Our supposed “WAR ON TERRORISM”…..really a WAR ON US!!

 

 

 

 

I just watched American Sniper and OMG, there are such blatant issues that ANYONE SHOULD SEE.
1. First- WHY DO WE ALWAYS GET INVOLVED with other countries problems and think we have to send OUR BOYS/MEN IN to get killed in wars we even aren’t involved in the first place.
2. We send our people in to fight wars, they come back disabled, and PTSD and they act in ways never before seen to them or their families. We destroy people,, kids, and lives of families all FOR NOTHING!!!
I’m sorry I was in the Middle East and unless you’re a child that WAS JUST BORN that day, you’re not innocent. These children are being trained as soon as their able to walk and their trained to kill AMERICANS!!! There are no innocent bystanders. This movie will show you just that. There are mothers who give their children bombs to go and become a suicide bomber and their goal is to kill Americans!
3. WHY THE HELL don’t we just BOMB the fricking areas that these so called insurgents were congregated in. Instead we send in our troops in to walk around in these towns where there are snipers kids with RPG’s, and IED’s to blow up our Hummers that have disabled so many vets if not killed them., so our troops get killed and disabled one at a time, when we could have just put in an airstrike and bombed the entire town.
It would save our guys/gals lives.
4. People bitch about money that it costs to go to war, well people it also cost money for health care and mental health care for our soldiers when they return from these wars and usually the treatment is for life, not just for a set amount of time. And what’s worse are some Vets are being turned away for treatment due to funding. How DARE WE TREAT the people who are willing to die for us like that!!!
5. We know exact locations of these clusters of terrorist/insurgents why don’t we just BOMB these areas or screw it bomb the whole fricking country to save our people. If you can’t do this then either STAY OUT OF other countries wars and take care of our own. We were not involved personally in Viet Nam, Korea or the Middle East, our country was not threatened, yet our presidents seem to think that we need to be the ultimate “SAVIORS” for others.
6. We are not a land of freedom but rather a CONTROLLED DEMOCRACY. This country’s leaders don’t listen to the people or take care of their own. There are WAY TOO MANY HUMAN rights issues that are preventing us from just going in and ending a war within a few months by bombing places and taking out those that threaten us. Or better yet why don’t our government just keep their noses out of other countries businesses.

Sure we just got “same sex marriages approved” WHAT WAS THIS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KEEPING OUR SOLDIERS SAFE. A lot of money was put into this issue and I wonder where the hell the priorities in this government are.
We have hundreds of soldiers dying monthly and we put our priority into this. I’m sorry this sounds so caustic and overbearing on behalf of some peoples ideals but it’s my opinion and I’m allowed to express it……Wait Mr. President and others in government “AM I ALLOWED to EXPRESS THIS???? God knows I was supposedly NOT allowed to come back to the USA and tell my story of what happened to me and others in Iran, since they made me sign a non-disclosure agreement. So I was just checking? Oh HELL I’m SAYING IT ANYWAY!!
If anyone is interested in what happened to me in Iran they can go tohttp://www.loris-song.com ALL PROFITS go to CHARITY! So this is not a promotional post, but it is a READ THIS AND SHARE THE INFORMATION POST! TYVM for listening and hopefully commenting.

 

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9-11-2014 A time for US to reflect and for US to be GREATFUL, PROUD, and THANKFUL to live in “OUR COUNTRY!!!”.

9/11-  A TIME TO REMEMBER, LEARN, and say THANK YOU!

On this 9/11, I am writing to compare how I felt then with now, and what has changed or changed me from that experience.

Now I want you all to write down how you felt back in 2001 compared to now, and what or if you do anything differently due to that event.  This within itself will show you how you’ve either changed or took it in stride. (9/11).

I feel this is cathartic for me and maybe it can be something like that for you.  I know most of America experienced a horror that they thought would never be seen in their life.

9-11-2001:  THEN

I was living in Iran at this time and had been since 1998. Prior to 9/11 I had been teaching English to Persian (Iranian) girls and women.  These girls became my best friends and could ask me questions after class that they wouldn’t dare ask their parents or anyone else.  These were simple questions like when do girls & boys start dating, and etal.  I kept their secret and we shared each others cultural differences and what we thought about them.

On 9/11/2001 I was being told by Mohammad that we needed to get out of IRAN in case America wanted to retaliate against the Middle East.  I asked why they would, he didn’t answer fully, just gave me some silly remark about Osama Bin Laden was going to increase the price of tobacco to get even with the US.  That sounded ridiculous but I was ecstatic as hell to be on our way home  i.e. USA!!!  When I arrived in Iran I was told I would need my husbands written permission to leave the country of Iran.  That was never going to happen.  Mohammad was your proverbial Muslim, wife is nothing but a slave, and he can do whatever he wants and get away with it.  E.G. beat her in the street, sell her to his friends for sex or drugs amongst other things.

I was also aware that something was going to happen today (9/11/2001) because I had heard rumors and gossip while Mohammad was speaking with all his friends in these nightly meetings.  I knew SOMETHING BAD was going to happen, I didn’t know where or what, but something.  I tried to call home on the 9th, 10th and 11th and was told that NO INTERNATIONAL CALLS WERE BEING ALLOWED THROUGH AT THAT TIME.  This recording every single day I tried to call the states.

9-12-2001:

We packed and went to the bus terminal to take a bus to Istanbul and then catch a plane from there home.  I still had NO IDEA of what really happened.  Five to ten minutes after showing our passports and paying for our tickets, these two troop type carrier trucks pulled up and blindfolded and handcuffed me and took me into one of the trucks, and Mohammad supposedly went into another.  (when you read my book you will see why he didn’t).

The events that took place for the next six weeks was total brutality of rape, starvation, beatings,  and many mind games.  I won’t use too many descriptions so that I don’t give the book away.  But I can say this these are actual event, not exaggerated and totally true.

  • GOD spoke to me in that camp and told me I was going home!
  • I didn’t really do any thinking or praying in the camp because when your faced with the thought of death every minute of everyday then your mind is always in high gear and all you can do is try to survive the moment that your in right then.
  • Upon arriving back in the USA on 11-14-2001, I kissed the ground after getting out of the terminal.  I at that time weighed in at around 70 pounds, most of my teeth were knocked out.  I had been beaten, raped and starved.  BUT I WAS SO EXCITED to be in my home country again, where I KNEW the rules and culture and didn’t need my husbands written permission to leave the country!
  • I appreciate the USA more than anyone I think because I lived in a country full of false type prophets who beat, robbed and tortured people yet claimed to be doing all of it in the name of GOD/ ALLAH;   and these people were RUNNING THE COUNTRY!
  • I have read the Qur’an and NO WHERE in it does it say to treat your wives and women the way they do.  It does not say to murder or torture those of a different religion or country.  The Qur’an dictates peace and to only kill in Allah’s name when absolutely necessary.  It denotes peace of all mankind, and the Muslims interpret it the way they WANT TO so that they can have a justified means to take out their anger, violence and murderous tendencies on others.
  • A lot of religions will interpret their Holy Book to the means necessary for which they desire to achieve.  The Muslims are not the only ones.    I still have many questions about those six weeks in that camp.  I was never interrogated, just raped, beaten and starved with so many others.

WE HAVE TO REALIZE HOW THANKFUL WE SHOULD BE ON A DAILY BASIS, to live in this beautiful country, although not flawless, we have our freedom, our ability to say no to men, we have life in our country that most countries around the world will not ever achieve or experience in their lifetime.

