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Two young Iranian men going to high school soon

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran

Parents everywhere are very much concerned about their children's education. I know two very young men who will be going to high school this academic year. They are both most adorable youngsters that one could possibly come to know. Both are very polite, kind, attentive, helpful, very good looking, athletic and have very generous hearts. If I had a son, I would want him to be like them, no doubt. They both have a younger sister who goes to school here in Tehran. Their fathers are very successful businessmen. However, their mothers are different in education and social background and political view of women's role in the family.

One of the boys has been sent to a school in Switzerland for an international education, and the other is going to go to a very reputed school in Tehran's city center.

I asked the parents of the latter why they decided on this school given that there are many other good schools nearer to them in north Tehran. Alternatively, why not send him abroad, since both families are pretty well off.

Both of his parents feel very strongly on this matter, and it was wonderful to note that they were in harmony and agreement over it too, which was a pleasant and wonderful surprise, as many parents do not look eye-to-eye with regard to their children's education as well as many other issues!

They told me that firstly their son is an Iranian, he belongs to this country and nothing can change that. He must not only be a good and useful citizen, but a positively proud citizen of his homeland. Both of his parents are very passionate towards their heritage and are proud of their country and its historical roots.

Secondly, they had checked many schools in Tehran to find the most suitable one for their son's education. They finally came to choose between two, a school in city center and another which is much closer to their home. At the end, the school at the city center won their opinion, since it has two main advantages over the other one. The son agrees with them too. One main advantage is that it enjoys close relationship with one of Iran's best technical universities. Last year, all the final year students of this school successfully passed the university entrance exam, and were accepted in at least one of the nation's public universities. None of them had to apply and pay a fortune to attend of these so-called 'open universities.' Another great advantage is that at this school he will meet young men like himself from all kind of social backgrounds, instead of meeting just those whose horizon is the West and look down on their country and have a dying desire to leave!.

I have no doubt that both of these young men will attend part of their university education in the West. However, what I see for them is that, one will return home and will feel truly part of this land, his community and his country. He will be able to communicate with many of his country folks and enjoy being useful, helpful, and work for or with them. He will TRY hard to make IT a better place for himself and for them with the expertise that he has gained and leaned.

The other young man, if he comes back, may always find his surroundings here a little too dismaying and or too uncomfortable. He may not ever find out exactly why. Although, I have no doubt, that he will be a very active and useful member of society and professionally very successful. He will most likely excel in whatever he undertakes. Unfortunately, I fear that he may not feel truly part of it personally and enjoy the fruits of his work and achievements for his country.

What matters to me most is these two wonderful young men's future happiness, as I have no doubt that they will both be very successful men. However, I have little doubt as to which one will be a happier one as a man in the years to come.

... Payvand News - 9/23/03 ... --

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