Devolution of a Revolution

Posted October 24, 2019 from United States
Mom & Dad in Iran

I'm an American and I'm also an immigrant. The reason that this came to be was due to the Iranian revolution on February 11th, 1979.

Nine years earlier, my Iranian Father and my British Mother fell madly in love in front of a cigarette machine (of all things) in London, and not long after they moved to and married in Tehran, Iran.

Iran (prior to the revolution) was a very different country that what it is today. My Mom learned Farsi very quickly, and soon found herself working for the Iranian air force and taught English to the fighter pilots in preparation for the continued pilot training, they would receive in the US. My Father was also able to gain employment at a German television company repairing electronics.

Life was good...great even. But changes were on the horizon. My Mom and Dad, like many couples had their favorite restaurants and one was a kabob shop that they frequented often. One day as my parents are eating, one of the waiters solicited my Father for a few minutes. He then proceeded to tell him in a sheepish tone, "I'm sorry but your wife must cover her hair." My Father according to my Mother was livid and made his feelings known. Unfortunately, that was their last meal there.

What my parents didn't realize or come to fully embrace was that the Iran that they knew and loved, was in the middle of a drastic societal shift. The microcosm of an evening meal was to be the larger revolutionary story for many people in Iran and ultimately how women were drastically affected.

Women lost many rights, were unable to hold judgeships, & even to the degree that their testimony in a court of law was (and still is) deemed to be worth 50% compared to that of a man.

The story has had a lasting impression on how I view change. What I learned is, change can work in both directions. It can progress and subsequently....regress. 

I try and always remember that positive change isn't guaranteed when it occurs. We have to continually engage with each other and ultimately create an enduring difference to the benefit of all and not just some in society. If we fail to do this, then we will fail our future generations in kind.



Comments 4

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Anita Shrestha
Oct 31
Oct 31

Dear Kibu
Thank you for sharing this story. It made me more help to know about there's situation. Plz update other story more and more

Sister Zeph
Nov 02
Nov 02

Dear Kibu,

Thank you for sharing your story, it is heart breaking because I the Islam I know it gives many rights to women. they can be business ladies even I have read that there was a very famous female judge in the begining of Islam. but there are some every where in the world who interprate religion in the way they want and simple people just follow them

Nov 02
Nov 02

Hello Kibu!
Thanks for sharing your story. Its inspiring knowing about the different directions of change and how it can impact the community.

Jill Langhus
Nov 23
Nov 23

Hi Kibu,

Thanks for sharing some of your interesting background story with us. Yes, on change. We're in a very malleable and interesting state right now, globally. A lot of things are shifting, but it does look like regression in a lot of areas at the moment.