Every year me and Nima and some friends from football team going for summer camp some place in UK. This is a few days out in nature with limited access to Mobile phone and internet. We used to be a larger group but this year the organizer who is a friend from the football team decided that is better to be a small group, and that was very good decision. We manage to have very creative discussion around the campfire about life, politic, art and more importantly creative writing that happen to be my new hobby, and I received some very good advises to help me with my writing.
Anyway, I advise everyone this kind of exercise…out in nature with some friends without your mobile and internet, just be there with your friends and talk for few days. It makes friendship much stronger and it is a good team building activity.
And for the first time in my life I confessed openly that as a child until young adulthood I dreamed to become a Christian priest. Which was very strange for a child like me who was not born in a Christian family in Iran.
I was born in a secular middle-class family in Iran and I didn’t know anything about religion until I was about 10 years old. I didn’t even know if we had a religion, earlier in my life as my parent had some Zoroastrian friends and we were living in Iran I thought that is everybody’s religion but ones when I was about 11 me and my parents traveled to north of Iran and my aunt and her family were with us except my cousin who was in summer camp with his school. That summer, one day my parents decided to take me to my cousin summer camp to spend a day there with him. It was a Catholic church school and I had a very good and enjoyable day. All teachers were priests and that was my first contacts with priests which had a positive impact on me and that was when I thought that when I grow up, I would like to become a priest.
That summer I remember I had a conversation with my father about religion and asked him about our religion, his response was that he was not a religious person and if I am interested about religion, I should study all of them and decide for myself. And that was what I did, on our return to Tehran I went to the library near to my father office and become a member in order to get some books about religion, the interesting thing was that the library was in the same building as a Mosque and most books were about Islam and few about other religions but it was okay with me as it was enough books to keep me entertain. After school I used to go every day to my father and visit the library while he was working to do my homework as well reading some books before getting home with my father. I did this for about a year and I find some friends who were Muslim. Most other kids have it much easier than me because their parents told them what their religion was, and they were doing so because they were told so, but not me as my father told me that I must find it myself.
That year I started to even like Islam, for a curious child like me everything was interesting, and I had just learned that there are many religions in the world and people believe in different things. One day I decided to join my friends as they were going to the Mosque for afternoon pray. By that time I had learned a little bit about Islam but I did not know how they pray and I told it to my friends and they told me that you do not need to know the prayer just stand beside them and follow the person in the front and do whatever he does, and that was what I did and it look like that actually most of the people who were there did not know what the actual word of the prayer was as he prayed in Arabic and as I find out most people did not understand Arabic in Iran. For me was kind of fun that time however I could not understand why people pray in a language that they do not understand and what is the point of doing things that you do not know why you are doing this…, but later on I find out that is what most people do when it comes to religion. Not many questions their faith and apparently most people choose their parents religion or the religion which is most common in their immediate environment with not much investigation.
However, it was an interesting time in Iran back then as the country were going through political changes and revolution, and as someone who had interest in religion, I could observe religious leaders in action as many of them were active in revolution. At first like most other people I thought that it will be good with a spiritual leader but more and more I learned about Islam, I realised that it is not much about spirituality and it is most about power and control.
Anyway, the post was about the summer camp which was a good time to review on my life without interruption of everyday things…