Politically Inactive

May 26, 2016  |  Posted by Zohreh Ghahremani
  • Politically Inactive
  • Politically Inactive

13268024_10153965476258891_8990473428338065170_oThanks to the ugliness of the media, I’ve become an avid fan of Netflix, You tube, Hulu, and others. I do watch the BBC World News briefly to keep me updated, and sometimes listen to special reports on KPBS, but not nearly as often as I used to. Why is that, you ask? After all, as an American citizen and one whose livelihood may depend on the outcome of the upcoming election, I should remain informed, active even. But you’re forgetting one major factor; experience.

I watch my son, filled with hope and rooting for his candidate – who seems harmless. I see my husband, influenced by the media reports, and still struggling with a decision. And I hear women everywhere, losing their enthusiasm ocer having the first female president. I’ve seen enough ugly shots of their candidate, screaming, making faces, and looking aggressive, and have to ask myself, “Wasn’t she an attractive lady just a few months ago?”

Maybe this line of thought has to do with my background. After all, I came from a country whose destiny was out of the hands of its citizens. Even the Islamic revolution came with the most promising propaganda, yet the change failed to bring about the kind of happiness they had hoped for. Politics seem to do to us what love does to a young heart. It brings excitement, hope, dreams, and ultimately a sad letdown.

Please bear with me. I have more reasons not to vote. During my more than forty years of US citizenship, I’ve made sure that I would not only live here, but do so as a GOOD citizen. Having emigrated years before Iran’s political turmoil, I wanted to show gratitude and give back to my new country.

Armed with a good education, I began teaching at a prominent university in Chicago and also made sure I ran my private practice with heart and soul! I gave this country three of its best citizens and raised them to be good Americans. Despite such a busy life, my volunteer work never stopped. I was an active auxiliary to our local hospital, always a member of the PTA, and involved in multiple charity organizations.

When we moved to California, the volunteer work continued. During the wildfires I’d be among the first to rush in to help at shelters. I still do all that because to me giving back to the community is a duty, not an option. AND YET, imagine my shock when it was announced that my government put Iranians alongside world “Terrorists.” I can understand the growing fear, but am baffled by how the media has included Iranians. Name one terrorist from Iran. Name one suicide bomber, and I’ll shut up! In fact, statistics show Iranian-Americans to have the highest education, to be the most productive, and hold the lowest crime rate EVER! Banning visas to Iranians? Now that’s what I call a nice payback.

So, hello Netflix and goodbye CNN, because in my remaining years, I plan to follow Rumi’s solitude and avoid the ugliness of this world. In my seclusion, I hope to create the kind of peace the world around me is working hard to destroy. As for the ugliness of the coming election, I look back and see the many ways in which my beloved candidates of the past have failed me. So learning from experience, I simply give up!






  1. Kristen Coniaris June 7, 2016 2:13 am

    Well I can relate because here I am nearing the end of my first 30 days of no television. A few years ago, it was no more CNN. Then it was no more Netflix or Hulu. There are holes in my living room wall where a big swiveling flat screen used to hang.

    I’ve taken up reading more books instead. So to my great pleasure, I found Sky of Red Poppies at the library on Saturday. Leaning up against the fiction stacks, I started reading it right then and there. Now here it is Monday and I’ve already finished it. Thus begins my journey in literature related the Middle East. Thank you for inspiring me to want to learn more.

    I’m so glad to discover that you are citizen of U.S. You exemplify what makes this country great. As for what makes this country disappointing, I agree. I do not buy the baloney xenophobic fear-based propaganda for one second. I am not giving up hope though. Tomorrow I shall vote. Every day after that, I will challenge the ugliness of hate politics wherever I can.

    To quote Roya,
    “As long as one could dream, anything was possible.”

    • Zohreh Ghahremani November 12, 2016 3:11 am

      Thank you, dear Kristen. May you expand your horizon and discover many more great cultures. You may want to revisit this site from time to time as I do add new articles. I am grateful to all my good readers for providing the extra energy I need and wish you a happy Thanksgiving :-)