Tourist at an Anti-America Rally

Of the many writers whose work I’m showcasing on, perhaps my favorite is Kelly Sobczak, who traveled through Ethiopia, Yemen, Iran and Pakistan (among other places) during the tumultuous fall of 2001. This week I’m featuring her Teheran story, “Anger Against America“, wherein Sobczak plays tourist and reporter at an anti-America rally.

“Very few citizens of the Great Satan make it to Iran,” she writes, “but those who do await a surprisingly warm welcome. While their intense hatred for Uncle Sam goes unmasked, Iranians are quick to point out that they have no problems with the American people. Upon hearing that I hail from the homeland of the enemy, people shake my hands, tell me about their relatives who have made it to America, pay for my bus tickets, and invite me for tea and even into their homes. And they all express sorrow and outrage about the devastating terrorism attacks on America. Never have I felt more welcomed and loved during my trip around the world than I have in the Islamic Republic. That is why it is even more shocking to see the anti-American slogans painted on the brick walls that surround what was once the embassy.”

Sobczak’s honest, straightforward account of the experience is consistently engrossing. “There I am,” she writes, “with banners, burning flags and angry Iranians surrounding me, and for an instant I close my eyes because I want to remember this moment forever, my first demonstration. The fact that it is against my country and in Tehran, well, that just makes it more memorable

Posted by | Comments Off on Tourist at an Anti-America Rally  | December 26, 2002
Category: Travel News

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