Tuesday, February 06, 2007

February 6th, The Unforgetable Day!

Today when I was desperately trying to finish the stupid assignment for my Civil Procedure class, I tried to write the date down on the assignment and I realized, wow! Today is February 6th! February 6th has a very special value for me because this is the date that we flew from Vienna Austria to Los Angeles CA. I always tend to remember importatnt dates that affected my life. However, if you ask me what is my mom's birthday, I am clueless! I remember December 18th was our interview with the U.S. Council in Austria.

I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was freezing, but we were so excited and at the same time a little scared. This was like 5th time we were moving, but this was it. This was no supposed to be temporary and that is why I was a little bit scared. I remember tried to sleep and I couldn’t. This was like the end of our journey and quest for a safe place to live. Then came about 3:40 am and our ride arrived, since I was the only man and even though I was 12 years old, I helped my dad carry all those big languages to the vans. As I sat in that car and the car started moving, I knew this was it! I tried to say good-bye to that old building. I was sad, another chapter of my life was over and the new one was beginning. I remember, I was thinking to myself, what’s going to happen to us? Where am I going to be in 10 years or even a year or even a month? All these uncertainties were going through my life! My sisters were crying! I was just scared! The feeling in that moment is unexplainable!

That was still nothing compare to my feelings when I sat on that KLM 747 and the pilot announced that the flight is going to Los Angeles. I remember, when the plane started moving, I told myself, “this is it! This is going to be my future!” My father turned back and said, here we go! He turned around and he said, “I went through all these for you guys to have a good future, don’t blow it!” I looked outside of the window and the as the plane was slowly moving, I promised myself that no matter what, I will make a better person of myself. I will never quit and work hard to achieve a successful life. Suddenly, I felt a little bit more relieved. I was not that scared anymore! Maybe in that second, I grew up and I just became a man, even though my girlfriend and mom don’t think I ever grew up. But I remember, I felt better.

Now, today is February 6th, many years later, I am pulling an all-nighter trying to finish this assignment. I am kind of proud of myself to be here and to have achieved this much in my life. I have three degrees from Berkeley, now I am in law school, I have traveled around the world, and I feel a lot more experienced. Even though I feel I could have done a lot better, but still, I did a lot more than many other people! All thank to my father. Both of my sisters are married with kids, my parents are enjoying a comfortable life. It cost my dad a heart attack and six or seven trips to hospital, but we do enjoy a very comfortable life.

When I remember those days, I cannot ignore the fact that I owe all these to America. If the U.S. had denied us the opportunity, who would have known where I would be now. I really do appreciate the benefit I have recieved in this country and I say "THANK YOU!"


Anonymous said...

story = lameness. pleaz learn to write.

Ben Kahen said...

Well, this is not about writting talent, neither is it about story telling!

It is about how I feel!

Anonymous said...

Arash, I admire your sense of appreciation toward The U.S. In fact you are writing about my feelings toward The U.S. and the opportunities it has given me and people like me and you. It's always in the back of my mind that one day when (not if) I get to the point worthy of honor, I would thank The U.S. as one of the main catalyzers that has helped me achieve my goals.

Ben Kahen said...

Thank you!

I don't know, that day is a day that I would never ever forget and I don't understand why! It feels weird, it is a sense of pride, I don't know how to describe or use words to explain it!

I know a lot Persians who are in this country, goes to the best school, using Federal Grants and not even loans and they speak of this country as this evil empire that needs to be destroyed. They actually get happy when American soldiers start dying in Iraq!

No matter what happens, I will always appreciate the opportunity I got in this country regardless of what is going on around the world!

By the way, I really would like to know who are you OMN? Like your first name!

Anonymous said...

"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population."
David Ben Gurion, Founder of Israel

"We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinian refugees] never do return" David Ben-Gurion, in his diary, 18 July 1948, quoted in Michael Bar Zohar's Ben-Gurion: the Armed Prophet, Prentice-Hall, 1967

"If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?"
David Ben Gurion, Founder of Israel

"Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population." Moshe Dayan, address to the Technion, Haifa, reported in Haaretz, 1969