An Airport

Iranians are experts at going to airports and saying good-bye. It has become a normal procedure for most families. Iranian women especially are good at crying. They cry incessantly and can’t stop hugging each other, while the men watch and seem to have it under control, although underneath, they’re probably hurting just as much. In a way, Iran has become an airport itself. These days, almost every 20 year-old’s dream is to find a way to leave the country with America as the destination in mind. Smart and ambitious, these young adults leave their heart-broken families so they can have a real life. Freedom for them means everything.
So this airport, this country, this nation, this Iran that has so much beauty, love, history, tradition and culture, continues to hide them until no one will remember what it once was, maybe not even the historians. The once great Persia is now a land of prisoners, from children to teens to young adults who are caught in the middle of political entanglements. Childhood memories are now the memories of departures and flight numbers and planes headed to somewhere across the Atlantic. Photo albums now have entire sections dedicated to snap shots of good-bye parties and airport get-togethers, where every member is either red-eyed from crying or is forcing a smile for that one last picture where they’re all together.

The nine-year old girl who looked up to her older siblings, didn’t get the chance to know them while they were still there. Her trips to the airport were too many for a child her age. Her childhood ended too soon. Her memories of the past are now bittersweet. She is now in America, watching, waiting…Will things change? Will families ever get to live in their own country, or will they always continue to pray for an American visa right before they go to bed and dream the American dream?

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