Life in Iran before the 1979 revolution from a mother’s perspective


Farin Iranpour shared her memories of a free Iran in this deeply personal story written by CBS 8’s Neda Iranpour.

SAN DIEGO – When we see images of Iran, it looks like it has been devastated by war. It’s hard to imagine that Iran was once a country full of culture, freedom, art and women who were allowed to wear their hair or dress however they wanted.

Those memories of Iran are what’s close to the heart of many Iranian-Americans in San Diego, including the mother of CBS 8’s Neda Iranpour.

Farin Iranpour shared her memories of a free Iran in this very personal story written by Neda.

Your pictures may look like fun memories from the 1960’s and 70’s here in California. Teens can be seen on the beach frolicking in their shorts and bikinis, sun kissed and soaking up the good life. Believe it or not, these are pictures of my own family and friends in Iran on the Caspian Sea.

One of my favorite things to do is look through my mother’s old albums. She has photos of her and her friends and siblings in gorgeous outfits, stylish hairstyles and high heels.

But it wasn’t always fun. My mother explained: “My three siblings and I were raised by a strong, resilient woman, a single mother. Unfortunately, my father passed away at a young age. I think he was around 30, so my mom raised us all. We all went to college, we all graduated, we all had good jobs.”

And there was always a lot of emphasis on education: “I was well educated, I had a good job in technology.”

She excelled at school so much that by the time she was 17, the Iranian prime minister, several dignitaries, her classmates and her principal all praised her for her knowledge of calculus.

Unfortunately, she only has her memories and a few pictures from those days in Iran, because when she fled Iran during the 1979 revolution, she thought it would be temporary. “I packed a suitcase and temporarily decided to leave,” she said.

She was newly married to my father, Parviz Iranpour. They had their wedding and then, seemingly overnight, their freedom was taken away entirely under the Islamic Republic’s takeover of government.

I was born not too long after that. My parents spent the early years raising me and my brother in Spain.

“After a while we saw no hope of returning with the evil regime (that runs Iran) so we decided to come to the US with our new life,” my mother said.

Farin has called the US home for almost four decades and ensures that Iranian traditions are not forgotten. Despite her arthritis, she chops organic vegetables and herbs and makes crispy rice and potatoes known as ‘tadigh’ in Farsi. Iranian gold.

My mother said, “I try to make it taste good so that you can enjoy it, we can all enjoy it.”

From the traditional foods she grew up eating to sitting around for hours sipping tea or “cha-yee”, my mother ensures that Iranian culture is ingrained within us.

Even my little Roya is learning Farsi and reading books from Iran thanks to our family.

My mother also takes the trolley to join other Iranians at weekly rallies in support of protesters in Iran: “My heart is with them. The only thing I can do is support them by going to different rallies,” my mother said.

Her wish is that one day we all go to a free Iran.

“I hope these brave people in Iran can take back the country. After 43 years, they deserve a peaceful, happy and free life,” she said.

Much like a life for us to enjoy here, a life she worked so hard for and a life she never takes for granted.

WATCH RELATED: Art in the Sand in support of Iranians in Solana Beach (Nov 2022).



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