The image of America
written by Ron:
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“The winds! I pray to Allah that one day He will stop the winds from blowing. Then we will all be able to live without the dust, without the cutting edge of the ugly, stinking cold winds that rattle our meager bones and blind the eyes of our sheep.”
So spoke Ahu, the twenty three year old son of Jamas who had spent the day with his cousin, Gev, rounding up the stray sheep that had wandered from their ranch located in the southern tip of Iran in the town of Bandar Abbas, near the Gulf of Oman.
Ahu and his cousin Gev were members of the family Jamas, a group of the followers of the Zoroastrian faith. Neither had ever travelled past the limits of Bandar Abbas, but they were both intelligent and inquiring souls. The family had purchased a television set in 1994 and they had radios and they listened to what the travelers through their land had to say about local and world affairs. Ahu and Gev were not worldly but they had knowledge of the happenings that might affect their lives. As Ahu and Gev rested from their duties of bringing in the stray sheep, Ahu turned to Gev and said, “Cousin, hopefully, some day we will be able to afford to pay others to do these hard tasks.” Gev offered a grin, nodded his head up and down and replied, “Dear Ahu, my dream is just that. That someday you and I will be able to sit and rest and watch movies on television and see the news of other countries.”
“My cousin, last night I watched the television and saw the American man who wants to be their president, the Romney man. He says the U.S. president, that Obama, is doing a bad job and that America is becoming lifeless and stale and losing respect around the world.”
“I have heard those who want to be president in the U.S. talk about the current president and they say very bad things about him. Could it be that America is really falling behind the other great countries of the world?”
Gev thought for a moment, “It is funny how in America their politicians say such insulting things about their leaders. Or maybe it is truth, that their President Obama is not a trustworthy or smart man. Perhaps he is a fool and he is trying to make America a true socialist country. That is what those who want his job claim, that he is trying to change America.”
“I watch Mr. Romney, Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Paul and Mr. Santorum and they all say that their president Obama is ruining their country and that America is being passed by China and India. They say that America is afraid to fight – and that America is even afraid of our country, Iran.
“Could it be, Ahu, that Obama is really bringing America down? Should we believe what those men say about their president? If they were in our country our president would have them shot.”
“Gev, things are different in America. I have read about things there. Those wanting to be their president can make claims and say bad and insulting things – it is part of what they do. But it makes me think that maybe America is failing. Maybe what they say is true. Maybe America is afraid of our country.”
“But Ahu, who are we to believe; those in America who claim that their country is being led down a losing path or their president who says things in America are good?”
“My cousin, I don’t know who to believe. I have spoken to our elders in the village and they have listened to what those who would be American president and they feel that perhaps what they say is true, that their President Obama is weak and is making America feeble and brittle. Perhaps America has seen its better day and is headed for failure under his leadership.”
“But we must remember, cousin, that in America people are free to say whatever they want. Those that would be president often say bad things about their president. They are free to do that.”
Ahu tugged as his traditional Bisht, pulling it tighter around his shoulders as the sun began its descent behind the grey, stony hills behind them. “My thoughts are of our people in the village and of those in other lands who have a picture of an America falling to pieces under their young president. Can this be good for America? If the warlike nations of the world hear that America is falling to pieces they might decide to make war on them.”
“And so, my cousin, how do we know if America is truly becoming weak and lame like one of our injured sheep? How do we know if what those men say is true, that their President Obama is not fit to lead their country?”
Ahu thought, “I have read about what occurs in America during their elections for president. All those against the president say very bad things about him. Americans hear how bad things are and they vote for a new person. Around the world people hear what these men say about their president and the picture is that America is failing and will soon become a second class country.”
Gev tugged at the tagiyah covering his head and said, “From what these men say about their President Obama, America is becoming a second rate country and that if he is elected again their country will only get worse in time.”
The sun had gone behind the stern mountains to the west of their home.
As they walked they both wondered about the future of America as they guided two dozen sheep to the ranch and their home.
Ahu offered a prayer as they walked, “May Allah find in his wisdom the way to reveal the truth to us. Amen.”