Monday, May 27, 2013

Remembering Neda: The Angel of Iran

"You are neither dead, nor will you die
 You will always remain alive
You have eternal existence
 You are the voice of the people of Iran."
.....a poem for Neda Soltan.......
      Simin Behbahani
      Iran's national poet

  On June 20th, 2009, the world witnessed the gruesome death of a young Iranian woman through a cell phone video. The video graphically showed a beautiful young woman lying  on her back bleeding in an alleyway in Tehran and surrounded by friends desperately trying to save her life. Despite their heroic efforts, she tragically died after being fatally shot in the chest by a Basiji officer nearby.
 Through a two-minute video, the world was introduced to a young Iranian woman named Neda Soltan, who had joined thousands of other protesters in peacefully demonstrating the results of a corrupt presidential election in Iran.
 This intense and graphic video was the turning point in my life. It had a dramatic effect on me as it did on the millions of others who watched it.  I was in tears watching Neda gasping for life with her eyes wide open in fear. Something inside me snapped as I watched it. I immediately felt a "calling" to speak out for Iranians. I was outraged that their basic fundamental right to protest and disagree was being met with such violent opposition by an oppressive government. I was astonished to later discover that Neda's
name means, "calling." It was then that I realized that God was using this video as a "calling" for me to be a voice for Iranians.
 Now four years later, I have authored six books and written several blogs about the plight of Iranians for peace and freedom in their country. One of these books  "The Rose of Nowruz: dreams of hope and freedom, " is dedicated to Neda, for her courage and conviction to be a voice for her people. I have been blessed to become a friend of Neda's fiance, Caspian Makan, a human rights spokesman living in Canada and have shared my book with him. Caspian has dedicated his life to keep Neda's dream for a free Iran alive through postings, pictures and articles on his webpage.
"The Rose of Nowruz" is now being read on pdf files by many of friends in Iran and giving them hope that one day, a Free Iran will be more than just a dream.
 In my book, Bahareh, a concert violinist, witnesses the Ghaste Ershade beating a woman outside of her apartment window because she wasn't wearing her hijab properly in public.
It was this event in Bahareh's life that motivated her to be a activist and voice for her friends suffering under a corrupt regime.
 There is a special song in my book, written by Bahareh, a song dedicated to the day when Iranians can once again walk down the streets of Tehran without fear. As I remember Neda today, I want to share this song with you. They are words of hope, dedicated to a woman, who through her tragic sacrifice, has illuminated the darkness of Iran with an eternal spirit of courage and freedom.

                                              The Rose of Nowruz

 There is a rose that was silenced that was crushed, but it will grow again, the sun will shine again.
 You gave us hope, gave us freedom, gave us life. You life will never end. The rose will live again.
  The sun is gonna shine again. The rose is gonna live again.
 Give me wings of freedom so I can fly. I wanna fly high. I wanna soar.
  Give me wings of freedom or let me die. I wanna touch the sky. I wanna soar!
                 (Dedicated to the angel of Iran: Neda Soltan)

1 comment: