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ZanAmu: Foreign Wifes of Iranians - Children

Do you have any children? Are you thinking about having children? Are you an American-Iranian Child? Do you have any questions? Do you have anything to share with other ZanAmus? Submit to Children.

Please give us your thoughts and experiences which have enabled or prevented you from being a whole and healthy Iranian-American family. Maybe, we can learn from each others victories and defeats.

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White/Persian Children - Hope to visit Iran one day!
Name = Zoe
Email = persian1326@yahoo.com
Country & City = United States, Texas
Category of Submission = Children
Subject = White/Persian Children

Salam,

I am a Persian/European mixture. My mother is Irish, and my father is Persian of course, they were married for about 12 years, and divorced. My mother is Presbyterian, and my father is Muslim, but he didn't take us to church, he went along with the whole idea of Christianity, although not totally agreeing with it.

I am the youngest of four children, and have never been to Iran. I have wanted to for a very long time though, but since I live with my mom, she does not promote the idea because she says that it isn't safe right now.

Currently I am working on learning Farsi to meet that need inside, and to make my dad proud, he has tried to teach me, but since I only see him on the weekends, it is challenging. I am very proud of both my cultures and try to practice them both evenly. Every chance I get I'm trying to learn Farsi, and the Persian culture to surprise my dad, but it is very difficult with all of my homework and everything else that takes up time. Hopefully one day I will get to see the beautiful country I have read so much about.

Zoe

Shia Communities in US - Islamic School for Children
Name = Ashraf Ahmadi
Years Married = 26
Number of Children = 5
Country & City = Iran, Tehran
Category of Submission = Children
Subject: = Shia Communities in US

Salaam alaikum,

I'm an American Muslim living in Iran for 12 years. I am planning to move back to the US perhaps this summer, at least temporarily, so my four older children can attend the university. I'm originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but living is very expensive there so I'm thinking about living in a different community. I would like to live somewhere where there is a strong Shia community with many religious activities for youths and, preferably, access to an Islamic school for my younger daughter who is 7 years old. Of course, there would need to be a community college/four year university within commute range too, but most areas have that. Can sisters from various communities write me about their facilities for women and children, so we can make the best decision for our family? I'll also be working, so if you could also discuss whether Muslim women in the community have difficulties these days getting work (I'm an administrative secretary.), etc., I'd appreciate it! very much. Please do tell me the advantages and disadvantages so I can be well-prepared. Thank you sisters for any help you can provide! Salaam, Ashraf Ahmadi

Bringing up an iranian child in a western country

Name = Julie
Years Married = 04
Number of Children = 1
Country & City = United Kingdom, London

I am expecting a baby in a couple of weeks.

Has anyone experienced difficulties bringing up an iranian child in a western country.

My husband and I both love iranian culture, food and to a large extent, values.
Julie


Julie,

I have been married to my Iranian husband for 26 years and we have a 22 years old daughter. Comparing to my sisters and friends who have children, I don't think it has been any more difficult for me. At times, I had consider two sets of standards and rules but otherwise, the common set of our belief and likings was the ground rules for raining our child. I should add that my husband had much higher standard for our daughter than normal American family but not too different than our restrict Christian friends, when it came to dating or how she would dress and when she can have a boy friend, etc.

I am sure, you will do just fine. Good Luck, Linda

Books and Resources for teaching our child Farsi
Name = Roxanne
Years Married = 4
Number of Children = 1
Country & City = USA, Philadelphia
Category of Submission = Children

I have been married to an Iranian man for about 4 years. We don't see our cultural differences as a barrier but a blessing and a gift. We have a beautiful daughter who is bright, cheerful and charming. She is learning both English and Farsi (and some Turkish) while living here in the US. I am also learning (slowly) Farsi and I'm working on a tutorial throught software. I love the Persian culture, poetry, and rich history and want my daughter to have as much as possible. I am looking for books geared towards 2,3,4 years of age either in English or Farsi with Persian stories, folklore, or history that I can purchase, either through the net or elsewhere. She has so much exposure to the American culture that I feel she is missing out on her Persian heritage. My husband and his family share with her through their stories and religion but I would like her to be able to have some other exposure as well. I would be grateful for any advice.
- Merci!, Roxanne


Hello Roxanne,
Check Book publishers (specially Mazda) in; http://www.persianweb.net/indexb.html
Also check list of teaching software at; http://www.persianweb.net/indexe.html
Several years ago, when our children were small, my husband got several books (I believe from Mazda) which were perfect for learning Alphabet, beginning conversation phrases, etc.
I have also forwarded your email to ZanAmu mailing list and I am sure you will get more suggestions.
Regards and best wishes for Holidays, Linda
Childhood in a Persian/American upbringing
Name = A Persian girl
Country & City = USA, California,
Category of Submission = Children
Include Email to posting = NO

Salam,

I happened to come by this site while searching about my heritage. I am a European/American Iraian Girl. I thought it might be interesting for you to have a perspective of someone's childhood in a Persian/American upbringing.

My father was unable/uninterested in learning Farsi but my mother spent time teaching me the language. I am able to speak fluently but I wasn't taught to write. I've visited Iran whereas my father has not. I feel that if my father had showed more interest or support I would have had a better relationship with him. I sometimes feel like I'm caught in-between two places not knowing in which direction to turn. I do not feel completely American nor Persian. When I visited Iran I felt a great pride to be American yet here in America I have a great curiosity of my Persian heritage.

