So cried a devoted British wife to her beloved Iranian husband, upon hearing he intended to return to Iran to visit his family. It was a couple of years after the Iranian revolution, and lurid stories about Iran were circulating everywhere. However, my parents, close friends of this couple, found the hysterics of the lady to be particularly hilarious (no, my parents are not particuarly nice people. Interesting, but not nice), and her cry became a watchword for ill-informed Westerners who made superficial judgements about Iran based on what their media and government fed them. Shoot him in the airport indeed! Where do they think Iran is- Cambodia?
But, now, sitting on the fence myself, I feel sympathetic to the lady with the Iranian husband (who was never shot in any airport, and is now a happy grandfather.) I am going back to Iran for a family visit, just like Javad, and a sneaking part of me is afraid, well, not of being shot in airport, but of something unpleasant happening.
Take my passport. The first couple of pages bear a photo of me wearing strict Islamic hijab. then, several pages further on, you come across another photo of me, nestling in a Schengen visa, my hair frizzing about my shoulders in their wild natural state. No Hijab. Sorry, I forgot. Is that bad? Will airport officers notice? Will they make a fuss?
Take this blog. I have actually heard that one guy, who was the friend of somebody who was the brother of somebody, was arrested in the airport because of his blog. He was jailed and sentenced to execution. No- not that guy. Someone else, someone ordinary, not notorious or well-read or highly political or anything. Just an ordinary guy, with a blog reflecting his personal thoughts and stuff. A lot, probably, like mine.
It’s paranoia, I know. I mean, how many Iranian travellors are there? How is it possible to keep tabs on them all? Why is it even necessary? When you have everything, why would a not-important blog or picture be threatening?
So we will go, we will have a wonderful time, we will bask in love and delight in the company of our most cherished people. And nothing bad will happen.