Archives for category: Prose

Who are we that follow events in Iran?

Do you ever wonder how so many activists emerged from something as trivial as a message board or chat room? Certainly the majority following Iran on Twitter did not start because they expected to be deeply involved.

One of the many amazing things to come out of these online phenomenon is the bond between total strangers. These bonds cross all social and geographical barriers. Anonymity, while still a source of uncertainty, is also met with respect. Who are we that support Iran? Even we do not know. Traditional notions of identity have ceased to matter. Scattered throughout the community- like precious shells on the sand, we have friends who speak to us from Iran.

However active we are, however many messages we post- when we hear from Iran, we are momentarily silenced. With that silence comes the realisation that we have been occupied, but really we were always waiting. Waiting for word from Iran. And as we sift, and analyse, and interpret each word we are humbled by the privilege of bearing witness for those brave ones in Iran.

There has not been much news from Iran. And what there is can often be painful. News that stuns you to silence and shocks you to stillness. News that makes your very soul tremble and all your instincts scream out in horror. Those of us that remain, after all these weeks, are the steadfast. We have found the strength to stay because we know if we run away, Iran will be alone in it’s darkest hour.

We stay because we have been given a chance to make a difference, which will have impact for the ENTIRE WORLD. We stay because it is the right thing to do; the only thing worth doing. We stay because we have managed to achieve the unimagined, and we intend to keep doing it. And we stay because, weeks later, our pleas for help from political organizations still fall upon deaf ears.

Who are we? We are mothers who grieve alongside those whose children are missing, imprisoned or dead. We are fathers who understand the difficulty of providing for a family in a turbulent world. We are sons who refuse to surrender our hope for the future. We are daughters who dared to believe in justice and equality.

We are not the ones who try to divert attention away from Iran by invoking the ghosts of old news. We are not the ones who try to undermine the events in Iran using baseless arguments on unrelated subjects. We are not those who hope to profit from prolonged unrest or bloodshed for their own evil aims. We are not the hypocrites who pretend to care, but are ready to line their pockets and turn their backs on Iran. We are not those who try to impose their own agenda, calling for a different colour, a different flag.

We are Green. We are Iran.

We are not under any illusions. Iran is not looking to us for instructions. We are not in charge of a revolution. We are supporters. We are witnesses. We are journalists. We are diarists. We are historians. We are the media.

Yes, we write words. But our words are bullets. We are warriors for Iran. Those of us here from the beginning, have been proud to echo the chants heard in Iran.

A lifetime ago, we all said “Don’t be afraid: we are all together”. We still are ALL together.

Who are we? We are many. We are countless. We are. Ma hastim!

Alternative Friday Prayer from 4 September 2009 by @lissnup

Iran: “That Lump in my throat”

Forty days have passed since violence broke out, a blind violence ordered from above and executed from below… […]

We buried young martyrs, the number of whose days didn’t exceed the number of days of freedom in our land. We lost those who were children of our war, seasoned in the era of patience and perseverance of a people who had, throughout these years, lived with bare minimum so that their tall dreams could animate their future.

Pity, “what did my child have except a green band?” one grieving mother asks, the green that has come to symbolize this post-presidential election movement, “what was he asking for except for his vote?” I remember days when we had time to cry over the body of our dead. I remember those days that we would have grand ceremonies. I remember those days when we would adorn every street corner of this city with the name of brave men and women of this land, so that we wouldn’t forget them.

What’s happening to us? Where are we going? […]

Today you shed the blood of our children. Today, you return our youngsters to us in bags, mutilated, bruised and disfigured. We are not even to mourn their deaths. Is it against your laws?

Let us cry for them. Let me be present at the farewell ceremony. Let me commiserate with mothers and fathers who have lost their sons and daughters. Let me kiss their foreheads. Let me stand in prayer before their lifeless body… because that lump in my throat hides a swallowed scream that was never allowed to come out when it was only a whisper.

Source: Tehran Avenue (Iran), Op-ed by Ahmad Kamran, July 2009

This is dedicated to oppressed nations everywhere and especially to the brave people of Iran, their supporters on Twitter, and elsewhere.

Religion identifies a tremendous power in the universe that can dwell in personality. There is a power that can blast out defeat and lift a person above all difficult situations. This power of the mind is not emotion, but something far deeper, stronger and universal. Every human has this universal power. Every single one, regardless of any thing else.

On a daily basis, what we allow ourselves to believe and to think is manifest in who we are and how we behave. Our sense of identity, our interpretation of events and intentions, are all born as thoughts.
Thoughts, beliefs, ideas, behaviour are the lamp inside which the light of the human spirit shines. It follows that negative thoughts and beliefs dim that lamp and diminish that light.
Let’s think about the collective mind of Iran: a country of 70 million people. Iran, where the flow of communication has been choked to a miserable polluted trickle. Iran, a political culture of oppression and obsessive xenophobia that has perpetuated for 30 years.

Nothing can extinguish the true spirit of the Iranian people, only obscure it. For 30 years the Iranian Regime has been eating into Iran like a cancer. The IRI devours all that is good and healthy and depletes Iran’s resources. All the while the Islamic guardians have repeated their claims of righteousness and defended their actions.

But the IRI is a lie, all of it. A plain and simple lie, supported by a plain and simple truth: you can fool most of the people most of the time.

Iranians witnessed acts of immense hostility & heartless aggression against unarmed defenceless people. The threats – real or implied – which had fooled Iranians into creating a wall of fear became reality. People in Iran realised that they had been prisoners of their own imaginations. They had allowed their minds to be manipulated so their behaviour ensured each person was his own jailer.

The Iranian regime did not anticipate this, they’d committed the cardinal sin of believing their own lies. If you repeat something often enough and loud enough pretty soon everyone either shuts up or joins in. Even the aggressors become ensnared in their own web of deception. Now, whether they choose to believe it or not, the Iranian regime is only fooling itself.

The new power of their combined thinking and belief guides the people of Iran out to the streets. In cities and towns across Iran complete strangers discover that they are not alone, but part of a movement with deep roots and wide branches. They join together in peaceful protest. They chant, and the same words are echoed across great distances without rehearsal.
You might say a kind of magic happens. What’s really happening is they’re unleashing the power of their minds. Because once the source of fear become known, fear evaporates, and knowledge increases. When the unknown becomes known it releases light, the dawning of reality,
the power of the human consciousness takes over. Slowly at first, then in an overwhelming surging tide. This tide is the new mindset of the people of Iran. They have awoken.

The people of Iran now face those old fears in the cold light of reality.
With minds wide open they realise that THEY are Iran. Not the regime, not the clerics, not the constitution, but the people. With hearts wide open they believe that things must change, can change, will change.

Now more than ever the people of Iran need the support of the people of the world.
You don’t have to wait for anyone’s approval.
You don’t have to take a back seat and hope that world leaders will sort these problems out
You don’t have to tell Iranian people how to think or what to do.
You don’t even have to wear green. You just have to believe.
Let go of negative thoughts or ideas and believe in a free Iran.

Alternative Friday Prayer for Iran 13 November 2009 by @lissnup