A Love Letter to Safayar
As an Iranian mother with a son of mixed heritage, I often think about his identity. The Iranian culture has been embedded in his upbringing but he has been denied the ownership of his familiar history and traditions. He is a young man in between regional identities who doesn't get to fully participate in any culture.
As I settle on my gaze my answers are found in his eyes, in his beauty, shyness, vulnerability, confidence, and deep sense of presence. It is in the gaze that he is his own self, separate from both of the lands that claim him and myself, the woman who bore him. Safayar gets to choose and construct his own identity regardless of the limited traditions some would have to adhere to.
I read Safayar a love letter, telling him all about how he is the world to me, the miracle of my life, the catalyst for my growth, and my master instructor on love.
Safayar does not speak the language of my homeland and so, like him, any non-Farsi speaking audience member must listen beyond the words, relying solely on the sound of me.
With special thanks to Golrokh Bayat, Mila Bridger, and Safayar Mesdaghi Al-Azem