On Making Assumptions…
Back when I was very young, idealistic, and naive as hell, I made the mistake of falling in love with an Iranian exchange student at my college named Reza. This was in 1981, right after the 52 American hostage incident in Iran but I assumed him innocent of act of terrorism and war against the U.S. because I assumed he was in the U.S. to avoid being involved in that uncivilized fracas. I also assumed that just because he wanted to be with me constantly, marry me immediately, and kissed really well and passionately yet, respectfully, didn’t cross the line, must really love me. This despite his never actually saying he loved me.
Oh yes, and I assumed he respected me.
Ha! With a half twist on all counts!
…And Getting Burned
I wrote about those assumptions, his total betrayal of me, my “adventures” with Iran, and the loss of my first-born son in my memoir, Lost in Foreign Passions, written under my then married name, Debra Kamza. I wrote it as a catharsis, to put the experience outside of myself where I could deal with it better… also as a warning to others.
Unfortunately, I’m not the only American woman to ever fall prey to Iranian Muslim wiles. Over the years, I have encountered many others. So many others! So I have never ceased giving out warnings.
You’d think I’d have gotten over what happened to me by now. It happened so long ago. Mostly, I’ve gone on with life and not let it hurt me too much. I feel it’s made me a lot stronger than I would have been otherwise. But every now and then, I face reminders. I suppose that keeps me lively issuing warnings as well. But whatever.
My friend Lori Foroozandeh, author of her own memoir, Lori’s Song, is one of those reminders.
When I got back from Iran and joined the Army, going through Basic on Tank Hill at Fort Jackson, SC, in 1985, Lori was there going through Basic as well. We probably saw each other daily, but she wasn’t in my platoon and so I never really talked to her then. Maybe if I had I could have convinced her to steer clear of Iranians and Iran, but I doubt it. Like me, she’s a pretty stubborn person, always determined to discover things on her own.
Yep, we’re a lot alike in that regard.
She went AWOL before finishing, so I didn’t get to know her after graduating either until many years later.
We met up on the Faith Freedom forum a year or so after 911, both of us very suspicious about Iran’s involvement in that. She had just gotten back from Iran, having been married to an Iranian who took her there and then promptly turned into a monster on her. But he, unlike my husband, was not the worst of her Iranian experience. Her experience had been so terrible that many of the people on the forum who had themselves been through so much, had trouble believing her. I did, though, despite not wanting to…
Right after 911, people with American passports found in airports in Iran were picked up by some sort of military personnel and taken to prison camps without explanation. Lori was one of them. The prisoners were provided no food, water, shelter, beds, or bathroom facilities. They were just kept in fenced enclosure, chained each hand to foot with someone. They got water only from mud puddles that formed on the ground when the guards hosed down the result of not giving prisoners bathroom facilities. They ate bugs for food the first week or so. Later, the guards began tossing them scraps off their plates to fight over. Daily, many of the female prisoners were gang raped by the guards or otherwise tortured.
I was treated badly and lied to in Iran by an Iranian too when I was there, but nothing on this magnitude!
I was the one that encouraged her to write her story and get it out of her system and I’m reading it now. It feels like a punch in the gut I’m empathizing with her so much and fantasizing over all the horrible ways those guards could suffer and die as a result of their abysmally nasty karma. Figured I should explain that… my mood of late, my antipathy to Middle-Eastern men in general and Islamists in particular.
Someone asked me if it might have been a result of Mercury in retrograde but I don’t think I quite believe that. No. Sometimes we’re just upset because we have a right to be upset and astrology has little if anything to do with it. It doesn’t require an alibi and I won’t apologize for it. Hope you can bear with me anyway.