96 pages 3 hours read

Sara Saedi

Americanized: Rebel without a Green Card

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | YA | Published in 2018

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Frequently Asked Question #6-Afterword

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Frequently Asked Question #6 Summary: “Why the hell is it the year 1397 in Iran?”

Whereas the United States uses the Gregorian calendar to mark time, Iran uses the Solar Hijri calendar. Iran switched to this system in 1925, coordinating “the beginning of the calendar with the pilgrimage of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 1622 CE” (215). Thus, in Iran, the year 1925 became 1303. Also different from the Gregorian calendar, the first day of the year corresponds to the vernal equinox, which is why Eid (the Persian New Year) begins in the spring. In 1976, the shah changed the origin year of the Solar Hijri calendar from Mohammad’s pilgrimage to the beginning of Cyrus the Great’s reign, transforming the year from 1355 to 2535. After the Islamic Revolution, state leaders reverted the origin year back to Mohammad’s spiritual journey.

The confusion in calendar dates mirrors the confusion of Sara’s birth date. Although some legal documents claim she is born on September 22, 1980, Sara was actually born in October. Her parents changed the date so she would be eligible to start school earlier in Iran. When they moved to the United States, the issue became moot, but the confusion continued as Sara’s father accidentally wrote September 21, 1980, as her birth date on the immigration forms.