Zarmineh Moody hopes for peace and understanding between the two opposing nations
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA) - With the back and forth conflict between Iran and America, many people are living in fear of what will happen next.
Zarmineh Moody is an Iranian-Armenian living in Yuma.
She loves being an American citizen and doesn't take the freedom that this country offers for granted.
However, she also loves her home country of Iran, and right now all she wants is peace and understanding between the two opposing nations.
Moody was born and raised in the city of Esfahan, Iran.
“Growing up there was fascinating. It’s a very ancient culture and there’s a lot of history behind it. Most people don’t really know. The only thing they know is the bad part of Iran. But Iran is a beautiful country," Moody said.
Moody has lived in the Desert Southwest for almost 40 years.
However, her Yuma home is reminiscent of her Iranian- Armenian culture.
In 1980, Moody left Iran at a time when Americans were being forced out.
She said, “Me being married to [an American], I had to leave my own country. As I was leaving my own country, I was looking back at the airport watching my family looking at me, not knowing when I would see them again. It was tough, it was really emotional.”
The recent assassination of Iran's top general, Qasem Soleimani, escalating the conflict between Iran and the U.S. brings back bad memories of Moody's childhood.
The daughter of an Iranian soldier, Moody vividly remembers terrifying sights of stonings and beheadings in the streets during wars.
Now, just the thought of war scares her.
“Soleimani, he was a very powerful man when they took him out. Iranians were very very confident about how he was leading the country.”
She added, “If there was any chance of having peace with Iran and the U.S., what just happened, I think that peace or that chance is not going to happen.”
Moody believes Iranians are just as fearful as Americans right now.
Moody says belly dancing brings her peace of mind.
It's a talent she shares with the community with hopes of bridging America's misunderstanding of Iranians through dance.
“I love people when they approach me not knowing nothing about Armenians or Persians or Iranians because sometimes we can be misunderstood. That's what gives me the opportunity to show that I am a human being just like you are. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. We're really all the same it's just how our mentalities work. I think that would be amazing if we could all pray for that. Someday that will happen.”
Moody was hoping to re-visit Iran for the first time since 1989, but with the current tensions with the U.S., she has reconsidered.