present during the revolution:


1. The children. They were the youngest generation. Those who were so young that they could not possibly be considered "involved" in the revolution. Roughly, they were in the middle years of high school or below.


2. The followers. They were anywhere in the later years of high school or in universities and roughly up to the age of 35. This is the generation that was either born after the events of 1953, or they were too little to remember those days. Most of them grew in the peaceful and progressive years of 1954-1977.


The majority of the street demonstrators consisted of people in this age group. However, being among the youngest of this age group, I do remember that we were looking up to and heavyly influcence by the next older generation. Basically we were their "follower armies" and not the "leaders".


Ironically, this generation paid the most in the aftermath of the revolution.


3. The leaders. They were between the ages of 35 and 60. These grew in the trumoilous period of 1930-1953 period. They did remember the 1953 events and even the Word War II events, but were too little to remember the Constitutional Revolution or the fall of the Ghagarid dyanasty.


The majority of the "leaders" of the revolution, Islamist, leftist, Modadeghist, etc, were among this age group. It was their lack of intelligence and preparedness that ultimately caused the downfall of Iran. 


4. The elders. They were our "rish sefid". Those who were 60+ years old. Some of these could even remember the days of the Constitutional revolution.


I think (for the most part) they did well during the revolution. They kept warning us of the dangers of Khomeini, and the dangers of what lied ahead. Some of those who tried to warn us included a number of Ayatolahs and many Mosadeghists. But the next younger generation, the leaders, failed to heed these warnings.


Once the generations are defined, we'll see that mostly the "leader" generation (35-60 years old in 1978) was the one who led us to disaster. The "follower" generation (teenage and up to 35 years old in 1978) was the one who paid the price the most.


So if someone tells you "We are suffering because YOU made a revolution..." and you belong to the "follower" generation age group (35 years old and under in 1978), then all of the points in this article is valid. Very much valid.


But on the other hand, if you belong to the "leader" generation (35-60 years old in 1978), and someone tells you "We are suffering because YOU made a revolution..." then you DO have a lot to apologize for. But even then, we have to remember that human beings do make mistakes. It is what one does after a mistake that counts the most.


Blame games won't do any of us any good. But not admitting to our own past disastrous mistakes is not only worst than blaming, it is dangerous too. Because it paves the way for a repeat of those same mistakes by the next generations.


Unfortunately, our arrogant and failure "leader" generation (those who are still living) is yet to come forward and admit to their past mistakes. With the exception of a few, the rest of this generation not only don't admit to their past mistakes, but they even try to justify those mistakes, paving the way for a repeat.


And because of this, history will not forgive them.



Our generation was wrong..........

by A former revolutionary (not verified) on

We committed suicide on a national scale.

We destroyed our own world as well as the future world of our children.

Innocent people were being executed from the very first days and we were joyous about it, remember those days?

Children may forgive their parents. But, may God find in his heart to forgive us, as we commintted horrible crimes against innocent people.



by ramin (not verified) on

your generation was not invaded by aliens one night when everyone was asleep. It was a gradual process that climaxed into a revolution, so take responsibility for what you and you contemporaries did. Besides, it wasn't all milk and honey prior to the revolution, don't romanticize the past if the present sucks. Keep a perspective!!

Azarin Sadegh

Touching, powerful and beautifully written

by Azarin Sadegh on

Dear Nazy Kaviani,


As usual your article is touching, powerful and beautifully written. And as usual you are not afraid of speaking up your mind. I truly admire your strong sense of catching and revealing the truth. I love your honesty and your passion. i love your writing. You are one of the main reasons that make such an interesting podium.


Actually, I have to confess I had written a comment about this same article by Jahanshah that I didn't post. I just sent it to him and I was afraid of exposing too much! But today after reading your article, I feel almost brave! Because my personal policy has been to avoid "too hot" topics and articles,  especially political ones. Haven't we all been hurt so much by the politics?


I was 18 years old, living in Iran, when Khomeini won the revolution. So I think we belong to the same generation.


In the years before the revolution I was against Shah because it was so hip and so cool to be against him. But when the revolution happened I had already found another way of feeling unique.