This country brings a lot of hope and promise to people!  Sure the Democrats and Republicans will never agree, but at least we are not  forced to abide by some type of dictatorship.  We will always have our freedoms that are spelled out in the constitution.

I hope that if you read my book you will see the atrocious acts that were carried out in Iran and WOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED to happen in the USA.   The profits from the book go to Amnesty Intl. and HSUS, and HFH neurology division, and the Brighton Rehab hospital.

I think once you experience a country like Iran and then return to the USA …if your lucky, you will develop a whole new desire to be thankful and grateful everyday of your life here, because you will never have to experience:

  • People getting executed due to not being a Muslim in a Muslim dictated country such as Iran, Iraq, etal.
  • An honor killing of a daughter who gets drowned in her father’s swimming pool for not being a virgin on her wedding night.  (Happened to my student, Layla).
  • Women and young girls being beaten or having machine guns held to their heads because they have too much HAIR showing out of their head coverings.
  • Women and young girls being beaten out on the street and everyone just watches and agrees that they are getting what they deserve for their disobedience.
  • You will never be beat for asking a question about American girls and boys.
  • You will never see women getting hung in a town square in front of everyone even children, and then what they think is compassionate is to ALLOW the mother to go spend five minutes with her daughter at the noose before she is hung by a construction crane.

I am almost glad to a degree that I did witness these things because you really never know until you see it first hand that it truly is REAL!   We are entitled Americans and none of us will ever change until something like what happened to me happens to them; And GOD I PRAY IT NEVER DOES!!!   Then they will understand the who’s, whys, and what’s.

The reason I wrote this was to compare how I felt then with now,  and to somehow get out of this apathetic depression I’m in.

9-11-2014

I still to this day sleep a lot of the time sitting up, because for six weeks I was handcuffed to Faresh ( a girl from Bahrain). And we couldn’t lie down or we’d be kicked or hit in the head, so we had to “REST” and supposedly “SLEEP” sitting with our backs to each other.  We had a lot of chain between the cuffs so we had room to just sit back to back to support each other.  So now I sleep sitting up, go figure.  Not only that I’m in the middle of getting more dental implants to replace all the teeth that were knocked out in the camp.  And I’m going through the worst pain in my back and hip due to needing spinal fusion in several different places but the doctor refusing to do it, due to my history of blood clots in my lungs on two occasions.

I WILL GET THRU my downfalls, and I will always be thankful for my GOD and country, and I know that most of my friends on FB, are very enlightened, intelligent individuals who will understand my way of TRYING TO WRITE this as a tribute while allowing others to see into my emotions and another country. 🙂 :).

Please write a list today of the top five things you love about this country, and share them in the comments section if you would.  Then for each one THANK GOD for allowing you the privilege of living in this country, where your rights and individual beliefs are not only allowed, but to be looked upon without prejudice or bias.

I would GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR FEEDBACK.  I don’t think this day ever gets totally “OK” or “BETTER” for us, it just gets to be tolerable and a time to think back.  Don’t ever let this be a time to FORGET!

Those 2750 victims should not have died in vain.

Their families and loved ones should not suffer in vain.  We need to remember them and the tragedies they suffered that day.

I don’t allow myself to forget, I use my experience to help others.  I am speaking once a month at Brighton Rehab hospital about my book and experience.  I was so speechless the first time I spoke and got not only a standing ovation but a line of about 50 people waiting to hug me.  These guys with tattoos all over their necks and arms would come up to me with tears in their eyes and tell me that if I could get thru that then they could survive getting clean.  That was one of the most emotional times of my life to know that what I’m doing is truly ACCOMPLISHING SOMETHING FOR OTHERS!

Please visit my website and be sure to buy my book on Amazon,  All profits from my book go to Amnesty International, HSUS, Henry Ford Hospital, Brighton Rehab hospital.

http://www.loris-song.com

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1432738291/?tag=viewbookat0e-20

Thank you for reading this and leaving your comments.  God Bless, Lori

VIRTUAL EBOOK FAIR- READERS & AUTHORS take note :)

 

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READERS & AUTHORS CARRY YOUR FRIENDS TO OUR
VIRTUAL EBOOK FAIR!!!

JULY 26th & 27th  VIRTUAL EBOOK FAIR

Hosted by Award winning author: Tammie Clark Gibbs.    This is where Authors can share their work and answer questions about their writings to READERS.

READERS: this is where you can peruse new books from best selling authors and award winning authors.  You will definitely find the book your looking for to EXCITE YOUR MIND!

This is an event for GENERAL AUDIENCES, NO EROTICA PLEASE.

READERS: Please visit http://www.virtualebookfair.com/ to sign up for giveaways and a FREE subscription to Reader’s Rock Digital Magazine! http://www.virtualebookfair.com/  This magazine is having it’s ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF SUCCESS- also put together by the hardworking, bestselling  author Tammie Clark Gibbs.

Make sure you visit these sites to join and sign up for extras.

THANK YOU!  And FYI- I’m being featured in the anniversary edition starting on Page 12!

My award winning book, “Lori’s Song” is being featured.  This is my true story of my life of substance abuse, child molestation, getting married to an IRANIAN TERRORIST and not knowing it until I arrived in IRAN and found out you need your husband’s written permission to leave the country.  I was there almost four years until 9/11 happened, the day after this I was captured and put into a POW type camp where I was raped, tortured and starved for six weeks.  The rest of the story you will have to read!  Either by winning one of my EBOOKS at the fair or purchasing it on Amazon (paperback, hardcover and kindle).   http://www.amazon.com/dp/1432738291/?tag=viewbookat0e-20

My website is www.loris-song.com  I also have a Discovery Channel Docu-Drama at          the 28minute mark to start. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se-NTRWCJIU  and my own YOUTUBE  Video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j85rYnZ4YYU

ENJOY THE FAIR….BUT YOU MUST JOIN FIRST so HURRY!

 

My book cover which now has TWO awards gracing it's cover :)

 

 

Sharing my day, life and issues, now it’s YOUR TURN!!

This is to encourage those that think their life is meaningless or boring to share a day or a week with me and maybe by sharing we can all laugh and maybe help each other cope.

Hi all,

I just want to share with you how my life goes dealing with the “issues” that I suffer from.  You all should know by now that I have “BIPOLAR”, “DRUG ABUSE”, “PTSD”, “DEPRESSION”, and if I’ve missed one let me know.

On a daily basis I have to deal with the past.  No matter how much therapy I’ve endured I still suffer with nightmares on Iran, and constant dreams of Mohammad.  Almost EVERY night I wake up at some point sitting up with my hands balancing me (which I’m sure is causing my carpal tunnel).  The reason for this is, in the POW camp I was handcuffed to a girl named Faresh and the only way we could “rest” was when we sat back to back.  If I got ANY SLEEP in that camp it was sitting up like that.  We were not allowed to lay down, and generally if they saw us with our eyes closed they would nudge us with their gun butts.   So despite the time period that has elapsed since that incident, I STILL SUFFER FROM THIS.

I still get nightmares about my brother sexually abusing me at age 11.  Once in a great while I will get a good dream where he has died, and if I’m LUCKY I will get a double feature five star dream where he and Mohammad are BOTH killed! 🙂

Now the bipolar that is a tricky issue to deal with.  I’ve been on pills now since 2007 which have helped ALOT!  But the anti-depressants that I take with them usually reach a toleration level in 2-3 years so I have to try another one.  But I don’t suffer from the constant mania that would appear twice or more a week causing me to take my hubby’s credit cards and go buy something, buy what you ask, it didn’t matter as long as I bought something, and that’s the truth.  I still have moodiness that is hard to control, one day I will be best friends with someone and the next day they won’t talk to me due to the conversation we had the night before.  My poor hubby goes through most of my ups and downs.  Whenever I tell him I love him and that he’s the best man I’ve ever had the chance in knowing, he will say, “RIGHT NOW I AM, but tomorrow I could be the OGRE of your nightmares”, and he’s kind of right.  He knows by now not to take me seriously when I’m upset so he just “rides” the storm.  But for the most part the bipolar is under control.

