A homeland is not a piece of cultivated land, nor the object of a war for pride. Homeland is not nationalism. Love has no place where land is a tool for control. Homeland is an idea through which we mold our hopes and our most secret fears. It is an unconditional love.
By Avraham H. Muthada / Café Gibraltar
I often find myself yearning for Iran. Despite the fact that my feet have never stepped there, my mouth has never tasted its water, my lips have not sipped from its goblet. There, in the diaspora, where the dream of the promised land still burned and echoed. The longing that was part of us even before man met women, a longing for what does not exist – for a borderless purity amongst humans. The mullah (rabbi) stands at the gate of the city during every holiday with complete devotion, his face tilted toward the West – toward the sea – mourning a hill of stones and broken memories, quietly praising and calling for Zion. In his mind’s eye he sees the tribes of Israel and the Land of Judea and the Mediterranean – there he shall not pass.
My father shrinks into the blue, fur arm chair and sinks into a song of homesickness for a homeland left behind. “My Iran, my life and soul.” He glances upward, imagining the pathways of his childhood, weaving together notes and letters to form a pearl necklace of suffering. He is motionless. Like a national monument, he collects remnants of moments and gives them vitality. Soon his eyes will open and a sigh will leave his mouth.
“I am like a victim of your land / and helpless without you / every beat of my heart is the whispering of Iran,” the singer eulogizes the homeland, and my father continues, “Without you my home is full of sorrow / every moment is grief, the distance drives me mad / God knows that this world is a prison without you / life is dark and cold.” Indeed, Iran is the homeland of many expatriates, not all of them Muslims. Different religions, tribes and cultures are tied together to the forgotten homeland which has been painted...Read More