Overflowing: My Iran Trip Highlight


By Barbara Briggs-Letson

As I reached to bring my hot pink scarf up and over my grey hair, the colors around me, like a Sistine Chapel gone mad, shot energy into the room. Biblical stories, olden characters from early Christianity ran riot on walls and ceilings.

I was in an Assyrian Church in Estefan, Iran, had chatted with four women, one of whom spoke English, a little English and spoke smile too, a lot of smile. An interpreter/minder had joined us, helped with our understanding and putting an official damper on the
conversation as we were moving on to the nearby museum.

I was saying my good-byes. A last thought for my new friend came out of my mouth — "may I give you a hug?” She hesitated, then replied, “yes.” So we both opened our arms in that international woman's way of connecting. She hesitated again. So I did too. She was the one whose country was our somewhat reluctant host. She pulled her scarf down, showed her hair to the world, opened her arms in a gesture of freedom which I had not seen in my six days in Iran. I pulled my scarf down to accompany her, so we shared that moment of freedom and continued with our hug.

As hugs go, it was the best of my life.

That's why I was overflowing.


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  • Malcolm Bush
    commented 2019-05-23 12:22:37 -0400
    I think this trip and all such actions helps to highlight problems. I am here in the UK and there was an article in one of our newspapers that said British troops in Bahrain ready for Iran Deployment. Now Jeremy Hunt has made a statement saying that if Iran affects US interests we are ready for defend them; or words to that effect. The ordinary people in Britain don’t really know anything about all this, the press, and media seem to mostly leave all such stuff alone. People tend to stay close to their own little group; and reject all others; apathy and cynicism help skulduggery to go unnoticed.