Edit my paper on Iranian history

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Please edit my paper for grammar, spelling, and content. I need it to be at a much higher standard than it is right now, so feel free to change up the sentences, add or subtract. It is a total of 7-8 pages double spaced right now, so make sure the length stays the same!

Also, incorporate the sources listed in the bibliography into the paper. They are hardly mentioned or referred to at all throughout the paper. I want it to be more of a research paper comparing my family history with the Iranian and Jewish history. It shouldn’t be like a diary.

Here’s my paper:


Change is never easy. In many cases, a million changes at a time can drive a sane person insane. Though without change, there is no progress or growth. The changes that occur in one’s life become the challenges that truly test the human strength to push through and grow rather than to crumble. This is exactly what my family, along with thousands of other Iranian families had to undertake when they were forced to face and overcome the biggest change and challenge of their lives in 1979; the Iranian Revolution. Throughout this paper I will thoroughly explain my family’s history, culture, religion, emigration in comparison to those of which in the Iranian, Iranian Jewish, American, and American Jewish history.

My family, all devout Jews, comprised of four members, my mother, father, brother, and I, were all born in Tehran, Iran. A country that Iranians were once proud to be born in and identify with. It was a beautiful and peaceful country that resembled the hospitality of its people until everything changed. The fall of Mohammad Reza Shah and the rise of Islamic Fundamentalists changed Iran and every Iranian’s life forever (Kurzman 229). The Islamic Revolution of 1979 was not only a change in government, it was a change in life as they knew it for every individual in Iran.

Iran under the rule of Shah is the Iran my mother and father reminisce about even today. In 1946, my father was born, and 13 years later my mother was born in 1959. Being more than a decade apart, they lived somewhat of a different life growing up in Tehran. My mother went to an all girls public school up until the 12th grade. She remembers her academic tenure as a joyful one with very well educated professors and students (Rahmanizad). She was never forced or pressured to take a religious course as part of her cericuliam as it was a choice for all students (Rahmanizad). Since she attended an all girls school growing up, her group of friends comprised of all girls and most of them if not all were Muslim (Rahmanizad).

After receiving her high school diploma, she no longer continued her studies because her academic performance did not allow her to go to college. Though most of her peers did regardless of their gender or financial status (Rahmanizad). She remembers that all the girls in her class had high goals set for their future and were studying to become doctors or engineers (Rahmanizad). Her peers did not believe that these careers were strictly for men, and they passionately wanted to pursue higher education and become college graduates. “Jewish girls, who until a few generations earlier had received no education at all, were now on equal footing with boys and studied at all levels” (Soomekh 6).

After my mother failed to pursue a higher education, she decided to pursue a career as a flight attendant. Though this dream was quickly crushed by the up rise of Ayatollah Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini. Her application was ripped apart in front of her eyes along with her dream, this incident occurred only because she identified as a Jew (Rahmanizad). The horrific reality of this is that she was not alone, this happened to thousands of others just like her. After the revolution, all women and more so Jewish women and men were dreadfully discriminated against and were banned from many careers and positions. For this reason she had to put aside all she had hoped to achieve and work at her dad’s store (Rahmanizad).

Khoumanie coming into power did not have much of an influence on my mom’s family financially (Rahmanizad). Before and after the revolution, her family remained financially stable, though she lived a completely different life under Khoumanie’s power (Rahmanizad). She described this new life as life with no freedom (Rahmanizad). She had to now wear a hijab, and make many different changes to her daily life and routine. But most importantly, she now lived in constant fear as a Jewish women in the Islamic Republic of Iran (Rahmanizad).

Meanwhile, my father also no longer perused a higher education after receiving his high school diploma. Though for him, it was due to a different reason. He had to quit school and go immediately to work in order to support his family financially (Houshanian). Though his family consistently remained financially stable along with all of whom my dad was friends with (Houshanian). Growing up my father along with almost everyone in his community were financially stable or thriving (Houshanian). “During the Reza Shah’s reign, many Jews prospered financially” (Soomekh 6). Nevertheless his life, like my mother’s, immensely changed after the revolution. My father clearly felt the economy decreasing with the uprise of Khoumanie. It was clear that a lot less people were out shopping and spending money, and this greatly affected his business (Houshanian). With many having their property and finances confiscated after the revolution, poverty and crime was on a rise.

