Today as I was driving my son to school, we were listening to the American Life Podcast that narrated the plight of an Afghan family trying to get out of the country. A heart wrenching story explained through the conversation of two people. Listening to that my mind went back more than 4 decades to a time in Iran when I was probably 8 years old.
In no way is that as difficult as the story I heard, or rather I don’t think it was. I would not know how my parents felt back then. My dad was a doctor from India working in Iran when the revolution broke off and Khomeini came to power. Two incident are etched in my mind.
The first one is from Tehran in a mall and I can see my dad carrying my younger sister and holding my hand and running to safety towards the street entrance. My mom running after us. A bomb of some sort had gone off in the lower floor.
The second one was after all the flights in and out of Iran had been cancelled and people were stuck in the country. We had made our way out of the country on a Launch. Two images are clear for me.
One is where we are waiting in the shore along with a big crowd and some lady is made to sit on a chair and someone if carrying her through the water to the launch that is a short distance from the shore. I was not sure if that if how we will be transported. But we got on to a small boat and were taken to the launch. We had only what we could carry in our hands I believe.
The second image is of us mid sea rocking and people vomiting and we are lying on the deck along with many people as we go through the 9 hours sail to Dubai.
Today when I say that people ask.. really??… but from my memories even that was because we were privileged. As a doctor in ‘Bandar Lengeh’ there were so many people who were ready to help and getting out of the country was not in any way similar to what we hear now. Even during the dire situations we should not forget the privilege many of us get. Helps us understand the plight of others.
I do not know what my parents would have gone through back then and what fears they might have had. Even after having that experience I cannot fathom the hardships of the people of Afghanistan trying to get out of the country. 4 decades after we got out of a country.. after so many progress here we are again as the worlds watches people suffering. It is difficult….