Hamid Dabashi at CNN:
November 4 is the 30th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis, a turning point in Iranian history, in the geopolitics of the region and in the troubled history of U.S.-Iran relations.
On that day, militants, many of them students, invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking about 70 Americans as hostages in a drama that would last 444 days.
I am one of the last Iranian students who peacefully walked into the United States embassy in Tehran. I went there in July 1976 with a recently acquired Iranian passport and an even more recently obtained acceptance letter from the University of Pennsylvania, and an I-20 form, as we called it then. Then a 25-year-old, I applied for a visa, received one and boarded a plane to Philadelphia.
In just about a second and a half, the way time flies these days, I will turn 60, and I will have a claim over Philadelphia and New York as my successive hometowns more than I do over the cities in which I was born and received my college education, Ahvaz and Tehran.