As a man in Iran, my father had to also make several changes to his wardrobe and lifestyle with Khoumanie in power. It was not only women who had to wear a hijab. Men could no longer wear short sleeve shirts, or pants. Ties and bow ties were also forbidden. As well, both men and women had to refrain from wearing vibrant colors, only dull colored clothing was acceptable in public (Houshanian). Men had to strictly look a certain way to the extremes of their hair; certain hairstyles were forbidden along with open toe shoes (Houshanian). The consequence of committing these ‘crimes’ were either imprisonment or in some cases death.

Over a decade after the revolution, my parents met for the first time in 1995 and tied the knot only six months after they had originally met. They very much so followed in the footsteps of their parents when it came to their marriage. My mother’s mother married a 42 year old man when she was only 20 years old, through a arranged marriage (Rahmanizad). At that time she was considered too old to be getting married as the norm was to get married while a girl is still a teen (Dallalfar 239). Accordingly, my mom married a man 49 year old man when she was only 36 years old, also paired together by their parents. Like her mother, she was also considered too old for mirage as the prime time to get married was in your early 20s (Dallalfar 239).

In many ways, my mother and father both mimic the traditions and cultural practices of their own parents with only minor differences regardless of the many years that lies between the two generations. My parents held many traditional ceremonies and rituals leading up to their wedding, and followed in the footsteps of their parents. If they were to not have such celebrations and exercise these rituals, they would have been looked down upon in their community as everyone would believe the reason for not doing so is financial instability. For this reason, my parents hosted every cultural celebration one can name. My mother explained that they had to do it or else their reputation would have been tarnished or as she said it in Farsi, “aberomoun meiraft” (Rahmanizad).

One cultural practice that my family participated in Iran was Chaharshanbe Suri. This is a celebration that takes place on the last Wednesday before Nowruz, the Iranian new year. On this day at night, all Iranians across the nation jump over fire to get rid of their sins and all bad things in order to start the new year on a good and fresh note. This cultural practice is one of Iran’s most celebrated traditions and my family’s favorite. Growing up in Iran this was equivalent to the American 4th of july. Families get together and set off fireworks in both celebrations, though in Iran there’s an addition of jumping over fire.

Additional to our Persian cultural practices, my family also participated in every religious practice. In Iran we all participated in Shabbat every friday night, and celebrated all jewish holidays such as Yom Kippur, Passover, and Hanukkah. We attended our neighborhood synagogue just like we do in the United states. Nothing has changed about this since our migration. We follow through with the same practices in the same depth. None of our family’s beliefs and religious practices have changed over the years in America.

The idea or decision of migrating to the United States was not ignited by my brother and I as we were very young. At this time, my brother was only 10 years old, and I was 9 years old. My parents made this difficult decision due to a number of reasons. The main reason was the safety of my family. As a jewish family in the Islamic Republic of Iran, we faced many obstacles that challenged our safety on a daily basis. We lived in Iran for many years after the revolution, and every year the circumstances grew worse and worst. We dealt with threats towards our lives and our loved ones in the jewish community, enough was enough. “To many, the question was not whether or not Iran will experience another revolution. It was rather when that transformation will occur” (Saatchi 71). But it never did.

Meanwhile, my parents knew that my brother and I could not excel academically at our full potential in Iran. All of the educated professors and staff at honorable institutions were kicked out of their positions under Khoumani’s power. These people were replaced by individuals who were clearly unqualified for their position. This was intentionally done to minimise the advancement of the Iranian population academically. The less intelligent the population is, the more power the government gets to obtain. As well, the institutions discriminated against Jews and made it difficult for them to move forward in their academic studies.