The one thing that upset me is how they portray the bipolar individuals in tv shows or movies.  These people always seem to be OFF THE CHARTS mentally ill.  That is not bipolar.  Bipolar really isn’t a mental condition it’s a MOOD DISORDER.  But the way these shows depict us people get scared and get all kinds of false ideas when they meet someone who is bipolar.  Another thing that needs to be addressed is when a bipolar person gets upset, mad or happy, our loved ones and those close to us ALWAYS attribute it to the BIPOLAR.  It’s like we can’t have these emotions just NORMALLY, it always has to be the bipolar, thus we are not taken seriously.  They assume these emotions will change tomorrow or in some cases like mine in the next ten minutes; (I have rapid cycling bipolar).  We can’t just be mad at someone because they did something we didn’t like, noooo it was because we were just moody and tomorrow we will be fine with what they upset us about.   Or if we get very happy (warning: don’t smile too broadly or laugh too loudly) they will think were manic and start looking at us strange like will she fly the cuckoos nest sometime soon, or will she break down crying.  This just ISN’T RIGHT!

What I don’t like is how apathetic these bipolar meds can make you.  They can make you so apathetic that you don’t have emotions.  I feel bad for the person who is getting their medication adjusted because the doctor feels that if your sedated it’s better than being manic and you could wind up on a drug like Seroquel and sleep all day.  Most of these drugs make you gain weight and then they wonder why Brittney Spears is having trouble keeping her stick thin figure.  She’s lucky she has any energy at all.  Some people who take these drugs take a stimulant or are so hooked on caffeine to counteract the tiredness that causes problems in their behavior too.  I liked my manic episodes at times, they made me feel alive and passionate about things.  Sure I did take them too far and not all my behavior was appropriate but I still enjoyed them.  One time I was getting my hair done at home and had all these tin foils in my hair waiting for my color to take, I told my friend who was doing it to get in the car we had to go to the store and get lottery tickets and cigarettes.  She couldn’t believe it, my hubby told her to please go with me and drive so I wouldn’t get in trouble.  (he knew when I was like that to just deal with it the most tactful way possible).  The people at the store knew me so it didn’t shock them (at least they didn’t show it facially).  My poor hairdresser didn’t come over and do my hair again for a long time.  Until she understood what it was I suffered from.

Well in a short synopsis, I drive an hour and a half every Tuesday to therapy at Henry Ford Hospital, for my PTSD of Iran, childhood sexual abuse, and my life in a nutshell.  I also now have a benign brain tumor that is now 10% into my brain and growing.  I also suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, I’ve had my hip replaced already, and am on a blood thinner due to suffering from 4 lung embolisms after I snorted some Soma and Ritalin *(back in 2007).  But on the bright side I went thru rehab in 2008 and now speak at the rehab hospital once a month on my book, my experiences and my recovery.  This talk motivates, inspires and gives hope to those that think their lives are in dire straits.  (well they tell me it does this and the patients share with me how much these talks help them) I love talking with them and the first time I did, I kept thinking I was narcissistic for standing up in front of a group of people to tell them about my life.  But when they started lining up to hug me and tell me how much hope it gave them as well as inspiration to quit, and some even had tears in their eyes, well that made me the happiest that I’d been in a LONNNGGGG time!  My book is sold in their gift shop and profits go to the rehab hospital.  But that is ALL I have going in my life right now.  I sit home, live on the computer, talk to my cats all day, and exercise everyday (MAYBE) for 30 minutes.  Then I wait for the SIMPSONS to come on, and then I know it’s evening.  I get up every night at 330am and eat ice cream and watch “BEWITCHED”, “I DREAM OF JEANNIE” and if I really stay up long , “THE JACK BENNY SHOW”  I’m on permanent disability so I have NOTHING TO DO.

So if there is anyone out there that has suggestions for me on doing something, not gardening or crocheting, but something they know of for sure that I could help someone with either from my home pc or other, PLEASE let me know.

NOW I WANT TO HEAR YOUR LIFE STORY, or at least a day in the life of SOMEONE WITH ISSUES! 🙂

The reason I wrote this was because I was sick of playing Candy Crush Saga, and other FB games and wanted to do something that MIGHT be productive for other people too.  They say if you talk about things its the first step in helping your mind deal with them.  So I’m dealing with a boring existence that therapy has numbed by severe PTSD to a minimum level, but due to the disability I’m going NUTS AT HOME with NOTHING TO DO!

PLEASE SHARE YOUR STORIES!

*** For those of you who haven’t read my book or know me, the links below should help you out in that aspect.  I also have had a mini-documentary done on the Discover Channel and am looking for more opportunities like that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se-NTRWCJIU (Discovery Channel documentary-THIRD STORY in a series of three)
My current promotion to raise money for the charities I support.

Featured Author: Debra Kamza/ Ampbreia Weiss

Featured Author:

Ampbreia1

Debra Kamza / Ampbreia Weiss

1.  Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

I was born in Vallejo, CA but have lived in Everett WA since I was 5.  My childhood was a mostly happy one full of countless pets, huge family get-togethers, camping trips, and lots of books.  I have always loved reading, learning, and writing.  For as long as I remember, I’ve written stories and poems and loved to keep my little brother and friends entertained with ongoing stories whose ends I teasingly left dangling.  My older sister was annoyed, though, at my habit of getting up in the middle of the night to write whenever a dream inspired me, which was often.

I was raised a Pentecostal Christian, rebelled from its social divisiveness, anti-feminism, and boxed thinking when I was a teenager but fell straight into Shi-ite Islam not long after, not because I was particularly attracted to it but only because I was curious about it and greatly mislead about it by the Iranian guy I met in college and later married.  Yeah.  My book covers that in detail.  Suffice it say her that I am seriously burned out on religion.  I don’t mind if other people practice it; good for them if it makes them happy; but I’m long since done with it.  It’s just not for me.

I used to play piano, sing, and even wrote some music as a young adult but have since lost interest in that.  Having kids kind of diverted my attention from it in no small way.  Little fingers on the keyboard you know?  But my own little girl eventually took up where I left off all on her own initiative.

In the present, I’m married to a good guy now and we work together in an aerospace calibration lab.  I also love to dabble in arts of all kinds, dress up with my family and go to festivals, and dance.  I especially love belly dancing and have been doing it for seven years now.

2.   What made you decide to write Lost in Foreign Passions? Were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events?

It’s a memoir of that turbulent time of my life when I mistakenly put my trust in a foreigner, went to live in his very troubled homeland, and adopted his religion just because it was so important to him.  A three-year nightmare was the immediate but mind-opening result, not to mention the loss of my son.  Writing it all out was a necessary catharsis for me and I thought it might help others as well.  Even if not for all that, it was still the adventure of a lifetime and an important learning experience.

3.   How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course.

I honestly don’t really know how to do that other than to mention it in my blog now and then and to have an author site here and there. I have never had an agent, never found one willing to deal with that kind of political-religious hot potato.  I did originally trust it to Publish America because they claimed they were a “traditional publisher” but ended up having to end my 7-year contract with them four years early due to very shady unprofessional, non-traditional behavior on their part.  After that, I couldn’t bring myself to trust another publisher and, like the thing with religion, decided to go it on my own when the right opportunity presented itself: Amazon Author Central, which has been wonderful to me.