During the revolution, some of my friends turned Islamist and revolutionary, influenced by their family background: a boyfriend they loved or a sister they lost. Or they saw someone getting shot during the demonstrations, or heard about the neighbor’s kid who got killed. These friends stopped talking to me as soon as they felt we had grown apart and I wasn’t sharing their ideas and their special type of pure devotion. My other friends, the leftist friends left me too, because I couldn’t accept that the people living in the Soviet Union were happier than the rest of the world.


But I will always remember the ones who got arrested and killed or just simply disappeared. None of them deserved to die the way they did, even if our dreams were so different. We were all just a bunch of kids.



Each of us, the generation of the revolution, we have our own unique personal stories to justify the position we took, the games we played, the prospects we lost, the life we missed.



If my best friend became communist, it wasn’t because she really thought the Soviet Union was the happiest place on Earth, but it was mainly because being part of a group gave her a sense of power and made her feel alive. Before the revolution, because of her father’s severe rules, most of the time she had to stay in her room and to study or to read French novels. Or if my mother loved Shah, it wasn’t really for Shah himself. It was mainly because of her own childhood, filled with terror and angst during the invasion of Azerbaijan by Soviets or maybe it was just because of the communist soldier who one day terrified my mother that I didn’t like the communists.


Amid any possible justification for why we felt this or that way, still I think the most important consequence of that period that affected our generation was mainly the fact that we all became a label. We tagged people by their political ideologies and dismissed them as human beings afterwards. Labeled people lose their humanity. They become just a tag or an abstraction of an idea. The abstractions or tags become simple statistics, easy to forget about. The suffering of labeled people is not a true suffering. We became blind and numb to the pain of those who didn’t carry the same tag as ours and didn’t care about the way they were treated or disappeared.


We suffered the most because we were robbed of our individuality, our uniqueness, our humanity, by turning into a tag, by our own black hatred, by becoming the subject of other’s hatred. We were robbed of our youth, of the casual stupidity of being a 20 years old by war, by fear, by watching too many cadavres. We grew old too fast.



We are the generation of Samad's "the little black fish". But since we reached the sea, we disappeared and the sea ate us alive.



To have a true closure, I guess we should learn to feel empathy: the type of emotion which opens up the mind and washes out the hatred. So we can turn into humans again and we would love and we would feel truly loved.


On the day our enemies, our ex-opponents, our subjects of hatred –all of them already dead -- finally find the true tragedy of their destiny, -- something we refused to give, something we truly owe them; no matter if they were communist, hizbollahi or Mojahed, -- we will be salvaged. It will be the day we call them again with their own names; Farideh, Niloofar or Afsaneh…so they will become our friends again.


It is almost like being salvaged by our own devastation. Being salvaged by destroying our own myths.


Thanks again for your courage and for your passionate writing.


Looking forward to reading more of your work,



Azarin Sadegh


Brillianty written..........

by Sasha on

 Thank you for your brilliantly written article. Thank you for giving the younger generation a better understanding of the, Why? I hope that I get to see Iran in my life time and for the first time look upon the Caspian Sea.



Natalia Nadia


Good article but our

by Anonymously (not verified) on

Good article but our generation decided to have more than one child. Iran went from 40 million to what is it now, 70 or 80 million? more than 70% of Iranian is under 30? remember akhoonds saying have more children because they'll become children of revolution and be the "Islamic generation"? We all know now that they became their worst nightmore and nothing Islamic about them. In fact more western than "our generation"! Separate our generation outside and still inside Iran.



by Faribors Maleknasri M.D. (not verified) on

If the youth complains and says: we are suffering, so we must first let them define what is the reason of their suffering? First must the question be concrreted. then can be answered. well: what makes the youth suffer? It would be nice if this question of mein could get an answer. the fact is: human being is suffering all the time. once it is hunger another time itmis thearst. Poorness, not having the possibility for an education and so on and so on. But the iranian youth - i mean the ones who are living in IRI - if they suffer, so what is the reason? My be, i mean can it be so that the reason is the fact that 1978/79 two or three poeple made the Mullahs a present? Greeting.