Serial Entrepreneur

Ben Behrouzi

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25 Years After Escaping Iran

Persecution that is unfortunately picking up once again in todays time

ben-behrouzi-alaska_m

Its hard to imagine that its been almost 25 years since my parents secretly smuggled many of our family members out of Iran due to brutal religious persecution.  Persecution that is unfortunately picking up once again in todays time.

A reader asked me to provide more info about this portion of my background and so I offered this short post.

The 1979 revolution of Iran put in place a theocracy that among many other horrific things, directly executed over 200 Bahai's, destroyed Bahai holy places, burned thousands of homes, denied everyone access to higher education and spread mass propoganda labeling all non Muslims, specifically the Bahai's, as spies and terrorists.  As a result Iran's lower class was stimulated into a dangerous mob that resulted in many more killings and threatened increasing harm in addition to the harm already offered directly by the new Islamic Government.  So, in fear of our lives, we were forced to secretly flee the country, as simply leaving was not a friendly option.

I was about 4.5 years old when my parents, Ahdieh and Anush, were brave enough to initiate the smuggling of our family out of the country through the desert, at night, by jeep and camel into Pakistan.  Although the smugglers were able to successfully and safely put us past the border, they stole every valuble thing my family had.  We lived in Lahore Pakistan for 18 months before we attained our Visa into the US and into Alaska.  After 18 months in Saint Petersburg Alaska, my parents moved us to Central Valley California, where I grew up.

I wish I could say the rest is history, but its not.  Over the last 2 years Iran's government has begun similar behavior to its past by systematically kidnapping, imprisoning, and scheduling for execution more and more minority groups nationwide without any access to a lawyer.  The situation in Iran is once again growing progressively worse and everyone who is intimately aware of the events of the past is once again gravely concerned.