September 8, 2007
Elegy for a Dream
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Over and over, I watched the three-minute clip. I found myself inexplicably moved, unreasonably fascinated by Reza's image. I had seen the coronation before -- on television the day it happened, in pictures and coffee-table books for years after. I remembered how my family was glued to the television set that morning, how people spoke about the pomp and circumstance of it for what seemed like an eternity. But seeing it again that day -- seeing him again -- stunned me into a long-overdue realization: that I, too, feel a profound sense of loss at being denied the possibility of living in Iran, that I know what ails my fellow Iranian Jews who still hold onto the pipe dream of returning to live under the crown prince who now claims he's a shah -- a king without a kingdom, a shepherd without a flock.
He symbolized, with his youth and his seemingly limitless future, the power and grandeur that, we believed, would one day be his -- he symbolized for us a life of possibilities, such as we hadn't known for centuries. Now, in America, where most of us have thrived and prospered beyond our wildest expectations, it's still difficult to let go of the idea of what could have been, what seemed -- that morning as we all watched the little boy waving in the golden carriage -- a blessed fate.
Gina B. Nahai is an author and a professor of creative writing at USC. Her new novel, "Caspian Rain," will be published this fall. Gina Nahai's column appears monthly in The Journal.
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