4.   Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel?  (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).

Happy and relieved I guess that someone actually cared and that they found my story worth their time.  She was really enthusiastic about it and that felt wonderful, reassuring, you know.  I’m confident in my writing ability, but I wrote this memoir AND published it despite my very real fear (a terror really) that people would judge me very badly for it or consider me hopelessly stupid for haven fallen for all I did.  Nevertheless, it was a story I felt needed telling.  I was being brave, you see.

5.   Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book.

DreamLover  Passions2ndEd

Those who have read it have liked it very much.  Many who know me personally or have heard of me from others have told me they’d like to read it and are disappointed that they can’t find it in brick and mortar book stores.  But it really isn’t very widely known.

6.    Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book?  (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author). 

Well, I have two author sites:  one for my pen Debra Kamza (former married name) under which I wrote my memoir at

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/BOOBNVI6Y2

and one for the fiction and poetry I write under the name of Ampbreia Weiss at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/BOOBNVPADM ,

only one book of which is posted there right now, Dream Lover.

These are the only two I have published through Amazon Author Central so far, but I plan on doing more.

I also have a blog at http://www.ampbreia.wordpress.com

where I write about anything and everything.

7.     I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky number.   Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.

I was staring right up the surgery lamp as they lifted me onto to table and peeled up my dress in order to shave me.  I felt the cold of the water and heard the scrape of the razor below my abdomen while seeing only the lamp, a male surgeon, and a nurse.  I knew they were going to cut me open yet, wrapped in a strange euphoria, I didn’t care.

They didn’t see me watching and acted as if I was still unconscious.  I wanted to let him know I wasn’t, so I asked the surgeon if he could please arrange a mirror for me to watch the surgery in.  I must have been out of my mind to want that!

He gave me a startled look, dropped whatever he was holding and ordered the nurse to him on the double.  Dazedly, I watched the nurse put together a hypo and even that didn’t bother me (usually, such a sight would have made me cringe).  Then, recovering himself nicely, the surgeon inserted the hypo into my IV, telling me, “You will fall asleep in ten seconds.”

I didn’t believe him.  I giggled while he counted to ten.  It was the last thing I remembered of the surgery room.

Two days later, I awoke in a hospital bed in a dirty and dimly lit room. A stranger — a tall, swarthy, young man — was sitting, asleep, in a chair at my side. I couldn’t move my hand to nudge him, so I patiently waited for him to wake up on his own.  When he did, he jumped up with a show of great excitement and said, “You have a son, Honume Jon!”

I almost had heart failure at this I was in such a total amnesiac stupor.  I gave him a long stare.  “A son?  How could I have a son when I’ve never been pregnant? Who are you, anyway?”

“I’m your husband Peeshee jon.  Don’t you remember me?”

I didn’t remember him or anything else.  I demanded proof of everything he said.  I checked my belly for signs of pregnancy: It lay flat as a pancake with nothing of note moving within.  I thought nothing ever had been in there.  As disoriented as I was, I think I expected being pregnant to be proof of having just delivered a baby.  I wanted to see marriage documents.  I wanted to know where I was and, when he answered that, where the hell Iran was.

He willingly showed me marriage documents and where Iran was on a world map, but it didn’t mean anything to me.  The last thing I could recall was being in high school, and that was foggy.

Seeing the baby was all that would make any of this real, but that was the one thing the dark young man failed to produce on demand.  I bugged him endlessly to see the baby he swore I’d had.  Why couldn’t he show me this baby if it really existed?

For this last he offered no answer.

A day and a half passed during which the stranger, Reza, stayed with me almost constantly, making his wild claims, sleeping on a lower bed at the side of the room, and taking savory meals of choloe kebab.  I was brought nothing but bouillon and juice.  My stomach churned in hungry protest at this unfairness.  Besides being discombobulated to say the least, I waxed a bit cranky.

“When are you going to show me the baby you claim I had?” I demanded for what must have been the umpteenth time.  “I don’t know why you people are telling me such a thing when you’re not prepared to prove it.  Is this some kind of elaborate hoax? because if it is, your hoax has got holes in it.  This place is furnished like a hospital, but get real: it’s filthy!  Everyone knows that hospitals are sterile and new mothers in them are allowed to hold their babies as soon as they’ve given birth.  So where’s my baby?”

Reza was, by now, waving his hands in desperation for me to shut up. Finally, he swore he’d get me the baby if it were the last thing he did that day.  He did too, within the very hour.  He chased the nurse in with him and had her place the warm, flannel wrapped bundle in my arms.

At first, even then, I didn’t believe the baby could be mine.  I thought, for one thing, that a mother would remember nine months of grueling pregnancy.  I didn’t remember any of it.  Secondly, the baby was huge: almost ten pounds.  He was either a month old already or had come from a much larger woman than I was.  Heck, I knew my own size at least: five foot nothing and ninety-five pounds soaking wet.

The baby was beautiful, though.  He had huge black eyes, a shock of curly brown hair, and the sweetest little grin on I’d ever seen.  The feel of him against me was like the tickle of a kitten’s purr at my side.  Well, I thought, he certainly is a sweetie even if this is a trick.  I still didn’t think he could possibly be a newborn.  I thought that, besides being much smaller, newborns were always bald, red-skinned, and incapable of smiling.  This baby, if he was mine, put lie to that theory.

For nearly a half-hour, they let me hold him.  He smiling at me nearly the whole time, snuggled in the crook of my arm but when he started gnawing on his fist, then crying, I didn’t know what it was about.  The nurse did.  She came rushing to take the baby from me, saying it was his feeding time and she had a bottle ready for him in the nursery.  She was gone with him before I’d even thought up a protest.

I started regaining my memory from that moment on.

*** Debra is a great friend and colleague who I’ve known for MANY YEARS.    We share a common interest, we both lived in Iran while married to our Iranian husbands and had traumatic experiences.  I urge you strongly to read her book.  Debra also designed the cover of my book, so her talent runs LONG!

Inspiring, touching, and UNDERSTANDING those who want SOBRIETY!

Hi all,

I just wanted to share this with you today, as most of you know I speak at a rehab hospital every month about my book and experience with drugs as well as what happened to me in Iran.  I usually get one or two war vets and last month one came to me with tears in his eyes.  He had lost his buddy in Iraq and suffered from PTSD *which I do too.  And he told me my talk was so inspiring and helpful that it motivated him to definitely get out of this slouch and take his life back.  That made me feel better than any book profits.  I sell my book at this rehab clinic but all the money goes to the clinic to help support long term rehab.  This is a letter I got from the supervisor at the clinic about last months talk.

Hi Lori,

I just have to tell you the your name is all over our patient surveys,  They loved your talk!!  With that being said I would like to put you down as a regular speaker in the rehab building.  One reason is you will get to talk to more people and the other is I am not scheduling very many at Partial anymore.  So can I put you down for the first Saturday of every month to speak in rehab?  We will be sure to have your book displayed on our front display the next time you come in.

Thank you

 

THIS MEANT SO MUCH TO ME, MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE AND I WANTED TO SHARE IT WITH EVERYONE.  THANK YOU, LORI

Women of Iran

Hello all!  I posted this article a few months back and forgot to share it with my blogger buds.  This is really important to me because it gives insight as to how “ALL” women and “MOTHERS, SISTERS, AUNTS…etal” are the same at the core.  We forget to see this in our NEGATIVE society.  We only dwell on the bad and totally overlook the good.

