Tehran — iran

The Country I left behind

but I never left

When you get on a plane to leave? When you know it is the last flight out and there is no return, when the plane’s door closes and you are the the point of no return, it is a feeling not everyone can understand and comprehend.

The 14 hour flight can’t feel much longer when you leave, and start a new life can’t be more exciting. Your new life begins at arrival and takes time for you to climb each step and get things done. You get your license, look for a job, a house and a car. You learn to drive with different rules, you shop for grocery in different kind of stores with food that taste different. But what happens when you leave? Do you ever leave the country you left behind?

What about your family, friends and what about the people you left? Do you ever think of them or do you forget them behind the closed door of the airplane?

Honestly when I started new in 2004, getting all the things I needed to do to start new and try to get to where I needed to be in life, didn’t leave time for me to look back at what I left behind.

The Day after Iran election

In 2009 everything changed. Imagine millions of people voting for hope and change, go home and wait for the results. Within minutes of the last votes, the final results of the election are announced and it is an exact opposite of what everyone expects it to be. For me that was a turning point. When those I left behind were silently asking “Where is my vote?”, when their silence was retaliated with bullets, when the streets of the city I used to walk on was covered with blood, I had to return but not in person.

There was no way for me to go back. I was now an exile as my father Isa Saharkhiz was also arrested. If I returned, I would be next to him in another solitary jail cell. I would be another person in jail with a free soul, but with a voice that would not echo outside the cell, so I did the only thing that I could, I tried to be the voice of those who I left behind.

This is where my story begins…

The story of those I left & those I found…

I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.
Muhammad Ali