Bardia Soltani 21: Rostam

“Basically Rostam is a persian warrior who is really known. He’s like the strongest man in Iran and is always protecting Iran. I’m not sure if he was a real person, it’s not really known. One of the stories about him is that he goes head to head in battle with this enemy army and he slays his own son who is the commander of the other army. I think he blinds his son too. When his son dies, he takes off his helmet or whatever and finds out he was his son and is really sad. His son’s name is Estambiar.”
Q: “Is there a lesson to the story?”
A: “I don’t remember, But it was this whole tragic thing. I really remember it on that complex level.”

Context: Bardia is a student at the University of Southern California. He was born in Iran and emigrated when he was seven years old. To him, this is a story that his dad told that is very close to his heart. It is a way of connecting with his father and his lineage.

Analysis: This story unites the Iranian people and makes them feel connected as a group. Stories like these create a commonality in people that they can share and feel like a part of the community. It unites people with common values (heroism, bravery) and also unites them with certain relatable themes such as tragedy.