I hope this article helps you understand why I loved my Iranian girl students, who also happened to be mothers, sisters, aunts etal…but most of all STRONG WOMEN!

Thank you and your comments would be welcome!

 

 

 

Crossing the lines of culture – My experience in Iran by Lori Foroozandeh

                       

 

If you write a book about something that is little known, you have to be prepared for questions. Some will be silly and trivial, some will be deeper: but there will be questions. I wrote about Iran. Immediately I learned that many Americans know little about that country and its culture. Many of the questions I have been asked have been about the women of Iran. They seem so different from the women of America, so different and so very hard to comprehend.

The mere mention of Iran invokes suspicion. Backwardness, fundamentalism, and terrorism were some of the words that seemed to immediately spring to American minds.  Iranian men are seen as bearded, militant, hostile, and chauvinistic. The women are assumed to be veiled, oppressed, and submissive. Shrouded in their traditional black chadors (the ultimate symbol of their oppression), Iranian women shown on television appear angry. Holding their hands in the air and chanting anti-American slogans, they are more than willing to join the men in a fight against the United States.

Is the anger and anti-Americanism of the Iranian woman real? Are these so-called truths only media propaganda? Are these mass images a reflection of “the people,” or are they just manufactured collages that deprive the individual Iranian woman of her personal humanity? Exactly who is the Iranian woman?

While her appearance seems to typify inferiority and the oppression of the “second sex” that is so prevalent in that part of the world, I beg to differ with the stereotype. Having lived in Iran and having been in day-to-day contact with many of these women, I know them to be wise, proud, and highly intelligent. They are also tactful if not downright manipulative as they deal with the male dominated society around them. They are in many ways truly heroes.

The true Iranian woman may be oppressed, but underneath she is rebellious. She is subjugated but unruly. She is controlled and at the same time defiant. She may seem hushed and subservient, but she is strong in her faith—a true believer—and ready to fight for it. However segregated and oppressed she may be, the Iranian woman is a revolutionary, a fighter, and willing to die for her nation. Yes, she is a loving mother and a dutiful wife, but she has the heart of a warrior and the soul of Persia beats within her.

In short, there is a contradiction between the submissive and the fierce sides of these women. Westerners tend to see only the passive and subservient side. Perhaps that is because Western observers have been so fascinated by what they have seen as so different from their own cultures. Certainly the conflict with Western values has highlighted the anti-feminist aspects of Iranian culture and Islam. In part the revivalism of modern Islam has fortified these traditional values and appearances.

However, having lived in Iran for three and a half years, I have seen the other side of Iranian women. Oriented very much in the here-and-now, Iranian women are pragmatic and are often looked to for advice. Most Iranian men were closer to their mothers than their fathers.  Of course, older sons have a sense of responsibility for their mothers and sisters should anything happen to their fathers. Also, because women are removed from men in the common run of things, they may seem somehow more enigmatic, some one who has to be understood—especially after an arranged marriage, when the man is suddenly expected to take on the role of husband, a role for which he has had so little training.

It is interesting to see how greatly Iranian women change when they come to the United States, especially those women who come by themselves. Without the pressures of family, Iranian women who immigrate to the U.S. frequently give up the chador. They wait to marry. And perhaps most importantly, they continue their educations.

While the women who come here with their families and husbands continue the traditional ways (or perhaps are pressured into doing so), the women who are on their own quickly adapt to this land of new opportunities. Perhaps the most immediate sign of that adaptation is the change in their clothing. The drabness of traditional dress is suddenly replaced with color. But underneath that exuberant change, they are still some of the kindest people you will ever meet.

To read more of my experiences in Iran, visit http://www.loris-song.com/

My book is on Amazon at:  http://www.amazon.com/Loris-Song-Story-American-Captive/dp/1432738291/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

My view on Iranian women and Iran.

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Hi all, this is an article I researched and wrote back on Christmas 2009.  That day I had been thinking about my Christmas’s in Iran, and although I despise what happened to me, these women and girls (my students) made me feel warm and welcomed in a country where I was put into the most judgmental spot of all by Mohammad’s family.  Iranian women are strong women they have to be, and in this country these woman accepted me and knew nothing of my past to judge me by and made me feel more secure in a female relationship than I even have felt in the USA.   And also remember what these women must endure.  When and if their daughter is hung (due to boredom by her husband so he accuses her of adultery) the COMPASSIONATE thing these barbaric men do and consider compassionate is to allow the mother to walk the daughter to the noose and spend a few minutes with her.  These women are strong, as we all are, but I wanted to let you into the world I lived in for four years.           (**BY NO WAY AM I ENCOURAGING YOU TO VISIT IRAN!!!!)  I hope you enjoy and become enlightened.  I wrote this for helium and it was the number one article for quite some time.  Lori

The condition of women in the Middle Eastscan0001-318x211[1]

*My students in Iran, Layla on the right was drowned in her fathers swimming pool for not being a virgin on her wedding night.

If you write a study, essay or a book, be prepared to answer even the most ludicrous of questions. What may seem to you as ridiculous or common knowledge is very foreign or strange at best when viewed by others that have no clue about the boundaries outside their comfortable little world.

The mere mention of Iran invokes suspicion and a sense of backwardness, fundamentalism, and terrorism. The name brings to mind conflicting images of men-bearded, militant, hostile and not least of all chauvinist, ….and women-veiled, oppressed, and submissive. Shrouded in their black chadors (the ultimate symbol of their oppression), women on the television screen are angry, holding their hands up and chanting anti-American slogans. The women are more than willing to fight.

Westernization and US domination in the region, they contribute in the process to their own oppression. What is the truth behind these images? Is there one single truth? Are the so-called truths only media propaganda, to feed a public hungry for answers to the unknown? Are some images manufactured collages that deprive millions of people of their humanity, denying them their voice and the right to a decent proud existence? Who is the woman, the individual behind these images? Her appearance typifies the ultimate inferiority and oppression of the “second sex” in the region. But I beg to differ…From an outsiders view that had the opportunity to view within, I’d like to add the following observations of these wise, proud, highly intelligent yet tactful if not manipulative at times heroes.

The Iranian woman is oppressed yet rebellious. She is subjugated yet unruly. She is controlled yet defiant. She is hushed and subservient. She is a religious fanatic living a secluded life. She is a revolutionary, a fighter, yet segregated and oppressed. Willing to die for her nation, she is a mother and a wife. The images contradict, with each emerging to deconstruct the others. Outsiders, foreigners, and bystanders, however tend to hold onto certain characteristics of these images, unaware of the role the West has itself played in the creation and perpetuation of a certain branch of Islamic revivalism.

For them, these stereotypical attributes contain momentous significance because they remain resistant to the passage of time, oblivious to the change of governments, and blind to the dramatic socioeconomic changes that has swept the country during the twentieth century. The undue loyalty to the convoluted images-perhaps even the psychological, political, and economic need to view these differences through the lens of inferiority-has induced many a viewer to avoid questioning the validity of such images (to avoid inquiring about the politics of the region and to avoid acknowledging the complete humanity of those who live there. The mere fact of difference signifies to the outsider a lack of change, transformation, and movement through time. The outsider is perplexed because of the extremity of these images. The difference testifies to the all-encompassing superiority of anything Western.

These images while contradictory have proven most resilient; they have enshrouded reality. A thick white fog has fallen. It is a beautiful and mysterious fog, but because of it, we have lost our vision. Image and reality, dream and nightmare, illusion and everyday life all become one. A true understanding of the humanity embedded in these convoluted pictures is denied.

