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Shahin & Sepehr

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

April 2, 1999
The Iranian

Part IV

March 1979

Babak woke up, dressed, ate his breakfast and went outside to wait for the school bus. It was a normal day, a bit chilly but you could smell spring in the air. It had been an unusually dry year and not much snow or rain had fallen on Tehran. Babak remembered how his mother had worried there wouldn't be a white Christmas, but as it had for all of the 18 years they had lived in Iran, a good foot fell on Christmas eve to make it a perfect score.

This morning was different. A somber mood blanketed the school and as Babak dropped out of the bus door onto the ground he could tell it was going to be another bad day. By now the school had been half emptied as parents fearing the changes had fled the country overnight pulling the kids from school and enrolling them in schools in Switzerland, London, Paris and the U.S. All the Americans had gone as the embassy, noting the current situation in Iran, was recommending everyone to leave and even offered chartered planes for evacuation. As Babak made his way up the walkway to the main quad of the school he noticed a coupe of girls sobbing and when he got to the main open area, found it all but deserted. Before the place would have been a bustling crowd of kids talking chatting about the previous night's Six Million Dollar Man episode and where the next party was. An American girl would be kissing her Iranian boyfriend there, the three brainy girls would be hanging over the ledge there, and someone would have thrown Niroo Yavari's clog in the pond again and he would be fishing it out with his binder.

But this morning was different. Babak finally found his homeroom class and went in. Somebody had brought in the morning paper. Instead of headlines, weather and such, the front page had been transformed into a list of names with post mortem photos of people accused of crimes against the land who had been executed the previous night.

The sobbing was for kids who found out their fathers or grandfathers or uncles had been killed. There were frequently no advance notices. Babak had heard of people being taken for simple questioning and held for several days. When the wife of the accused would go to the holding area to bring a change of clothes or food, they had produced the corpse and asked her to take the body away.

The rumor in town was that one such occurrence had sent the daughter of a well-known Air Force general into a rampage. This general had loved his daughter so much that he doted on her every skill and interest he had. He taught her to fly a Phantom fighter, hang glide, ski and of course shoot weapons. Equally entranced, she had loved him more than a daughter loves her father; he was strong and tall, and embodied the ancient Persian warrior hero. When he had been dragged from his bed in the early hours of one morning and shot in front of their home while she watched with her mother, they had taken her as well.

Now the rumor went that she roamed the streets of Tehran in a Blue Chevy Blazer. In the back she had placed a large machine gun, the kind mounted on a tripod with a very long range. Her targets were roadblocks manned by revolutionary guard -- street kids, many of whom Babak had grown up and played soccer with in the streets.

She would maneuver her Blazer in a line with the roadblocks and open the back hatch, crawl around the back, set up and began firing until the roadblock had been completely shattered. Because of the distance, no one could see where the bullets were coming from and this went on for a month or two as she exacted her revenge on roadblock upon roadblock. The wanted posters which only confirmed the rumors eventually started to fade and people forgot about her as they looked for the next announcement and list of executed fathers.

End of part two. Go to part five
* Part one
* Part two
* Part three

* Part four
* Part five

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