Thursday, August 06, 2009

Four Glorious Days for Iran

Three days of hunger strike ended with a most beautiful day of solidarity

rallies all over the world, including our city of New York. Words said, pictures taken, interviews done, speeches made to condemn the fraudulent election and violations of human rights, and pleas made for peace, and encouragement given to the world not to forget us on our way to democracy.

I have so little to say about who said and did what. Yes, we all had the green wristbands, we all participated, some few thousands of us in New York alone. Lots of people came from Canada, Washington State, Virginia, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, Florida North Carolina, etc., many with their family, many even with their dogs. And many missed the occasion as well, most likely because they were busy, though, I should say they missed so much.

Among those who did not come, I regret the young children of my friends who had gone to the movies or to the beach. Not that the movement was damaged by their absence, but they missed one of the most precious experiences in life: being a very genuinely proud Iranian, and something more even: to be a witness to a golden page of history.

For three decades we Iranian were imposed upon by a government of abnormity, a government of innovation created out of a vacuum of statesmanship as well as wisdom and foresight. For three decades those bearded clerics sprang out of nowhere, ruled according to their will and ignored whatever Iranian culture or international norms prescribed. The abuse of power had never been reached to such degree in Iranian history even during reign of Arab Muslims, Mongols or Timorids.

Most intolerable is the deceitfulness involved in their ruling. The ruling clerics not only violated all norms in the name of Islam, (I should admit that I can’t possibly care less about this) but our name, Iranians, as well. Not only have they represented themselves as the emissaries of God and His appointees on earth, but as our delegates. The world around us, being preoccupied with its own problem, sluggishly and carelessly embraced the idea. We all were portrayed as friends of Hamas and Hezbollah and were tagged as terrorists within a short period of time, a picture that we all resented in every way.

On Saturday in front of the UN, excited and energized even after four days of walking and talking and fasting and after a long walk from Times Square to the UN with quite a bit of zigzagging, from the South African Embassy to the Office of Iran’s Delegation to the UN, I ran to some old friends from our student days, all happy and smiling, proud and content at have come back together for a glorious conclusion. Lots of kisses and hugs, “Isn’t this elegant?” I asked rhetorically. “Yes very elegant, exactly the kind of revolution you like,” one of my friend teased. “Why not?” I thought without making any apology for my taste. Indeed I do not take the word elegant so lightly. Isn’t it always coupled with orderly, cultured and civilized?

Indeed, how else we could describe the movement? How many nations reacted, in defiance, like us to a military coup? Half dizzy and half excited, I look around in order to find something to concentrate on. Though I could not decide where to focus, I finally managed to fix my attention when Faramarz started to play his sitar and sing, accompanied by a saxophone and daft. In one corner, a lady with her beautiful Papillion in her arm was singing with the crowd, another man with his pooch, name Apple, lying on the ground in fatigue, standing there attentively. (Thanks to all those pooches who came to rally with a green band around their necks, not only to show their support but to restore our reputation: Iranian do not hate dogs!) Across the fence separating the demonstration from First Avenue’s by passers, one could not miss the admiring look of the people who were watching us. Puzzled by what they were looking at, more likely they would have thought us as holding a celebration if a few signs of “Free All Political Prisoners” had not betrayed us.

Later on, looking at the gallery of the photos from the event, I was so pleased to see indeed we looked very elegant. Noam Chomsky looked very cheerful. Gee, he was even smiling! Reza Bareheni, though looked much older, appeared quite content, very likely since someone remembered his theory of Masculine History. Ganji looked as if he had never heard the word fatigue in his life; Masoumeh Shafii, smiling at someone very shyly. I think she was explaining that she is not Fatemeh Haghihgatjoo ; Nayereh Tohidi, gallant and dignified as always, seemed to be offering her seat to someone else. Does she ever loose her attentiveness? I wondered. Kazem Alamdarian looked as fresh and happy in all the pictures taken from day one to the last. And oh, yes, my beloved husband who fasted all three days and left his computer behind for four consecutive days, was almost on all the gallery photos. I do not know how he did it, I mean leaving the computer at home!

And finally those kids! Sadra and Company with their yellow shirts, warm, pleasant, proud, and happy. They did not need to be in any photos, they would stay in our heart forever for all their composure, style, management, and smiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiles! Oh yes, fear no more!
Food was brought for those who had fasted. I ran after my husband, preventing him form eating much, but it was too late; he already had got to desert, sholezard. Well, I had to be a little generous; he really did not eat for all three days. I had just a date which with my luck was not sweet.

The program ended like usual Iranian gatherings: no one wanted to leave. “We should get together again,” “Lets not to wait for the next crisis,” “We really should not let go of this momentum,” “Call me and let’s get together,” “We really….”, and more hugs and more kisses, and handshake, again and again.
It was six o’clock that it was announced that we should leave. In fact, we should have left some half an hour earlier. And again the traffic of invitations and promises for the next time and again lots of “We should really….” We were the last one leaving, followed by janitors with brooms and garbage bags sweeping after us.

“Did they ever see such a jolly adult demonstration against brutality and violence?” I thought to myself when leaving.

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