The Rajabzadeh sisters, Reyhaneh and Shokoofeh, watched the following TV shows and cartoons while growing up: Sailor Moon, Pokémon, Batman, Power Rangers, Arthur. These shows all have one element in common— elaborate scenes of metamorphosis accompanied by dramatic music. You recall that scene where Arthur morphs into….well, never-mind, maybe not.
You can credit their deft ability to transform themselves to the extensive research they’ve done watching these cartoons every.single.day after school.
In fact, the ability to metamorphosize to almost-American or almost-Iranian is a crucial survival skill. It is necessary in order to reduce the number of times one is flagged at “random” security checks.
Footnote: Please take notes while reading this. Images are available for download for further study.
Let us consider the following:
Now, say, Shokoofeh was on holiday and she is now boarding a flight to head back home to the United States. Assuming she is in an imaginary country where she can just be herself, she would look like this:
She would spend a significant portion of her flight to the United States in this way:
Shokoofeh would enter U.S. Security looking like this:
Now say, she is leaving the United States back home to Iran. Well, she would make sure she went through U.S. airport security looking exactly like the image above.
However, she would have to use a lot of spit as makeup remover, and the corners of her hijab as face cloth, and restart the power transformation.
Thankfully, the flight to Iran is 12.5 hours long. Sorry fellow passengers, this lavatory may be occupied for a while.
After a long flight, a wardrobe switch somewhere mid-air, day prayers and night prayers recited, and a final few touch-ups while the plane is taxiing, metamorphosis is complete. Shokoofeh would fearlessly descend the plane, and enter the Islamic Republic of Iran’s airport security ready for a problem-free arrival.
Note to reader:
Should you witness an almost-Iranian or almost-American metamorphosis in your next flight, please read the following disclaimer: The woman in the seat next to you is not a fugitive who must disguise herself.
This is not an episode of The Americans (though a Muslim version of the show would be great). Please try to pretend like you’re not afraid when she begins to pray. There is no need to request a seat change. If you do, she will appreciate the extra space.
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