No single image adequately can reveal the complexity of the lives that Iranian women live. To expect a manufactured image to explain amply the existence of more than thirty million women are unrealistic; no single image adequately can reveal the totality of any one person, let alone millions of people. The diversity of individual lives defies such confinement. The reduction of the lives of millions of women to a single familiar picture that appeals to the gaze of outsiders gravely distorts reality and minimizes the complexity of cultures and of individual lives.

Do all Iranian women share a history and culture that uniformly shape women’s lives and their experience? I will post part two on this when I get back from my forced sabbatical…until then…. Fight strong and Proud Iranian women you have earned the right…

Part Two Iranian Woman

Part of my goal in doing this is to partially educate myself on the thoughts of Iranian women who are in the USA, either by choice or displaced. When one lives amongst the subjects at hand, your focus becomes very blurred and biased. That is why I’m including views from when I lived there as well as views by Iranian women who live in the USA today. Also in doing this I hope to share a certain part of Eastern culture with Americans who are ignorant to the personalities, lives and hardships of those women that live in Iran.

Therefore, this study is not about the generic title, “Iranian women”. To the degree that the label “American women” is problematic because it overlooks racial, ethnic, and class differences, the title “Iranian women” also presents its own problems. Such general terms deny women their personal qualities, obscuring their diverse backgrounds and various lifestyles.

This article is not about Islamic feminism or feminism in Iran. Women’s lives and rights in Iran have received considerable mention/attention since the early 1980’s.

The dramatic changes introduced by the Islamic Republic only a few years after its ascent to power prompted many scholars as well as students of Iran to start studying up on as well as examining closely the position of women in Iran during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While such study has revealed women’s veiled but volatile presence in sociopolitical domains, it has also exposed the fragile and nascent nature of modernization attempts that were begun during the Pahlavi regime.

Historical studies on Iranian women, e.g. have recorded the lives and excerpts written by individual women who tried to introduce the first schools for girls in Tehran (1907); or in other cities.

The founders of these institutions were denounced, attacked, harassed by the authorities and at times even by their own families. Ostracized and alone, these women nevertheless paved the way for the opening of the first public schools for girls by the year 1918. Despite their veiling requirements they still drove on and pushed for change.

A few years prior to these above attempts a small group of women from all social classes but mostly the upper-and upper-middle-class families became politically active, playing a noteworthy role on the side of Constitutionalists.

Condemning the Russian governments intervention in Iran’s affairs in 1911, these women formed secret societies using their veils, they transferred messages and arms to various parties involved. At the conclusion of this there were over 1000 women who were protesting Russia’s interference. In a country and at that historical milestone where society condemned any outside activity by women or ones that women were involved in were considered immoral. Despite this the women still managed to express their opinion on the future of their country. The gathering of more than one thousand veiled women outside the parliament on November 29, 1911, to reprimand the men for yielding to Russia’s ultimatum is a historical image never to be forgotten within the mind’s eye.

The Iranian Revolution started a whole new group of scholars anxious to study the frighteningly limited and oppressive lives women had lived at the turn of the 20th century. It also set the scene for these courageous and brave women to demonstrate to the world their insistence for social change and political integrity.

Historically, the “veil” created mystery; gender segregation brought seclusion, isolation and perhaps a narrow and limited worldview. Draconian laws and cultural practices created hardships for women’s mobility and their civic rights.

But the women of the 20th century showed a great deal of initiative in shaping their own destinies. If the new studies of women in 20th century Iran display or exhibit the hardships Iranian-women endured, it also brings to light their resilience and determination to change their lives.

The 1979 Revolution led to an arduous process of gender wake-up calls. Women’s lives both in the private and public realms became topics of conversation and debate. Parallel with this time frame the government tried to reverse the secular changes enforced during the 20th century to control educational opportunities and career options and instead to introduce a new image of the Muslim woman. The government was set to Islamacize the country and create an ideal Muslim image for all women to revere and embrace.

While laws, albeit secular or religiously based, affect women’s lives, their opportunities in terms of education, family life and career opportunities; and even their choice of dress style and color, women lived/live their lives both within and beyond the boundaries set forth by the government in power. Now I will start part 3 off with how these women deal with everyday life struggles and exhibit a layer of reality that reaches far beyond any concept of reality of what any government does and does not do.

Part Three Iranian Woman

POV: Moving to the USA

One woman who relocated to the USA during the revolution states the following: * Some excerpts were used with express permission by either the published authority or the women themselves.

“My move to the United States made my life both exciting and unsettling. The political turmoil in Iran further exacerbated the situation; cutting ties to my family back home. The Revolution had started and Iran was on the news every night. I remember days of darkness in 1979, living in absolute confusion about what was happening in the country not knowing if my family or people I knew were all right. All of a sudden, we, the Iranian foreign students, became the enemy, the unwanted aliens in the US. All of a sudden, our collective identity changed from being an ally and supporter of the US’s politics in the region to that of a hostile adversary. Because of this situation, the past 20 years, especially those early days- have not been easy. Living with an identity not of our own choice, an identity bestowed on us because of political expediency and international relationships, has been problematic if not excessively uncomfortable. But life goes on.

While I was never able to pick up where I left off with my sister, those topics of conversation remained as poignant as ever. After the Revolution, I had even more reasons to think about men and women, fathers and mothers, marriage and divorce. The Revolution had introduced dramatic changes that affected not only women’s civil and family rights but also men’s lives.

The old topics of conversation and issues related to women’s experiences seemed to have gained an enormous significance. These topics and related questions became sources of casual conversation with friends, colleagues, and those interested in the changes happening in Iran. However, these conversations occurred in the US with men and women who had left Iran some time ago. Obviously, our perspective was different from those who were still living in Iran.

Given the upheavals the country was going through, women’s lives were a recurring theme of conversation for those of us living abroad. Needless to say, those women were our mothers, sisters, aunts, and friends. However, while we talked about women in Iran, the voices of these women were absent from our conversations. While we talked on their behalf, trying to grasp the depth of their feelings and daily experiences, there was a grave need to hear the voices of women still living in Iran.”

My experience with Iranian women

While living in Iran from May of 1998 to November 2001, I had more than enough opportunities to listen to women directly. The women mostly talked about their lives in the present rather than speculating on them in the future. While women are supposedly the second class citizens in Iran, I learned that men depend heavily on their words, actions and look to them for advice…A paradox for me to witness was that most men in Iran were especially closer to their mothers than their fathers. While this may be due to the oldest male child takes financial responsibility of the family if anything should happen to the father is the case or not I don’t know…Or maybe it is my theory, that

(Page 6 of 9)

Created on: December 25, 2009

Islamic law has taken women out of the realm of acquaintance to men in public, thus leaving them as some great mysterious enigma, only to be figured out once an arranged marriage is in the works.
I truly believe that everything they told me was on a factual basis…I was an English instructor to many younger and older girls in Iran, both in a school and private setting. For whatever reasons these women found it easy and comforting to talk to me…Many begged to stay past their 1 ½ hour time allotted for private classes, just to continue venting.

Parisa

* All statements unless otherwise stated are those of the woman that the focus is intended upon.

One girl in particular who spoke to me, yet mimicked many thoughts of Iranian women was Parisa Nasrizadeh.

Parisa had started coming to my private English classes in July ’99…she was still a student of mine when I left Iran in 2001. Parisa’s husband had relocated to Texas, USA, and had explained to her that she and their 2-yr.old son would have to wait until he became settled before he could send for them.

