Oct. 25, 1982: Times staff writer Bill Overend profiles Iranian exiles who gather in Santa Monica’s Palisades Park on Sunday afternoons, hundreds of people — mostly Jews and some Muslims — who came to the U.S. because of the Iranian revolution.
“There is an air of sadness about many of those who come to the park to meet old friends and make new ones,” Overend says. “They left much behind them when they fled the chaos in Iran and they have not been warmly welcomed in this new world they have so recently adopted.”
The exiles are mostly unwelcome in their adopted land, Overend says, because of the present policies of the Iranian government. Some people who live near Palisades Park wish the exiles would go “back to where they came from.”
Shahrouz Nahorai, 37, who once managed one of Iran’s largest pharmaceutical companies, says 90% of the exiles came to Los Angeles. The wealthy Muslims moved to Beverly Hills, while others moved to Europe. The Iranian Jews concentrated in Santa Monica and the San Fernando Valley if they were able to take enough money out of the country. The poorer Jews moved to Israel, he says.
Ed Golpariani, who runs a fast-food restaurant and had a boutique in Tehran, says: “I wish more Americans knew about Iranian people. All people in the world have the same problem. We are not Khomeini, that crazy person. Most of the people here don’t have a job. They are feeling very bad. They are the same as everybody else. Khomeini has done more to them than anybody else. I wish people understood that.”
Nahorai praises America, calling it “the best country in the world,” says that although there is everything for children, like TV and theme parks, he wishes that the situation would change in Iran so he could return and raise his children there.
On TV: New series for the fall season include NBC’s “Cheers” and CBS’ “Newhart.”
At the movies: “Tron,” “Rocky III,” “Superman II,” “E.T. and “Eating Raoul.”