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1984

by Correspondent in a Province

17 Jun 2009 01:0428 Comments

war26

Two Iranian soldiers kiss before they go to battle (Iran-Iraq war).

I was born in 1984, amid a devastating war that had laid waste and destruction to my country. I was born between two subsequent nights of bombing raids. I was born into rationing, despair and hardship. I was born when young lives perished at the fronts. My father later told me that when I was born 1984 sounded so much like the 1984 predicted by Orwell. But my birth had turned over the glum outlook for my parents and 1984 had become a sign of hope, a hope for a future to come, or as my father put it, "a better future for my child to live."

My parents were not alone in this. During the baby boom of 1983 to 1986, millions of us came into this world, mouths to feed and miracles to be cherished. There and then a new generation was born, a generation who would bear witness to the legacy of generations of their parents, a legacy that was mainly composed of one thing, "the Islamic Republic."

In later years, in our schools, on TV, in books and newspapers they told us that before our time lived a tyrant who held a firm grip on our country, and that the defiant and valiant nation of Iran had risen up and overthrown him to establish three things, "Esteghlal, Azadi, Jomhouri Eslami."

Independence.

Freedom.

Islamic Republic.

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 naive 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.

I nodded in agreement; we'd come full circle.

He went on, "There we were facing the bloodthirsty riot police, hand in hand, like that 'Brothers in Arms' song from Dire Straits."

It was in that moment that I realized why the French Revolutionaries added "Fraternity" to their revolutionary slogan.

Liberte, egalite, fraternite.

Copyright (c) 2009 Tehran Bureau

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28 Comments

I too am a child of 1984.


We were born to a special opportunity. The mantel now falls on us to make our societies into an free, equal, and just places to live and grow. Now is our time.

Jackson Couse / June 16, 2009 9:29 PM

God bless the Persian people... Christian, Jew, or Mussalman. Long Live Iran... March toward your destiny with Godspeed... America wishes for an ally, a free and democratic Iran!!!

Dr. Sanjay M. Udoshi / June 16, 2009 9:31 PM

Wow! Very beautiful. We are your sisters and brothers from all over the world. Your battle is our battle. Free Iran!!!!!!

DeborahUSA / June 16, 2009 10:18 PM

The people of America are with the oppressed. May you find the strength to rise up and crush the hand of tyranny that holds you down! Democracy for all!

Ryan / June 16, 2009 10:58 PM

A very heart warming, accurate, to-the-point article.

Well done aziz-e jaan. We are watching you brothers ever so close as you make history with every step.

Behnam Farvardin / June 16, 2009 10:59 PM

I was born in 1984 as well. My heart is aching to be in Iran. Stand strong!! Freedom is inevitable and will shine at our country one day.

Niosha / June 16, 2009 11:34 PM

Beautiful.

Alexa / June 16, 2009 11:43 PM

I not Iranian, but I definitely understand that Democracy ( Human Right ) and Freedom should go to every Iranian People in Iran Soil and over the world !!! This unique photo show us 1000 words and show unity and that Iranians should stand and rise together for again : Freedom, Peace, and Love !!!

Kenny Nguyen / June 16, 2009 11:54 PM

A lovely story! I'm American and every time Bush spoke aggressively against Iran, I told everyone that the country is filled with young people who want what we all want. The Persian culture is a beautiful culture and so are the people (I have Iranian friends). The last 30 years have been hard for the people. And, life under the Shah wasn't fair. I hope we can all unite now!!

leanie / June 17, 2009 12:28 AM

You speak truth, brother. I have to believe you can win, if not for your generation, then for the next.

Patrick / June 17, 2009 12:31 AM

In 1776 America was where Persia is in 2009. May your people gain the freedom and prosperity their bravery deserves.

Lenny / June 17, 2009 2:21 AM

Great! Was touched. I may not be an Iranian nor a Muslim but my heart bleeds for you people. Keep your hope alive and in the end...soon...you will have the true liberties you have been deprived for a long time.

May God be with you all out there fighting for democracy.

shetty / June 17, 2009 3:44 AM

sometimes for the youth in the free world it is difficult to realize how freedom is precious.. iranian youth are dying for the HOPE to have, under moussavi, at least a smell of that freedom that the rest of the world calls normality. I hope that you will succeed in your struggle, you are very brave and to be admired.

alis / June 17, 2009 7:39 AM

NB: what the green movement is doing now in Iran is the exactly definition of "major jihad": struggling against an oppressor and tyrant for the sake of people's freedom. That same tyrant, is killing the people in the name of Islam. Isn't that sadly ironic?

alis / June 17, 2009 7:41 AM

Moving - my heart is with you. Our generation, people all over the world, will one day see the end of all this madness! Truth is being spoken here and we're following earnestly - bless you all!

