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For Many Iranian-American Families, This Moment Has Us Sick and Terrified



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Yesterday was my dad’s 58th birthday. In 1979 he immigrated to the US from Tehran, in large part because of political upheaval seeded by the US in Iran. His only common language with other high schoolers in America was soccer. He once made his way to a pay phone in an auto shop junkyard with fistfuls of change to place a call home, the only kind of contact he’d have with our Tehran family for months at a time.
My father lived with a student exchange family in Rochester, Minnesota. He met my mom, a Korean adoptee relocated to Owatonna, Minnesota, at community college. They transferred to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, got married and had me.
My three earliest political memories are the Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone dying in a plane crash, the Clinton impeachment proceedings, and the most consequential event for the rest of my life as an Iranian-American teen with a Muslim-sounding name: 11 September 2001.
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