My family could not bear the thought of living like this forever. The rules and restrictions that had been put into place was only getting stricter. We were living in complete fear of our lives at all times, as we could have gotten imprisoned or killed at any given moment for the simple things the government classified as ‘crimes’. Family celebrations had to take place undercover, and being Jewish wasn’t something that could always come out of our months without a consequence.

As the Iranian Jewish community was getting smaller, so was our attachment to this religion. We were losing touch of who we are and what it means to live and not hide. Migrating to the United States was one of the hardest decisions my parents had to make. Though soon it became clear that Iran was no longer a place to live with the tyranny that had began. Thus, in 2005 we forever said goodbye to our home country and fled to Los Angeles, California.

Our flight was hasty, and we were penniless; nonetheless, their wherewithal proved more than fruitful. We entered a country in which not one of us spoke a word of English, nor knew much about. We struggled to overcome both the language and cultural barriers before us, and today it still remains a struggle that my family is working towards overcoming. Hailing from a different such a different culture, we had a lot of adjusting to do.

Growing up in Iran, my family and I were very much so the stereotypical, Iranian family. We lived in a fancy house with pillars not only outside of our house but as well one inside. We had a persian rug on every area that one could fit on, and we had even purchased a couple of extra ones for special occasions. In the meantime, these guest exclusive rugs remained rolled up under the bed so it can hold its new and vibrant form. We celebrated every persian holiday and participated in all cultural practices and traditions. My mother was a housewife and took care of my brother and I while my did worked in order to support us. Everything about us from the food we ate, to the clothes we wear, and the words we spoke was truly Iranian.

Though in the United States, none of that existed; everything changed. The lives that my family lived in Iran for decades, completely flipped for the better and for the worst. These changes in language, financial status, and culture were the greatest obstacles that laid before us. Struggling financially was something my family had fortunately never dealt with in the past. My mother had to now obtain a job, and my father had to transition from owning his very own store in Iran, to now working for another man. For anyone to wake up everyday and go to the same job for decades, walking away can be a difficult and emotional experience.

Not to mention, none of us could understand anything anyone was saying for years. Going to a foreign country is very exciting, but usually it comes to point that people can’t wait to eventually go back home and read the signs and hear the people speak in the language that they understand. However, for us we had no order choice but to learn English. As fast as my brother and I managed to learn it, my parents still struggle with it till today. The many cultural practices, food, and traditions that we were so attached to and fund of did not exist in the United States. As well, Chaharshanbe Suri was not celebrated remotely the same way as it was in Iran.

Tehran has been a home to my family for generations after generations. It feels like a deception to know the fact that I am a part of the last generation in my protracted family tree to get to call Tehran, home. My children will be a stranger to the city that my family and I have an infinite amount of memories in and grew up in. When we hear “Tehran” it will always mean home to us, yet it’ll only be a foreign sound to them.

With everything that my family had to sacrifice, emigrating to the United States was by far the best decision we ever made. The freedom and opportunities we got to enjoy in America as a Jewish Persian family, makes us forget about all that we left behind and sacrificed. In Iran, the beach even had a wall that separated men and women. No one was allowed to wear a bathing suit to the beach or walk on the sand barefoot. In the United States, no of these ridiculous rules exist. There’s freedom of speech and rights. Iranian Jews are not determined against, and the possibilities are endless.


Dallalfar, Arlene. Iranian Immigrant Women in Los Angeles: the Reconstruction of Work, Ethnicity and Community. UCLA, 1989.

Houshanian, Manouchehr. “Personal Interview” 23 Apr. 2018.

Kojoori-Saatchi, Autoosa Elizabeth. Culture of Revolution: Revolutionary Transformation in Iran. Proquest, Umi Dissertatio, 2011.

Kurzman, Charles. The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran. Harvard U Pr, 2005.

Rahnmanizad, Shahnaz. “Personal Interview” 23 Apr. 2018.

Soomekh, Saba. From the Shahs to Los Angeles: Three Generations of Iranian Jewish Women between Religion and Culture. SUNY Press, 2013.

“The Revolution’s Forgotten Sons and Daughters: The Jewish Community in Tehran during the 1979 Revolution.” Taylor & Francis, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00210862.2014. 948744.

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