I imagine most the readers of this article are familiar with that famous comedy called "my big fat Greek Wedding". My family and coworkers had told me about the movie a few years ago and although I do not watch many comedies, we made the arrangement to see the movie together as a family. It was a pleasant evening; the only problem with the movie was that everything that the old Greek guy claimed to be Greek was actually Persian, including their last name "Portegales" meaning orange. The term Portugal in Farsi means orange. My family got a chuckle out of my claims .They also agreed that I do not look as old as the guy in the movie and that my mother is much more mischievous than his mother .Also I use Cortaid on everything not Windex.
The reason for this entire introduction is to try to demonstrate how our mind, the people of ancient countries work. Iranians historically have been proud people .We managed to Survive Alexander the freak, Islam and Changes Khan. Although during the expansion of Islam, Iran was the first one to be invaded; it sustained less permanent damage than other countries in the area. Probably the best comparative study would be the example of Iran vs. Egypt. We kept our identity and language and although Islam was rammed in our throat, we modified it to Shiite which is totally different to Sunnis. While Egyptians got entirely dissolved in exports of Saudi Arabia. When I tell my Jewish friends that the conflict between Arabs and Iranians is by far more profound than Arab Israeli conflict they get really surprised
What we are and what we were:
When I left Iran in1975 .I lived in London for one year .Although I knew it was going to be a traumatic experience, I did go to the British museum for one day. Seeing all those stolen Iranian artifacts caused a nasty headache .However I did get to see Cyrus's Cylinder
With the carvings of the world's first bill of human rights on it. The document was written 2500 years ago.
Cyrus is seeking the loyalty of his new Babylonian subjects by showing his respect for the religious and political traditions; it abolishes Slavery, Guarantees freedom of religions, traditions and freedom of electing of their own Satrap (governor).In 1975 the Iranian Revolution had not happened yet. Most foreigners would think of us as rich Arabs, and that would give us the opportunity to give them a history lesson.
Daric, (my own private collection) the first gold coin ever struck by Darioush, Cyrus's grand son
Our collective analysis:
The analysis of world events among us was a different story, proud people who were the first super power of history .people who invented and built the first of everything .People who were pulled back because of a series incompetent kings, and are the victims of the British and Russian colonialism.
The hope was that we will do it again; just like a dozen other times that we came out of ashes and turned that dry land to a powerful country. Then the revolution came around .The idea was to do better, change monarchy to democracy, and kick all colonialist powers and their stooges out. We wanted to use the money of oil to pull ourselves out of the hole we were in. Unfortunately, that was just a nice fantasy .In less than two years the term Iranian was equivalent of terrorist. The glamorous King was exchanged with a war mongering geriatric clergyman who hated everything. My Big Fat Persian Wedding turned into a giant ugly embarrassing horror movie with Ahmadinegad as the main actor.
Just what the hell happened?