JoshInBuffalo / June 17, 2009 10:20 AM

excellent piece

winston / June 17, 2009 11:45 AM

Please know that the American people are with you. You will succeed.


We know that there will still be differences between our countries when your properly elected President is installed. Please foster the good will to compromise and agree where we can and to disagree honestly where we cannot.


May God be with you.

Eric V / June 17, 2009 11:47 AM

As Mr. Obama made clear: The world is watching as the citizens of Iran demand true representation, and we are inspired by your struggle for democracy against the crushing fists of tyrants. Blood may be shed, lives may be lost, but the freedom from opression is a cause worth fighting for. I hope this effort ultimately secures liberty and peace for the people of Iran.

Xcott / June 17, 2009 11:50 AM

I feel for you. I would be on the ground with you if I were a citizen of Iran today. Even as a Israeli that is supposedly an enemy I hope you get the freedom you deserve.


God bless the Human Spirit in its endless quest to be free.

Esh Tamid / June 17, 2009 12:23 PM

Rise up and be strong men and women of Iran for your strength inspires oppressed people across the world. We in America are in awe of your passion and bravery.

Diane / June 17, 2009 1:18 PM

I witnessed the same want of freedom and glimmer of hope, in the eyes of my young interpreters when I was in Afghanistan. This desire for newness and fullness of life transcends borders. The 1984 generation in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere; is a peace-loving generation which wants more out of life. Iranians have the will of heroes...your true hero will emerge as the revolution marches on. God bless you all!

Afghanistan Veteran / June 17, 2009 3:12 PM

Beautifully written piece. I was born in the U.S. in 1984. Your struggle makes me that much more grateful for the freedoms I've been given and a little bit ashamed that I have taken them so lightly. I pray that your efforts will find success and that Iran will see prosperity.

Trevor / June 17, 2009 4:20 PM

It has ended with new tyrant regime headed by criminal Ali Khaminie surrounded by millions of non-state terrorists' regime jihadist who born trained to serve tyrant regime


Neither AN, nor Mousavi had clean personalities, check the TV show which was well staged bothl sides accused the other of corruptions in some stage of his positions. Now Rafsanjani the biggest and richest man in Iran he can make it ugly for the regime if wish to use his factor and his money.


The is Islamic Republic of Mullah more corrupted and more tyrant than before.

Iran's people flooding the streets in protest are not the sort of people who would want to see their country enter a nuclear confrontation with Israel. Not because they like Israel, but because they are rational enough, and interested enough in the betterment of their own lives, to demand a government that puts a limit on Iran's foreign adventures. The people of Iran do not currently shape their country's nuclear policy.

JESS / June 17, 2009 6:48 PM

I think Iran paid much enough price for Freedom. They deserve it more than many nations on the earth.


Tolga


From Turkey

Tolga / June 18, 2009 6:22 AM

Inspiring literary piece. I am proud of you, your brothers and sisters who despite of the threats for your safety are all there as one. People in my own country has fought in the past to unseat a dictator and eventually won.


May all Iranians find real freedom in the end.


We love you and may God Bless you and be with you in this trying times.

catherine / June 18, 2009 7:43 AM

"Make yourself free from self at one stroke!


Like a sword be without trace of soft iron;


Like a steel mirror..."


-Rumi

AZADI!

N. Ewald / June 18, 2009 8:57 AM

I enjoyed reading this piece and learning about your perspective. It was very well written. My friends and I support your cause and enjoy seeing your bravery through videos, pictures and posts online. You are very brave to speak out and take action.


-Brian J. Stinar-

Brian Stinar / June 19, 2009 12:10 PM

US media reports tonight that the Iranian police and revolutionary guard are attacking the crowds with guns and axes. Most communication is cut off. Even Twitter seems to be quieter than a few days ago. American citizens want the people of Iran to have freedoms and opportunities. American people are very wary of gov't, even our own. Gov't are corrupted with power and money. It is difficult to hear the news out of Iran. I wonder if the Iranians long for a free democracy like Iraq has now. Of course, there are still so many problems today still. I wonder if I will live to see peace in the middle east. At times, I think I will only live to see an escalation in conflicts leading to a worldwide war.

Linda / June 25, 2009 1:06 AM