Shahs of Sunset star Reza Farahan says he would not be alive today if he hadn't become an American citizen.

Jul 2, 2012 - The Dish

The 4th of July takes on different meanings for different people (although we can all agree the day's not complete without a Firecracker ice pop.) While the Real Housewives of New York City share what a perfect 4th of July means to them, things got real when we asked Shahs of Sunset star Reza Farahan to share its significance to him.

What does being American mean to me? It means FREEDOM! And although most people equate America with the phrase "land of the free, home of the brave," most people that have been blessed with being born in this country, take it for granted. I would not be alive today, but for the fact that I am an American citizen. In Iran, they stone and hang homosexuals regularly. They kill people that practice different religions and they dictate every move of your day to day life! It's easy to forget how wonderful this freedom is, if you've never known anything different. Most Americans celebrate the 4th of July with family and friends. They think of BBQs with burgers and fries, but for me, it's a yearly reminder of the greatest gift that I've ever received, my U.S. citizenship. For the longest time, I had an Iranian passport, issued by: The Islamic Republic of Iran. Can you imagine traveling with that passport? Not easy! I'll never forget my swearing-in ceremony, I cried and thought, "FINALLY!" So as the holiday approaches, I always get nostalgic and think back to that moment when I was sworn in. I became an American, and I too gained my independence.

This 4th of July, me and my mustache will be enjoying a few days of fun in the sun, in beautiful Palm Springs California! Good friends, good food, drinks, and my mustache... what more could you ask for?

Nothing, Reza -- that sounds perfect!

What does the 4th of July mean to you? Share your Independence Day plans in the Comments below.