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I too lived in Iran in the 1970s. I arrived in August 1975 and met by future husband probably by the end of September--an American hired by Bell Helicopter to teach the Shah's Army to fly helicopters. We had many good friends from many countries, USA, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Iran, etc. Much of the world was in Isfahan at that time, building, teaching, etc.

I was evacuated on January 31, 1979,with only the belongings in two suitcases, leaving my soon-to-be-husband on the tarmac. He has been allowed on the Air Force base to assist in the loading of the charter plane that took me and many good friends away. (H was out by the first of march with our dog.)

I eventually made my way to Portland, Oregon and stayed with my family until I figured out what to do. As it happened my mother was hosting a bridal shower for a young woman from the church in which I was raised. During the festivities one of the women commented that I must be happy to be home. I said, without thinking, "I left my home, my job, my friends and my dog." then I saw the stricken look on my mother's face. I've never forgotten that look or the shock on the faces of the other women in the room.

Although I returned to the Gulf for six more years, married my husband and now am a full professor and department chair at a university in the west, I still know that my remark, however painful for my mother to hear, was the truth. A big part of me still resides in Isfahan, Iran. And I am grateful for the many opportunities I have to speak about the Middle East, Iran, Dubai, UAE, and I teach a Middle Eastern Women Writers course at least once every three semesters.

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