In their honor
Join me in support of Iran's brave students!
July 3, 2003
Freedom. Human Rights. Equality. Meritocracy. Respect. Democracy.
On July Fourth, as we Iranians in the San Francisco Bay Area
gather together for weekend barbeques to celebrate America's Independence
let us remember that the
above ideas, the ideas upon which America was founded, are the exact wishes
of those brave students and grownups alike who are struggling to
country from the hands of the "unelected few" who have taken over
the past quarter of a century.
As the red, white, and blue fireworks streak across the afternoon
skies, let us say a prayer for those who have given their lives
by way of bullets,
stones, and nooses, to the regime that has made "Iranian" an ethnicity
ashamed of on the world's stage.
As we wear our t-shirts under the heat of the July sun, let us
not forget Ahmad Batebi, the boy who is rotting away in prison
fifteen-year sentence, for having been photographed raising up the
blood-stained t-shirt of his fallen comrade. He is my age. He should be
studying to take his university finals right about now. He should be
dressing in a shirt and tie to take his girlfriend out to dinner tonight.
should wake up tomorrow morning to his mother's breakfast table, and to
his father reading the morning paper. But he is in a tiny cell,
his eyes the
color of death. He is an innocent casualty in the people of Iran's fight
for democracy. It would be nice to say that he is the exception,
beautiful young people like him, are the rule in Iran. To honor their
sacrifice for the greater good, we who are free must rise up and tell their
stories to the world.
In Iran, they risk their lives, their jobs, their families, in
order to protest for freedom. In America, we sit idly by and wait
for things to
change, blaming everyone else but ourselves, when nothing happens. We are
free to assemble peacefully in every corner of this land. We can call sick
at work and buy a posterboard and a black pen. On it we can write "Iranians
want Freedom" and "We support our Iranian Students".
No one will
tell us to
move. No one will hit us against the head with a baseball bat. People will
respect us for exercising our God-given rights. People will think
for thinking of a cause greater than ourselves. Americans will see that
Iranians are not so bad after all. That we support all the values that they
cherish. Americans will support us, if we support ourselves.
So, I am waiting for someone to write me back and tell me they
want to join me on July Ninth in organizing a Bay Area movement
whose voice will
hopefully reach farther than the expanse of the entire world. A movement
whose voice will reach Iran. Who will reach Ahmad Batebi in his darkened
cell and bring a brief smile to his face as he sees that we "Ghorbatis"aren't
as conceited as LA-cable TV has made us out to be. We don't only care
about BMWs and highlights. We are politically active, unrelenting, and proud
of our heritage.
Please, join me on July Ninth, and e-mail me back if you have
any ideas on
the when and the where..!
THANK YOU and may we all meet one day under a blue sky and a
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