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The room was hot the night before, so I left the windows open, but in the morning, it was too cold for me to remain asleep. My mind routinely acknowledged the fact that I was waking up in Kampala, Uganda. The air coming into the room from outside smelled like something was always on the grill — but it was really just the trash being burned on every street corner. There wasn’t a reliable trash collecting system in Uganda, so people burned their trash in their backyards. My old friend, Yasi, and I shared the two-bedroom apartment during the summer of 2017. Next to my bed was a big window that gave anyone who walked by on the second floor of the apartment complex a great view into the room. I covered the window with the curtains at night, but the sun still crept through the blinds every morning to wake me up. …


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The bedtime stories we hear as a child often act as the prologue to our young dreams that, by morning, have started to sprout into new ideas and perspectives. Having just recently turned 20 a few months ago, my mind still wanders to the stories that my dad told me and my sister when we were growing up. The accounts of a teenage boy and his band of misfits escaping the grasps of the Iranian government and fleeing the country amidst a revolution that has altered the course of Iran’s history.

It was do or die; escape or be forced to serve in the war. My daydreams were filled with my dad making his way from Iran, through Pakistan, and all the way to Spain. Avoiding patrols, hiding cash in emptied cigarettes, and evading helicopters like John Wayne escaping bandits, Indiana Jones emerging from a burning building, James Bond walking away from an explosion. Over the hills and through the valley, all the way to the US. That was the dramatic picture that my childhood self painted from the bedtime stories of my dad’s life, and it is one that many other young Iranian-Americans share with me. Slowly my daydreams and late night thoughts have matured and now contemplate the meaning behind everything my parents had to do to get here, and what it took for my family and our traditions to exist. …

About

Kavon Badie

Here are some of my thoughts. Global citizen, Iranian-American, outdoor adventure, travel, startups, venture capital, Africa.

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