Monday, March 30, 2009


As I delve into my next memoir, the story of living in Iran during the revolution of the 70s, I feel a need to post this somewhat revised blog to get myself in the writing mode.

I realize my Iran memoir won't be as easy as my first memoir: "A Broad Abroad in Thailand." The Thai people were gracious, happy, smiling and welcoming.

In the70s, with the revolution already in motion (of course we expats had no clue), the Iranian people seemed unhappy, cross, maybe even pissed that westerners had invaded their land.

In retrospect, it’s easy to look back now and understand why the Iranians so hated Americans, but at the time we assumed they weren’t happy campers and let it go at that. In our ignorance, we thought the shah was all about bringing his country up to the 20th Century, and not leave it lagging in the Old Testament era.

Hiring expatriates from all over the world to help bring his country to a new global respect seemed like a generous undertaking. But, retrospection is a wondrous tool. We seem to want to look at casualties “after the fact” and then sort out the problems. But, at the time, we didn’t know there were problems.

The people wanted their country back. Back from the onslaught of foreigners hired by the shah to make more money for his coffers. I guess ignorance is bliss, as they say, because we went on our merry way thinking that we were welcome. Oh how wrong we were!

What I did take notice of was the country and the incongruity of it all:

The well-dressed driver of a Mercedes-Benz lays on his horn as he is surrounded by a herd of sheep. They slowly meander across the potholed dirt road, brushing against the front, sides and back of his gleaming car with their filthy, wet coats, while he screams obscenities at the sheep, the herder and at his illiterate countrymen that would allow this to happen.

A chador-clad woman stands in the street. As she waves her arm and tries to hail a taxi, her chador rides up revealing a bare arm dripping with a fortune in pure gold bangles, while an ancient, blind woman squats at her feet, begging for money or scraps of food.

A towering mosque, laden with gold and jade, stands in tribute to the incredible architecture of centuries past, while beggars with limbs missing seek shelter in the shade provided by its magnificent minarets.

In the capital city of Tehran, a theater marquee stands twelve feet high and pictures a female strapped to a pillar; she is wearing black fishnet stockings, garter belt, stiletto heels, and black bra with cleavage pouring forth. Lined up on the sidewalks and spilling over into the dirty streets are throngs of men, salivating as they wait to enter the theater. Walking by the theater and on both sides of the street are other figures, covered from head to toe in the traditional black chador, eyes, nose and mouth the only indication that they are women, yet having to hide every strand of hair and femininity to insure they do not cause a man to have “unholy thoughts.” Hellllooooooooooooo!

Okay, now I have to get busy and turn this into a 300-page book and sell it.

Agents, feel free to contact me!

1 comment:

Deborah Moazemi said...

Good morning Dodie... I came across your site by accident and see you are writing a book about Iran. I just returned from Iran two weeks ago. I am Canadian and my husband is Iranian and although we have been married for 5 years, this was my first time meeting his family. He came to the US over 30 years ago during the revolution and has never been back. I actually went alone, speaking very little farsi and only one of his family members speak a little English so it was interesting and challenging! They live in Tehran but I did see Esfahan and Shiraz while I was there. I took many, many photos and I would love to share them with you if you are still looking for some. I'm still in the process of cataloguing them (they are digital) so I will be able to remember where they are all from. Please feel free to contact me anytime. Take care... Deborah