Sunday, November 23, 2003

The Immigrant Nightmare


I still have a repetitive nightmare sometimes about myself being in Iran -a very scary Iran, the way it was in 1981-88. In the nightmare I can not understand how I got back to Iran and how I can leave it again. Sometimes I find myself in military service again, trying to convince people that I have finished the service years ago, ... telling them about my life in the US and trying to find out how I ended up being in Iran again.
Years ago, I read the book “Az Sabaa taa Nimaa,” a review of Iranian literature of the 19th and early 20th century. In the book there was a chapter about a Qajar prince (Farhad Mirza, I think) and his style of writing. As a sample of his work the book has printed some of his correspondence. It is ironic that in one of the letters you could see him talking about his nightmare about Iran when he was in Europe, a nightmare very similar to mine.
The letter was written more than 120 years ago. It shows that not only has the country not changed much but even the style of Iranian immigrants’ nightmares has remained untouched.

Illustration: La Reproduction Interdite by Rene Magritte. 1937.