I have friends in two different groups but I find comfort in that. My Persian cluster of friends are there when I have questions such as about norooz (New Years) and they sympathize with being brought up in a strict and protective manner. My mother is Muslim and my father Catholic. Neither enforces their religion upon me nor do they attend services- there's been a compromise there. They respect each other's cultures and yet I think it's their barrier. They don't understand each other. My father tried to learn but he couldn't learn the language and things fell apart there. I feel the culture clash. So I've basically been left to fill my curiosities on my own.

I live with an understanding of both but I've attended a Catholic school from kindergarten though 8th grade. It was actually my mother that decide to send me to a Catholic school. She thought it best to have me subjected to faith and an understanding of God. I was expecting to go to a Catholic high school like most of my friends at the time were but my parents thought it was time for me to go to a public school. I appreciate what they have done for me and high school was where I started meeting a mixture of cultures.

Al I know is that they've tried to mix in their cultures. I think my mother had the most difficult but enjoyable time. She not only was able to keep her culture alive with me, she instilled the curiosity for me to search on my own yet since my mother also works I can imagine how difficult it was for her trying to teach me two languages from birth. I respect my mother greatly, but I understand that there are difficulties presented before my father. I just wish he tried a bit harder.

I am learning Farsi together with my daughter
Name = Eric van Beek
Years Married = 5
Number of Children = 1
Country & City = The Netherlands, Amersfoort

Dear Shohar-khaleh,
Nice to find out about your new site. I am happily married to an Iranian woman for 5 years now. Whe have a lovely girl of 2 years old, whom we try to raise in a mixture of our cultures.

Part of that is learning her two languages. Although I guess her Farsi is already better than mine (I took classes for 2 years, and visited Iran 3 times now), my progress in the language never was more than now. It is like learning the language together, now that my wife adresses our daughter in Farsi. I can recommend it to anyone in a similar situation.
Eric van Beek

I am very happy to have married an Iranian woman

DEAR SHOHARKHALEH,

My name is Achyut Dutt and I am from Pune India. I am very happy to have married an Iranian woman.I have found that our cultures are quite similar.There is a lot of understanding, love and warmth.

We are expecting our first child shortly. We live in India. We are interested to know which will be in the baby's best interest, Indian or Iranian Citizenship. We do not know what the rules of citizenship are in Iran. Does the Iranian Government allow dual citizenship?

If the baby is born in Iran, Is Iranian Citizenship Mandatory? I shall appreciate your help in case you have any info on these aspects.

THANKS & KHODA HAFEEZ, ACHYUT


Mr. Achyut,

Hello and thank you for visiting our website and sharing your experience and your concern. First of all best wishes for your new baby - a healthy and happy baby.

As far as citizenship rules and regulations I suggest you contact one of Iranian Government offices online or in India (Delhi). I only know that citizenship is automatic from Father side. If the father is Iranian, the baby is considered Iranian in Iran and s/he can have dual citizenship. I am not sure about the rules when the mother is Iranian, as far as dual citizenship. Check the Iranian Government offices at;

http://www.persianweb.net/government.html

Good luck and let us know what you find out. - Shoharkhaleh#2

For a child to have an additional language - cannot but be of help in his or her life
I'm an American husband with an Iranian wife, married for 20 years. We have two children, ages 16 and 12. We live in a somewhat out-of-the way small city with only a small Iranian community. Nevertheless, we are fortunate to have friends here with a deep and abiding love for Iran, its culture, and its language. Over the past 4 years, for one evening a week, these friends have been conducting Farsi classes (spoken and written) for our children and theirs, using the current texts produced by the Ministry of Education. They are now "graduated" from the second grade, which may not sound particularly impressive, but when we hear them speak, and read their compositions, there is no small measure of pride on our parts. One might wish that certain of their Iranian-born cousins here in the US and in Europe could do as well.

Apart from the issues of cultural awareness and sense of self, which are eloquently dealt with elsewhere on this and simalar sites, for a child to have an additional language - even and "exotic" one such as Farsi - cannot but be of help in his or her life, starting with college admissions and continuing into their working careers. - Bill

Learning Farsi and teaching Farsi to Children is a common Challenge, here are some resources:
[ | Issues | Children | Religion | Travel to Iran | Opinion | FAQ | Submit | Shoharkhaleh | Women Resources & WebSites | Persian Wedding ]
What are the Challenges & Rewards of being married to an Iranian? (ZanAmu, ShoharKhaleh)
 Language - Learning Persian (Farsi)
 Persian Poetry, History, Literature & Culture
 Culture - Cultural differences, Value systems
 Jokes - I don't get the Persian Jokes
 I know he loves me, why can't he say it??
 My spouse is Continually testing my love & loyalty
 Great husband/wife - Devoted father/mother, Generous
 My spouse is very controlling
 In Laws' control and lack of approval
 NEVER disagree/confront in public
 Food - Learning & cooking Persian food
 Long family visits - live in in-laws, Persian Hospitality?
 Religion - Different religions, Raising Children Muslim!
 Children - Raising children according to two different cultures
 Travel to Iran, Visa issues, Remarry as a muslim!
 Different standards and expectations from boys vs. girls
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