Heros of the Revolution

In Foreign Affairs, human rights, Injustice on June 26, 2009 by Editor Z

A 25 year old Iranian gives explains the sentiment of the young of his generation currently marching in the streets, defying the battalions of the state.

We were fascinated by the epic tales of young students, some as young as thirteen who during the war had sacrificed themselves for the greater good of the society. We were made to believe that we were living in Utopia, but the delusion only lasted a few years. Before long, that once naïve and innocent generation of 1984 had grown to be the young men and women of Iran, the so called third generation of the revolution.

Faced with harsh realities of life we quickly came to realize that our world was far from the Utopia painted for us. It was more like a Dystopia where we had to fight for every single right, every single freedom.You have denied us so much.

Out of this dark age one day emerged a man with qualities of a hero who would lead this generation out of this Dystopia and into that promised paradise. His name was Mohammad Khatami. Yet it turned out that he was neither the hero everyone expected him to be, nor did he have the capacity or desire to lead them out. To be fair things started crawling toward progress and modernization; there was a smaller degree of social rights and freedom, but it did not come at the pace that this restless third generation wanted.

Thus a hero fell, and four years of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad started.

By the end of the four years, we were desperate for change. Hope materialized in the shape of Mir Hossein Mousavi, who happened to be the prime minister that now long gone 1984. But the totalitarians ruling the Dystopia swooped in and crushed that last bit of hope.

In Brecht’s “Life of Galileo,” Galileo’s students condemn him at the end of the court proceedings with these words: “Pity the nation that doesn’t have a hero.”

“Pity the nation that needs a hero,” he responds wisely.

My generation is tired of being disillusioned. We refuse to accept the status quo and we have risen up in defiance. I am not sure how long it will take for the totalitarians to crush our resistance. For now though, we’re holding up just fine. We’re holding up fine even though our brothers at Basij and the police are murdering their dear fellow Iranians. We’re holding up even though you bash us with clubs and batons and try to suffocate us with your tear gas.

A nation stands tall refusing to succumb that easily.

Yesterday among the crowds who were just back from the warzone with their wounds and anger and sadness, I spotted an old friend of mine.

“Welcome to 1984, my friend,” he said in great anguish.


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