I never realized just how good I truly have it until I decided to visit my brother, who lives in Iran. (I left Iran when I was but a baby, so I really don't remember anything. My brother moved back there when he was in his twenties; he refuses to come back home to America.)
For one thing, the very culture. The language and foods, another. The weather, still another feature that's so different than my home back in Alpena, Michigan, which is where I live with my family.
At times I wondered if I even made the right decision in gong to Iran. My brother treats me well, but his family seems to look at me with disdain, particularly his step father and his step father's sons. They look at me as if I invaded their personal space and it makes me truly uncomfortable.
I noticed that I saw very few women, paritcularly outside the home. I mainly saw men and boys. If I did see any women, they were covered from head to toe in dark robes and head coverings; only their hands, eyes, and the top of their noses showed. If a woman looked at me, it was only for a quick glance befrore she averted her eyes from me. In additon to seeing this, I saw men screaming at the women they were with; at times they got violent, kicking or hitting them savagely until the women (or even children) screamed or cowered in fear.
It was truly heartbreaking.
At other times, I saw women who were heavily scarred or disfigured. When I asked Ali about it, he said the women were punished becasue they looked at another man, and their husbands (or lovers) punished them by purposely pouring hot oil on their faces or setting them ablaze so that their facial features were permanently destroyed, making them "undesirable" to society; no man would have nothing to do with them now.
The news disturbed me. It made me wonder what I was even thinking of visiting Ali here. I wanted nothing more than to hop on the next plane back to America, but I still had time left on my passport, so I decided to stick it out and endure the cruel and unforgiving land that was my birthplace (but no longer my home).
I have only a few days left on my vacation. I am trying to cope as well as possible, considering what I have seen or heard, but I am not faring very well. I still see the ugly, disfigured women who had oil poured onto them and the cruel savagery of men and boys as they openly hit, mock, and kick their women or female children, and not having any sense of remorse as they go about their reign of violence. The food I have eaten is good, but it doesn't sit very well on my stomach whenever I go out into the hot, dry hellish weather. I end up feeling nauseated, and I want nothing more than to lie down or take something to settle my jumpy stomach.
I do know one thing: I plan on hugging my husband and my children upon coming back home. I have had enough of Iran; I am more than ready to come back to America! I love my brother, but I don't love him well enough to stay here on a permanent basis!