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I’m on the phone with mom in Iran reporting about cooking Persian food for the first time since my divorce and how it feels like New Year.  She likes it.  She finds it sweet that her domestically challenged daughter is actually taking a step towards “lady-dom.”

“When you guys come to visit, I’ll make you whatever you want.”

“That’s so sweet mom.  Thank you.”

I remember my visit there last year.  They really do whatever in their power to make their guests feel welcomed.   This year my brother wants to take his wife and little daughter to Iran.  She is three and Ali wants her to experience the family love and Iran.  Rita, his mother-in-law wants to go with them too.

“Sounds wonderful, mom.” I get excited when others are open to experiencing new places, but more so when they are open to experiencing my family and country because I know they are in for a good time.

Mom says, “I’m not sure it’s such a good idea for them to come to Iran, though.  In fact I think they should wait.”


“There’s been talk about Israel attacking.” But she quickly catches herself.  “I mean we’ll be fine.  We’ll go to Laheejan.”

That’s where we used to flee to during the Iran/Iraq war.  The northern regions of Iran were too far from the borders and as such immune to the enemy planes’ bombs.  But that was twenty years ago.  Things have changed.  Warfare has changed.  We don’t know how they’ll attack.

She goes on, “I’m worried about the airports closing.  They can get stuck in Iran.  What happens to their lives and jobs in the U.S.?”

Now I’m worried about my parents being there.

That’s how most wars start.  Normal life gets interrupted little by little.  Grand kids and grand parents won’t see each other; airports close; food, electricity and water become scarce; then loved ones start to lose their lives.

Child drawing airplanes dropping bombs with his amputated arm.

Not long ago I heard on NPR that Mr Romney actually endorses Israel attacking Iran.  Just like that.  He encourages war between two nations from the comfort of his insulated campaign. Does he understand the ramification of that statement on ordinary people?  Has he seen the effects of war first-hand?  The lives that change, the lives that are lost?  What happened to communication and diplomacy?  Just kill each other?  That’s it?  Animals do that.  Then what’s the point of having a thinking brain?

It frightens me to fathom a man with such a mind-set may actually be in the position to lead this country.

I realize this is a political statement meant to garner the support of certain voters. The irony is: The largest population of Jewish people in the Middle East outside of Israel resides in Iran.

Wouldn’t we rather have children imagining/painting a bright and hopeful world (like the first painting) rather than one of destruction and despair (the second drawing)?