Jewish Journal

It’s not easy having 9/11 as a birthday

by Karmel Melamed

September 11, 2008 | 4:01 am

Following the horrific events of September 11, 2001 the lives of thousands of Americans were transformed overnight with terrorists attacking our great nation. Yet 9/11 has always been a unique day in my life as it was the day I arrived in this world. 30 years ago this year, I was born in the midst of the chaos unfolding in the streets of Tehran. Almost every year on my birthday, since I can remember my parents have reminded me that I was born in the middle the violence, killing and anarchy involved with protesters clashing with the police and military forces loyal to the late Shah. After seeing the events of September 11th on television seven years ago, I could not help but recall my own story which was quite similar and essentially a clash between the forces of good and evil in the world.

My cover story this past week in the L.A. Jewish Journal combines my own personal story and the story of Iranian Jews escaping the revolution. Yet this feature article is also meant as a sort of education for everyone else in the free world who is not familiar with the current regime in Iran. To me it’s odd how God works in mysterious ways—here I am an Iranian Jew born on September 11th during the Iranian revolution and now a journalist who has been blessed to share my experience through this venue and enlighten others about the dangerous we face with the government in Iran. I don’t know if 9/11 is a day which is cursed, but I do believe it is my responsibility to share with everyone the true nature of the beast in Iran’s current leaders. This is a regime which not only destroyed the lives of thousands of Iranian of various religions, but plundered and wasted the wealth of the nation of Iran and has become a cancer in the Middle East. The leaders of the current government in Iran killed thousands of their fellow countrymen during the revolution with the idea of spreading radical Shiite Islam through out this planet. Today their objectives have expanded with the Iranian government supporting Shiite miltias in Iraq to kill American troops as well as funding terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah to launch attacks against Israel for no reason. But the regime in Tehran has not stopped—they are now seeking to acquire nuclear weapons in order to force their own form of radical Islamic ideology in the region and the world. The revolution 30 years ago was just the beginnings of the cancerous evil brought to fruition by the delusional Islamic clerics who run Iran’s totalitarian government, today they have increased that cancer. The international community can no longer wait by the sidelines as the regime in Iran is seeking weapons of mass destruction. Diplomatic and economic pressures must be intensified against Iran’s government to stop it’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

So in the end, 9/11 is a somber birthday for me not only because of the terrorist attacks on this country seven years ago, but because of the reminder that the pure evil being spewed by Iranian’s radical clerics has spread for the past 30 years. I therefore take my responsibility as an Iranian Jewish journalist very seriously in educated and enlightening everyone about our need as freedom-loving people to deter Iran’s aggression by showing strength—diplomatically, economically and if need be as a last resort, militarily. I’m often asked to speak about the Iranian Jewish experience during the revolution at gatherings attended by Americans unfamiliar with Iran’s government. My ending remarks are always the same; “if the current regime in Iran mistreated, abused, murdered and confiscated the assets of thousands of their fellow Iranians who were Muslim and non-Muslims 30 years ago—one can only imagine what nefarious plans they have in mind for the West and America!”

On a final note, I don’t really celebrate my birthday and have not done so for the past 10 years. To the contrary for me, during these past years it has been a day of reflection and prayer that the devastating events that unfolded on 9/11 in the past will not be repeated in the future.

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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