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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Please God, no more blood and broken hearts!

"In a land where there's no freedom, If an election could change
 something, they wouldn't hold an election!"
                     ..Mark Twain..

 The mood and climate of my friends in Iran is one of hopelessness and despair. On Friday, June 14, Iranians will go to the polls to elect a new president, but most of my friends lament to me that it's waste of time and they won't be participating. They remember all too well the bloody and violent outcome of the 2009 election, when protesters took to the street outraged at what they perceived was a rigged election!
Since January, the Iranian regime has arrested countless journalists and bloggers in order to silence the truth and prevent the mass demonstrations and violence that occurred in the last election. In addition to that, activists and journalists who were imprisoned during the 2009 elections are being systematically rounded up and returned to their captivity behind bars. 
One can understand the mood of despair among my Iranian friends. To them, the upcoming election is a joke! It has nothing to do with democracy and fairness, so why vote?
Just recently, I read two emails from Iranians describing their feelings of despair and outrage about the upcoming elections. The first one is from Farhad, writing a brief letter to his friend, Bahman Nassiri. Bahman is the executive producer of the "The Golden Veil," a film exposing the truth behind the 1979 Iranian revolution.
Farhad is an Iranian citizen living in Tehran. He writes:

" As you have often said, a picture is worth a thousand words, but since I can't send you a picture, I send you these words and you can paint a picture with these words of the present day Iran.
Depression, suicides, hunger, unemployment, hyper-inflation, corruption, rising crime, fear, executions, hopelessness.
My young brothers sleep at night with hungry stomachs, hoping they won't wake up in the morning.

The second email that I received was from my dear friend Atefe who lives in Tehran. Atefe has an incredible way of words. Her stories and experiences have been the subject of many of my blogs, including the book, "The Rose of Nowruz," that I wrote for my friends in Iran.
Atefe captures the mood of the Iranian climate in a way no one else can. This is her email in her own words:

"As we reach the date, I remember the memories four years ago at the same time..My friends and I were so enthusiastic and energetic about the upcoming election. We used to think that those dark and exhausting days of Ahmadinejad is going to end .We were so happy..We used to think Mousavi (Iranian candidate in 2009) means freedom..means happiness..but as it went by and the result was revealed, everyone was shocked! We couldn't believe our eyes! How could this happen to us?
Now when I think about those damn days..I don't even give a damn to participate in this election. I am sometime afraid of this election..I'm afraid because of my people..they can't bear the power that stands against them..they are so weak!  I'm afraid because of the young people who were killed, whose mothers are still mourning every weekend by their graves..I'm afraid that more young people will get killed and harassed   I really don't care anymore about the result because I came to the conclusion that being a president here doesn't count and the election is just a democratic show!
Mark Twain says: "In a land where there's no freedom, if an election could change something, they wouldn't hold an election!"  
This is really true about Iran. I just want to pass this week quietly and calmly without any more blood and broken hearts. I really wish that God would help us pass this stressful time more easily...."

Wow! Atefe's words, Farhad's words,
 leave me speechless and in tears.
They are both crying out for fairness, for justice, for freedom!
After reading this I can feel the mood and the despair they are feeling. My heart aches for all Iranians and my only response is a prayer from Psalms.
Today, I'm crying out to God to give them hope in the midst of despair.

"He will rescue the poor when they cry out to Him. He will help the oppressed who have no one to defend them.
He feels pity for the weak and needy, and  He will rescue them.
He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to Him."
                                              (Psalm 72:12-14)