Saturday, July 23, 2011

Musings on Memories of Tehran

As I polish the final draft of my memoir book, I stop to reflect on so many memories of living in Bolivia, Austria, Dominican Republic, Somalia, New Zealand, Cameroon, and Iran. If you've been following this blog you might have read my earlier post "Terrorism and Traffic" on May 28 (see blog archive on the sidebar). Iran has been on my mind even more since I joined the Facebook group, Tehran American School. This TAS group was created for former students and teachers of Tehran American School, but I felt justified in joining even though I am neither former student nor former teacher. My connection with TAS occurred at the back of our yard where the tall brick face of the high school loomed over our garden. Every weekday I picked up evidence of the stolid building's rowdy teenage occupants – wads of gum, paper airplanes made from notebook paper, cigarette butts – revealing bits of adolescent life that I preferred to keep away from my three-year-old son and two-year-old daughter.

Now, when I look at the photos on the TAS Facebook wall and read the posts of students from the graduating classes of 1975 through 1979, I am carried away by profound emotions. Even though the conditions in Tehran in those days churned with unrest and violence, these young people enjoyed their coming of age and still cherish their memories of high school days. Almost every post demonstrates deep respect for the Iranian people and the Persian culture. Our American youth who grew up in Tehran during the pre-revolutionary days do not come across as ugly – quite the contrary; these young people impress me as solid citizens of the world, compassionate and accepting of differences among nationalities.

The Facebook Tehran American School page introduced me to an outstanding novel that I want to recommend to you. Written by Anthony Roberts, TAS class of '79, Sons of the Great Satan portrays an enthralling story of a boy's coming of age -- and much more. Set in Tehran in the 1970s, this tightly written novel weaves the author's political insights throughout the thrilling action. Well-crafted scenes take the reader straight to the heart of a city on the brink of revolution. Roberts artfully draws three-dimensional characters who eloquently express a multitude of conflicting viewpoints on the place of religion and government in society.

Considering the level of current conflict in the Middle East, I see this fascinating historical novel as a must-read for anyone interested in the history and the future of that tumultuous region. Sons of the Great Satan
is available at at a 50% discount until July 31, 2011.