In Los Angeles and New York and elsewhere in the West, families who had left Iran "for the summer," to"wait out the troubles" and "return in time for the kids to start school in September" realized there was no going back.
It's been 30 years since I left Iran, and I still know I'm going back some day, because I have to see that house again, to stand before the yard door and discover if it's indeed 12 feet high, or if I've imagined it so, to ring the doorbell and see if I can hear its chime echo up and down the street.
The five got into a van and were driven to a tent in the middle of the desert, near the Pakistani border. By this time, my great-grandmother had realized that they were not headed for a vacation but instead were fleeing Iran, and she began loudly protesting.
Since 1978, Iranian Jews have injected into a stable, maybe even staid Jewish community talent, industry, a profound connection to their Jewish roots and a desire to have a positive political and social impact on the city. They have energized a Jewish community that could always use invigorating.
I don't know what will become of the legacy of Iranian Jews outside of Iran, how history will judge us in the context of the opportunities we had and the extent to which we helped make the world a better place with what we were given.
Iranian Jewish members of the "30 Years After" organization talk about becoming more active in Los Angeles, state and national politics; featuring Assemblyman Mike Feuer and L.A. DWP General Manager H. David Nahai.
The Shah of Iran 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.