Parisa was more than excited about the thought of moving to America, but after almost 2 years, the weekly telephone calls from her husband had dwindled to a monthly call if that. His attitude had changed remarkably and Parisa suspected that he had a girlfriend in Texas. Well her suspicions were well founded in December 1999, when she called her husband only to have his mistress answer the telephone.

Parisa came to my house crying and a wreck. Although she did not have a class scheduled for that day, I put off all other appt. to talk with her, she felt like she couldn’t divulge this information to her family or they would see her as a failure.

For whatever reason in Iran the family has the stigma associated to them of failure if their daughter isn’t a virgin on her wedding night, or if her once happy marriage turns sour. This puts a lot of undue pressure on the women to be all things to their husbands. Also it is law for Iranian men to retain custody of the children in a divorce; from my understanding up to age, seven they are to be with their mother and after that their father.

Parisa married young as was the tradition in Iran, and she states she gave her youth so that she could have her old age to herself.

In the beginning the marriage was a romantic dream she says, he was so kind, loving and we talked for hours on how big of a family we would have, as well as me continuing my education for my engineering degree.

He literally put the stops to that after the first year of proving his worth as a good provider and husband. All my hopes since H.S. were cremated in that second year of marriage! I was pregnant and he had just stated very matter of factly that I would not be returning to college, since my place now was in the home as a mother and wife.

I learned one thing and that was not to argue with him. We had our conflicts in the past, he had always won out, and the punishment of taking the car privileges away so that I could visit my parents was more than I could bear.

After learning that he had plans to move to the USA and that his immigration papers were approved, I felt a depth in my stomach I could not describe. It was one of living out my dreams vicariously through him, yet dreading the one day I knew would come and that was him telling me I couldn’t come to the USA.

I don’t know what made me think this way, it was a gut feeling, and so far, my gut feelings were infallible.

Upon learning of his mistress, I immediately told her to have him call his wife and son in Iran upon his return. She hung up rather aggressively. She had no right to be angry, I was the one after all that had been hurt, cheated on, betrayed, and manipulated.

He did return my call late that night, and he was very angry, upset, and yelling at me. I quietly told him that I would file for “tadiq” which is a divorce in Iran. He resisted, stating that he would be coming home in the summer to see his son. I humored him, but only until I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing my life away any longer for a man who did not love or respect me as his wife and mother of his child.

What I did next was not only looked upon as a personal failure but attributable to my family as a failure in raising me as well. My parents did not take the news well since they initiated the marriage. My father who has always been kind to his wife and us his daughters became somewhat put off. He had asked me why? I told him that he had found another woman. My fathers reply: What couldn’t you do to satisfy him? I replied nothing. My father’s last words were: You must have did or didn’t do something right so work on it and perfect it for or if there is a second chance for you.

So here I was a single parent in a society that looked down upon this. They not only found it appalling they harassed single women parents as well. Well this is when my mother became such an integral part of my life, as well as all my female friends.   will end this one account synopsis here to start Part 4 re: Mothers, Daughters, and the ties that bind…

Part Four Iranian Woman

Examining the mother-daughter relationship reveals the isolation and the powerlessness, at times, forces some mothers to turn to their daughters, most often eldest daughters, as companions, friends, or confidants. Having a mother confide in the female child brings the world of childhood to an abrupt end and puts the child in a contradictory position, forcing a too-immature entrance into the adult world and risking possible exposure to intimate but potentially disturbing aspects of the marital relationship……..While doing this I wanted to explore the various ways in which mothers have internalized the dominant societal attitudes about the superior/male and inferior/female aspects of gender relations.

The more than often-powerless position of mothers in the marital relationship perpetuates a cycle of powerlessness in the female child and critically colors her attitudes toward the father and other men. Furthermore, this situation may retard the development of both parties in the future.

While this part of the essay explores those relationships that are cherished by daughters, it also articulates the darker side of the mother-daughter bond and family interactions. Like all studies based on qualitative research, the sample in this study is small therefore caution must be taken not to generalize the findings to all mother-daughter relationships. It is important to emphasize the variability in mother-daughter relationships and avoid attributing universal and invariant features to them.

Many women cherish close relationships with their mothers and have developed lifelong friendships. But I wanted to explore the multifaceted and nourishing relationship-a vital relationship without which the survival of the family institution as we know it today would be jeopardized. It also examines the ways in which patriarchy harms women and retards the development of happy and fulfilling relationships between men and women, husbands and wives, and mothers and daughters.

“HER PAIN IS MY PAIN”

When I discuss the mothers I would like to clarify the group in which this is focused on which would be; a cohort of women who were born between the early 1920’s and the late 1930’s. For most Iranian women of this generation, marriage was not a personal choice based on romantic love. Rather, it was viewed as a family affair, decided by the parents of the young couple. All of the mothers with one exception had married men chosen by their parents. It must be noted that it was not only women who entered into blind marriages. The men whose mothers chose a wife for them and whose fathers approved of the choice also entered into marriage blindly. There were also occasions where the fathers gave their consent without consulting either the mother or their daughters.

Therefore, an arranged marriage was a blind contract for both partners, often entered into with either minimal or no prior knowledge of the other person’s appearance or personality.

The mothers typically married at a young age, moved to a new house that they most often shared with the husband’s relatives, were considerably younger than their husbands, and were expected to abide by cultural perceptions about appropriate gender roles. These factors led to unequal life-long marital relationships. Thus upon starting a new life, the couple played their roles according to societal expectations and dominant traditions that dictated an unequal relationship between the two partners. This in turn created the situation in where the women live in them.

So as I have mentioned, Iranian woman is oppressed yet rebellious. She is subjugated yet unruly. She is controlled yet defiant. She is hushed and subservient. She is a religious fanatic living a secluded life. She is a revolutionary, a fighter, yet segregated and oppressed. Willing to die for her nation, she is a mother and a wife. The images contradict, with each emerging to deconstruct the others. Outsiders, foreigners, and bystanders, however tend to hold onto certain characteristics of these images, unaware of the role the West has itself played in the creation and perpetuation of a certain branch of Islamic revivalism!

And in an important synopsis is to end DOMESTIC VIOLENCE against women in ALL COUNTRIES!!!   ____Stop_Violence_Women

        Learn more about this author, Lori Foroozandeh.

My new interview with Pastor Justin Steckbauer!

Interview with Lori Foroozandeh on Being Held Prisoner in Iran

An Incredible Interview About Personal Strength and the Power of God in Times of Struggle

Justin Steckbauer

Justin Steckbauer, Yahoo! Contributor Network Jan 31, 2013 “Share your voice on Yahoo! websites. Start Here.”
I was working on my business Facebook account when I was approached by an author by the name of Lori Foroozandeh with some questions about publishing and marketing. What developed was a conversation that blew me away. She told me she had written a book about being held hostage in the country of Iran by a man she met in college. I asked her if she’d do an interview on my blog. Here is that interview. Give us a quick introduction on yourself and your book. My name is Lori Foroozandeh and the book is “Lori’s Song” it is my true life story of childhood sexual abuse, substance abuse, PTSD, and living with bipolar. This all culminated with moving to Iran with my Iranian husband who turned out to be a terrorist and I didn’t know it. Once I got there the real horror began.Give us a little history on the events leading up to your move to Iran. I was in an accident in 1992, I was introduced to Vicodin then. Gradually I went from that to Morphine, Demerol, and then I met Mohammad while I was attending Northern Michigan University for nursing. He also was addicted to Vicodin but he also liked to sniff Ritalin, I was far from a saint and did my share of recreational drugs, but toghether Mohammad and I escalated to doing hard drugs such as heroin and crack. Eventually I was caught writing false prescriptions and that is when Mohammad suggested we move to Iran to start over. He was a DEA snitch so he was able to get me out of jail on bond then we took off for Iran. Mohammad had a LOT of money and at the time I had no idea he was shipping cars to Iran with weapons in them. He ran a car dealership and this is what he did. He was also a terrorist who would kill Iranian war vets for the govt. so they wouldn’t have to deal with the disabled veterans

You mentioned abuse while you were a child. Do you think that lead into drug use? I’m sure it did. When my adoptive family got me at 6 months old, I had a LOT of cigarette burns and rashes all over from not getting bathed or my diaper changed. Then when I was 10 -11 yrs. old my adoptive brother started molesting me. I emancipated myself from my family at age 15 to get married and get away from my brother.

