Teapot

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My father's entire family was born in Shiraz, Iran, in the years before the 1979 Revolution. All of his siblings came to the United States for their educations and stayed on here; he would have only been continuing the tradition when he, too, left Iran in 1983 but the ongoing war with Iraq made his situation a little more urgent. He didn't see much of his family again until 1991, when his parents moved to California, completing the familial migration. To celebrate, they gave each of their children antiques of varying value. This is a porcelain teapot with the portrait of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, a 19th-century king. It's likely a mid-century tchotchke gotten from one mundane store or another. (In fact, my father's older sisters each got an antique Chinese plate, supposedly because an ancient relative was a wealthy trader who had been to China). We don't actually make tea in it. But it was the first of what is now a large collection of Persian rugs and paintings that proclaim my family's identity.

Year: 1960

– Shahruz Ghaemi

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant