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You are Iranian, right?

So a few days ago I received an email from an American friend who graduated from my university last year. He is now out in the real world working. I knew him through other friends and I had also taken a Spanish class with him a couple of years ago. And a few days ago, I received an unexpected email from him. He is a nice and sincere guy and I want to somehow respond to him. But on the other hand, his email has made me think a lot about my responsibility as an Iranian abroad, as a person who knows both Iran and America well by now. How do I have to explain things? This email is only a small sample of what I experience everyday and of the questions and wonders that come to me about Iran? Professors ask me, students and friends ask me? Bus drivers, waiters and so many other people ask me. How could I answer them? What do they want to hear from me?

Here is the email:
Subject: You are Iranian, right?


First of all, it's been too long. We should play catch-up. How are you? Are you in Oberlin? Tell me things.

Also, you're Iranian AND you're liberal, right? So lemme know what you think of the
Op-Ed in New York Times called A New Face in Iran Resurrects an Old Defiance
by Michael Slackman, published on January 30, 2006.

Do you think Ahmadinejad is a crazy-psychopath like the US media tries to portray him, or is it more subtle than that? Also, are you in favor of an Iranian nuclear energy program?

Like I said, tell me things.

his name

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