Then you started attending Northern Michigan University? How did you meet Mohammad?  He was visiting his children from a previous marriage. Beth (his ex-wife) and I were friends before I met him, and she told me she had to go into the witness protection program to get away from her ex husband because she was afraid she would end up dead or her kids taken away. But when I met Mohammad I thought Beth must have been crazy. Mohammad found Beth because he was close to the police department (in every county due to being a snitch) and they got the information for him. I was living in family housing at the University.

Tell us about your move to Iran. I had a 13 yr. old son (Doug) when I left, and I had asked him if he wanted to go with us or stay with his dad back in the USA. He chose staying with his dad. (In hindsight I’m so GLAD HE DID). We went to NY first and Mohammad had some secret dealings with his (COUSIN) he received a LARGE sum of money and then we took a plane to Iran. When I arrived I couldn’t speak Farsi (the persian language) and his family accepted me and were kind. They even held the traditional sacrifical lamb event, and I had to step over when welcomed to their home. I was an animal lover and this bothered me. I had to keep my head and body covered with a chadora or a roose a ree which was a scarf. The chadora was a big black wrap around piece of cloth. Paradoxically though I loved Iran, I taught English to girls aged 10-21 in a school called Zabanoomazan Language Institute. I loved my students and the feeling was reciprocated. I loved the fact that no one knew my past and loved me for who I was, that was until Mohammad started beating me.

Was the culture in Iran very different from the United States? The culture in Iran is so different. First thing I learned when we arrived at the airport and they took my passport, was that I needed my husbands written permission to leave the country. Mohammad had lied to me and told me how much more Iran was modernized now. When we got into a a nice limo like car at the airport the first thing I saw was a building that said “DEATH TO AMRIKA” then I saw women who were being slapped in the face for walking too close to their husbands.

They hang women quite regularly for sins like adultery. But a man only needs two people to back his story to get his wife killed. I think they don’t want to divorce her so they kill her. I saw them hang them with contruction cranes, and they want the children to watch too. They consider “compassion” as letting the womans mother walk her to the noose and spend five minutes with her. They consider Friday their day of rest and only have that day off work. All the shops shut down in the day from 2-4 for lunch and nap time. After dinner the men go smoke opium together.
Tell us about the events leading up to your being taken hostage. I had heard rumors from Mohammad and other women that something was going to happen on 911 (they picked that date because it correlated with our signal for distress). We didn’t know what or where just that something was going to happen. I tried to call home on the 9th,10th and the morning of the 11th, and the operator said no international calls being placed at that time.
Mohammad said we had to leave the country in case something happened and the USA retaliated ( i still didn’t know what they would retaliate for) we went to the Shiraz bus station and were going to catch a bus to Istanbul then a plane to America. About ten minutes or less two convoy cattle type trucks pulled up and took me one way and Mohammad another (that was literally the last time I saw Mohammad. I was blindfolded and taken to this camp in the hills. There was a L shaped cement building which we were led thru to the outdoor camp where we were handcuffed to one other person for the entire time. We were beaten, raped and starved for six weeks, the girl I was handcuffed to was Faresh she was from Bahrain, she told me that anyone who was American or who had ties to America were being picked up. She was a younger girl and when the guards saw that after they took one of us girls to rape us we would communicate sympathy to one another when they came back by facial expressions. This angered them so they started publicly raping us because then we were too embarrassed to look each other in the eye then. Fareshes parents and brother had to watch her get puclicly raped, and eventually her brother worked something out with the guard (I have no idea what but they were from a rich family) and one night we were finally going home. I told you what happened the night before we left. When we got out of the camp there were two men waiting to help us get back to Shiraz where I went to Ostandary (a place for foreigners in trouble) there is no embassy in Iran so they flew me to Dubai and then home.
When I got home I weighed 70 pounds, my teeth were knocked out, and I had suffered traumatic brain injury. But once I got home I didn’t care anymore started doing drugs again, stripping, and you name it I did it. Then I met John my true knight in shining armor. He sold his John Deere dealership to stay home and take care of me. I got clean in 2008 and have been ever since. I was diagnosed with bipolar in 2005 and am on meds that help tremendously. Is that it? I’m sorry still emotional after 12 years you’d think I would be less emotional but I’m not. I have a few more questions, but we can postpone. Oh OK go ahead we might as well wrap this up.You mentioned when we were talking earlier that you heard the voice of God just before you escaped. What was that like? When I felt the tap on my shoulder I turned around thinking someone was coming to take me away and beat or rape me again, but no one was there, then I heard a low clear voice tell me “Lori your going home” and I just felt warm and content for one moment. But I had no idea we were going home and the next night we were on our way.

So you got back and things didn’t go well at first like you said. Then you decided to write a book about the things that happened. Why? I kept being told that I should write a book about it, that it’s cathartic, it would take my mind off other things, yeah right I thought. So I sat down and started typing and for three months didn’t stop. I never have read my book from cover to cover because I’m scared to, but I let John proof read it for me chapter by chapter then I submitted it to a literary agent who edited the grammar and spelling. Then I self publbished. I really don’t know if it has helped me by writing it, but others tell me it has helped them (which is great). Everytime someone contacts me to speak or do a signing or something else, I have to embrace the whole book again and the nightmares come back and the flashbacks. Luckily my seizures have been few and far between though.

I love the title. How did you come up with it? A movie a long time ago called Brian’s Song it had James Caan I think in it, it was about a football player who got cancer and his struggles with life. I just loved that movie so it was after that.

Is there a message in the book you want to get across to readers? Yes you can overcome anything if you try. Don’t fall into a pattern like I did when I first got back from Iran, just focusing on all the pathetic things that have happened to you, that is the easy way out. Rise above that and be wise and break away from the crowd by turning your tragedy into a lesson learned and help to others when they are down on their luck. Portions of my book sales go to Amnesty International, The humane society, my drug addiction hospital and Henry Ford Hospital which has treated me since 2005. Thank you Justin for allowing me to tell my story, your a good man and on the right path to being a pastor.
When we first started talking you mentioned being interviewed on the Discovery Channel. What was that like? Was there any political or media response to what happened to you? The Discovery Channel (Fit and Health) did a mini documentary on me regarding my story. Even though a few facts were minimized if not wrong, they overall did a good job. I haven’t heard that there were ANY RESPONSES from that interview. Which I think is weird. I’m the third story in a series of three. This was aired on Dec. 27th 2012. The interview was nerve testing for sure.
Thank you so much for the interview. Your story is truly inspiring. What’s your life like now? I’m very happy now with the love of my life. I wish everyone well and never give up in the face of adversity. We have two choices in life to LIVE it or EXIST in it, I choose to LIVE it, and I hope you do too. I also have a blog that list all the links to stories or interviews regarding my book on the right of the page. www.lorissong.com