Sunday, August 18, 2013

"Rome, Tehran, Tokyo"

In an ad campaign for Hilton Hotels, "Magnificent cities" was the description used by Don Draper for Rome, Tehran, and Tokyo in the same sequence in Mad Men, Season 3, Episode 9. 1963.
2013. Exactly 40 years later, and there is no more any Hilton Hotel in Tehran.  In fact, who would think about vacationing in Tehran except for Iranians and some very rare tourists?  Who would put magnificent and Tehran in the same sentence? How often would one think of Rome and Tehran at the same time?
Alas! I can't stop but wonder how the world could be if there still was a Hilton Hotel in Tehran. Perhaps I was still living there, just blocks away from  my beloved mom and sister. Perhaps the sky of the cities in the land of Persia was still blue and not hazy with dust. Perhaps Iran was listed in the drop down menu of Expedia. Perhaps my kids could read and comprehend Ferdowsi's poem yet I was not reciting it in my head dozens of times every day:
دريغ است ايران كه ويران شود
كنام پلنگان و شيران شود
Alas if Iran is destroyed
Alas if Iran is housed by leopards and lions

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